Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Classes, New Paltz, Fall '05

41302 02 English Lit. II, 10-10:50 tu w th f, Hack
41445 01 Creative Writing II, 5:30-8:20 tu, Doherty
41332 02 American Lit. II, 2-3:10 m tu th, Stoneback
41385 01 Theories of Writing, 3:30-4:45 m w Crockett
41450 01 Seminar in Poetry, 12:30-1:45 m w Waugh

Monday, April 18, 2005


A jeweled wasp stuns A cockroach & plants an egg
Inside. In no time, easy
As fear eats into someone,
The translucent larva grows
Beneath its host's burnished
Shell. The premature stinger
Waits like a bad idea, almost
Hidden. Summertime
Breathes on a thorny leaf.
Before the new wasp breaks
Free, they are one. No longer
Fat on death's fugacity,
By tomorrow afternoon
It will cling to a window screen
Bright as Satan's lost tiepin.

-from "Talking Dirty to the Gods"
Yusef Komunyakaa

Thursday, April 14, 2005


the bed is rimed with the grey salt of nightmares,
acrid smoke of bonefires in my throat.
rheumy eyed surgeons display rusted wares;
brown scalpels cut away the flesh-coat.

clutching gobbets of viscera excised
like a hopeless abortion, i flee
running through dank wet halls, brutalised,
shadows and distortion hunting me.

crows peck at my face and hands, crying out
understanding not how i move still
(expecting a free meal no doubt)
frustrated at their impotence to kill.

i don't think these dreams will ever end
as sure as my soul will never mend.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005



wikipedia. tons of good subtopics.

still life

still life

an ashtray overflowing with crushed stubs
a stained mug cold with drying caffeine silt
unopened mail scattered like dying fish
laptop fan hums, vibrating in the dark

the birds no longer sit on the railing
the moon oppressed by malevolent clouds
occasional loud cries of drunken fools;
unsettling, hateful punctuation.

waiting for another day to dawn
for more of the same, and more of the same
no dancing, no revelry, no sweetness.
no smiles, no joy, no lightheartedness.

another cigarette and more coffee
more letters unopen and forgotten
screaming tires, breaking bottles, howling
idiots playing overloud hip-hop.

light another one, deeply inhale and
remember that it will end, it must end.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Fear of the Unknown.


Last night, I killed a monster. Not some bugbear of the unconscious, this was a living thing, a modern Grendel.

As I sat reading, I caught motion on the floor, down and away from the table.

Let me note, before I go on, that save a single hornet that made his way into this apartment on a sunny, warm day last week, there has not been a single instance of a sighting of an insect of any kind in my living-space. Furthermore, I generally have a tolerant attitude towards insects; I grudgingly acknowledge that we must share the same space, and act accordingly.

This abomination scuttled across the floor, like greased lightning, straight under my bed!

It had millions of legs. I jumped up, dove onto the bed, and turned the nighttable light on, as well as grabbing a flashlight I had handy.

I located the beast, but it was too far to reach. I grabbed several paper towels, and found it lying in wait underneath the bed. After a few moments, it shot from under the bed to just outside the corner, where it was exposed.

It was an outrageous battle, knocking over furniture, breaking lamps, and causing no little noise.

The thing was huge. It was the size of a Buick, with multifaceted eyes like basketballs, and slavering jaws. I feared for my life, thinking that I would have to stab it multiple times with a kitchen knife.

The battle raged for a minute or so while I dispatched it with the paper towels.

Afterwards, elated at its death but disconcerted at its appearance, I did some research.

This, the Scutigera coleoptrata, was the monster that I so valiantly fought. And I must admit, at hearing this news, I felt somewhat less justified in prematurely ending its life. It's mostly a beneficial little creature, with no ill designs as I had supposed. And it only has 15 pairs of legs. Not a million.

Like chewing my eyeballs out as I slept, feasting on my flesh, or injecting eggs into my brains. Not so. Simply a little housecleaner.

I cannot swear that I will let the next one (if there is a next one) live, but I have at least tempered my demeanor towards this thing, and perhaps I will think twice before slaughtering the next one.

Unfortunately, the Fear contributed to its early demise, but armed now with new information, I am less likely to act quite so rashly in the future.

I think.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Ode to Tea

The first cup caresses my dry lips and throat,

The second shatters the walls of my lonely sadness,

The third searches the dry rivulets of my soul to find the stories of five thousand scrolls.

With the fourth, the pain of past injustice vanishes through my pores.

The fifth purifies my flesh and bone.

With the sixth, I am in touch with the immortals.

The seventh gives such pleasure I can hardly bear.

The fresh wind blows through my wings as I make my way to Penglai.

-Lu Tong (AD 619-907 (T'ang))