Friday, October 06, 2006

I'm published in Softblow, Red River Review and QLRS. But here's a taste of some of my other works. First, from "last boy":



I'd give you nothing.

I'd feed you transparent doughnuts,
baked from argon: the gas unburning
in glass balloons
of electric light.

For your amusement,
I'd blow you soapbubble hearts from my nostrils,
from the canals of my ears,
from my ass, my lachrymal ducts, my exocrine glands, my navel.

I would wait in the streets, I would,
to catch a ride on the time machine as yet uninvented,
to pluck the choicest blooms from an earth
that wants to exist

to cut a bouquet
of matter and antimatter roses,
effluorescent implosions of logic gates,
virtual yes/nos stammering the rings
of ten billion years
in their broken stems.

Like a mouthful of words shoved under your door.
Like a drinking glass filled to the brim
with leaking time;
I'd give you the outer space
of my open palm:

The parted lips of a pause
loaded as hemoglobin,
before your name.

The number zero
glazed as a doughnut
only missing your teeth.

Crystal Pear

Mother came home from business trips in China,
leaving her love in the kitchen,
wet with refrigerator dew.

Dark yellow baskets of scaly lychee,
still stuck to their leaves,
the silk white flesh on the black stones.
Fuji apples, names marked into their skin.

And once most wonderful,
a cluster of peaches,
pale pink, as monkeys might eat
in a children's fable, flesh to last ten thousand years,

the green fuzz cheeks not yet turned yellow.
Would you believe I ate you then,
a light slice, too perfect for this sticky island,
imported man;

your kiss a city of stars. Your soul a smuggler's gift,
your countenance locked in a suitcase,
packed too full of good memories.


There's a Tokyo inside-out:
streets of gravel, wooden paneling.
Instead of floodlamps, giant bonsai,
subway channels full of carp.

The scraped skies and Freon moons
all packed into restaurants,
grand pavilions of grease and octopus carts,
Yamaha motorbikes revved up the escalators.

The children stay in all night,
furious canaries, jamming their loins by cellphone.
The old women and men play tea-ceremony
all day in the painted sun,
and live too long,

while the salarymen shuttle between,
all hours, white streaks on tatami and marble,
never registering

the teetering balance,
as they charter vacations
to Americas inside them.

... and a few newer works:

He Xian Gu, or the Immortal

Seven old men came to my door
while I made beancurd.
"Tell us your heartache," they sang,
so I spoke of my miserly grandmother,
and the landlord´s son,
who once gave me a peony.
"More, we are hungry for history," they cried,
So I spoke, and the milk in the bean-press
ran so low, it became a skin to coat
the hairless lip of the youngest.

My grandmother stormed the kitchen:
"Give us back our secrets!" she roared,
and pummelled the sages
until their eyes rolled back in their heads,
ecstatic on contact.
I bowed my face
and swallowed their vomit,
vinegar of my folly.
The eight winds blew and I was another old man,
walking the earth in eternal costume.

The curd sticks in my throat:
quench me, I am starving for secrets.
Choke me, my voice is a pebble
without beginning, no end in sight.
Some days I hold my tongue to the doorstep
and believe I can hear the kitchenware grinding.
Tell my grandmother to receive for me
another peony.

Translation (Moon)

chance change minuet gown

east ship decent swan

zero want milk get

ditto silk ghost song

... and a performance poem, originally published in Unipress's collection of student writing, "Onewinged".

A Loud Poem to Be Read to A Very Obliging Audience


I want a loud poem,
A proud poem,
A head-high-touch-the-sky-unbowed poem;
Loud poem,
Not a shroud poem,
Loud poem.

I want a loud poem: amplitude, altitude, attitude,
Frequency, longitudinality, latitude,
Wavelength, crest to crest, crest to trough, speed,
Compression-rarefaction of the air as I read;
I want a loud poem: microphone, megaphone tone,
Electronics, stereophonics, harmonics, polyphone,
Rhythm rhythm meta-metronome, pitching note by note
And the bare-air body-blare beating of my throat -
I like it loud!
Mike check, test one two three -
Mike check, test A B C -
Mike check, test do re mi -
Loud! Poem!
Fa so la ti do!

I claim the right to read, I claim the right to bleed,
I claim the right to poetry in word and deed,
I claim the right to sound, the right to be unbound,
I claim poetry for people plus the other way round.
I claim the right to speech, the right to preach to reach
For violence against silence and the freedom of screech
And I claim the right to be completely wrong
Because poetry changes nothing!
I claim the right to sound, the right to fury too -
I signify nothing, nor do you!
So might as well (what the hell) take a line and yell it till your face burns blue!

I want a loud poem,
A crowd poem,
A just-a-little-louder-than-allowed poem,
Not a cloud poem
(Unless its mushroom clouds)
Loud poem.

I want a loud poem: consonance, assonance, alliteration,
Simile, symbology, apology, no annotation,
Onomatopoeia-layer, mix-a-metaphorically,
Diction, fiction, rhetoric, depiction allegorically,
Loud poem! Sweeter meter, fall on your iambic feet,
Colour, culture, contrast, conflict, composition and conceit!
Grammar-hammer! Punctuation! Paper-vaporising ink!
Rhyme, prime, rhyme sublime! Time to breathe and time to think!

Okay, times up -
I claim the right to feel, I claim the right to heal,
I claim the right to realities unreal and real,
I claim the right to touch, I claim the right to clutch,
I can move men and mountains although neither by much.
I claim the right to mean - and is the right obscene
To make a toast to the most of the human machine?
And I claim the right to make a joyful noise
Though in the long run were all dead!
Waka waka!
I claim the right to stuff on which dreams are made:
Like this insubstantial pageant, Im gonna fade!
The worlds a stage - lets rage, shake the ribs of your cage - remember what the audience paid!

Loud! -

(rotating hips slowly)
Lip lip,
Teeth tongue,
Larynx pharynx,
Lung lung,
Breath pulse,
Wrist wrist,
Heart no bigger than your fist,
Blood brain,
Mind meat,
Head trunk,
Hands feet,
Pain strain,
Stress heat,

(to be read while banging your head withw hatever's convenient on each first syllable and wildly dancing)
Mary had a little lamb!
Do you like green eggs and ham!
I love you and you love me!
Frame thy fearful symmetry!
Let us go then, you and I!
Like a diamond in the sky!
Happy birthday and hello!
Loud poem! Free expression, inhibition, exhibition!
Mission! Higher moral fibre heavy oral ammunition!
Mental dental transcendental magic an imagination,
Mass communication, media, publishing, repagination!
Preservation of the moment! Stop the clocks for recollection!
Self-reflection! Breaking walls and mirrors, auto-vivisection!
Order out of chaos! From infinity to sanity!
Immortality! For only you can save humanity!
Desperation! Respiration!
Inspiration! Expiration!
Thunderclapping! Bubblewrapping!
Bang Im dead! (fall down on ground, dying)

Ah! Ah! Ah ah ah -
Ah claim the right to face, I claim the right to space,
I claim the right to everyday in upper case,
I claim the right to name, I claim the right to flame,
Though I know that no-ones given me the right to claim.
I claim the right to dream - theme, scheme, extreme!
Let me sing of your voice which is your own to redeem!
And I claim your right not to listen to me -
I respect that!
(pause, gulp, loud burp)
I claim the right to be, yet to question too -
Then perchance to dream a little dream of you -
So might as well (give em hell) take a line and yell it till it sounds half-true!

I want a loud poem.
A loud poem
Then again,
I think what I really want is a glass of water.

This poem will self-destruct in five seconds.
Thank you.