One million elephants couldn't begin to understand » 2015 » November

Archive for November, 2015

Monday, November 30th, 2015

 

………………… Beauty was Frank O’Hara talking to Second
Avenue with a diamond in his head. We were the personal
details in Frank’s harem of private lives when LeRoi insisted on
becoming black, abandoning us for a noble cause, according to
Frank, who loved Imamu Amiri Baraka. We were the details in
Frank’s poems and living one’s life was a detail in Frank’s life.
John Ashbery arrived from Paris on a plane made of expensive
suits, shirts, and ties. Like his poems, he was sparkling and
squeaky clean, dressed in elegant language. He is the
daydream that had become a poet. His subject is to have no
subject. Perhaps a casual reference to someone special. He is
a poet of the less obvious in life: the sestina made of clouds.
We crossed the equator on our way to a cocktail party for Gary
Snyder. There is no other life for his outdoor poems,
hitchhiking on hands-on love. Gary seems to have time to
write poems about the notes in his life. Kenneth, on the other
hand, has a paper cup full of wonderful poems. He can write a
poem about a cathedral living in a paper cup. Kenneth travels
everywhere with his paper cup. At a certain time of day,
Kenneth finds room in his paper cup for perfect days and
perfect moments:
Perfect moments when Frank spoke to us.
Perfect moments when Allen spoke to us.
And they sang to us
with human wings
upon which we sleep.

from “Incidents of Travel in Poetry” by Frank Lima
(read the full poem here)

Sunday, November 29th, 2015

 

It’s almost closed.
But another is sure to open.
They come and they go and everything continues.

Saturday, November 28th, 2015

 

“You have to make your own weather.”
And little black full stops of flies flitted around my glass of red wine.

Friday, November 27th, 2015

 

The voice came borne on the wind, ugly as a gravel-scarred crone. It was impossible to make out what was being said and, as we have thought so often in these years of ostracism and drought, we little cared to know.

A file was being delivered, and so there was a lot of waiting around going on. We couldn’t move until it had been executed.

Thursday, November 26th, 2015

 

Sat at my desk, eking out a few miserable lines, I felt the stab of nervous disdain in the back of my head, just above the hairline.
There came a knock at the door; it was the pizza delivery.
Ham and pineapple; not very imaginative.
To bed before nine, but not to sleep.
There is a blizzard of something forming in the alcove where thinking occurs.

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

 

The evenings are very quiet here, which is one of the reasons we were so happy when we were able to take these rooms. Our neighbours are very cosmopolitan, though we do not really know any of them to speak to. But the sounds that come through their open windows and drift into ours are extremely cultivated. The puppeteer who lives in the apartment below us appears to have put on a good deal of weight. His wife, a grim woman who always wears a faded green woollen hat indoors and out and whatever the season or the weather – we have not seen her for several weeks. When I go downstairs to pick up the mail and pass by the puppeteer’s door I often hear a chattering that sounds like children, but I know it’s not.

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

 

We have been left to fend for ourselves.
The butcher who used to give us meat has moved away from the neighbourhood; he left no forwarding address nor any culinary advice.
The fire smokes because we are trying to burn poems.

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

 

how sweet my
animal instincts
have becalmed
on this open water;
deteriorate
into unswept sand
of beach scenery now:
we was interrupted

Sunday, November 22nd, 2015

 

Into the woods
we fled as if from

the prospect of
work, my ennui

a honed skill, the
taste of lemons

on your kiss the only
hint of indiv-

iduality.

Saturday, November 21st, 2015

 

The coach pulled in to the Chinese translation of
Little Storping-in-the-Swuff
Horses were exchanged for transporters