"My mightiest flights of poesy have / no power to conjure the slightest of her curves...

January 02, 2007

Missives from Atlantis

[Possibly] part of a longer thing I'm gonna write:




We queue by the dock, hot, confused, not
making eye contact as we clutch our wallets close,
as if they might fly away. PENNY FERRY,
and we wonder dully what would happen
if we had come without our money, whiskey,
cartons of Lucky Strikes, and family heirlooms
fabled to be solid sterling. Cranes
pad between patches of land still above water,
picking at the piles with iron claws:
Drowned cats, twisted fenders. Hey, pal,
got a Smoke? Nope? Trade ya for
a candy bar. Then she walks away
singing Hey, Oy! Sailor boy…
Slice the layers of fog like wet newspapers,
Slit straight through the smog pulled all around us
like a mildewed shower-curtain. Frogs
and mosquitos and parrots taken to the wing:
hell, even the water won’t stay in its grave,
wet claws knuckling from the ruddy slick
to haunt the air. Hack the waterlogged limbs-
scythe a clearing through the clammy mist-
There it is. Mon dieu! Flambeau! –a fire,
motley stragglers sullen in its light,
erecting makeshift shelters in the shadow
of broken billboards.-machete-armed, wild
in t-shirts. Welcome home. This is it,
Be it ever so humble: This is all you get.

September 06, 2006


I've decided to take another crack at binding the collections of poems (1998-2005) I gave to Hope last September, just before our wedding-- a collection that includes the series of poems that gave this site its name, New Muse.

I'm just not happy with how I bound 'em before. Rather than drill straight down through the entire book, I'm going to sew eight-page foldover folios that themselves get sewn and glued together. It'll be a bit of work-- probably more than the last attempt-- but the book should open better. The problem with the old one is that its binding is so tight that it is hard to read the words towards the inside edges of each page.

This means I have to re-format the darned thing for eight-page folios-- which I'd have to do anyway, since Word dropped all my formatting when I got a new computer.

So, probably going to be writing less lately, as I concentrate more on "publication" than "production."

August 27, 2006

different meters

Humph. After trying a couple of poems using primarily tetrameter, I've decided I don't like it much. Not as much as pentameter and trimeter, at least. Usually, when I use meters of varying lengths, I predominantly use one length, and occasionally substitute a different one. I don't think I'm going to use four-beat lines as the dominant ones anymore, for the most part.

August 25, 2006

Crossposted on "Eat This Scroll"

[Acts 9:1-9]

Driving to the nursery
with Hope just yesterday,
suddenly I couldn't see:
At first my eyes began to tear
and then began to burn,
until I could barely peer
at the interstate
through the saline film of pain
that wracked my vision, made me moan
and blink and shake my head
and close one eye and then the other
a second at a time--
All this at sixty miles per hour--
Unable to see the speeding blur
of traffic all around.
So this was it: I was sure
I'd hit another car--
Blinded, frightened, finally,
I got the us to the curb, and she
ask if I'd heard a voice:

"Paul, why do you persecute me?"

August 11, 2006

Consistent Pentameter

Man, I totally forgot how easy pentameter is compared to an irregular metrical form. I've been writing these Veintets (twenty line poems with odd metrical patterns and overlapping rhyme schemes), and haven't written a plain old, straight through pentameter poem in a while. I used to write an entire poetry blog in pentameter, so I forgot how easy and fun it is.

Oh the poem in question is to be found on my other blog, by the by. It's a new blog which is going to be just for meditations on scripture: sermons, poems, notes, reflections, whatever. Check it out.

August 10, 2006

Torch and Trumpet, Empty Pots, and God

[Crossposted on my new blog, Eat This Scroll.]

He woke from a dream of fire:
hundreds of children holding mason jars
full of captured stars
buzzing in the glass like molten bees.
He woke to the sound of fire:
three-round bursts, the tintinnabular
nightmare symphonies
of battle-cries and sirens through the trees
and all throughout the tents
the men were in a panic, shooting far
of the mark, rifles seized
by riotous spirits, each lieutenant's
sudden imcompetence
raining death upon his own allies.
He falls down to his knees
as the night explodes beyond the barbed-wire fence.
Far off, the enemy cries
"A sword for the Lord and Gideon!" at the skies,
which have dawned upon
a history full of hideous precedents.

May 19, 2006

What the Raven Said

(After Steve Roberts' "Eye Blood")

Oy mate, see that?
Naw , just joshin' yer;
You're dead, an 'sides,
I've got yer eye.

The ropey bit, that there's
the optic nerve. Part of the brain,
that is, ter get technical.
Bit gristly. But loads better'n
nose, any day of the week. 'Scuse me.

[empty socket stares back up at
an eye like a bead of black mercury,
as it cocks its head and bites
into the ripe globe of flesh,
chews the globular muscle and swallows
it nearly whole in a gagging motion
of its throat, eye jelly
rolling down the beak...]

Vitreous Humour, mack. Not
"eye jelly." Light of the body,
the eye is; an' lights is good eats.
They used to think the last thing
you saw was burned like a dagguereotype
on the back of the eye, but I know
you never saw the one with your name on it.
Ought ter ask old Hummin and Mummin 'bout
that one. You know, Memory and Thought,
hang out with that old one-eyed bugger
they hung on that tree...

...Me, I was never one for coming back.
Old man Noah let me off that boat,
I was gone daddy gone. You want pigeons
for something like that. Anyway,
thanks for the chat, pal, and lunch.
See ya in the funny papers, pal,
if I don't see you first.