stretch out your hand. Come down, glittering,
from where you have hidden yourself away.
Justice, Come Down by Minnie Bruce Pratt
February 20, 2012
I’ve been watching Pär Thörn’s I am: A Twitter Poem for the last 15 minutes.
Here’s what Pär Thörn has to say about I am:
“I am is a list poem using the anaphora “I am”. I have used google to construct list poems before in a similar way, but in those works, I have worked with the printed page and fixed results. Here the poem is constantly changing; the text is constructed with instant search results from Twitter. The editorial process is done automatically by a filter written into the program.
The “I” that speaks in this poem is identical with every person that will use the phrase “I am” on Twitter in the future. The poem is thereby not connected to a certain place, but the current lingua franca English.
My work as an author is of more conceptual nature. It is hard to tell what the text of the poem actually consists of: Is it the concept, the phrase, the code, the result?”
While I watched the poem I cut and pasted some of the statements into notepad:
I am available.
i am back on twitter (chuckle) Its sort of dry here
I am there among them.
I AM NOT YET SATISFIED.
I am, like I’m made of glass like I’m made of paper.
I am really mad at you can’t belive you would do something like that but you don’t won’t yuo call and talk about it its ok
I am trying to be patient.
I AM YOUR OPPAR NOW NOW CALM YOUR TITS
I am about to insult you, but don’t get mad.
I AM SSHH
I AM GOING TO HAVE SEX LIKE A MAN.
I think my favourite is the last one I copied: “I-AM PLACE”. I’m hoping to work “NOW NOW CALM YOUR TITS” into daily conversation.
I have made so many mistakes that I must wake all the Lords early
so we can get a head start on cleaning some of this shit up
They roll out of their sleeping bags
from the white star
in my pocket
My sister the Lord
My grandma and Lord
My boss the Lord
I don’t have anything else to give
but the loves of my life
their hands and feet
- from An Offering, Michael Dickman
Big thanks to Kathleen for sending poetry love in the post.
Directions for Lines that will Remain Unfinished
Line to be sewn into a skirt hem
held in my mouth ever since the unraveling
Line beneath a bridge
for years without hope I stretched my arms into the river searching for you
Line to be sent to the cornfield
history is a hallway of leaves.
Line written for electric wires
your voice inside the no history, sitting still
Line for future people
inside the work, only my empty teeth
Line from Maharaj
Presently you are in quietude. Is it on this side of sleep or on the other side?
Line that cannot be read because of its darkness
impossible walk under weight of honey
away from your hands that break me in half
Line addressing President Lincoln
when the handle and blade are gone, what remains
of your axe?
Line to be run over by a lawn mower
afraid of everything and to be of no use.
Line for a distant midnight dog-pack
because I can never speak it
Line to be sewn into a shirt collar
the streak of your finger across the hood of the car
Line for a stone growing old
a sunburst that lands inside a flower
Line written only with your mouth
desire is a trick ghost
Line for the garden weeds
slowly I am nearer to you
Line describing the better qualities of monsters
are we afraid of what we wished for?
Three lines written for bears
inside cells, water, trees, I am meaningless
darkness and light wind like breath on fur
I carry the circling cities inside me
Line for a leaf blown into the hair of the Master
seeing you, I want no other life
Line for a mouse
to die like that, held in your hands
How good we are for each other, walking through
a land of silence and darkness. You
open doors for me, I answer the phone for you.
I play jungle loud. You read with the light on.
Beautiful. The curve of your cheekbone,
explosive vowels, exact use of cologne.
What are you thinking? I ask in a language of touch
unique to us. You tap my palm nothing much.
At stations we compete senses, see which
comes first—light in the tunnel, whiplash down the rail.
I kick your shins when we go out for meals.
You dab my lips. I finger yours like Braille.
Poem Without Forgiveness
The husband wants to be taken back
into the family after behaving terribly,
but nothing can be taken back,
not the leaves by the trees, the rain
by the clouds. You want to take back
the ugly thing you said, but some shrapnel
remains in the wound, some mud.
Night after night Tybalt’s stabbed
so the lovers are ground in mechanical
aftermath. Think of the gunk that never
comes off the roasting pan, the goofs
of a diamond cutter. But wasn’t it
electricity’s blunder into inert clay
that started this whole mess, the I-
echo in the head, a marriage begun
with a fender bender, a sneeze,
a mutation, a raid, an irrevocable
fuckup. So in the meantime: epoxy,
the dog barking at who knows what,
signals mixed up like a dumped-out tray
of printer’s type. Some piece of you
stays in me and I’ll never give it back.
The heart hoards its thorns
just as the rose profligates.
Just because you’ve had enough
doesn’t mean you wanted too much.
(found via so much joy it hurts)