Saturday, December 16, 2006

Octopus Escapes Through One-Inch Hole

Stubble and Slough in Dakota

The happiness of a hunting party
is like that of a wedding,

so important is it
that true love shall rule.


A crow flies through
the tinkle of the last window on earth
carrying in its beak
the clementine eye of God,
around his neck a Diana set to bulb
the nitrate views of Minot
the deep sturgeons of Superior
Red Hills of death & indebtedness,
iron pocked surface with fake bulletholes,
elevators tight with mustard, canola, durum,
evolving past kingship with a penitential swoop.


The sun has set,
and no longer bathes
the landscape
in its golden light,
and yet I sit
in the water and mud
and indulge this pleasurable
taste for gore, wondering
why it is so ecstatic,
or if my companions
will not give over
shooting presently.


Cut it out of your thoughts
as though snipping
the furball dreads
from a feral angora,
roll it out the snowy driveway
into the path of a boxy 4X4
with homemade chains
snapping & scattering in the ice,
press it to a wafer
in a tower of turtles.

Friday, December 15, 2006

farewell Ahmet Ertegun (far right, with the Coasters & (Frank OHara's pal) Jerry Lieber & Mike Stoller) founder of Atlantic Records, which brought the world Ray Charles, Aretha &c &c. George Trow's New Yorker profile (half of "In the Context of No Context") is very much worth seeking out.

today's YouTube - Skip James-Devil Got My Woman (via metafilter)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Hunting the Grizzly Bear

The poor idiotic boy
could not even then
realize the danger
through which he had passed,
and could only appease his anger
by continuing to maul
the bear over the head
with the camp kettle
for several minutes
after she was dead.

Thus from the rococo woods
stumble into the mannerist clearing

or is that muskeg
into which our hooves sunk

sucked runners off escaping subjects
replacing chickens with used books

so slowly no one noticed
until their cakeless birthdays rolled around--

on the icon they've got baby Jesus
standing upright in a dear little

junior pantocrator outfit--
orb & mace, little brocade robe

heavier than him, looking up at his mum
who looks through me.


Bears are usually,
though not always,
killed at considerable distances
from towns, or even ranches,
where it is not easy
to find a pair of scales.


Still hunters of the lyric
must shower with carbolic
to erase the stench of patronage,
build their hides with beaten pewter
to deflect the low winter sun's
dust-revealing torch
as it plays on yellowing pads
& capless brown markers,
they must fold their arms into little wings
and pretend to sing.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

"Warping Human Nature

God Damn US!

You, me and you and all the rest.

The unthinkable has happened and soon deliberate human climate change will be spun as a potential triumph. The current (US) administration has long been promoting and actually accelerating carbon emissions via a pathetic petroleum based fuel economy, inefficient and dirty power generation and transmission, shortsighted and destructive resource extraction and management combined with hollow recycling programs, and on and on and on. All this as a concerted privileged economic policy- While concurrently denying any correlation between oil dependency and dismal environmental policy failures with the increased carbon content of our air and water that is enabled and encouraged. At the same time our govt. scientists are developing for immediate usage ‘small scale nuclear bombs’, ie huge bunker busters, much larger than the bombs used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to bomb the 3rd world completely into a new radioactive stone age compounded by massive death, burns, radiation sickness, soil and water contamination, and all the ensuing radiation problems affecting generations for possibly thousands of years.

You and I pay the aggressive military scientists and lobbyist stooges their inflated salaries to think up this insane shit and perpetrate it on our behalf. In exchange we receive the phasing out of social security, the release of genetically modified food without adequate testing, the increasing privatization and construction of toll roads, and crap education and skyrocketing healthcare costs if you are lucky enough to afford them, just to name a few.

I have long believed that the evil motherfuckers serving as our government leaders and scientist tools have approached nuclear warfare as a beneficial geopolitical tool to fuck up certain religions, and a nuclear winter as just some black trick up the magician’s sleeve to ‘bring the earth into balance’.

For several years now I’ve been producing scenes containing snowmen and mushroom clouds- highlighting the two extremes, while being afraid and certain that these soulless puppets would eventually combine these elements of the apparent dichotomy at some point in the near future. * To try and use evil to fix evil in a Dr. Strangelove-esque scenario (With the problems actually created by the supposed hero/absolvers in denial). A complete validation of Pierre Boulez’ novel, Planet of the Apes, where human greed completely and totally overruns common sense and progression of the species. President of the NRA Charlton Heston shall beat his chest in Triumph (of the Will)! And just think- All to offset the repulsive destruction of earth that they simultaneously promote and capitalize on!

It was only a matter of time before my dreadful fears became someone else’s liberating dreams- Merging day with night in the hopes of creating a perpetual grey twilight- much like sacrificing Israel to progress the Apocalypse. An improbable task, but one that will make the perpetrators (government stooges with no value of animal or human life) and the complicit accomplices (average citizens who are more comfortable watching sports than dealing with real issues that affect them personally) feel useful and self righteous still, as opposed to the blind selfish greedy fiends that we know ourselves to be…

At this rate it will not be long before the bombing of non Christian nations becomes a matter of patriotic pride and survival for the rest of us(a). That includes me and probably includes you…

Gold Bless You and Gold Rain on the USA!

Bruce Conkle

Dec 12th, 2006"

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

On Snow Shoes to Barren Grounds

The storm
was now squarely
in our teeth,
and the dogs
would not face it.


Face the skin & snap of it,
like business cards or snowpeas hurled
at the eyeteeth but hitting the lenses,
suddenly your wig is tighter
than your pants, forepaws
caked with frosting
palming meatballs past numbness--
your gold watch is
we don't eat you,
but the bear
or its surrogates needn't twig that!
But even not knowing the handshake
you could walk these Druid Hills unmolested
sneakers painted with lime,
breath neutral to minty,
predator smile projecting
a half-step ahead as
the plane tree tops of Coffey Park
poke and wave through the ice...


These people
had never before
seen a camera, and
many of my plates
show them scurrying away
or turning their backs.


Waves of wax
ebbed over the fly
until at last
he supplanted the wick
and burned on the counter
for over an hour.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Ben Katchor reads Love Teller (YouTube) and gives you some some Paper Dolls of characters from his immortal 1998 "The Jew of New York"...

Sugar Magnolia & Oregon Pine from The American Woods

"Radial, tangential, and cross-sections of 350 North American woods from the 14-volume rare book The American Woods, published between 1888 and 1910 by the author, Romeyn Beck Hough."

(more at BibliOdyssey)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Upper Peninsula

Such strawberries as these
need to be seen

to be appreciated and must be
visited to be seen,

for they are too large and
too delicate

to bear much travel


A cold ragged-trousered arrival
we had of it, into such weather

as would strip us clean
we thought, the bell bottom

bottoms likewise unhemmed
the better for to drag sticks

along like the furrowing bellies
of a fat clumping cat,

less walking than a kind
of controlled trip through

skinned coffeemate puddles
to unwaiting basements

and uncontrolled thaw.
To open the window

was to invite death, or if not
a long snooze in the Legions

of North Battleford, Cold Lake,
Pickle Lake, Humboldt--

anyway as far up as Basic Stick
had taught the locals to hip shuffle

& thus in appreciation buy beers
for the band including retinue.

Later Jerry Lee, Haggard, Kind of a
Drag & Kind of Blue.


It is the name
of a river, a canoe trip
down which
has all the charms
of wood life
without its discomfort.


Last dependant leaf
swinging like a rusty gate

or a kid's emphatic
no way headshake

getting carried away
& falling into an earthquake.