Friday, September 29, 2006


The words are in Japanese

Step out of your dichotomy and we will begin translation

1. the words are not the words themselves but representations
of words formerly used as words

2. the words are images of the history from which the language of images

there should of course be a number 3

3. place your bets: sine, cosine, the inversion of any referent
(having never been to Japan)

The story is of a woman, a drifter, only walked by the light of the moon
(having heard this before, again, it becomes apparent)
The drifter is a woman with no language, or no history
Can one have history
without language?

Depending on the time of the moon’s rising and setting witnesses saw her pass
in any weather
nameless to others having never spoken

In the original description the subject is verbena, and its smell
In subsequent descriptions
Or the ratio, dependent on the appropriate angle

Monday, September 25, 2006


these slender pieces
gravity holds us together

his body was filled
with the chemicals that make up flame retardant

your black saturn
so shiny and new
forgive me

pass this on to the future

the plums i didn’t eat for lunch
not sweet
fresh from the farm

have we not (don’t say evolved, don’t say adapted)
been selected for this
all along
of a symphony for example (the one repeated/repeatable refrain)

can you hum the entire movement?

an ode
to an old

we swallow
and breathe
in a dangerously close space

proximity of red tiles
a recording device
lines on a road
separate me (green subaru)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

hejinian exercise 2

take a line from a piece in hejinian's My Life and use it to begin a piece of your own writing:

i was in a room with the particulars of which a later nostalgia might be formed. neon lights. slot machines. the music hum twirl fantasy notes of casino bliss begin here as in a moment before gold squares on the floor, the detail broken each bead of light. or the chandeliers dangle colored glass reflects a trill shimmer of not quite melody parading endlessly like a dream until the clowns come in--come into the dream--wild haired and manic singing nursery rhymes roaming to the beat of coins lost to the intention of what might still, in this moment, tomorrow.

hejinian exercise 1

take a line from a piece in hejinian's My Life and use it to begin a piece of your own writing:

The afternoon happens, crowded and therefore endless. A mistake of what otherwise mingles painful. Red, pinched against a backdrop of everyday abuse, abuse, how long can they hold you in a cell the size of a coffin? Slipping again, he said like bombs behind you, or in your background, real or otherwise. She said turtles, and lavender. I wrote of Picasso once, and lavender, but this is not on the news. Of note is the four years away, four years in isolation, four years of endless happening, crowding ideas of a day that came otherwise before, again, today.

the importance of writing (exercises)

samar came to my classes today to talk to the creative writing students. she read a fabulous piece that weaved together her own conflicting/ed feelings and some information about the start and continuation of the war in lebanon, her family in lebanon and in dearborn, her time at an artist community so physically distanced from the events she was otherwise so connected with(and simultaneously disconnected from). Her writing in this piece moves and jumps, slows and lingers, as the words and lines on the page both take up space and leave space open to sound, to feeling, to the space of space itself. the language both makes connections and is unable to connect as the words physically exist together up-close, and separate from one another as a reader moves, as samar read aloud, from page to page.

although, as she says and i agree, the point of writing is to write. i also contend that she needs to start putting a book together because the rest of us are going to want to read and hear more of her work.

Following this, i'll include my own writing responses to the writing exercises she gave to the students.

Monday, September 11, 2006

on a day of the week


a.) too much
b.) enough
c.) not enough

been written about sept 11?

how long can we, should we, do we have to

a.) reminisce
b.) testify
c.) re-live
d.) conspiracy-orize


a.) were you
b.) are you
c.) do you plan to be

while the world

on a monday.

fill in any or no blanks at your discretion.

Friday, September 08, 2006

sun today

at last the purple has become you

beauty (or define: the conditions of the aesthetic
regarding history regarding divided language)

ordinary is more strange than strange

hence, the purple

and how you used to wear that silk scarf around your neck
like a famous poet
reading aloud
singing to a mismatched piano
a room full of syllables

(you becoming what i always imagined the purple represented)

trace the moments intersecting with moments
lay these out on a chart
pinpoint each significance with a different colored pin
each point of our history

Thursday, September 07, 2006


after thought
an image

where have you been, i'm looking

foward, around a constellation of minutes
that may or not