Thursday, July 31, 2014


No one talks about class in poetry
But tonight I am thinking about these sisters
How they invented a language when they were abandoned by the world
No one talks about class in poetry
Because it is not convenient to talk about class in poetry
How fucking sad it was when we learned the sisters were separated so that they would learn English more easily
Two years ago it was reported that they were working at McDonalds, still 'developmentally disabled'
But we all know that disability is social and so why shouldn't we consider being poor a disability, perhaps the first form of disability?
These girls seem so bright and animated in your film
We want them to live like this together forever
What languages are destroyed in us before we can be fully born, my sister?
What beautiful things will our education destroy?
Poets can't talk about class
Poets won't talk about class
Sometimes they will talk about gender and sometimes race but almost never class
They will talk about how poetry is political or ethical but they won't talk about class
It is impolite to talk about class
It is ungainly to put class issues in a poem
I am thinking my sister of those realities we created when we seemed most impoverished
Walking among the other animals in the San Diego Zoo
Talking just to have a world at all
They dismiss the ones the inconvenient ones but first there is education, the first dismissal
"I wanted to get to them before they forgot their language and became English majors"
Priced out in the immaculate California sun
Shut-out, shut-down, in the sun
Sister, no one listens to poems about class
What would it mean to talk about class in poetry?
I have always been amused by how quickly people who have attended Harvard are able to convey this information in a conversation
It is often through a recollection
The sun does not make them unintelligible
Their faces are intelligent they say what words we can't
It says so many things without a future
Like why are you crying?
No one talks about class
Yet everywhere there is class in poetry, there are classes of poets
In homemade dresses made by their grandmother the girls cling to each other like animals
Little animals, they need to feel the interaction of things
Books are more important for their weight than any words they contain
Who is not speaking like we were in a permanent sun
Permanent like the sun in California
When we were young and not yet separable
Innocent for the questions you asked
For the way you held a comb.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

True Black II (@ Fanzine)

Many thanks to Cassandra Troyan, summer poetry editor at Fanzine, for posting "True Black II," which will be featured in a new book of poems later this fall, Withdrawn.

I'm thrilled to be among a series that includes Anna Vitale, Anne Boyer, and more to come!

Monday, July 07, 2014

The Gift of Death

It's the opening. We're basking in language itself. The silence of my friend. My love. The one beyond words in her silence.

Lucy, when you waited until we got to the vet’s office to bleed-out on me, and when I thought that your blood was piss or shit pooling in my flip-flop, this was so typical of you, you never whimpered until that last day, your “one bad day” the vet kept repeating in hopes of consoling me

In this totally unsanitary way all I wanted was to mix your blood with mine, keep feeling its warmth on my foot and not wash it off, the memories of the dead being what fuels every revolution inside us, which is to say, it is love that truly accounts for any permanent sense of revolution

I couldn’t contaminate myself enough with what blood was supposed to keep apart, with what the heart and love’s eyes were supposed to index, a repulsion I was never to have in fact felt at a body for that moment an extension of my own, as if you were dying to tell me I was not singular.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Robert Kocik's A Book of Protections & AUSKO (gain)

In celebration of Ubiquitous Dividend at this year's River to River Festival (sponsored by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Counsel and Poets House) ON has produced a companion volume to Robert Kocik's SUPPLE SCIENCE. A Book of Protections includes reproductions of drawings Kocik composed in fall 2013, for the pre-order of SUPPLE SCIENCE. For more information about Ubiquitous Dividend go here and here. We are also posting a PDF of one of Kocik's earliest works, AUKSO (gain), published by Robert Fitterman's Object magazine in 1995, including an afterword by Stacy Doris. AUKSO (gain) inaugurates ON's new Reissues series.

It's night in San Francisco but it's Sunny in Oakland

Preorder here

What would it mean to take a snapshot of a large and various literary milieu after a moment of intense activism and struggle? It’s night in San Francisco but it’s sunny in Oakland includes a fair amount of post/Occupy poems, but also writings which channel the historical exigencies of Bay Area poetics—from SF Renaissance, through Beat, New Narrative, Lang Po, and less identifiable movements and genealogies. Many of these poems remind us that we are in a time after ‘the event’ in which life inevitably goes on, and more reflective modalities concerning the care for self and the sustainability of certain community dynamics and friendships set in. The heterogeneity of practices speaks less to a ‘movement’ or inclusive community than an ecology in which divergent practices can complement and support one another, gathering instead around the problem of how one might continue to struggle, plan, and study collectively—in anticipation of events to come.