Thursday, February 16, 2012

Ode to Blue Ivy

--after Tyrone and Dana

The poem of your life together reads like a trademark,
Jay and Beyonce, on the Gucci bags and Marc Jacobs bags
We all know are fake, and that we of course love
Not in spite of this fact but because the circle
Of authentication and signifying is broken, when you
Rhyme I often think of this Chris Rock skit from
Saturday Night Live, he is singing 90s R&B with a band
Rhyming "pank" (which is to say pink) with the phrase
"so your breath don't stank," cultural products conform
To us as we conform to them, this makes for an
Artificial environment where our despair can be enjoyed,
Where like commodities or brands it should be named.

Baby Blue Ivy's name sparkles like others in your poems--
Cristal, Rolex, Mercedes Benz, Gucci--in your raps I mean,
Which if not for cash moves should be taken for poems,
Hymns to the object becoming subject, to a past of other
Kinds of branding and the futures in your songs uncontained,
No equal signs in this, just a difference E Flat makes,
Just a difference primitive accumulation makes on the skin.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


--for Dottie

There are ideas I have but don’t consider mine
Like there are images of your tiny hands I have
There are images of your eyes when I have kissed them
There is the notion of kissing that is culturally specific
And really I didn't kiss your eyes because that would be gross
Your eyeballs, I mean, I kissed your eyelashes while you slept
And didn't dream of men with eyes also kissing you
Of other women with hands made of flame
The role of substitution in poetry and life being of interest to us both

If I bite your style or if younger poets bite your style
Does that mean we are in love with you or that we want to be you?
What's the Shakespeare line, "number there was slain"?
If you be phoenix, I'll be turtle trudging through identity's paradox
Mistaken for Platonic yet wholly on fire our avatars and animus obtain
Some principle of the divine only a semblance of speech can recall,
That kissing on our devices we recall actually, the phanopoeia of our eyelashes meet

Like grief we might say they flutter, that they kiss vulgar notions of eternity,
Does this mean we are living or that we affirm our despair at death?
Recall the love of things we first bat with flame.