Tag Archives: dreams

After Overdosing on Sean Singer

Reading Discography by Sean Singer in class this month. I was going through his book and also his stuff on From the Fishouse (AN AMAZING LINK TO SOME SWEET HONEY, GO ENJOY THAT SHIT), and I realized that this dude was blowing my head off. HE IS INSANELY GOOD. I couldn’t even hang on to some of the language he was pulling off in his work, but a week later his lines are still rattling around in my head, particularly from my favorite, “Echolocation”:
“Into a dustbowl of annihilation the rotating head/seizes its empire of blood; a storm collapses each/mouse bone as the threnody of rain crushes the air.”
But he also has a Robert Johnson poem that puts mine to SHAAAME because of the line “Doping doping all through the grape night.” LIKE. AAAAHHH.
His knowledge of jazz and blues, travel and history and his exercises in self-persona construction are amazing. So I stayed up til about 2 reading everything I could find on him and trying to soak up his tone and voice for a second. I wanted to try on his style for myself in a piece, so here’s what I came up with. Anything I do pales in comparison to his prowess though–I guess this is just a little shoutout to him for taking my skull on a walk last week. CHECK. HIM. OUT.

After Overdosing on Sean Singer

I close against this cobalt
wall of insomnia,
unforgiving in its grind.
an ocean rolls off a distant ridge—
slow dope-draw of traffic
to the hypoderm
at my temple, the thinnest veil
bearing the heart’s starved
hypoxia, its
drag and ratamacue.
Singer slips another
line down the gyri: jazz and
its hawkish homology
making another loop—
he wishes I were an onion
so I can feel his thumb
peel my layers.

the water trembles
over, too much at the glass-rim,
darkens in ominous polygons
on my carpet—some cartography
of the dreams ahead: jaws
and cheeks and shuttering lids
rising like the hedron
in the eight-ball—what
waits in the smalt-wash
of these indigo visions
and sleepless strokes?
I’ll theorize about the sounds
the animals make in my walls,
scratching wider passages
through the plaster,
their empires of arteries
pushing work in the dark.
Their bodies will fold
into some appropriate
hugeness, like how
the cavern of my mouth
cradles the bite-bruised
petal of my tongue.


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running poem

i have a huge backlog of stuff i want to put up, so. here it goes. they’re mostly all from class prompts, the following creation a result of contemplating what one considers a successful day. obviously, if i run then the day is successful. i literally don’t feel inclined to do anything else.

The best days open with the longest runs:

A calf to which the sweat clings, cut
with the curved continent of heavy
muscle and the sharp jut of the femur,
humming, ready. Sleeping mind
and streaming eyes. Early morning

is the slate-gray prelude to sunshine,
the shell-shocked wake of late-night apocrypha:
streets bleached, scored with silver rivulets
of rain and sprigs of sumac shivering
in their wash of dew. Where does the rhythm

of this road flow? From concrete islands
to mulchy trails to gravel paths and back,
canopied by a kaleidoscope
of limbs, lampposts and leaves. Lungs tear
under the erratic flood-pump

of blood. Breath stabs, a hematic bite
behind the teeth. Steam streams
from the rusted beards of storm grates,
pools of divination, tunnels
to dreamscapes beneath dark driveways.

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Aw man. I talk about nautical stuff too much.

Sometimes I feel too stuck in the title of this blog–THE DEPTHS. I guess the depths is an idea that really touches me. For some reason I think of the mind as something as complex and unfathomable as the ocean. To reach into the mind–particularly into one’s own mind–is to embark on a long voyage of some sort. So I must have been stuck on that thought again when I wrote this…Plus I’ve been spendign a lot of time around all these adorable longboats on the Regent’s Canal in London. Hah.


Last night, I dreamt I was a gunner
on the HMS Belfast in the Pacific Theater,
loading the cannons: shell to the breach, ram it home.
Set the fuse, raise the muzzle and fire away.

In reality I spend every night in the strange depths
of a tide-turning city, where the streets
fill and empty and the skyscraper lights
shudder on and off. Liquid windowpanes
melt my face into black and white polygons:
anonymous lips and eye sockets,
cheeks and brows I don’t recognize.

Tonight I dream I rule the Thames, and
I sink the Belfast to the silt-swilled bottom.
For every day they spent saving her, I wanted
to strike her down—
tear every armament to spindles, break the bilges,
snap the keel and shatter the hull.
From the shores London weeps and watches
as I drown with the wreckage.

In the anarchy of the mind, my body swims
forward without me into the soft rush
of traffic noise and urban trash. There are
no stars to see from here, not even at this height.
In the morning the gloom of a rain-drenched
dawn will slither over the wave-tossed sheets
and touch the crest upon which I lay, waking.

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sickness and villanelles

So as the seasons change, I am prone to these horrible colds that make life terrible. In the middle of this year’s ailment, I wrote out one of my hallucinations in a really disjointed manner. Last week when we were prompted to write villanelles in workshop, I was thrown for a loop. But then I came up with the brilliant idea of performing poetic surgery: whacking a poem up line by line and rearranging it within the villanelle form. In doing so, the creation of the villanelle became less about production and more about formulation, which was nice and easy to handle in my ailing state. It also really changed the expression of the original poem in a new and interesting way. So, there ya go. Never be afraid of laziness when it comes to trying to write in form. It can be just as creative.

Fever Dream

I clutch a new nightmare, a new paralyzing fear
where a mutant man-bear zombie rips iron-wrought
bars of his cruciform cage into twisted snakes, thorned hands
strangling, soldering the throat shut more solidly than sleep.

Bloodied eyes scream platitudes of servitude, nobility,
captivity, crushing dark—I dive beneath the black
waves and cringe against another nightmare, a paralyzing fear

where dead hands slither between stone sheets and snap
bones like branches laid bare in the predatory stalk of a storm,
splintering the scream in the throat with solid sleep.

The claws come back, shredding the spinal chord like a worn out
garden hose, crumbling the bunkers antibodies clamber up, failing, falling
into the clutch of another nightmare where fear paralyzes—

struggling, failing, no breath in the gasp, no heat—
the throat closing shut under hot torrents of solid sleep— and then

nothing. And then the silence of waking in a night that whispers its empty
code against my wrist, pacing out the steps of my thrashing heart
caught in the clutches of a nightmare, a deeper fear already
attempting to still my moaning throat more solidly than sleep.

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New Update: the Frankenstein Poem

I don’t know how I feel about this one, because it’s a frankenstein poem. Frankenstein as in I pieced a bunch of snippets together and got this.

It’s based on a visit to the aquarium where the animals seemed all sad and stressed out in their little cages, sooo…yeah. and then i dreamed about it some more.

I don’t know. I think more could be done with it, but it’s the first thing I’ve kind of put together since being in this position, so we’ll go with it.

The World Aquarium, St. Louis

I am the houndshark. I know every
inch of my tank as I ribbon around
its circle everyday, a black-brown swerve
of muscle and fin, with one golden eye
and needle teeth soaring into your view,
stretching in the oily glass. I am a monster
of the deep dredged up and wriggling
under fluorescent lights, dreaming
of the ocean each night, your swimmer-bodies
facedown in the surf, caverns opening up
in the spaces between your limbs as the tide
sucks the silt away. The waves soar
in curling sails of glass, shining as they grew
strong and strange, the swells catching my body
in all their width, swilling me down
into the pulverizing bottom. When I wake
I encounter the trapped again, their
great fishy masses whispering
against each other, fleshy, huge and heavy
with gas-mask faces pulsing, a desperate gasp
in the murk. Even now I forget the exact
shape and shift of their isinglass eyes, warping
and whirling into another tank-glass dream.

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