Monday, January 30, 2012

Jan Clausen

Tight Like That

I’ll have a coffee, black, and hold the music.
Word-origami’s mine. I’ll fold the music.

These painted Virgins take glad tidings well.
(Did Mary blanch when God foretold the music?)

If Bashō means banana, I’ll be Bluggoe.
Vernacular: how manifold the music.

Park geese are gassed to keep jet engines thrusting.
One gets home safe, however cold the music.

Our cooking class will cover all the basics.
To make a sauce of song, first scald the music.

What’s free? Who’s free? Am I? Forsooth, are you?
No pardon—but the Board paroled the music.

There’s gas in the tank, oil in the Gulf—do tell:
would ethanol have better fueled the music?

“I must have that [man] [woman] [wombat] [garter snake]”—
Weak lyrics, but time hasn’t cooled the music.

The horns got plastered, groupies went on strike.
The beat blew town and never told the music.

If there’s a future, how will it explain
a world where money and its men controlled the music?

They partied, fucked the earth, shot up the heavens,
and all the while a tocsin tolled the music.

Flaw is not Fall. Old Adam’s not our dad.
Our loopy doom just means we’ve failed the music.

Old spine, old thoughts. The weather isn’t right.
Remember how our youth bejeweled the music?

When Louis blows “St. James” or “West End Blues,”
his now’s our now, so ever-gold the music.

Pour some more time on it, fertile wound.
Light keystrokes, Jan—but see you bold the music.


Methane Chimneys

My house is clean.
My lie is long.
My shrift is short.
My mortgage rate is fixed.

My fix is in.
My shift is torn.
My hair is crimped.
My gun is hot.

My dearth is wired.
My pimp is trumped.
My glut is crisp.
My cusp is glum.

My name is Jack.
My meat is tough.
My love is uncut.
My money is said to have feelings.

My mousse is cinched.
My noose is rich.
My dad is dead.
My mom is laid oft.

My war is torn.
My ilk is fucked.
My affect is illiquid.
My phantasm is photoshopped.

My lute is swaddled.
My tune is taxed.
My person is plump.
My hell is luck.

My girl is goth.
My god is stuck.
My wrath is outré
My warp is worse than my woof.

My word is my bomb.
My fright is posh.
My sperm is saved.
My vote is drunk.

My hope is rope-a-dope.
My clit is kitsch.
My rule is ruse.
My race is nuts.

My pussy is shaved.
My wig is ablaze.
My havoc is arbitraged.
My tender is poppycock.

My crib is crap.
My veil is rent.
My rent is late.
My glitch is fraught.

My headsman is vapid.
My shit is in hock.
My name is Ozymandias, or Jane.
My firmament is wack.

My goose is screwed.
My doom is cribbed.
My cupboard is fear, and feral.
My pill bottle is still tamper-proof.

My myth is draped.
My eye is plucked.
My moon is louche.
My brute is blue.

My rest is rust.
My wreck is porn.
My worm is wry.
My throne is bone.

My aye is trashed.
My throat is stone.
My nosh is ash.
My I is you.

Veiled Spill # 11
"How can one see all the ants on the planet
when one is wearing the blinders of narrative?"
                   --Janet Malcolm

1. Months without ants.

2. The great burdock leaves
in the many days' rain

3. The artificial trickle
of my neighbor's water feature

4. You mow the grass, New England, so neatly between graves
but let the headstones lean

5. Larvatus prodeo: Nice work if you can get it.
("I advance, pointing to my mask")

6. I would like
lifting now

7. But I withdraw,
pointing to my corset

8. Or retreat into form: the thing that is experienced by the novice
as a sacrifice of possibilities

9. I'm wearing the mask of a man
and a veil to boot

10. The bearer of ambition,
I flicker in the shade

11. Went out on a limb ("America") with people
who think it's normal to be a family

12. Where sea lions loll, amusingly hauled out
on navigation aids

13. Where silky sisters draw their shining houses
around their shoulders, shawl-like

14. Remember whalebone stays?


16. "Another opt out, gimme
a female assist--"

17. Think not that I am come
to send peace on earth:

18.  Here I am,
getting patted down again

19. I'd found a way to be a woman,
wound in language like graveclothes

20. I came not to send
peace, but a sword

21. Remember pigeon guillemots? Their rosy extremities
and madcap mating habits?

22. I teach decomposition
and flicker over here

23. I would like
I would not like

24. Redshift of
galloping extinctions

25. Mortality

26. Everyone looks
familiar and strange

27. How can one bear
the blinders of narrative

28. When what is veined
is spilling everywhere?


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