It's a metaphor (a haiku)

I pulled the arrow
out of the dripping wound
but the damage had been done.


i was thinking about your pillow
when i looked at the snow
and thought 'the problem with the pillow
is that the pillow is mostly slept on,
but rarely slept with'
what a poor pillow,
dealing with the sweat and grit,
the blood and the tears-
and it is not any pillow
(for pillows are not interchangable)
that pillow has a history,
that pillow has been written on a hundred times
that pillow has been washed
but you can't take experience out of a pillow
pillows remember the tears,
pillows remember when the two heads
were better than one-
the pillow remembers being stripped
the pillow remembers sleeping around
(just for the first semester, it was a naieve time)
the pillow remembers the beds
the beds that were nice,
and those that were hard, callous,
the pillow remembers the music in the morning
the sweeping of waves along the ocean
(both the real, and the unreal)
(both the ones that were dreamed about,
and the waves that crashed incessantly
in the still room three stories up, a mile
from the beach, with no noise besides the boy
beside, sleeping and dreaming love
in uncertain proportions)

that pillow is just a pillow,
but what if it was a metaphor?
we, we who float six inches above
the ground dreaming, and walk a foot below
the ground when our thoughts are sad,
we are the poets, and princesses,
and runners that attribute meaning to things
we find close to one another.
and in the electric midnight air (or 1 am air,
or 2 am air,
I really don't know when it was,
but I was beside you (the boy you will
remember) and didn't care)
then, in that air,
I said the word was charged-
the name was charged-
it was filled with meaning
the pillow is more than a pillow
it is a metaphor,
a stand in for someone I believe in
a person who got slept on
but not with,
and I put my hand under the pillow
that pillow, not any pillow,
the one with the story,
and the mystery, and the narrative
I cannot read,
and I whisper into the pillow
and cry into it,
'you are beutiful,
you are dawn,
you are the first snowflake,
the electricity in a neon sign,
you are happiness,
when my head is on you,'

and i will sleep with forever,
but never on,
I believe.


three sonnets in the soduku style

In terms of apples, your last story was an orchard
I wandered through the trees
Picking the most delectable fruit.
I carried a ladder on my shoulder
and used it to climb the trees that were high.
I lay in the boughs,
up where the apples touched the sky.
In terms of clouds, your first story was a hurricane,
and the second, a nimbus- tightly wound,
but as for the last, well, the last was an orchard,
either in terms of apples,
or of clouds.

The following woman is unscripted,
she trespassed on the shoot
and found her way into
a scene,
there- you can see her.
She's the one in the back wearing
the brown baret, the pageboy cap,
as though she had a part in the movie.
If you're not paying attention,
you don't even notice her,
she fits in, like, ,
but the studio would not have it,
'that woman was unscripted' they said,
'do the scene right'

I realized suddenly,
that all my poems would have sounded
better, if Ogden Nash or W.H. Auden
filled the by-line
and included them in a collection
or on a recording
distinguished by their
aged voices.
My, this poem itself,
would seem an insight-
and of interest, if
only, Auden or Ogden
could have found the time
to read it.

dissonance in the stop & shop

I have always admired the seafood
section of the stop & shop,
the lobsters sit complacently,
except for the single naysayer
who climbs incessantly and no doubt
whispers 'the end is near'
to the rubber-banded brethern.

A tank away, some crabs
have already met their maker.
Their detached claws lanquish
on processed ice for the erudite
shellfish afficionado.

Behind them, a pile of FRESH!
Clams lay, like a strange Dali painting
explained with the sign FRESH!
LIVE CLAMS, wild caught
as though the shellfisherman tracked these
clams and flushed them out of the tidal
flats using only his bare hands and an old
trusty clam rake-

(my, what a champion a man like that must be!)

a woman behind me, noticing my uneasy
and engaged pause, breaks into my moment
and decries the seafood.

“This isn't the place to buy seafood honey”
she tells me,
“If you want them fresh, go to Anthony's.”

I ask her if they have wild caught clams there
she looks unsure, but answers yes.

I thank her for the advice,
and press my hand close against the
glass of the lobster tank to engage
the disengaged, shackled


Techno is the porn of the music world

The following is a gratuitious collection of near pornographic techno music videos. They are posted in the name of cultural studies, for, techno videos strangely seem to feature permutations of the same pornographic content despite being made years apart and by different artists.

What is it about Techno that suggests SEX in capital letters?

Benny Benassi - Satisfaction

Eric Prydz - Call on Me

Vinylshakerz - One Night in Bangkok


Facebook Relationships & the Apocalypse: Dating in Ones and Zeroes

My libido is at an all-time high on account of access to Cherry Coke. You’re wondering how this fits in. I’m sitting in front of a computer about to change my relationship status on Facebook, and I’m scared out of my mind.

Once upon time, before Facebook.com or the need to propagate a digital identity, people declared relationships only so far as it was necessary. Homies might ask a friend if he was dating the girl he was sleeping with. Girls might ask what the deal was with the boy they’d seen stalking their sister. Parents, invariably, would ask “do you have a boyfriend?” in a tone that was at once incriminating and inviting. (“Yes mom, I do, he’s 23, owns a Ducati motorcycle, a apartment by the Brooklyn Bridge, and drives up here twice a month to have sex with me.”) In short, these were simpler times. At best, you were committed to someone with the verbal admission of ‘being in a relationship’ and at worst, other people were aware of this.

Of course, it didn’t take long for the iPod generation to reinvent dating statuses. Given their comfort on the computer and their willingness to engage in orgies of online, instant messaging, it seemed inevitable that kids would start defining their relationship statuses via the web. With personal podcasts, relationship blogs, and match-making websites available for global consumption, dating had become very much a part of the digital landscape. Websites like MySpace initiated a wave of people defining themselves in terms that anyone on the internet was capable of discovering. It wasn’t that MySpace was the first forum to do this, it’s just that that’s where it started to get interesting.

A couple of months ago, Facebook.com made a number of changes that fundamentally altered the way the service worked. Before, college kids had rocked out on photo posts of drinking everything imaginable and by messaging one another between digital “walls” where only a person’s friends could see what was written. This was the swinging 60’s of Facebook.com. People posted photos of raw debauchery and thought little of it. Only once Pornography moguls, potential employers, and Hilary Clinton got a Facebook did things become a problematic. Suddenly, Facebook was open to everyone. Teamed with a dreadful creation called the newsfeed, which digitally shared a user’s actions and profile changes with friends, Facebook was suddenly a world of harsh exposure. The naked people drinking and dancing in the digital bohemia had been rudely cataloged and reported. Gone was the golden age of unaccountable, unconcerned documentarians. In its stead, the age of the Facebook feed-er had begun.

But back to me. Sitting in front of my computer, things are about to get dicey. For a while now, my Facebook relationship status has been an empty field, failing to appear under my posted personal information. In this day and age, with Facebook stalking at the level of modern art, every detail on my pixilated profile is up for interpretation. Nuance and experience have suggested that the relationship status is the absolute pivot point for the Facebook page. After a person (or a group of people) has methodically rated your looks based on tagged photographs, the relationship status is what will separate the men from the boys.

If you are single, and wish to share this under your provided information, you have many options. The one that will simply, all-out, never do, is the most obvious. You can never declare yourself as simply “SINGLE.” This looks desperate. Instead, declare yourself to be in an open relationship with Donna Summers or something else funny. At best, leave it blank. Mystery is, and will always be, the best way to attract other crazy people that are available for dating/hook-up/kinky engagement purposes.

But again, let’s talk about me. For me, declaring myself to be in a relationship (not a joke one with Pikachu, Yoda, or Foghorn Leghorn, but a real one) means an absolute end to my sexual autonomy in the world. The moment that I change the status on Facebook, every one of my friends will be notified of the change via the ubiquitous newsfeed. What’s more, anytime some cute girl down the hall decides she’s up for a hook-up and thinks I might be game, she may be confronted by my digitally verified commitment. Ignorance of adultery becomes noticeably more difficult.

So what are the perks? Well, most notably, the same problems I’m dealing with will also plague the person who I getting into a relationship with. Suddenly, her friends know that she is committed and are strangely willing to look out for me, even if I am not present or they do not know me. Also, other moral-free men like myself may be put off making a move on my new girlfriend. But mainly, the perks of declaring a relationship on Facebook is the brief flurry of excitement, notoriety, and celebrity that accompanies the announcement. Your guy friends take the time to check her out with her tagged photos and to rate her on your wall. (“dude! new girl = nice work. She’s prob a 8.5/ 9 on a good day. You tap that yet? ;) ” ) Her friends friend you and do the same ( “Honey… congrats on the new bf. He looks really sweet” ) Ultimately, you feel like Bennifer or Brangelina for a day. You are also, however briefly, in a confusion-free state. What’s my relationship status? I don’t know, check my Facebook.

Keeping up with the Orwellian irony of it all, declaring a relationship on Facebook is a lot like buying something from Amazon.com. First, you change relationship status to “In a relationship” from a drop-down menu. Next, you are asked to fill in the name of the person you are dating. Facebook’s gerbil-driven search combs its archives and finds out if someone is registered under the alias you have provided. Finding a list of girls with the same name, Facebook will ask you to “Choose your girlfriend.” Responding to its prompt, I pick my recently won spouse, and move on. Facebook photo glittering, I click “Add as girlfriend” and complete the process. A confirmation email will soon be sent to my gf for formal certification. There’s no fooling around. Facebook wants to make sure that this relationship is seriously understood but both parties. This, after all, is a sort of contract.

“Add as girlfriend” didn’t strike me as weird until I was on Amazon.com a little later. (Apart from my new girlfriend, I have few friends and spend hours wasting time and money on the World Wide Web). After finding the “book” I was looking for I formally purchased it by pressing a button titled “add to cart.” The connection was eerie. Had Facebook really used the same language as Amazon? Had I purchased a girlfriend? I checked out my status on Facebook. I logged on, and tried to edit my relationship status. That same piece of information that had precipitated a flurry or fame and notoriety suddenly seemed like an creepy intrusion of the computer world into my own life. Facebook seemed to be growing closer to Kubrick’s HAL by the minute. Sure enough, while trying to change back my relationship status to single (just for a test mind you, my relationship was going quite well) I was confronted by a strange message. “Do you want to cancel your relationship?”

Cancel?! What the hell had I got myself into? This girl was not a magazine subscription. I couldn’t just cancel her. Moreover, how the hell do you cancel a relationship? (I’m sorry. This just isn’t working. It’s not you, it’s me- and I think we should cancel our relationship”) Flashes of digital hell flashed in my mind. Was this the Matrix? Was Blade Runner automating my dating? I couldn’t deal with my current situation- I needed to take a stand and change things on Facebook.

A few days later, my girlfriend changed our relationship to “It’s Complicated.” One of three possible options for those who are “an item,” the “it’s complicated” terrain is by far the most unstable and confusing. We’d talked about it, but I was still lost in the ambiguity. Complicated suggested falling apart. I thought we were in love, I thought we’d talked about things, but just like that the “in a relationship” status had been pulled out from under my feet. I was losing my girlfriend to a Brave New World. I didn’t know where to turn- I went for a round of Google stalking.

Hopped up on Cherry Coke, the libido screams for satisfaction. You’re wondering how this fits in. I have yet to get off the computer. My relationship is currently ones and zeros. Facebook has made me a socialized machine.


Romances of a Digital Identity

I was walking back from a rehersal for Shakespeare on the Green and I had the idea for this short film. Splice together segments from the Matrix, Hackers and Star Wars to create the modern romance. Later, while indulging in intense consumerism at the Providence Place Mall, I had the first conceptualization of the digital romance. Traditionally, the romance was understood from a chivalric model. What was introduced from courtly love and the Morte d'Arthur eventually grew into a celebrated genre of human thought- the passionate tales of love and how love is to be pursued and manifested in society.

The advent of the digital age fundamentally changed the way the world worked, but has yet to truely pierce the heart of the romance. Looking at these high-tech, sci-fi classics only exposes this understanding. While the romances take place with a new techno-eroticism and allow for the pixel to co-exist with the passion, the digital age has not really changed the romance. Luke has a new excalibur in a light saber, Neo needs love to be resurrected, and Crash Override can only be humbled in his love for the girl.

Has the digital age changed romanticism? Or is this just LCD screens and chivalry?

people don't believe in poetry anymore

people don't believe in poetry anymore.

They did once,
when they were little
when they still believed in fairies and
clapped through performances of peter pan
begging Tinkerbell


Poetry was part of that life they lived
before DARE programs or cynicism,
before dances, before Holden Caulfield,
before people told them they couldn't just like it-
before people told them there was something else in it.

Poetry was an imaginary friend
he was the late night joker under the sheets
she was his first kiss,
he was a pirate, a king, a knight in shining armor
she was a princess, a queen, a knight in shining armor

there were faces peeking out from commas
and sword fights in exclamation points
there were castles in stanzas
ships in hyperbole, alliterative adventures,
white chalk on black asphalt
words formed and existent forever
reclaimed by nature in a drenching rain

but always there.

Poetry was what they begged
their fathers & mothers & brothers & sisters
& aunts & uncles & neighbors & babysitters
to read.

(Just read what this says
read it again,
what do they mean?
What happened before that?
Where do the pirates sleep?
(How come it sounds so pretty?))

Poetry was bedtime, mornings, the wheels on the bus,
the light through the trees changing outside the brick school

Poetry was the tear in Dad's eye
(this one always gets me)
the confession, the slow sigh, the laugh,
the enlightened twinkle, the never ending conclusion,
the end too soon-
(I think that's enough for tonight)


no it's not)

On the bus home, down the sidestreets,
Poetry was the wind on the road
it was laughter, it was hopscotch,
a trite norman rockwell moment
a raw experience they wouldn't find the words to
until years later.

Poetry was a passion that no one else understood.
It was sneaking up to the beach for the full moon
climbing onto the garage roof and watching the fireworks,
repeating the sentences when the night was cold
writing the words when the day was alone.

Poetry was what happened to them when
Dad got back from work
and told them to put the book away
(I think it's time...)
It was what happened between the lines
when the teacher asked them
what it was really about.
It was what happened outside the dance
when they spit blood for the first time
and sat alone on the car ride home
answering that (yes the dance was good)
and that (no I did not dance with the girls)

It was the lie about the fat lip,
It was the sob that escaped in the room
It was the conviction, it was the understanding,
It was the brazen foresaking, it was the silent withdrawal

It was a shrug.

(I think that's enough for today)


no it's not)

Poetry what was died
when there were no longer dragons in the forest
when santa stopped being real questionable line.
when a word became only a word

Poetry was what stopped keeping them up at night
with the certainty that a monster was under the bed
with the conviction that the cliché was always possible important line, cause you indulge in cliches
with the understanding that there was something separate
called the ideal.

It was when the shadow stopped being a friend
the night became just a night
dawn lost her meaning
the summer was no longer fireflies
and magic, just books you had to read
and arguments.

Poetry was what they stopped listening to
believing in,
hoping for.

Poetry became the unexplained.
The toys that mom threw out when she was cleaning the attic,
the baseball card collection.
it was something they used to do,
and confessed sheepishly that they had believed
and laughed with the others who too had believed
and condescended.

Poetry was the unmistakable whisper that they heard
when they walked through the buzz of life
and felt disconnected again,
it was the surging of unbridled emotion that told them
(you are in love!)

but still they did not believe.

It was a tingling before they knocked on the door
the sudden belief that the moon was more than the moon

the unexpected, uncontrolled desire to run and never stop running
it was the understanding that the words were written for them:
(you, yes you,
I wrote this for you)

Poetry was what happened when they lived how they wanted to
Poetry was what taught them they could fly,
Poetry made them heroes
Poetry kept them up all night clapping and screaming
Breathe! Damn it! I want you to Breathe!

But mostly, people don't believe in poetry anymore.