J. M. Wilson's Journal|
[Most Recent Entries]
Below are the 12 most recent journal entries recorded in
J. M. Wilson's LiveJournal:
|Saturday, November 4th, 2000|
|i heard all your controls were jammed (preface)
This is the new poem that i have been piecing together since August when i was in Spain for a while. It's meant to mix up a whole bunch of places and cities and landscapes to signify the narrator's disorientation, but i want it also to have a kind of clarity or distinction between these geographies to. The poem is only starting to exist out of my head and several notebooks and screen pages at once into a unified piece so stay with it. There are three people in the poem. The narrator, a girlfriend and a friend named Coy.
Thanks for paying any attention to it and i'd love to get any feedback,,negative/positive whatever.
|i heard all your controls were jammed (part 1)
Seattle, the Southwest & North Carolina
Last night i was the orange's sweet spot
that you dig a thumbnail in to peel
when citrus mist soft-squirts perfume
& settles you into the process.
The apartment tinctured
in emptying quiet, salt on my lips,
wrinkled brow, blood in the joints & neck
as i stare down the phone on my blue mattress
willing it to sing with taut knuckles...
all i can conjure is a slow heat over her bed
& the meadow's fat buzz of lightning bugs
& green leafy sweat, black hair
on a strange pillow.
i'm remembering the drive we made from Santa Fe
to Tucson, soft sleeping to Billie's penultimate
splintered vocal sessions in satin just under
the engine's cadencee, at the wheel telling my
self, almost chanting,
i'm not in love, i'm not in love, you wake up
to Elephant Lake's sun in your hair & i forget
what i wasn't.
|i heard all your controls were jammed (part 2)
Seattle, Albuquerque & Frankfurt
Coy, this is not to you, but i can't
find my own tongue, saliva or dry-mouth
hunger, i've been trying to slow drag
& dance these clost ghosts out
into the hallway without having to open
my mouth...but i'm asking about Albuquerque's
phantoms because they know all my underhanded
cons: windows opened to the rain spatter,
refrigerator unplugged, even the tv on mute
to cartoons in the corner. Useless. Nothing.
They've bunched in like frightened goats
around the jackets & slacks hanging behind
the sliding mirror door with me looking back
at me. A closet full
of a dead man's
moldy wardrobe, his last cancerous wish,
bequeathing all his trench coats & corduroy vests
to me, the only one left to shoulder into any
of it, waiting for an airplane out of Frankfurt
& February's crippled ghosts are finally singing
a love song in my ear, like a puppy licking
another puppy asleep, as i slunk down in a
rounded chair, under the broken payphone.
|i heard all your controls were jammed (part 3)
i'm capsizing, sticky-tired & wide awake
with slow motion movements. But it's not this
dying, not my strange inheritance or that my
strongest memories estrange me...Coy, it's this
little noise that's ratcheting my spirits, scuttle
of roaches under my flimsy & sad-sprung bed...i dream the dream of a thousand cats: Barceloneta's
Mediterranean beaches, la madrugada & the moon,
smitten, won't unpocket itself from the cloud
Leaning on a push broom, the fishmonger's whistling his scrap song, the kind of man who
still takes his belt off to beat his children
& the loitering felines, famished & blood-palsied, with spitty, tamped fur in the poxied heat & buttered paws in steamy gut-stink
eagerness. But Coy there's a thousand or more,
perched on patient haunches tails swishing the air like a worm on a hook & the beach has that cloudy moon muffled glow. Not fog or mist, but
like dust on everything: i mean, sand grit
in the back teeth, in the hairline, out of every
sink faucet & pants pocket. The cats just look
through me in pink bone & slit dogfish reveries.
|i heard all your controls were jammed (part 4)
In the dream i bring back the green, busted
Kentucky landscape of Harmony's Gummo, where
the kids poison dumpster cats & sell them out of
a gunnysack at the back door of the Chinese
restaurant for the buffet special. i won't say
what they do with the money, but just as the older
boy has slung the sack over his shoulder & mounted
his bike i'm awake in Spain
(Thinking maybe Coltrane's drummer did time
in Lexington to get clean before rejoining the
trio in Denver) Muggy rainstorms & sidewalk fish
rot, taxi cabs or it takes all night to get back to the room, 48 hours of wounded drinking &
sleepless dreams & music as sad as silver bolts
on a window sill...all the phantom amnesia & motel
room drape dust i could wash out of my eyes.
|i heard all your controls were jammed (part 5)
Tonight, my body is a kind of pause. Elvin Jones
at the drums, his ride cymbal's pinging tempo
filling out the dead air in this bedroom. If i
put a plastic ruler to the map of the world on
my wall, i am two times the width of Africa away from you dreaming the Spanish alley cats, the burnt smell of New Mexico's black pastures
at the highway fence for miles, your breathing
on my shoulder of my t-shirt
& Lady Day's cragged croon seeps in.
|Thursday, November 2nd, 2000|
Thanks for the comments and feed back. The next three entries are backwards--it starts with Little Boo Sketches, then to part 2, then to the next one, part 3. Sorry for the confusion.
It's a kind of meditation between narrative & rhythmic lyric...but...it's not finished. Any comments: personal, critical, what it made you think of or reminded you of, etc would be a help.
Props to dreamdancer, languagehammer, lique & aurorasmask for the comments.
For those in the Seattle area i will be featuring at 4 Angels Cafe on Capitol Hill tonight (Thursday) at about 7:30pm. Maybe i'll see you there...
In Kieslowski's Decalogue: Five, a young killer
carries in his jeans pocket a dog-eared picture
of his only sister, later crushed by a tractor on
their farm outside Warsaw, in the city he asks,
"Can you tell from a photograph...whether the person's dead or alive?"
i find you whacked-out on trippers late
in a sunken club, the girl i'm with giggling
at your left-footed moves. & maybe you slept
in Ulus last night, hugging yourself on a bazaar
stoop, mangy cur sniffing your pantleg, gouged
& spent, your teeth doing the slow rot-ache & i
you sing all day in your brain for it, howling
the drunken vow at the pond in Genchlik Park
that your not gonna go out like your sister, not
gonna go out like her, but, Little Boo, you
go out anyway, like a candle in a gutted church
when the ghosts whinny & laugh
Trampled, you dance soft & silly, wobble-dobble
monkey legs, wriggling your fingers & giving
a spacey look saying, "Rock it! Jam it!"
with each mouthful you gulp, smiling that black
gapped-grimace, front tooth shot out from an angry
barkeep's saturday night pellet gun.
A few million lira borrowed to get you through
the weekend might last the night if you
flunk out now onto the parched asphalt. i am
trying to tell it, (double-sad squint smirk
& paunched gloom below your sewn-shut eyes) but
i can't conjure the accuracy, so here it is Jimmy,
you block-headed clown, you cartoon lackwit...
You'd never say it like this but you sing & gleam
grin & go sour, galloping off into the street,
hooting claptrap, busted, skunked. It's only
Wednesday, Boo, & baby you've been had, soused
liver, yellowing eyes & the rock n' roll house
you build in your ears each night comes to nothing
each glass of beer haphazardly dismantling it
beam by plank by brick.
|Little Boo Sketches
Maybe you slept in Ulus last
night with a Turkish whores' song
gurgling in the kitchen sink of your head
Leaning into your spoiled breath
i wondered if it was back in Orange County
or the French Quarter when your sister,
buttonholed in mother's seventh floor tenement,
knotted a makeshift noose onto an old ceiling
hook to kick over the chair & dangle.
Little Boo, this hanging's caught your brain...
the ghost you've been cutting a rug
with on the bucket shop's grimy terrace
has exhaled all the ethanol you can stow, stuttering your aluminum heart's hushed thump
& staggering your body's wiry moon-eyed misery jig
|Wednesday, November 1st, 2000|
|My Uncle's Bathroom
In late August
something yellow blooms
& loosens & howls
his name out from the spleen of the night
the way blood specks
spume out in dark clouds
from holding a slashed wrist
over the toilet bowl.
As the clawfoot overflows
onto the bathroom tiles,
my uncle stands naked
in his reflection
quivering with a fever
like a peacock's
black rainbow plumage
after a hot thunderstorm.
of song radiate out
from the vanity lights
& moonlust unbottles
like a blue cartoon genie.
He leans into the mirror & says
In my dreams, women wrapped
in dirty bed-sheets kneel
on the sidewalk & jangle
keys at me. I can't shake
the piano finger lament
of a hunched over ghost
crooning for her hanged-spirit lover
to rise through the roof
from the lynch-knot of an old noose
If i squeeze my eyes shut
like a child's balled up fists,
i can see both of him
standing on the chipped bathroom floor,
yellow tiles covered
with an inch of warm water.
|Tuesday, October 31st, 2000|
|The First Poem...
I thought i would drop a poem here for those interested. This is my first entry--Halloween.
Any comments, thoughts, concerns, suggestions, questions, whatall would be greatly appreciated.
Thinking of Egon Schiele's "Dead Town"
While Washing my socks in the sink
of the Nadia Hotel, Amsterdam
i have scrubbed & scoured
with scalding facet water
& two bars of soap
in this musty closet room
above some canal to wring out
blackening fluid & find, staring
back at me, a dead town
in my own dilated eyes
t-shirt balled up at the foot of the bed
pit-stained as the grapefruit dusklight
retreating behind the balcony on which
i will hang
these socks out to dry tonight
Your burnt colors, Egon:
the blue-orange plasma & rouge
out-house brown, rain gutter sludge,
sun-baked debris & smeared navy, black
& tan rebuild a pre-war stacked hamlet
as Prague or Vienna. I think
One last synapse snapped
to let you stand naked in a mirror
painting your neck so kinked, skin
so cobbled with keyhole pupils & lazy-
bone fingers tugging at your sex
24 days you spent in an Austrian prison
for grappling on canvas with straddling torsoes
& thighs, pubescent stripling-girls in black
stockings, ruddy lips
bulbous as ripe tomatoes in thin dark wisps
complicating the boyish bellies & a funeral glare
as vacant & simple as the look of a woman on hold
in a phone booth. I have wandered
with blistered heels & bug-gnawed arms
all afternoon through the knee-stained
whores' district & Vondel Park,
through Anne Frank's attics
& three floors of Van Gogh
still with your punished bodies, cloistered
mute into my pregnant brain. Rumpled
mothers rippling in epileptic poses
of lunacy. Starved & scratch-thirsty
asylum pariahs, the shock-belted
& callused white wall matrons speaking
to their eyelids,
their elbows bent back, necks canting
itching with pink eye, somehow still
young & venereal & potent to fuck
like blue dragonflies hooked
in dizzy undulation over a brownish
meadow of sunflowers
drooped & rotting.