Raymond Farr

This Time Immemorial Jerk of a Romantic
He made
Birds out

Of sentences
& made

Them beautifully
The man

Had gained
17 lbs of grief

& a red sofa

By 4:32 pm
By 7:21 am

A wet planet
He found

In house dust

Now occupied
His writing

His thoughts

In what felt like
2 feet of duct tape

He thought
He was living

The same day
Over & over

Until somebody
Came with an

Orange plunger
& busted down

The kitchen door
& all afternoon

A storm
Fizzled out—

In the hallway—

Of a TV kitten

Muted in a
Secret room

A Deep & Abiding Frequency
There is no doctrine of audience participation a poem can’t inhibit with its silence. A poem is a sheet of rain pouring down from my old apartment’s window sill. A poem is condemned by its own red momentum, by its own deep & abiding frequency of cell death meaning the survival of the men coming to their conclusions.

& making a salad of absolute certainty, a poem hesitates. It walks on the waters of subversive ideas, really whooping it up—the Ed Sullivan of poems with only minor charm. & because a poem is a wigwam of beautiful girls, the spiritual meaning of a ship, a city on the verge of extinction, its corn field like a book has many who enter it.

A poem is all dark sand & pink clouds & moves beyond the beautiful debris of the self, beyond the intense surveillance of a small hotel. A poem is a high grassy strand burning at the end of a long contemptuous road collapsing into systems failure. I hold a gold knife to the throat of the sky & make a prison softly out of this bowl of ubiquitous faces that I’ve become—out of the fiber optics that now define me as ubiquitous. & so darkness washes over me.

A poem is a flurry of the bright snow it penetrates in wonder. Or shall I say mumble, mumble, mumble, the poem is greater than the sum of its parts? Gone are the mushrooms of hate, says the poem! Gone are the numbers which demean! Gone is the poem’s black, black ice cream of negative capability! Bricks & mortar crumble, weak in the knees, when the poem says I love you.

A poem is fonder of poet Anselm Berrigan stretching his poetry muscle than it is of Sausalito, California. A poem is an episodic existence falling from a high ledge—no reason the bells are struck twice! A poem is a laughing hyena dropping to its knees to pray in the subway—the epitome of things a crowd shoves thru a door. A poem apprehends its own meaning—this red thread of blood leaking from its eyes, this violent machine caught in the headlights of a passing deer.

What’s going to happen is this, says the poem—the poem’s words are multiples, they are all the wrong babies. What’s going to happen is this, says the poem—I move things around. I chatter in the magic bushes outside where it’s freezing. I am a vivid white sail, says the poem, I am breaking out across the grey stones of a breakwater. & then the poem wants to know—what else is a poem?

Plot Lines #1 thru #5
To the young wilderness I sd,
Remember these cartoons you loved?

& then left
The room abstractly

It was 1955

Life had a certain

Each page
Was a field—

The poem

For its

But what
I meant was

Should we really be feeding
This steak to a plant?

& I snorted
The afternoon was a cloud

& the wilderness replied—
Don’t you just love

Gift to the world?

& postulated
The last

Of the formula
For her kind

Back home
A dog lopes

& a ribbon of
Extruded 8-track

Is the one
Ankle deep

In grieving mother footage
Why do you

Say it’s
Not true?

The evidence
Has legs—

Like knives—

A fringe of

At the edge
Of pointless

& so I cough up

A foot—
Has Jonah composed

His meteor poem yet?
My throat

Is a room
Too big

For my voice

Zarathustra says
History is

An unknown comic
Killing his audience

& so no fingers
Graze on the wisdom

Of not talking
& like a small town

Reveling in
A complicated box

Poetry is a red hen—
Do you often go upstairs

Thinking you want
To be alone?

Laughter, says the wolf
Is an existential experience

Named Joan
& the wolf is self-aware

A poem he calls
My Death Is

A Sad Roach
Blooming in

the Microwave
Is making a fist

Of his sore
Little ego

What is my life now
I wonder—

Without my boardwalk taffy?
Sans the cigar ash?

I can safely recommend

The Victorian clockwork of veal—
The rude elixirs of Hockney’s

Lime tree du jour—
Etc, sd

The NY Times
The Renoir like a jingle

Someone yelled at me

You don’t control the dance…
The dance controls you!

& Doctor Doolittle
Was shrieking—


The girl calls Plot Lines #20
“good Irish”

But it’s slow paint, she says

& frame-drags the moon
Out of Cow Town

& like someone
Sitting on the edge

Of an 18th C. antique corner chair
The sales man


Did she actually just ask
For Nine Inch Nails?

Raymond Farr is author of Ecstatic/.of facts (Otoliths 2011), & Writing What For? across the Mourning Sky (Blue & Yellow Dog 2012), a chapbook, Eating the Word NOISE! (White Knuckle Chaps 2015) & a full length collection of poems Poetry in the Age of Zero Grav (Blue & Yellow Dog 2015). His chapbook, A Journey of Haphazard Miles, is slated for 2015 online publication by Alt Poetics. He is editor of Blue & Yellow Dog, which is now archived at http://blueyellowdog.weebly.com & publisher of a new poetry blog The Helios Mss at theheliosmss.blogspot.com.
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