HISTORY & THEORY

NAVIGATING THE TECHNO-ARCTIC

Part 1     Part 2     Part 3     Part 4     Part 5     Part 6

- Book component of thesis at The Cooper Union, 2014

LOOKING AT THE HOUSE IN PLUM GROVE

- Analysis of the house by Kazuyo Sejima & Associates, 2014

BANK-NESS FROM THE FINANCIAL CITY TO THE AGRICULTURAL TOWN

- Comparative study of John Soane’s Bank of England and Louis Sullivan’s National Farmer’s Bank, 2011

WRITINGS AND DRAWINGS ON ANCIENT ARCHITECTURE

- Analysis of ancient works of architecture and planning, 2011

THE CRITIQUE OF FORMALIST PLANNING

- Honors thesis written within The College of Social Studies at Wesleyan University, 2007

 

POEMS

DRIVING WITH SATELLITE RADIO

I keep going
in the car
two hours of satellite radio
every song just a little
unlike the one I want to hear
I especially don't like Young Jeezy
but it's
Artist: Young Jeezy
feat. Young Jeezy
every song
on the Heat or Shade 45
All of the broadcasts
over every inch of road
Interstate 70
now deaf
to the Colorado River

 

DRIVING OVER A PHYSICAL LINE

it's the topography that takes you in a car
higher than you'd ever get by foot
east of the divide I just crossed
sending water down that way
and some other water
down the other way

 

DRIVING BY THE ROADSIDE SKI SLOPES

ski towns built over parking garages
imitation chalets
bunny slopes close enough to the four lanes
to be on-ramps
every resort with a half pipe
different vehicles in pink and bright green
on white roads

I am cautiously dividing my attention
between where I am going
and the hope that I'll catch
one of those different vehicles
go from driving broad curves
to suddenly still
like a musket soldier
the whites of their eyes
would make me feel differently

 

DRIVING TECHNOLOGY AND THE PASSAGE OF TIME

my Bluetooth audio device
allowing the bushes
waiting to turn colors
to repopulate more quickly
I have a sense of how far down I have gone
by how brown
the roadside is again

 

ON BEING DRIVEN TO THE AIRPORT

a day beginning in dark
my car driver
pops his trunk
lets me
load my bags myself
as he runs across
Graham Avenue
to the inside
of the New Topacio Car Service headquarters
his sweatshirt
of shell necklace blue
French air mail service item
no mind that
his passenger
worries over the time
9:55 am
but the driver comes back
Styrofoam cup pour of coffee
"the snow is no good
it makes driving
very difficult"

i am going to see
my sister's newborn Darby
but to him
she is my daughter
"it is no good"
to live the distance
from St. Louis to New York
away from your child

 

I-70 BETWEEN GYPSUM AND GLENWOOD SPRINGS

The Colorado River
carving
in your steering wheel arms
the signs
suggesting speed limits
for curves
suddenly worth following.

No depth to the right roadside
the wall of dessert rock
shearing the frame of what you see
picking up only the two lanes
you go between
and the two eastbound
the river
its bed
with railroad tracks
and the second wall
completing the canyon.

The hunger I had
in the recline
of these sides
tending to
zip lines
watermills
occasional barns
cattle fences
one tree on a south-facing slope
sharpened
as the fainting
I might endure.

 

AT THE HERTZ DEPOT

shuttling from the Frontier terminal
in a bus
to the Hertz depot
standing with a charcoal leather parka
professional luggage
muffling a phone call
from someplace like New York
dropping the Gold Members first
our flight infrastructure's
unrelenting duplication
of the hierarchies outside

waiting like I am actually a traveler
at the head of the retractable line divider
choreographed clipboards
shooing me to a kiosk
no counter but a flat pixel screen
buffering the bit face of a Hertz employee
as a virgin to video chat
all I am seeing is an internet offer
and I am not wanting to enter
the private chat room
a compressed stream of a salutation
enough for my skin speaking quickly
of my desire
to do it in-person

 

ON LOOKING OUT OF THE AIRPLANE WINDOW

over flat states
you get the sense
that some agriculturalists
draw for airplanes

we have bumpy faint white grids
fences black as the lines they make
and dark brown splotches
leafless woods huddled
around indecipherable bodies

there's a way to look
so that the light cirrus streaks
look like white snow streaks
on the ground
rectangles
in every shade of dirt
nervously cut out
by flood basins
high beige plains
fern plant depressions
some circle plots
blobby water
more circle plots at play
with orders of long roads, green stains
tan territories

 

MY FIRST EXPERIENCE WITH THE ROADSIDE IN A RENTAL CAR

I am in a Subaru Legacy
twenty miles
from a mile high
on another road
there's a fence
off to the right
of the road
like a bluegrass divider
but with mirrored diagonal supports
this particular fence
a fifty foot
wonky line
in between
the same sleeping
splintered field

 

RE-DREAMING OF AN AIRPLANE TAKE-OFF

You can see
100, 200, 300, 500
Thousands of feet
and a levitation
Fields, actual fields,
productive at times
in corn or whatever it is
some of them
just blue grass
stringy, wispy
and poking through
a heavy dropping
for every untouched
chamfered square, rectangle
a striated organization
of agricultural material
there’s one in which
tiny tractors
drove by small adults
4-wheelers, Gators, etc.
decorate in the most feminine
marks, swirlies, curly Q’s
elevations of entire
roller coaster parks etched into the white
double-lined and slightly cramped
but with moments of the free loop
traces of what those little squats on the ground
giggle at as doughnuts

And maybe a mile
a half-mile away
sit two in a Lincoln
popped off the ground
just a little more than “a Lincoln”
Texting me they’ll look-out for me
as I climb a moveable ramp
for now parked on the runway
and just a balloon or inflated ball away
from the CRJ2000
now suspending me up.
Now an old view out the letter-sized window
the Paducah Regional Airport,
where they left behind their stakeout
latticed by gate
protecting me from their hugs
right before i step inside

But they will rotate their framed cross insignia
to wrap around the country road
between and around runway fences, church lots,
property lines, creeks, ditches, and gentle topographies
Maybe overlooking the same fields
but to them only disturbed as noisy horizons,
defining the scenes of a mansion, black horse farm barriers, horses, ponies,
the stationary mobile home next door, or the caved-in barn, shed, or silo
all with new perimeters of coniferous saplings

 

THREE MONDAYS IN A ROW

Track and field burnt by daughters’ self-burnt legs

Taupe gowns at our concrete feet

Before and on our backs

Post-it notes flurried from boxes of old son’s books

And his mother in those books

Fluttering ashed lips through his velour-choked neck

Collar failing its own weight

Husbands/Fathers spreading greens and rolled meats on her stained table

Another boy cried

Stood cross-legged to Claire de Lune

 

THREE MONDAYS IN A ROW (CONT’D)

But more now as it was then

Are each hair snipped by actual hands.

Brittle piers under Monday’s first scissors

Barely suspending the guttural sag.

Yet an ideal stance

 

SWARM THEORY

No sparrow but its black outside

Keeps the beam straight

When the curve of our talk traveling through wires

Across wooden poles,

Cracks held by tar

Is the sag of air

Under a fly’s wings

My spiral stair

Skin between nostrils and chin

Run through a collapsed breezeway

 

DOUBTS ARE MOTHERS TOO

Early noise to scone crumbles

Eighty-seven cents more.

Book objects jackets for shelves

lend quiet letters some sense in sounding

My minutes ease in creaky frames

cycling feet colliding with them

hush all talk

 

TALES WRITES ENVELOPES BUFFET POSTS

Tumor stays asks no questions

breast empties says body’s over

book tidies opens dwelling

son calls kisses no longer friends

widow works painted as a husband

 

FRANK’S GREAT UNCLE (FOR PAUL THEK)

A new striated square

one heart choked beating

turns wheels left

another lane

another heart

stopped beating

Your eyes on your own wax body

needle finger hair into your finger

a better mirror

 

HARD EDGES IN THE SKY

Until footsteps out-did loudness of newer house’s noise with a pause between each step.

Stillness of green mowed lawn between trimmed trees

No longer in its stillness, no longer here in Hillsdale on July 4th.

Or at least no longer laying on wet blankets in un-mowed field

Walk made uphill in day-lit bare feet

Foul belly buttons sucking inward

Bees’ dressers before dirt road’s downhill turn dissuaded another stick thrown for the mutt bull dog.

Same walk—some ticks—same night

Made towards bog earlier swum

Same darkness in which gravel and dirt became mowed field became what I called and called unmowed lawn

Nothing cut by hands, that was for sure

No green blade couldn’t whistle

Sky was another

Picked apart by a textbook

Mars could not be red

But where are its scientists?

Humps’ whiteness

Flattened sky plane

We lay on gross fabrics

Worlds at a our feet whether we are on them or not

Survey without numbers and watches

Same dirt disturbed by unseen specimen

Whom I would invite to my Riverdance back-lit after-setting, a sweeper bay reached its driest sand

 

 

KNOWING GEOGRAPHY IS KNOWING WHERE YOU ARE

An in-New York creature, an in-Mass man for if nothing but geography

best defense sitting before a different house

shingled

square-legged wooden table sitting

listening to decades’ quips and salty legs crossed

surrounding empty white plates of bison’s meats

There are obviously phenomena

though lines crossed by car—

superfluous delineations of a different house—

paper marks less the one tick of my grandma’s cuckoo clock

street’s air having become a stone easier to waft

No jumped round marble

petrified on slat floors

standing on beams

no laps between

Laps below slept in my dreams then and now

sippily characters in a Cabo house

Jaws on TV set

The scarecrow would have been there had it not been summer,

And where I am

is bending over backwards, confusing smart seagulls and deflating a t-shirt of hay. (Hay.)

No wanted pick in gone grandfather’s Door County cabin tonight

Here was another joke about Catholic priests and children told for non-silence

Two-inch strands of self-cut hair sliding atop finger nails red-brushed in paint for them weightless sticks.

Dousing a scalp in bareness till sunburnt ear tips are red-brushed, too, in their own blood

And Van Gogh hay stacks wrapped in plastic

ferment for cows

but not horses, who don’t digest this hay

and sit like the end of Impressionism

on the break between trees and grass.

Impermeable refrigerator ware of restaurant leftovers

multiplied by pounds and baring dampened earth beneath.

Bottoms cast in new mud. No climbing these clean bales

though less itchy and showering for legs, you cannot feel hay like

whispery strands alone erecting from rash twine

thickets and mats

graying broken straight upon themselves

Guarding its infested gut

Hay.

You feel shaved biceps of weightlifters’ bare arms.                                                                  

Now eight hours past my right cheekbone’s tanning

on Graham Avenue’s sidewalk is long shadows of parked cars to be trespassed

still not understanding your face’s shape

despite having stared mostly at it for half of those eight hours.

The longest shadows could have helped

the shortest ones too

Yet a wet bird flown tonight

by the father of the yogic cabana

tosses tosses tosses

in air absolutely stilled by dented paper

 

HER BONES

Her bones

Burn and rise like smoke

After summer rain showers

From unburnt wooded Pennsylvanian hills

 

DRIVING BY THE SAME HILL WHICH WAS ONCE SMOKEY

Driving by the same hill which was once smokey

In its own smokelessly unfired way

Now sealed in another smokeless moisture.

What was once her bones was actually her nerves

Rheumatic, no bones, no bone roads, no disease but a syndrome

Of Pain and weight as it is pricked with a cortisone needle

Dolly World waits, even though it’s probably closed by now

The Smokey’s wait too, crawling under the smoke from my little bottle

While trickles give fish private homes and leave the lakes for public bathrooms reserved by church groups.

Opryland, I know, is closed because of the flood.

 

ARRIVING IN KENTUCKY

Monday 2:25pm

Coal to corn, Kentucky

Dipping around Corners

Swimming Licking River

Beach before the Dam at Kentucky Lake

Sand left feet palms sorely burnt ‘til Tuesday,

Swim suits in semi-circularly buoyed-off warm water

Grandpa! You getting out?

Standing at sixty on shore

Water cooled sand, gurgled-up small rocks foreign shells

And that was such a good picture of you on the internet

I wish I was there on 22nd Street when it was taken

 

LININGS

Somewhere there is a book written for the first line

All the lines, which came before

Or happened like all lines.

A brush over whiteness

So still the black hills

Worlds we have read.

 

COMING HOME

When I came home

There were lamp shades pressing the sheets

A hospital bed in the breakfast nook

Boxes stacked upon the history of steps.

There were messy offers.

My grandfather is tidy, gentlemanly.

Neatly clipped articles of the Paducah Sun set the dining room table:

provisions for a last feast of statements scarred by inquisition,

line by line, by his inked marks.

Empty envelopes, no longer of reply, had elbows propped by wooden arms.

But the oven door would not latch.

Unwashed. Unpeeled. Molded walls fell as a body to the shower floor.

 

SAYING IT WAS TODAY

Men wore Hawaiian shirts, crossed their arms in a huff.

The earth, grounded by a disc, yanked a wing between cracks.

Unnoticed, no lead to point, or in fingers where the work was stolen

Tiny dumbwaiters

Two blue, one pink

Hitched by hair pulled through the wind of a wick

That was gone before it reached the wick.

The body closed for the evening,

Caught thieves by their thoughts,

And tricked egoists into zipping their skin up with the wall.

The drum of the technician’s lips softened into wood.

Always were the same lips. And inside cinder blocks stacked as a corridor

My friend, the acrobat, spilled soup past slackened cheeks.

A hunter with no heart held an empty spear to a brazened edge

Dampened wisps into an acidic puddle

Formed around feet standing along an unfounded curve.

The table also stood for nothing.

Even the fan, louder than the couple’s giggles, for which I longed, was still.

Another was missed, promised to a different spring.

 

ALL OF THE TINY COLORS

All of the tiny colors
Between the bay's waves
Today
and the dream's too cold.
Leaks me
as a water drop
down my leg
And on this blue cover book
over and over again

As I had too much tea
too much cookie
Drowned in this wigwam

all of this sticky pine needle too
And rub off the granules
  between the last of my ear
  and my prickly sideburn

Tombs in each other's breast pockets
Other sands
burying abstractly her feet
french snails saves
The padding between
shipments taking my body with them
It is so wet here
I wonder how you found it

 

SWIMMING

Tra-vel-ling
To these sting-less globs
Pebble my treading limbs
floating ribs

Every line of the tide
As a wavy line like this
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
We could chart
the advance of these waters
Make a book
of these lines

 

MY BODY IS BUMPY


My Body is Bumpy
bumps on a formless body
peeling skin
faintly sing ready murmurs
when they should be quiet
asking for me
nudging
when i am knelt

 

LEARNING GEOGRAPHY FROM THE GOLD COURSE

only so held as to when they are holed
a bucket still tips over
it is a crisis in your golf swing
throwing yourself to the fake pin
on the driving range

once hardened
as the ground of those greens
i had the figure of their holes
the golf holes
appropriately so
for what would i see
had i not followed
a dimpled white ball
across the sky
so many times
guessing its distances

 

RAYS

plan of rays
Pt. Reyes
Ray Eames
think of being fired up
i was raised
new rays of colors
by in-betweens
two is still so much

the strongest
morning ray
i saw
the moon did rise
my senior street partners
some Spanish paper
waited on their walking by me

 

COMPLICATED FEELINGS ABOUT A GIRL

telling
two porch statements
of rooftops with more wet blankets
goopy grey caulk channeling liquid over tar
beneath tatamis
there's a million thoughts to share
but what do i think about that

scooping earl grey pistachio
melt, even through my helmet
you know, to be taller
could take place
scaled up
confronting the smallest points
to the elbow's back

like it's cool
ok
no reason
to mull this minute
over with those maundering
keep different two chairs
in your living room

in the earth
feet tops free
above the clean circles
leading all the way in

some pigeon waiting
to send a fly
through missing mesh
biting soon your kneecaps
your temple
tanning dirts from straight on you
darkening even the space of your white parts

 

WALKING AND BIKING AROUND THE CITY ON A SUMMER DAY

i took a break from the street
in the curve of the park
sun for my free coffee
here’s one i will tell a lie
about what today was

shopping for hours
for shorts
i waited with peppermint tea, Houston Street, tiny presses
For the start of rain
And for it to quit
Boats still waked in the river

 

REFLECTIONS ON FAINTING

listing my erstwhile faintings
pointing to the concrete's bumps
pick me up please
skin scraped from a new layer

 

REMEMBERING A DRIVE IN SOUTHERN ILLINOIS

video the roadside
framing only the guardrail
i am by myself in a car
Alto's Pass by La Rue Pines
green sigh
white lettering
would-be-blue and white pixels
as a quilt and a mound
for curling

 

HIKING IN HARRIMAN STATE PARK

snail-faced whale
nodding mariachi-like
bulldozer-tread tree barks
umbrella handles too

we'll leave this coral fungus
stuck to a forest stick
poking floating rednesses
hand-deliver Sprout certificates
regularly to Philadelphians


NOTES ON VIBRATIONS

do you ever feel
every bump of your front tire
on every protrusion in the road
travel from the rim
i also spoke through
the fork and the frame
entering your bar hands?

and clouds
do they quake
mineral doors vibrate funny
quick wind wasn't blowing
no good section of what’s below us
i mean, a circle?
between roofs and those nimbuses
was probably still
and my eyes unknowingly not
shaking those stuck moist wisps

 

ANTICIPATION OF CHANGING SEASONS AND A FINDING FOR JOHN GIORNO

what streets is grumpy
what streets is grumpy
yes on a roundabout
i'm on a roundabout
to ivy the blank walls
my new "Blink182" tag
the poor oxygenated brain
i feel like something
is going to happen
to me

mouths cling on chapped lips
broken lapels soiled by cold
juicing ice bearing hairy skin
themselves minds as desperation
Tuesday’s comes again
graphite fingers print paint
bar moon's crater vellum

empty of space for this
quiet seat
waiting
for sitting

no two likes of me
breaking car
dearest
is tumbling

plain words shelter boards
written name
crumple
snow's fielding

boot prints to cover
filling holes
red ears
seem redder

and this one
this one is
for and from John Giorno

He appears
to have
embraced it
though he did not choose
if he were not falling
he might very well
be flying.
Problems and Thoughts While Driving

my heals have too long
been riding on the end of my sandal
my left arm
on the door rest
my right one rests too
on the middle rest

days so slow long money
should probably find a CD
and put the email written
on the track smartphone
in our book on how to drive