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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Globe of Matter places in Decima contest

This ran up in the poetic forms challenge for Decima at good ol' Writer's Digest. I'm glad -  I am pleased with it:

Globe of matter

If ants weren’t so hungry, or if
the queen disbanded the army,
idle ants would do as we do:
play poker, write memoir, sniff wines
and pass their time in earth adrift
in the disinterest of matter.
We sleep through the pitter-patter
of their gustatory footsteps
and get up, upset to accept
they have found a glob of batter.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Norfolk Press Says Yes


In all this, I have been 8 weeks between publishers, falling away from Zoetic and into Norfolk. The deal feels totally right.

More to come, meanwhile, the fullness of life calls: telling for the biggest audience I've faced since my stand-up comedy days — and this one was much kinder, pitching a mini-grant to the Richmond Arts & Culture Council, and very much professional work.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Two months

I was two months without a publisher
while I asked and asked this game universe
to come to this earnest, hopeful boy
with a new smear of butter.

And I said, I see I won't be famous;
still I'd like to have the volume,
somehow to have my book complete,
though the destiny of poems is humble.

And I asked and asked the harvest field
for a maze of sudan grass stalks trodden—
the moment you say, I haven't really been lost,
as you step out of the obstacle, beyond

the game you play with yourself:
and there's the book come down off the shelf. 


Mid-August I found out the publisher who was going to release my book didn't want to release it the way I wanted it. I suggested half a dozen ways to make the agreement work, but none suited the publisher; and anyway, their digital infrastructure--the pillar of their fledgling press--was not yet ready.

We parted ways. As disappointed as I might be while still having food on the table, a loving family, a secure home, a steady job, and so on, I was, because September was supposed to be release month, and instead I was back to the beginning.

So I asked, which is what this whole project has been about. And allies told me who they knew. My friend Natasha had published her book with Norfolk Press in San Francisco, a 30-year old press with a stunning catalog of art books and beautiful editions. I pursued them and on October 20, met with publisher Charles Cunningham in person. He wants to do my book and is working up the contract.

As Buddhists say, this may be good, maybe. And if it's not, then something else. I am learning the beauty, not to say the power, of asking. How to ask. How to accept, surrender, hold no expectation; and at the same time do, in Ann Randolph's words, whatever the fuck it takes.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

So much for last night

         —after *J*

Blue light and piano—
a tickling brook of notes—
and the damn mosquito
that browbeat us all night.
Blue light from the window,

notes by David Benoit,
and our blood endowing
us with life—and that nit
now paused on the window
digesting as I go

to get Ceramics Now,
an old, bloodstained issue,
folded. Good morning. Pow.
Here’s a wad of tissue
stained with our blood that’s naught

but toilet food. I kiss you
in the day we’re into.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Thursday, September 10, 2015

"Ony Ody" Throw Back Thursday circa 1986

[I revised/improved this one somewhat from the 30-year old original]

Ony Ody

Firstly heard the one called Melo
Speaks to Harmo clear as a bell-o:
“Harmo, I need you. You can tell-o.
I’m the tasted without the smell-o.
Yes, the water, but no well-o.
I’m the goods that will not sell-o.
You must talk so I can yell, so
Separate, we are doomed to hello.”

Answering the one called Harmo
Speaks to Melo smooth and warm-o:
“I, the fury, but no storm-o;
Aye, the bones—without the arm-o.
Animals without the farm-o.
Without you I have no form! Oh,
You’re the bees, but I’m the swarm, so
Conjoining states must be our norm, yo.”

Melo sings sharp and Harmo hums hollow.
Melo speaks bright and Harmo thrums mellow.
Harmo flows blue while Melo shows yellow.
Melo’s the peaches in Harmo’s Jello.
Melo is famed more than Mel’s fellow.
But Harmo leads for Melo to follow.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Throw Back Thursday - Sonnet circa 1986

I am pitching Mortified, a live show where, if I am accepted and choose to go forward with this, I will be reading pages from my late high school diary that clearly illustrate my sexual confusion and why I was such a late bloomer.

It was interesting to have this reflected back to me by Kevin, one of the event organizers, based on my first submission: "I'm especially intrigued by the idea of fancy poetry about adolescent sexual frustration, though I have to say the samples you've attached seem almost too sophisticated to be mortifying."

I had been embarrassed by my old writings, but now I see there is some sophistication there. Take this sample sonnet where I am rigid in my iambic pentameter. I think this one isn't bad:


From what you’ve seen of me, I am a fool
Today back to the time you saw me first.
Before your eyes, I’ve stumbled from the rule.
Yet I do swear you’ve only seen my worst

The words I speak to you come from an ass
For accidental insults flow from me
Because I stand before a goddess-lass
My mind and lips slip when I talk to thee.

But you must know—I am much more than that.
The side you’ve seen is only seen by few
And I must have you realize that fact
Because I hold such deep respect for you.

Bestow your grace on me with smile kind
So I may see the softness in your mind.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A poem I don't understand

I like this about having written poetry for thirty years: I can go back to old notebooks or old electronic files and find things I wrote that I don't now understand. I can see me in there, but I can't recall what I meant. So the poem must stand on its own. I assume, then that this poem from seven years ago was actually from a dream. If it makes sense to you, explain it to me.

"Noodle prophecy from a dream"

Sensible custom says that when the emperor
offers you a noodle from his priceless bowl
of udon, bow your deep gratitude--and refuse.
His servant will offer noodles to everyone.
All will bow, smile, bow, refuse. The emperor,
one day soon, will need to fight for udon, defend
each sesame seed from huns and djinis and dragons,
protect our right to eat soba with smoked trout
with his considerable armies and all his myth.

But what if, tourist that I am, I accept
the noodle? What if I suck it from the chopsticks
the servant clutches tightly, testing my resolve?
The white tendon will strain and snap and vanish
between my soupy lips, and that’s when I’ll bow.
Nobody will register shock, but it will be
understood that when the time comes, show biz or
no biz, I will fight alongside the emperor.

When generations have passed since our victory,
and dinner is over, we will be legends
over the land. But if antiestablishment
sentiments foment locally like heat rash
or burgeoning technology, then we who fought
for salt and water and dough will be cast down.
They’ll revile our intentions with every slurp.

This is how time turns and stretches: it just does;
while sea to sea, people suck down their noodles
and offer the reasons they feel in their bellies.
Some will go hungry, others will be sated;
the spicing of culture will change, and all will judge.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Farce Side

My attention in grad school divided.
Some stayed on my declaration to be
a master of poetry. Comedy,
on the other hand, was an equally
attractive mistress-muse and one I'd loved

almost as long—and I loved me on stage.
To rage or parody or flat out goof
or pratfall or streak naked—I was free,
and on that stage, I needed no more proof.
The undersexed (thus socially awkward)

protopoet, who was never aloof
but seemed to be so, found his misfit tribe
acting out his angst in blood-red self-spoof.
Ruttish sex, deviant sex, vibrators,
weed, nitrous oxide, mushrooms, LSD—

all in play—while in poems I circumscribed
subterranean fires like some chaste scribe.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

the questionmarkpomegranate tree

Do you want to put your hand on my belly and feel it kicking?
I am glowing with its near-complete gestation,
not dreading the labor of its arrival but aching with the anticipation,
the slowness of its slow coming.
I am blissed out with impatience. I am popping!

The book! The book!

Early Cover Concept by Eric Lindsey

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Terrier Bliss

this is how I feel about the book project
 * * *

I WANT it!
I can't stop looking at it.
I study its shape and odor and size
as though expecting it any moment to shift, change, vanish, explode.
If flung, I will go after and get it on the first bounce.
If hidden, I will sniff where last seen until it's revealed.
If held, I will continue to stare up, my whole face quivering,
my whole body poised to, to, to
I focus on how I will chew it,
how I will lick into its very essence
and the directories of its pieces,
the threads that tie it up to the rest of what is
keeping me away right now.
I will free the cloudy stuff inside it,
the piece of its core that makes the sounds.
I will fling the disassembled unity into the air
in a new broader unity — like the big bang —
and roll in all the stuff that flies around
artfully scattered, array all around
me, panting in utter joy that smells like triumph.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Thursday, April 16, 2015

What do you think?

Buckle the seatbelt of your mind: we’re blasting off.

            Nod to Charles Stross

Physical encryption in linguistic
code—books and the like—obsolesced within
six millennia. Pressings of music
took a century and a half between
becoming and becoming extrinsic.

A microgram of matter may contain
the complete recorded works of Mozart.
We send our abstract designs in advance
of ourselves: when more matter is made smart,
we will be data; and protoplasmic

expression can recycle as an art.
Physical selves will be irrelevant,
but we—our biomass long discarded—
can stretch out in a spacious petabyte,
recombining to the edge of finite,

expanding the boundaries of “the present,”
surviving our sun’s fated extinction.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

"A meterioc place." Here's a little crowdsourced dada for yiz.

In a place where people expect their dreams to come true, I’m China street glucose, and you’re endless grass and a huge, flat moon.
In plaster and wood on the other side, I’m the cardturner, and you’re writing in my sun room.

In a Rocky Mountain city, Denver or Salt Lake, I’m naked in the street, and you’re gazing into a green valley from a peak.
In the arms of my love, I’m gloriously broken, and you’re a nap to Fremont and back.

In my favorite bakeries and places to hike I’m Nebraska, and you’re sprout palm welcome.
In invitation, in difference, in membership, in suffering, I’m mother, diamonds, life, and you’re home.

In this studio, part monster, I’m petite fours made into a city, and you’re silver curls like a crown.
In wabi sabi dance party, I’m golden lush shrouded jewel, and you’re black lava blue water brown.

In the most expensive, beautiful, confuzzled place on the planet, I’m $6 Great American, and you’re the same….
In a particular spot I’m ears like cabbage leaves and a big grin, and you’re conversation in liquid form.

In Wyoming boulders upon boulders upon boulders, I’m sapphire eyes, and you’re honest in every way.
In bed…or water… I’m clouds with mustard, and you’re drive scents birthday.

In lacy grey with black undertones, I’m solitude, and you’re standing up in New York.
In a bit of a bumpy place I’m a muggy August morning, and you’re Donald—no—David Duck.


This poem is compiled from responses to an online survey I created for the purpose. You can see the survey at the poem's first place of online publication.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Madame Rowley’s Face

First—the claims made
Second—the grounds on which it is recommended
Third—it does not come asunder
Fourth—it has been analyzed by Eminent Scientists
Fifth—its VALUABLE PROPERTIES never become impaired
Sixth— it is recommended by Eminent Physicians and Scientific Men
Seventh—its use cannot be detected
Eighth— it may be desired

Ninth— hundreds of dollars uselessly expended may be saved
Tenth— it is safe, simple, cleanly and never injures
Eleventh— it may be applied WITH EQUALLY GOOD RESULTS
Twelfth—by its use impurities vanish
Thirteenth—it is harmless, costs little and saves money
Fourteenth—ever vouchsafed to womankind, famous ladies use it

from Jones, Edgar R. “1887 Print Advertisement for Madame Rowley’s Toilet Mask or Face Glove.” Those Were the Good Old Days; a Happy Look at American Advertising, 1880-1930. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1959. 41. Print.

I am participating in Poetry Month Scouts, hosted by the Found Poetry Review. So this month: lots of found poems. This one is also posted where you can link to and comment on others of mine throughout April.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Wednesday quickie

Said the dealer to the truckers,
“Our rigs run on diesel.
The trucks sold by others
won’t pull ten tons, but these’ll.”

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Sweets are bad, m'kay? A Proto-Queron

The date is Mayish, 2009. I am starting to develop a poetry form. The first proto-queron came in at 15 rather than 17 lines and had this rhyme scheme: ababa bcbca cdcdb.

The content here is pretty fluffy. The exercise was more about the rhyme and syllabification (6 per line, m'kay?). 

In no other poem I recall writing did I use the phrase "Neener-neener-neener," so that's something.

Sweets are bad, m’kay?

Sugary treats are bad
Because they taste so good.
Whenever you have had,
you always know you should
have eaten greens instead,

but almost no one would
opt for something greener
although it’s understood
vegetables are leaner
and make you better fed.

Keep your system cleaner
and eat in tune with truth.
Say “Neener-neener-neener”
to that old sweet tooth
and you’ll be glad you did.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Maurnold X. Thurbin Pans Movies in Verse: Bedtime Stories

Flashback! Lately I've been pulling out older poems that never saw much light of day, but that I'm fond of. This poem circa 2009 is—okay, check out this concept: it's a movie review in rhymed couplets by the fictitious poet Maurnold X. Thurbin, a creation of The Filthy Critic. Many years ago—back in the 20th century—I wrote video reviews as Gooden Worsted in an alcove off of Filthy's site, which site garnered attention by making it into Rolling Stone and garnering nods from author Stephen King. 

Filthy's angle is that he uses a lot of profanity while delivering very incisive reviews that actually have a lot of integrity.

Gooden's angle was that every film rated between nine and ten stars, and all pans were backhanded.

Maurnold's angle was to be the rhymed couplets thing. This is the only prototype I wrote. I'd say you should go watch Bedtime Stories so you know what's going on in the review... but don't.

   Maurnold X. Thurbin Pans Movies in Verse: Bedtime Stories

Why would slapstick comedy for children
begin with such draggy exposition?

Director Shankman and Adam Sandler
appear to attempt a gerrymander

between the districts of kid-joke choices
(boogers, farts and ridiculous voices)

and an adult interest in narrative.
Try to please everyone, something will give.

First lost is suspense. The opening act
foretells the conclusion like a contract:

What “Skeeter” is promised as a boy—sure—
he wins in the end. This is no spoiler

as anyone able to read will guess
the obvious outcome to this lameness.

At the first drop of the heroin’s name,
you know she’s the woman Sandler will tame.

Between A and baldy manifest B
are holes broad enough for the Baltic Sea.

The boss, a billionaire hotelier
has never heard of the Hard Rock? That’s queer!

And it’s glaring since the plot’s central fight
hinges on this unlikely oversight.

For grown-up watchers, satiric attacks
are thrown in the form of Sandler wisecracks

at pointless targets like organically
grown food, Broadway, and not watching TV.

For kids, the yucks go exactly this far:
a horse passing gas, a booger monster,

a bulldog zealously sharing its drool,
a fire dancer pushed into a pool,

an extinguisher-foam-sprayed man, and, er
talking with your tongue out. (Good ol’ Sandler.)

Throw in product placement for Cinnabon,
and you’ve filled this burlap crap-sack of fun.

For family fare, there is no topping
The high standards set by Mary Poppins,

But, really, Adams, do you think you could
Make something even marginally good?

My four year old, at the closing credits
Frowned and declared this: “I did not like it!”


Friday, March 6, 2015

A Lithuanian Proverb (sneak peek)

A Lithuanian Proverb

When your drop a glass of wine in Lithuania
or bump a porcelain knickknack, shattering it,
they say Kamatka lapotcha, coka pooya schmoo.
I don’t remember the actual phrase at all,
but the meaning is to the effect that the earth—
reality—shifted around you, and you didn’t
so naturally, you didn’t keep up; and it’s not
wholly your fault that the teapot or peanut dish
didn’t align with you and only exists in shards
You and the world knock like misaligned gears.
The machine will right itself somehow—or
explode, destroying everything and leaving
Kidding! Things hardly ever fly hysterically apart
that way. You might fall against an aquarium,
killing ten red fish, then slip on one and bang
with the magistrate you were trying to petition.
A different saying applies in that case to the effect
that earth has shaken you like a sled dog shakes
into its harness, which makes it chafe, raising
a row of red sores under her haunch; and you
have to know she mustn’t run with tackle but
her slow healing and let her rest, or else
she could lose a leg. Now, if for reasons
of your own—whatever—you really need to
the truth, I made up the parts about the dog,
the aquarium and even knowing anything
about Lithuania, land of my ancestors—but
the part about how earth can shake you off.
I know I need this rest and that this
here invention salves a string of sore

Mired Divine, A sonnet

Going back into the oldish files for some poems that were lost in the pile. Here at least they'll breathe once more. 

This poem came from a time when I'd nearly given up on poetry for the first time in 20+ years. With my daughter at 3 years old, and my career as a copywriter picking up speed, I was losing track of why I pursued the ephemeral art at all. But thanks to meeting Poetic Asides , I found a respark and have continued with the practice unabated ever since. 30 years now!

This poem is about us humans.

"Mired Divine"

Such mucky bubbles we all are
with monkey grace and dirt and arm,
tied into our tangled blankets
needful as massageand thankless
under the airships of our dreams
bursting through Moissanite ceilings,
dropping our soiled gabardine

we spoiled in rain and gasoline
We’re puddles rainbowed with feeling
waking as angels, but screaming,
inventing stores of penny pranks,
rumbling ohms and ums and flatus...
Each of us born a stinky star
of spark and choice and rice we are.


P.S. This is an "onion sonnet" where the center is a rhymed couplet, and the rhymes go outward from there, so that the first line rhymes with the last.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Hear, hear! Hereto, hereby, hereupon, herewith hearty har-har hear hear!

Whereof? Hereof!

Zoetic Press said yes. My book's got a poetic address. I'm signing with the Zed imprint of Santa Cruz. Look at Z and me!

A person asked the Dalai Lama what his most cherished moment was. The answer: "this moment."

If I were a millipede, I could count on every limb a task that needs doing, a question that needs and answer, a step to take between this state and the state of published. If I were a millipede, I would walk, rippling, wherever I went. Perhaps I am one.

Fuckin' A! I'm getting big-time published!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Conga Rats.

Congratulations sir, that is amazing!
congratulations again on the publishing deal, Dan.  Proud of you!
That's great news! Congratulations, Daniel! I admire your persistence, and I'm glad it's been rewarded!
Woohoo! Congrats, man!
Wow so cool!  Great to hear!
A big Kudos to you, inspiring!
Congrats, Daniel - I'm proud to be a part of it!
Awesome Daneil Congratulations!
Hey congratulations Daniel can't wait to see the work...
Wow, Daniel, that is amazing and fantastic! Congrats! Sounds like you found the right home for it...

Mazel Tov!!! I'm so happy for you! Great job!!! Xoxoxo
This is absolutely WONDERFUL news.
yea daniel  hooray and congrats
Great news! Hope all goes well with that venture.
What a great story! Excited for you!
Mazel tov, Daniel! Glad to be a part of this your thriving universe-singing gladbeing unfurling : )

Friday, January 2, 2015


Because we’re brilliant, rich, full of fire and spirit. Because what happens doesn’t have to be anything other. Because already done already perfect. Yes, the whirling yes. Sweet of the bittersweet concerto, hello. Because we have less hair and more thought. Because god is in the machine, and god is playful. Yes.