Showing posts from November, 2013

Engineered furnishings, illustrated by Reza Farazmand

Happy Birthday to Me! And here's one of my funniest poems, illustrated by the very funny Reza. Get some chuckles today at his site Poorly Drawn Lines . And read below. In case the poetry thing doesn’t work out for me, you’ll be relieved to know I have skills. I build bookshelves, dressers, closets, cabinets, and other furniture from prefab pieces. I am a craftsman of only the finest particle boards and composites. I have tools, the complete set: a hammer, and not one but two screwdrivers. I’ve also amassed some screws and several Allen wrenches (now safely kept behind the dryer. If I need them, I’ll get a magnet and string.) I can read Swedish charts more or less, and I can construct a brand new night stand in fewer than four goddamn-fuck-its. If I start at sunrise, by midafternoon I’ll have one new shelf and a few new BandAids. Engineered furnishing. It’s a train: fast, smooth and streamlined. And I’m the engineer—choo-choo!

Jungle revival, illustrated by Kyle Trujillo

Even after watching him smack face first into countless trees over endless days, the ape named Ape had still not fully guessed the depths of his friend George’s naiveté— not until George’s “Doggie,” Shep traversed the ancestral passage to the graveyard of elephants. George continued calling for Shep at dusk and setting out huge plates of chow insisting he would be hungry when he came home. George’s mate Ursula and Ape both tried to explain what dying was, but George would open a breadfruit and shout, “Here, Shep!” Ape was awed at the Living Saint of Primal Innocence; and he left to live with his ape tribe. He was afraid of seeing George laid on his own deathbed. Meanwhile, George still lives, calling his dog, Shep.

No one moves, illustrated by Roz Chast

Roz Chast! I just have to say before the feature poem begins: I am backflippingly thrilled to have Roz Chast's art in my book. Besides having loved her panels for years, she's also in a book that provided early inspiration for my current project: What The Songs Look Like , illustrated lyrics of Talking Heads. See more of Roz Chast's wonderful, funny, subtle art at her website . And now... No one moves Public chess set in the Galleria with 4-foot kings and queens: I’ve never seen anybody play. You’d have to be a chess player to suggest putting one in. Maybe some assistant set it via the mall manager. I know that a queen can be moved by a pawn—but nobody plays, far as I’ve seen, as I eat frozen yogurt, listening to podcasts at three. Watching a match would seem hilarious in San Francisco’s stylishly stifled downtown daylight. I imagine someone putting lipstick on the kings or stacking the castles in a pyramid pattern after hours, after the stodgy sun h

After the party, illustred by Ann Sheng

My friends visit, and I feast, storing up memories, storing up memories for when they’re gone and I stand by the cupboard with my hands, with my hands talking over each other like they do when thoughts rupture so fast over my head. If forever were mine, I would be still as a painting and reach the exquisite end of wonder. Wonder why. Now my hands are recalling their American faces. I suppose we’re the same around the world—but being understood at last! Mother, I’ll return. Mother, I’ll return, but first I’m knitting this unforgettable, missing garment from the way my friends are no longer here. My hands knitting in the Sri Lankan sun, knitting what’s gone, knitting what’s not yet gone. *** This poem was published with the illustration by Ann Sheng in Wisdom Crieth Withou t, issue 10.