Tuesday, August 6, 2013

In the early 1980s, Eva Poole-Gibson managed to pull together enough resources to have poets come from all over California to participate in a large-scale poets-in-the-schools program. Some of the poets who were part of this event were Gail Newman, Kit Robinson, Katherine Harer, Jack Grapes, Duane Big Eagle, John Oliver Simon and myself. I don’t remember off-hand whether this gathering happened two or three times. At one of the meetings, all of the poets contributed to a group poem, which was run off on orange paper without much of an attempt to establish consistency. Some line start with capital letters; others don’t. I’ve tried to reproduce the poem’s wording as accurately as possible. This collaboration remains one of my favorite instances of working as a poet.




That fleck of snow especially

I can ride my purse like a butterfly

The seconds watching the sky and the clouds

trying to find odd pictures

My home, where, in the theaters, the audience is

the performers and the performers, the audience

I smell what people are thinking

Clocks like to tick and tock helplessly for people

Air like whisper of cloud but not very loud

Animal land is as big as ten football stadiums

It’s actually a figmentation of your imagination

Planet 1981 is old and fake

Mountains look like clay shaped objects of glass

Your voice crying out in a dark closet

Listen to the birds sing and cheer

I’m battered by the question

My chair is hot and tired

I feel like needles

Some feelings I have never talked about in my life

The cat whips by as fast as the noises

of an ocean a million years ago

Because he is very very skeleton

this bed has an eye I’ve never seen before

the size of the rag is 20

executing the unknown through passion

a shaver for Bob Hope

inside this balloon I have a big safe

made of grey steel

the iron wings of time

nausea is a season, it’s winter

my book loses its letters

inside my heart it’s the shape of a fist

my days will be exciting

as big as a young world

it smells like a dog’s breath

with no color, it’s just glass

beside barracuda Connecticut come a cut

a cake of half a cab

he always would turn ten times and spit

a bucket is like an image in the grass

to tease a nervous grandmother is like a neon sign

my feelings are the color of the walls

a screen burst out, a hint to a mystery

we wallpapered the house and found the key

a murmur is heard as a flavor seeps through

a black rose, its thorns tearing at your heart

salamander stilt damsel flies

tunes, tunes that name

waves, waves of yards

what we feel is real

I’m a big one in space

running fingers stumble, cry out, talent, no!

yes yes YES!

baseball feels like tension in the worst degree

if she’s running from the sun, what’s she doing

living in a lightbulb?

and then the eagle turns back to a statue

I then lit a bulb and saw thousands of hands

mountains looking down upon the people like bald eagles

unneeded horses munching contentedly

it has no hair and funny symbols like this: SUN WORLD

my hair is stubby because I have to shave it off

when I wear shorts

I believe in dinner

I sit in a chair and look at the door

my flat ball feels like a rotten smashed egg

the right eye keeps getting in the left eye’s way

like a curious giant they bend across the path

at the beginning it was joyment

it was the truth of my mind

in the back of the truck a carpet on top of the mattress

I can sleep without blankets

blankness freezes your mind to an embarrassment

poems taste like ice cream

the spider says, until I have a cobweb I will not eat

the bushes have clouds in them

Two birds lift an interchangeable color

MY OUTSIDE SELF is as flat as can be

I poured popcorn on the lion’s head

Watermelons are growing through the

windows of your house

a single fragment of nature’s imagination, yet so am I

shadows that talk harshly

cowboy likes his sister’s horse

he was getting tires at school

all I do is watch a white horse run

through orange poppies

my special power is the way I live

my hair is blowing like a tornado

leaving behind the song of walls that go

to and fro over the places of room

maybe nobody is magic but it wouldn’t hurt!

heat ripples in the air and sand

hitting the glass of my helmet

I see sun birds

a lady with antennas in a glass rocket

having those stars twinkling in your beautiful face

my dreams are in a bottle with 100 red doors

many lost games led to perfect perfection

nobody knows except the spiny shadow of the moon

my face is in trouble, red is the mask of reality

I feel like I have a bone in my head

the dinosaurs were good at first

I want the world to turn faster