Wednesday, June 24, 2015

half a poem from VERSE

Rosa Maria Jauregui, June 13, 1953. Age 4. Oakridge.

A few notes on governing. (daybook day 3, jun 23)

Nationality is an outmoded concept.
Identity is flawed idea.
Smiling is overrated.
Dark skin isn't as pretty as other skin.
White fences keep out bad neighbors.
Countries don't exist in my country.
Dragons be there. And there. In that country.
Dragon skin is scaly and beautifully tinted.
There are no ideas in my nation.
Individuality is based on a popular misconception.
The border around my town is a wall.
The wall around my town is there for a reason.
The moat around the wall around my town helps to keep out the Philistines.
There are no gays in my nation.
There are too many gays in the principalities to the west.
Beauty is a silly idea, and outdated reliance.
A relationship requires concordance or discord.
The chords to this song are C-G-D.
This song is simple so we may bring our words to the Lords.
The Lords who run this town don't want old people here.
In the village to the east, everyone is under 30 years of age.
Everyone is beautiful, which is too bad because it's outmoded.
Socialism is better when it's a spectacle.
In this way it's not much different than fascism.
In this country, nationhood is more than badges, flags, and emblems.
Identity is based on difference. Please don't be diffferent.
Be yourself! Write what you know!
Don't write about yourself in the Town Square.
Start your own country with a book you bought from Loompanics.
Play hip-hop to prove your relevance but not in this country.
Keep your states to yourself. Keep your rights to yourself.
Impose your rights on others but colonize them gently.
Soldiers in your pocket can be pressed into multi-purpose.
Only kill a few.
Only eat a few.
Only eat as much as you can kill.
Raise the children in your country like it's all one big village.
Tribal norms will keep us together.
Love is all you need. Love is all around.
In our country pop music is used for propaganda.
Don't get pregnant.
Identity is malleable.
Please stop talking about fluidity already; everyone knows that's a load of hooey.
I asked Madeline Mary about the immaculate conception.
The birth rate in your country is declining.
This is the way it's supposed to be.
It goes like this.
Eat your peas and gravy, my boy.
Patrol the borders and stay awhile.
When it's all over, the sun will still set in the west,
the moon will still climb the sky,
and everything will still be available
for a limited time.

daybook poem day 2 (6/22/15)

Why I hate American History
has nothing to do with having
or not having or guns or flags
or powdered wigs or movies
with Edward Norton.It has no
thing to do with cigar store
Indians, Harriet Tubman on
the ten or the twenty & very
little to do with Andrew Johnson
who I was recently informed
is the only president to have
been impeached which is clearly
not the case because William
Jefferson Clinton was also
impeached, just not removed
from the Oval Office of the Blue Dress
& this is not why I hate American
History. The square office I sit in now
on this Day of Our Lord, June 22, 2015
is "lonely and austere" & has nothing
to do with love despite the black
& white photos sitting on the scanner
& anyway this is not about love
of History or the Nazi Channel
which I admit to watching too much
of, meaning I am now Middle Aged
but not middle-aged enough
to watch golf on television yet, which,
according to the dead American
George Carlin, is "like watching flies fuck."
I don't hate American History because
today, 6/22/15 anno domini, was
the day in 1992 that the "Teflon Don"
John Gotti was sentenced to die. I don't
even hate the America that sentenced
Sacco & Vanzetti to perish, or because
Abraham Lincoln wrote "shall not perish
from the earth," and so far has been correct.
This is all part of American History
but it is not America and I don't hate it.
I don't hate that you left me & took
what I most loved, I don't confuse you with
America, or her history, or other things
I do not hate. What I hate are the long
silences & the gap between this life
and the next, the self that continues
to slowly erase itself, the self that erodes
in small-town America. The life
that I don't hate but can't bear to live inside
but live inside anyway. I don't hate
Margaret Mitchell or racist novels but I
don't understand racism. I don't hate
racists, but I don't understand their
America. I'm trying to put together
a version of history that includes
harmless things like coffee mugs & tomes
of verse & children who don't have
the sort of life that prompts them to say
"why are White people so mean?" & children
who have never seen--or heard of a gun--
this is not the America I live in, neither is it
Whitman's America, or Thoreau's. I don't hate
dead white mean, bearded or not. I think American
History is a thing--incapable of thought or action,
thus not something to hate. This is why I
like the song American Girl by the still very
much living American Tom Petty. I don't
hate American History. I wish our America
could exist in small ways, like this photo I found
of little Rosa Jauregui, age four and a half,
sitting in front of tract housing, adjacent
to a railroad track in 1953. I don't hate
American History. I just don't like Americans
all that much sometimes. But this is not why
I hate American History. I keep trying to breathe.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Summer Daybook Project, day 1

Out in the back yard, we push plastic forks into the soil as markers for future vegetation. The purslane, though, grows on its own, no fork necessary.
In the near distance ("alli") past the rotting past-due fence is an almost-imposing structure of blue and grey metal siding that looks like a small-town, river-adjacent Quonset hut. I don't know which war we're fighting anymore, but I do know that the finches, the towhees, the jays have all moved into tract housing in another part of North America, early, it seems, this year. The mourning dove and her brothers in shaky alliance, the crows and ravens, remain, though distant, in another tree.