On Blow

Students[1] and student’s authority figure discuss Kerouac’s “Essentials of Spontaneous Prose” – wonder, they do, what does the man mean writing blow for writing, outblown in writing, blow deep to write – ? – consider, they do, jazzman breathes into mouthpiece blow means breath maybe what is breath to writing to spontaneous writing what -?- Dunno – change subject. Wait. Before we leave the subject, what does this mean? Mean? It means you can’t do it wrong.

Blow boys and girls is more than breath but breath yes but more.

Blow is where breath meets soul, afterhours backroom chit chat yakkity yak – walking talking personal history, progressions, secrets, deep, fatal honesty – blow life, blow death, blow the next score – blow the state of things – home state, on the road state, my state, your state, state of the union, state of affairs – blow yer trysts, yer breaks, yer fixes. Unthought calculation, gyrating, vagabond path tuning head to tail – syncopation spilling, rhythm chilling, harmonic thrilling – blow breath mind blow Soul – intentional, exploratory – blow man blow progressive gaps, high register changes – blow vibrating particulate air into Copenhagenian waves pulsing past predictable Zeitgeistian horizons wetting sands of cosmological surf bum shores – not so far from here to there to not be heard but far enough to baffle swingspectation, dancespectation – Blow Intellectual toe tap, head nod – sound wise exorcism expelling The Blues – amaranthine ancient InsectInvisible infernal imps wall siting, crevice creeping, chronic, ubiquitous, lingering approximately beyond peripheral vision, perpetually waiting to twist hands just wrong, sour songs, turn words mind-inverse making a mess of everything – for a breathless while. Blow blows mind, fingers, lips – ears – syncopation – pitch – pace – alliteration. Blow meets soul afterhours backroom.

Per Jack spontaneous prose harmonizes with Blow. Poet’s blow. Writer’s blow. Ain’t easy Blow – she said it means you cannot do it wrong – flinched but deep down knowing her blowing not wrong resembles right. Can’t blow wrong boys and girls but it’s hard to blow write. Spontaneous blows from center out or down or away – rapid association, not random, unrelated, lacking syntax – out and back. Resolution in association – head, theme, home, start and go, go out, phrase tied to phrase tied to phrase streaming, steaming, hypertext screaming, allusion, allegory, alliteration, assonance, audilic metaphor, magicimagae metaphor, conceited step-sister metaphor speed yap out and away Further – round third and take a taxi home, collect mail – feed cats – then out once more into the twisting cosmos – webweaving Theseusian threads, gossamer rainbows, one pixel pixies dancing relations – every man and woman is a star – Repeat. Spontaneous, honest blow -Intellect meet Soul: they dance – embrace – get naked in the coat room – not wrong but never right except feels write – not wrong works – not works wrong – mutual orgasm alone – with keyboard.

Blow deep below the superficial small talk everyday hypocrisy. Blow deep beneath illusion, delusion – socially programmed games – IMeMy games. Blow deep – shadow place. Honesty chair-tied, half-naked beneath naked bulb – honestly patient hostage – Self-deception and Reptile Mind watch from safe behind one-way mirrors. Blow there corners blue shadow edges. Blow deep beneath Mind’s I. Blow yer Blues ingenuous – synthesize the bastards lying to you, you yourself lying to you undim calignosic secrets all your relations relating it all back again – theme – center – unchill inquiet audience/reader – tension of too far wandering troubling subconscious desire: release. Stray deep Blow deep – undadarandom, unonger mane, walkabout unlost resolving to tonic, harmonic of tonic, prismatic bending of tonic, gin and tonic. Martini?

Breath and Soul melded, named blow – Thesuessian all-color thread draped star strung man to woman to woman to man to infinite connections there is no difference. Buddha in Dog. Dog in Buddha. Dharma Bums acme bent octave escalation – plummet possible but you cannot fall off a mountain. Bring it back – bring it home – center, a center, some center, any center before the 32nd bar.


  1. This is another set of notes made in response to the ModPo class at coursea.org.  ↩

Fast Poem 35: It Doesn’t Make Sense

“It just doesn’t make sense!”

Ah, but it does make sense.

It always makes sense.

It makes more sense than one.

We may not have access to the sense it makes.

We may refuse verity of the sense it makes.

We may sense the sense it makes

but choose

no pursuit 

of the sense we sense,

embracing for the moment no sense 

which, makes no sense

when later we sense

we need to squeeze out some sense                      

to sense some peace of mind,

to get some sense of closure,

to move on.

Sometimes lack of data makes impossible making sense.

Sometimes we lack capacity 

to ingest and condense complexity,

to sculpt cosmic chaos into information

etched with sense of sense.

Sometimes sense fills us: hate,

anger,

tragedy,

threat,

mortality,

letting no excess length width or depth to fit sense.

Sometimes sanity requires denying sense;

“It does not make sense.”

“God works in mysterious ways.”

“It is Satan’s work.”

so we can breath again.

There is no difference between denys

except in words.

Each finite,

valid until

sense illuminates the manuscript

or The End unmatters the matter.

Before,

after, 

neither trigger-event nor sense of event dissipates, bends, or mutates.

Beneath it all it makes the sense it makes.

It always makes sense.

It makes more sense than one,

but sometimes it feels better to cry,

to just to cry,

and that’s okay.

It makes sense

sometimes to cry 

just cry.

It makes sense.

It makes more sense than one.


Via an alter-ego I participate in online course offered by Coursea.org. The course, ModPo (Modern Poetry) is taught/led/guided/coached/illuminated by Al Filreis, Kelly Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania. This was my first encounter with his work. 

I experienced a spiritual weirdness watching the video introducing the course. Ten seconds in I felt that if I should see Al Filreis on the street I would approach, thank him, grab him by the shoulders and rub my beard against his beard, give him a high-five, thank him again, grab his hands and force him to dance an ad-hoc polka and finally grab his right-hand with both of mine and shake his arm off. His enthusiasm for poetry made me feel like I’d found my way home after years of wandering the wilderness, keeping the sun always at my back.

Yet, I disagree with at least 1/2 of what is said and taught in the class – disagree is probably too strong a word – let me say I have ideas below, beyond, sideways, or even above what is said and taught in the class – a condition I find inspiring, illuminating and wonderful.

The poem “It Doesn’t Make Sense” was written in response to a ModPo forum thread. During discussion of Gertrude Stein’s Let Us Describe someone said “Sometimes things don’t make sense.” This led to a quick discussion of “Life not always making sense.” linked to the language experiments of Stein and other Modernist poets. On the forums, for better or worse, my alter ego questioned what sense life does not make. In response, another ModPo participant offered a link to Joan Didion’s essay “White Album.” , generously suggesting it might help my alter-ego grok how life sometimes does not make sense. Several pages of the essay can be read here. I think pages 11 to 14 are those intended. To me, the essay validated the question “What sense does life not make?”, which means my alter-ego did a crappy job explaining himself. I wrote the poem so he maybe, might, sorta find a way to better articulate his resistance to the idea that life sometimes does not make sense.

Fast Poem 34: On Interpretation

What criteria do you use to determine right interpretation from wrong?

Who wrote the criteria down. Did they contemplate for long

before reaching consensus? Do they intend one day to tell us; 

down here in the trenches, we the lowly masses, 

how to think so that we comply? 

What rules we must apply

to determine should we deny 

or accept an interpretation 

as worthy of consideration –

wrong or right,

day or night,

black or white?

And if we find between lines a song

unwritten laws deem can not belong

do we bag and set it curbside

or self-thinking decide

which voice stands out –

the wrong, embryonic shout

or the mature murmur of right

safe but rutstuck tight.

-Note on the Poem-

An alter-ego is taking a class at coursea.org named Fantasy and Science Fiction: Our Modern World, The Human Mind. The professor delivered a video lecture proffering interpretations can be wrong. On a discussion forum, my alter-ego disagreed with the professor’s position. Another student disagreed with him and sided with the professor. The dialogue progressed a step or two before my alter-ego, better late than never, asked me for input. I offered this.

First Peson Singular: A Confession

I dislike writing first-person singular. When my pen initiates a page, paragraph or phrase with that monolithic, icicle character I, I cringe. Yet, for a confession, first-person singular feels appropriate.

This is a confession.

When writing, I seek playfulness, beauty and interest. In my poetry, I try to share the awe and wonder Universe inspires in my small Mind. Up or down, joy or despair, attraction or threat matters little. All tones and timbre reflect complexity, mystery and evoke reverence. Intuition and intellect wrap experience with mysterious ribbons of interpretation. All my relations to all the nouns dance like moonlit gossamer yarns lightly tugged by breezes. In prose, I attempt to catch more elusive but equally beautiful efforts of human spirit; patterns we create with symbols, logic and critical thought.

I must walk with the words written but not dominate. They are the stars and I am small, the universe huge. When I see first-person singular crop up, I know I’ve wandered from the path. I walk into the small room of IMeMine.

As I write the irritating series on pornography featured in my previous few posts, I feel lost in the IMe of Mine. Not just lost, but off the path, over the cliff into the raging torrent. Jammed against fallen trees of triviality, my foot wedged in river rock ambiguity, I flounder. I read no beauty, complexity or wonder in my pornography posts. 

In my defense, before writing, reviewing paragraphs in my head, the words fit together, make me laugh and give pleasure. On paper, not so much. They lose all charm.

I cannot blame the topic. Some pornography treats subjects beautifully. If we adhere to the dictionary definition, one could argue the pornography I find beautiful is not pornography but art. I cannot be certain. What level of artistic merit does a photograph of labia enveloping a penis require before it can cross-over to art?

Therein lies my obsession. When does explicit depiction become art? It never stops being explicit depiction. 

Who decides when it becomes art? 

Where do they go to decide?

When will they tell us what they have decided?

Making pornography more artistic, in my experience, fails to reduce the level of excitement felt by the audience. The opposite, in fact. Sexual works created without talent and care, created to display sex with no concern for lighting, composition, form, color or poetry, are less likely to excite. Harsh ugliness acts as a cold shower to the imagination. The more artistic the pornography, the more exciting. (except, I suspect, for fetishists who live for the harsh in art and pornography)

My sample audience was quite small but I did record a 100% agreement. Beautiful is more sexy.

I could go on for pages. Oops. Done that already. 

I apologize. I feel pressured against my better judgement, by some hidden neurosis, to continue writing the smut pages. At publication of each post I feel relief. I sigh “Now that is over I can get on with with nice writing.”

Next morning, I wake with pornography blocking the poetry. A wall that threatens to remain until I satisfactorily explain to myself where the line is drawn between pornography and art. I bore myself, and you too, until I know where pornography stops and art begins.

I cannot see this coming to a success ending.

Ah. Good. Now that is over I can get on with my own writing.

Trust30 – Day 4: Postit and Life Challenges

Identify one of your biggest challenges at the moment (ie I don’t feel passionate about my work) and turn it into a question (ie How can I do work I’m passionate about?) Write it on a post-it and put it up on your bathroom mirror or the back of your front door. After 48-hours, journal what answers came up for you and be sure to evaluate them.

Post-it note? Are you kidding. Where am I going to find a post-it note?

Biggest Challenge at the Moment: (Other than I have no Post-it notes) Lost my voice.

Question from Challenge: How to acquire a useful voice.

Answers and Evaluation:

  • Stop reading insipid crap and start reading works by authors with voices worth stealing, er, borrowing. Not sure this exercise takes me in that direction, though it makes my lips curl in smile; somewhat smug; remembering a 7th grade English teacher, an innocent at 55 years who never traveled beyond state lines, trying to explain Silas Marner, a pre-industrial tale written by an English woman named George, to a room of bored American boys and girls whose primary literary sources were Stan Lee and Beatrice Potter and whose only dramatic experiences emanated from cathode ray tubes.
  • Try not to write run-on sentences. Though fun for the writer they tend to piss off readers.
  • Bury seriousness. If Pen does not have tongue planted firmly in cheek, chances are the lazier, uglier, dimwitted, brother of Muse has locked Muse Proper in the closet again.
  • Practice, practice, practice does not always work. Honest. It keeps the fingers and hand muscles toned but can, if pushed too far, dull the mind. When writing produces over-serious, proselytizing prose, stop writing and organize; make outlines, mind-maps or a new pot of coffee. Digging the same ditch, again and again, ruins the dirt, wastes the day and interferes with drinking.
  • Politics distract from art. Stop thinking about politics. My politics run too conventional to be of interest to Pen or reader. Stop writing political drivel. It’ll save up to 72 hours a day – guaranteed or your money back.

Could keep writing excuses for another hour or so but nothing of value appeared in the few minutes invested thus far. I doubt anything of value is likely to appear with more time invested.

So. Finished. Yes. To liking? Not so much. Enough to move on. Yup.

© 2008-2012 Chromia Poetics