just always bewildered

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On the train this morning I saw a tall young woman wearing a kind of “boater” hat with a veil.  She looked chic, not witchy.  She wore some kind of long clingy gray skirt, and I noticed as she walked out of the train that she was carrying a copy of Anais Nin’s Delta of Venus.  She was reading erotica on the train!
Then walking toward Pratt I saw a tall and very chic woman in a fitted camo jumpsuit and an astrakhan hat she wore at an angle.
What does it mean that I saw these women on 11/1/11? Day after Halloween. They were so tall. I am so down, and not tall at all.
It was a cold Halloween and not so splendid as on other recent years, although we made a brave and beautifully absurd effort on Sunday at the Poets’ Parade. There we were, a Raven, Lady Lazarus, Spiderwoman, Tippi Hedren in The Birds, a Viking, a scary guy, some leopards, a Chinese opera guy, a Dickinson-inspired skeleton, etc., etc., out in the cold night with a bullhorn, with only a few curious onlookers stopping here and there.
I try to stay attentive to things.
Two poets I heard recently impressed me very much. One was the wild genius that is David LRSN.  He said “bee of Voltaire,” but for some reason I heard “B of Voltaire,” as in “B of A.” He also said/read:

It was an uphill ballet
Just to arrive with paradise pockets
and
one of those solar creatures whose face hurts from smiling so much
and
I’d like to thank the octopus
that gave its arms
so I could sing this song

The other reader was Rae Armantrout.  I wrote down these lines:

demons handle route tasks
once we’re in the zone
they’re sexy because they’re needy, which degrades them
to be dressed is to emit virtual particles
after the apocalypse
we will all be in a band.
we will understand each other perfectly
the spurious pours forth as fish and circuses

I don’t know.  More and more I find that I like to hear poems coming out of poets’ mouths and bodies and that I am less interested in reading books, although I do like how books keep poems in this cryonic place and all you have to do is wake them up.
Recently I bought a funky copy of David Shapiro’s 1969 Poems from Deal at Unnameable Books. It is POETRY. How did I not know I needed this book. Who knows, maybe it was my book? Everything confuses me.

How wonderful to be in the arms of cerebral creatures.
You taste garage, moon, strength.
You have only a live child and fresh water on your arms.

I am always scraping myself up off the floor. I have less idea than ever of why I am, or might be, alive. Am I really actually here? Are you?
I also read Fanny Howe’s essays in The Wedding Dress.  I have a hard time relating to the religious parts, but not “On Bewilderment.” Here, please, read some of it.  I am awed by its perspicacity:

The serial poem attempts to demonstrate this attention to what is cyclical, returning, but empty at its axis. To me, the serial poem is a spiral poem.
In this poetry circling can take form as sublimations, inversions,echolalia, digressions, glossolalia, and rhymes.
….
The whirling that is central to bewilderment is the natural way for the lyric poet. A dissolving of particularities into the solid braid of sound is her inspiration.
….
What Shelley called “the One Spirit’s plastic stress” and Hopkins called “instress” is this matching up of the outwardly observed with the internally heard.
A call and response to and from a stranger is implied.
Or a polishing of a looking glass where someone is looking in and out at the same time.
Particularities are crushed and compacted and redesigned to produce a new sound.
The new sound has muted the specific meaning of each word and a perplexing music follows.
Themes of pilgrimage of an unrequited love, of wounding and seeking come up a lot in this tradition.
Every experience that is personal is simultaneously an experience that is supernatural.
….
The human heart, transforming on a seventy-two hour basis … in a state of bewilderment, doesn’t want to answer questions so much as to lengthen the resonance of those questions.
….
One definition of the lyric might be that it is a method of searching for something that can’t be found.

OK I will stop quoting from this. If what I have excerpted here interests you, I recommend that you read it, since it is beautiful.
What else in my mind did I tell myself I wanted to write about.  I feel like the All Tomorrow’s Parties girl a little bit in that it’s Monday and I am crying behind the door.  I mean it is Tuesday but it feels like Monday since yesterday as Halloween still had the fragrance of the strange. It was fun on the weekend that Kasey was here to visit. He left a pile of poems in my recycling pile amongst NY Timeses getting ready to be thrown out.  I rescued the poems to peruse at leisure.
One moment post-parade I liked so much I will preserve it here.  As we were descending into the subway at West 4th at the end of the evening, we passed a strikingly miserable-looking beggar.  Kasey ripped one of the dollar bills off of my costume and gave it to him.
Last night I made the pronouncement that I didn’t like slutty Halloween costumes. Kasey begged to differ.  He said that they should be either slutty or scary, or both if at all possible.  Since I was dressed last night as some kind of Bavarian mime peasant, or just some silly color scheme, I was neither slutty nor scary, I felt a little inadequate, but then I so often do, rock star moves notwithstanding.
dumb violent grin
I did the laundry.
coping – with a kind of fragile – yellowness.  um, huh.
shut up your xylophone.
MLK Jr. fucks his mistresses’ vaginas.
the hairy slits of civil rights
little curly uncertainties
specialty glass – I’m
on another pane
rumbling deft insides –
reader, I married him.
wasn’t that…?
the raw edges of the fennel.
fluorescent swoosh all over the stupid branded universe.
what do you care about? all swollen up
like beaming amphibians.

obliged
to insert
a clove of garlic.

maybe I need to be more distant, like an orange bird

I love plastic.
It’s cheap and easy to buy.
And it’s a great vehicle for color.

like black hair on a watermelon. flax goop.
smush her. like a rotten grape.
we made the world this way? “New York”?
the rats come tumbling out, exultant.
chaos swings all around, “bop prosody” a perverted smidge.
Shtreimel? [I wonder] Or Spodek?

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