Saturday, December 3, 2011

"Cleanup Crew" - Chapter One, part 1

We called ourselves "The Cleanup Crew".

We'd go out on duty early early morning & late at night. Always 2, sometimes 3 of us. 1 or 2 to hold back the homeless person, or subdue them with a taser, the other to dump out their "belongings", and sort them into either usables or recyclables. Some homeless were quite patient, and they'd just watch us pull out plastic bags and jesus tracts one from the next.
"Duty" was always educational and we did it to help people. We only had to kill one person, and that's a long story for later.
Sometimes we'd get their good things down to one bag- show it to them & give it back. One man we took to an all night diner & listened to him over coffee for nearly four hours. He was early on, and I think we saved both our lives.. again, another story for a bit later.
Mini Van bumper sticker soccer mom came thru once and got her business in ours, other than that we'd be pretty discreet and move locales if we had to.
Inspiration for the beginning of the cleanup crew began with Mina.

We'd moved into the neighborhood from another part of the city and it wasn't a week before we saw her- big puffy new bright red coat at the beginning of fall when everyone was still out sporting shorts. She'd mill around the pizza place up the block when outdoors and we'd constantly see her passing the downstairs window.
Jake gave her chow from time to time even tho' she wasn't asking for it, or even asking for money. She'd smile & nod and talk to herself- a mumblespeech which was sometimes animated with ticks and retorts from imaginary friends. Her silent, profound emoting led us to believe that maybe she was an actress in another life.
She was off the street at night, but we could only guess at where she slept.
Two months pass, and we see her with a greater and greater infrequency, to the point of our thinking maybe she'd been arrested. Each time we spy her she seems sad. Stooped with disappointment. Dirty and downturned in the mouth. Then the baggage.
Each one bigger than the last and filled with a large amount of detritus. Then we'd see her sleeping on the street with a trail of trash leading up to her. She'd become this stinking eyesore you could find anywhere without looking very hard.
She passed out on our doorstep early one evening in December during a first snow and we knew something must be done immediately...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Seven Years Old- true story transcribed from a letter

I see a little boy in my thoughts and he is alive. He listens to Dr. Seuss on an old record album that his mom bought him and he reads along with the story. It is around Xmas because I see the lights twinkling from the tree. He is 7 years old and full of hope and joy. He does not know that his parents are fighting in the kitchen. His dad sits him down on the couch and explains as well as he can that he has to go away. The boy just thinks it is temporary. I'm sure that he was not aware that his life was just starting to fall apart and so he grows up not knowing anything. His father finds companionship as does his mother. He continues to grow.
His stepmother yells at him. His dad is not aware, the boy does not care. His life is OK. The boy loves his family and he is happy by himself. His father gives him his guitar and he plays and plays that guitar. That guitar made his dad depressed because he used to play songs to his wife.
Both families live, and die, in good health, and the boy lives on to become something great.

The End.

"I always wonder what this world would be without artists. It would not be original, it would be generic and boring. Perhaps hell is a world without art and music. My life is art, heaven is art, forget this all."

-I. Bonnet

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sometimes Model - a random portfolio, a short essay

The rose is without why.
It blossoms because it blossoms.

Dear Riva-
As regards your question from Sunday concerning what the model is thinking about while working, or "on stage":

A swarm of things wants to come out of me in response to this question- none of which takes precedence other than.. sex.
I suppose male models can't really indulge in thinking about it for catching an erection, (and I've had some "models only" dinner parties, but seemed to have failed to ask this question.) But thinking about it gets me out of my body faster than anything else.
Not that escape or even "meditation" of some sort is the ultimate goal. Sometimes I try to not get too relaxed or I'll start to fall asleep.

My fears with modeling include, superficially, getting a flat ass and/or a weak heart from all the sitting- but that's why I have a responsibility to yoga and cardio, and to eat well- but also the times when modeling will not be the work I choose to do anymore for whatever reason (bad joints, poor health, new job, etc.) It seems to be such a fulfilling thing to be doing at this time in my life, I suppose I just don't want it to end. Maybe that's simply a fear of change that rules all of us to some degree.

I feel more a part of this community than I have the community for my own art form (writing poetry), and in a big city too! I'm from a small town and strange rivalries and friendships are made on every level of expertise. I don't sense it, but is there a Northside/Southside art rivalry? Maybe they are completely (almost) separate worlds? I think my process could benefit from exposure to this on a large scale, having come from the country (western PA).

Anyway, I'm getting off base here.
I don't feel personally hypersexual or preoccupied with sex itself as a subject, even tho' I'm sure I have quite a lot to say about it.
It tends to enter into my mind on its own more often probably for my occasionally forcing it there to launch myself out of some pain I may have to endure for as long as 20 minutes.

Being a model (and my dyslexic self causes me to switch the last two letters of that word constantly) has caused me to deal with pain differently.
Breathing into it to explore it, finding what muscles surround it to shift into to get out of it or away from it. Stretching on a break, or putting ointment on it to confront it.
Lauren Levato mentioned she notices that I reveal my true(er) self when I model... who knows, maybe the artist who is looking carefully can tell when I go away, then come back into myself.

Right when you asked me this, it was the first break, and earlier I'd been thinking about my aunt, father's older sister, who is quite sick and may die very soon.
Those very questions of morality, philosophy and great thinking lead to, sometimes, a preoccupation on the stand with a line or two of poetry. Most likely something new to compose.

Very rarely also a song will stick in my head- it happened once & I had the occasion to tell an artist about it and he went online and ordered a cheap CD of it for me right then. It was great!

But that's an overview of a little bit of my mindset during figure work... photography is a whole other beast we'll have to talk about someday.



Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Blast Fortune

2 Years ago, I started this blog, "Four Letter World", as an outlet for writing and other personal art/ephemera.
Today I celebrate the further potentialities by changing the name to coincide with a .blogspot address:

Also, a fantastic ebook from Pangur Ban Party has just been released with a story of mine in the line up. Pretty proud to be part of this crew:

Hope all is well with you and yours.
See you post Halloween.

Dana Jerman

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Thank Others For Your Sanity Daily- 28 Feb. 1998

"NO, fuck! That's my birthday too, dude! I just turned 18!!"

I offer my hand in a high five he was too stunned to complete right away as he sat across from me in the well-lit bottom floor of Duquesne Towers.
That's how it all began, though.
The exchange of the fact of the shared birthday- us and Smokey Robinson and Seal (black vocalists, this one no different) and our same destination! Toga party @ Binh's.
"A quarter? Sure. For an apple pie?"
I smiled my stupid smile in a fresh-from-Sam-Goody Korn T-shirt. Reading the blue "How to survive your freshman year" booklet.
Tip 1: Bring alotta booze.

Jill arrives in the blue Toyota @ 10 instead of 9. We're pissed, but just glad she's here. Wendy dressed up almost naked in peter pan toga garb. She delivered us safely home, all thanks to tolerance.
Jill- the 23 yr old grad student- in Devil Red. Her oily white blond pixie cut shining from glittery face powder like Wendy.

123 in the South Side. Smile where I fucked you last.
Many beautiful individuals, past the glow room, the kitchen, the bathroom. Standing beside the sink. "Wanna go for a walk?" (This is me to Eugene.)

Outside into the many blocks of winding streets. Down to the corner with the white car and opposite the convenience store. February in Pittsburgh. I lean into his big jacket, on the car listening to his words, loving every melody of motion they created. How suddenly I'd found someone special.
Past Nick's Fat City on the main drag to Tuscany on the corner.
Lemon and Orange and Cinnamon. His colors and the coffee shops and mine.
Paid for my house blend and we sat in the back. Too briefly.
Back to the party. Then home. Home sweet dormroom.

Megan in "I'm dying!" mode. Wendy in hyperdrive. Me between Arturo and Eugene in the back seat: in heaven.
Crawling into the elevator to the 7th floor. Playing doctor to Megan and girlfriend to Eugene until 3am. I smiled and kissed him, he smiled and kissed me back. Only the presumptuousness of youth scared sober with love causes one to laugh nervously as they ask: "Do you want to see my dick?"
Another nervous laugh from me as I say "No."
Vampires in the bathroom. Jessica polishing off the VDK with her friends.
Sitting in silence with the Xmas lights on. People screaming up the street below.
Christmas on a cracker, it was a good night.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


On September Eleven, Year Two Thousand and One, I was in college in Indiana, Pa.

Went to class that morning, which was promptly cancelled. The instructor had friends in NYC whom she'd just been with the week prior. She couldn't get hold of them via phone, and was visibly distraught. A TV was on in a lounge, and I watched it with some others for a little while.

Outside. Headed back to my dorm room. Then I discovered all classes were cancelled for the day.
I decided to go to my mother's office (in now nonexistent Gordon Hall) instead.
A TV had been brought into her space. She had work to do so she wasn't watching that intently, but her boss and I were when the 2nd plane came thru.

It was then I opened my notebook and started taking notes.

I worked part-time at a radio station back then, and knew I'd have to be there in the evening, maybe into the next day after this. I took notes the whole time.

The following are the transcriptions of the few pages I kept of things heard and observed.

There is no pattern.
There is no peace.

Men walking into the white dust
Fire, Police, ATF.
("We saw on Television")
Cloth in the window.
Media incompetence/inflated speculation- since 2000?
1991 clip faked- misdirected hostility
FOX best footage sensationalist
Black smoke and cameramen
110 stories
Surrounding buildings collapsed- Man carrying other's bags
American flag still wavering on TV
Gulianni on Telephone "Democracy is our Future"
Reiterate the Facts.
Mayhem 9am-11am
BUSH SPEAKS- Placated statement
Flight 11
Flight 77
Boston to LA hijacked by suicide "damage"? terrorists
Eyewitness bodies
Firetrucks demolished by debris
(Saviors go in to die)- Lost Firefighters
Western Pa Seword, H-city, PowerPlant Area
Comparison to Pearl Harbor
Gaping hole- dramatic smoke (on the water)
Both collapsed
Evacuate thru basement
Company sponsored terrorist acts! (this bomb brought to you by Verizon)
Oliver North - Al Haig - WAR!
Pentagon, F to A, plane collapse
-Have something to do with Gore and Clinton!
Stock markets closed/ never opened
economic carnage
2:05 pm Evacuated - bomb threat- taped and cautioned off
United and American Airlines
2- 757
2- 767
#'s 77, 11, 175, 93
Bush- from FLA to Lou. to Nebras. to
more than 50,000 people in center
Osama Bin Laden?- Afghanistan/Iraq/Middle E./Israel-Palistinians
Land dispute- Libya, Syria, Sudan
Voice Recorder "The Black Box"
Flights bound to LA- most fuel, least amount of time between conveniences
THREAT CON DELTA- highest formulated response for FBI & CIA alert Military
gravity kills
threat received against presidential mansion/residence
Yasser Arafat announcement- excited PLA
"The lure of the innocent"
Fed. Emerg. Response plan
Washed out holocaust film footage
abandoned bike
The Nature of Credible Threats
calling in threats
4 hijacked and are missing = 8 total?
asbestos/toxcicity/clothes blown right off
stoney creek township
where did #5 go down?
Somerset- shot down by apache helicopters? (coming 45 degree angle)
Newark to San Fran
No chunky debris, 45?ft crater, clipped trees, smoke, fire
Def Con 4
Capitol- car bomb
Camp David/White House intended target
FBI/Tom Ridge Press
9:58am call from bathroom
turned at Cleveland
Ignored warnings from associates of unpresedented US attack (blowback)
Cold War- well defined enemy
walking out of (US) on racist conference
boxcutters & knives- back of plane.
Tom Brokaw/Peter Jennings/Dan Rather
1,200 businesses
99 elevators
1976- Architectural edifices 1,350 ft. tall
6 stories of rubble
9/12- Noon. Somerset FBI Press Conference
6,000 body bags on standby
10:_ - President Address
Chuck Schumer (D.NY)- "New Era- Middle Ages clock)
US- the new colonialist Europe- (suitcase Nukes)
Progressives vs. Leftists?
diplomacy vs. nationalism!
"Orientalist" standpoint
Peace talks to back heritary regimes
Sanctions as govt?
American economy=people are money.
Taliban- "student", erected in 79- Russian conflict- 2/3 afghanis made refugees
Majority German or Russian NE US Policy Makers
"triage"- multicolored tags- red, yellow, green and black.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Hype Alert!! - Introducing Modern Artists

A while back, way before I got into this modeling racket, a friend from high school, Brad, asked me a very astute question: where could he start buying art.

Real modern art with investment value with which he could fill out a budding collection.

Often, from working so closely with artists, I think the whole world is composed of them. I don't realize that there are potential buyers out there my age and even younger who are really hungry to establish for themselves a solid collection.

Most of us "stumble upon" the things we like. The internet has fucked with this kind of culture in repeated ways, some good most bad, but fortunately there is still nothing in the world like going into an antique or thrift shop and entering a different world. Becoming enamored of an object (or three!) of often pragmatic but certainly always aesthetic, value, and enhancing your life or the life of someone else thru a gift.

This is slightly harder to do in the "show at the gallery" culture. All the artists I know are true this way- they would much rather be making art and working in their studios than standing around talking about said piece or process in a crowd of people. If you want to get to know an artist personally, this is not the place to do it. Find a way to contact them and make an appointment. Altho' artists (sensitive, compassionate, etc.), these are still business-minded individuals and this means "time is money."

This is not to say that the gallery opening is not ideal. Good art sells. Period. And it is a buyer's market right now. Go early so you can see what you like. Visit again when you've turned over the image in your mind and the crowd is away. The art won't be available for you to take home until the show comes down, so you'll have about a month to decide where said piece fits amongst your belongings. There is no such thing as buyer's remorse when you support those who dare to define culture thru a singular articulate vision.

With this in mind, I would like to introduce you all to some artists whom I consider to be masters of their craft. Some teach. Most are based in Chicago. I have been privileged to work with each on at least one occasion.

These artists are the living canon. All of them are prize winners, and some have work in the permanent collections of museums. Their work and the work of others like them accurately represents the majesty of not just the figure (their subject matter varies), but also the magnificent possibilities of the mediums in which they work (mostly oils, but sometimes watercolor, pastels, wood, etc.).

Best of luck!

Bruno Surdo - Founder of the School of Representational Art in Chicago and mentor to countless artists, budding and established alike. A man enamored of craftsmanship and wit, Bruno paints with an eye for the timely metaphor and purpose of pose. Very much in demand.

Mike Rubenstein - Here is an artist who reveals a story inside of every single piece of work. Exuberant, luxurious, and a modest observer of the 80s with a penchant for the feminine form.

Andy Conklin and Helen Oh - A husband and wife whose bodies of work couldn't be further from one another in scope and scale, and this is what makes them so dynamic as a pair. Instructors at Harrington College of Design, they must be seen to be believed.

Tom Robinson - A star of the current issue of New American Paintings, Tom's work is sweeping in scale, edgy, sexy and celebratory of the feminine. The complexity of his woodwork is always new, always amazing.

Richard Halsted - Portrait artist for the individual and the family. Never have I seen work so well done by students, or someone as passionate about teaching. "Radiant" and "Intuitive" are two words that come to mind immediately for Richard.

Mary Qian - Here's a woman who would teach if she could tear herself away from her own canvas for a minute. Paint, breath, sleep, eat- in that order. Her work is gaining international attention, and the prices are going up because of it!

Amanda Johnson - Young, beautiful, electric. Amanda has studied art all over the world and it shows. With massive abstracts or gentle interpretations of nature, she too is fast gaining attention and moving lots of work.

Stephan Gianinni - Stephan's work rings a beauty that aches to be seen (Girl-in-Subway painting above). I'd swear actual, physical love comes thru this man's brush. An adept restorations expert with a mean case of wanderlust, find a way to own something this soft genius touched. You won't be disappointed.

Stuart Fullerton - A driven "plein air", or outdoor, painter, Stuart's work is subtle magic. Very active with the Palette and Chisel Academy of Art, and shows frequently. There is something here for anyone with a pulse.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Linda H. Jerman (Huntley) d. July 2011

How fortunate that you have been called away so soon into the void! Your duties done in a manner fitting. Your race run fast enough.
This body having failed you, perhaps the next will be more generous. Better.
The Japanese of ancient Zen held to the notion that 50 years was a life span. It was all that could be expected, and to go beyond it in any way was reward. This is no consolation, only a reminder of your success in achieving years almost to 60.
I write to you on a cloud-coated Friday morning in the moody summer of 2011, Chicago, IL. Your only nephew, my only brother, has left for the train station to go home after visiting me for almost 2 weeks. It was not a drawn out goodbye: we leave each other with the notion that soon we will meet again to celebrate your life on the occasion of your passing.
Last night, I pulled photos of you from an unorganized collection. I imagine my mother, your brother's ex-wife, doing the same on the other side of Pennsylvania. We think of you. We are away from you, but never very far.
You surprised us all with every bit of a strangely satisisfying kind of love. We may never find it again. But we are the lucky ones.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Old Dreams Come True Without Warning (Summer 2k8)

She has avoided capture for the past few days. I have been less-than-diligent in my morning pursuit at her favorite coffeeshop. All the baristas in black aprons + visors know her. They smile when I mention her name. Helen.
My Helen of Troy I wish to capture and take on my boat to navigate history. Her last name is still unknown.
4-pronged walker and plastic bag filled with god-knows-what. Dressed like its 30 below.
She hands me a girl scout moment as I go to lock up my bike:
"Will you walk me across the street?"
This as my dehydrated roommate was eight seconds from passing out back on Lincoln St.
I ask if I can carry anything and she protests saying only that she wants someone with her- trusting the traffic in this town to slow and stop as much as I do, which is to say not at all.
Escorting her finally to caribou coffee's door, she confides for the second time amongst all the teasers for old stories pouring out of her: "I took the spurs off the bullets during the war."
I can only guess it was the 2nd World war, which makes me think about this country having been in war more than out. During the whole of its 230+ year existence. The 3rd one well underway.
Which only allows for a big history hard-on raging in my brain that wonders why in the hell I went to the gym rather than sat down with granny Helen and demanded stories.
But hunt her down again I fail to do, it being a thing that would get me up at crack-of-five to be at the damn java joint in time to catch her wizened bespectacled irresistibly magnificent talkative smile.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

sexy memory from a long time ago --

The only problem with the movie was that it had a hot girl and a lot of sexual tension. It was an old flick I'd rented on a whim from the free library and had Vincent Price in it. I suppose it was a decent watch aside from the result which was unrelenting horniness for the both of us. I can't remember if we were drinking tequila or St. Pauli's Girl beer, which is something you'd think would matter. Like mixing that piece of information would have a bearing on the evening. We were drinking. That's the point, I guess. We are a dubious pair. We used to date, and now we live together out of a means to stay alive. Neither of us could afford rent anywhere else. It was a Tuesday and breezy and lazy and what else did any of us have but time? So we watched this movie. We were waiting for the girl to get nailed. We didn't so much as see a breast. He told me that there was porn on the computer upstairs, porn his old roommate had downloaded. Snippets of video with some illicit audio to accompany. We looked at everything & ached for someone to jump on. It simply could not be each other. Had this been two years ago, it might have worked. But there's something in time that sobers you up from love. You take a deep breath- compose yourself. I'll never forget the look we gave each other- strangers with the same mind. And we went downstairs and retreated to our separate rooms to masturbate.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Adaptation of Lines

Dear Garrett-
Please take it as a compliment when I say I liked your poem enough to fuck around with it.
See changes below.
PS. Going to the Slam at the Green Mill on the 31st. Will perform. See you there?

Entente of your skin - embers.
Silk of your skin - uncut.

How you always wore a dress
In concordance with your pensive curves.

When I was bound within your arms
The earth became superfluous.

Here, I turned water into words;
I turned love into a mechanical song.

Brushed what was left upon your lush lips
Like makeup- things of oysters, flakes of skin.

Silent once more as the earth grows
Against stress the press of your open mouth,

As indents of skin pressed upon gallantly,
Each labor of your cunt made force
To force the crisis
Of pulse.

In a burl of perpetual bloom, curr
Of curls unfurled, locks
Bloom to salubrious tongues,
Unwithered in these tender mornings.

Such a dry land
Dry hands,
And dry dying thighs.
Of this thicket is asked:
‘Will ever there be a bloom?’

Of roads and grass blades have known
So many mornings when the sun,
So much sun and drafts
Kissed and hugged the pillowcases
Ears, shoulders, toes in turn;

Our lids, lashes and dripping noses
Dropped atop tea and shared toast,
Glancing coffee with cigarette smoke.

Across a rug, she-
spread and spared of questions.
Her brine eyes brown
eyelids ebb upon her eyes
lazygazing up toward
the bloom of a rotten sun.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

P O S T 42

- Summer Is The Poet's Season -

Summer is the Poet's season
outdoors the Poet's habitat.
The Poet's preferred position supine
for riding the side of a world which

on a bicycle then with uprightness and glide
the poet does no waiting but watching.
Before her eyes the summer passes-
a high bird flying the long flight of time.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Voyeur Poetry Manifesto by Unknown Anonymous

To find words over a shoulder- the poet as voyeur. I flew a kite with him once before his dad shot him.

Call it dada, sampling, voyeurism, piece meal postmodern overheard prose, anything. Undertheorized, oversimplified, like looking at mountains you'll walk, that's the point- it's simple. People say the most (in)sight full things. My sister's birthday's in August. When I was little I thought, how the hell does that work. Doesn't make any sense.

It's in the words, falling from between teeth every day, spastic, crowded, and existing like land. Maybe Language for you. Whatever you want. For me it's just there, the syllable making up moments in bars and gas stations, days, and waiting to be listened to, spied on, then maybe written down, twisted out. The frame to be broken. Thrills me. Fuck the property out of it. And the pretense that poetry's from the soul. It's out there. Breath, right? Nobody's words are there own, so rip them off. Then build with them.

Montage. Pieces of language as material. Plural. Words put next to words. Not some falsity of dialect, either. The real thing overheard. Get them down, hear it, write it, graft them, juxtaposed for strength or hollow, or verbatim. Transcription, but interrupted. The way you put it together becomes disjunctive. Or not. Build from your skull a collective head - voice over voice or on. Sick, dripping, gorgeous, whatever. Make them yours.

Conversational stealing 'a la x. A searching through language.
Because it's all just like dirt - there and brilliant in mounds.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Brad: On Memory and his Father

I don't remember very much from when I was a kid.
A few little images here and there, more like sound bytes than memories. But I can remember feeding apples to a horse with my dad so clearly that the images wash over me and eclipse the present, and I'm six or so again, and sitting in the back seat of the car, driving to my grandparents house in Delaware.
We're taking this back road, and we keep flitting in and out of the shadows of big, lazy trees.
The road vaguely follows a small river, and occasionally on one side or the other a meadow opens up along its banks, and in one of these meadows there are three horses. Big brown animals with long faces and swishy tails, standing near the road and grazing on bright green grass.
My dad pulls us over and we hop out and walk up to the barbed wire fence. The sun shines in my face, and the pleasant white noise of a place with water- swishing trees, occasional cicadas- sort of hums behind my ears.
My dad pulls out a few apples from his pockets (I don't know how they got there), and he reaches over the fence and holds one out to the horses. He gives me one, too, after they meander over, and I'm not tall enough to reach over the fence, so I put my hand through the wires and hold up the apple.
One of the horses swings its head toward me, and he is so big!! And he snuffles at me a little, and sniffs the apple, and the peels back his lips and bites in.
This warm mix of juices from the apple and the horse's mouth drips down onto my palm, and I feel the slipperiness of his lips, and even the outsides of his teeth pressing into my skin. I keep holding my hand up through the fence, even after the apple is gone and the horse trots away, until my dad tells me it is time to go.

Now, my grandparents are all dead, and they've all been dead since I was 11.
Sometimes I wonder what I'll think about my dad when he is dead, too, and I don't really know.
But I'm pretty sure its going to be mostly these images I have:
Him mowing the lawn in the summer and the buzzing sound of the lawn mower, or me opening my wallet when I'm sixteen and finding some money in there that wasn't there before, him appearing at the top of the stands during a swim meet just as I'm about to race and then leaving right after I finish fifth...
him taking me over to feed apples to horses.


Carl L. Leneis of Wynnewood, PA, died over a year ago in February 2010. He was 63. Brad is his second son- now 30 years old this year.
Carl was the very definition of a "good man", and is sorely missed.

Here's to a very happy and thoughtful Father's Day to the Leneis Family.

With wishes of love-
Dana J.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

For Mother

My son is a memoir. The boy child is a thing with a searching gaze that finds my own to hold it, and I allow it to be held. His blue eyes cure mine blue. Cue them to look, look close. This is the special secret to my missing motherhood. That ideal is a look of total honesty and no truth spared. All secrets of the heart passed on and revealed and thought-thru if not realized.
I find it first in a lover, then I love him down and make a son to love. And the boy asks of me the questions of love that even a best lover, a man, cannot ask. And the asking becomes the very answer. The boy will not know for a great while that he has been the one to teach me this, while I teach him of other things.
My son is a small thing that does not force, but pulls gently, at the living capacity for love in me. Demanding presence, and words to compensate his words. His is everywhere. He demonstrates no silence and he does not sleep.
The boy is the net of the very best of all that is lover - mine and not mine - cast wide. He calls to daring deed and happy action and will not know, for a great while, that he has done and loved because he cannot have done otherwise.
My son is the greatest story of life and I am his mother. The fire of him is pure and my respect for him is great. My urgency for his discipline & direction are profound, but not stifling.
My son is evolution, an eon, a thousand shining petals adorning the lotus promise. My son is every woman's son, and I love him.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Peter's Favorites - A Celebration of National Poetry Month


Whoever embraces a woman is Adam. The woman is Eve.

Everything happens for the first time.

I saw something white in the sky.

They tell me it is the moon, but what can I do with a word and a mythology.

Trees frighten me a little. They are so beautiful.

The calm animals come closer so that I may tell them their names.

The books in the library have no letters. They spring forth when I open them.

Leafing through the atlas I project the shape of Sumatra.

Whoever lights a match in the dark is inventing fire.

Inside the mirror an Other waits in ambush.

Whoever looks at the ocean sees England.

Whoever utters a line of Liliencron has entered into battle.

I have dreamed Carthage and the legions that destroyed Carthage.

I have dreamed the sword and the scale.

Praised be the love wherein there is no possessor and no possessed, but both surrender.

Praised be the nightmare, which reveals to us that we have the power to create hell.

Whoever goes down to a river goes down to the Ganges.

Whoever looks at an hourglass sees the dissolution of an empire.

Whoever plays with a dagger foretells the death of Caesar.

Whoever dreams is every human being.

In the desert I saw the young Sphinx, which has just been sculpted.

There is nothing else so ancient under the sun.

Everything happens for the first time, but in a way that is eternal.

Whoever reads my words is inventing them.



Regina Salve

Regina and I need new geometries.

One cone of silence as a centerpiece,

Two non-Euclidians with recurring spheres.

Point to point is too mundane.

Give us trigonometry insane!

Load tangential sines for show;

We’ll take our calculus to go.

Sub and super;

Death’s h'ors d'oeuvres.

Irregular polyhedrons,

With which we serve.

- Peter Miltz



Pimp Blood in the Hour of Horus


Pimp blood chompin’ an’ hummin’ like a vampire! (repeat)

Horus Florist

Hoke her, poke her


Watching the game and I'm tryin' to call ya,
You sitting in Milwaukee
Jus' a' lookin’ at Ren-wah-wah


Call Harry Kalas, I got Dallas Green Bay

While youse in Philly-Delphi

learnin' how to mess da cha-cha


Yo, girl! I can nevah catch ya weekends
Damn, girl! wondrin' whatcha do fa' semen
Dumb fucks, I can feel they neveh met me
Mah luck, I got da plays dat gonna turnkey


Watchin' a film jus' trying t'forget ya
She love to kick in LA
Callin' dicks for golden showahs


Call Poppa, I know he know how t' do it
She slummin' down Boca way
Axin' chumps who wanna buy shit


Yo, girl! I can nevah catch ya weekends
Damn, girl! wondrin' whatcha do fa' semen
Dumb fucks, I can feel they neveh met me
Mah luck, I got da plays dat gonna turnkey


Watching you now, from a place within y'all
More shit, excuses why ya'll say ya can't call
High art sittin' at da bottom of y'damn lies
Big town, jus' picked da wrong girl t'satisfy.


Watching you now, from a place within y'all
More shit, excuses why ya'll say ya can't call
High art sittin' at da bottom of y'damn lies
Big town, jus' picked da wrong girl t'satisfy.


Pimp blood! I ain't never seen it cure yo luck
she droppin up in Frisco
got ideas to blitz shit schmucks


Her blood! can't bring mahself t'spill it
she only hit hospital
baby have kid, ‘fore I fills it


Yo, girl! I can nevah catch ya weekends
Damn, girl! wondrin' whatcha do fa' semen
Dumb fucks, I can feel they neveh met me
Mah luck, I got da plays dat gonna turnkey


Watching the game and I'm tryin' to call ya,
You sitting in Milwaukee

Jus' a' lookin; at Ren-wah-wah


Call Harry Kalas, I got Dallas Green Bay

While youse in Philly-Delphi

learnin' how to mess da cha-cha


Watching you now, from a place within y'all
More shit, excuses why ya'll say ya can't call
High art sittin' at da bottom of y'damn lies
Big town, jus' picked da wrong girl t'satisfy.


Yo, girl! I can nevah catch ya weekends
Damn, girl! wondrin' whatcha do fa' semen
Dumb fucks, I can feel they neveh met me
Mah luck, I got da plays dat gonna turnkey


Watching you now, from a place within y'all
More shit, excuses why ya'll say ya can't call
High art, sittin' at da bottom of y'damn lies
Big town, jus' picked da wrong suckah t'satisfy.


Watching you now, from a place within y'all
More shit, excuses why ya'll say ya can't call
High art, sittin' at da bottom of y'damn lies
Big town, jus' picked da wrong suckah t'satisfy.


Pimp blood chompin’ an’ hummin’ like a vampire! (repeat)

Horus Florist

Hoke her, poke her

Pimp blood chompin’ an’ hummin’ like a vampire! (repeat)

Horus Florist

Hoke her, poke her


White Punks on French


Everybody run!

Emile Zola’s got a gun!


Roman noses and middle names

Amateur interrogator playing rude games

Got a permit and he’s packin’ heat

Realistically French and oh so discreet


Sick girl chillin’ to his wicked left side

Chomping on hot wings for tickets to ride

Can’t afford the medicine to clear her pretty head

Thought she’d buy a meal that would do it instead


Everybody run!

Emile Zola has got a gun!

I know who you are.

Is that a surprise?

Ya’ can’t conceal weapons

In your damn black eyes


So you wanna study Islam

Got me spillin’ like an Imam

Five strong pillars and seven sins

Wonderin’ when your life can begin


Loud muthafucka rappin’ with the caliber

Revealing Id an’ tryin’ t’get back t’her

Runnin’ your mouth an’ runnin’ your game

Thing I’m keepin’ from ya: my own real name!


Everybody run!

Emile Zola has got a gun!

I know who you are.

Is that a surprise?

Ya’ can’t conceal weapons

In your damn black eyes


Callin’ out the President

Thinkin’ like a resident

Tryin’ to set a precedent

Gonna have an’ accident

You wanna build the boys a damn fine empire

Call state buildings – load, and open fire!

Terrorist punk with all the fundamentals

Threat to me? No! ‘Cause you ain’t developmental

Bible born believer with the heart of Ahab

Don’t remember Jesus sayin’: “Kill the fuckin’ Arabs”!

Y’all packing the powder like you packin’ your dicks

Finish your dinner drink and I hope you get sick


Everybody run!

Emile Zola has got a gun!

I know who you are.

Is that a surprise?

Ya’ can’t conceal weapons

In your damn black eyes


Everybody run!

Emile Zola has got a gun!

I know who you are.

Is that a surprise?

Ya’ can’t conceal weapons

In your damn black eyes


Callin’ out the President

Thinkin’ like a resident

Tryin’ to set a precedent

Gonna have an’ accident


Roman roamin’ back in time

Roman emperor

Roamin’ pines

Roamin’ Roman catch ya next time

Get roamin’, Roman!

All in good time…







Art Thou Pale For Weariness

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Art thou pale for weariness

Of climbing heaven and gazing on the earth,

Wandering companionless

Among the stars that have a different birth,

And ever changing, like a joyless eye

That finds no object worth its constancy?


When The Ship Comes In

Oh the time will come up
When the winds will stop
And the breeze will cease to be breathin'.
Like the stillness in the wind
'Fore the hurricane begins,
The hour when the ship comes in.

Oh the seas will split
And the ship will hit
And the sands on the shoreline will be shaking.
Then the tide will sound
And the wind will pound
And the morning will be breaking.

Oh the fishes will laugh
As they swim out of the path
And the seagulls they'll be smiling.
And the rocks on the sand
Will proudly stand,
The hour that the ship comes in.

And the words that are used
For to get the ship confused
Will not be understood as they're spoken.
For the chains of the sea
Will have busted in the night
And will be buried at the bottom of the ocean.

A song will lift
As the mainsail shifts
And the boat drifts on to the shoreline.
And the sun will respect
Every face on the deck,
The hour that the ship comes in.

Then the sands will roll
Out a carpet of gold
For your weary toes to be a-touchin'.
And the ship's wise men
Will remind you once again
That the whole wide world is watchin'.

Oh the foes will rise
With the sleep still in their eyes
And they'll jerk from their beds and think they're dreamin'.
But they'll pinch themselves and squeal
And know that it's for real,
The hour when the ship comes in.

Then they'll raise their hands,
Sayin' we'll meet all your demands,
But we'll shout from the bow your days are numbered.
And like Pharaoh's tribe,
They'll be drownded in the tide,
And like Goliath, they'll be conquered.

- Robert Zimmerman


Losing all the youth of Athens (Is losing Spring from the year)


Where are the boys who used to play?

With ships and guns and forts of hay

Into the wind, they fought all day,

Into the night, they died their way.


Where are the boys who used to date?

With shirts and pants and loving till late

Into the wind, we loved all day

Into the night, we pledged our way.


Faith, hope, and love

The greatest of these is metaphor

What the hell’s a meadow for?

For graves to sprout with fear

Losing all the youth of Athens

Is losing Spring from the year.


These were the boys who sang their fate

These were the girls dancing with grace

Here are the fathers, painting their faces

Here are the mothers, acting their paces


Where are the parents who used to raise?

She is the mother who can only gaze

He is the father who works through haze

Where is the God who guides our ways?


Faith, hope, and love

The greatest of these is metaphor

What the hell’s a meadow for?

For graves to sprout with fear

Losing all the youth of Athens

Is losing Spring from the year.


Battle born, uniformly worn

Following, leading

Forward falling

Forever sailing

Born of battle, worn into form.

All night long we resurrect

All day long we insurrect

But death cannot correct


Dyed in wool through all lives past

Lying red, into our memories cast

Flag draped, death raped at last

For future love of centuries past


Monuments morph with morphine scorn

Tall granite ships to sink once born

All unknown souls with bodies torn

All for love, once lost, reborn


Faith, hope, and love

The greatest of these is metaphor

What the hell’s a meadow for?

For graves to sprout with fear

Losing all the youth of Athens

Is losing Spring from the year.


The Second Coming (Slouching towards Bethlehem)

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in the sands of the desert.

A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

- W.B Yeats


somewhere i have never traveled,gladly beyond

by E. E. Cummings

somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and

my life will shut very beautifully ,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture

compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)

nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands.


New Poem:

I Like Christmas

Wood of iron; life’s lampoon.

Beer, television, baseball dreams gone awry.

Pitcher special?

No, it’s a cold-activated glass.

Shouting, silently, “I like Christmas!”

KKK comes out of my mouth…

Fuck you, Poindexter! Issue a PO!

Your SS troops are gay as snow.

You’ll buy me a drink based on the size of my dick?

Give me a car bomb, low voices, big sticks.

Who’s the proprietor of this establishment?

I will shoot the unarmed man.

I will shoot the one-armed man.

KKK go away,

Come again on yesterday.

I came to this place to drink in peace;

Leave me alone or you’ll rest in pieces.

I like Christmas!

Nothing happens; everyone is there.

Nowhere to go; no one bothers us.

I like Christmas,

I keep telling myself

I love Christmas,

I believe myself.

Will you be back for Christmas?

I keep thinking of how much I love you

So I don’t blow these Nazi asshole faggots

Straight to hell.

Wood of iron; life’s slow swoon

I change stools under a beer light’s moon.

I don’t want to kill you, but I love my life.

Shut the fuck up.

I like Christmas

I like Christmas

Peter Miltz


Veteran’s Day

- For three potential corpses and, of course, Dana.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Key West

A mouse trap snaps off in the kitchen with no struggle to follow and my fitful waking sleep from holding onto bed pillows and charging them with feelings and responsibilities, meanings- well, that gives up all too easily. But it is an exquisite hour as the cocks crow brightly, madly, independently- and I bike out for sunrise, stopping at the AIDS memorial beside the long pier (White Pier, I think.) Watching Venus hang- like a hole punch with heaven's light blasting thru- over the place where a subtle jaundice gives way to a burnt pink. Clouds now- nebulous and melancholy as bulls, prepare to be themselves seared away to reveal the hottest and best light over this- an end corner on an American world. Sol bides her time, and the wind picks up to chill me, only clad in t-shirt and swimsuit. Inky water beneath me pushed out by the staggered, pock-marked rocks. A white lip of sky rising, rising, has almost cast Venus away. It is good that the last thing we see- a beacon to mark the end of the darkness- is our sister. Our celestial twin and guide. Increments of light dull further into shape and the last pastel of storm cloud blue lifts gently off the west side of the island. A fishing boat comes in fast. Water choppy enough to let your mind play that it sees fins of large fish coming out of it. Today is the sailboat race around the island. My first Sunday here- and the mark of the beginning of the second week. Maybe I'll swim myself into a nap today, or go get a raw coconut. Finally- a reward thru the clouds- thick flush to full sky blush around the great wide red moment. The planet put to bed in blue. Blood orange defying gravity and shaming inexpressibly what goes without color. I leave myself to be reminded, over and over and over again, that we are always being transformed, and always on the edge of further transformation.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Letter For A Last Time - A Fiction

Dear Mom-

You know, I didn't think he'd come out either. But maybe it was just to spite us. Either way, we tried to enjoy each others company as much as possible.

The weather held out for his trip- unseasonably warm the first day, and of course rainy the next. Lots of slush, but not cold. We even fooled around on the train like old times. He didn't comment on my new tattoo, but I know he noticed it because I caught him looking and smiling.

'Funny' phenomenon- near our old neighborhood we saw a Chase Bank sign with the C, S and E burnt out so it only read "ha". Same thing happened down the road to the 'shack' in Radio Shack. No S, C or K. only '"ha".
Ha Ha.

Oh! before I forget, we saw a white wolf! Very dirty, west off the green line while doing some urban exploration around the old candy factory. There are trolley lines thru there and the wolf was carrying on down one of them. Time seemed to stop while we watched him appear and disappear. I think we saw him before we found the beautiful ceramic children's tea party set. Seriously, I kicked over a box and there it was, dirty and chipped, but still set up like it was waiting for somebody. And that's why I refused to take any pieces away.

He liked my new room. The view at night is really the best part; soft pink grey light coming from obscure sources making the fire escape seem like a moody stage set. I turned on some music and went down to dance in the alley where he could see me. It was nice to feel more lovely than exposed.

The last night he was here I had a dream that I was home, trying to play chess using all my friends as pieces. Eventually they all got tired and started sitting and laying down and napping on one another, but I didn't mind even tho' I still wanted to keep playing the game- I just got out the regular chess board and set things up and then laid down myself! I remember laughing when I woke up.

Would you like another?:

Sunday, February 20, 2011

2 Flash/shorts

Fiction inspired by Brandon Leydic

At a party at my neighbors. She's wearing a black mini skirt & black tights. I'm a tall banner in a too-short lavender v-neck sweater and jeans.
I don't know her name. Never met her. She's not the girl I came with. All I know is by the end of the night I will know her and that could be a problem.

A few hours and the party's moved from the house to the bar and now we know a few details. Namely that she totally wants me. Including some of the most subtle racist shit I've ever heard- but I'm not sure she wants to admit that these aren't really her own thoughts and words. I'm at least not so drunk I don't know her heart's not in it.

So then, a number exchange and a cheek-peck later my girl who is not this girl asks to hit it and we go.

Now Tuesday, and last weekend is miles away. 3pm and the winter sun bright as summer. I go out to the back deck of our building to smoke a cigarette I must have rolled months ago. The tobacco crisp and dry.
Looking down at the mess of mops, brooms, rags by the doors, a flash of something half remembered...

I was drunk and out here with my girl about a month ago. She'd gone in for something and I stayed out catching cold. Out thru one of those back doors downstairs comes bursting this couple. Ejecting themselves from a party with their kisses audible. Their gropes frantic.
It was just sexy and violent enough for me to think later I'd dreamed it up in all my stupor.
One pulled the other back inside after their fevered ritual and I guess I went back inside too.

This time I found myself going straight for the fone to dial her. Black-skirt-black-tights picks up on the 4th ring.
Now here's "Hullo?" made of equal parts annoyance and obnoxiousness.
I immediately think: fuck. Why am I calling this altogether beautiful, altogether unremarkable girl? What am I going to say? And... why am I resisting the urge to hang up?!

And that's when the tender wave of freedom realized me: None of this will matter. And it doesn't have to go anywhere...
So I could say whatever I liked!
Then I did:

"Hey! It's me, the boy you met at the party on Saturday. Yeah, that bar was great. No, you didn't introduce me to the bartender. Thanks, I thought you were well dressed also. No, really. Right, well it is a beautiful day and... Hmm, I've got a steady girlfriend. You know, you met her. Oh, yeah. Yeah, we'd love to. Ok, what time and where? Yeah, thanks, thanks again."

Ten minutes tops was all it took to get back in it for another go.
My girl couldn't wait. She's not usually into this weekend-after-next-party racket, but her attitude changed. I watched that mouth of hers and it behaved differently.
On the way over she showed her cards:

"Want to play a 'love game'?"
Was this really happening. Tell me this was happening.
"Uh... yes?!"
"Ok. I pick the girl for you. You pick the boy for me. We have to kiss them in front of each other at some point in the evening. No rush."

A "love game"?
I felt suddenly like it was my birthday and that here in the car on the way to a party on a Saturday night, all I had was all I wanted. The girl who was already mine had smiled at me and welcomed me home.

It was a good start.


-Kid Science-

Catherine and I in the park with the new adoptee. A bright super-blonde she was calling Eva.
Eva was getting spastic in the sandbox while we talked on the bench about any old thing. Catherine, after a lull-
"You'll take her for a day next week?"
"Uh, what?"
She sighed, explaining-
"Well, I only adopted her as a social science experiment, really. All my friends will have to be involved somehow, so I'm conscripting them, not as babysitters, but as multiple co-parents. Let's see how far we can push this it-takes-a-village stuff."
Her slow smile was irresistible. I looked back at Eva and thought of how many years I'd been trying to get into Catherine's pants. How hard could it be now? That tiny human now trying to eat a bug carcass was totally my answer.
I held Cathrine's blue-eyed stare with my own.
"Thursday and Friday. Provide the bottles and blanky and I'll track down some diapers and food."
Catherine said nothing, but her smile got a whole lot brighter. Score.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Palm Reader

You must fly, she says.
There is one who will put you on a pedestal
Everything you do is fine,
he says,
you need nothing else.
And when you go, leave, fly and succeed and return
they will say they knew it all along.

The long extension between pinki and ring
the proud v
is indicative of artistic temperament.
But you, girl, are dilettante and your art is not yet a of a singular purpose,
which is acceptable on the part of your youth.

The trust issues...
have you deceived yourself?
On around your most pubescent year, you were betrayed.. a self betrayal.
Because of this you suppressed a part of your nature that is not gone
you should not seek to get it back
instead to relax into it again
and let it pop up like a button.

you're getting closer.
your nature again arrives
and on time
to carry you into the sky.