Saturday, December 18, 2010

Mick Jagger's Shirts: Exhibit A

Mick Jagger's shirts are not like other shirts. They possess many powers. They absorb many secrets. Mick Jagger's shirts want to live among us and are here to make us happy.

Mick Jagger's shirts have the ambition and resources to wear a rock star while other shirts chose to wear ordinary people.

Mick Jagger's shirts have seen things that they can never un-see.

Each one of Mick Jagger's shirts contains a single thread from the Shroud of Turin sewn secretly into the architecture of its fabric. The God Particle is said to be one of Mick Jagger's old buttons. It popped off the top pocket of a brown corduroy button-down with fraying cuffs and a coffee stain on the left elbow one afternoon in 1967 after Mick Jagger snagged it while zipping his jacket.

Mick Jagger's shirts can neither be created nor destroyed. They come into being and pass out of consciousness, manipulating the void. They occasionally surface on eBay, but only to those who need them most.

I sat behind one of Mick Jagger's shirts at an off-Broadway show about a shipwrecked man who eventually rode a sea turtle. I stared at the back of the big, bulky, green and white Bill Cosby sweater wearing Mick Jagger to the theater, and understood instantly that to touch that shirt would be to absorb all the knowledge and understanding of the universe, to achieve enlightenment through a woven, wool conduit.

I decided that I was not yet ready to achieve enlightenment.

Here is another one of Mick Jagger's shirts:

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Lesson in Holiday Prop Choices

it is not impossible 
to have a rip-roaring fight
complete with “Fuck You’s” and finger jabs
while an enormous fresh pine wreath topped with a red bow
is wound around one shoulder like a halo

it may, however, be impossible to do it
and be taken seriously
by anyone 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

M.F. Rey's Da Bomb

Found this piece by street artist/graphic designer M.F. Rey the other day. Organics meets pyros. Like the kind of bomb you'd buy at Whole Foods.

Or the kind of stencil you'd blast onto the doors of Whole Foods.

M.F. Rey's "Dynomite":


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

insomnia postcard: you and i and later

i sometimes wonder who will be there when i've grown ancient
who will be alive then, what others will have accumulated
which faces will have come and gone or left and reappeared-- 
returned because they forgot their jacket,
then stayed another decade

i hoped it would be you, this time
that on a bleached-out park bench among squirrels doing calisthenics 
we'll take seats on opposite ends with notebooks and the dailies 
or a bag of stale crushed donuts 
to toss out to the birds

maybe we'll read quietly, or mine raisin-brains for survivors
then ink them down silently with arthritic, knobby fingers

maybe we'll abandon books for chatter about faces going by
and all the time gone by
and how it does get easier,
it seems, 
for people to say good-bye

and do it all while passing a flask of whiskey back and forth
as if we were firm-breasted and unlined, 
anything but shrunken aunties grinning through tea-stained teeth

i hope you'll have wide streaks of grey that run from temple to neck,
wear bright red lipsticks thick as paint that bleed just at the edges
i hope i still wear too much black and have by then adopted
a habit of wearing hats with oversized broaches stabbed into the rim

it happened then. remember?
i do. or don't. 
you do.
and there was that other time--
just pass the flask you hag… 

Pull Quotes and Back Porches

i was watching the underside of a slim bayou gecko
hunting down moths, and winning.
you were in the turquoise hammock, the woven sling with pink stripes,
reading the Times Picayune under Christmas lights – the only ones
anyone bothered to wire up
in that screened box where wood met water.
“God is Telling Us to Stop” was the headline on your page,
a plea that begged for citizens to stop burning The Qur'an
that somehow got less page space
than a shoe advertisement for Dillards.
i tried to be interested in the purpose of the piece,
and in the purpose of peace,
and in all the important pieces of the world gone spinning mad,
but got distracted by the sound of frogs,
and by wanting to join you in your sling,
and by wanting to unpeel you there
like an exotic fruit.
i did not, of course. instead
i kissed the back of your neck
and your hand went absently to my knee
while the creaking fan underscored
wet fish and cicadas.
“God is Telling Us to Stop,”
there at the top of your page.

insomnia postcard: nostalgia

Poetry in motion, kinetic wordplay, punctuated choreography.

Or, less cryptically: I wrote an insomnia postcard called "nostalgia," dancer and choreographer Brad Landers got his hands on it, then he and a collaborator put it on its feet in preparation for Effable Arts' forthcoming poetry meets dance project.

He passed on a very rough video from rehearsal. The final piece would have the poem read by a female (not that Mr. Landers' droning dry-read in the clip isn't enough to haunt your dreams), feature ambient street noises and sport some really good lighting. Don't forget that lighting. (Angel-headed hipsters under fluorescent bulbs? Everything you've already hated and more. Angel-headed hipsters backlit with a halo effect under a blue gel and chain-link gobo? Affecting. And affected. They're hipsters fer chrissakes.)

Anyway, I think it's pretty swell.

Here's the original poem:

the memory, sliced
bits she remembers: sunset ashing dusk.
an iron ribcage wall,
skeleton below,
welded to dust brick.
he remembers: laying blankets down
sky washing
into upwards ink.
to him: two kids on a fire escape
watching parking garage chemical lights run laps.
to her: two sets of fingers
woven together like prayer flags.
for both: a kitchen table, an open window, a screen--
fresh henna, lemon, smoke.
lips, the feeling; and mosquito bites.
later he: slept
she: leaked tears, happy;

he made her a drive-in
when they had no car.

And here's the poem on its feet, literally. 

Much love to Mr. Landers and co.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Lesson To Be Taken With Grave Seriousness

whenever possible
if ever possible
one should always avoid
drinking too much brown liquor
and poking things
with sticks

A Lesson in Farewells

there are many ways to depart
but one of the best
is by riding a rusty old bike
down the center median
of an empty road in the dead of night
under the arms of satsumas and oak
with a man's worn-in pair of shoes
poking out of the handlebar basket

most people will only see
the full moon and wriggling gas lights
a few less will see a darkened blur
and suspect you've come and gone
but a very special few will hear
your tinny, tiny bike bell chiming
with its single singsonging ching-ing

the fading drone note magic proof
that, yes, someone has been here
and very recently left

Oh God, Another Blog

We can hear your interior monologue. It's streaming reactionary definitives and blanket statements live via the interweb. Things that sound like:

"Oh God, another blog."


"This blog's first descriptive word is 'poems.' As in poet-ry. My sphincter just tightened. Not in the fun way."


"I feel sorry for this blog author and angry at the world at large."

and also

"The only people who read blogs are other bloggers and they only do it for reciprocation. Like oral sex, but for verbose people."

Hey, we understand.

To soften the blow of another blog spawned, The Trouble With Poet offers these promises and assurances:
  • The Trouble with Poet does not feature: limp noodle prose, pictures of kittens, artful stock photo imagery of Cosmopolitans or Appletinis in stem glasses, glittery badges or widgets posted in earnest, wish lists of clothing items the blog author would like to own, rants and raves about ex-lovers/girlfriends/boyfriends that are not at least minimally legitimized by artsy line-breaks or advertisements for Groupons of any kind.
  • The Trouble with Poet does feature: poetry, prose, fiction, non-fiction, essays, bits of art, casual boob grazes, random creative sneezes and links to sources of all previously mentioned items.
  • The Trouble with Poet reserves the right to be totally full of it at any time.

If you would like to submit pretty much anything to be posted on The Trouble with Poet, with full credit given to you or the original creator, just email We really like email. And we really like you.