Tuesday, June 9, 2009


After some delay, the ball is rolling on Stephanie Balzer's chapbook, faster, faster. We're hoping to get it out some time in July. For now, a few of Steph's poems:

from faster, faster

Once, art, morality and truth were contained within religion. Beauty and intelligence, synonymous. We ate at the Pink Taco and then went to the bookstore to buy Female Chauvinist Pigs—get it? And I might have been wearing a thong. In the book group everyone introduced themselves by their names and how they identify; I said I identify as a writer and Audrey said “in bed.” I read the sunset is still a principal metaphor for transcendence, light glinting off crystalline particulates of airborne salt and sand. Sure, you looked hot on a motorcycle at sunset. Beloveds, a heart can physically ache when it’s metaphorically broken. Science loves accidents. I remember learning that airplane wings don’t freeze because of dry ice—a discovery made by accident. “Quickly ... cool these wings!” Now we’ve learned that states are either blue or red, but some already knew this about geography: once the Berlin Wall fell, Coca-Cola infiltrated the blue territory that Pepsi had dominated for years. Some thanked God for giving Coke this chance. But back to the heart.

A cunt-hair away from perfection, Deadwood, a Zen-like transformation of consciousness—but I know as much about Zen as David Milch does opera. Nothing. Or next to it. Once Li-Young Lee said writing is yogic, but I quit yoga, too. People hold themselves to higher moral standards when they feel they’re being watched, even by eyes that are fake; but do the words eye eye have the same effect? What makes “cunt” the most offensive word? A “c” a “u” an “n” and a “t” that signify the last frontier of American language Milch is forging as though Swearengen himself. Writing into the sunset—get it? I looked up my family history—my great great-uncle Ebenezer was a blacksmith, and another, J.P. Hoy, a detective in Minneapolis who solved the famed case of the murdered dressmaker. One obituary spoke of surviving life among the “savages”... the savages of South Dakota. My great-grandfather owned a hardware store in Revillo in the late 1800s that looked just like Seth and Sol’s, which reminds me of when I saw James Gandolfini on TV in the crowd at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade smiling nothing like Tony Soprano. A wet snow fell. Men dressed as inflatable, jolly elephants strutted to commemorate the first parade 80 years ago when real elephants marched. The unredeemable bookended by sentimentality; that’s what Barbara said about Tony.


A brown dove in the pine tree. On a post-it taped to my computer I’ve written: “Wait for the wisest of all counselors, time.” Some days I read it and think about you, and others about how the object falls as the last word in the sentence, offset by a comma. For a week I carried in my purse the transcript downloaded off the Internet and authenticated with a stamp, GOVERNMENT EXHIBIT P20056T01-445-A. I couldn’t stop thinking about the last “No.”—how it’s mispunctuated, ending that way. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I forget who but a Times critic wrote pejoratively about a poet for “exhibiting infinite faith in language.” Is the offense “infinite” or “faith”? I’m not seriously asking, just letting the abstracts burn out like hot coals. My house, silent. In San Diego over coffee we talked about Nabakov’s synesthesia, metaphor and the brain’s hard wiring. We used “the buttery sun” and discussed how sufferers are overwhelmed by malls. My teacher Frank didn’t understand poets who wrote about malls; I wrote about childhood and the ocean. When I told Morgan I wanted a monkey in this one, he said what about the ape in 2001: A Space Odyssey who throws up a bone. I though he meant vomit. Wendy took a picture in Costa Rica of three monkey skulls lined up on a picnic table: the monkeys starved because too much rain caused the fruit to rot.