Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wednesday, September 30, 2009: Flickr at the Getty Images Gallery, London (Peter Baker)

The Parking Lot

If it is tiered (think airport),
an endless spiral climb
and search in darkened
levels of numbered spots.

If it is level (think movie theatre),
an immense plain of blacktop
adhering to plowed earth underneath,
like newly-cooled lava.

Vehicles remain in their slots
marked with metal signs
delineating rows or colors.
The cars remain there,

a robot harvest in this urban
or suburban garden, and bark
once or twice to tell their owners
reassuringly, we are still here!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009: Mark Fisher at Drawger--Ennui in Mummy Town


The gray lull that yawns in afternoons.

The dull discomfort trickles along your scalp,
the nape of your neck,
settling around your shoulders.

A weightless yoke.

A verb problem--what to do,
this game of next, next, next suddenly
made visible, barely materialized,
a cobweb reaching one tentacle from a corner

and almost as quickly receding,
crab into dark, dark shell.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009: Behance--Daniella Lehavi

Little Things

It's the little things that get me.

Someone says it, probably a woman,
while sighing and placing a tissue beneath
her lower lash line.

Her eyebrows arch steeply in sentiment,
and yes, reminiscent of a church steeple,
reverent, inconvenient.

It's the little things that get me.

She's explaining while watching a scene,
a small thing, replete with the ordinary
and yes, the tender: an ice cream truck
rollicking along the city street,
a man buying tulips, pink as polished nails.
The extra button to who-knows-what,
some sweater long since surrendered to time's unraveling.

We make it diminutive,
call it an object, a little thing,
so as to be capable of holding it,
holding onto it.

It's the little things.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday, September 25, 2009: Notcot #25051


In the Dallas Cowboys stadium,
the new one, a screen floats above the field.
It replicates the action, nearly
life-sized, and in high definition.

It is easier to watch the screen.
Even that little bit of distance helps the eye
hobble onto the field, process the colours:
green, white, blue, cavernous black,

silver and yellow. The cameras
guide us through the game. Meanwhile,
the Cowboys run and tumble and throw
below themselves, their own reflection.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thursday, September 24, 2009: Drawger, Shout

Make the shape of a J
when you paddle,
I learned in my limited canoe experience.

To turn, the person in the back
should plunk their paddle
down into the water, straight and steady.

I made my sister promise
as I handed her the paddle
not to tip our canoe, to be careful, because

(even now) I worry needlessly.
I climbed in last, my paddle
solid in my grip, pushed off, and steered.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009: Quoted from: automatism


Mason jar,
Wine bottle.

Even when empty,
These containers

Are oddly heavy.
When I save

Them, I
Repurpose them:

A vase for flowers
Bought at the market,

Grown in distant
Soil; a candle

Holder; vessel
For pens or coins,

The tokens through which
A day manifests

Itself. Surely,
There is a surplus

Of glass jars,
Finely crafted,

Maybe imprinted
With measurements

Or a company’s name.
If I filled

These containers,
What would do

Them justice, what
Could I preserve.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tuesday, September 24, 2009: Ffffound! Quoted from Boing Boing

For mending to set, leave it alone
For a few days. Allow the glue to dry.
Do not test the strength of stitches
In fabric or skin. Let the bandage’s
Edges remain unnudged. We are talking

About trust here, friend. It would
Be best to carry yourself with caution,
At least for the next however many
Weeks. Discomfort is normal—expect
Some tingling, and try to be patient.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009: Notcot # 25006


The keyhole and door have long stood in
For the mystery of another’s mind:
Closed, locked, visible with limitations.

Most doors are manufactured without
Locks, or with the push-and-twist locks
Built right in to their knobs, gold thimbles

That grip a mechanism inside the frame.
Think of the scenes unleashed onscreen
Or on the page, thanks to a key placed into

A keyhole, a tiny metal doorway. Metal
Upon notched metal, and the door swings
Into a room, a portion of the world yet unseen.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday, September 18, 2009: Notcot # 24962

When you were young,
Five and six years old,
Did you long to touch the machinery
Of adulthood?

A piano, a typewriter
In the basement,
Pots and pans and a calculator.

To play at knowing
How to manipulate these tools.
Until we do,

We bang pans together,
Pound fingers onto keys and buttons,

And wonder why the noises
Sound wrong, and quickly move
From one toy to another.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thursday, September 17, 2009: Quoted from: cansbuffer.jpg (JPEG-Grafik, 860x625 Pixel)

What Stays

A garbage bag, an overstuffed closet:
What goes? What stays?
Decisions flicker through the mind
Like bits of sunlight on unsettled water.

This can go, the broken and breaking.
This too, the useless and unwieldy.
In any process of elimination,
The first choices are the easiest.

The sifting becomes thornier
When encountering objects you have
Not seen in months, a year—
This one, a gift that was not quite right

From a person you love.
Maybe this person is gone.
An article of clothing that no longer fits,
But you wish you could wear

Again, and inhabit its confidence, charm,
Innocence, etcetera. The bag is in your hand.
It crackles, a sparking fire. Accept
This triage, subjective, uncertain.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009: Quoted from: small magazine | autumn 08 | page 12

Every day we cope with the dream of flight,
Our incapability.

We feed birds, and print them on our clothes.
We pick up feathers

Fallen on the sidewalk. Children wave at
Airplanes high overhead,

Almost celestial they are so high.
We kill insects that dare

To come hurtling toward our faces at night
On patios, if their limbs are

Long and thin, their forms alien, robotic.
We stuff our pillows

With feathers. Sometimes the stem of
A small white feather

Pokes out against your cheek, thorn-like.
You pull it out, a splinter,

A little fan, and wonder about the feather’s
Origin: did it ever fly?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009: Notcot # 24887

Someone watches the ocean,
The peak of a wave,
And thinks,
I’ll stand on that.

He buys a surfboard,
Arrives at an almost empty beach.
He envisions the flat plank
Skimming through the ocean’s surface,
Like a knife through meringue.

This is only the first day,
Before he will swallow a liter
Of the sea,
Before he is dropped into the water
Like a sugar cube into tea.

Fight the urge to look away
And revisit him in a week and half,
When mastery is beginning to settle in.
Stay with this process,
The sputtering, the bruises.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009: Quoted from Robin F. Williams-BOOOOOOOM!

Survivor from the party,
The Mylar balloon droops

Slightly below eye level.
I bat it between my hands

With moderate force,
More than you would think

Would be required to juggle
Air encased in metalized film.

I palm it like a basketball
And press the sides together

Until the silver strains,
An inflatable mirror.

Who thought to decorate
With compressed air,

Cupped in balloons, whispers
Under curled hands, into ears.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday, September 11, 2009: Quoted from: cow_birch_with_barred_owls.jpg 500×666 pixels


Birches stir the imagination.
They peel and reveal

Rough black patches
And strips, deconstructed

Bar codes and inky
Clawmarks. Slim-trunked,

Skin pale as bone,
These birches lean out

From the ground.
They are vulnerable

And weird, and so we
Make them into other

Forms: kneeling girls
With hair flung forward,

Ladders, knobby horse legs.
They bend and stretch

Under the weight of our vision,
Intangible, strong as a breeze.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009: Notcot #24766

Yesterday I saw a metal tag embedded
In the throat of a tree.
156, its elegant script pronounced.
The bark had grown around the medallion
Drawing it back into the tree like
Stacked chips swept from a poker table.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wednesday, September 9, 2009: The SartoriaLUST at Barneys

Social Studies

Equalizers of teenagedom—
Movie stars, class photos of friends and crushes,
Sneakers, scissors, textbooks warped
As pizza boxes.

A portable closet,
Shallow wardrobe.

The locker is the first taste of storage
Away from home in this wide world,
A metal door locked with a sequence of numbers.

Between classes, lockers serve
As lookout posts, mile markers.
Surveillance comes easy
To those passing by,
Another lesson somewhere between
Chemistry and social studies.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009: fffound!--Quoted from: The Strange Attractor

An unexpected clarity has cloaked me;
All my movements all deliberate.

My hand resting along the windowsill,
My foot upon upturned earth in the garden.

Before sleep, I saw the darkness douse the room
Like watercolour seeping into paper.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Monday, September 7, 2009: Notcot #24680

The Carriage

No matter how gilded and tasseled, the carriage
Looks like a shell. The driver is on full display,
Telling the horse where to turn for the veiled woman
Inside. Discretion is the name of this game—whose
Home will she visit, why will she call on that man
Or woman, does she dare risk a tarnishing of her
Name. The driver knows it all, coolly flexes his wrists
To get the horses to slow, and calls it out like a toast:
Here we are, ma’am, we have arrived!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Friday, September 5, 2009: Quoted from: Plan59 :: Vintage Ads :: Mid-Century Modern :: Clarence Holbrook Carter, 1953

The Wood Anniversary

What did couples exchange and receive
After five years of marriage?

Wood, I’m told, is traditional.
Though the more modern option is silverware.

I will buy you neither tree nor table.
No carving or picture frame or flooring.

No fence, no log, no splint, no walking stick,
No whittling of your likeness,

No cedar chest, no teak armoire,
And certainly, no knives and forks and spoons.

Instead, I give you this:
A cross section of our daily sleeping and waking

And the small acts that give it shape—
An extended hand on our way to the car,

The ridiculous songs we sing on the way
To work, our cats, our old photo albums,

Our maddening, unflagging lack of a camera.
My parents received a piano

On their fifth. This song is what I have for us,
A seed, a tangle of roots, a nest balanced high on a branch.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Thursday, September 03, 2009: Notcot #24628

A saw, a chisel, a rake
Dragged across the block of ice

And then a mermaid
Cascading hair blown back

By the waves cresting
Around her narrow waist

The sculptor revels in
The impending collapse

Of features he had mined
From a variety of sources

Disney eyes, the nose of
The woman he had lived with

Sophia Loren cheekbones
Imagining the figure reduced

To a melting stump, a puddle
Made him close his eyes in pleasure

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wednesday, September 2, 2009: ffffound!--Quoted from: nl121108


Measure the eye,
Its capabilities.

Produce numbers
That describe

Its functionality.
Ask the patient

To call out the
Digits and letters

In the poster on
The plaster wall.

The patient will
Feel nervous,

I assure you.
Plastic disc on wand

Held over one
Closed lid,

Your patient’s
Heart might tremble.

It is thus with
Any test of one’s

Experience of
The world, each

Of us seeing
And interpreting

with varying

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tuesday, September 1, 2009: ffffound, quoted from: but does it float

The Map

Over time, the map’s creases weaken.

The paper’s feeble bonds have been tested

Each time I unfolded it,

Studied the markings along its wingspan,

And collapsed it between your hands.

The creases have worn away whatever

Was printed beneath—

The boundary of a park,

The delicate, tangled grid of streets into freeways,

A river.

The map is disintegrating,

A localized continental drift.

The names of streets aren’t even right

In some areas,

So new is this landscape

Compared to its facsimile.

The Storialist. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.