Six Hungry Ghost Abatement Protocols (II)

A lot of the Hungry Ghost poems have been coming lately with royal or tyrannic classical riders. Lear, Oedipus, Romulus.

Partly accident—a lot of verbs, look, take, sneak, poke, cough up kings when pressed to participle. But in a project like this, which is harnessed accident, I still get to take responsibility.

Something here of hunger for a lost father, a father whose power to shelter shatters. It’s funny, the sorts of ways I used to write, I got or had to go through the whole emotional travail, the past and its unprocessed sadnesses, to get the poem through.

I felt on the far side I’d come through a narrow sharp defile with a few verbal berries at hand and my ongoing breathing.

The plus of that. Authenticity. The minus of it. Harrowing.

High ∙ beat up ∙ on a couch ∙ beside me paper
hands and a spine of lace ∙ so here’s a split
a poem led me back to ∙ Dad getting the door
riffed on the many large thin guarded anthills
and how sound collapsed their city ∙ nobody
knows how he agonized ∙ then and there ∙ no
one more out there or into it than he ∙ lead is
dropping into a neighbouring city ∙ we just ta-
ble it though and go where to be seen is to be
housed to be housed known ∙ the king of lack
woke to a fist of bees some kids tossed at him

This erasure and treatment process, I seem to bypass much of that, the harrowing. The poem comes through semiautomatic processes I watch happen in amaze. On the far side, less of the deeply grateful, I said what it was or is like for me, and plenty of a differently glad, this is a potent made thing-being here.

The one, I’m writing myself through language, other, language writes a poem through me. Viz. Spicer’s Martians.


We fed who knows,
sd th King of Thebes, how
many more than the
city dared.

We than that had no body more.

No, nobody lead, we just—

a sound out there
splits the thought.

One more boring show and how.
Guard the heir.

That’s one I redid this morning. The other is


Dad’s getting so thin.
Mos’ def.

Goes out a sand door.
So where now do we go to be?

And that’s how Rome
woke to a regal glare.

—A heathen deal.
—Yes and some of it lethal.

Dad’s getting so thin.
Go go death gadget.
How snow.

“Go go gadget” a phrase that stood out in a student’s poem last year (thank you Reilly) and somehow got stuck in my mind and forgotten there and returned to view when some of “Dad getting” anagrammed to “gadget.” Had, of course, to look up the ref, cuz my geekiest student is hipper than I.

Speaking of which. Many bonus points to anyone who can for me explicate the directive, “shred the sauce.” Urban Dictionary lets me down here. Written on a student eval last year and I might like to try but no idea how.

Last thought. To give a reading (maybe this upcoming one at Western) wholly of poems initiated or inflected by my work with students. A thread blogwork attunes me to is the continousness of teaching writing reading thinking moving being.

Last last thought. Mistype Western and you get Wetern, as in, “wetter’n,” as in “ahm wetter’n a flounder at the bottom of the sea in this rain.” Sorry, that’s the country music at Liz Station, on now, and maybe Cormac McCarthy doing their work in me.

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I write draw teach blog in and from the Pacific Northwest of America.

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