POEM WRITTEN DURING AN AIR RAID WHILE THE TIDE GOES OUT
Are you ready?
I am going to give you the button that controls all the torpedoes
Their beautiful brass tips gleaming in the sun like a vintage tea set
set out on the beach for a pleasant afternoon,
and someone is throwing the brass teapots and the brass teacups
into the ocean and they are exploding.
This is called fishing.
There are limes in the ocean,
and lots of octopuses but you can’t see those
until they are grabbing you and dragging you under.
The thing is, you can’t outrun the ocean.
I promised myself I would stop writing about it so much,
but the salty fingers stretch so far inland
and suddenly everyone you know is drowning
and you wonder if maybe you are drowning too.
You can visit the ocean once and it will show up years later
at your doorstep with sunglasses and a gun and demands.
You will find yourself in fevered car chases across the dusty highways of Arizona
and there is the ocean behind you in a matte black Camero.
Inside your bones all of the ahi tuna swim around
without fear of being fished out and turned into sushi.
This isn’t because no one is trying.
Nobody has invented the right type of fishing pole yet.
No one knows the password.
Now it is raining in the mountains in the middle of a continent
and a giant raindrop comes down
and washes you right into the ground.
The tuna go extinct and my favorite sushi restaurant shuts down.
Art by Lola Dupré
I went to Hawaii and wrote this poem
The thing is, I am thinking about all the people in the airplane
who are thinking about how the little canoes in the ocean far below
look like little biplanes
floating around on their backs like dead insects.
Another way to say this is that in a birdbath
the bugs float on their backs like dilapidated biplanes
And you think of the pilots staring at the water.
You think of how the water is like a bug zapper
in that the birds don’t want to eat the dead insects in either one
You think about ice.
Every time I walk on ice I could have walked on concrete instead
and one time me and my friend Todd walked out on a frozen pond
and then we fell in
and one time my friend Jack slipped on the ice,
broke his knee and his hip
still all messed up from that…
You look over the precipice
and there it is:
everything is down there
china collections and Chippendale desks and cupcakes and pillows and all of your friends and all of their grandmothers
I am down there, thinking about the mynah birds in Hawaii.
They seem so reluctant to fly even when they are in the highway and cars are coming
Art by Robert Mickelsen
MOON FACT no.42
I haven’t done one of these in a long time.
Does this mean a return to Moon Sleep is imminent? No more tossing and turning here on Earth?
The similarities between great comedy and great literature never cease to astound me. Kurt Vonnegut uses the exact same tricks as the Birthday Boys and the only difference is the emotion at the end. Incredible.
I am interested in dramatic landscapes.
From an airplane, you can see places where people could be freezing to death
and you are powerless to help them.
Some ruined buildings have doors.
The best ruined buildings though,
have had their beautiful doors eaten by termites
who are dead by now.
The shafts of light come in just right through the cracks.
The dust is what makes them especially pronounced.
The old books are hardly readable;
you can only make out a word here or there between faded and torn pages.
I have seen…..and in his glowing, beautiful……this is the last thing I write before my demise, dear Anna, but…….tell you that…………..
Art by Matthew Quick
It’s too bad I wasn’t alive like ten years earlier, because now I’m way late to the party on watching Twin Peaks and Animaniacs.
My family is made of little pinpricks of light.
It is like the world is a painted canvas
wrapped around a globe of perfect light.
And my family is made of little holes in the world.
I should clarify:
The world is not literally canvas,
but the world and pictures of the world are almost the same thing.
The only difference is that the latter is permanent.
Art by Yue Minjun
The Balloon Brothers
I’m going to write two more A Man and His Dog poems & then move on to my next project, a book called, The Balloon Brothers, something I’ve been trying to develop for a few years now & it’s finally starting to pan out in my head. I hope I can get this published somewhere awesome as an e-chap/e-book/whatev. These characters came to me in a dream & are inspired by a whole bunch of different shit. They’re vigilante brothers who travel the sky by dirigible & the very first piece I’ll write will be called, “The Balloon Brothers crash their first balloon into George Washington’s face.”
get hyped. start printing the t-shirts etc…
New Years is a time for convincing ourselves that the arbitrary measurements we attach to the endless and terrifying flow of time have meaning by boiling down the entire last year of our life into a bunch of little top 10 _____ of the year lists. In that spirit, I present the top 10 Zjoot poems as voted on by you! Reading them again, some of these were actually pretty good poems, and others I must have chosen really nice pictures to put with them. Anyways, here’s the countdown:
#10 with 62 notes is The Wheel Has Come Full Circle
#9 with 63 notes is Sirahn Sirahn
#8 with 66 notes is Gloved
#7 with 73 notes is menthol.hispanic.tomorrows
#6 with 81 notes is Musing #3
#5 with 87 notes is An Applesauce is a Violation
#4 with 94 notes is 7 Uutku
#3 with 99 notes is an untitled octave poem
#2 with 171 notes is 9 True Facts About the President of the Moon
#1 with 202 notes is Four Uutku
So, there you have it. An ecclectic mix of posts that got a lot of hearts and reblogs. Interestingly, all but two were based on some sort of form or specific method which I guess kind of proves that procedural/automatic/chance writing is better than free-form writing?
I might do another list later of my personal favorite poems from my blog. Because isn’t it fun to be self-indulgent and narcissistic? I’d do my favorite poems from other people, but to boil down so much wonderful content into 10 poems would be impossible and silly.
A VAGUELY PATAPHYSICAL POEM ABOUT THE FACT THAT THERE ARE OTHER THINGS TO WRITE ABOUT THAN THE MOON
To the moon:
You are not that special.
You are just a big dumb spherical rock
with no water and no plants.
You will never be graced with beautiful glass domes.
Yes we have come to visit once or twice,
but that is not really anything to do with wanting your company;
we were just showing off so that Russia and America wouldn’t blow each other up.
It’s kind of like hanging out with your boss at a party even though he is really boring
But you do it anyways because you have this coworker you hate
and he sure as hell is not going to get that promotion instead of you
So you let the boss show off his dumb moon rocks
that he got because he is rich and frivolous.
You go to your boss’s daughter’s play and it is not very good
but you tell her good job anyways.
You pretend to be sad when the boss’s wife dies
even though you really don’t care that much.
You do all of these things
slowly working your way up through the company
becoming the boss’s confidant and “friend”
while your boss slowly spirals into alcoholism.
Eventually he kills himself rather dramatically,
leaping out of his office, which is very high above the city.
With only mild surprise, you find out that the boss has left the company to you
and now you are ridiculously rich
and everyone wants to be your friend.
You feel so alone.
You go out and stare at the moon.
What the fuck is the big deal about the moon
It is just a big dumb rock.
You remember how you used to read all of this poetry in college,
how everyone loved the moon for some reason.
You look up at the moon and it feels cold
you feel like you are in a river in winter time
and the top of the river is frozen
but below that the water is still moving.
You close your eyes and drift along
The river flows out to the sea.
At least I think it’s pataphysical. I still don’t really know exactly what that means. Anyways, this was kind of fun to write, and different than my usual stuff and probably not that good, but it’s nice to branch out a little.
Art by Brian Despain. You should click this link and read the description. It’s relevant.
I have said all I need to of geography.
Now I can go to sleep,
arranging my bones in a small terrarium filled with water,
and becoming what grows on them.
I do really hope it is algae.
I have always wanted to be soft
and green and beautiful,
and have a million catfish gently sucking away my skin
with sharp but toothless mouths.
Some recent poems turned into a tiny series and now the series is over. Read the other ones if you want to: 
Art by Ed Freeman
I can be your mountains
and all of your river and streams.
A home for all of your little animals.
Open the zoo and they will live in me
killing and eating each other.
I will be a whole ocean
and throw rocks at your aquariums.
I am using my biggest images for you;
landforms have power over us because they are larger than us.
I want to be as big as an isthmus,
which is not that much to ask I think,
but right now I am only an atoll.
art by Tierny Gearon
The sun is a battery
and we are the feathers
of the battery of the sun.
I cannot find my spare matches anywhere.
Have you seen them?
Guppies, microphones and triangles are not that different
You are not that different from a jar filled with weasels.
In this dimension,
a glass picture frame has the power to control the world
and I am still looking for my matches.
Be an airplane
Be a building
Be a cartwheel
Be a dentist’s office
Be the fishtank in a dentist’s office
Be a plastic plant in a fishtank in a dentist’s office
We could keep going,
but I think we can agree that neither of us want that,
so why don’t you give me my fucking matches
so I can start you on fire for stealing all of my fucking matches.
I know you took them, shithead.
When all of the pencils have finally melted
we will find a sad pearl
and we will give it to our collective grandmother
I assume you have eyes.
I assume that you are wasting them.
Alright, whatever, just forget it.
I’ll just go out and buy some more matches.
I’m sorry I yelled at you.
Art by Beth Hoeckel
A POEM ABOUT AN OCEAN
That time we went to carnival
There was a mask man selling animal masks.
You bought a bunny one.
I tried, also, to buy one, but you got the last one
and the guy gave me some other animal
A chicken or a lizard.
It wasn’t really a big deal,
but it sort of set the tone for the rest of the night.
Buildings refused to catch fire.
One of the dancing bears
broke his hip and then they shot him.
Some of your friends went in the catacombs
so we went in there too and the skulls creeped me out.
I witnessed a murder.
I walked a couple of blocks away;
the street lights are off, and there are still canals here.
I jump into one and swim.
Eventually I reach the ocean,
where it is much darker than on land.
I watch so many things get eaten and it is terrible.
I laugh sometimes at the difference between open ocean and my dumb uselss body.
I go to the beach and laugh at the swimmers.
I just want to be a fucking astronaut.
Guys i wrote this poem real quick but i think i am late to the bunny carnival. Sorry vipe.
A POEM ABOUT A LAKE
The way we are all so entranced with the moon. How the dictionary should be arranged by word association. Butterflies and then hair. Tubas and then lightbulbs. Fish becoming stew.
A man, and the expression of surprise on his face, and his wife, and the wooden stake he finds himself impaled on, and her, crying briefly, and then accepting this, and then living, and then dying, later on sometime. Now I am dying and I can feel it. Now I am breathing and I can feel it also.
It is impossible to tell the difference between being in a lake
and not being in a lake.
Art by Anitaa.