Oct 29, 2004

Rachel and I were walking through Coolidge Corner on the way to the Video Balagan on Thursday night when we passed a man, perhaps arabic, probably in his mid-50's or so standing on the street. He had a shaggy, grayish beard. He was speaking loudly, but not yelling to people who were passing by.

"Please, who want my 4 poems. Please take my 4 poems. Who want my 4 poems."

People were doing their best to ignore him, as I did, as anyone does, accustomed to blocking out such requests which so frequently occur on city streets. A few seconds later though, I found myself turning around and walking back.

"I want your 4 poems." I said.

The man exitedly began taking the photocopied sheets out of the pile and handing them to me. And proceeding with what I knew would come next.

"Please. Thank you. Take my 4 poems. Can you make a donation. I am homeless. Please copy the poems and give to your friends. Please."

I gave him $3 and thanked him.

"Thank you." Turning to walk away I walked a short distance up the street and a few moments later he followed after.

"Wait. You have all 4?"

We counted all 4.

"Thank you, God bless you. Give them to your friends."

The name on the poems is Ali Nikoonizad. Here are Mr. Nikoonizad's poems, as promised to him. The lines are all centered on the page, but I don't know how to do that in blogger:


Two orders fight in the mind
I'm very tired for my mind
Bad order, good order in the mind
What to do to these orders in the mind?
Do you have a good mind?
A ling time ago now, I don't have a good mind.
I'm sure, a very long time ago, we have a good person.
That person had and has a very good mind.
I said, "God, please give to me, give to him or her, give to
everybody, a good mind."
I don't like to do my bad order mind.

-Ali Nikoonizad


One, Two, THree
Check, check, check it out
Anything make you lazy
No good!
Wake up!
Open your eyes
Check it out
Find a good teacher
Find a good girlfriend
Hey, you too lady
If you want to find a good teacher
Find a good boyfriend
Yes, yes!
Please listen good
Find something good
Thinking good
Talking good
Doing good
Loving good
I want to say again
Please, look around good,
Generation before make a lot good
Check it out!
I need to check it out
You need to check it out
For make something good!
I know, you know
I'm sure God all the time
God is very very good!
Yeah check this out Please if you would.

-Ali Nikoonizad

Please check this out
Please don't say God don't make myself
I believe you, I believe yourself
I believe God, Yeah! I believe God
I am sure, I am very sure
God made you and God made me
God bless your side and yourself
God bless my side and myself
I need, I say God bless your generation and
the next generation. Amen

-Ali Nikoonizad


After God name. I need call God's Name.
I love God. I love God's name.
I have some best friend.
His name is Walter.
Very good, very kind is Walter.
Anytime I see him, he talks kind to me.
If I'm talking for something good,
show me nice face, Walter.
Yeah! Very good, very kind is Walter.
My friend, you want some friend, just like Walter?
Please make yourself just like Walter.
You see everybody is just like Walter.
God bless,

-Ali Nikoonizad

Oct 28, 2004

Yesiree folks, Dubya is scarier than Dr. Octopus, Sauron, Leatherface, Zombies, Natural Disaster and Satan.

And he's REAL. Believe it folks.

And somebody tell Schilling to shut the hell up. Aren't there any Democrats on the team? C'mon, guys, speak up, or are you too busy getting laid?...

Oct 27, 2004

I think I see a stately pleasure dome down there...

Oct 22, 2004

Somebody should do a broadside/chapbook of Perry's BoSox poems to commemorate the Sox going to the series.

Daisy Fried gave an excellent reading at MIT last night. Her work is pretty much narrative/elegiac but there is something very compelling about it. It is almost prose, but also somehow inherently poetic. Refreshing to remember that the Confessionals have not totally ruined this mode for all time. I don't always like poems that feel so...human...but in this instance the poems adumbrate the joys and sublimities of being so. There's also something very sexy about them, I suppose something to do with their unselfconscious humanity. Anyway, check out her book She Didn't Mean to Do It if you haven't.

Oct 21, 2004

OK higher powers, now you just have to put John Kerry in the whitehouse and I'll stop it with the "you don't exist" stuff.

For a little while, at least.

Oct 20, 2004

The guy who thought of this should be sainted. I totally want one also.

If I'm not allowed to smoke in restaurants I should be able to ask them to turn off the TV as this is "polluting" MY "space" in the same manner that smoke does... Before you say "but Mark, TV doesn't kill you," think about FOX NEWS and ask yourself how many people TV kills...

Oct 15, 2004

New on "I Have Twice Your Power":


Oct 14, 2004

I finally updated the freaking links. Please take the pins out of the voodoo dolls. Thanks.
Just in time for the elections is Christina Strong's Utopian Politics from Faux Press. Dubya would say she is "left of the mainstream."

Oct 13, 2004

While I am not a big fan of baseball or formal verse, I am finding something charming about the formal poems Greg Perry has been writing about the playoffs. Maybe it is the occasional aspect of the subject as I have always thought occasional poems to be particularly suited to verse forms for some reason (perhaps the ritual quality to it), or the fact that baseball itself to me feels a highly formalized and nuanced spectacle, despite its everyman sort of exterior. Any game is a repetition of familiar signs, symbols and events, even though each game is different; in this way formal verse is similar insofar as it repeats oft-handled structures and tropes. The juxtaposition of the slightly rareified context of formal verse and the more or less non-rareified context of baseball is sort of compelling as well.

Let it not be said that I'm not capable of thinking outside my own box. I consider formal verse to be a pretty limited endeavor, but improvisation within limitations is really what art is all about. I think it's infrequent for folks to happen upon truly successful formal verse, but these baseball poems seem like a likely candidate.

Oct 12, 2004

By way of the previous quiz, this quiz which is even funnier...

You are DAVID ALETE. You are the personal assistant to former President of Liberia, Charles Taylor.  You have money from diamond sales which you wish to move with my assistance.  All your calls are being monitored.
Which Nigerian spammer are You?

Thanks to Brian for this dorkiest of dorkiness.

You are Apple Dos. Simple and primitive with a good understanding of the common man.  You're still a work in progress, but a good start.
Which OS are You?

Favorite quote from "Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence":

"This is no time for poetics, we're almost out of ammunition."

While the image of a one-armed geisha sex robot wielding an assault rifle is certainly compelling, I found the film to be a little disappointing, albeit extremely visually beautiful.

Oct 11, 2004


Attenuated wobbles into autumn:

I did once love
the winter stars,

a woman in an
exoskeleton, mundane

events aboard spacecraft;

this equation into
which Go figures
more often than chess

whom the early surrealists loved.

One body among all bodies
sweats, breathes

as though high places did
not birth conifers;

the forgotten tend toward
pristine expression--

bring this news to Ghengis:
the masses

do not enjoy birds no more.

Oct 7, 2004

Aaron lays into poetry magazine. Woo-hoo! It's like when Yoda takes out his lightsaber in AOTC...

Oct 6, 2004

Kind of like eating chili peppers, ice cream, and oranges in rapid succession: a cursory glance at the New Yorker, a look at the Academy of American Poets website and this article have me feeling all disgruntled about literature.

Why don't I remember any of this nonsense from when I signed up for this job, anyway?

Oct 4, 2004

Speaking of heroes, please check out the newest installment of "I Have Twice Your Power":

Guys Who Are On Fire.
I just saw "Hero" this weekend also, and I agree with Josh's distress that this film is ultimately a celebration of fascism. His reference to Pound is appropriate also. What to do with art which is formally intereting, if not beautiful, but which has an execrable message?

A good deal of the response to this question depends on context. The relative success of "Hero" troubles me at this time given that we are presently struggling against the tides of fascism in this very country. The image of the just but iron-fisted leader who's inhumane policies are enacted for the good of some amorphous concept of "nation," and the idea of peace secured through violence are not ones that I care to have floating around the zeitgeist presently.

That said, it was an entertaining film. But troublesome insofar as I'm concered about its effect on an audience (U.S. citizens) who have a hard time separating fantasy from reality...

Oct 3, 2004

I swear I will actually be at this one!!!:

Sunday, Oct. 3 at 5 p.m.
MIT, Room 6-120, 77 Mass. Ave., Cambridge
Landis Everson, Peter Gizzi, Don Share, Katia Kapovich, Ben
Mazer, Philip Nikolayev, Fan Ogilvie, Mark Lamoureux, John
Hennessy (introduced by Bill Corbett)

DIRECTIONS: Enter MIT at main entrance at 77 Mass Ave. and
walk to the end of the Infinite Corridor taking your last
right. Halfway down there is a foyer on the left and across
from it is 6-120.

Oct 1, 2004

Celebrating the publication of Fulcrum 3

Fri. Oct. 1 at 8 p.m.
Amherst Books, 8 Main St, Amherst, MA
Landis Everson, Ben Mazer, Katia Kapovich, Philip Nikolayev,
Mark Lamoureux, John Hennessy