Apr 30, 2008

The unstoppable Geof Huth offers a very generous review of Poem Stripped of Artifice here. Its nice to have so many people respond positively to this project, since it is in so many ways atypical of my usual work. But is experimentation not, after all, as much about challenging ourselves as it is challenging the subjectively perceived status quo of the medium? Not that anyone has taken issue with it as a departure from my usual mode, said departure is probably most apparent to myself only.

Apr 28, 2008

UFO #2

Is a thought-tangle, an ethereal brain coral. Is the thoughts of a far-off mind, floating as they imagine this very scene. Barely there at all but can be spotted through a lens of splintered glass or a narwhal's cornea. At the moment when someone says to stop reckoning so hard, down to every detail--the stain on that wall, a half-eaten candy bar like a big dead bug--& think of something useful instead is the moment at which it vanishes from the scene, never to be seen again.

Apr 27, 2008

UFO #1
After Italo Calvino

Is like an upended pinwheel or a metal lotus blossom. The delicate, pliant material from which it is made can be seen to bow in the force of a strong wind or undulating as it travels along at high velocity. How such a substance can withstand the pressure of deep space is unknown. Additionally, it seems to act as a kind of reverse mood-ring—its color appearing to the viewer according to his or her own mental condition at the time of viewing. It will assume the same color as its background to all but the most peaceful and contented observers. This is how it has remained amongst us undetected for many hundreds of years. Of its crew, there is no information save that they must be extremely small or light in order to occupy a vehicle composed of such flimsy material. There appear to be no openings of any sort on the body of the craft, leading one to speculate that it is perhaps unmanned or that its occupants do not occupy sidereal space in such a way that we are accustomed to.

Apr 25, 2008

Disheveled black
dog chews
on a large
man's sneaker
in the
yard the
large man
who sold
paper flowers
has disappeared

Apr 24, 2008

I am like one of those octogenarians who runs marathons. But here I am chugging along in my fuschia tracksuit.

-for Jack Kirby

Silence closed upon what had happened—

It stems from the waves of the mind

& everything moves—& makes a kind of beautiful noise—

Emotional turmoil breaks the dikes of the mind—& releases the flood in which we must fish—

A fear generator disguised as a great billboard

Each of us hears the music in the way that pleases him most

I feel like I’ve swallowed a thousand hot needles

Who but myself is justified in burning down this library?

But I am the revelation! The tiger-force at the core of all things

The architects of the atomic blow-up work feverishly in the evil factory

He is an ever-present fear that sweeps through the universe on swift, silent skis

I breathe! I move! I feel

The fools in that image little realize that we are distorting their cries into laughter

Suddenly the outer offices echo to the sounds of an eagerly awaited arrival

You lie, bodiless dog

Why, the very opposite of living

Slow down or be tranquilized

I regret the intrusion upon your many activities in this place

These are tanks of chemical defoliant packaged in the form of a dog

It’s a joy to be free of the grey & smelly air of a world filled with destructive machines

The guns make no sound

Right now I’m interested in your shiny orbital city

& fate proves to be an ugly, misshapen craft made of aged wood—

Yes, it’s a mysterious pigeon that waits for the vulture’s swoop

Perhaps we can lose ourselves in hamlets, cities—continents—

What kind of world is it—that spawns gods of evil & lesser beings with horribly hostile hang-ups?

Jumping jars of jellied jaguars

Where were you at the dawn of time?

You may get the chance to find out

Apr 22, 2008

Poem Stripped of Artifice

If anyone wants one of these, email me a snailmail address and I will send you one. I have about 20 to give away. Here's what Deborah Landau said about it, if you are interested:

"Poem Stripped of Artifice is a captivating sequence of poems that strikes an admirable--and difficult to achieve--balance between thinking and feeling. Stripped of pretense or posturing, these death-haunted poems ask big epistemological questions, weigh faith and doubt, and are permeated throughout by genuine emotion. Holding the sequence together is Mark Lamoureux’s intelligent and appealing voice, understated music, and large-hearted, distinctive sensibility. The poems are ambitious and risk-taking and possess a refreshing directness about death and god and love and depression and sex. Despite these ambitious themes, the poems aren’t ponderous, thanks to Lamoureux’s self-deprecating humor and light touch (“In the voudoun/ faith, a person puts his or her soul in/ a jar. Perhaps then, a soul can/ occupy an inorganic object like a jar/ or stuffed blackbird. If I put my/soul in a jar, I would probably lose it./ That’s how I am—absent minded”). Lamoureux’s capacious spirit animates the coffin-shaped poems, and each circumscribed box buzzes with vibrant interior life. “People often suggest/ that a poem must ‘do’ something to/ justify the time the reader spends/ reading it. If it doesn’t ‘do’/ anything, you are wasting your time,/ & the reader’s,” he writes. But the wide ranging mind-in-motion of these poems is compelling enough to reward multiple readings, so that when Lamoureux asks “How does it feel, my/ wasting your time like this?” the answer is, terrific."

Apr 17, 2008


Eight eyes observe
the zero, the zero
of the moon
through the water,
like one milky eye--
dwindling: this is
one minus one minus
one until only
the rustle of lungs
that do not make
the thrum of winds,
what is divinest
rarest, to become
a god keep dying
until the lake hides
you forever at last,
a fable, only fools
believe you could
have existed at all.

Apr 16, 2008

Two-tone blushing
petals, scattered & mashed
by passerby into flagstone,
texture of bug-guts
bleeding to a stain--
remnant or revenant
emblazoned pavement
until scoured by rain,
like the shadow
that cannot be swept
in old China, likewise
no release from this

Not like snow, or even snow-
like drifts of shredded receipts
that fiercely blow
in cold spring air down
the slum street of Steinway.
The lonesome tree budding
pink flames & then
losing them to the steady crush
of the people who don't look
down & the people who do
gaze at dirty shoes, returning
from another god-damned

Apr 14, 2008

Oh crap.

Tomorrow an extra good one...

Apr 13, 2008

I feel like when I go swimming at the gym and it seems like I've been swimming for a long time, and I stop to check the clock and I've been swimming for like 5 minutes.

This one is cheating because it was not written today, or this month for that matter. But you've never seen it before, so just pretend that I'm lying.


Flesh a ship’s flesh

bones the bones

of the dead
a gilded instrument


trotting mouth
agape at


the cameleopard
my brother
Ark lion:
blade & frost born M.

Illions chopped loudly painted
round haunches

a kouros
for the children-burden
for the brass ring-
clink into fingers
the lightbulbs’ glowworms

matte wooden axle-Bavaria
in a child or monk’s hand,
Neuschwanstein, always
mädchen &

scale errors
never daunted

as only object can
love inanimate animate love


of God
of History

In the loop powerless

gazes & bodies
moreso than
a quick beast

in successions’ rosary
leisure station

such as I am

wooden phantom, a cog
no less perfect


orbit & archetype,

warped & buckled

ever resplendent

plastic finery

bronze tack & rod

unclosed eyes

trotting always

toward my brothers & sisters
away from my brothers & sisters

Apr 11, 2008

Commercial Break

We interrupt NaPoWriMo to bring you the following announcement:

If you are in NYC on Monday, April 14th, come hear me
and the other winners of the New School 2007 Chapbook
Contest read at the New School. It is unusual work (for
me), and I'm not sure you will be able to get a copy of
the chapbook anywhere else besides the New School and
this reading.

Details below.

The Graduate Writing Program is pleased to announce
the winners of the 2007 New School Chapbook
Contest. Here are the results:

2007 Winners:

Emily Taylor, selected by Kevin McIlvoy

Mark Lamoureux, selected by Deborah Landau

Laura Esther Wolfson, selected by Danielle Trussoni

Writing for Children:
Lucas Klauss, selected by Elizabeth Van Doren

The winning manuscripts will be published this spring in an edition of 250 chapbooks. In addition, there will also be a reading by these alumni on Monday, April 14th at 66 W 12th Rm. 510 at 6:30pm. Congratulations to the winners and thank you to all those who participated.

Apr 6, 2008

for Sandra Simonds

Through the telescoping bone
glass, spot the tardy pairs still
searching for the ark amongst
the crystal drifts & the chateau
where Young Werther went
to die.

Lighter than air, but never heavier
than I. Language is a lie:
I’ve not found yellow custard
anywhere here even
snowdusted eaves hide
only boilerplate & boxes of
crispy receipts.

The sun stops, drops &
rolls o’er the little hills, a
tumbleweed of sparks from up here.

In crablike helmets & copper
jumpsuits, descend to the Breughel
painting & start a modern
religion. Bring me:

donuts, Madeira, an astrolabe,
some clothes to go out in &
a wooden replica to replace this unreliable
right hand.