Book Jokes.

These are the type of quips I occasionally come up with, while twirling around in front of the fire (winter), or while on my second glass of wine before dinner, outside/barefoot/laughing (summer).

If you subscribe to Read Literately, you’ll get this type of stuff in your inbox. No presh, but you know, get on it.

Books I May Write

COPYRIGHT TAYLOR MARDIS KATZ. Please don’t steal these jokes. They’re all I’ve got. (Joking.)

Freelance poem (mine).

I work from home now

and I’m jamming to this song today

because Margot recommended it

and Margot knows what to pay

attention to. No, I don’t know Margot

but I know other women

who create television and funny mugs

plus my cousin-in-law

is the dude in the vest.

I’ve written a lot about vests;

haikus mostly, and desperate texts.

A vest is like a hug

for your chest, I’ve been known

to sigh, my core warm, my style fly.

 

Hanging with friends beneath lightbulbs (& other details).

Kenneth Koch! Why didn’t anyone ever tell me to read him before?! He makes me laugh! Here’s the only poem of his I knew of before the other night when I got really into reading him. It’s his perfect joke on William Carlos Williams:

Variations on a Theme by William Carlos Williams

1
I chopped down the house that you had been saving to live in next summer.
I am sorry, but it was morning, and I had nothing to do
and its wooden beams were so inviting.

2
We laughed at the hollyhocks together
and then I sprayed them with lye.
Forgive me. I simply do not know what I am doing.

3
I gave away the money that you had been saving to live on for the
next ten years.
The man who asked for it was shabby
and the firm March wind on the porch was so juicy and cold.

4
Last evening we went dancing and I broke your leg.
Forgive me. I was clumsy and
I wanted you here in the wards, where I am the doctor!

4-2-13_BerskonJohn Ashberry, Frank O’Hara, Patsy Southgate, Bill Berkson, Kenneth Koch., 1964 (photo by Mario Schifano)

 

In other news, I should not be allowed to use eBay. eBay is not a conversation. It’s not, You want this item? Cool! What do you like about it? Wanna think about buying it? eBay is YOU BOUGHT IT.  (I may have just bought two purses by accident. I definitely bought one by accident.) Forgive me. I simply do not know what I am doing. 

In other other news, it’s a good thing I have two bathtubs, because one of them is filled with 15 peeping baby chicks. Photos to follow. Kate suggested we dress them up and take pictures of them and give them names and personalities. Yeah….probably gonna do that.

So spring is here because of little yellow chicks, and also because of this beautiful, good-smelling, blooming hyacinth that I was given for my birthday. Otherwise, spring is still hibernating.

 

IMG_2047

 

Poem for Kerouac; poem out loud (mine) (you can listen to it).

Jack Kerouac’s word world is totally different than mine. He’s all

bellhop

coat rack

campaign

buttonhole

ventriloquist

pince-nez

morphine

silhouette

& etc.

His words aren’t mine but I’d be a damn fool not to try some out. Here’s a poem I wrote on the couch on Kerouac’s birthday. Not an homage, more like a drunken text I’m sending him through time-and-space, saying, Hey, man. Next year: let’s celebrate our birthdays together. Next year: we’ll dance.

***

On Kerouac’s Birthday

When it comes to billiards I hear mathematics

is rather relevant so I better stay away.

Today on Chelsea Street the oblong “OPEN”

sign that hangs for all to see just sat

inside the storefront like a half-forgotten

letter. With weather like this even a goat

can get pants fulla ants: ready to kid,

to be ridda all this bald white stuff,

she might just sidle into an epidemic

bout of idleness. I tried to call my sis

“Swiss Miss” but she didn’t like the name.

It’s just her darn-cute ponytail & white

toothed grin I want to emulate, to raise

high above the roof beams, Seymour,

to the heights where garlic dries in summer.

Summer in the city means cleavage, cleavage,

cleavage, & the smell of sewage everywhere.

Pigs can clear the forest with their hooves

& bums I got to know out west can’t hear me

now, can’t see me now, can’t stop me now.

 

picture-695

[photo by Allen Ginsberg]

 

Poetry Awesomes of the New Year Thus Far (list).

Poetry Awesomes of the New Year Thus Far

a short list from a short poet

1. As I’ve mentioned before, Cassandra Gillig, who I want to be friends with (HELLO CASSANDRA DO YOU WANT TO BE FRIENDS I AM A REALLY GOOD PEN PAL), has smushed hip hop with poets reading their poems, and now you can download her album of these so-called “mash-ups” for FREE, right here. Just enter in the number zero when it asks how much you want to donate. And then you’ll have a file on your computer called “put me in charge of poetry magazine and i will fuck this country up.” Which is awesome.

 

2. womenpoetswearingsweatpants.tumblr.com is a total inspiration. Why? Well, the poems on the site have been submitted, with photos, by the ladypoets themselves. They are then turned into meme-looking things, with that shadowed font that meme-makers always use (who ARE you, meme makers?!). The photos are often selfies, and they often seem to be taken specifically in order to submit to this site (just a guess), and they are often of cozy poetlady feet. I like how comfy everyone is, how unpretty and normal looking. Most poems are probably written while wearing clothes you wouldn’t want your neighbor to see you in, and this blog seems to be a way of announcing that, embracing it, liking it.

I submitted to this blog and had the nearly-instant satisfaction of getting accepted, and of seeing a piece of a poem of mine in the world, in that font, over what is probably one of the least attractive photos taken of me, EVER. I am so glad that I’ve finally found a use for this photo, which has always made me laugh so hard (and Misha too) (he took it). It’s taken on Farnsworth Street in New London, Connecticut, sometime in the fall of 2008. In it, I am being both totally tired, and totally “what what!” It’s my hand that’s doing the “what what” and my body that’s doing the tired.

 

3. Poems on Facebook is happening, at least in my world, and you should get in on it. You post a poem, tell people to “like” it, then you assign each of the “likers” a poet to post on their own pages, with a similar message explaining the whole shebang. I love this because it’s like a chain letter, except 1) it’s not annoying 2) it’s spreading poems in a place where not many poems show up 3) it doesn’t involve me having to write down a recipe or buy stickers to send to someone I have never met. I especially like this because anyone can “like” the post, and therefore anyone, poet or non, can go on to post poems. It’s not exclusive to “poets.” I really really “LIKE” this.

 

4. The Ashbery Home School was just invented, & holy moly, I want to go to there. The coolest part is it’s held at JOHN ASHBERY’S ACTUAL HOME. With all his artstuffs and thingies in it. And it’s in Hudson, NY, the town that shows up somewhere new in my life like, once a week. Unfortunately, this program, a week-long writers’ retreat in August with awesome professors, field trips, movie screenings and workshops, costs money that I can’t spend on something like “retreating.” Especially since I live in what many would call “a retreat place.”

But this concept, of holding school at someone famous’ home, acknowledges the domestic space as pivotal to the artist. Which may not be true for all artists, but is very true for me. If you come to my house you will see treasures lined up in rows on almost all surfaces. I am always ordering things, collecting things, giving them away, altering them, altar-ing them. This is a part of how I am always creating. If I had money to spare I would apply to this brand-new retreat, which costs $1175. If you can afford it, you should go.

 

5. Lists seem to always have five or ten or one hundred things on them, so I’m feeling a little pressure to fill something in here….but I really don’t have any other poemy things to blog about…so please make something else poem-awesome and email it to me at taylormkatz@gmail.com! For the sake of the list!

 

I paid $8 for this poem (and I don’t regret it) (Ben Aleshire).

Sometimes you’re in New Orleans for a bachelorette weekend with your favorite ladies and you meet a Vermont poet with a typewriter on the street and you ask for a poem please and he writes you one and you like it a lot and you pay him $8 which seems like a lot to you but seems like a little to him since he just had a woman hand him two crisp twenties for her poem. And maybe if this happens to you you feel a little bit like the world is helping you out, throwing you a bone, or in this case, a Ben.

 

Fruit

 

Clementine, you say,

already tasting it.

Apricot, and the word is caught

on your tongue (lone muscle

of both language & hunger) (the word

itself you peel and undress).

In the night you wake,

find yourself in an orchard –

don’t you        don’t you

You cannot sleep for the sound

of apples falling all around you,

words heavy on the branch.

Even trees let go their fruit.

Nothing weighs more

than a burden refused (say the apples

touching each other in the grass)

 

***

 

 

No more snark, let’s all be kind (I agree with George Saunders).

How sick of snark are you? Are you as sick of it as I am? And I’m sick if irony, too. I’m hoping we’re in a post-ironic era by now, though perhaps we’re not quite there yet. Irony, to me, is a non-loving posture, a protection, a dangerous fortress. There’s this speech that author George Saunders gave at Syracuse University this past May that has been popping up all over my internet life, and I finally just read it tonight. It’s one of those pieces of writing that makes me feel like people are perhaps moving past this terror of the genuine that seems to be rampant in our society right now; past this anti-confessional moment we’re in, past the too-coolness, the mean, jokey distanced stance that keeps one at a safe distance from one’s own feelings and from others. George Saunders talks about kindness in this essay, and how kindness is what we should focus on, here and now, the sooner the better. And that’s something I can totally get behind.

 

Excerpt below, full speech here.

 

Do all the other things, the ambitious things – travel, get rich, get famous, innovate, lead, fall in love, make and lose fortunes, swim naked in wild jungle rivers (after first having it tested for monkey poop) – but as you do, to the extent that you can, err in the direction of kindness.  Do those things that incline you toward the big questions, and avoid the things that would reduce you and make you trivial.  That luminous part of you that exists beyond personality – your soul, if you will – is as bright and shining as any that has ever been.  Bright as Shakespeare’s, bright as Gandhi’s, bright as Mother Theresa’s.  Clear away everything that keeps you separate from this secret luminous place.  Believe it exists, come to know it better, nurture it, share its fruits tirelessly.