These paintings make me feel calm (Nigel Van Wieck).

I’m loving Nigel Van Wieck right now. He feels like a modern Edward Hopper (who incidentally had a summer home very close to where I live, who painted the farms along the road I drive to work on ). I like the shapes of people’s bodies that he portrays, the positions they’re in. And he’s alive right now, living and painting in New York, which means we can purchase prints for eighty bucks, follow him on Instagram, wild but true.

*Please note that I technically know nothing about painting except that I love paintings.

To the PointTo the Point

The Wind Can See

The Wind Can See oil on canvas 24x36 inches a

Escape

Escape oil on panel 20x24

Holding the Heavens

HOLDING THE HEAVENS oil on panel 16x20

Q Train

nigel2

New Model

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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.

 

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Teacher in my mailbox (Ilya Kaminsky).

I went to San Diego State to study with Ilya Kaminsky, and I do not regret it one bit. Yesterday, the Academy of American Poets dropped off a new poem of his in my inbox. It made me glad and it made me miss school and I drank up the poem like a glass of fresh-pressed juice.

***

A Toast

 

To your voice, a mysterious virtue,

to the 53 bones of one foot, the four dimensions of breathing,

 

to pine, redwood, sworn-fern, peppermint,

to hyacinth and bluebell lily,

 

to the train conductor’s donkey on a rope,

to smells of lemons, a boy pissing splendidly against the trees.

 

Bless each thing on earth until it sickens,

until each ungovernable heart admits: “I confused myself

 

and yet I loved–and what I loved

I forgot, what I forgot brought glory to my travels,

 

to you I traveled as close as I dared, Lord.”

 

Read this poem it will take you 5 seconds (Eileen Myles)!

Just read this poem it will only take you 5 seconds to do so and hey who knows maybe you will really love it maybe you will be like OOOOOH-KAY, POEMS, I DIG! Or maybe you’ll want to send it to a loved one or a loathed one maybe it will make you think of summertime or of the word “jumpsuit” which is not a word we get to say that often but a good word nonetheless. With a poem you really never know what’s going to happen what little locked door in your bodymind is going to get opened maybe that’s why we all have bodies and minds (so they can be opened like doors like secret trapdoors).

 

THE BEACH

Economically, not
emotionally this
color is connected
to that color
the waves
break

they really
do.

I hold on,
I hold on to you

 

-Eileen Myles

 

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!

 

Poem inspired by a painting (my poem; Clare Elsaesser’s painting)/

I am the girl with flowers in front of her face

 

I am the girl with flowers in front of her face.

You cannot see my face and all I care about

is keeping the flowers in place.

They are huger than I

& I snipped them for myself.

I can sense your attempts

to see through my cloud of pinks:

I sense you searching for an angle

that will unveil my veil

of petals. You can gaze forever

at the Mona Lisa, speak novels

of her brows, her simple little

almost-smile. But I am only

petals now. Like a pill bug

beneath a stone untouched

in a forest, I am occurring

wholly elsewhere. You may never know

where I harvested my flowers, let alone

what type of beauty or disdain

I hide.

 

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Buy it if you want it (I did).

This is the best thing on the internet (POETRY + HIP HOP).

The internet is too big to talk about as a whole, but on the whole I’ll generalize and say that my favorite thing about the internet is….this.

So now that you clicked on that link, click the little play button, and now you’ll be listening to Frank O’Hara (THE MAN MY LEGEND) reading his poem “Ode to Joy” over an instrumental version of Drake’s “The Best I Ever Had.”

I already love Drake because he is a pretty good rapper and once made a video that took place at a bar mitzvah (combining Judaism and hip hop, which rarely happens). I’ve loved Frank O’Hara for always & always will, even though he is very easy to love and everyone seems to. I think I still love him differently. His little lispy-crispy pronunciation. His gap tooth. His neck in a crew neck sweater in the postcard that lives in my truck. I do love him. And now thanks to the internet, (well, thanks to Cassanda Gillig, whom I would like to meet because he seems hilarious and cool and smart and essential), I can have poetry & hip hop fused in just the way I never knew I’d love because I hadn’t fathomed it yet.

And there’s more. There’s Brautigan & Mariah Carey! Even better THERE IS JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE AND ALICE NOTLEY. I am going bonkers right now. You know when you find something that you like so much you can’t handle it? And you think about how good life was before and how now it’s one significant notch better? And you feel like your posture has gotten better and that there’s more space between your toes so you can stand and jump and dance better? Do you guys know what I’m talking about?