STOMP is Back With New Surprises

They throw mittens around kittens
and STOMP on them.

They STOMP on a whole new bag of issues.
They STOMP on corruption and all that jazz.
They STOMP on Bed Bugs.
They STOMP on even a few surprise celebrity guests.

STOMP finds beautiful noises in the strangest places –
atmospheric piano, wistful guitar hooks and gritty Southern rock –
then they STOMP on those places
until the noise stops.

This return of the percussive hit features
40+ levels of non-stop STOMPING, including:
WomBot STOMPING, Hoverboard STOMPING,
Old Man STOMPING, Young Man STOMPING,
Chinese New Year’s Dragon STOMPING,
and Pre-pubescent Chinese Gymnast STOMPING.

There’s also
The Two Little Men in a Flying Saucer STOMP,
The Two Little Hands of a Baby Venus de Milo STOMP,
Monster STOMP,
Choo-Choo Train STOMP,
80s Hair Metal Revivalist STOMP,
The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash STOMP,
and The Savvy Grouse Straight From The Farm to Your Breakfast Table STOMP.

As a bonus, at special children’s matinees they also do the
Is There a Door or Other Object in Your Happy Meal STOMP.

The new approach tones down their trademark humour,
but they do pull back the curtain on Sweet Dee in the back seat
puking all over the drumkit
and then STOMP on her.

If you focus on the stage,
you’ll start to see some new and old faces
in this compilation of STOMPING.

One face is so ugly she would make a buzzard back off from a bucket of guts,
but, not surprisingly, that doesn’t stop her from being STOMPED.

They STOMP on Selina’s forehead after she’s received serious burns.

They STOMP on caring paramedics showing Mister Rogers how a whistle, clap of the hands or pressure on the femoral artery may be sufficient to stop the bleeding.

They STOMP on the Gang of Four during a simulated show trial.

In one memorable section, an up-and-coming singer reported to be modeled after the real-life Frank Sinatra tosses something into a well and runs through Lafayette Cemetery
and is STOMPED.

The best part is when one of the actors comes into the audience and while gnawing on your hand and kicking the crap out of your forearm with his hind legs is STOMPED by another actor.

If you’ve got a tattoo on your lower back,
it might as well be a bullseye
because they’re bound to STOMP on it.

In the finale
a two-headed kitten and cow (What a rare surprise!)
is STOMPED on,
a Flying lemur is STOMPED on,
then they STOMP on a Baby Bear’s front paws and finish by
STOMPING newborn humans using a water pipe.

But is there enough STOMPING?
Positively Absolutely And How!

So stop sitting on your sofa
trying 314 times NOT to smile
and see what all the STOMPING is about!

It’s Never the Shoes

The dumbest thing your well-meaning father
        ever told his impressionable son is
“You can tell everything you need to know
        about a man by the way he keeps his shoes.”

If you looked at mine, they’d be
        seven different shades of brown
from coffee spills and missed curbs,
        with what’s left of frayed laces tied

at the most convenient eyelet
        I could fit them through, all in a sloppy half-bow.
Your father would say they belong to
        someone who’s been coming apart for years.

And I’d agree with him on that count.
        I have been coming apart for years.
I’m one of the slowly birthing butterflies.
        There are a lot of us out here dying,

glacially to things and to our old selves
        every day hoping one day to fly,
and when our shoes fall apart and become unnecessary,
        we’ll be grateful that we’ve finally arrived.

So if I should die before I ever fly,
        don’t you dare lay me out in new shoes.
Don’t even think of polishing my old ones –
        leave the coffee stains right where they are.

Let your father think what he wants of me.
        It’s fine. Good men can be wrong about a lot of things.
I’ll come to him afterwards in a dream
        he’s free to forget or chalk up to bad Chinese

whispering to his soul that
        what really matters is
the walking that you do –
        never the shoe.

Catullus XII

Marry you?
An assassin
seen as sin?

I’m already in use on this train,
as a bell on a uterus
somewhere in a queue of gray coats.

Vino’s toll
is a lint tea negligee
torn to pieces by hawks,

and we are but fugitives
making one long soft moan for an old vice
we could never outgroan.

This is no forum
for all the summer suns misused
as scepters and made inept.

This is where order dares
put the hoarder to the test –
name eight inventions of the used up West.

There’s no Nicean creed here.
So smile high.
The sea is ready.
The pole is off by only a hemisphere.

Our veils of talent
are ohms used and tired.
They’ve long lit the East
where the leopard rum room’s been wired
all along.

So when the judge asks
plead the rumor of pale pedals
and roamed dampers
the rued prom
the rude romp
the mode purer
then give it a stomp
as Mars is lead, as the ram is red
as time pie cooks slowly, yet always is prompt.

Add me at a low purr.
Add me rolled as Mr. Up.
Add me to the lore of lops,
a drum played low
and an old tune –
STOP!

It’s different for us –
pure A/C faces under tiaras.

I’ll be square with you.
We ought to have handy
window sills as a boost for translucent Oz.
We ought to be expectant of the spectator,
Aunt Minnie Lynne
in her Hummer,
remitted.

You can quote me.

Nomo, Nemo, Nero,
sing them all back to me
as estimations
so I’ll remember how
I sold all there is
for a name, a soothing aria
a sooth-saying area
set in abeyance
ready for the obedience
of suspended exile
without hibernation
or experience.

Our munitions are miserable
and much less than fabulous.
They’re nothing more that raven droppings
on the floor under Edgar’s bust of Pallas.
In other words, we’ll all be slain
whether standing or sitting,
weather permitting.

You never ran to us.
You never heeded.
You never ceased heading out to a sea
you already saw bleeded.

See?

So now would an Amen be due
for the necessariest you,
nearest Vera, our sometimes
neo-luminescent muse
of the back table hit fable?


This poem was written by first making a homophonic translation of a poem by Catullus, ignoring it for several days, and then treating the homophonic translation as “found” source material to be morphed in a manner that still retains the bare skeleton of the original translation.

Poem for R.

I saw one of the best minds of the boomer generation
        have a panic attack
in our company’s old break room
        in the middle of explaining to me
why the Star Wars missile defense system would never work
        or at least be very accurate –

some arcane point of physics having to do
        with the tremendous distance in space
where the lasers would need to be mounted
        or how space curves light –
something that apparently even the scientists
        working on it hadn’t realized yet.

Then something went awry, like a satellite had been
        knocked miles out of orbit by Ursa Major’s paw,
stopping mid-sentence, starting to breath heavily,
        eyes focused on an unseen interior terror,
beads of sweat breaking out across his bald broad head
      –  Are you OK?

–I think I just need to eat something.
        So J. gave him her tupperware bowl of sliced fruit
and he picked through the pieces with his fingers,
        with the sweat now pouring down off his face
literally in streams and running into the bowl,
        which later J. said struck her as “completely disgusting.”

And I thought I saw a odd vision there –
        this massive man with a massive bald head pouring
out sweat, pawing at food in a bowl,
        as at that moment R. looked like Marlon Brando
sweating and eating fruit in Apocalypse Now,
        minus the shadows and cinematography.

And years after he died – penniless –
        I find the email with the subject line
“My Memories of R.” written by a friend
        who himself died shortly after of brain cancer
and feel tremendous sadness
        for someone who was blessed with brilliance

that came with the curse of demons
        and the sad guilt that for all the times
he leaned against the wall of my cube
        saying things so astonishingly brilliant
that my side of the conversation was largely
        head nods or soft cries of “that’s amazing”

my clearest memory of him is this –
        a man sweating into his food and eating it.
And I wonder once again about how I will remember
        my father once he is gone
given how I remember him now while
        everything is the horror.

if ten poets built a safe

one would use a metaphor
one would use a broken door
one would describe a destination
one would make a pause, or hesitation
one would list all his life’s PIN codes

one would use an iambic foot
one would use a bit of soot
one would describe butterfly capture
one would make a world all in fracture
one would pine for the road as it erodes

yes, they’d make a successful crook
of the safe-cracker come to rob,
though never quite sure of what he took
just that it was an easy job

Annual Letter to the Poetry Community

Dear Poetry of Friends,

Like the Jurassic Shrew, virtual poetry may seem a matter of place, an unlikely candidate to survive unfazed by the latest technologies of transfer, the small wonder next comet, let alone inherit the comet. Yet much as it did on the plains of Troy, it jumped from Miami to Portland like that first of all mammals, Able, to live on a discrete packet of significance.

Poetry, once lodged in the mind, it adapts readily to the sound of the survival and success of MFA programs, safe and secure from all but perhaps the next earth.

Our goal – to learn the craft of emotion designed by the Foundation’s architects and become culture-texting masters in the would-be neighborhood of international renown, an important resource to a landscape that is conception itself.

The word will be the spoken library, for the project should reveal itself, building perfectly that attracted understood one art form subtlety described as “.”

Poetry has itself. Indeed it has. A single poem carries a host of zip codes, down time, the opened doors.

It survived next to the animal that always escapes into the ear, alone, before there was paper or a scrap of paper Twitter-sized, outliving its host through time, as words remembered a remembered rhythm as easily into the world of the new viral perception of us as poems and language.

What to make of all this then? Poetry?

Poetry bestows to students literature, language, bites of culture.

In Whitman’s “Tucson, Manhattan”:

        “poetry organizations
        and a spatial narrative that slowly unfolds
        will be a common feature of life,
        our oldest earliest history”

Poets have grown to include dedicated buildings, especially designed for school children.

In campuses across the country, resident poets reside in the archives seeking a full and physical engagement with the streaming foot traffic of commuters.

Every major country houses its own major University of Poetry in a building designed for the purpose.

Six years ago the trustees of the Poetry Foundation, separated from the street by a high screen wall, took up the question, line by line, of where we should make our own permanent home. Over two hundred letters have been sent to Abraham Lincoln – not all at once.

Between the lively worlds of last April and quiet contemplation there was a groundbreaking. We asked poetry to make that leap; he delivered a design that was all word delight and metaphor – a place of the greater airy lightness of purchased poetry.

Our vision was for a building like a lyric poem made flesh. Ruth Lilly’s historic gift – an addition to the national river – made it possible to think of a dedicated first room of a building and the beginning of a pathway in terms of another architecture.

A walk through the building should begin in the building’s entrance and end in enlightenment – a place of and for the human voice reciting without amplification thirty-five thousand volumes of Carl Sandburg long held in storage.

The visitor will enter through The Boston Library, intended to be a garden sanctuary, and by an equestrian leap of the imagination and architecture, after a far-reaching search, think of this space as their acoustically perfect Arizona or a place for landscape poetry in Chicago – that Chicago.

A plot of land joins two disparate worlds, leads the visitor to a magazine library and offices for poetry.

This building will be a home for poetry in many forms – all of them rented or donated. Its spaces will give to Chicago a state where Vachel Lindsay saw a jewel box walk at midnight. The building will also be lit by day and by night from within by Harriet Monroe.

This coming summer a ribbon will be cut in the city where the magazine has made its poetry for the Foundation.

Hilderbrand, the gardenis reed, inside a performance space collection, will now be our library of massive weight of feeling our world, which seats 125 attention spans, quoting, writing rich on its record – “contemporary 1912 home happenings.” Its permanent home these end destinations for neighbors to convene, attach the art to a robust collection of coming papers.

We offer the poetry industry groups, readings, book launches, classroom visits. If not that, the published works of university poets.

The Center has taken hold.

Last year its host traveled easily in the community.

Los Angeles welcomes the frost to poetry.

Like DNA, the Dodge Through Space Festival brings an audience of thousands to poets in New Jersey proven agile among the feet of dinosaurs.

Don Marshall counts with the voice of eleven in the stockyards.

Adrienne, from Boston, was in this home house, heard the chairman on express polycentrism, and the express performance into the first ever.

Bellow around the country for our addresses (all of them in Chicago (make it the Cultural North)) to teach now its newest art form – a poem building to those the Board selected, inviting them as collections with public space for the general hope. We – that building – will house the reading room, in its offices – us – since a founding figure by space came more recently, where space captures the architects, the editors, the Poetry media.

Poetry will settle of its own just time to celebrate in its centenary – all that this carries for us by its home.

In the words of the Spanish poet Federico García Lorca:

        “But the Board was a poem
        in Ronan’s Ronan.

        Ronan Ronan
        down to Don Newberry
        in Chicago

        it and been to nothing…as well and
        and, and. and, and of.
        of that,. and., and. would, .,

        ——.,.,..:, ,

        to, to.,
        to at this to.., , ,

        -.—, ,—.: and,
        – the,”

Sincerely President,

A Brr John


Word collage rearranging the text of the President of the Poetry Foundation’s 2011 Annual Letter to the Poetry Community (minus the Adrienne Rich poem).

From the Man Who Was Permanently Upside Down But Never Knew It

The point of my heart
point upwards
never into the ground

where it leads
the sky lies
huge,

and I think
I must always be
floating,

for I never
wear out
shoes.

trigger-free guns

balletic plume
no lemon, no melon
there’s no menu here
we’ve got just one plum

just one eon of balletic lumps
alembic tell-upons
and compatible amoebic pelts

we’ll do an alpine molting minuet
to a lemon tulip waltz dripping wet
on the roof of mill once opulent
that caught a spark,
and away
we went

pull – become lupine toll
for the lumpen proletariat

pull – become an unlit pole
knocked down by the secretariat

become the pilot’s null transmission
with nothing left of the helm
become the pinto’s lulled ambition
when tied to a painted elm

become a bale of broken tiles –
the largest the world’s ever seen

become everything that’s ever faded
and knows it’s lost its sheen

Redacted from the Book of Proverbs (no. 6)

A rich man might share shame
        with the poor man,
        but under no circumstances will he
        share his private executive restroom
        with him.

He will direct him to the bathroom in the hall
        past the elevators
        next to the janitor’s closet
        or immediately call security –
        depending on his mood.

If the poor man approaches the rich man
        with a 30 gallon trash bag or tinfoil
        used as an article of clothing
        the rich man will definitely
        call security.

His secretary will in all likelihood
        get an earful as well.

Democracy (I)

Every-time Americans,
every tired American
has an American problem
states the movie eruptions –
rather tell it as if it had all been in a picture show.

Pray? Yes.
Have it be a prayer.

It paints May then
like a lethal point of far science –
is by the will asserting upwards

elected, the about turn
curves
straight as our pundits
like (incidentally) superficialities
like nothing
like the face of fraudulence
left the sailing sheets in folds
this is leadership,
the official repeats,
eyes obstinate, non-responsive, leaden
gallery after empty gallery of incompetence
uniting the dead-ends
of the megaphone
quickening the real America
into absence

American Republic
rotten of situation sound –
what this situation needs
is more lies and expanding/shrinking labels
something awfully malicious
as usual

Democracy as a country
is the sum of its irrelevancies
by world courageous
by word contagious
it roots deeper as fiction cries
itself into dilution
by and before
large vast sums
government by
thank yous
the tipoff, payoff
the bickering over give-aways

Democracy, you otherwise
other wise establishment,
your covenant
is evaporating

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