Soaked In Its Grief

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It made its way down
A redwood leaf
Plummeted soft
On the deep, awakened greens
lithe bounce
      photomatic reel
It hung off the most
Dangerous peaks
A diamond axel
With a Nibbana plink
bright stealth
      clear coalescing,
      barefoot assassin
It broke against still life
Curled the curves of
An iris heirloom
Lost its shape in the florets
Of a sunflower’s face
Slipped through wisteria’s
Forbearing arms
dram drop
      cloud blooming burst
      wingless, seraph, sphere
A fertile whisper shook
In disbelief
A toad disturbed jumped
Onto another lily
A chrysalis kindly, soaked
In its grief
As Nature cried out the
First tear of spring


A Mad Intercision

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“Surrealism to me is reality.”  John Lennon

“A Mad Intercision”

Pulled back by the wind, fog lights jumped over

Knocking pressure below the air plane,

She went off the road ‘cause her mind

Let-out-line for a memory, a mad 

Intercision, and I remember I

Was the one next to her as the

Hospital bed ran the motorcyclist

From screaming children into

A river where we swam all summer

Ate at the park pepperoni pizza, green chili fruit pies

We flew, thrown high from it, our kites in spring  

Sucked hard warm gasses along the jetstream

Conical shells, road piggy back

On joyous ants, split soul per diem

The sky was like glass

And I tugged you mom wake up, the er nurse

Needs you to get her ice Why? She’s flying

We laughed ‘cause we made one moment right

Before we forgot we were in route

To moralities where everyone stared us right out of class

You took one long, yellow leg with us to snow summit

We chewed into lobster rubber,

I wiped the tomato paste off the molcajete and the

Motorists hung white linen sheets in the wind

As that silly snowman with the middle finger,

Cigarette, and beer can smiled

I thought he needs a winter coat, so he doesn’t lose his beer

Or a friend to remember how he was, a

Nice chunk of ice, an intercision 

A memory mad for your undivided vision,

Flying glass kites on chain smoke marinara

I walked right off, out of the hospital window

With sangria fireflies

Attached to my arms


Thank you for reading,


Feb. 2017

Blackbird #14

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There’s comfort in understanding what works and what doesn’t work in language. But what happens when a man like John Cage gets “uncreative” and wants to take syntax out of language to make language more “un-understandable”? Cage claimed the linguistic status quo was “demilitarizing language” and would continue to bang his head against a wall until he achieved what he wanted. And this passionate want to emancipate language inspired me to place Wallace Stevens’ “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” into Cage’s beloved mesostic generator (click here to view mesostic generator). And once generated, I concluded this new poem, Blackbird #14, as 1.) a clipped visual representation of conceptual art with new sounds and linguistic experiences, and 2.) a computer generated WOA (aka work of art) regurgitating cryptic language with a deterministic message hidden in plain sight.

Looking at a mesostic poem is like looking at conceptual art. It appears Stevens’ blackbird was clipped in physical length (mesostic generator only condensed). The poem’s focal point was centered around a ‘spine phrase’ which ran down the length of the poem. The spine phrase was capitalized giving the poem “lifts” in mid-words (i.e., “among tWenty snowy mountains…the blAckbird walks”). Since the original poem omits syntax we’re left with tongue-tied phrases (going against formal language). It was very beautiful to see words doubled-up (and and, the of the…). My favorite part of Blackbird #14 (incorporating visual and sound) was the “ii” and “iii” and “eyes.” The “i’s” flowed nicely within the poem. The Roman numerals had new meaning (i.e., the numerals changed and appeared as a reference to time). The “iv” appeared to look like “I’ve”. And “x” followed the word “marked” as in X marks the spot. The line “euphony over equipage be all,” was a pleasing alliteration.

Blackbird #14 does not die in its complexity. Lines including “indecipheraBle” and “inescapable” were almost cryptic in meaning; connecting in an unintentional but intentional way (can’t escape trying to make sense of it all). This uncreative poem was not completely non-intentional since I could control the message within the spine phrase. The spine phrase that I made up was generic: “wallace stevens fourteenth blackbird.” (Upon further inspection my mind omitted the “n” after I did this analysis.  (I didn’t change this error since changing it would mean I was being more creative).  Lines which produced interesting “innuendos” were: “i Know too that/Blackbird/Is involved what i know…beauty of inflections/beauty of innuendoes.” I wanted every word to soar from the mesostic generator. I wanted to control the language to make it right; to make it mean something more. Then in the end, I realized it’s more about the process and not about hidden meanings.

I value Stevens’ original blackbird contrasting life, flying full circle, ending on a sentinel perch. It’s a powerful image. And, in some bizarre way I was stunned to discover both artists were inspired by haiku and Japanese art. Both artists, composer and poet, achieved the same goal by different means. They broke away from traditional poetic modes. And by applying Stevens’ originaL “ThIrteen Ways of LooKing at a Blackbird” into John CagEs ambitious head bang, BlaCkbird #14 wAs born, set into motion, on another fliGht, toward nEw horizons!

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird



000 Generalities

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Poverty is a symbol
It’s as lost as two faces
Conjoining eyes in a mirror
It’s as nameless as two tracks
Topping off at a crossroad
As cold as massive numbers
Turning odds into zeros
So big it becomes
An unmelodious aviary
A zoo inches deep in dust
A house dry of pulsation
Of migrant thought
What’s left between, in-between
When the ringing has stopped
Poverty is noting more
Than what is general
A stack needing to be reshelved
Into the Dewey decimal system
Cooperative as long as it stays in its place
It’s an ancient, archived tete-a-tete
We ride on past without any empathy
Widely biased if not, unplugged
Despair a greater sin for them
As their cries become shut in a book
And this symbol again
Is unheard

clburdett, 2017


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five different versions of
same event
how soon in life
the die
too young to know
was doing
beach wood, isn’t it?
inscrutable secrets
and lies
original passion
a one
stringed lyre
to a
of hemlock
over-dead, isn’t it?
the happiest times
in  life were
that house
killing myself
as if
hadn’t died
a murderous tendency
on art
expect me

Clburdett, 2017

(A) Spiral Groove

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My other life called


Its been a long time

Got my number from a friend

Heard my mom had passed

Sorry but couldn’t stay in touch

Moved all the way to haha Alaska

Give me a call back…

They didn’t even leave a name


Maybe  an old friend remembered me

Broke the code found my number and called

How’d they get my number

Someone wants to get back into my life

I don’t know anyone from Alaska

Someone wants to reach me

It hasn’t happened before


Stranger calls have gotten

Me to think of people who are

In my mind and who stay there

People I think about but never call

People I dream about who I don’t know

People I make plans for who do not exist

People  I love who don’t have life numbers, period numbers, era numbers, zip codes, homes…

I know enough though


Guess who called is like any other stranger

Guess who called is like any other

Motion in play any other motion on play


Reached where it was supposed to go

Closed Until Fall

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Come with me this evening
And I will take two links from your watch
Come to the front door
Drop  off sugar, peanut butter in a green coffee cup
And I will give you spoons of my tomato soup
I’ll stub my pinky on your chest
You’ll sneak the car to the firehouse
Show me ghosts in the suite, at the
Furnace creek inn
We’ll come to watch the denim fade
Debate the end of horror, black and white
Ram rocks to view flood
Blocked monuments
Talk of falls church, holsteins, and .45
Night sky dark park night sky
You’ll key the radio as we’re kidnapping toads
Pour oil down the funnel next
To the date groves
Rolling on top of our own giants
Slashing the night with our laughs
Swim millions of years in spring water
Hitting the bats with our heads
It all ends at one
As unleashed dogs howl excitedly
Down the slumbersome  sealed Shoshone rez
As castle halls blink, at the
Furnace creek inn

Clburdett, 2016