35, the year of apprentice and supplement

1. gray
you are nothing
compared to portland’s winter
i’ll take you
all the way up to the peak of a mountain
i’ll take you

2. quiet
for a birthday morning
in the essence
of underwhelm
this city
has not yet learned
to spoil me

i am rebuilding last year’s
staircase altar
in my head/heart
tiny peacock puzzles
crystalized ginger)

3. pigeons
on three wires
strung over the 1-5
appear as lines of text
then as pigeons
on three wires

4. blue sky
meets salted water
meets bare feet
pressed into sand
site of elemental rendezvous

5. soles
curved and
shaping themselves
around rock edges
i could scramble down
the whole damn coast
this way
racing the tide

6. tossing wishrock in
i summon
a parade of names

7. thomas says
i was thinking
we could go to the bookstore
and you could pick out any book you want
and i’ll buy it for you
for your birthday

8. we decide on spicer
my vocabulary did this to me
the weight of each page
old world meets new
feels perfect
in my hands

9. plowing through
pages of theory
scrambled alphabets
piling up like snowbanks
on either side
taking as making

10. i have gone so far
as to thank the author
for spelling labor with an extra vowel
because all those extra vowels
might add up to a page or two
which makes this book
that much shorter

11. a robot
a chef
a wonder woman
a puck
a chainsaw wielding laborer
in a reflective vest
for the bus
at 30th and juniper

12. walking home
over switzer canyon
i hear the superheros
(or some characters that wear speedos)
saying something about going fast/
getting it over with
before i see them
torpedoing down the hill
even tho i am on foot
the fellow biker spirit
is contagious

13. i bypass home
to follow the bass sound
and i am grateful
for the spirit of celebration
parties spicing up quiet streets
in the dark
as a way
to mark
my birth


french toast improv

some things i can tell you:

is not going to be phenomenal.

the weight
of marina abramović’s work
and pressed to chest
tears mined
from belowground gut
brought up
to surface

french toast improv
we gather

a coating of oil
so the toxicity
will not stick
but slide away
from the surface

after a week of silence
speaks up again

the institution
hashing it out
on the second floor balcony
of york hall
then paling
chem trails drawn across
when the institution wins
there will
be sky

i did not mean
to eat that
leftover cookie
while i dug the footstep groove
between lit building
and shuttle bus stop
one layer deeper

performance series
sit or walk
somewhere public
like a bus stop
or shopping mall

make eye contact
with every person
you walk past/
that walks past you

sit or walk
somewhere public
like a bus stop
or shopping mall

soften your face
and make eye contact
with every person
you walk past/
that walks past you

sit or walk
somewhere public
like a bus stop
or shopping mall

and make eye contact
with every person
you walk past/
that walks past you

in the moment of eye contact
project these thoughts
(or something similar in words of your choice)
to them:
you are beautiful
every cell of your body is a gift
(to yourself and whoever you desire to share it with)

i believe in you

sit or walk
somewhere public
like a bus stop
or shopping mall

make eye contact
with every person
you walk past/
that walks past you

in the moment of contact
allow yourself
to recognize
you have survived
they have survived
in order
to be here

associative memory:
sidewalking in seattle
a year or two after WTO
claws of capitalism/corporate domination
still becoming evident
(as opposed to the current level of saturation/normalization
rendering capitalism/corporate domination nearly invisible)
a suit
seated at an outdoor starbucks table
wipes hand across his nose
and discovers blood
pull a kleenex
from backpack pocket
(‘dismantle the workbeast’ patch sewn on)
and offer it
to him

that = letterpress

1. 6:56am
the collections agency
thanks me/apologizes
for inconsistencies
regarding lightning
while the fog
shuffles silently in
thick enough
to warrent an advisory

2. california-grown gala apple
with a side
of cashews by the handful
a version of heat
on my shoulders

3. after discussing
john cage
from the front row
he shares his own version
of 10 seconds
of silence

4. at the old student center
sidewalk chalk
in one-foot tall letters
accompanied by drawings of
my kitchen
my living room

5. swimming pool
speaks in blueblack code

plus plastic orange yellow red blue triangles in the wind
she has ways
of telling all of us
when we’ve almost
gone too far

6. birthday bouquet
locker room benchleft
with a note
happy birthday tanya
i suspend
and allow myself to believe
they were left
for me
from a thousand miles away
or poked through the veil
between worlds

7. green mystery box take-out offering
with black plastic fork

8. i learn

stronger than steel
that while once upon a time
there was a ban
but because no suitable replacement material was found
the ban was lifted

how it can weasel its way
around our bodies
in splinter form
and up into the brain
if it so desires

if we worked with the earth
everything wouldn’t be so mad at us

9. chris
and i
on the shuttleride home
and what is it
about this gayass family
as long as we are connecting
we can make anywhere feel like home

10. your heart
you say
is probably printed like that
(that= letterpress)

11. bike ride home through unbelievable balm
i marvel
at a thin pair of long sleeves
and exposed calves
against them
on an october 27th
this is
most likely
the warmest
and lightly-est dressed
i have ever been
this far into

lightning #2

1. in the dream
i was visiting
the house
on se 8th and division
named the train station
(lived there from 2003-2006)

new young faces
show me
how they took out the walls in the basement
to turn it into a gallery/show/classroom/work space
new young faces
to the stories
of how the house began
seven years ago
new young queer faces
a new sense of homesick
under the covers
if this would be read
as platonic

2. campus-bound shuttlebus
i didn’t catch her name
but she grew up in vancouver bc
and her son performs in operas
we talk about gathering family stories
and how multiple truths
can exist
for the same story
in infectous disease
grad student
in lit

3. jp and i
walk into lit building
plastic laid and taped down
oh look
i say
they rolled out the plastic carpet

4. allie
brings donuts
to critique
and by the end
lester is
sugarhigh and dancing

5. performance series #5:
first, choose someone to work with you

choose an empty room
the size of a supertanker
(or as close to the size of a supertanker
that you can get)
like that room in the tate with all the porcelain sunflower seeds

write the names
in graphite or charcoal
on the walls of this room
of every miner
on the job

a ladder may be necessary

speak each name aloud
as you write it
and as you write and speak
each name aloud
the person you chose to work with you
will light a candle
at the moment each name is spoken
(one candle per name)

candles should be set out on the floor
of the gutted-ship room

if you run out of room on the walls
layering and overlapping
is ok
and in fact
will most likely

separate performances of the same structure
can be arranged around various groups of people

(for instance:
•names of unarmed citizens
[sometimes shot in the back]
by one or several cops
•names of people who have died
trying to cross the mexico/u.s. (or any other) border
•names of those
who died
because of lack of access
to proper health care
•names of those
in a hate crime
•names of those
who have taken their own lives


6. do you know
she says
you have only tagged lightning once
in your details?
i could write
a dissertation
on your blog

6. 9:23 pm
john cage’s
some rules for students and teachers
via satellite

1,087 miles from here

1. the history
of low-flow toilets
before the 1950s
toilets typically used 7 gallons or more for each flush
by the end of the 1960s
toilets were designed to flush with only 5.5 gallons
and in the 1980s
the new toilets being installed were using only 3.5 gallons
a new toilet uses no more than 1.6 gallons of water in the U.S.

2. this morning
i feel my mother’s aching knees
in my knees
pedaling north
then west

3. somewhere
between park
and vermont
on university
we strike up conversation
at stoplights
we both discover
an origin (portland)
in common
file under
best san diego bike moment
with the 7thirty a.m. scooter woman

4. lester
ties hot pink ribbon
into a series of knots
while crg
the deconstruction
of the lyrical/analytical “i”

5. crg
hands down
as the most quotable person
of fall quarter
thou shalt not be killed
colors have history
(in reference to the rust red
of some boaty car
edging into the corner of a photograph
from the late 1970’s/early 1980’s)

6. parking lot lights
outside the lit building
come on
oven-element red
at the same second
the montgomery park sign
buzzes into sight
1,087 miles from here

7. i am the kind of person
who desires to silence
bus windows
in their frames

8. car horn
disguised as train whistle
if certain details
were rearranged
such as
longitude latitude coordinates
and indeed
it was an actual train whistle
my whole fist would be  ____  you right now

garlic cloves one inch deep

1. in the dream
i stood howling
and slobbering into night wind
at the end of a long driveway
until the woman across the suburban street
poked her martina navratilova
face out her window
if everything
was alright

2. fortune #2
displayed in your rock collection
everything is not yet lost

3. pressing garlic cloves
one inch deep
into sandy soil
you and our bootdance
and all night laugh fits
are embedded
into the motions
of this tradition

4. no thermometer
but i’m pretty sure
this hotcold
is lowgrade

5. sadness accompanies fever
rising from internal furnace
to skin


is the greatest proof
of being alive
reads the fortune
taped onto quilted vinyl
and sent
via satellite

satellites bending our voices around each other

1. 11:30 am
7:30 england time
allison rings
tells me
kate had a good enough last day
in oman
with a close friend
tells me kate
was an extremely private person
tells me
there was a simple will
and per her request
her body
was cremated
and her ashes
scattered in ireland
she was saving up for you
for a small cottage
and a bit of land
she studied the layers of your history
and sifted out the words
to best honor
her discoveries)

new language
to the concept
of coming home

2. grief is sometimes
like water
and the only way
to move through it
is slow
and weightless

3. dear san diego
even your kombucha
is mediocre

4. in a purple room
we line up lifelines
side by side
comparing plot

5. i discover
community gardens
on the edge of campus
smell of earth
not toxic fabric softener
not sewage
not exhaust
for the first time
in this city/on this campus
i feel

6. 6pm ride home
sweet potatoes in my pannier
trapped behind two busses
but the goldpink light
spilling over twin high rises
at park and university
forgives everything
even the highrises themselves

7. three jack o’lanters
porchstep sitting
on louisiana st
perfect cut
as if martha stewart
was at the carving party
makes me wistful
for a time
when there was room
for a little more unpredictability

8. two walks around the block
to open and close the coop
this is
one of
the smallest

9. satellites
bending our voices
around each other
doogie howser

almost destroys
your life

10. if i was to start amassing
a collcection of hot pink bougainvilla petals
in mountains
filling my room
like plastic balls
fill the playground at chuck e cheese
it would be
your fault

11. moon
spilling silver
on sidewalk
a miracle
that you come back
again and again
bringing us light
even after
we bombed you
to find out
what was on the inside