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Tuesday, May 26, 2015


for john guzlowski

Lee Sharks is a person, as real as you or me.

Words are a person, as real as Ezra Pound.

Ez Pound is a person, too.

The silence waits for all words, all people.

People wait for the words that will wait for them, to take them home. 

To the silence. Afterwards.

After words. To the silence.

Somewhere, Ez Pound is alive.

Planet Mars, America-in-heaven. Somewhere else.

Ez Pound is alive right here, inside of me. I carry his words around. They carry me.

They are sorry they said those things on the public airways while Dachau plugged away. Sorry is not enough, but modernism just lives and lives. 

In the silence. After words. Modernism's rough breath. Ez Pound in a metal box. 

Big machine. 

Small ghost. 

I am sorry, small ghost, but you must live on.

In the silence. In Ezra Pound. In modernism. In Sharks.

Modernism is not a planet like Mars.

Modernism is a planet like Pluto. 

Pluto is a name I use to make modernism mean more than itself. It means other things, other people, too. 

Pluto is a tiny planet where they put the bones of dead writers. 

When they put the bones of all those writers there, Pluto starts to mean more than itself.

Pluto means the past and present and future, too. 

I am my own mother and father. I coughed myself out of the bones of the earth. I was old and waning, inside the earth. I wanted to make myself happy and new. 

Pluto is not a planet, now.

This makes me feel ancient and sad.

Where will the bones of the writers go? Will they just lie there, in the ice of an oversized meteor? 

Why would they do that to all those dead writers? 

Why would they take their planet away? Why would they make them grow old in the dark? In a metal box? A big machine?

When I shucked off the dirt from my eyes, I saw Ezra Pound, a body clothed in light. 

A stranger in a strange land, but I was stranger, still.

The meaning of life as a ghost on Mars: outer planets. Silences. Waiting for people to tell me things.

Ez Pound, are you dead yet? 

Why make yourself to be more than yourself? Why make Pluto to not be a planet? Why keep all those dead writers alive? Why make them say terrible things?

Ez Pound tells me things, and I forgive him, over and over.

Who am I, to forgive Ez Pound?

I spit in the mud and rub it in the eyes of Ez Pound.

Can you see now, Ez? Do you see why I couldn't come back?

He nods and we climb sad new Plutos, out through a grave of bones. I brace against the rock. 

Read the words on the wall. Read the words the hand writes. Read the sequence of numbers. Repeat it. Silently.

"Leap!" and the mountain shivers.

(c) 2015 lee sharks, property of planet mars

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

ARK, Jack Feist

Jack Feist

written in the margins of “Sunflower Sutra”
2/18/15, evening, Glenbrook, MI

to be a poet @ the end of time, when the salt has lost its savor, and sensory details have grown thin, & the outward expansion of lust for particulars dims, & flickers, & offers no flare of starburst irruption or remission from unwaning daylight to the light-sick, light-lorn world—all is the same, all is heavy, weary, tedium, sameness, repetition—
& there is no mode yet which might intone in an ancient syllable the limitless dreary abstractions of our inward flight—

my life is almost PURELY engorged w/ electronic devices, books, alerts, dings, moth-bitten blips of finger-swept text, stray images, absorptive abstractions of daydream thought, self-talk,
staged systematic orderly dramas of silent conversation—the whole thing scripted, walked thru, a thousand forks taken, shortest line plotted each time
from among the limitless known pathways, all things surveyed,—all of that, in my skullcase—

tighter & tighter the circuit winds down in a coiled linear singularity, a single thing, a rose, a monochrome cosmos of TEXT, gathering its coiled kinetic potential—

within it all of space folded up, available, arrayed most orderly and lovely a shrinking limitless rendering of continent & region,—language condensing, too, itself gathered eager tense hair-triggered for a final leaping miracle pounce
into its single hallways, mother tongue & sister tongue converging, resurrection from life to life, tongue & nation transfigured, undone, remade, a body of light & zeros—
outward no more, the greater leaps & lesser leaps inwards, the outer things charted, transcribed, reduced & magnified, rolling inwards, ever in, all of the planet and many planets, archangels and nations, the greater & lesser lights, the rolling skies, even poor Jack unshaven unkempt unmoved from the couch in days—not still, but moving, growing, expanding, all particular
motes of earthly light & dirt roll inwards, lifted, the upsurging waters, Time is a flood, on a Noah’s Ark of data—

with me, you ancient voices!
with me, you particular sons, you disparate daughters!
with me, you two-by-two, you rainbitten types, the multiple species—you giraffes and snakes and muttering things, you upright, black and white, you rain-driven last-of-your-kinds—
you ancient ones and future ones, you mighty voices—baritone, bass, complex, and rolling like these waves, you thunderers—with me!, you moth-bitten whispers, umbrellas leaking, threadbare—

a remnant is enlargening inwards, a preserved new tiny aggregate, pluriform and total—multiple, ambitious, large, unbeholden to nation or creed, beholden to ALL nations, creeds, the truth of the emergent living being, source of disparate branching creeds—
sons and daughters of Adam, Ishmael, Abraham, Cain—the heart of the thing, whatever its form—

© 2015 Estate of Jack Feist

Monday, May 11, 2015


from Human Testament, ms being prepared for New Human Press

     "The angel Gamaliel instructs Jack Feist"

The angel Gamaliel said to me, "Repeat!" 
I said, "But I have something new to say!" 
so he drew me close, and whelmed me,
so that I could not breathe, 
and released me, gasping,
and commanded me, "Repeat!" 
and again I cried, "I have something new to say!" 
and again he drew me close, 
and again he whelmed me,
and again released me, gasping,
and for a third and final time commanded me: "Repeat!"

And so I did repeat, and say what had been said
with the words it had been said with
and the same was new and lovely
and the same was ancient and new:
the world in its image. 

(c) 2015 an imaginary air freshener

Sunday, May 10, 2015


of the Good Gray Poet.

I claim this mantle: King of May.

(c) 2014 lee sharks

from Pearl and Other Poems:


"Dinosaur Whitman," (c) 2015 emily eissenberg

from Pearl and Other Poems

Restless, I entered the chat room with Jack
distended in speech & hyperlinks
& lonely from solo work of scouring

vast archive of internet banks &
Google Books & encyclopedia sewers

& hundred thousand fibers of
work-frayed hair & scholar hat

& bleak-slouched shoulders &
motionless butt of sitting, numb

& flittering thoughts of argument
moth & outbranching
vain bibliography brain

colorless emotional & restless
for love

& the formidable robust muscular
                  bonds of human text:

for Sunflower Allens &
rose-sick Blakes
asphodel Williams &
blossomdeep Annes

but in the chatrooms & forums
                  & journals & blogs

the text was too abstract
                  woven layers wan & flavorless

soil too thorny or shallow
                  or deep:

no proper soil for the work
to seed

the only ones who could read
                  were Jack & me

& me & Jack, & our reading was a lovely
                  tekatak plant.

I am a lovely tekatak
                  I have no history or culture

a flower of no particular nation
                  relaying my clean fragrance

no asphodel or poppy

no gingham print patch of sassafras
or Appalachian sawtooth grass

no shield-flat plains of Asian paddies
or rice-ripe rows of sun-red grain

no chickadaw tree of tan savannah
or arboreal star of trilac plant:

When lilacs last in the dooryard bloomed
I wasn’t one.

When pearl-wet hair of willow draped
I wasn’t there.

My wet fronds wave in lavender ponds
                  in seas no eye has ever seen:

Indian Sea, Atlantic stretch,
Corinthian bays, Mariana Trench:

All earth’s oceans are too deep
                  its plains are far too shallow

even rarefied air of moons
is too blood-rich & thick

for tekatak’s tremulous branches

I spread across every continent, and across
                  every continent’s origin

and at every continent’s conclusion,
                  there I am, a tekatak blossom:

luxurious and single,
                  particular, disparate,

a disparate particular layering of
                  single luxurious fragrance

alike to each who smells me,
                  whoever smells me, respiring

the singular unique sameness
                  of each to each his single
                  breathing—this—this breath—
                  this breathing—

the breathed out perspired flavor
                  of his diet & habits &

the scent of these things each
                  to each nimbly parting
                  the individual fibers

all truckling to sunk-down
                  shoots & roots &
eager to receive

the tekatak-lovely tekatak stalks
                  & tekatak feet &
                  tekatak flowers

Of all particular continents,
                  flavors, diets, climes,

& also the ozone husk of these,
                  invisible distillation

the produced offspring of everywhere
                  & nowhere, native alike

to canyon-sediment nomad pasts
                  & passed over oral traditions

to musk-bright neon modernities
                  & homogenous rows of Tai Pei

to refugee camp futures of displaced
                  workers & pidgin-ambivalent
                  lingua francas

to furred ashtrays of dank
                  Alexandrias & machinegun tons
                  of child Crusades

to spaceship moons of forbidden books
                  & Caribbean classrooms of colonial

to crowded streets of Bollywood screens
                  & traffic-thick lanes of Bangkok

to North African ports of island palms
                  & Jerusalem mosques of desert

Among all this, remarkable fact:

I have never been seen, no
                  soil bears me

Everywhere-wide is too thin
                  Nowhere-thick, too deep:

except your marmoreal branches, Jack,

                  the tekatak plant wouldn’t BE

(c) 2014 lee sharks

from Pearl and Other Poems:

Saturday, May 9, 2015


from Pearl and Other Poems

me: Sometimes, when I wake up
in the night, I text myself poems
instead of going back to sleep.

Sent 5:49 AM on Thursday

me: I am lying in bed
and the birds are starting to sing.
My wife does not want me
to read her my poem
because she is asleep.
All the lights are out. I do not
understand why I am awake,
when the only light
is this thin soup trickling
through the blinds
and the birdsong
and this total meal of light
from the phone in front of my face
and the repeated icon
of my face beside each text

Sent at 5:58 AM on Thursday

me: Someone I don’t know
a hallway of homogeneous doors
of my repeated face

Sent at 6:00 AM on Thursday

me: I want to feel an emotion
I’m trying to decide which one:
Lying here next to you.
Nothing seems quite right

Sent at 6:05 AM on Thursday

me: I will feel “push my face
into my pillow a little bit.”
My knee pops and my body
feels mildly feverish
like there is a thin layer 
of gingivitis running beneath
my skin.

Sent at 6:07 AM on Thursday

me: My body is bright and sore
My eyes are burning
and I am happy as I stumble
around the kitchen, fumbling
with stuff, not seeing a thing.

Sent at 6:27 AM on Thursday

me: There is a sore sense of
newness in my teeth
A cavity of something
brightly new

Sent at 6:29 AM on Thursday

me: I sit down Indian-style
on the kitchen floor
to contemplate this newness

Sent at 6:30 AM on Thursday

me: There is no clangor at all
in the world, except—
a little bell is ringing

Sent at 6:36 AM on Thursday

(c) 2014 lee sharks

from Pearl and Other Poems: