Tuesday, December 19, 2006


One From the Vaults

Dusting off some old CDs, getting some poetry into some semblance of order in the hopes I can get something going in the next 6 months or so (I'm talking to someone about getting a book out, and maybe seeing about a road trip to do some perf po if I can swing it), I came across this one--always enjoyed this one, just for the way it clangs against the original, though to be honest, I suspect it benefited from its original context--which was as a response to a particularly virulent flame war on the old boards, where I first met Tara, my co-collaborator for the past five years, whom I've yet to meet in meatspace. Those boards, once incredibly vital, have been dead for longer than is really acceptable, though I do get the sense that it could have some little to do with general forum dynamics and the group in question's commitment to exploring poetry together. I know a few of the old contributors are still active on forums or elsewhere (all four of the current Trip editors have put in their time over at the boards linked to, but years ago...and tchitch here found it to be one of a couple of boards I was erased from entirely...that's a whole nother story, and not really an interesting one). In any case, the following "poem" was a response to a flame war on those boards that had gotten out of hand, and I wanted to park it here both for ease of access and just for shits 'n' giggles. Hopefully, it doesn't lose all of its punch in translation.

I'm looking at 43 pages of material, with a fair amount of thematic coherence, right this minute...and I actually got a poem into fair shape last night...with a little luck, I'll find the energy to extend my current work for a few weeks. Lord knows I need to.

Hope the holidays are shaping up to be SAD-free for all of you. --tchitch

The Mellow Hen

Mistah Keats--he dead

"Everybody is so full of shit..." Jane's Addiction


We are the starving hens,
We are the sated hens,
Clucking together
Pecking at keyboards. Alas!
Our resonant clucks, when
We Bock Bock B-Gawk!
Are resonant and meaningless
As bells in a steeple
Or fingers over inert keyboards
Of our dry computers

Form? There's no form. Meaning? No meaning.
Just the recollection of communication to teach and entertain in tranquility...

Those who have crossed,
With crossed eyes, our furious paths,
Have felt--if at all--the burning coals
Of our derision, but only
As the starving hens,
The sated hens.


Hens I dare not meet in dreams
Upon computer screens
These do not appear:
There, the hens are
Blustery as a winter wind
There, is a skyscraper singing
And cluckings are
In the sunlight's eating
More earnest and more serious
Than a strutting rooster.

Let me be no nearer,
Upon computer screens
Let me also wear
No presumptuous disguises
Teacher, Anti-hero, Scarecrow
In a field
Blowing in the wind
No nearer--

Not that taught veneer
Of untrained jadedness.

This is the message board
This is the pecking ground
Here our clucked images
Are raised, here they receive
Empty praises, meaningless "nice"s, or else
Critique from which we glean
Is it like this,
On the computer screen
Waking to hens
At the hour when we are
Vulnerable to words
Lips that would sing
Form empty rails against form.


The beaks are not here
There are no beaks here
In this valley of dying words
In this starving valley
This rolling eye of our lost poetry

In this last of pecking grounds
We grope each other
And avoid poems
Gathered on this chicken wire encaged dirt floor

Tongueless, unless
The beaks reappear
As the perpetual word
Bane and boon of us all
Upon computer screens
The hope only
of starving hens.

Here we go round the floppy disk
Floppy disk, floppy disk
Here we go round the floppy disk
At five o'clock in the morning.

Between the idea
And the "reality"
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the henhouse

For Thine is the barnyard

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the henhouse

AOL is very bad

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the henhouse

For Thine is the barnyard

For Thine is
AOL is
For Thine is the

This is the way the argument ends
This is the way the argument ends
This is the way the argument ends
Not with a post but a silence.

Tasty... like chicken!

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