too ok

by colin herd

BlazeVOX [books] Buffalo, NY

Too Ok by Colin Herd Copyright © 2010 Published by BlazeVOX [books] All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced without the publisher’s written permission, except for brief quotations in reviews. Printed in the United States of America Book design by Geoffrey Gatza First Edition ISBN: 978-1-60964-049-1 Library of Congress Control Number: 2010939080 BlazeVOX [books] 303 Bedford Ave Buffalo, NY 14216 Editor@blazevox.org

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m ike we put masking tape on the floor, like a tennis court, and played, in our sweats on the "lawn" and laughed, you know: serve, love, deuce, game, set, then we yawned. my personal trainer is also my coauthor (in a sense, my muse and master) his name's mike, and would you disbelieve me if i said he also trains gwen stefani? mike you are good, man, undeniably. is mike in the room? no, mike's not in the room. he gives dietary tips too. and runs a special program designed for budding brides and grooms in preparation for their big day. i mention it because he asked me to.

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strictly following mike's instructions can be really tough! but the results speak for themselves, i guess. a great deal of what he teaches is really correcting bad habits. my cable -crossover was completely wrong, barely beneficial at all to the development of my chest. yesterday, my motivation having dipped, mike said, think of it as a poem, and knock out all the unnecessary lines to reveal eh (mike is never out of his depth. this hesitation very rare) the true, sculpted, sexy and muscular shape of the poem within. he reads the new yorker every issue. i said: so you think you're ezra pound now? i'm joining david lloyd.

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for Kye

sometimes a sweater is just a sweater, other times it's the sweater you just took off
at the hotel there are brown curtains and the wall is punctured with maybe six port holes, i haven't counted. the bed is very big, which may be deceptive because there's a soft crevice in the middle. i think it is two beds smashed together. "cut and shut". even though i'm in dreary Edinburgh (well it is) and you're in dreamy Vietnam, i wish some awful mechanic would "cut and shut" us tight together, cracking us open like chocolate eggs and getting his welding kit out, to sew us up. i'm not sure that sounds like i mean it to: i mean it kindly, i mean it enamoured.

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"poetry is love in action"

i was at a poetics conference and heard michael golston say in a paper on clark coolidge, ‘poetry is love in action’. i jotted it down. i desperately want that formula to be true, like bubblebaths make you sleep well (i haven't slept well in the bath since we first got together, because it frightens you to think i might slip under and not wake up. you forget i'm a little large to drown in our bath, i barely fit in, so could i drown?) but what kind of love in action's poetry? when i was a teenager, i was hopelessly in love with some guy (this happened rather often, with more than one guy so i don't have one in particular in mind) and i invariably associated a song with him, sometimes a song i'd heard him hum, or sometimes a song that just happened to play when we were both in a corridor. i'd lie in my bedroom and play the song over and over on cassette tape. play. rewind. play. rewind. play. rewind. i would do this for hours and i have to admit that although in the first instance i was filled with desire for the guy, gradually this shifted to being desire to hear the song, until at some point it would dawn on me that my
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desire was strongest for the gap in between when, with my finger on the button i would hear the very familiar buzz. i love that faint whurr and my anticipation of the assertive click-click. desire, through a conviction that it wouldn't ever be fulfilled, focused on the act of rewinding, a repetitive act, passive, lonely and, because i would lie there for hours, i surefootedly can say i was in the throes of a kind of eroticallycharged boredom. it is surely not difficult to speculate why i so fixated on this act. i was obscenely obsessed with my own self-pity, always going back to the start and playing it through again. schopenhauer said that boredom is just the reversal of fascination, that both depend on being on the outside of something rather than the inside, and that one leads to the other. i certainly felt 'on the outside' and as i rewound pop songs on cassette tapes my intense boredom and equally strong fascination continually outstripped each other like long-distance runners. when one dropped back, the other steamed on. or like dough kneaded full of air and knocked back to deflation, and then re-kneaded, and so on. i wasn't doing this through a conviction that i'd find backtracked satanic messages that had been leading me and others so frighteningly astray a la the band 'cradle of filth'. (scratch that, maybe i was. up in my room rewinding tapes, i think i must have been looking for messages, my desire so used to pointing outwards fruitlessly towards guys at school that i would be willing to find some kind of response anywhere, be it spooky as you like.) i'm not sure whether it comes across for anyone else but when typing this out i
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sometimes felt as though i was back listening compulsively to that buzz again, caught up in conflicting senses of possibility and boring inevitability.

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elevator poem a purple pellet is being smushed into your forehead. a little more information, maybe? but the pellet could be anything. clear? it’s irrelevant. and we all stand in the corners of the elevator, smiling, thinking the same thing, at you. IT’S A BLUEBERRY, NITWIT; DON’T ALLOW HIM TO CONTINUE!!! a purple pellet is being smushed into your forehead. a little more information, maybe? but the pellet could be anything. clear? it’s irrelevant. and we all stand in the corners of the elevator, smiling, thinking the same thing, at you. IT’S A BLUEBERRY, NITWIT; DON’T ALLOW HIM TO CONTINUE!!! a purple pellet is being smushed into your forehead. a little more information, maybe? but the pellet could be anything. clear? it’s irrelevant. and we all stand in the corners of the elevator, smiling, thinking the same thing, at you. IT’S A BLUEBERRY, NITWIT; DON’T ALLOW HIM TO CONTINUE!!! a purple pellet is being smushed into your forehead. a little more information, maybe? but the pellet could be anything. clear? it’s irrelevant. and we all stand in the corners of the elevator, smiling, thinking the same thing, at you. IT’S A BLUEBERRY, NITWIT; DON’T ALLOW HIM TO CONTINUE!!! a purple pellet is being smushed into your forehead. a little more information, maybe? but the pellet could be anything. clear? it’s irrelevant. and we all stand in the corners of the elevator, smiling, thinking the same thing, at you. IT’S A BLUEBERRY, NITWIT; DON’T ALLOW HIM TO CONTINUE!!!

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sketch for paper ball crumple this. the birds and butterflies should echo more the knots in my skull, my bowtie and even the oil-slicked farfalle in my bowl. maybe the bit behind the ear, “a pink pepper” my mother calls it. on the night could we make the zapping sound louder or more intense or something? the joint between finger and nostril should quiver, like a rubber-band mid-flight, but make it look unsure of itself, like a flying cat, the boy who doesn’t know where it’s headed, survivors on the rocks, and an homme endormi. two years before Blues: A Magazine of New Rhythms A Bisexual Bi-monthly made him famous, Charles Henri Ford wrote in his journal: "In two years I will be famous. In two years I will be famous. In two years I will be famous. In two years I will be famous. In two years I will be famous. In two years I will be famous. This is my oath." i’m just saying, it’s best to try.

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m y deference turns you on, i think.

the time i took a cup and held it to the bathroom door, just to hear you pee, i trapped my fingers in my drawers. you keep them there. we bury the hatchet. like princess margaret and queen elizabeth over group captain peter townsend. don’t you. forget about me. i flick the light switch off then on again very quickly as a joke. we bury the hatchet, just to hear you pee. i draped my fingers on the bathroom door. you keep them there, don’t you. forget about my drawers & the cup.

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dodoitsu

i remember being a barfly. not a MAGGOT like you said. was i swatted by the edge of the street?

i do listen to people when i’m not talking myself; my husband (if i could choose) would be a raconteur.

i am an atom iser from which you can squeeze a thin spray of hope, i hope. if you hug me, i’ll show you.

shuddering just happily oo aa oo aa oo aa oo this isn’t what you think. there’s a stone in my shoe.

i don’t know. i feel mixed up, like dough, in a cool attic. the sky just won’t stop shouting (so i’ll play pop songs).

the check-out-boy (the only one i can think of) crouching on the supermarket floor. his badge says tomas.
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there are websites where you can track celebrity real estate transactions. i just looked. Bjork is selling a house.

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