what is failure, anyways?

something not working the way it was planned or intended to . . . .
something that's lost its way, that's wandered off course and found itself not in Kansas anymore.

something that's lost its intention and found itself coming apart at the seams.

something that has changed.

failure is when the knowledge of a projected future for the thing has been voided in some way.

failure is truth ac.know.ledging that it doesn't know anymore.

i defend the failure.
it has failed in doing what it meant to do, and when it has lost what it meant, it becomes open to more than it ever meant to do.

a blank slate. a fresh start, and no promises for the future this time.


to get free

Walk at least 3 hundred yards. Walk two steps forward saying, "I am me and I am free." Take one step back saying "I feel the chaos." Continue this and eventually the step back or the words of the step back will fall away.


new life

a day free of obligations:
16 hours of pure

i am feeling expansive,
so i blend up a banana
lie back in bed
think about smoking a cigarette
don't smoke a cigarette
because i quit 3 years ago,
for my health
and the planet
and the cats.
the cats are all gone now
but the gold satin comforter
is still destroyed and
under my bathrobe
while the pool smiles a
blue smile
through the patio doors.
ac 62 degrees,
sweet freon smell
i open my thighs to
the cool thoughts of
eleven am.
don't forget,
a voice on the
stupid plastic
this cellphone is prepaid
so i throw it
and it slides into chlorine
with a minimal sound
casual and violent
and it pleases me
just like
the thought
that wherever
i place my hat,
that is where
i am at.
didn't you know
i have a hat, now
and a lot of other things, too,
since you left me.


i guess i'm writing poetry again. i dont really know what else to do. most of it will be here: http://alexandraleon.tumblr.com/

or maybe I will make a new blog for it. blogs like babies since i don't have babies.


"Backbone", by David Foster Wallace


are you alone?

"Fiction is one of the few experiences where loneliness can be both confronted and relieved. Drugs, movies where stuff blows up, loud parties -- all these chase away loneliness by making me forget my name's Dave and I live in a one-by-one box of bone no other party can penetrate or know. Fiction, poetry, music, really deep serious sex, and, in various ways, religion -- these are the places (for me) where loneliness is countenanced, stared down, transfigured, treated."
— David Foster Wallace

an endless stream of distractions--we all need distractions--otherwise.




love itself have rest

We'll go no more a-roving
by George Gordon Byron

SO, we'll go no more a-roving
So late into the night,
Though the heart be still as loving,
And the moon be still as bright.

For the sword outwears its sheath,
And the soul wears out the breast,
And the heart must pause to breathe,
And love itself have rest.

Though the night was made for loving,
And the day returns too soon,
Yet we'll go no more a-roving
By the light of the moon.

No sweet thing left to savour, no sad thing left to fear

We'll Go No More a-Roving
by William Ernest Henley

We'll go no more a-roving by the light of the moon.
November glooms are barren beside the dusk of June.
The summer flowers are faded, the summer thoughts are sere.
We'll go no more a-roving, lest worse befall, my dear.

We'll go no more a-roving by the light of the moon.
The song we sang rings hollow, and heavy runs the tune.
Glad ways and words remembered would shame the wretched year.
We'll go no more a-roving, nor dream we did, my dear.

We'll go no more a-roving by the light of the moon.
If yet we walk together, we need not shun the moon.
No sweet thing left to savour, no sad thing left to fear,
We'll go no more a-roving, but weep at home, my dear.


close the door


lakehurst, new jersey

everyone talks about disaster
in retrospect
a spine tingle tine spingle
i knew it was coming
my grandmother knew it was coming
her grandmother knew it was coming
and yet
we sleep but never soundly
and forget our dreams, a sphere walking with
dreams dead to silence.

the great eye of history never closes
blazing as it does above every quiet town
and the skies continue to pour fire
while the bodies of the earth turn
restlessly underneath,
radiant light flickering on our eyelids.

the tide comes in, the tide goes away

destroyer-bay of pigs

i think about you often
off in the desert
laughing your head off
in the forest of the night;
say a prayer for the



Hang a bottle behind a canvas. Place the canvas where the west light comes in. The painting will exist when the bottle creates a shadow on the canvas, or it does not have to exist. The bottle may contain liquor, water, grasshoppers, ants, or singing insects, or it does not have to contain.

Yoko Ono, from Some Instruction Pieces


i don't know where she's livin
all i got is this card
a picture of her at the pyramids
a knife held to her heart

go betweens-was there anything i could do

cold blooded old

i thought about everything,
i said.
as if thinking were a virtue.

as if trying-really-were a
pure act,
unselfish in its work.

i am remembering
the little white honda,
stick shift,
with all of us in it,
rolling backward
an accident
down the incline of our driveway
my mother trying to stop it all,
sailing into the neighbor's lawn

the last moments are calm.
i remember the supernatural lawn grass,
every blade sculpted.
the panic of my brother-
his tiny, fat, white hands
wet with fear.

the sound of the bushes
cracking, giving way,
a thousand offerings.
we emerge stunned,
blinking in the mid day sun,
a lawnmower coughing and
starting again through the humid air,
sounds from another world.

i remember everything
as if memory
were the bitter core of a golden peach

i eat when i am not hungry.

i put a bayleaf under my pillow,
for dreams.

i dream of you
in a forest-
they always look the same.
the jumble of vegetation
the lines of endless trees,
closing in like a construct.
i remember
your shining hair, in a v on the forehead.
your eyes dark when recalling something painful
and faraway,
another woman's face,
her scent,
the words of your mother,
the way night closes in quickly in the desert,
the stars seeming cold and empty,

i will never know.

i wish, now
all of those days,
i had remembered the forest,
the temperature of light
falling on the peeling bark of birches,
the names of the ferns my father taught me,
the season of green falling
from above-
the sound of water falling
from the creekbed.
all of it vast and inalienable,
so much.
so i dream you-
discrete and particular.
as if knowing
were possible.
as if you were any smaller, realer,
the trees, the soil, the living, the dead, all

this is the poverty of memory,
ringing the bell for its supper
of solitary riches--

eat your heart out,
eat you heart out,
i said.


faint music

Maybe you need to write a poem about grace.

When everything broken is broken,
and everything dead is dead,
and the hero has looked into the mirror with complete contempt,
and the heroine has studied her face and its defects
remorselessly, and the pain they thought might,
as a token of their earnestness, release them from themselves
has lost its novelty and not released them,
and they have begun to think, kindly and distantly,
watching the others go about their days—
likes and dislikes, reasons, habits, fears—
that self-love is the one weedy stalk
of every human blossoming, and understood,
therefore, why they had been, all their lives,
in such a fury to defend it, and that no one—
except some almost inconceivable saint in his pool
of poverty and silence—can escape this violent, automatic
life’s companion ever, maybe then, ordinary light,
faint music under things, a hovering like grace appears.

As in the story a friend told once about the time
he tried to kill himself. His girl had left him.
Bees in the heart, then scorpions, maggots, and then ash.
He climbed onto the jumping girder of the bridge,
the bay side, a blue, lucid afternoon.
And in the salt air he thought about the word “seafood,”
that there was something faintly ridiculous about it.
No one said “landfood.” He thought it was degrading to the rainbow perch
he’d reeled in gleaming from the cliffs, the black rockbass,
scales like polished carbon, in beds of kelp
along the coast—and he realized that the reason for the word
was crabs, or mussels, clams. Otherwise
the restaurants could just put “fish” up on their signs,
and when he woke—he’d slept for hours, curled up
on the girder like a child—the sun was going down
and he felt a little better, and afraid. He put on the jacket
he’d used for a pillow, climbed over the railing
carefully, and drove home to an empty house.

There was a pair of her lemon yellow panties
hanging on a doorknob. He studied them. Much-washed.
A faint russet in the crotch that made him sick
with rage and grief. He knew more or less
where she was. A flat somewhere on Russian Hill.
They’d have just finished making love. She’d have tears
in her eyes and touch his jawbone gratefully. “God,”
she’d say, “you are so good for me.” Winking lights,
a foggy view downhill toward the harbor and the bay.
“You’re sad,” he’d say. “Yes.” “Thinking about Nick?”
“Yes,” she’d say and cry. “I tried so hard,” sobbing now,
“I really tried so hard.” And then he’d hold her for a while—
Guatemalan weavings from his fieldwork on the wall—
and then they’d fuck again, and she would cry some more,
and go to sleep.
And he, he would play that scene
once only, once and a half, and tell himself
that he was going to carry it for a very long time
and that there was nothing he could do
but carry it. He went out onto the porch, and listened
to the forest in the summer dark, madrone bark
cracking and curling as the cold came up.

It’s not the story though, not the friend
leaning toward you, saying “And then I realized—,”
which is the part of stories one never quite believes.
I had the idea that the world’s so full of pain
it must sometimes make a kind of singing.
And that the sequence helps, as much as order helps—
First an ego, and then pain, and then the singing.

-Robert Hass, from Sun Under Wood


up with the morning sun

it gets easier and easier every time.
didn't you know that
the heart
has a memory?
it gets
so tired


baby's on fire

. . . . . yeah LIKE A FOX PHOENIX!!!!




state change

billy cassidy


we roped pots & pans to our calves galloped

east then west mock trials we are guilty in

honesty we fall down crunked on some-

thing speedy & unpronounceable he’s jamican

not african i think of you constantly i stutter

in buffoonery boyhood forebear superintendent thighs

she knows my ticklish why I tote in I’s

panic attack during the matinee

we soak our officialdom in honey mustard

pigroll belly-up in it cheers to backwash

i pet the dog & the dog barks twice

my hands attach to arms that’s what they tell me

the lesbians blare big band across the street

peddle walkie talkies framed stamps of elvis

elvis slept w/ 1000 ladies before Pricilla. died.

i use street signs as monkey bars

undergarments tophats

i am merely putting on my pants

the contractor plows driveways

lifts shed with metal claw


cuticles pushed down the roof meat pens

i am in a corner

in the cornerstore


saying hello


lung cancer did he smoke?

& i can still remember ripping my big toe on the

diving board town county swimming pools splash

we inhaled so much tar & feather up to knees in

prissy warm water your riddles, dixieland hasn’t

gated down yet outgrown farfetched have you far-

fetched your past? i’m not supposed to ask to be paid

for this but i’m rumbling & fed up of water crackers

somebody on the subway stuck up a joke this morning

i kept quiet & read about death death death death bas-

ketball a 9 letter word for hollywood & tanning beds


She licks the linoleum where I was standing

I don’t want love I want understanding &

Marriage welts in the water I’ve been chugged

& sunglasses now I have pimples soot instead

of sneakers the last time I saw a palm tree

was lsd’d & pink haired & inquired with a

polish woman rent a car for the wedding

festivities bring drunks! ribbons of a blast

the cake tasted like sofa the rich tan I feel

like an american! I have my opinions &

I do squat about it thanks for the pork chops

however, I gave that up I met a pig oh

yeah, the gloves the place you saw the film

about teenagers acting like teenagers on pills

the thinking someone threw something it was

a leaf leaving a tree fuck you surrealism I am

abstract & I lost my peep friends (brick sob)

(cracky goof smile) naptime in neptune I wear

my hats 8 at a time hair is pony greened rust

Don’t suck those mints! They have urine!

you are a spectral socialist and you have books books books books

i go to the reading and i eat snacks whereupon my appletree

i don’t mind i have paper work

the motor boat is jealous of the sail it’s like a model and a fat cousin

shower curtain is brown nerves are brown & my

My What A Day! Floodwatch & Sun. I saw Dustin Hoffman on the street

& another person who looked like my Uncle Thom ! How’s Angelina?

too bad families don’t understand poems nothing to understand

it’s like cutting lettuce into small clumps & then throwing it away

or difference between TV & TELEVISION the way everything

is photographed in photos tie dyed catwalks psychedelic, man

The time is 98 inches wide I’m dead

I’m back


I never believed in God but I did believe in the rabbit

really thinking carrots make you more genuine a lady

she is doing 5 minutes ago

maybe not thinking of me

I forgot your soft

heads in chest

I forget the fighting

jabbing duking

I remember Austin Texas

with all its coffee goodwill chinos no furniture

flies in vents parking garage deck lone star beer

I know how to touch a body grow a beard billiards

I can see 20 20 the icans & thronged boys

this whole thing is sad sad sad

sad sad sad

sad sad

i put my fingernails together splice hairs off a mole

murder moles with juicy fruit & hockey sticks i

played 9 innings a kid all myself with parks wall

i won & win & loss champion the kids now coming

out of jr high in ridgewood are rude gum chewers

bad beat listens fatty fats annoying great & young

before you get sick of me & this let’s go to the river!

stay up till 5am & drink not talk or look stare at the

grain do you have a car? isreali salad my pupils

are foible i’m shying away today buoy to that

lets pass out in your car

feet to head

wake up & fool

i never met you, billy, but i wish i'd had. or perhaps i don't wish that, because then this sad news would have been harder to hear. sometimes your poetry could see through reality like it was a glass of water left incidentally on a table. i hope you find peace where you ramble on.

read more of billy's poetry here.

y uno ultimo

El Futuro

Y sé muy bien que no estarás.
No estarás en la calle,
en el murmullo que brota de noche
de los postes de alumbrado, ni en el gesto
de elegir el menú,ni en la sonrisa que alivia
los completos de los subtes,
ni en los libros prestados
ni en el hasta mañana.

No estarás en mis sueños,
en el destino original
de mis palabras,
ni en una cifra telefónica estarás
o en el color de un par de guantes o una blusa.
Me enojaré amor mío,sin que sea por ti,
y compraré bombones pero no para ti,
me pararé en la esquina
a la que no vendrás,
y diré las palabras que se dicen
y comeré las cosas que se comen
y soñaré las cosas que se sueñan
y sé muy bien que no estarás,
ni aquí adentro, la cárcel
donde aún te retengo,
ni allí fuera, este río de calles y de puentes.
No estarás para nada,no serás ni recuerdo,
y cuando piense en ti
pensaré un pensamiento que oscuramente trata de acordarse de ti.

the future

And i know full well that you won't be there.
you won't be in the street,
in the hum that bubbles the night
from the streetlamps, nor in the gesture
of selecting from the menu, nor in the smile
that lightens packed subway cars,
nor in the borrowed books, nor in the til-tomorrows.

You won't be in my dreams,
in my words' first destinations
nor will you be in a telephone number,
or in the color of a pair of gloves or a blouse.

I won't get angry, my love, because of you,
and i'll buy bonbons but not for you.
I'll stop at the corner you'll never come to,
and i'll say the words that are to be said,
and eat the things that are to be eaten,
and dream the dreams that are to be dreamnt,
and i know full well you won't be there,
nor here inside, in the prison where i still hold you,
nor there outside, in this river of streets and bridges.
You won't be there at all, you won't even be a memory,
and when i think of you, i'll think a thought
that obscurely tries to remember you.

(transl. mine)

--Julio Cortázar, de Salvo el Crepúsculo (1984)

Despues de las Fiestas

Y cuando todo el mundo se iba
y nos quedábamos los dos
entre vasos vacíos y ceniceros sucios,

qué hermoso era saber que estabas
ahí como un remanso,
sola conmigo al borde de la noche,
y que durabas, eras más que el tiempo,

eras la que no se iba
porque una misma almohada
y una misma tibieza
iba a llamarnos otra vez
a despertar al nuevo día,
juntos, riendo, despeinados.

after the party

And when everyone had gone,
and just the 2 of us were left
amid the empty glasses and dirty ashtrays

how beautiful it was to know that you were
there like an oasis,
alone with me at the edge of night,
and you were everlasting, you were more than time,

you were the one that didn't leave,
because one pillow,
one shared warmth,
would call us again
to wake to a new day,
together, laughing, disheveled.

(transl. mine)

--Julio Cortázar, de Salvo el Crepúsculo (1984)

these poems have beautiful mouth-feel in spanish, read them like that even if you don't speak, read them aloud.

Una Carta de Amor

Todo lo que de vos quisiera
es tan poco en el fondo
porque en el fondo es todo,

como un perro que pasa, una colina,
esas cosas de nada, cotidianas,
espiga y cabellera y dos terrones,
el olor de tu cuerpo,
lo que decís de cualquier cosa,
conmigo o contra mía,

todo eso es tan poco,
yo lo quiero de vos porque te quiero.

Que mires más allá de mí,
que me ames con violenta prescindencia
del mañana, que el grito
de tu entrega se estrelle
en la cara de un jefe de oficina,

y que el placer que juntos inventamos
sea otro signo de la libertad.

love letter

everything that i'd want from you
is finally so little

because finally it's everything.

like a dog going by, or a hill,
those nothing things, ordinary,
ear of wheat and long hair and 2 lumps of sugar,

the smell of your body,
anything you say about anything,

with or against me,
all of that is so little,
and i want it from you because i love you.

May you look beyond me,
may you love me with violent disregard
for tomorrow, may the cry
from your coming explode in
the face of a boss in some office

and let the pleasure we invent together
be another sign of freedom.

(transl. mine)

-Julio Cortázar, de Salvo el Crepúsculo (1984)


entertain us




Hip Hop Thursday

Dam Funk with MC Eiht-Hood Pass Intact


white knowledge

the night is my nudity
the stars are my teeth
I throw myself among the dead
dressed in white sunlight.
(p. 147)

begin at page 122.

Georges Bataille, The Impossible (1947)

for real

sometimes a ritual is necessary
to get
not chase

"my last bag of heroin (for real)", Micheal Auder, ed. 1993




2 for hip hop thursday

one up, one down.

88 Keys with Kanye-Stay Up (Stoney Rock remix)

zac attack.

DJ Screw, Grace & Angelic-Ride with a Playa

yum syrup.



semaine de bonte
max ernst, plate 3 from un semaine de bonte


a maze is not created by the lines but by the space between them, like between the grooves on a vinyl record--the dual. essentially we are confounded by an interaction with space and not-space. it seems to me a confrontation with exterior-ness- our bodies and how we experience ourselves as a single unit in a plane that is not our own that we want to be infinite and expansive so that we are "free" from the experience of containment that is inherent within ourselves. maybe a maze is our wish to be free of our "selves" as units and become erased and at the same time integrated.

here are some mazes.










(imagine these stacked up on top of each other in a tesseract)

Yo lincoln