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Nine words per line and nine lines per stanza.

Pink fluffy underwater kangaroo fuzzy free manic rabbity thing. 

Sense and nonsense similarly writer’s block clogged and unblocked. 

Happiness nothing really blue so you can start living. 

Laptop immersion fools your brain into thinking whatever needed. 

Gazebo-tranquility-ragweed, condemned to live with the Self. 

Find yourself totally isolated strict exile a common ploy. 

Like you, I’m impatient as we become each other. 

Bright green primary features evolving society—the age thing. 


Sleep being slept, a bird has something to say. 

Reality flip flop artistic failure extremely hard to maintain. 

Foggy zendo vigilance gendergap understanding the desire to live. 

Levitating underbelly slime, dengue fever ankle deep, vilification zigzag. 

I love you too dear—count your chickens carefully. 

Echochamber plantlife indoor cellular reality busy yellow rent abatement. 

Quiet knucklehead cameraderie a thousand hopes subject to change. 

Infinity appears in repeated mirror images perceived as reflection. 

Zealous devotion to waxwork sex, because Sigmund said so. 


Birthing velocity’s snapshot-like nature, pushed to the extreme. 

It is Racine not Montaigne for certain lovers’ discourse. 

To suddenly fall upon the old dialectic of enlightenment. 

And what is masturbation if not a homosexual act? 

A role to play must have a visible function. 

We are being categorized in the realm of tonality. 

A counterintuitive yearning for the quiescence of pre-birth. 

The way our twig’s bent is how we grow. 

Empty thermos, unkissed nosetip, text rotation, and marsupial nesting. 


Kerchief ligament pirouette darkness jettison mother of invention toy-boy. 

Zany foxy smoke alarm tremolo evacuation juniper ginger dimple. 

Zinguer je je zinguer je,   mich dich Villa nicht.

Every thought first thought in the visible universe, strange. 

Zendo cushion run for it go. Long ago Labrador. 

Swift recollection tired Daphne just like our overheated relationshit. 

Something has changed I felt giddy I felt sick. 

Since women. Forget it. No way. Barbaric and inhumane. 

Learning a lot here: I’m wrong in being wrong. 


Djibouti laptop polyrhythmic stevedore imagination for example people die. 

Yeah yeah yeah listen to the music around you. 

Plagiarize and cannibalize yourself by mining your own work. 

Counter-sadistic anti-suffering vraiment triste faché becoming real. 

Don’t think for a minute that you don’t exist. 

First, get used to the sound of my voice. 

Bob Perelman knows what Maisie knew about her parents. 

Katy Lederer didn’t have money. She was a poet. 

Mitch Highfill keeps a pet moth and an elephant. 


Dirty birthday, suntan-benevolence of impenetrable and incendiary nature. 

Vibrations and particularized energy formations make some sense somehow. 

Mind-independent reality: Haley’s Comet exists even if we don’t. 

Hold your lover’s hand and tomorrow will be yesterday. 

When in ill thoughts again, stop everything but breathing. 

Life is cool. Nothing need be done about it. 

Jewish reconstructionism in Mamároneck, why just a minute ago. 

When out of context, nothing will ever make sense. 

Now I understand you because now I love you. 


Mix of funk and freejazz Miles Davis musical response. 

Lucretius saw the universe as something having a nature. 

Bernstein: “Estrangement is our home ground,” Yukon bullfrog flu. 

Barely arrived, it seems, and almost time to leave. 

If narrowness were the price of intensity—not necessarily. 

Adeena Karasick textasy and her rules of textual engagement. 

Segue Zen coffee house Segue haunted lightning Segue offerings. 

Place holders and temporary solutions require tolerance trust imagination. 

Rachel Zolf Israeli-Palestinian Lesbian writing methods her Gematria. 


Filling what is empty—it does keep getting better. 

Dubious fanatical relationship-focus brilliant thinking interesting, I write. 

Cleverly observed in retrospect via dark tunnels to New Jersey. 

Honesty because it’s easier and honesty because it’s easier. 

All of a sudden we can’t be far behind. 

Together we can be keen, intelligent, well-meaning and visible. 

Like two shadows, never to be overtaken by anyone. 

I quietly become agitated like a storm-tossed ship. 

Now I’ll confess something to you: I don’t know. 


How utterly abominable. How can you be so callous? 

That cute smile and that glimmer in your eyes. 

Bill Luoma uses the word “raw” as a noun. 

Just look at all that raw covering his neurasthenia. 

How his neurons respond to stimuli with exaggerated force. 

“Let me listen to me, and not to them.” 

Thinking of you brings me to my knees with longing. 

Life could be seen as some kind of spasm. 

Smitten in mid-spill the baby and the bathwater. 


First you practice nonviolence on yourself then on others. 

All events that occur are caused by earlier events. 

An idea for a form originates from another form. 

You could say, “being alive means defending a form.” 

These phone calls are strong enthusiastic and uniquely restrictive. 

Anguish chagrin discomfort despair grief depression guilt and remorse. 

A group of gentle friends and their mixed emotions. 

Is Nothing the inertia of Something, asks a friend. 

I’m confessing that I love you, now, this minute. 


We enjoy subdividing space and time into infinite segments. 

Our apparently random behavior fits within a deterministic system. 

We run around like titillated and tantalized windup toys. 

“We feel and we know that we are eternal.” 

If we understood infinity, suicide would have to fail. 

We know nothing as uncertain as a sure thing. 

Feeling happy can be as gentle as sipping water. 

Even a hedonist must have some concern for others. 

How they managed to dirty the very word “liberal.” 


Marxist writing, Marxist writing, woman’s work is never done. 

My view of reality is vague if I’m vague. 

Why can’t scientific research ever reach a perfect truth? 

The purest moment of perversion and its clandéstine sites. 

Tranquil moment in the life of a northern town. 

I look at the page and I start writing. 

Dog drives car—breaks the rules—wrinkle, Volvo, sniff. 

I loved you in the middle of the afternoon. 

Carey’s one-sentence poem: “Oh Mom, it is so beautiful.” 


There’s no way to peace—peace is the way. 

Miles Davis says play what you don’t know. 

Everything we seek is guided by what is sought. 

Sources of my knowledge are sensation, memory, introspection, reason. 

Every thought is first thought, and also best thought. 

I feel obliged to live as excellently as possible. 

A phony Somali passport and a screechy mythological gargoyle. 

This elasticity is overrated, so don’t mention it again. 

Dripping with compassion, oh honey, I love you, too. 


Obedient daughters eat their dinners alone—and harshly isolated. 

Kaufman’s amputation pornography, she was exactly like her Stein. 

Her sleeping sea urchin could only lose ten pounds. 

Milton’s Paradise Lost in the realm of spinal amalgamation. 

The musculature of a daydreaming animal lost in thoughts. 

Retallack’s magic rule of nine and the decimal system. 

Umlaut behavior and the massive éclat of somnambulant cowboys. 

The bio mimicry of elyptical ice terriers’ parallel curves. 

Terrifying and reciprocal alterity actually happening in real time. 


All life has been a preparation for this moment. 

I look at the canvas and I start painting. 

Now I am a solitary loner, barely denying it. 

If silence is a form of speech, then speech … 

Demand openness and open doors with another open door. 

Blessings will come again soon, let’s graciously not complain. 

Every moment matters, we were lovely, the lights on. 

California dexedrine Las Palmas I will not be sick. 

Stop-the-car-near-the-ocean-goodbye-forever poem. 


An essay concerning human understanding John Locke volume two. 

The supposition that words have a certain evident signification. 

Ideas, also of substances, must be made of things. 

A gentle and kind orangutan represents my personal death. 

Avoiding constriction of internal formations by limiting one’s options. 

How two different beliefs occur in two different heads. 

We eventually calm down without understanding the mechanism involved. 

Yentsia bakoondy eeleck, ta-dee-doo-dah, bentsey la cozy fen-fen. 

Bit baloon timi zin zah, timi zin zah, zimbudah.


I’m a conduit between my surroundings and my output. 

We all operate simultaneously and together on different levels. 

Thoughts clear enough to land on paper do so. 

Understand me as a continuity rather than a changelessness. 

I’m going to the store, do you need anything? 

A slumbering kangaroo who is capable of wordless thinking. 

Nothing compares to the bubbling of a blubby blabber. 

One thing is certain: use it and lose it. 

Invent a Self who will then invent other Selves. 


Certain forms are available to us only in discourse. 

The thing is that we all just fall apart. 

Overexposed concretized language, primary writing, a caress was enough. 

Happiness is just one of those words people use. 

Intense progress project feminist critique pissed them off mightily. 

Was it a business move reinforcing hierarchies, Ron’s blog. 

Esteem recognition salute honor rave regard appreciation notice value. 

Imagine the intersection where language and reality might meet. 

Fluctuating life caught in the endless flow of becoming. 


One two three four La Cumparsita the old tango. 

Calm serious civilized people stare thoughtfully at the floor. 

Humiliation, and the shame it brings, fills my heart. 

The difference between negotiating the stairs and not, is critical. 

The sloshing of warm water resembles and reassembles us. 

Stacy Ess Zee’s comfort versus deadly fatal bodily discomfort. 

The Moondance Diner and the Weird-but-True Section. 

A reflection of the Self now reflecting on itself. 

The now—always the now—always the same now. 


Love is found in all the ways friends speak. 

Vacillating between what is possible and what actually happens. 

Bouncing between understandable resistance and the inevitable eventual progression. 

What makes you think that living is not dying? 

An overexcited person cannot see or hear very clearly. 

Glacial scorn inside our throats worsened by our contentions. 

California dreaming and a dreamy dream for future rememberings. 

The future sits loosely enclosed inside the human mind. 

Because it’s good to leave some time between pieces. 


The act of writing has reversed the empty space. 

And death can always come in the next minute. 

The notion of form and formlessness is being contemplated.

Music is heard through headphones near a brick wall. 

Discourse aligns itself along multiple staves of the score. 

Everyone knows that common sense is direct and primitive. 

All sorts of origins are being ascribed to structures. 

The infinitely increasing distance between everything and everything else. 

And then suddenly Pouf, it’s all gone, you see. 


You see how interchangable and reversible how pliable delicate. 

The keyboard’s keys are the tentacles of the matrix. 

The fractal pattern of which we are a part. 

The human body is a cumbersome and genial vehicle. 

Nobody enjoys being tossed overboard suddenly and without warning. 

Flaubert to Sand: l’homme c’est rien, l’oeuvre c’est tout. 

The human being is nothing, the work is everything. 

Another way of saying ars longa, vita brevis est.

And here is the ninth line, not saying much. 


Be careful out there: trust your instinct, bundle up. 

Demystification through writing and a constant calling into question. 

Making what is unspoken speak by touching without grasping. 

Steely and forbidding situations are often met with reserve. 

What an extraordinary privilege it is to be here. 

Websites searchable by fetish and the need for intimacy. 

The impulse to revolt lurks just under the surface. 

I turn inward, loss of certainty, the incest taboo. 

I sense the mysterious unknowable present at my fingertips. 


See the lovely amber grand piano at my fingertips. 

Hear the sounds hear the sounds hear the sounds. 

Feel those feelings and mostly keep them to yourself. 

Sense the obsession and take a distance from it. 

I read as I possibly can, to tell myself. 

I tell myself to possibly read as I can. 

Believe it when I tell you an inner truth. 

Listen to my words and the sounds they make. 

Imagine having an appetite and not taking any nourishment. 


I avail myself of all that’s available to me. 

To be elaborately bypassed and left out, really stings. 

Trying to help one friend shouldn’t necessitate hurting another. 

Well what did I expect, what did I expect? 

The pleasure of power and the intoxication of lying. 

A chance to look at me before I walk. 

Impending ending at safe distance, a chance to sleep. 

The subtext of certain reticent writing must remain inaccessible. 

Grown children must kill their parents to make room. 


Often when I say “you” I really mean “we.” 

Stylish hairdo notwithstanding, what a ridiculous character you are. 

Do you feel the need to be always happy? 

I’m afraid stupid Cupid bit me in the ass. 

Now I am completely powerless to redirect my attention. 

The sphere of the private, the erotic, the repressed. 

The false Self, the as-if personality, the trivial matter. 

Jackson was blessed with perfect kindness in his heart. 

Our cat understood this reality as a direct experience. 


This could be the happiest day of my life. 

You never know when such a thing might happen. 

You have to be open to such a thing. 

And death can always come in the next minute. 

I know I said this before—it bears repeating. 

Distant elements resurrecting old patterns within our present organisms. 

Fear, love, hatred, and the passive emotion of indolence. 

Remember, with me, you can forget about the context. 

Revision honors the fact that ideas exist in time. 

—May–December 2009

Anne Tardos is the author of several books of poetry and the multimedia performance work and radio play Among Men. A selection of her readings and performances (many with Jackson Mac Low) can be heard on the University of Pennsylvania’s Web site PennSound and on UbuWeb Sound. Her book of new poetry, I Am You, appeared from Salt Publishing in 2008, along with Thing of Beauty, by Jackson Mac Low, University of California Press, which Tardos edited. She is a 2009 Fellow in Poetry from the New York Foundation for the Arts.