here is your wordlist for the week, good luck

Let's not be too eager
to write poems about blueness, razorclams, rain.
What if anything have people missed
about blueness: that it gorges on crowds
and ends up emptier? that it is the opposite
of a poem about it, each word a new wineskin
for old wine? Anyone with sense knows this
already, or pretends she does.
And the rain? It has been falling for
stupidly long; let's set it aside, it can go
in a box with all those fusty
rhetorical questions and stay there
until no one would think to write
the words 'rain-runneled'--in short, until we can see
the water without the rain.
As for the razorclams, it is almost gauche
to mention them, sweet but unworthwhile;
better to let the poem outrun itself
as a razorclam
                       outdigs the digger

1600 Penn Ave

P and P sit down to lunch.
P makes a joke about mooseburgers.
P says she'll have him know Alaska is not just about meese.
For instance, sometimes she eats bears.
She says it like maybe bears are metaphorical.
P apologises. The servers bring out the soup.
It is moose, and cold; P rears his head.
P won't have any of that. She makes him eat it all.
P is not mean, she just does not care about cold soup.
She is so wired right now she could eat a cold moose raw.
She would not even blink.
She would not even think about blinking.
May I have some croutons then, P says.
I'll try and find some and bring them to you, she says.
Somewhere a giant moose is singing quietly.


Tonight I am recalling you
through all that is yours and what a comfort
how little it is. The school-chipped
plastic gem crowning the rose-pink ribbon
of a bookmark. The J-rock CDs bursting
with vomit noises. You
are Taxi Driver Wisdom
(‘on 20/20 vision:
as soon as you meet someone
you know the reasons why
you will leave them') and the Writing Collection
Authentic Fountain Pen with that soaring
font on its case shorthand for creativity
refinement and which
is like a well-designed bird to my own
handwriting, which is a coop of rutting chickens.
You are the worst giver of gifts,
thank god. Tonight I couldn't take
one more thing half as special
as the sun was from my window
on the bus ride back, smashing into the horizon
like a new toy.

Ghazal of High Seriousness

Camille Paglia you are 'some kind of ballcrusher',
I love you. But you are also kind of a breastpuncher
and that is a problem of high seriousness.

Imagine a tiny, swallowable machine for the generation of right opinions.
I mean, for the construal of one phrase into another in a better
more modern tradition. I mean, for the production of works of high seriousness.

With you I can practice fitting every woman I respect
into a narrative of desire! It is okay, and not at all
an ethical failing of high seriousness!

If someone knew that all your books were inspired by Swedish
architecture blogs, would knowing it give me leverage
enough to address you in a tone of high seriousness?

Camille Paglia the rest of this poem will be in the third person present.
I hope this is okay with you. If it is not, I am sorry, but please do not let that
get in the way of your sense of high seriousness.

He leaves the radio off but opens an incognito browser and watches
twenty-five minutes of 'feminist porn'. What the scouter says about his
power level is that it is a matter of high seriousness.

     © Nicholas Liu 2010