DREAMWEAPON – The Art and Life of Angus MacLise opens May 10, 2011 in New York


Photo of Angus MacLise in Kathmandu by Ira Cohen

Via Boo-Hooray:

DREAMWEAPON / The Art and Life of Angus MacLise is the upcoming exhibit at pop-up / parasite gallery Boo-Hooray presenting the work of the American artist, poet, percussionist, and composer active in New York, San Francisco, Paris, London and Kathmandu in the 1960’s and 1970’s. The exhibition series is open every day May 10th – May 29th and will include an overview of poetry, artwork, and publications in Chelsea, a sound installation featuring the complete MacLise tapes archive in Chinatown, and a night of film at Anthology Film Archives screening never-before seen outtakes from Ira Cohen’s The Invasion of Thunderbolt PagodaDREAMWEAPON is curated
by Johan Kugelberg and Will Cameron.

A Poem from Dan Raphael

Drunk on Bacon
by Dan Raphael

sitting in a claustrophobic, slat-sided shed for several days
in a world of clotted smoke
where meat falls like rain
no one dies    no one inhales     no one churns
to love is to have whenever the appetite

pigs are born small
trees are smaller than grass but singularly thicker
from sun to fire
        fire retards time
when the sun goes out our clocks will surrender to gravity
my wrist is a video portal
since i am so many places its always breakfast somewhere,
always the first drink of the day

when i smell myself approaching, swallowing lit matches, stealing firewood
my flame will never stop
every night a new tree falls, three more sprout
when stars turn green they’re moving sideways

A Poem from Smokey Farris


Another 2-d Christmas
by Smokey Farris

Fiesta frisbee legs running a gun.
Raspberry look a little giggle and a little tongue pulling in the sweet
fruit.
Jungle gym girl, jungle jim standing up on the bars, jungle gym chasing
Rocko’s gang,
hey baby you remember this one.

It was a spiral of metal mathematical bars,
must have been our kid attraction,
the dome
pentagon top,
triangle sides,
reaching off the great earth and the huge playground,
with sparse attractions.
Most of the space was vacant and earth.
Jumping high above the scotch 79 soccer field
with up turned mesh chest shirts behind the head.
Blake Edwards.
Blake red and white windbreaker,
Dreamed of christmas UFO nights with blue parades of blue snowmen
glowing
and nearly two-d christmas lights
and the magic was fading from the evil yard.
It was disney land alight but it was alien,
it was prismatic.

It was on my street,
and before on the white and yellow pink day on the driveway crest
I saw a gold governing movement,
a great glittering gold tray or sleigh craft, a flat disk,
with an unforeseeable army,
There he was, the burger king,
with his scepter and crown,
blank fiberglass stare,
and all the spirit of a cartoon god.

A Poem from Dirk Michener

Trickle-Down Theory of Technology
by Dirk Michener

Rich people get the newest in technology
Poor people get the oldest
Then later, Rich people also get the oldest
Poor people get the not quite as old
Then later, Poor people get the almost newest
But not the Most New
Only Rich people get that
Also the very oldest
Only Rich people get that too
Poor people get shuffled around
Rich people get everything
Then later, Poor people get everything
But it’s shuffled around
So they forget that they have everything
But Rich people always remember
They have everything
Poor people forget
Poor kids and Rich kids
Like watching Betamax
Rich kids like watching poor kid movies
Poor kid like richie rich movies
Rich kid like lars von treier
Poor kid like jeff Foxworthy
Jeff Foxworthy had everything
But didn’t know it
Jeff Foxworthy had a Betamax player in his basement
But didn’t know it
Lars Von Treier had a Betamax in his guest bedroom
And he would sneak up there at night,
After his wife would fall asleep
And watch “The Prince and the Pauper”
Until the scene where they were found out
Then later, “The Parent Trap”
The original version
Not the remake version
Poor people movies made by Rich people
Everyone loves those best
Nobody likes John Waters
It’s where I first found out what “Emasculation” meant
John Waters Betamax tapes go for a lot of money
A Dike got her post-op sex-change penis emasculated
By her weirdo Mortville lover
In Mortville everything is backwards
Externally

A Poem from Shon Zee

the satellites slowly drive past my attention
which is locked in the static key of the tiny ravines
that criss-cross blisters on palm sunday
as i crawl towards another beer
for repentence

old pieces of laundry turn up at a magic show
and fly away as doves
afterwards
backstage
i tackle the moustache in the tophat and steal his sleeves
but all i find is a few ochre coins and a dead pigeon
no socks

so i mow myself under a fog of manspray
and collide with the field of twinkle twinkle and

the stain on the satellite
looks like texas
but no one has the eyesight to tell for sure
so no one believes

long measures of breath
shy of the water bowl
where grapes drift on their backs
pretending to feel sad about the raisins
as they graze the stars for something ancient
to turn into

but the third gate is rusted shut
and armies of ants swell to defend it
from the wrinkle in the poets knuckle

i’ve been building fists out of sleepy pills
shoving them into the mouths of story book statues
who complain of gigantism
yet can’t lift higher than a pig’s knee
(napolean’s knee being an exception)

a dazzle of splintered jolt
strangles my ankles in shoots of static function
stumble stairs
crumble step and
drop into the seed well
where I’ll sleep
under the occasional shade of the beanstalk
that sways over the open cavity

A Poem from Carrie Fountain

Tonight the Neighbors Spell JESUS on Their Lawn in Christmas Lights
by Carrie Fountain

Walking by tonight, we’re reminded
there must’ve been a first time
for everything–one green shoot, a drop
of bluish water, a few red cells.
The letters wink at us as if they know
what they’re for, and we go by, saying
“Oh God, look at that,” as if we did, too.

Mornings, the lights are left on
to call very palely to the large,
uninterested sky. “We are all alone,”
they cry. And the sky answers back
by not moving an inch.

-From her latest book, Burn Lake

A Poem from Alexandra Batson

Emphysema
by Alexandra Batson

I was nine
when I watched my mother cough until she couldn’t breath;
I never thought that would be me.
Now sixty-three,
my lungs collapse and my heart is worn out; a flower fighting to survive slow murderous frost.

I long for just one more cigarette –
I sit on the white bench stained with rust on the back porch and imagine the ember
blazing against the last cold bite of April air.
I would die to feed on the filtered tip, to feel the darkness tingle my tongue.

Instead oxygen is fed to me through a tank
like a mother feeds a child.

Husbands? Who needs ‘em? I had a few, I’d be lying if I said they didn’t mean anything.
I have all I need now – an oxygen tank, and a daughter who lives in my house, and brings me vodka.

I look up at my soon-to-be garden through an empty glass, vision distorted,
the glass used to be filled with a vodka tonic
this garden used to be filled with growth my
body used to be filled with life.

In a month, “Will I make it another month?” I ask out loud, to make sure I’m still alive. Tina and I will shop for flowers to fill the space the winter cold has taken hostage: Widow’s Tears, Bleeding Hearts, German Irises, Panseys

The world lives to see another spring, everything comes back to life.
Curtis, the little black boy from down the street will ride his bike to come chat
with me on the back porch.
Rebirth and youth come together while emphysema picks another victim to meet Death.
What about the grandchildren? I promised the oldest, when she was the only,
that I would live forever. She will remember this while she sits at my side…

Will anyone tell Curtis where I went?

A Poem from Charles Harper Webb

The Death Of Santa Claus
by Charles Harper Webb

He’s had the chest pains for weeks,
but doctors don’t make house
calls to the North Pole,

he’s let his Blue Cross lapse,
blood tests make him faint,
hospital gown always flap

open, waiting rooms upset
his stomach, and it’s only
indigestion anyway, he thinks,

until, feeding the reindeer,
he feels as if a monster fist
has grabbed his heart and won’t

stop squeezing. He can’t
breathe, and the beautiful white
world he loves goes black,

and he drops on his jelly belly
in the snow and Mrs. Claus
tears out of the toy factory

wailing, and the elves wring
their little hands, and Rudolph’s
nose blinks like a sad ambulance

light, and in a tract house
in Houston, Texas, I’m 8,
telling my mom that stupid

kids at school say Santa’s a big
fake, and she sits with me
on our purple-flowered couch,

and takes my hand, tears
in her throat, the terrible
news rising in her eyes.

A Poem from Hal Sirowitz

While I was getting a drink at the bar
a half hour ago I saw you deciding,
she said, whether you should talk to me,
I tried making your decision easier
by smiling at you, but you started
talking to someone else. I’m
your second choice. Just like
Avis has to try harder than Hertz,
I have to try to outshine the other women.
Knowing you picked her over me
makes me want to tell you
to just go back to square one.

A Poem from Lawrence Raab

After We Saw What There Was to See
by Lawrence Raab

After we saw what there was to see
we went off to buy souvenirs, and my father
waited by the car and smoked. He didn’t need
a lot of things to remind him where he’d been.
Why do you want so much stuff?
he might have asked us. “Oh, Ed,” I can hear
my mother saying, as if that took care of it.

After she died I don’t think he felt any reason
to go back through all those postcards, not to mention
the glossy booklets about the Singing Tower
and the Alligator Farm, the painted ashtrays
and lucite paperweights, everything we carried home
and found a place for, then put away
in boxes, then shoved far back in our closets.

He’d always let my mother keep track of the past,
and when she was gone—why should that change?
Why did I want him to need what he’d never needed?
I can see him leaning against our yellow Chrysler
in some parking lot in Florida or Maine.
It’s a beautiful cloudless day. He glances at his watch,
lights another cigarette, looks up at the sky.