from Hannis PannisPannis
Pannis was born on an island. His birth name is unpronounceable by
most. He grew up listening to Swedish dance/Pop and talk radio. When Pannis
was 23 he was visited by the ghost of Hank, which turned his life around.
Makes my thumbs long and callous, while the other fingers remainElivince,
underdeveloped. It doesn’t help. I watched Michael J. Fox rock out in Back to the
This has gone on for too long. I bought a wig like yours. Mention youWet Pillows
anytime I meet anyone to make them laugh and find me more interesting. I went
to your MySpace page. Found out about Shelvis. Your motto, “LIFE’S A
GARDEN…DIG IT!!!!” I imagine you’re tired of playing Elvis songs, so I play my
sad songs as you.
Couldn’t sing Wet Pillows without crying for the first 3 months. Trying to hit theAll Veg
high note is like eating horseradish.
Hannis wanted to know if the finger food is all veg. Of course it is, it’s an art
school. Everybody walked past Hannis Pannis in front of the yellow sectional
couch cushions. Pannis serenades “I Will Survive” to the caterers – they freaked
out as Pannis sang his heart out and wore his knees out. Kathryn Hixson
followed Hannis Pannis around as they serenaded their friends, and they ended
up playing in front of the masturbation video.
It rained that night, Hannis Pannis can’t compete with the craziness. Now they
are about halfway between Queen and Donovan. Nobody took them seriously.
First manager got sick from pot and brain burritos.Jason:
“I knew Sonic Dildo; Sonic Dildo was a friend of mine. Hannis Pannis, you’re noGallery Uno
Interior painting in the backroom is what attracts them. Crowd walks right by
Pannis plays with me on uke in the egg tempera living room large enough to giveSixth Manager
illusions of being in it. Gonna make you sweat. Shimmy shimmy ya. Elderly
belly dancer works it to Blow Danny. Leaves business cards. She does
everything from fun French to modeling. The message she wrote on the back
either Beef Power Hawaii or Keep Power Hawaii. She calls a week later to see if
we want to accompany her at the zoo for a video shoot. I don’t know why I didn’t
go. Pannis sees her at the movies. Ducks out.
“Ladies and gentlemen, get ready to get fingerfucked by Hannis Pannis.”Jay Son:
“After I left I couldn’t get Boyz II Men out of my head.”Hall and Oates
Them for Halloween. Pannis, John. Wandadrug, Oates. Hannis, Mr. Casual.
Practice “I Can’t Go For That” body movements and hand gestures at karaoke.
Enlist anyone who doesn’t know what to be as roadies, managers, security,Movie
drivers, groupies, hangerons, dealers.
Travel down to Bloomington, IN to see Dad. We’ll play him I’ll Sleep with your
Shirt Tonight in person as a part of our film. We were gonna be on a bus like
Midnight Cowboy. ’Cept dad finds a venue, Cinemat. They give us three hours
to fill on November 8th. Others must go too. Hoping to bring tap dancers,
German Expressionists, and one guitar hero packed in a ragtag of vehicles. Pile
in Dad’s floor?
Keep lookin’ at Lake Monroe on the front of last week’s travel section.Hannis,
How can I tell you this, we have to postpone the Indiana gig. The gallery sent me
an email back in July to tell me they wanted to move my opening to November
8th, but I forgot to put it on my calendar. And now I’m trying to fit too much onto
my schedule. I ate halfway through a pork roast, now I don’t know whether to
stop or keep eating. Sorry Hannis, I fucked up.
Hourly smoke break is now turning bi-hourly. I can’t sleep. This was supposed to
be our year. Phone calls were not returned because I was too busy cakin’, Sorry
Hannis, I fucked up.
Don’t think I don’t care about you. I love playing with you. I loved all of your
advice (Better than Pyong’s). Maybe later I’ll figure out how to juggle my life
around, then I’ll get better at it. But for now, I fucked up, and I’m sorry.
See you at karaoke.Edmund:
“I want I want I want but I never get. It.”
Story of Learning
After I learned the language, I learned it well. Then went down to the lake. I said, “Hey, Pond, you got rabbit-congress, how about witch go seventeen something something?” Pond said, “Man, the language is not like that. You better learn.” So I learned. I learned and learned. Then said to Old Man Killer Whale, “Nice for this mine, your thermos mine, your brown interval mine, your Viggo Mortenson.” Killer Wheel said, “Not far enough yet, son. But if you study, your own reward will be that you studied.” Shivering and shaking, I studied and learned. I learned hand and by hand and hand stealing and victim-focused learning. Then I met Wall Of Dogs. Wall said, “You look like another dog for me.” I said, “Yes, cylinder and me talking—like night fighting—and yes or same project makes blame, the astrolabe, wicca, not chancy chancy, all these marriages end in more desire.“ Wall Of Dogs spoke, and said, “Only that last bit showed some learning.” So I made the Walking Wall my right side master, learned something else on my left and in my front I wished for a gymnastics container. I said, “I’ve learned. This old language is mine, and easy now. I have it for naming and knowing and learning.“ Then Hey Pond, Old Killer Whale Man, and Dog Wall said, “Ho! Ho!, Pond Consonant Boy, look at you, handclapping for bottles and vowels and cans!”I Haven’t Been Comfortable Enough To Take Anyone For Granted In Years
Just McCorkel. Old rusty McCheswick. Eye stand, deer stand, shadow. You happier, you buy and wide. You stalk a grey tree. But I’m glad, because you’re Canadian, and my boyfriend wears your shirts. He never mixed with my parents, or really even tried. Myrtle Beach had to do. You can, you know, Canadian. You mix parts of your life, can you bring parrots? Have you met who we just hired, the participles? There’s farming and using an axe. Do you have a problem with chicken? The yams. The two ways we should work together, the pants, the dysfunction of this. The lesson I take from this is that a guy like your dad is what he does. On TV, even when they kick you out, they don’t really mean it. I love that.
(with translations from the Slovenian by Thomas Kane, Michael Thomas Taren, and Tomaž Šalamun)
Three PoemsMute and Time
C major in the cup, C major in the cup, the train
started to pant under the sleeve, to soak itself
like a snake and rush toward the elbow.
A flamingo removed the scythe, what to do with
a scythe, the whetted scythe that could harm his eye.
The little end-pieces cut into the clouds. Clouds
packed with clinkers always pull through. If they’re
black, if they’re white, if they’re dark, if they’re
the autodidacts. Now we push snow. I don’t even
see the tendrils. We don’t know how the vine will bear.
Violent with the soft melancholy of the plain,
revered, again I feel besunken. Let’s do it:
The king has no clothes on. The emperor is naked.
His eyes are twisted. I, twisted them for him.
Translated from the Slovenian by Thomas Kane and the author
All these are blue, feathery tunics. Little Annes,
parasomnambulants. When mushrooms die, mischievous
comets, buckets in wells, a thunderous bass voice only
starts to announce God’s loan. Italians failed and
hastily at that. Horses want répeté. Are you
the reed’s bimba? Will the flat line of white bowels
form silt? I’m used to lying on river sand. On
river sand, on river stones. I’m used to lying
in mud. On sea rocks, on round stones. But this
is frothy sea bottom, luka marittima. Lucca on
heroin. Remove little towels. Form little knees
for the elephant’s young ones with veins. When did they
bring pencil sharpeners among razor blades in
Zagorje? To alpine Mittelbach. I lie under
a mosquito. Incessantly, close to the white
wall of my kaič. We’re back, close to reeds in
the Rižana. In a little hole made by a snail, not
breathing. What else: crickets, fishlets, the ham
of a backwards tribe’s dance, gnats, red buttons
and elephants, now strengthened by the vision of
Maximilian the First’s who spoke Slovenian:
“Čebri so dreki. Parazoli so luštni. Hanibala sonceTranslated from the Slovenian by Thomas Kane and the author
prežge.” Beauty, anoint my palm. Be involved with the
lion-hearted. Collect the history for patches. Row!
Not a balance,
nor a pine forest I know,
that would glitter so strongly in the moonlight.
In the black chest
the housewife lay in flour.
Young Mary has mustaches above
her upper lips.
How fanatically she kisses the hare!
He’ll die of overdose
and nod with his ears down.
Mother hare will wash him,
She’ll try giving him aspirin through his white little teeth.
I stepped on a frigate.Translated from the Slovenian by Michael Thomas Taren and the author
I had a bundle on my shoulders.
I greeted the captain,
I said to him, good day, guy.
I can come to miles easy
is easy even occasionally
to wake halfway
through the night to
remember your skin
(if I hadn’t lined up with the other prep school girls in the old dance room for
crested blazers and how-many-inches-is-your-waist-round skirts)
if I had, and I have come into the same two-way mirror
come dressing rooms
I have found myself in
the corners of my eyes as
black and dry some mornings
I have been silt, come
miles here walking
accidentally into backroom charcoal burn to find you
I have come nervously made up with brown and torn stockings on
city lines to find you, me, a mirror, every time
Having slept in again, in and on,
in a haze we wake, rise,
look as one on war, despair
and a thunderous applause.
Our cities roar in a civil ruin.
Many brace themselves, or link arm
in arm, as at work (lost in a cooked ink)
I ask what occurs in me
that can lash me so low
when all say join in and agree.
As soon as our watching “A…A…Ayes”
all have it, I say I can’t breathe.
In my car, awash as on a main
divide, I am choosing to miss
my exit; I am sailing home
on a sour air; I am looking hard
for a song on a station I know existsThe poem is an anagram of the names of fifty United States of America. All of the letters that make up the names of the fifty states have been used, once and only once, in the composition of this poem. No letters have been added and no letters have been left out. The title, section title, and section dividers are not to be considered part of the anagram.
and know I cannot find.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Two PoemsIn our space we can put the caskets anywhere
The girl in the owl mask knots her sheets. Drilled nickels dangle
from the lampshade—when the wind blows they sing
the song of bird beaks. When the winds blows her brother
to the other side of the bed, handshakes happen downstairs.
His father is a symptom of a mineshaft, a tin cup of coals.
Doctors file in & out without opening the door. They spit
sand from their mouths, collecting like possums in the basement.
Compare their scars from the spider wars. A funnel cloud
launches snakes from the lake to the mining camp.
One falls on the windowsill of a girl’s room & begins
to read from The Book of Mercy. Mercy means thank you.
Mercy means drinkable rain. The girl reads aloud
to her brother simmering in fever. When she closes the book
he is two feet taller, toes hanging over the bedrail.
He dreams that everything square is a casket. Each casket
holds three masks. Each mask has room for thirteen children.
The father forgives everything he can. I forgive you tree,
he says to the tree. I forgive you stone wall he says to the wall.
I forgive you blood he says to the flushed forehead
of his sick child who sucks on river stones. The doctors
crack their knuckles. The possums whisper in the sand pit,
they curl their tails & forgive the father for being new at this.
Doctors drive ten miles back to town & don’t return. They leave
syrup on the table to turn a fever into a leather strap.
The brother cannot touch the syrup, but it sticks his sister’s pages
together. She opens & closes the book like bellows.
Every page is part of the casket’s wall. The sister thinks the room
is hollow & the brother turns & turns into sleep. In the darkness
she takes the knotted sheets & flings them from the window.
As the night fogs in dangling vines she puts her owl mask onA paper cup sopped with night-water cannot hold
& climbs out to find the mines. Thank you vines. Thank you mask.
Thank you caskets that line the highway, you eyelids of the owl mask.
The sister crawls into the tree trunk
searching for snail shells to grind into remedy.
She pulls a sack of moth dust from her jumper
& pours it into a glass of warm water.
As the moss gathers around her calves
she stitches shells into her hem.
She perfumes the inside-tree, perfumes
the water with a comfort-wish. For her brother’s
white shin, for his hair barely above the
night sheets. What can she bring back.
Whatever she carries over the piles of dead leaves
grows coarse hairs at the nape of its neck.
The brother holds the ice-dipped cloth to his eyes
& feels the walls expand into a landscape
of birch trees. A river rock under his tongue.
A silver whistle beneath his pillow for when
the night spills from his mouth like sand.
from Land Wide To Get A Hold Lost In
I thought the thing would run unbridled over the land if not stayed. The earth would take the hoof & the horse would belong to mist over ether, over the hillside, churning the earth, I must’ve walked all the way home barefoot the way a child does. A woman boards a train to please her father over love, what necessity keeps me here, what ‘what can I get you’ is the hand that perchance is the evener.
Total the longing for the horse & the land, call him fast with whistle, call him Mark & father by his name, call 9-1-1. Quick to the Chick-fil-A, that trailer leaves off with my horse in it, meaning dust me off the ground in any partnership lingo. I went west fast as two pistols, left the city suckled under the land, my bottles in their speedrack; blame silent movies for Mary Pickford’s death by bottle, blame Douglas Fairbanks, the land; not that I ever would.
* * * *
On the eve of great change we each take a pregnancy test for no or all reasons just to look forward again. Yes we can! Yes we can! manage fast train Union Pacific brakes like a man has his leg stuck in-between the rails; woman, baby, buggy caught, arms waving, hand-rush-mouth, stop that shit (train) in a nano, recourse our way of pause through or by eyebrow plucking—pick a new hobby—kick boxing, whatever to learn to pedal back, enjoy the art of being/sleeping alone; reteach yourself to knit; browse old cds like Boys for Pele or something less tragic as in Metallica. How to learn/teach defiance, like I ain’t never needed you or nothin’, don’t/can’t miss the way you were checkin’ in on my sweatin’ through the night I had the flu, forgot my soup & oh the whistle clangs the oncoming. Take a new one, I could/can of course, not pause in my car when I think you to marry, when I have never before thought marry in my car, why should/would I think now in this man-town I don’t really keep awake for, don’t really think much of Jesus cept when I think my belly or Norma Jean, sweep the floor, for god’s sake don’t text when yr drankin’ keep bangin’.
* * * *
Can’t pull out of here because you’ve packed your boxes a twixt too much, just stay awhile & see if Marilyn charmed or if women just hated her cause the wolves needed her beauty, would leave em out the door if she dared scratch her chin & look. Marilyn’s mama dyed her hair red, a flapper, learnt from her mama how to divorce & pack boxes, leave her with those religious neighbors, come back when the wind shifted itself right or when work failed, when she was down on the money, meaning both my hands have been out. Joan Crawford was an elitist, a betch, even. Some girls don’t own more than two suits, flats to church are more than fine, get off the train in wool in a New York summer & you would sweat too—give us the ice cream! I used to wonder if she was in & out of the orphanages all her young life until somebody, marry me, put a ring on it, or did she ever have the feeling this is my home. When she felt most home, did the wolves attack her, in the form of her mother’s best friend Grace’s drunk husband needing a screw. Mama Grace sending her to the next foster care, the next grinding poverty. Her hair remained curled, wear rouge; no one, not even children, want a shiny face; Grace knew this & thus the décor on our dear child; this part is true. I tell my sister on the phone we got some crazy genes, prob somewhere we’ll off the wagon & be wandering the supermarket wondering how we got in our respective cities, where’s the car, what did I say was for dinner?
from Duck Tour: The Movie
A world of shitty idealism prison night falls on the Longfellow icy wind whitecaps on the Chuck no stars no sodium only shelled scallops enough to roll on the sidewalk the camera shifts to rider’s-eye-view dodging people shout obscenities at tourists any misfit with a wand of ash worn as might imagine wrote the poem after seeing his dog doused with oil set to flames so many names so many administration buildings and bars automatic things nothing ever seems real but burns into you all the same they say the machinery supports it but traffic’s shut down to one lane both directions
* * * *
At Revere Beach they leave the sand sculptures to the elements sinking to everything the ocean ever puked up a ripening extension of things sticks to the crotch of swimsuits UMASS Boston disintegrates second by second built forty years before the Big Dig Whitey’s brother Billy became president after Rich Parson’s wrote “There’s No Surfin’ On Dorchester Bay” then Billy carried off the last of the good bricks disguised as lyrics printed with chalky fingers on blackboards at night hieroglyphs float just below the surface things you know by heart never empty these Irish hate each other more than they hate the Italians who don’t hate anyone more than they hate blacks now Columbians Haitians Brazilians Mexicans Muslims who knows what else you learn to hate everyone
Television # 4
A Translation for Eileen Myles
Not a moment too soon
Set down, this
And they are the
That’s for fording stream
Glad of another death
And that’s great
I stay away
But becoming and starting
Aren’t the same thing
And that is
Going on, from
To some notion
I cd tlk w/
For to a place
Ill say it
Lasts too long
Yeh, it’s like
Neighbor in the street