NINE  1–45


          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.

          Vibration 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 textacy and her rules of textual engagement.

          Segue Zen coffee house Segue haunted lighting Segue offerings.

          Place holders and temporary solutions require tolerance trust imagination.

          Rachel Zolf Israeli-Palestinian lesbian writing methods her Gematria.


          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 restricted.

          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.


          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.


          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.


          You see how interchangeable 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 as 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.


          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 that 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.


          I will write these until something else comes along.

          These, being the Nines, of which this is 32.

          Leslie Scalapino died last night—we listen to her.

          Focus attention on something without focusing on the outcome.

          Why I feel like an intruder in your life.

          Scatter your things, and soon you'll scatter your thoughts.

          The truth! you misanthrope, the truth! only the truth!

          Vacillating between accepting the newborn or giving it away.

          Elaborate and complex seduction ritual on a daily basis.


          Touch me, stalk me, smell me out, suggest me.

          Feel fondle hold hug kiss lick and "everything" me.

          Shanghai me, print me, blow my mind, flabbergast me.

          Drop my name, ooze, chime, percolate my varnish remover.

          Pave my way, determine me, come live with me.

          I am paved with pebbles, callously acute crunchy pebbles.

          Rigid uncompromising harsh obdurate intransigent rigorously endlessly hard pebbles.

          Impeccable outcome trespass ill-timed and definitely malfeasant duality.

          Multitasking polylingual bone-crunching tenacious backbreaking traces of pebbles.


          Born in Cannes, smack into the French Resistance movement.

          Red-diaper babies tend to quickly learn what's what.

          My situation must have been everything but pleasantly relaxing.

          It's hard enough to have to be a child . . .

          My function was to please my mother, by existing.

          After a while these things tend to wear off.

          My roles were manifold and still not completely determined.

          It's touch-something-rotten-and-get-your-hand-dirty.

          Or else I'm-paralyzed-with-sadness-fear-and-sorrow.


           I return to Vienna and I study film making.

          But also, I'm a puppeteer at the Vienna Puppet Theater.

          Old grotesque decadent Germanic reality imposed upon Javanese puppets.

          The French were less complicated, the Americans even less.

          Nietzsche was easy to find, easy to read there.

          Then came New York and the Art Students League.

          Years of sculpture, mural painting, anatomy, and Renaissance perspective.

          After the League, I decide to make video art.

          Ever wonder if they'll torture you at the end?


          Too often my view of suffering is sexually charged.

          Sabine Domec was born in the Champagne, Sephardic Jews.

          Suffering, mercifully, offers a route back into the ego.

          The ego then actively abandons suffering and we're free.

          Dear Lyn, yes, Buddhism, I see the need, indeed.

          Norman, aka Normal, was both gentle and firm, then.

          Watch the lips and fingers do whatever they want.

          Community-theft ambience, slithering-rigamarole-pizzazz, bellicose Ramos fizz.

          If you think ill of others, that's your idea.


          The point of any action—the invention—No point.

          Random walks we could take in seemingly random forests.

          Direction lozenge apprehension tension, whatever you will with me.

          With me it's every chance I get to act.

          Act as if you're dead already, they tell me.

          Say it with infinite sincerity indigo serpent, reflected sun.

          Sun-dried kisses, valedictorian elements, unintended profanities hurled at me.

          I love it when you pry into my life.

          The ninth line is often problematic, as we see.


Anne Tardos is a poet, composer, and visual artist. She 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, has appeared from Salt Publishing, and she is the editor of Thing of Beauty, by Jackson Mac Low, California. Her poem "The Pure of Heart" 2009, has been set to music by Michael Byron. She is a 2009 Fellow in Poetry from the New York Foundation for the Arts.