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Robert Arthur Reeves

Grade A: Why Payyasi Was Fat

July 30, 2015

Why Payyasi Was Fat (from The Observations of Payyasi Ram)

Written in Albuquerque, living on Gold SE, October 1985.  Payyasi came to me one night and demanded I start writing down these poems about him, or he’d keep me up all night.  I stayed up all night writing them anyway!  A few were written later, but the whole cycle, except “Payyasi and the Yeti,” was completed within the next few weeks.  The character of Payyasi is heavily imitative of Leo Romero’s “Celso” poems, but an 8th-century Buddhist drunkard rather than a 20th-century Catholic one.  “Ram” is loosely used in India to mean God, and “Paayasi” (with a long a instead of two y’s) was an ancient materialist philosopher who is supposed to have performed gruesome experiments on living subjects to prove the nonexistence of the soul.  “The hills” are the Himalayas, and I picture “the city” (where most of the poems take place) as Calcutta or somewhere nearby in northeastern India.  Dan Dabney told me this particular poem was the right length both on paper and read aloud, a situation he considered rare.  Published in my books 3 Cycles and Wings of the Gray Moon.

Why Payyasi Was Fat


They say I should be guilty

that I’ve gotten so fat

without working.  I tell them fat

is like the rain, it falls on you

whether you expect it or not,

whether you plan for it or not.

I was brought up on hill-food:

the cold skims off so much of us,

makes rabid war on thin men.

I tell them the hills were so bright

when the clouds would leave

that your vision was sliced

down the center like a peach

and you had nothing to do but praise things

with shambling legs, wiggling arms.

Things like that made me want to eat.

It helped to build darkness

inside me like a fort

against the light crushing down on the hills,

threatening to flatten them.

Nothing wants to be flat.

Things want to be round.

My guilt is I haven’t eaten enough,

that still there are hard facts

to be digested.

Otros: Dickey & Donne

July 19, 2015
Most poets secretly or openly wish they could, like James Dickey, write a bestselling novel.  The hair-stood-on-end excitements of his Deliverance are only equalled by…

Grade A: Those Kisses

June 28, 2015
Written in Albuquerque (living on Gold SE with Sondra Tudor and teaching at the University of New Mexico), September 1985:  for Alex Bradley.  I thought…

Otros: Carroll, Carver, Coleridge, Corso, Crane, cummings

June 19, 2015
Everybody knows Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky.”  I’ve known people who hated or never read poetry to have it memorized.  Close your eyes and say it with…

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Sari Krosinsky


July 9, 2015

Crescent Moon by Araldia
One of my favorites by Araldia, titled "Crescent Moon," but I always think of it as "the sea creature" or "the pink crustacean."

I've been pretty thoroughly nonverbal for some while, but the visual art has been flowing. In the past, I've mostly gravitated towards representational art in my own work — though I love abstract art by others, like my favorite fractal/digital artist, Araldia. Lately I keep drawing these abstract/organic/geometric things and collaging them with fractal art and NASA public domain images using GIMP. I wonder if the abstraction and the trouble with words are connected?

For now, I'm stashing my visual artwork on Flickr. Here are a few samples:

Solar Prayer Brain Geometry 1 Martian Dinosaur

Rearranging the Shelves
April 3, 2015
UPDATE, 2015/4/23: The book page is now set up with the changes. You can order "god-chaser," "Complications" and "Yossele" directly from me with payments processed…

Listen to a bit of last night's reading
February 27, 2015
A couple poems, one by Bob and one by me, from last night's Fixed & Free Poetry Reading. I'll add a few more another day.…

Live Poetry in February & March
February 21, 2015
We're breaking our quiet streak to come out for three poetry events this month and next: Bob and I double feature at Fixed & Free…

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