Chris Goodrich: from Ocho #11

Upon Hearing that She and the Man with whom She Cheated are getting Married


Somewhere behind me
the staccato of young men,
their laughter, a fitting truth,
something I wish I had
moments ago when the news
covered my body like sudden
rain.. Beside me, an umbrella
I’ve carried since morning.
I hope to God I don’t forget it
when it’s time again to leave.
I’ve ruined more evenings that way,
my shoes soaked, my body shaking.
I don’t know what kind of animal
love is. I do know how to pray
on bent knees for someone
else’s failure. From the ledge
of a lonely and startled dream,
I put my hands together and begin
the way anyone would: Dear God


In my dreams I play flower girl
at your wedding. A meticulous
and rehearsed walk down
the lantern-lit aisle, a white wicker
basket anchoring my enthusiasm,
releasing the pink petals carelessly
into the wind. Pink being, in my mind,
the color of grace, the basket a symbol of sanity,
my dress, black as a bitch slap, the only sign
that something is terribly wrong.

That and the fact that I kidnapped,
in the name of forgiveness, the real flower girl,
tied her to the back seat of my car
(I’ve cracked the windows). She’ll return
home after the reception, unharmed,
I promise, after we have danced and danced,
and after, god willing, I lift a glass to you Jennifer,
to you Chris, that you both may see how much I have grown.

Drinking Together, Li Po and I admire
Wang’s Garden


We go back and forth like this:
raising our gin soaked chins
to a translucent daytime moon,
toasting the indecent goldenrod,
the sweet sting of morning,
then, falling deep into an unbelievable 10am,
memorizing the hibiscus.

Last night, a dozen friends joked
as you stripped clean and rode the rope
swing into the river. Afterwards, the wine wet,
the grass low and dying, we vowed to cherish
the balding crocus in sickness and health.

This morning we watch the birds
return one by one to Wang’s roof,
our backs against the same oak,
our tumblers now empty.
I am drifting in and out of consciousness
but you are still awake, writing something down,
transfixed by willow-blossom, the call of the moon,

Yudu love the summer...

Kendall Jenner: Mortified


From Stoning the Devil: Apparition Poem #1519


From Stoning the Devil: Apparition Poem #1180


To Baudelaire: October 1996


Mama’s boy! Compassionate
ridiculous dandified cunt!
Right minded, wrongheaded,
unwed slave and parasite!
No poets go to Hell— God
be with you, vulgar and
adorable prick! May your
tarted up nose-pick tales
grow into a grin in the ether!

You immortal artist you—
we remember, who have
been in New Jersey at midnight,
no women, nothing to do,
sitting through thunders, hurricanes,
what it is to be bored, “to ennui”—
to sling a black coat over our
shoulders, stroll streets in paroxysms,
then into ecstasy, devilish slumbers,
out again into the ocean— we remember thee.

Revelation from Holmes Hall: October 1996



I escaped a father I hated, broke
from Moses, his Commandments,
shunned synagogue machinery,
slipped past esoteric Torah, hid
in recesses of a flat white satin
wall (Jennifer, her loins), dreamed
our future for the Universe—

I fathered a Bible-less expanse,
yellow leaves fell, rain coated,
I dawdled, fumbled, waited for
lightning or roses, circles drew
me back to watch these trees:
Buddha, Yahweh, Adonai, Christ,
Mohammed, the escaped father

lives, impersonal, diurnal, this
the refuse of his wisdom I partake
of, dreaming no future for myself
past what modes of suffering are
encompassed outside a third-story
window on a night when Jennifer
rounds the Universe off to a third, out—    

Architecture and the Weight of Centuries



As to what constitutes the most profound, durable form of human progress— certainly, most educated people would place emphasis, if asked, on the higher disciplines: science, philosophy, high art, and architecture. The kind of work which constitutes the most profound, durable form of progress in these disciplines has, as a constituent element, what I call the weight of centuries effect. What I call the weight of centuries effect is self-evident in the work— an attempt to assimilate into the work, the influence and gravitas of all that has been accomplished in the respective discipline before, going back not just decades but centuries. If this is what constitutes human progress, it needs to be acknowledged that a huge chunk of modern human society is the avowed enemy of human progress. The modern press corps, for example— who express their avowed stance as enemies of human progress by running away, screaming, from any high discipline work with the weight of centuries effect inhering. The press subsist, essentially, to produce what I call a “wall of horseshit” effect (conversely), and the wall of frivolous, ephemeral horseshit is there to lead the populace, often subconsciously, to the realization that there is not nor ever can be any profound human progress, no weight of centuries. The darker side of the human race and the human continuum demand that the entire surface of human life, in fact, be a wall of horseshit, and all profound progress hidden. As I’ve begun to understand architecture, and the architectural dimension of human life from Philadelphia, one of the great architectural masterwork cities of the world, and a city whose high sector affiliations tower over other American metropolis/suburb areas, I put PFS/Neo-Romanticism and our achievements resolutely on the architectural side of things.

In fact, architecture is useful in establishing a demarcative line between weight of centuries material in the high disciplines and everything else. Being on the side of the demarcative line we are on, it behooves us to be realistic about what we can expect. PFS has, in-built, some Hollywood-level sex appeal to offer; the photos attest to it; leading some to wonder why the media will not cover us. The reason is simple: as the avowed enemies of human progress, the press note the architectural bias of our work— the weight of centuries effect— and run screaming in the other direction. If the press are to erect the wall of horseshit they need to erect for themselves, with the specific intention of outright denial of weight of centuries/human progress, everything associated with architecture has to be an anathema, our sex appeal be damned. Party politics can be like this on the surface, too— not the weight of centuries, the weight of pure, totalized evanescence. So, these are the wages of an architectural bias for the Philly Free School; weight of centuries signifies that we will have to be ploughed over in favor of evanescent trash on the surface by the enemies of human progress. The weight of centuries demarcative line is very stringent about this. On the other hand, we have the peace of mind of knowing that no one can accuse us of selling out, or selling cheap. It also needs to be noted that the wall of horseshit approach to the surface of human life is not going anywhere; is, in fact, intransigently built into human history.

One of the reasons that a movement like Neo-Romanticism must grow incrementally— the opposition will always try to rig things so that it can never generate any real momentum. Neither the press corps, nor the party politicians want momentum to develop behind any work with the weight of centuries insignia inscribed onto it, which is the insignia of genuine human progress. Momentum, invariably, is for evanescent trash, some of which can stand as a simulacrum of weight of centuries work, but never the real thing (and, as is sinister, both the press corps and the party politicians do know the difference). As per the opposition: are they people, you might ask, or are they amoebas? One thinks swiftly of Swift, and is grateful for some of his literary incisions. Who cares? The right buildings, including here on Fayette Street in Conshohocken, exude their own kind of sentience among the perceptive sectors of the human race, impose their own standards and ethos and make their own demands. Architecture, as a secret powerhouse in human society, may have its emergence in some sectors facilitated by PFS. However much momentum may be allowed to accumulate, all of it will be directed towards getting a wider audience to note weight of centuries level work, and not the simulacrum of same. Keats, Bach, and Rubens rather than Shakespeare, Mozart, and Rembrandt— the first tier being ranked first, right on the surface. I will not attempt to conceal that Neo-Romanticism maintains an avenging angel attitude towards the enemies of human progress, and weight of centuries. Whenever we can afford to fuck the bad guys over, and push the architectural up, we will do so; let momentum fall where it may.



Basement: Philadelphia Museum of Art: Summer 1996



Art, it would seem, is a nice way of
saying that everything resides in hell—
the pictures are anguish— the negatives,
hiding somewhere, ecstasy.

They’re mounted on plain grey walls.
Slow viewers puzzle themselves; sashay,
bug-like, into corners. I am not,
unfortunately, basking in the glow of
abundant creativity, but am thrashed
by a sense of impotence. How do I
let the images in? The blonde over
there: does she do penance by giving
head? Fractions, pinpoints of light distill
from low ceiling— footsteps, cacophony
of breaths being drawn. Eyes of an
artist, mine of a bloodhound. Staid types sniff the walls.

Art, it would seem, is
a nice way of saying that everyone
resides in hell— the people are anguish—
the spirits, hiding somewhere, ecstasy.


From Tumblr: Two from PSU, State College, '96-'98


Room 510, Atherton Hilton, State College: July 1996


Lightning illuminates the pale sky; rain
on the leaves sounds like waves. Snakes
rattle across the Earth, hold themselves
erect under the onslaught. Your body,
Jennifer— lax against a pillow, aghast
at the finality of clouds. Lampshades
are tan mushrooms— wallets stuffed
with obscure currencies. Some stray
Ruth may (later) come to wound me.
Swim for your life, junk-in-the-veins
Narcissus— Rimbaud is just a button
to push, guided by voices or not. Our
face of passion is one we had before we were born.  

Nefertiti (College Avenue, State College, September 1996)



To the blonde, cigarette dangling from
lips in the blue Chevette— in a past life
I had you in Egypt, we danced, your
a neck like Nefertiti’s, furiously we made
love, lived together also in Pompeii, your
volcanic thighs took me sky-high, here
you are again, pale cool flat diamond
eyed, I am ravishing you, we never think
of New Jersey, murder, mortuaries, what’s
ugly, fleeting, as the light goes green it
is all in the grass of your face forever—
frissons, fireworks in someone’s mind. 

Kendall Jenner: Breathing, No