do you want to come out?

Greek Easter
 
Bury me, your son
demans. Warm sand
 
leaves black dust
on our palms. We heap
 
his goosepimpled legs,
damp swimsuit,
 
soft belly, crossed arms.
He laughs, wiggles
 
his toes out and we
bury them again. No,
 
he says, bury me
all the way. So we place
 
a towel over his face,
blanket it with grit.
 
We can see sand rustle
when he breathes.
 
Do you want to come out?
we ask. Nmph, he muffles.
Perissa (Thira), 2006
 
 
 
 
 
 

April is Poetry Month. We’re celebrating here with a poem a day, by giving out poems like candy when you visit us, and discounting all poetry books by 10%. Because reading poetry is a fairly acceptable form of social deviance. And we’re all about that.

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the… cold dirt that will not be seduced into hills

It’s okay to be quiet sometimes, even if this quiet looks a little too much like sadness. Sometimes, it’s necessary. 

Keeping Still

If late at night, when watching the moon, you still
sometimes get vertigo, it’s understandable
that you wish suddenly and hard for fences, for someone
to marry you. Desiring a working knowledge,
needing to know some context by heart, you might
accept anything: the room without windows,
the far and frozen North, or the prairie, the prairie
even, if it means that.

The long wide space and cold dirt that will not
be seduced into hills, and the dust, that even after
you have kicked and wept and fallen on it pounding,
will not produce a tree. It will allow you
to rise with certainty and move with the relief
of necessary things to the wash on the line,
to the small maple you brought here that must be tied
for the winter or die.

Even the prairie night, blind with snow,
when no one comes, and you no longer look
to the mirror but force your fingers to the stitching
and produce a child to help with the lambing
and the carrying of water. Although it might be years
before you turn and stop, startled
by the sweet and sudden smell of sheets snapping
in the sun, and the drunken lilac, prairie purple,
blooming by the doorway, because you planted it.

by Marie Howe

from The Good Thief

April is Poetry Month. We’re celebrating here with a poem a day, by giving out poems like candy when you visit us, and discounting all poetry books by 10%. Because reading poetry is a fairly acceptable form of social deviance. And we’re all about that.

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As a child, I…

…used to dream about having a fantastic family.

…danced with my sister all summer long.

…built dams in the creek and loved making friends with the salamanders.

…traveled to India.

…was able to understand my own existence and feel how lucky I was to be.

…kissed slugs and loved frogs.

…choked a girl with shoelaces.

…was too free.

…lived in fear of upsetting Sister Mary Elizabeth.

…fell out of a second story window and survived!

…dreamed of being Barbie, so I became a model… and failed.

…would not rest my eyes or go to bed at night without fully believing that the stages, lights, costumes, songs, concepts I dreamed of would one day turn into a very bright, joyful and prosperous reality.

…sat in the basement with my sister in the dark pretending to be on a flight to Tahiti.

…wanted to be an Olympic gymnast.

…made funny faces all day long.

…had such high hopes.

…could fly.

…was painfully shy.

…knew everything.

…ate vegemite all day long like it was going out of fashion.

…ate mudpies.

…believed in dragons. I’m still looking.

…had a pet duck named Wilbur.

…wanted to be an octopus.

…fell in love with a boy named Daniel.

…dreamed of having a family.

…knew I was destined for greatness.

…was too precocious for words. I’d slap my little self right now, if I could.

…was much too sensitive.

…had actual, meaningful conversations with tress and flowers and animals and birds.

…could think of nothing more fun than spending all day in bed, reading. I am now very fat and very smart.

…made things with my hands. Moved all day long, constantly on one adventure or another. I was happy. I was a really happy boy.

…never left my mother’s lap.

…found everything mysterious. Felt like an alien on the wrong planet. Not in a bad way… it’s just all still so weird to me. This world.

Thanks to all those who wander through and stop to share themselves with us.

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what the eyelash means

By Catie Rosemurgy, whose book of poems, The Stranger Manual, is strange and its effects gradual:

The Wondering Class

 

I think the stomach means we cannot love one another properly.

I think the stomach is our one true eye.

I think the stomach is an ingredient.

I think the fingers mean we are too small inside one another.

I think the fingers mean our roots became bone and we lurched away with a new agenda.

I think the eyelash means we can float to the ground like snow.

I think the eyelash means we must not appear burned.

Some of us have been burned, but that is not what the eyelash means.

It is unprepared for. It is the other side of the world.

The other side of the world is intricate with the lace of forests.

The other side of the world is a euphemism for disease.

I think disease means the cells have rearranged to mirror something fast and jagged approaching from the sky.

I think disease means full expression.

I think disease means the river truly was as golden as it seemed.

 

 

from Diagram 4

Edited by Ander Monson of THEDIAGRAM.com

April is Poetry Month. We’re celebrating here with a poem a day, by giving out poems like candy when you visit us, and discounting all poetry books by 10%. Because reading poetry is a fairly acceptable form of social deviance. And we’re all about that.

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This and That and This

Amazing, isn’t it? Not how drunk he is, but how much space there is between each word he speaks, how he tells almost the whole story, how sweet he seems, how charming and affected and innocent.  Part of the audiobook, Ernest Hemingway Reads Ernest Hemingway, this was recorded on a pocket recorder sometime in the 50’s.

We have precisely 1,456,987 books in stock with Hemingway as their subject. Here’s just a handful of our bestsellers:

“Focusing on the years 1934 to 1961—from Hemingway’s pinnacle as the reigning monarch of American letters until his suicide—Paul Hendrickson traces the writer’s exultations and despair around the one constant in his life during this time: his beloved boat, Pilar.”

“Ernest Hemingway always had cats as companions, from the ones he adored as a child in Illinois and Michigan, to the more than 30 he had as an adult in Paris, Key West, Cuba, and Idaho. All are chronicled and most are pictured here, along with revelations of how they fit into the many twists and turns of his life and loves.”

“A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, The Paris Wife captures a remarkable period of time and a love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley.” A novel.

“Compelling, illuminating, poignant, and deeply insightful, Paris Without End provides a rare, intimate glimpse of the writer who so fully captured the American imagination and the remarkable woman who inspired his passion and his art—the only woman Hemingway never stopped loving.” Not a novel.

“With books like 2001’s PEN/Faulkner winner Bel Canto and the new State of Wonder, Patchett has demonstrated a singular ability to write smart literary novels that are also big best sellers. And when it comes to literature and books in general, she’s put her money where her mouth is: in 2011 she opened Parnassus Books in her hometown of Nashville, placing herself on the front lines of several ongoing battles for the fate of the printed word.”

Ann Patchett is one of the nominees for Time Magazine‘s Most Influential People of 2012. I decided to vote “Definitely” as opposed to “No Way” when asked by a poll whether she should be on the list. 55.16% have said No Way.  Also, she’s right in between Leon Panetta and Ron Paul. I can’t explain why, but that’s the funniest thing I’ve seen in a long time.

Speaking of jokes, did you know that the 2012-13 California budget provides zero (0) funding for public libraries? That’s zero dollars. You can write a letter or ten, and here’s some information.

Truman Capote’s bedroom. See others here.

Listening to their voices rambling… scrutinizing the places they lived in… reading between the lines of novels and stories and poems… really believing we can get close.

Also, this.

Adrienne Rich passed away on March 27, at the age of 82. Surely you’ve heard.

I would not have objected to a hundred more years’ worth of poems.

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wait and know the coming

The poem:

At a Window
by Carl Sandburg

Give me hunger,
O you gods that sit and give
The world its orders.
Give me hunger, pain and want,
Shut me out with shame and failure
From your doors of gold and fame,
Give me your shabbiest, weariest hunger!

But leave me a little love,
A voice to speak to me in the day end,
A hand to touch me in the dark room
Breaking the long loneliness.
In the dusk of day-shapes
Blurring the sunset,
One little wandering, western star
Thrust out from the changing shores of shadow.
Let me go to the window,
Watch there the day-shapes of dusk
And wait and know the coming
Of a little love.

The poet:

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now that the ocean is gone

Untitled [The child thought it strange]

The child thought it strange to define words with other words. What did you draw? The man thought he was looking at a purple oval with a touch of yellow. I drew that, the child answered ecstatically, feeling the paper with his finger. The frost is a little behind the shadows. A slash of tree trunk and the L of the roof. We hate a work of art that finds designs inside us, better to lie in the fog of melting snow and see the lake that remains and the person who has left, the ones we would rather not see but do in this reduction. What I loved about the little box full of hair elastics and bobby pins was my own wonder at the little squares of wood, 6 to a side, each of which had its own cross-section of branch, as if it had found something that could be wholly repeated when dispersed. The child, between the toilet and the window, liked the way it opened and spilled the many-colored elastics. An after-image of the monks spot-welding an iron fence in orange robes at night while we drove past fell apart in the nest of elastics, blue and orange among them. The ruins of December are full of people. Feeling is lost. The melted lake, re-frozen, clear as a picture plane in the public park, drags in its current a bit of duckweed torn at the root, bright-green, but it stops when the skater does and reveals its stasis. Further out, a void that can be seen clearly through this fiction starts the world in orbit around involuted space. Participation is voluntary as the wind pushes a glove and a cry faster through the deeps of sky and cloud than the ear and hand that released them. Now that the ocean is gone I am sail and ship, but the embargo on motion means he can only be thrown away, the hour you were queen. Go to work we tell the child. Go to work, go to work, go to work.

 

by Richard Meier
from Shelley Gave Jane a Guitar

April is Poetry Month. We’re celebrating here with a poem a day, by giving out poems like candy when you visit us, and discounting all poetry books by 10%. Because reading poetry is a fairly acceptable form of social deviance. And we’re all about that.

Leave a comment

Filed under Poetry Month 2012