Category Archives: Poetry Month 2012

gift

This is one of my most favorite poems.

 Gift

       You tell me that silence
       is nearer to peace than poems
       but if for my gift
       I brought you silence
       (for I know silence)
       you would say
This is not silence
this is another poem
       and you would hand it back to me.

by Leonard Cohen

you can find it in Poems and Songs from Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets series, at your favorite independent bookstore, this one.

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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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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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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.

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not endorsing it

 

Space, in chains
Things that are beautiful, and die. Things that fall asleep in the afternoon, in
sun. Things that laugh, then cover their mouths, ashamed of their teeth. A
strong man pouring coffee into a cup. His hands shake, it spills. His wife falls
to her knees when the telephone rings. Hello? Goddammit, hello?

Where is their child?

Hamster, tulips, love, gigantic squid. To live. I’m not endorsing it.

Any single, transcriptional event. The chromosomes of the roses. Flagella,
cilia, all the filaments of touching, of feeling, of running your little hand
hopelessly along the brick.

Sky, stamped into flesh, bending over the sink to drink the tour de force of
water.

It’s all space, in chains– the chaos of birdsong after a rainstorm, the steam
rising off the asphalt, a small boy in boots opening the back door, stepping
out, and someone calling to him from the kitchen,

Sweetie, don’t be gone too long.

by Laura Kasischke, winner of 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award

from Space, in Chains

 

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