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Posts Tagged ‘pantoum’

I worry constantly that I’m getting nothing done.

I fold the laundry, take the dog on walks.

What I want to do is read, or have some fun.

My husband doesn’t listen when I talk.

 

I fold the laundry, take the dog on walks.

I should be writing novels, thinking thoughts.

My husband doesn’t listen when I talk,

When I complain about the shoulds and oughts.

 

I should be writing novels, thinking thoughts.

I drink coffee, daydream, talk to rocks

who listen to my complaints of shoulds and oughts.

I fret about my writing. Go on walks.

 

I drink coffee, daydream, talk to rocks,

but I just want to read, or have some fun.

I fret about my writing while I walk.

I worry constantly. I’m getting nothing done.

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Pantoum (poem 7)

Pantoum

There are only realists.” Donald Barthelme

If I am a realist, I will write about an avocet.
I will write about my dog and my bed,
my shirts and shoes, not about what I believe.
Desire may be ordinary but it’s still an enigma.

I will write about my chairs and my bed,
and not about my bindweed faith,
rooted in my ordinary wants like an enigma,
invasive, subterranean, perennial.

I wish I weren’t bound up by faith.
I wish Sundays didn’t always feel so empty,
invaded by subterranean, perennial loss,
a contract I can’t be released from.

I wish a Sunday felt open, not empty.
I wish I didn’t return to its language,
an obligation I can’t be released from.
My friends point it out: you need to see why

you can’t let go of that language.
They’re right. I see it’s a compulsion,
so when they urge me to interrogate,
they’re doing me a favor. I could let it go,

but they’re right— I see it’s a compulsion,
it’s like unwanted shirts and shoes, what I believe.
This does me no favors. So I’ll let it all go,
Finally, be a realist. I’ll profess the avocet.

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It’s not like I don’t understand. I do.

Drop your kid off, get to work on time.

You are in a hurry. I am too.

But you drive as if safety were a crime.

 

Drop your kid off, get to work on time.

He needs to be there before the tardy bell.

Do you believe that safety is a crime?

You drive like a soccer Mom out of hell.

 

He’ll be marked late after the tardy bell.

There are worse things, like famine, war, and death.

You think you have the right to drive like hell.

I take deep breaths, try not to get upset.

 

Worse than your driving are famine, war and death.

You are in a hurry. I am too.

Take a deep breath, try not to get upset.

It’s not like I don’t understand. I do.

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Cigarette Poem

Cigarette, how you burn, like an eye
observing every sin I commit.
You are my downfall and my resurrection,
my flaw and my redemption.

Cigarette, observing every sin I commit,
I choose you, cigarette, my favorite,
my flaw, my redemption, my cigarette,
I burn for you and with you.

Cigarette, I choose you.
Cigarette, my favorite after and before.
My favorite during. I burn for you and with you
cigarette for you are what burning means and wants.

After and before my favorite,
during you I breathe and am calm, I breathe,
for you are what burning means and wants.
The present wants to burn and wants only you.

I breathe, and exhale, cleansed.
You are my downfall and my resurrection,
my cleansing and my mystification.
Cigarette, how do you burn? Like an eye.

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Euphorbia myrsinites

  • When pulses of light heave to air

    the bulge and bloom of growth,

    around late March through April,

    if you walk along a certain trail

  • the bulge and bloom of growth

    as alien as a neon sign will stop you.

    If you walk along a certain trail

    you will see a plant that doesn’t belong,

  • as alien as a neon sign in the Arctic,

    all blue green leaves spiraling like stars—

    the plant that doesn’t belong, you see—

    stars from sprawling stems that bleed

  • blue green leaves spiraling like stars.

    It is a lovely plant, vibrant with color,

    sprawling stems and stars that bleed

    milk when their outer layer is pierced.

  • It is a lovely plant, vibrant with color,

    but beware of their inner poison of

    milk when their outer layer is pierced.

    As ornamentals we introduced them,

  • but beware of their inner poison.

    From Eurasia they entered the States,

    as ornamentals we introduced them.

    They thrive in harsh, dry climates.

  • From Eurasia they entered the States.

    It is illegal to plant them in Colorado.

    They thrive in harsh drier climates.

    They have spread through the foothills.

  • It is illegal to plant them in Colorado.

    North ridge of Big Cottonwood Canyon—

    they have spread through the foothills—

    just in the mouth, along an old mining track,

  • North ridge of Big Cottonwood Canyon,

    they bloom inbetween native Gambel oak,

    just in the mouth along an old mining trail,

    around abandoned slabs of concrete.

  • Around late March through April

    they bloom inbetween native Gamble oak

    when pulses of light heave to air

    just in the mouth along an old mining trail.

    Ug!

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    In the damp gray-green morning
    I believe that the rain will rain
    forever, that the sun is an idea
    we’ve forgotten, been forgotten by

    I believe the rain will rain
    until we rise, weeping, the tears
    we’ve forgotten, been forgotten by
    for weeks, while the sun professed

    Until we rise, weeping, the tears
    will decay, jewels of grief,
    for weeks, when the sun professed
    ideas we longed to believe in

    We’ll decay, jewels of grief,
    paroxysms of carbon and light,
    ideas we longed to believe in
    as ourselves, liquid and constant

    Paroxysms of carbon and light
    We are rain, tears, light,
    we are ourselves, liquid and constant,
    like the rain, like tears, falling

    We are rain, tears, light.
    We are forever the sun, an idea
    like the rain, falling like tears
    in the damp gray-green morning

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