Posts Tagged ‘poem’

you, I want


ruinous god

you, I want

to suffer

you burn me





honey voice

with violets in your lap



but everything


than that

I will pour wine over


could release me




I want


burn me


know this


ruin me

(Fragments of Sappho from Anne Carson’s translation If Not, Winter)



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What immortal hand or eye

Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

                        William Blake “Tyger, Tyger”

 Why do children suddenly

start crying? When is the moment

they grow? When they sleep?

How can things be one thing and

another? When a body comes between

two other bodies, why use the word eclipse?

Who am I when I am asking who are you?

Does the gravity that keeps the sky together

also pull it apart? Is every cell part water and

part mutation? Am I an accident of genetics,

belief, and bacteria? When I look at a photograph

of you, what is the name of the rock in my heart?

What is the tune of chaos? How do the ants

count their steps? And how do you count yours?

What is the atomic weight of time? How does two

Plus three equal? Graph the relationship between

hunger and home. When exactly did you come into being?

When we are apart, how do I know you still exist?

Do you believe in me, the way the ancients believed

in stars? Do you believe in the constant

enduring nature of the self? What is the exact weight of love?


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When I think of Anne Carson, I think of the great history of Literature which looms behind us, an infinite Library. All the books, all the language, all the black marks, the fragments, the selves. I think of her accent and one time when she mentioned a gun. I think of trying to be someone else, that is, not yourself, that is, trying to be Anne Carson. What are all the ways we are not ourselves? I’m thinking of the brain with its various tricks and parallaxes. The world we think we live in is not necessarily the one we perceive. Which is to say, our senses deceive us. In the novel Persuasion, by Jane Austen, the heroine of the novel allows herself to be persuaded. To be persuaded means to arrive at the belief that the thing you want to do, the thing you are doing, is your own choice, that you have arrived there voluntarily through no other trick than logic. The word persuade originates from two different Latin words: one meaning “to completion,” the other “advise.” I imagine a woman, supine on a couch, having been advised to completion. It seems akin to having the vapors. In my hysteria, I was mistaken. I thought I was someone else. 

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Okay, this one is sort of ridiculous, but it was fun to write. So laugh away!!

The Hell of Laundry

“Hello laundry, my old friend”

Simon & Garfunkel


Hello laundry, my old friend,
here we are in the basement again,
Because the dirt always staining
Left few clean things remaining
And the scent embedded in my brain
Still contains

The smell of laundry

Up and down the stairs I go
To the laundry room below
In the glow of the halogen light
I sort delicates from the blacks and whites
When my hands are soiled by the damp of others’ sweat
those socks are wet!
I touch the damp of laundry

When I sort, I’ve sometimes sworn
Half these clothes were never worn.
T-shirts piled without soiling,
Blue jeans hampered without toiling.
My Son tossing clothes he’s never donned,
‘Cuz he’s never gone

to the Hell of laundry

“Damn!” said I, “You guys don’t know –
How much doing laundry blows.
Come downstairs and do a load,
so  my bleeping head won’t explode.”
But my words like stinky t-shirts fell

Amid the piles of laundry

And the Mother kneels and folds
All the laundry she could hold.
And her actions were a warning
to the swear words that were forming.
And the omen said, The curses of the Mother echo inside the basement walls
And upstairs halls
And rest beside the now clean laundry.

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Poem #8

Nudist Detaching the Orange Field

This is a poem about the poem I lost.

This is a poem about the poem I haven’t written, but would, if I did such things.

This is a poem about a title I found, or one that was given to me, because someone else didn’t want it.

This is a poem about how writing is so difficult, that I give up, and instead take off my shirt.

This is a poem about how the sun, a giant orange, revolves in the sky like a naked fruit.

Once I went to a nudist beach and I was not embarrassed for myself, but for others, my seeing of them, and the grass was tall, but not tall enough.

I am now walking away from this poem, detaching myself, as it were, from all that, the giant sun, the nudity, the grass, the field, the stanza, the line, the word.

This is a poem about being done with writing poems.

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Poem #7

When he is not

a friend, he is laughing

taking off his shirt & kissing

true, he smiles

like a spy or a lover

telling a lie, he takes

my hand & insists

recounting stories of our past, he speaks

only of the future & travel

running away from me,

he turns back to assure


that I follow, cherishing his words like pebbles

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We praise the thin coffee and the weaker Tang.

We praise the old ladies who bake cinnamon rolls, that we may affirm our hunger.

We praise the covered dish suppers, the scalloped potatoes, ham and rolls,

From women who toil in the kitchens every day, even Sunday.

We praise the men in overalls and feed hats, who work so hard their hands

Become mere tools, calloused and swollen.

We praise their easy faith in dawn and sunset, in rain and shine, in drought.

We praise the unwavering affection of Nature, who sends what she will,

While we endure.

We praise the weather, which we cannot change with our prayers.

We praise the daylight and we praise the night.

And most of all we praise the past, without which we would not be here,

Indolent, and in need of forgiveness.

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I need Battlestar Galactica, the way

a junkie needs smack, an addiction more

fierce than lust, a need that may

lead to more need, how, when the story

moves toward resolution we approach myth,

every character becomes an archetype: the leader,

the rebel, the heroine. I want to be the pissed

off, ass-kicking Starbuck: pilot, drinker, gambler,

puncher, harbinger of death. I still don’t know

if she will save humanity or destroy it. Who cares?

She’s sexy, focus of the hottest men on the show:

Lee and Anders. That’s all TV is anyway, story stripped bare:

Plot manipulations to get characters to in bed and fuck,

People we’d want to sleep with if only we had such luck.

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April 4th

I wrote this yesterday on a piece of paper, but again fell asleep.  Almost every night I fall asleep in some awkward position on my daughters floor, or half on one of their beds, their soft little arms clutching in sleep to some part of my neck or arm.

  • Rules 561a-561b Regarding Behavior Becoming and Unbecoming Keepers

    of Jubjub Birds and Frumuious Bandersnatches

  • 561a

    We must maintain
    certain distances.

    Do not get too close.

    If another approaches

    on the street, eyes wide

    and eager, saying things like:

    my cat just died, or they left me

    when I was seven, and I’ve got nails,

    you should recoil, draw back,

    retreat, eyes averted. If you are feeling

    especially intrepid you may direct

    them to shelter, safety, ask

    where is your family?

  • 561b

    When retreating make certain

    not to isolate yourself from the

    herd, especially if you are sick

    and dying. In these cases you

    must patiently wait for death

    on your narrow bed; even if

    the breathless darkness makes

    thee to shudder, you must not

    go out, and never, even in

    times of health, say things

    like list to natures teachings.

    Also, do not speak offhandedly

    about trees, tropes, memes;

    that planetary and galactic

    resurgences and alignments

    are continually at play

    is best kept quiet. Others will

    think you odd.

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    April 4.


    etched into wet stone at the edge of the river
    carved into varnished wood hung by eye bolts at the farthest door

    written unceasingly on the skin of the water
    spoken along the spine of a fingerling wriggling in moss

    broken along a yellow line on the road to Idaho
    shattered and flying in the late spring snow

    dispersed to the letter in the Magnum Biblos
    finger-traced in dust on glass

    confessed to the invoker lip to ear
    a token taken passed hand to leaf    leaf to hand

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