Wednesday, April 30, 2008

National Poetry Month

April marks National Poetry Month and some sites and spaces are offering poetry daily. I like that idea but thought I'd look for poetry in unexpected places.

Some of those listed will be "recognized" poems, others are found or created poems (by me or others).

Poetry, I think, is the best of written arts - it doesn't have to explain everything - doesn't have to have excuses (though often carries many) and charms, entertains, awakens and educates all in one breath.

Here are some National Poetry Month links:
knopf press/poetry
npm events in san antonio

Use this month as an excuse to say more than you should, to be messy but lyrical in your delivery, to not hold back. Use this as a time to close your eyes but see everything.

all the best,

April 30 : Jolene (2 ways) by Dolly Parton and Ray Lamontagne

I have always loved Dolly Parton. I used to hang out at Azul, my once haunt in Austin, and Joel, a barista there would play old records. We spoke secretly of our mutual major crush on Dolly as he spun her albums.

Well, in listening to BBC's Radio 2, I came across Ray Lamontagne's new single, Jolene, was taken back to the first song with that name. They seem to go together - Dolly begging a woman not to take her man and Ray talking about how this woman's undone him at the core. Seems Jolene's still at it. These are as poetry examples? Well, of course! Narrative poetry is the best and just as Helen of Troy began a war, Jolene transformed the two who wrote about her. This is poetry's goal.

Dolly's contribution:

Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene,
I'm begging of you please don't take my man.
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene,
Please don't take him just because you can.

Your beauty is beyond compare,
With flaming locks of auburn hair,
With ivory skin and eyes of emerald green.

Your smile is like a breath of spring;
Your voice is soft like summer rain,
And I cannot compete with you, Jolene.

He talks about you in his sleep,
An' there's nothing I can do to keep,
From crying when he calls your name, Jolene.

And I can easily understand,
How you could easily take my man,
But you don't know what he means to me, Jolene.

Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene,
I'm begging of you please don't take my man.
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene,
Please don't take him just because you can.

You could have your choice of men,
But I could never love again.
He's the only one for me, Jolene.

I had to have this talk with you:
My happiness depends on you,
And whatever you decide to do, Jolene.
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene,
I'm begging of you please don't take my man.
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene,
Please don't take him even though you can.Jolene. ( Jolene.)

Ray's contribution:

Cocaine flame in my bloodstream
Sold my coat when I hit Spokane
Bought myself a hard pack of cigarettes in the early morning rain
Lately my hands they don't feel like mine
My eyes been stung with dust, I'm blind
Held you in my arms one time
Lost you just the same Jolene I ain't about to go straight

It's too late I found myself face down in the ditch
Booze on my hair
Blood on my lips
A picture of you, holding a picture of me
In the pocket of my blue jeans

Still don't know what love means
Still don't know what love means Jolene
Ah, La, La, La, La, La Jolene

Been so long since I seen your face or felt a part of this human race
I've been living out of this here suitcase for way too long
A man needs something he can hold onto
A nine pound hammer or a woman like you
Either one of them things will do Jolene I ain't about to go straight
It's too late I found myself face down in the ditch
Booze in my hair
Blood on my lips
A picture of you, holding a picture of me
In the pocket of my blue jeans

Still don't know what love means
Still don't know what love means Jolene
La, La, La, La, La, La, La Jolene La, La, La, La, La, La, La Jolene

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

April 29 : All She Wrote by Harryette Mullen

Forgive me, I’m no good at this. I can’t write back. I never read your letter. I can’t say I got your note. I haven’t had the strength to open the envelope. The mail stacks up by the door. Your hand’s illegible. Your postcards were defaced. Wash your wet hair? Any document you meant to send has yet to reach me. The untied parcel service never delivered. I regret to say I’m unable to reply to your unexpressed desires. I didn’t get the book you sent. By the way, my computer was stolen. Now I’m unable to process words. I suffer from aphasia. I’ve just returned from Kenya and Korea. Didn’t you get a card from me yet? What can I tell you? I forgot what I was going to say. I still can’t find a pen that works and then I broke my pencil. You know how scarce paper is these days. I admit I haven’t been recycling. I never have time to read the Times. I’m out of shopping bags to put the old news in. I didn’t get to the market. I meant to clip the coupons. I haven’t read the mail yet. I can’t get out the door to work, so I called in sick. I went to bed with writer’s cramp. If I couldn’t get back to writing, I thought I’d catch up on my reading. Then Oprah came on with a fabulous author plugging her best selling book.

Monday, April 28, 2008

April 28 : May Day by Phillis Levin

I've decided to waste my life again,
Like I used to: get drunk on
The light in the leaves, find a wall
Against which something can happen,

Whatever may have happened
Long ago—let a bullet hole echoing
The will of an executioner, a crevice
In which a love note was hidden,

Be a cell where a struggling tendril
Utters a few spare syllables at dawn.
I've decided to waste my life
In a new way, to forget whoever

Touched a hair on my head, because
It doesn't matter what came to pass,
Only that it passed, because we repeat
Ourselves, we repeat ourselves.

I've decided to walk a long way
Out of the way, to allow something
Dreaded to waken for no good reason,
Let it go without saying,

Let it go as it will to the place
It will go without saying: a wall
Against which a body was pressed
For no good reason, other than this.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

April 27 : The Healing IMporovisation of Hair by Jay Wright

If you undo your do you would
be strange. Hair has been on my mind.
I used to lean in the doorway
and watch my stony woman wind
the copper through the black, and play
with my understanding, show me she cóuld
take a cup of river water,
and watch it shimmy, watch it change,
turn around and become ash bone.
Wind in the cottonwoods wakes me
to a day so thin its breastbone
shows, so paid out it shakes me free
of its blue dust. I will arrange
that river water, bottom juice.
I conjure my head in the stream
and ride with the silk feel of it
as my woman bathes me, and shaves
away the scorn, sponges the grit
of solitude from my skin, laves
the salt water of self-esteem
over my feathering body.
How like joy to come upon me
in remembering a head of hair
and the way water would caress
it, and stress beauty in the flair
and cut of the only witness
to my dance under sorrow's tree.
This swift darkness is spring's first hour.

I carried my life, like a stone,
in a ragged pocket, but I
had a true weaving song, a sly
way with rhythm, a healing tone.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

April 26 : A group of girls from Minnesota or black mascara by Maureen Owen

Not trees trace so just kids we hung
slim buckets of chokecherries from our wrists

in neighboring galaxies Giant Star Factories take control
composed of cold hydrogen gas and dust

7,000 light years from earth
slender-toed geckos step onto the moon

On the road between 2 baptisms and a shower they rang
to say shallow water the mouths drop open

not where you stand but how long you can
stand standing there
in constant hypothesis

the trees are passersby
damp light
flat orange moon
velvet navy-blue sky

fire berries
from here we see the beautifully attired drive tough Ford pickups

the oncoming
organizing principle
brushed out

the dancers take turns leaping over the bonfire into
Qué pasa USA?

haircuts in London are really pretty backward
London—you are definitely not going to have a manicure there!
in LA toes must match the hands or else just don’t leave the house
in NY it’s more brunette

Outside a refrigerator floats in the blackness shiny amid sharp stars
& the turtle who holds up the world holds up
the world

Friday, April 25, 2008

April 25 : Dangerous for Girls by Connie Voisine

It was the summer of Chandra Levy, disappearing
from Washington D.C., her lover a Congressman, evasive
and blow-dried from Modesto, the TV wondering

in every room in America to an image of her tight jeans and piles
of curls frozen in a studio pose. It was the summer the only
woman known as a serial killer, a ten-dollar whore trolling

the plains of central Florida, said she knew she would
kill again, murder filled her dreams
and if she walked in the world, it would crack

her open with its awful wings. It was the summer that in Texas, another
young woman killed her five children, left with too many
little boys, always pregnant. One Thanksgiving, she tried

to slash her own throat. That summer the Congressman
lied again about the nature of his relations, or,
as he said, he couldn't remember if they had sex that last

night he saw her, but there were many anonymous girls that summer,
there always are, who lower their necks to the stone
and pray, not to God but to the Virgin, herself once

a young girl, chosen in her room by an archangel.
Instead of praying, that summer I watched television, reruns of
a UFO series featuring a melancholic woman detective

who had gotten cancer and was made sterile by aliens. I watched
infomercials: exercise machines, pasta makers,
and a product called Nails Again With Henna,

ladies, make your nails steely strong, naturally,
and then the photograph of Chandra Levy
would appear again, below a bright red number,

such as 81, to indicate the days she was missing.
Her mother said, please understand how we're feeling
when told that the police don't believe she will be found alive,

though they searched the parks and forests
of the Capitol for the remains and I remembered
being caught in Tennessee, my tent filled with wind

lifting around me, tornado honey, said the operator when I called
in fear. The highway barren, I drove to a truck stop where
maybe a hundred trucks hummed in pale, even rows

like eggs in a carton. Truckers paced in the dining room,
fatigue in their beards, in their bottomless
cups of coffee. The store sold handcuffs, dirty

magazines, t-shirts that read, Ass, gas or grass.
Nobody rides for free, and a bulletin board bore
a public notice: Jane Doe, found in a refrigerator box

outside Johnson, TN, her slight measurements and weight.
The photographs were of her face, not peaceful in death,
and of her tattoos Born to Run, and J.T. caught in

scrollworks of roses. One winter in Harvard Square, I wandered
drunk, my arms full of still warm, stolen laundry, and
a man said come to my studio and of course I went—

for some girls, our bodies are not immortal so much as
expendable, we have punished them or wearied
from dragging them around for so long and so we go

wearing the brilliant plumage of the possibly freed
by death. Quick on the icy sidewalks, I felt thin and
fleet, and the night made me feel unique in the eyes

of the stranger. He told me he made sculptures
of figure skaters, not of the women's bodies,
but of the air that whipped around them,

a study of negative space,
which he said was the where-we-were-not
that made us. Dizzy from beer,

I thought why not step into
that space? He locked the door behind me.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

April 24 : Bones by Haki R. Madhubuti

she riffs in less than fifty words
poems that unveil a people's bones.

improvising veto-proof likeness
she cleans neighborhoods of celebrated ignorance
among the weak, wicked and wise,
among the wounded, weary and brief winners.

with oxygen lines,
with a vernacular voice and memory
she sings, swims and dances to the merry movements
of the underlooked, bloodflow, heartdrums
and blistered feet of betrayed generations.

this museum of a poet is not about
impressing enemies, friends or lovers,
her urges are to write gladness, grief and melodies,
always probing for trustworthy tales
of her deep-south multitudes. acutely
aware of the exaggerations of politicians,
public intellectuals and the criminally rich
she is our brilliant testifier.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

April 23 : songs referencing candela/fire

There are plenty of songs which reference fire - but these are in my head today:

from Jimi Hendrix:

look at the sky

turn a hell fire red lawd
sombodies house is burnin down down down

look at the sky turn a hell fire red lawd
sombodies house is burnin down down down

from Celia Cruz

Muchacha, dice tu abuela,
que no entras en la cocina

que ella que tiene gasolina
no debe jugar con candela.

from Buena Vista Social Club

El cuarto de Tula; le cogió candela
Se quedó dormida y no apagó la vela.

Tula está encendida llama a los bomberos
Tu eres candela ¡afina los cueros!

El cuarto de Tula; le cogió candela
Se quedó dormida y no apagó la vela.

Songs are poems. Don't tell yourself they aren't.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

April 22 : Beyond Having by Ray Gonzalez

I'm infatuated with Ray Gonzalez' work. It's great, just great.

And, always, there is desire like
the orange and banana changing
texture on the kitchen shelf.
Their skins sink slowly into themselves.
There is the liquid of lust and thirst,
an open gloss of choice and cutting,
a lying down toward the wind,
the heaving you were warned about.

And, soon, there is love like
miniature spellings embedded in the shoulder,
waiting to be misspelled, washed,
brought back by perception that fades
with what moves below the arm,
hinging on a doubt cried away.
There is the mistake of giving name
to the prune, the print bitten off
and covered over by black hair--
its numbers kept secret,
long strands in the tale of the carpet,
the pomegranate, the hundred ways
of staying there.

And, besides, there is danger of riding desire
until it carves you into its swollen throat,
steel-cry of possession and the infinite blessing
of fingers missing from the first time,
fingernails tracing the shape of the strawberry
to memorize roughness without leaving.
There is the flavor and the understanding,
a place to rest the eye after traveling,
a force that binds you together
without you knowing red marks
on your back are places where wings
would have risen if you were an angel.

Monday, April 21, 2008

April 21 : Praise Them by Li-Young Lee

The birds don't alter space.
They reveal it. The sky
never fills with any
leftover flying. They leave
nothing to trace. It is our own
astonishment collects
in chill air. Be glad.
They equal their due
moment never begging,
and enter ours
without parting day. See
how three birds in a winter tree
make the tree barer.
Two fly away, and new rooms
open in December.
Give up what you guessed
about a whirring heart, the little
beaks and claws, their constant hunger.
We're the nervous ones.
If even one of our violent number
could be gentlelong enough that one of them
found it safe inside
our finally untroubled and untroubling gaze,
who wouldn't hear
what singing completes us?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

April 20 : After the Movie by Marie Howe

My friend Michael and I are walking home arguing about the movie.
He says that he believes a person can love someone
and still be able to murder that person.

I say, No, that's not love. That's attachment.
Michael says, No, that's love. You can love someone, then come
to a day

when you're forced to think "it's him or me"
think "me" and kill him.

I say, Then it's not love anymore.
Michael says, It was love up to then though.

I say, Maybe we mean different things by the same word.
Michael says, Humans are complicated: love can exist
even in the murderous heart.

I say that what he might mean by love is desire.
Love is not a feeling, I say. And Michael says, Then what
is it?

We're walking along West 16th Street—a clear unclouded
night—and I hear my voice
repeating what I used to say to my husband: Love is action,
I used to say to him.

Simone Weil says that when you really love you are able to
look at someone you want to eat and not eat them.

Janis Joplin says, take another little piece of my heart now baby.

Meister Eckhardt says that as long as we love images we are
doomed to live in purgatory.

Michael and I stand on the corner of 6th Avenue saying goodnight.
I can't drink enough of the tangerine spritzer I've just

again and again I bring the cold can to my mouth and suck
the stuff from
the hole the flip top made.

What are you doing tomorrow? Michael says.
But what I think he's saying is "You are too strict. You
are a nun."

Then I think, Do I love Michael enough to allow him to think
these things of me even if he's not thinking them?

Above Manhattan, the moon wanes, and the sky turns clearer
and colder.
Although the days, after the solstice, have started to lengthen,

we both know the winter has only begun.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

April 19 : This Is Just To Say by William Carlos Williams

Everyone loves William Carlos Williams. My favorite of his is "The Red Wheelbarrow" but this piece is definitely up there. It's a lover's note in a sense, don't you think?

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

Friday, April 18, 2008

April 18 : The earth is blue like an orange by Paul Eluard

Paul Eluard was one of the surrealist poets, writing at the same time one of my favorite painters was producing his work - Rene Magritte. I strive for this level of detail and surprise. Magritte said his images' evocations were "endowed with the power to delight and surprise" - he called that power poetry.

The earth is blue like an orange
Never a mistake words do not lie
They no longer give you cause to sing
It’s kisses turn to get along (hear each other)
Madmen and lovers
She her wedding-ring mouth
All the secrets all the smiles
And what garments of indulgence
To believe her quite naked.
The wasps are flowering green
The dawn is worn around the neck
A necklace of windows
Wings cover the leaves
You have all the solar joys
All the sunlight upon the earth
On the roads of your beauty.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

April 17 : Exiled by Edna St. Vincent Millay

One of my favorite poets, Edna St. Vincent Millay, held on to her idealism while also calling attention to the world around her. She managed to do it all while also giving space to her more personal (read: intimate/romantic) work - without apologies.

Millay's poem is one of multiple options of today's Poem in Your Pocket pieces. That's right! April 17th is Poem in Your Pocket day - finally letting you smile with mischief when some says is that a poem in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

Searching my heart for its true sorrow,
This is the thing I find to be:
That I am weary of words and people,
Sick of the city, wanting the sea;
Wanting the sticky, salty sweetness
Of the strong wind and shattered spray,
Wanting the loud sound and the soft sound
Of the big surf that breaks all day.

Always before about my dooryard,
Marking the reach of the winter sea,
Rooted in sand and dragging driftwood,
Straggled the purple wild sweet pea.
Always I climbed the wave at morning,
Shook the sand from my shoes at night,
That now am caught beneath big buildings,
Stricken with noise, confused with light.

If I could hear the green piles groaning.
Under the windy, wooden piers,
See once again the bobbing barrels,
And the black sticks that fence the weirs;
If I could see the weedy mussels
Crusting the wrecked and rotting hulls,
Hear once again the hungry crying
Overhead, of the wheeling gulls;

Feel once again the shanty straining
Under the turning of the tide,
Fear once again the rising freshet,
Dread the bell in the fog outside,
I should be happy!—that was happy
All day long on the coast of Maine.
I have a need to hold and handle
Shells and anchors and ships again.

I should be happy, that am happy.
Never at all since I came here.
I am too long away from water;
I have a need of water near.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

April 16 : various fortune cookie fortunes

I sometimes use the tiny miracles in fortune cookies to bring about ideas for my writing. If I order chinese food, rather than open it after dinner while they process my credit card, I throw it into my purse or leave it on the dining table or in the car. When I need some moment in writing, I open up these tiny things.

Here are some that are hanging out on my writing desk currently:

Right now is also the perfect
time to pamper yourself.

You will be compelled
to manifest

If the world seems cold,
kindle a fire to warm it.

Sometimes I use the "learn chinese" word behind the fortune for added ideas.

boyfriend [nan pun yau]

I agree [waw tung yee]

Thank you [xia xia ne]

Interesting, no? Almost like poetry in your pocket (see April 17 for more on that).

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

April 15 : What the Men Talk About When the Women Leave the Room by Dionisio D. Martinez

The room itself. The women. The absence of women

in the room. What the absence of women does

to a room. The sound of all thsoe women getting

up and leaving; all of them at once, like wild

birds or hunger. How the world can be conquered

if only... Just don't tell the women.

What the absence of women will do to men

eventually. Fears. Men talk about fears, bad

dreams, women leaving, the room swelling with

the absence of women. Bad dreams have a way

of walking in the room when the women leave.

Each dream is an afterimage of a woman leaving.

Monday, April 14, 2008

April 14 : Delhi by [Unknown Poet's Name goes here]

This is a perfect addition to my own loving response it being National Poetry Month. The little one and I went to Luminaria, the huge, now annual event, celebrating San Anto's arts. We turned onto Houston Street from Alamo Plaza and found a young women with a post showing we could get a free poem. The poet in me laughed because, as other poets know, most poems tend to be free. Still, I liked that I could find a quiet moment in a noisy evening. My baby is now immortalized (again) through poetry.

Even better, this small, meditative moment opened the door for me to see some old school poet buddies I hadn't seen in years. A very nice thing.

When I was born
fireflies floated
outside the hospital window.

P.S. If you know the poet's name please send it to me - it would be great to include it here!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

April 13 : holding by Jo Reyes-Boitel

All the poetry events in town, the search for found or rediscovered poetry and even my own application for graduate school have woken up the gutteral part within myself, that core chakra. It pulls out this possessive, compulsive part of me, this passionate part. Ay, that's enough, no? Here's a poem I wrote this last week. Most certainly a draft.

I’ll ask you straight up: what of yours can I keep
when you are so far away from me?

what can I get away with? stealing that will give me
a slap on the wrist, some should have known better glance?

what can I move a little of each day, in such tiny bits
you will not notice until finally it is in my pockets

and you realize, weeks later, it can’t be found
I keep it – rub it between my fingers,

hands in pockets, claiming I can’t recall? why
do I come up with these scenarios for taking you?

for the chance to acquaint myself with your tufted hair,
to call home your work smell cardboard and cinnamon

to have you say my name, to lift it from within yours
this is not obsessive love, this is ownership

as much as it is the story of your calling me over to you
it is all the same

Saturday, April 12, 2008

April 12 : Jam by Karen Chase

Our love is not the short
courtly kind but
upstream, down,
long inside — enjambed,
enjoined, conjoined, and
jammed, it's you, enkindler,
enlarger, jampacked man of many
stanzas, my enheartener — love
runs on from line to you, from line to me
and me to you, from river to sea and sea
to land, hits a careless coast, meanders
way across the globe — land
ahoy! water ahoy! — love
with no end, my waters go
wherever you are, my stream
of consciousness.

Friday, April 11, 2008

April 11 : Postcard sent by Del Wieding

I got this postcard after seeing a friend of a friend just before I moved away from Austin (two years ago in February). I remember thinking I was lucky to get it in the mail before turning in my keys to the former apartment. When our mutual friend had get togethers in San Marcos, Del was always there with a kind smile.

Talk about "found poetry". I've since framed it and added my own touches with a three dimensional frame.

Dear Spirit
Such a pleasure to see you and a joy
to hear your voice. A big hello to you
and your daughter. I wish good
days for you, happiness, truth, creativity.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

April 10 : Poem #3 by Sonia Sanchez

I gather up

each sound

you left behind

and stretch

them on our bed.

each nite

I breathe you

and become high.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

April 9 : Garabato by Virgil Suarez

One of my favorite poets - someone who knows how to chill, get deep, laugh and make you think. I miss the way we used to hang whenever he came through San Anto.

In the beginning was the hook like instrument
used to cut grass & sugar cane, made from the wood
of the guava tree. Depending on the creativity
of the devotee, it was painted or adorned with beads
& cowries. Ritual instrument of Elegba, Holy Child
of Atocha, whose domain is the Crossroads.

In Los Angeles, at the public schools, I drew
Chinese characters, or what I thought were

Chinese characters). Sometimes I copied
them down from the backs of Chinese fortune

cookies, to keep the bullies who beat on me
at bay. I told them I knew different forms

of martial arts, mainly Kung Fu & Karate. They believed
me at first, then grew skeptical over time & cornered

me outside in the hallways. I stood dumbfounded
& overwhelmed by the fact that I was about to get

my ass kicked. I‚d pray to Elegba & all the Orishas
that I wouldn't get my ass kicked--as I did on many

occasions. The elementals didn't work. My mis-
fortune cookies always came through: You will

make no friends. You will always be an outsider.
Not knowing the price, you will pay much dues.

Nothing has helped heal the mental blows, except
for this poem now & for all who kicked my ass

because I didn't speak English right or dressed
with the wrong clothes, or didn't comb my hair right,

I say this: this poem is my garabato. Con Safos.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

April 8 : Self Portrait by Edward Hirsch

You can hear this poem read by the poet here.

I lived between my heart and my head,
like a married couple who can't get along.

I lived between my left arm, which is swift
and sinister, and my right, which is righteous.

I lived between a laugh and a scowl,
and voted against myself, a two-party system.

My left leg dawdled or danced along,
my right cleaved to the straight and narrow.

My left shoulder was like a stripper on vacation,
my right stood upright as a Roman soldier.

Let's just say that my left side was the organ
donor and leave my private parts alone,

but as for my eyes, which are two shades
of brown, well, Dionysus, meet Apollo.

Look at Eve raising her left eyebrow
while Adam puts his right foot down.

No one expected it to survive,
but divorce seemed out of the question.

I suppose my left hand and my right hand
will be clasped over my chest in the coffin

and I'll be reconciled at last,
I'll be whole again.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

April 7 : Walk on the Water by Samiya Bashir

Featherstep dragonfly shooflyshoe.
Lightheart salmonleap waitingbear dodge.
dryeyed postsigh morningscalenoslippers.

Armswing synchronicity. Chinup.
Lookahead sunrayriding ripplesail faith.


April 6 : Stop Signs by Willie Perdomo

I took a class with this crazy wonderful man who did slam like I always wanted it to be done - with truth of having lived a life instead of narratives taken from the new york times and reworded to show empathy.

I started this poem
on the ride back to Heathrow
It could have been the A train to the Bronx
but the stars in the magazine
would have said the same thing
Cancer has difficult choices ahead
Aries finds romance in unlikely places

I felt like telling you that I'm not sure
how one is supposed to read the signs
unless they're falling all over you
If it was up to me I would grab
the ones that shoot across the sky
shake them hard one time
blow on them for good luck
and let them roll
But I had to catch myself before I
slipped and broke something so
I flipped it one time
If you can be with the one you love
Don't love the one you're with

In the middle of Piccadilly Circus
Eros was pointing the wrong way
Cool ass swans broke off into
schools of six and suggested taht I
leave you a note before my flight
Damn your Spanish was good, too
Hablas Espanol?
Te quiero.
Y yo te quie-roh too.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

April 5 : William Sloan Coffin

I got this on the backside of a postcard - a quote by Rev. William Sloane Coffin, a clergyman and longtime peace activist - and thought this would be a perfect example of delivered poetry - arriving right in my hand!

the world is too dangerous for anything but truth
and too small for anything but love

Friday, April 04, 2008

April 4 : juba (for Renita) by Letta Neely

I read this poem as a favorite a couple of years ago at one of the bookstores in Austin. I would give $50 if this woman would print another book - she's great.

u be a gospel song some a dat old time religion where the tambourine git goin and the holy ghost sneak up inside people’s bones and everybody dancing and shoutin screamin and cryin oh jesus, oh jesus and the people start to clappin and reaching back to african rhythms pulls through the wombs of the middle passage and women’s hats start flying while they dance the dance they do gets hotter and holier and just the music has brought cause for celebration.

Yeah, u be a gospel song, girl like some a dat old back in the woods, Mississippi river kinda gospel and i feel the holy ghost when you is inside me and the tambourines keep goin and folks is stamping they feet and oh no, it’s the neighbor knocking on the door askin is we alright say we screamin oh jesus, oh jesus and i heard us but i didn’t hear cuz i was being washed in the gorgeous wetness of your pussy being baptized w/ole time religion the oldest religion there is 2 women inside the groove of each other

we come here

we come

we come here

to be


Thursday, April 03, 2008

April 3 :: The Torn-Up Road by Richard Siken

One of my favorite new poets, here is part 2 of the larger poem "The Torn-Up Road". Forgive me for not being true to the spacing.

I want to tell you this story without having to confess anything,
without having to say that I ran out into the street to prove something,
that he didn't love me,
that I wanted to be thrown over, possessed.
I want to tell you this story without having to be in it:
Max in the wrong clothes. Max at the party, drunk again.
Max in the kitchen, in the refrigerator light, his hands around the neck of a beer.
Tell me we're dead and I'll love you even more.
I'm surprised that I say it with feeling.
There's a thing in my stomach about this. A simple thing. The last rung.

More about Richard Siken.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

April 2 : i carry your heart by e.e. cummings

one of my favorites - today in honor of my Delhi, who chipped a tooth today while in school - chipped so beautifully I was envious.

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

April 1 : A List

While enjoying an infrequently slow morning by myself and with an actual breakfast I finished an incredible latte from Panera and read the local daily news. This is a poem that the paper probably would not have recognized as a poem:

Today's list
10 most commonly used
nouns in the English

1. time
2. person
3. year
4. way
5. day
6. thing
7. man
8. world
9. life
10. hand