Saturday, March 30, 2013

Butterfly Catcher

- Tina Cane

In the Sixties
Nabokov switched

from ink to eraser-
topped pencil

on index cards a box
of cards for Ada a box

of cards for dreams
whose "curious features"

include "erotic tenderness
and heart-rending enchantment"

in one draft
he traded "stillness and heat"

for "silence, a burning"
so picture:

Vladimir seated
at the trunk of a tree

a spring day
at Wellesley where

he marvels at his students
and their cable-knit socks

the way each elastic
grips without binding

just below
the knee so exquisite

an application of pressure
that when said sock

is slowly
peeled off

the skin shows
no trace at all

Copyright 1994.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Birds Again

- Jim Harrison

A secret came a week ago though I already
knew it just beyond the bruised lips of consciousness.
The very alive souls of thirty-five hundred dead birds
are harbored in my body. It’s not uncomfortable.
I’m only temporary habitat for these not-quite-
weightless creatures. I offered a wordless invitation
and now they’re roosting within me, recalling
how I had watched them at night
in fall and spring passing across earth moons,
little clouds of black confetti, chattering and singing
on their way north or south. Now in my dreams
I see from the air the rumpled green and beige,
the watery face of earth as if they’re carrying
me rather than me carrying them. Next winter
I’ll release them near the estuary west of Alvarado
and south of Veracruz. I can see them perching
on undiscovered Olmec heads. We’ll say goodbye
and I’ll return my dreams to earth.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Spring is like a perhaps hand

E. E. Cummings


Spring is like a perhaps hand
(which comes carefully
out of Nowhere)arranging
a window,into which people look(while
people stare
arranging and changing placing
carefully there a strange
thing and a known thing here)and

changing everything carefully

spring is like a perhaps
Hand in a window
(carefully to
and fro moving New and
Old things,while
people stare carefully
moving a perhaps
fraction of flower here placing
an inch of air there)and

without breaking anything.

Copyright 1923.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Wonderfully Put, Mr. Mullen

Teachers Should Be Seen and Not Heard
By Anthony Mullen.

In spring of 2009, special education teacher Anthony Mullen -- former New York City police officer -- was named the 59th National Teacher of the Year. For the past seven years, Mullen has taught at an alternative high school in Connecticut, where he works with students who are often on their last academic stop. 

.  .  .  "What do you think?" the senator asked.

Where do I begin? I spent the last thirty minutes listening to a group of arrogant and condescending non educators disrespect my colleagues and profession. I listened to a group of disingenuous people whose own self-interests guide their policies rather than the interests of children. I listened to a cabal of people who sit on national education committees that will have a profound impact on classroom teaching practices. And I heard nothing of value.

"I'm thinking about the current health care debate, "I said. "And I am wondering if I will be asked to sit on a national committee charged with the task of creating a core curriculum of medical procedures to be used in hospital emergency rooms."

The strange little man cocks his head and, suddenly, the fly on the wall has everyone's attention.

"I realize that most people would think I am unqualified to sit on such a committee because I am not a doctor, I have never worked in an emergency room, and I have never treated a single patient. So what? Today I have listened to people who are not teachers, have never worked in a classroom, and have never taught a single student tell me how to teach." .  .  .

Click on the title and Read the entire essay.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Sunday, March 24, 2013

And . . . Maybe Some Chocolate . . .

quote, all you need are books and tea

Ludwig Van Beethoven's Return to Vienna

- Rita Dove

Oh you men who think or say that I am malevolent, stubborn,
or misanthropic, how greatly do you wrong me....
                                                   - The Heiligenstadt Testament

Three miles from my adopted city
lies a village where I came to peace.
The world there was a calm place,
even the great Danube no more
than a pale ribbon tossed onto the landscape
by a girl's careless hand. Into this stillness

I had been ordered to recover.
The hills were gold with late summer;
my rooms were two, plus a small kitchen,
situated upstairs in the back of a cottage
at the end of the Herrengasse.
From my window I could see onto the courtyard
where a linden tree twined skyward —
leafy umbilicus canted toward light,
warped in the very act of yearning —
and I would feed on the sun as if that alone
would dismantle the silence around me.

At first I raged. Then music raged in me,
rising so swiftly I could not write quickly enough
to ease the roiling. I would stop
to light a lamp, and whatever I'd missed —
larks flying to nest, church bells, the shepherd's
home-toward-evening song — rushed in, and I
would rage again.

I am by nature a conflagration;
I would rather leap
than sit and be looked at.
So when my proud city spread
her gypsy skirts, I reentered,
burning towards her greater, constant light.

Call me rough, ill-tempered, slovenly— I tell you,
every tenderness I have ever known
black and white photo of a bust of Beethovenhas been nothing
but thwarted violence, an ache
so permanent and deep, the lightest touch
awakens it. . . . It is impossible

to care enough. I have returned
with a second Symphony
and 15 Piano Variations
which I've named Prometheus,
after the rogue Titan, the half-a-god
who knew the worst sin is to take
what cannot be given back.

I smile and bow, and the world is loud.
And though I dare not lean in to shout
Can't you see that I'm deaf?
I also cannot stop listening.

from: Sonata Mulattica. Copyright 2009.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

In What Unexpected Places Do You Find Poetry?

I have very eclectic taste in reading material. That goes not only for literature, but also for the informative and educational fare. That being said, I've discovered a wonderful trend - poetry in unexpected places.

Several of the sites/blogs I frequent regularly for intelligent and thought provoking reading, feature poetry on a regular basis, and the poetry tends to be topical and hard to dismiss. 3Quarks Daily and Andrew Sullivan's The Dish are but two.

This, from 3Quarks Daily, is just one example:

red and yellow tulips planted in old army boots
A Good Poet's Boots
by Jim Culleny

a good poet's subversive
—not to the point of blood in the streets

but to the point of burrowing beneath
his garden of conceits like an insistent vole
and killing those weeds at their roots

everyone in this way
can walk in a good poet’s boots

Photo Source: Soldiers coming home: A Garden of Healing.

Friday, March 22, 2013

I Think I Needz a Hug

black and white picture of kitten with head in paws looking sad

I always feel like crawling into bed and staying there when we have several days of rain in a row. 


Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Wolf at the Door

 - Charlotte Perkins Gilman

THERE'S a haunting horror near us
That nothing drives away;
Fierce lamping eyes at nightfall,
A crouching shade by day;
There's a whining at the threshold,
There's a scratching at the floor.
To work! To work! In Heaven's name!
The wolf is at the door!
The day was long, the night was short,
The bed was hard and cold;
Still weary are the little ones,
Still weary are the old.
We are weary in our cradles
From our mother's toil untold;
We are born to hoarded weariness
As some to hoarded gold.
We will not rise! We will not work!
Nothing the day can give
Is half so sweet an hour of sleep;
Better to sleep than live!
What power can stir these heavy limbs?
What hope these dull hearts swell?
What fear more cold, what pain more sharp
Than the life we know so well?...
The slow, relentless, padding step
That never goes astray--
close up of wolf eyes looking at you
The rustle in the underbrush--
The shadow in the way--
The straining flight--the long pursuit--
The steady gain behind--
Death-wearied man and tireless brute,
And the struggle wild and blind!
There's a hot breath at the keyhole
And a tearing as of teeth!
Well do I know the bloodshot eyes
And the dripping jaws beneath!
There's a whining at the threshold--
There's a scratching at the floor--
To work! To work! In Heaven's name!
The wolf is at the door! 

from: The Cry For Justice: An Anthology of the Literature of Social Protest. Copyright 1915.
Picture source.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Langston Blue

- Jericho Brown

"O Blood of the River of songs,
O songs of the River of Blood,"
Let me lie down. Let my words

Lie sound in the mouths of men
Repeating their invocations pure
And perfect as the moans that

Mount in the mouth of Bessie Smith.
Blues for the angels kicked out
Of heaven. Blues for the angels

Who miss them still. Blues for
My people and whatever water
They know. O weary drinkers

Drinking from the bloody river,
Why go to heaven with Harlem
So close? Why sing of rivers

With a daddy of my own to miss?
I remember him and taste a stain
Red as blood coursing the body

Of a man chased by a mob. I write
That running, his sweat: here,
He climbs a poplar for the sky,

But it is only sky. The river?
Follow me. You'll see. We tried
To fly and learned we couldn't

Swim. Dear singing river full of
My blood, are we as loud under-
Water? Is it blood that binds

Brothers? Or is it the Mississippi
Running through the fattest vein
Of America? When I say home,

I mean I wanted to write some
Lines. I wanted to hear the blues,
But here I am swimming in the river

Again. What runs through the fat
Veins of a drowned body? What
America can a body call home?

When I say Congo, I mean blood.
When I say Nile, I mean blood.
When I say Euphrates, I mean,

If only you knew how much blood
We have in common. So much,
In Louisiana, they call a man like me

Red. And red was too dark
For my daddy. And my daddy was
Too dark for America. He ran

Like a man from my mother
And me. And my mother's sobs
Are the songs of Bessie Smith

Who wears more feathers than
Death. O the death my people refuse
To die. When I was 18, I wrote down

The river though I couldn't win
A race, climbed a tree that winter, then
Fell, flat on my wet, red face. Line

After line, I read all the time,
But "there was nothing
I could do about Race."

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Top o' the Morning!

             And Happy St. Patrick's Day to You.

clip art painting of brick old weir bridge across the river

Allow me to introduce Poetry Ireland, an organization dedicated to developing, supporting and promoting poetry throughout Ireland. They produce two regular publications, Poetry Ireland Review and Poetry Ireland News. Both are well worth checking out, and there is much more on offer, so hop on over.

In the meantime, how about some poetry.
She wears the Sky

The horizon line embraces the drowsy river docks:
The deep peacock patch of water reaching the dark
Blends with it.
The hills pick up a saintly pallor
From the skin of one doing penitence.
The swallows linger on, as if they forgot.
I gaze into the sealed eyes of my mother,
Seen, not visited, not forgotten,
In the centre of her own picture,
Who wove her own background
With no Martha-work to be done,
As women look when they return to their places
Errorless after Communion.
In her rare low moods
She remembers the next five days as twelve
And compares an unheard of number of things
To be abreast of the incurable
Having no choice but to return
To the end of thought.
In the evenings I can switch the light on from indoors
To illuminate the shroud
Of irises over the urn of jasmine.

And may the saddest day of your future be no worse than the happiest day of your past.

Friday, March 15, 2013

A Season in Hell

- Arthur Rimbaud
        translated by Bertrand Mathieu

A while back, if I remember right, my life was one long party where all hearts were open wide, where all wines kept flowing.

One night, I sat Beauty down on my lap.—And I found her galling.—And I roughed her up.

I armed myself against justice.

I ran away. O witches, O misery, O hatred, my treasure's been turned over to you!

I managed to make every trace of human hope vanish from my mind. I pounced on every joy like a ferocious animal eager to strangle it.

I called for executioners so that, while dying, I could bite the butts of their rifles. I called for plagues to choke me with sand, with blood. Bad luck was my god. I stretched out in the muck. I dried myself in the air of crime. And I played tricks on insanity.

And Spring brought me the frightening laugh of the idiot.

So, just recently, when I found myself on the brink of the final squawk! it dawned on me to look again for the key to that ancient party where I might find my appetite once more.

Charity is that key.—This inspiration proves I was dreaming!

"You'll always be a hyena etc. . . ," yells the devil, who'd crowned me with such pretty poppies.

"Deserve death with all your appetites, your selfishness, and all the capital sins!"

Ah! I've been through too much:-But, sweet Satan, I beg of you, a less blazing eye! and while waiting for the new little cowardly gestures yet to come, since you like an absence of descriptive or didactic skills in a writer, let me rip out these few ghastly pages from my notebook of the damned.

from: A Season in Hell & Illuminations.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

I Love The Internet

- Kevin Barrington

Opium to DeQuincy
Sin to Milton
Congo to Conrad
Aran to Synge
I love the internet
Castles to Shakespeare
Deceit to LeCarre
Dublin to Joyce
Marketplace to Chaucer
Did we say
‘Daffodils to Wordsworth?’
We couldn’t forget that.
Or mounted jihad to Tennyson
Or the weird wild wonder
of the whole g** damn show
to Dylan
I love the internet
Wild, lewd, bawdy, bullying, smelling of cats.
Cranks, crank, meth, conspiracy, snipers, knoll.
Fascists made cartoon on ripe digital soil.
Erudite waltzing with trite.
In eternal ballroom
Dedicated skiers on seas of trivial loon.
Self help soma screaming thinnin tv hair repair.
And always the smiles of the filippino brides
And promises of untold nigerian riches.
Flashing wheel spinning ace poker squared
You Have Been Chosen
Somewhere down there in the fly fishing section
the first faint whispers
(If ears are right)
of hushed talk
bold revolution.
I love the internet
The sheer
The Internet map is a bi-dimensional presentation of links between websites on the Internet. Every site is a circle on the map, and its size is determined by website traffic, the larger the amount of traffic, the bigger the circle. Users’ switching between websites forms links, and the stronger the link, the closer the websites tend to arrange themselves to each other.dull
Boisterous Brughel medieval market.
Futuristic Middle Ages
Friar Tuck.
And offset, whispers
I love the internet.
Cos it’s ours.

Photo via SiteGoals: Map of the Internet.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

To Night

- Percy Bysshe Shelley

moon at night partially obscured by clouds and death hunting in the glloom
Swiftly walk o'er the western wave,
Spirit of the Night!
Out of the misty eastern cave,
Where, all the long and lone daylight,
Thou wovest dreams of joy and fear,
Which make thee terrible and dear,—
Swift be thy flight!

Wrap thy form in a mantle gray,
Blind with thine hair the eyes of Day;
Kiss her until she be wearied out,
Then wander o'er city, and sea, and land,
Touching all with thine opiate wand—
Come, long-sought!

When I arose and saw the dawn,
I sighed for thee;
When light rode high, and the dew was gone,
And noon lay heavy on flower and tree,
And the weary Day turned to his rest,
Lingering like an unloved guest,
I sighed for thee.

Thy brother Death came, and cried,
Wouldst thou me?
Thy sweet child Sleep, the filmy-eyed,
Murmured like a noontide bee,
Shall I nestle near thy side?
Wouldst thou me?—And I replied,
No, not thee!

Death will come when thou art dead,
Soon, too soon—
Sleep will come when thou art fled;
Of neither would I ask the boon
I ask of thee, belovèd Night—
Swift be thine approaching flight,
Come soon, soon!

Looking For a New Book of Poetry to Read?

Lilliput Review has a page entitled: Near Perfect Books of Poetry.

At present there are 277 books, but you can propose an addition to the list and, if it is added, win a free copy of the journal.
If you have a suggestion of a title of a perfect or near perfect book of poems for this list (and it is accepted) and would like to receive the two current issues of Lillie for free (or have your current subscription extended), . . . 
Their blog, by the way, is Issa's Untidy Hut, also worth checking out.

Here is just a small part; follow the link above for the complete listing.
The List

The Clean Dark by Robert Adamson
The Golden Bird by Robert Adamson
Selected Poems by Anna Akhmatova
The Fall — Jordie Albiston
A Nostalgist's Map of America by Agha Shaid Ali
Chrysanthemum Love by Fay Aoyagi
Once in Vermont by Bob Arnold
Where Rivers Meet by Bob Arnold
The Double Dream of Spring by John Ashbery
Rivers and Mountains by John Ashbery
Some Trees by John Ashbery
Salute--to Singing by Gennady Aygi
Restoration Poems by Ed Baker
Pencil Flowers by Johnny Baranski
Back Roads to Far Towns by Bashō, translated by Cid Corman and Kamaike Susumu
Bashō And His Interpreters by Makoto Ueda
Bashō: The Complete Haiku, translated by Reichhold & Tsujimura
On Love and Barley by Bashō, translated by Lucien Styrk
The Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire (any & all translations)
Weeping for Lost Babylon — Eric Beach
Actual Air by David Berman
The Sonnets by Ted Berrigan
Openings by Wendell Berry
Complete Poems, 1927-1979 by Elizabeth Bishop
The Cities by Paul Blackburn
Silence In The Snowy Fields by Robert Bly
Talking into the Ear of a Donkey by Robert Bly
Turkish Pears in August by Robert Bly
Kerrisdale Elegies by George Bowering
The Pill Versus The Springhill Mine Disaster by Richard Brautigan
Poems of Madness & Angel by Ray Bremser
Life Supports by William Bronk
Moment to Moment by David Budbill
The Last Night of the Earth Poems — Charles Bukowski
Mockingbird Wish Me Luck by Charles Bukowski
Sifting Through the Madness for the Word, The Line, the Way - C. Bukowski
Complete Poems by Basil Bunting Dreaming of Robert de Niro — Grant Caldwell
Yup. This is just a SMALL part of the list!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Orange Bears

- Kenneth Patchen

The Orange bears with soft friendly eyes
Who played with me when I was ten,
Christ, before I'd left home they'd had
Their paws smashed in the rolls, their backs
Seared by hot slag, their soft trusting
Bellies kicked in, their tongues ripped
Out, and I went down through the woods
To the smelly crick with Whitman
In the Haldeman-Julius edition,
And I just sat there worrying my thumbnail
Into the cover---What did he know about
Orange bears with their coats all stunk up with soft coal
And the National Guard coming over
From Wheeling to stand in front of the millgates
With drawn bayonets jeering at the strikers?

I remember you would put daisies
On the windowsill at night and in
The morning they'd be so covered with soot
You couldn't tell what they were anymore.

A hell of a fat chance my orange bears had!

from: The Collected Poems of Kenneth Patchen. Copyright 1957.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Story

- Li-Young Lee

Sad is the man who is asked for a story
and can't come up with one.

His five-year-old son waits in his lap.
Not the same story, Baba. A new one.
The man rubs his chin, scratches his ear.

In a room full of books in a world
of stories, he can recall
not one, and soon, he thinks, the boy
will give up on his father.

Already the man lives far ahead, he sees
the day this boy will go. Don't go!
Hear the alligator story! The angel story once more!
You love the spider story. You laugh at the spider.
Let me tell it!

But the boy is packing his shirts,
he is looking for his keys. Are you a god,
the man screams, that I sit mute before you?
Am I a god that I should never disappoint?

But the boy is here. Please, Baba, a story?
It is an emotional rather than logical equation,
an earthly rather than heavenly one,
which posits that a boy's supplications
and a father's love add up to silence.

from: The City In Which I Love You. Copyright 1990.

Quote of the Day

Anyone from outer space would look at this planet and say, 'I want to see the manager'.

- William S. Burroughs, author of Naked Lunch,
 which has the distinction of being the last major book
 to be prosecuted for obscenity in the United States. (IMDB)

And who's that in the picture with Burroughs? They were good friends. That's right, Kurt Cobain.

Can you say collaboration, kiddies?

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Daydreams for Ginsberg

- Jack Kerouac

I lie on my back at midnight
hearing the marvelous strange chime
of the clocks, and know it's mid-
night and in that instant the whole
world swims into sight for me
in the form of beautiful swarm-
ing m u t t a worlds-
everything is happening, shining

blazing in faith, I know I'm
forever right & all's I got to
do (as I hear the ordinary
extant voices of ladies talking
in some kitchen at midnight
oilcloth cups of cocoa
cardore to mump the
rinnegain in his
darlin drain-) i will write
it, all the talk of the world
everywhere in this morning, leav-
ing open parentheses sections
for my own accompanying inner
thoughts-with roars of me
all brain-all world
roaring-vibrating-I put
it down, swiftly, 1,000 words
(of pages) compressed into one second
of time-I'll be long
robed & long gold haired in
the famous Greek afternoon
of some Greek City
Fame Immortal & they'll
have to find me where they find
the t h n u p f t of my
shroud bags flying
flag yagging Lucien
Midnight back in their
mouths-Gore Vidal'll
be amazed, annoyed-
my words'll be writ in gold
& preserved in libraries like
Finnegans Wake & Visions of Neal

The Beats
Ginsberg, Kerouac, & Burroughs

Photo Source.

Look Into My Eyes . . .

rusty spotted cat kitten looking into the camera with big eyes

Friday, March 8, 2013

I Heard Harry Potter is Channeling Alan Ginsberg.

photo of Daniel Radcliffe as Alan Ginsberg next to a photo of Alan Ginsberg, with a very close resemblance

Kill Your Darlings

"A murder in 1944 draws together the great poets of the beat generation: Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs." (IMDB)

I don't know. The lives these guys lived had drama enough. Do you think they really had to make one up? I guess fiction is safer than the realities they lived.

A Supermarket in California
- Allen Ginsberg

What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whitman, for I walked
down the sidestreets under the trees with a headache self-conscious looking
at the full moon.
In my hungry fatigue, and shopping for images, I went into the neon
fruit supermarket, dreaming of your enumerations!
What peaches and what penumbras! Whole families shopping at
night! Aisles full of husbands! Wives in the avocados, babies in the tomatoes!
--and you, García Lorca, what were you doing down by the watermelons?

I saw you, Walt Whitman, childless, lonely old grubber, poking
among the meats in the refrigerator and eyeing the grocery boys.
I heard you asking questions of each: Who killed the pork chops?
What price bananas? Are you my Angel?
I wandered in and out of the brilliant stacks of cans following you,
and followed in my imagination by the store detective.
We strode down the open corridors together in our solitary fancy
tasting artichokes, possessing every frozen delicacy, and never passing the

Where are we going, Walt Whitman? The doors close in a hour.
Which way does your beard point tonight?
(I touch your book and dream of our odyssey in the supermarket and
feel absurd.)
Will we walk all night through solitary streets? The trees add shade
to shade, lights out in the houses, we'll both be lonely.
Will we stroll dreaming of the lost America of love past blue automo-
biles in driveways, home to our silent cottage?
Ah, dear father, graybeard, lonely old courage-teacher, what America
did you have when Charon quit poling his ferry and you got out on a
smoking bank and stood watching the boat disappear on the black waters of

from: Collected Poems 1947-1980. Copyright 1984.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Done With

 - Ann Stanford

My house is torn down--
Plaster sifting, the pillars broken,
Beams jagged, the wall crushed by the bulldozer.
The whole roof has fallen
On the hall and the kitchen
The bedrooms, the parlor.

asparagus growing through asphaltThey are trampling the garden--
My mother's lilac, my father's grapevine,
The freesias, the jonquils, the grasses.
Hot asphalt goes down
Over the torn stems, and hardens.

What will they do in springtime
Those bulbs and stems groping upward
That drown in earth under the paving,
Thick with sap, pale in the dark
As they try the unrolling of green.

May they double themselves
Pushing together up to the sunlight,
May they break through the seal stretched above them
Open and flower and cry we are living.

Copyright 2000.
Photo Source.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

This Month's Poetry Project Prompt (See What I Did There) is Poetry Published Within the Past Year.

This year I decided to start reading more poetry periodicals. (the alliteration just keeps on coming) That means lots and lots of new poetry. I subscribe to a few and I found a couple at the local B&N. (Unfortunately, they're about the only place near me where you can find anything other than gun, guitar, and girly magazines)

I like the idea of supporting emergent poets as well as veterans, and poetry journals publish some of the best new poetry out there. Some journals publish both print and online versions, while others only publish online. Like everyone else these days, they're struggling and, sadly, more than a few have lost that struggle. Which is why it's more important than ever to support our favorites.

Some journals contain wonderful articles about writing and spotlight poets regularly. Others contain short stories, artwork, and book reviews. There is sure to be something out there for everyone.

Another benefit of subscribing to poetry journals (if you are absent minded like me) is the little surprises that show up in the mail periodically. Here are a few I enjoy:

                           Ampersand Review, The National Poetry Review, & Rosebud     

And . . . two I already reviewed:
                                                Modern Haiku, & Acorn     

This is from: Frogpond Journal:
shades of winter
my mother in the passage
between dreams
Lorin Ford
    Melbourne, Australia
fountain pen lying on beige parchment paper

Also . . . of possible interest:

Ms. blog posted a list detailing their choices for 2012's Best Poetry by Women. Sadly, I haven't read any of them yet. But I do intend to change that situation.

. . . & . . .

The Small Press Distribution website lists bestselling contemporary poetry.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Butterfly Catcher

 - Tina Cane

In the Sixties
Nabokov switched

from ink to eraser-
topped pencil

on index cards a box
of cards for Ada a box

of cards for dreams
whose "curious features"

include "erotic tenderness
and heart-rending enchantment"

in one draft
he traded "stillness and heat"

for "silence, a burning"
so picture:

Vladimir seated
at the trunk of a tree

a spring day
at Wellesley where

he marvels at his students
and their cable-knit socks

the way each elastic
grips without binding

just below
the knee so exquisite

an application of pressure
that when said sock

is slowly
peeled off

the skin shows
no trace at all

Copyright 1994
Painting "Butterfly Catcher" by Carl Spitzweg. 
Photo Source.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Scrambled Eggs and Whiskey

- Hayden Carruth

Scrambled eggs and whiskey
in the false-dawn light. Chicago,
a sweet town, bleak, God knows,
but sweet. Sometimes. And
weren't we fine tonight?
When Hank set up that limping
treble roll behind me
my horn just growled and I
thought my heart would burst.
broken brown egg with a face
And Brad M. pressing with the
soft stick and Joe-Anne
singing low. Here we are now
in the White Tower, leaning
on one another, too tired
to go home. But don't say a word,
don't tell a soul, they wouldn't
understand, they couldn't, never
in a million years, how fine,
how magnificent we were
in that old club tonight.

from: Scrambled Eggs and Whiskey, Poems 1991-1995. Copyright 1996.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Dr. Seuss postage stamp with some of his characters around him

What better way to celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday than reading to a child? On the evening of March 2nd (Dr. Seuss's birthday), Random House and the National Education Association (NEA) urge you to participate in the second annual Read Across America and read to a child. 

 . . . and I urge you to read to a child every other night!

Today is the Fourth Anniversary of My First Blog Post.

As I've mentioned before, this Blog began as a class project, with a poem by Langston Hughes and a quote from Erasmus, and has never looked back - figuratively speaking, that is. The quote has hung in my office for ever, (alright, almost forever) and is closer to the truth than my husband would like.

When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes.
                                                                                                                        - Erasmus
Through this blog I have gained so much. I learned more than I ever expected to about computers. I discovered a world of writing - many worlds, actually. I found that information on any subject was literally at my fingertips. All the information from every side, so that I could make up my own mind. And once I lost my timidity, I discovered the most important thing - the many wonderful people I've gotten to know through this blog.

Writers, readers, critics, fans, people who ended up here accidentally while looking for something else: all have enriched my life, and I want to take a moment before I start my day to thank you and say that I hope you have gotten something in return. I hope the weeks and months ahead are filled with happiness and security. That second thing is in short supply these days.

I'll close with something that my Gran used to say:
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Friday, March 1, 2013