Sunday, December 30, 2007

Cento Drawn with a Shiny Glisten

Outside my window the world is falling.
First the leaves followed by stars, then sky,

A boat toward an orgy of waves outranks anchor, so we are far from the field
green detects and takes. Marked card of a field.
We’ll catch nothing this way.

When the sky finds its footing there will be
nothing left standing. Nothing
left to fly-away like things we want to have.

Leaving you
a kind of residue,
half what you’ve collected
half what’s always been.

Across continents
ages, species, we’d find us
birds of a feather

you are the silver
lining in my cloud, emu
we flock together

though tired to my core
i stay to wait, your famous
light a dull note filtered out

and unaware of risks attending warmth:
October and its many ironies.

But closeness is pain. Where did I begin
and where did they end? Somewhere
around the third tune

Skull-kept, three modes of mind wander like radio.
That jade blue of your eyes: a risk in three cities

like walking
forever through trees
and briars—but why break
cobwebs as I watch?

Crescendo, shh and hum, went round until
I lost my breath, lay down.

In a minor key, everything rains

And one by one, or maybe more, we wave goodbye.
What hands will close around us then? Only the sun?

Not long until morning comes
like the squid that flashes electric blue
when aroused

when from out of nowhere,
the parakeet chirps like a lion:
O emerald, forgive me,
the sky.

Amy Small-McKinney*Kristi Maxwell*Evan Commander*Brett Price*Sophia Kartsonis*Caleb Adler*Ann Fine*Joe DeLong*Lesley Jenike*Cynthia Arrieu-King*Joshua Butts*Erica Dawson*Stephanie Rogers*Heather Hamilton*Jillian Weise*Matt Hart (title by Hannah Reck)

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Troubadours etc.

Just for this evening, let’s not mock them.
Not their curtsies or cross-garters
Or ever recurring pepper trees in their gardens
Promising, promising.

At least they had ideas about love.

All day we’ve driven past cornfields, past cows poking their heads
Through metal contraptions to eat.
We’ve followed West 84, and what else?
Irrigation sprinklers fly past us, huge wooden spools in the fields,
Lounging sheep, telephone wires,
Yellowing flowering shrubs.

Before us, above us, the clouds swell, layers of them,
The violet underneath of clouds.
Every idea I have is nostalgia. Look up:
There is the sky that passenger pigeons darkened and filled up—
Darkened for days, eclipsing sun, eclipsing all other sound with the thunder of
their wings.
After a while, it must have seemed that they followed
Not instinct or pattern but only
One another.

When they stopped, Audubon observed,
They broke the limbs of stout trees by the sheer weight of their numbers.

And when we stop we’ll follow—what?
Our hearts?

The Puritans thought that we are granted the ability to love
Only through miracle,
But the troubadours knew how to burn themselves through,
How to make themselves shrines to their own longing.
The spectacular was never behind them.

Think of days of those scarlet-breasted, blue-winged birds above you.
Think of me in the garden, humming
Quietly to myself in my blue dress,
A blue darker than the sky above us, a blue dark enough for storms,
Though cloudless.

At what point is something gone completely?
The last of the sunlight is disappearing
Even as it swells and waves.

Just for this evening, won’t you put me before you
Until I’m far enough away you can
Believe in me?

Then try, try to come closer—
My wonderful and less than.

Mary Szybist
from Meridien

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Chocolate-Covered Plums 'Twas the Night Before DC

Chocolate-covered plums are one of those amazing finds of a treat made in Brooklyn but found in Birmingham, Alabama and one of those things about Alabama that seems like the sweetest apology for other things, say fire ants, say game day in T-town and the way one must grocery shop for hours just to avoid trying to drive home. I have procurred a whole bag of said-plums and while they are so linked to a memory and a promise that a former friend and I would share them at the old folks home while the other lesser seniors ate prunes, they taste sweet tonight with Ms Drusilla curled up beside me and the steady breath of a certain bird as he "hits" snooze once more and the knowledge that morning will bring a flight to D.C. and real Chinese food and Ethiopian for lunch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (My favorite food of all and while once I thought that Boulder and Denver boasted the best Ethiopian food, I had not visited D.C. and found that Ethiopian outside Ethiopia doesn't get better than D.C.)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Speaking of Little Gods

Between this and Sarah, I'm beginning to think that there simply are not bad Polleys.

Now there is only the sound of the rain
which is the shape of the streets and the ropes
of overflow knitting at the mouths of drains
and fraying from the gutters and downpipes.

Whatever the leaves were saying must wait:
rain has filled the trees with its own brisk word.
There’s thunder in the darkened slates.
The pond’s green eye rolls heavenwards.

You can’t charge a page with the hiss, with this
cooling of the city like a new horseshoe.
Rain in the hair, at the neck and the wrists:
for rich and poor, there’s rain to hurry through.

The boil and spit of pavements: mirrored brick.
Every patch of grass is fiercely lit.

Jacob Polley

Thanks to L-Bojengles for leading me (back) to Jeanette Winterson (I have loved her for years) and to Jeanette Winterson for leading me anew to Jacob Polley. Check out Smoke for the kind of poem I only dream I might write.

The Kind of Love I Trust Now


There is a kind of love called maintenance
Which stores the WD40 and knows when to use it

Which checks the insurance, and doesn’t forget
The milkman; which remembers to plant bulbs;

Which answers letters; which knows the way
The money goes; which deals with dentists

And Road Fund Tax and meeting trains,
And postcards to the lonely; which upholds

The permanently rickety elaborate
Structures of living, which is Atlas.

And maintenance is the sensible side of love,
Which knows what time and weather are doing
To my brickwork; insulates my faulty wiring;
Laughs at my dryrotten jokes; remembers
My need for gloss and grouting; which keeps
My suspect edifice upright in air,
As Atlas did the sky.

U.A. Fanthorpe

Monday, December 10, 2007

Thanks Veace

The Quiet World

In an effort to get people to look
into each other's eyes more,
and also to appease the mutes,
the government has decided
to allot each person exactly a hundred
and sixty-seven words, per day.

When the phone rings, I put it to my ear
without saying hello. In the restaurant
I point at chicken noodle soup.
I am adjusting well to the new way.

Late at night, I call my long distance lover,
proudly say I only used fifty-nine today.
I saved the rest for you.

When she doesn't respond,
I know she's used up all her words,
so I slowly whisper I love you
thirty-two and a third times.
After that, we just sit on the line
and listen to each other breathe.

Jeff McDaniell

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Whatever it was I lost, whatever I wept for
Was a wild, gentle thing, the small dark eyes
Loving me in secret.
It is here.
~James Wright, “Milkweed”

Weirdly Wright's been on the brain all week and when I checked into Jacqueline Wenthe Kolosov's website there he was. I took some silly putty out and lifted him and offer him here to you.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Upon Finding Out that I've Been Diabetic for Twenty-Five Years

Just found out that the diabetes anthology that published a collaborative essay of mine decided that contacting authors--even for things like say: facts or contributor's copies was apparently too much effort and just went ahead and wrote their own "take" on things.

Beware authors. Those anthologies that just vanish sometimes don't. They just decide to take your work and make of it whatever they'd like. The worst about this is that Eliot gets no credit for his pieces if you read it this way. With my writings as the diabetic passages (the best sections, BTW) I'm not sure his contribution: former fat girl despairing over swimsuit season? Professional italicizer? So Ruth Park and Diana Parker, next go-round how about some communication? In the meanwhile, my literary friends, take care.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Upon finding out that Robert Pinsky is married and having great respect for the few that can manage such dealings with any integrity at all, I have quit joking that I will kiss him before I'm dead. Having always known Terrance Hayes to be married, I post this poem for you with no objectifying preamble. (But if one could sleep with a poem, I would likely be seriously flirting with this one.)

God is an American

I still love words. When we make love in the morning,
your skin damp from a shower, the day calms.
Shadenfreude may be the best way to name the covering
of adulthood, the powdered sugar on a black shirt. I am

alone now on the top floor pulled by obsession, the ink
on my fingers. And sometimes it is a difficult name.
Sometimes it is like the world before America, the kin-
ship of fools and hunters, the children, the dazed dream

of mothers with no style. A word can be the boot print
in a square of fresh cement and the glaze of morning.
Your response to my kiss is I have a cavity. I am in
love with incompletion. I am clinging to your moorings.

Yes, I have a pretty good idea what beauty is. It survives
alright. It aches like an open book. It makes it difficult to live.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

No, let me make this clear

EMUseum, a chapbook by Caleb Adler and Ariana-Sophia Kartsonis will be published in Fall 2009 by Dancing Girl Press (a press I adore.)

Flightless, indeed. This bird soars.

I believe we will bringing some emu t-shirts to AWP. I know we'll be wearing some. Let us know if you'd like to help celebrate with your own emu haiku t-shirt. Better still, why not head on over to Hot Emu Luv and write that poem you've been meaning to write--you know you want to. It will be like a champagne toast to our Emuseum.

Friday, November 09, 2007


Oh Birds, word has it that Dancing Girl Press is going to publish our chapbook!!!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Not sad

though all these poems seem to be. But they are so pretty, too. A good week full of smart chicks-of-verse. Yesterday was a long, wonderful coffee meeting with a someone so sharp and talented. Today, an interview that made it so I could hear Jillian and Kristi discuss their work. And soon poems co-written with Chicky. From the fishouse I read alongside my favorite of all birds. I love it when language is a blizzard I walk all the way home through.

Soul Train
Ben Doyle

Don Cornelius, we wish there were a channel
with nothing but crying or someplace like
Sesame Street but where they tear the words
to flour & every puppet has his arm up a man.

I wish there were a fog pillar here that could
levitate the remote in a translucent purple.
It would be nice to awaken one morning with
“What are all these white people doing in my house?”

Don Cornelius, the people assert themselves
into a scrupulous derangement, arranged
fisheyed around our lens, which sits in this den,
as I sit, toe to throat, smothered in comforter.

For something viral, Don, has happened its way
into my left lung. Something very sexy is
bound to occur in your coalcar, what with
the buttock bloom & thrusts touching.

I would touch myself but I’m afraid. A bandage
Would have to be broken. Could I keep these
Combos down? They made fine fire goggles after
I sucked them. I could see the fire.

Sometimes the whole hospital blistered,
these weren’t dancing circumstances.
Sometimes ice died, died in plastic
pouches on my painted chest. Oftentimes

A train could be understood as trembling
the readout. Must be nice, my friend, to have only
to unlatch the windows & doors, swipe them open,
blow out each ash from your tubular home.

by Kenneth Rexroth

There are sparkles of rain on the bright
Hair over your forehead;
Your eyes are wet and your lips
Wet and cold, your cheek rigid with cold.
Why have you stayed
Away so long, why have you only
Come to me late at night
After walking for hours in wind and rain?
Take off your dress and stockings;
Sit in the deep chair before the fire.
I will warm your feet in my hands;
I will warm your breasts and thighs with kisses.
I wish I could build a fire
In you that would never go out.
I wish I could be sure that deep in you
Was a magnet to draw you always home.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The homework swallowed the dog
and I left my burdened wallet
in my other life, in my other car,
which is a Soyuz, Russian
in only the ways that matter.
And what those ways are,
well, I forget. It is a good thing
the constellation of atoms
you recognize as me
has not yet sought to diverge,
to divorce itself
from this idea I keep having
about being alive. That:
it’s lucky my lungs fill up with air
each morning like little
buckets brought to the pebbled rim of the river
by a girl who thinks
about devotion
the slow way back to everyone,
to endless thirst.
And that girl is you,
though you’ll bristle
at the very notion,
and rightly so:
what sense does it make to speak
of heartbreak
for even a moment
in this world cluttered as it is with warehouses
of cheap peanut butter,
skinned with little puddles of oil,
what sense does it make
to ask you
why I am constantly dreaming I’m late
to your life? What sense
is there anywhere?
In what tree sings the bird
to which I spent all spring
teaching it the mimicry
of your sweet laugh,
but not the burr of your anger,
like a stone,
like a blade,
and not the worried ways of your tired voice.
It’s late again
and the moon
teaches me stealth
and borrowed light
and lowered gravity
and before sleep floats me afar on its dreamless river,
let me say
my apologies
like a prayer,
to you,
let me miss you as long as I’m alive.

Paul Guest (of course)

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Feasting on Elegies

Sarah Hannah's Inflorescence finally arrived and I have been reading it greedily. Today at the bookstore while waiting for a certain bird of inordinate loveliness to "not finish the whole novel" he began two nights ago at another bookstore, I read all of Mary Jo Bang's Elegy in one sitting. I love her work and while a lot of what I love about her work is there, including word play it is stark and there for the purpose of the kind of confusion and estrangement of living or trying to live in the aftermath of such unimaginable loss.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Chicken Soup for the Soul-Weary

Just what we needed here at IUB Headquarters: a cold. The job app. process itself being such a holiday, the "support system" of late being a bit of an oxymoronic concept and now this. So, it's progresso chicken and wild rice soup which, is actually, after some hot curry madras powder and a squeeze of lime, pretty tasty and not unhealthy. Which is more than can be said for me.
Have a great weekend, my rosy-cheeked friends.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

I All But Attacked Ilya Kaminsky

at AWP but read him and understand why. When I read this poem I had been writing a poem about Nadezhda M. and the idea of her keeping Osip through his words all memorized inside her. Reading Ilya K. elucidated that poem for me in certain ways.

The Crush

I can never seem to get over.

And yes, just give me the boring work of cv and cover letter and job applications to do and all I'll want to do is gather poems and dream of the day when I get to write some again.
Carmen de Boheme

SINUOUSLY winding through the room
On smokey tongues of sweetened cigarettes, --
Plaintive yet proud the cello tones resume
The andante of smooth hopes and lost regrets.

Bright peacocks drink from flame-pots by the wall,
Just as absinthe-sipping women shiver through
With shimmering blue from the bowl in Circe's hall.
Their brown eyes blacken, and the blue drop hue.

The andante quivers with crescendo's start,
And dies on fire's birth in each man's heart.
The tapestry betrays a finger through
The slit, soft-pulling; -- -- -- and music follows cue.

There is a sweep, -- a shattering, -- a choir
Disquieting of barbarous fantasy.
The pulse is in the ears, the heart is higher,
And stretches up through mortal eyes to see.

Carmen! Akimbo arms and smouldering eyes; --
Carmen! Bestirring hope and lipping eyes; --
Carmen whirls, and music swirls and dips.
"Carmen!," comes awed from wine-hot lips.

Finale leaves in silence to replume
Bent wings, and Carmen with her flaunts through the gloom
Of whispering tapestry, brown with old fringe: --
The winers leave too, and the small lamps twinge.

Morning: and through the foggy city gate
A gypsy wagon wiggles, striving straight.
And some dream still of Carmen's mystic face, --
Yellow, pallid, like ancient lace.

Hart Crane

Saint George

By this I mean my Daddy. So humble he would hate that he's titled so. But saintly is a vantage point and from where I sit, no finer boy have I known. Late last night my dear father flew back from Crete. It's strange how distance feels more distant even if you're already far away from someone. For example, someone dear to me moved further away than he lived before and I felt the extra miles and they stung. And when the PrettyBird travels from one locale from another, if Locale A was closer and Locale B further away, when he calls from between airports, I feel lonely again as if I just saw him off at the airport and that little umbrella opens in my chest. Sometimes it rains on the drive home or the radio plays nothing but songs about too far away. But today, George is back where he belongs and Mamacat and he have dined together this morning and they are who I want to be when I grow up.

Look for some emu action and other versings at From the Fishouse. Thank you to Eliot K. Wilson for the connection. Even in the worst weathers me and mine cheer each other on and nothing and no one can change that. ...the rest is dross.

All Sparked with Awe

Factory of Souls

It takes just two people to bring the world
to ruin. So goes the history of love.
At the end of the day we tally the casualties
of war, victory for the one who gets wounded

the least. You say it's time for a change
but I don't know to what end, change being
just the skin of some incandescent creature
whose grotesque beauty is what we adore,

whom some people call love, whom we
venerate because it consumes us, morsels
for its huge soul. My people say, don't look
or you'll go blind. You say the end was always

just around the bend. I say all we have
is unconditional surrender to the future.
So unreliable is the past that I feel compelled
to leave unmourned the blind, relentless loves

that may have scorched into our hearts
the way the saints accepted stigmata. My people say,
look back or lose your way. Or, walk backwards
if you can. So I found myself on a bus to New York City

to lose myself completely. Past Hunters Point
we hit the factory of souls - a thousand tombstones
whose subterranean chambers manufactured
the silk-like smoke that we must feed to God.

I don't think the world's ever going to end.
I think it will go on and on, and we will
be as nebulous as Nebuchadnezzar, our lives
not worth a footnote, our grand schemes

no more than insidious whispers, all memory
shifting like the continental plates. I should grieve
for time misspent, love returned to sender,
ambitions gone awry. But bards more sage than I

have seen the folly of our loss - and have sung
more dirges than I can bear. In the future,
perhaps all science will finally come around;
genetic engineering, I hear, will be all the rage,

and we will be a super race in a world
infallibly perfected, where trains run on time,
love never dies, and hope can be purchased
by the pound. They call it "immortalization

of the cell lines." We will choose what will survive.
Our destiny made lucid, we will find the world
contemplating itself, like the young god
who held his breath and found Narcissus,

the beautiful rapt face all sparked with awe,
one hand about to touch the pool,
his body lurched towards that marvelous
reflection. I suppose the human race

has always felt compelled to desensitize
its failures. My people say, to go unnoticed,
you play dead. Or something. I myself
(and here is the part where even this poem

stops in its tracks to contemplate that pool)
may have chosen to forget a face, a name,
some cruel word uttered carelessly, but not,
after some reflection, intending any pain.

And many others may have chosen to forget me.
It works both ways. My people say, regret
is the final emotion. It's what you see
when you look back. It's what's no longer there.

Eric Gamalinda

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween Veacey-Veace

And let us never tell of the way the phone's programmed ring shook your features into a weary dismay. Or the way we watched you turn back the sheets each of those fall nights and listened, Youngman, as you whispered into the receiver of your isolation. Youngman, solitary, diminished city. Youngman who wears sackcloth to the market to cover the silkworms as they spin histories wholecloth in the secret (but we know it) corner of his soul. Youngman, we cannot provide erotica for your household anymore. Hold on, Youngman, your sinister dealings stay secreted-away on the inside of our heavy spirits. (So many miles from where anyone who knows you now believes you really reside.) We are sorry to see you this way. Sorry to see you go. Buck up, Youngman, the town's pyromaniacs live for fangs of fire. A garden of witchy light so shiny. Even the heat so welcome in the tepid life of Youngmen and their flax-colored days. Reel ahead, Youngman, the tomorrows to which the flash and flame have petered out. Your home cinders. Every hour ash. There is no revolution afoot. Stumble on.

---A.P. The Day the Babies...

Bearily I Say to You


Mistaken, taken for
granted: her hips rose, rose
hips. The top note, that initial overpowering
scent can be mistaken
before it fades into the heart
note, which is the final,
true scent that lingers when the purple
finches have flown away. Granted: a song is a verbal
fence, and so Delilah sings Mon coeur
s'ouvre à to voix, My heart opens
at your voice, but then must cut
Samson's hair because he prefers
God to her, Miss Taken
for Granted. In Fra Angelico's painting, even the flames
of cypress flare up
along the road where the gold-haloed
heads of the martyred Saints Cosme and Damien
roll like rocks with notes
bound over their eyes. It is a splash
of black in a sunny landscape,
van Gogh said of the cypress,
but it is one of the most interesting
black notes, and the most difficult
to hit off that I can
imagine. Mistaken for granite—the skyline
of San Gimignano fallen
on its side, lines grazing out
and back like the lines of
this poem, like cows coming
home, where Italo Svevo swore
to his new wife, Livia: I will love you
forever, as far as the fin de siècle
will allow. He meant to be
diagonal like agony, to outlast
the flat leaves of the hollyhock, which hasten
to lace. Mistaken: the closed burgundy
whorls of the hibiscus fallen
on the path, soft and damp
as the bodies of birds. "Chicken in half-
mourning," poulet demi-deuil, has so many black
truffle slices slid under
its skin that it appears to be
wearing black, just as the pearl-grey
waves of moiré in the Venetian lagoon
could be the waves
of the brain: Touch your hair
if you re going to the Ridotto. Nod
or shake your head
to tell me whether you plan to
go to the piazza, Venetian
lovers once wrote in secret
notes that from the air
could be mistaken
for ruins along the canal where
they met: runes arching their backs
against the sea. Your plane taxis
out to the runway; in a moment it will
lift as you have so many times
beneath me.

Angie Estes

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happy Most-Belated Birthday Wishes to Katherine

10-4 Good Buddy...

Poem Written at Morning

A sunny day's complete Poussiniana
Divide it from itself. It is this or that
And it is not.
By metaphor you paint
A thing. Thus, the pineapple was a leather fruit,
A fruit for pewter, thorned and palmed and blue,
To be served by men of ice.
The senses paint
By metaphor. The juice was fragranter
Than wettest cinnamon. It was cribled pears
Dripping a morning sap.
The truth must be
That you do not see, you experience, you feel,
That the buxom eye brings merely its element
To the total thing, a shapeless giant forced
Green were the curls upon that head.

Wallace Stevens

Monday, October 29, 2007

P & W This is YOUR Last Issue

Wondering if any my blogdom peeps are experiencing the same problem that I am with Poets and Writers and these constant requests to resubscribe? I love P & W like my cat, Schroedenger loves tunafish: something almost sacred to that passion. I have loved P & W before before-color which is in the pre-glossy days of flat paper and no distinct cover-stock paper to make pages and cover differ. But they are seeming shady to me. Anyone else having this problem?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Wishing for Waltzing-Matilda-Rain

It's drably Sunday. But it was gorgeous a bit ago. Dusk on Sundays feels so goodbye.
I have the kind of migraine that made women in front of Frigidaires cry.

Give me Bogart, if you will, or even 1959
and the last hours of a radioactive
Australia when Ava Gardner knows
she won’t see Gregory Peck
again,: It was nice, Dwight Lionel.
It was everything. Then, of course, the kiss
beyond which he sinks into
a submarine tomb and offscreen Ava dies

Ah, I need a rainy day, all my work done, a blanket, a black cat, a tall drink of water of an emu, a fire in the fireplace and this old movie playing all afternoon...
Simone Muench, this was part of a poem I once started for you. Your chapbook is loveliness embodied (big surprise).
Miss you.
Sorry is the dollhead floating in the dirty puddle in the garden where what Goldilocks planted sustains just-rightly. What a lukewarm broth gets spooned to his pretty mouth. Go fester, Youngman, where the neighborhood plants its nightblooming vines. Beware the traffic cop who pulls the sky overcast weekly. Beware of Youngman the weakly news on the doorstop. The Youngmens watch our address like wives watch for evidence. My mailbox is the coinbox to the humming horizon of their cheap vibrating bed. Certain pornographies ensue. Every ashen day, we tip our lusty ashen derby to you. So bored, boring, watching the Greyhound for the broken-down to pass through town. The dearly-gone-dreary and chased from our one lit room.

--Asher Paine from The Day the Babies Came Down

Friday, October 26, 2007

This Whiting Dude Knows a Thing or Two

CONGRATULATIONS Paul Guest, you talented, handsome devil, You!
& Cate Marvin whose poems I read when I had to gather them from various literary magazines, before there was even one amazing book, much less two. And who is reading here tonight, surely you mean to attend.

Note to Veace:
Yes, I do. I really want it. Also, malaria, leprosy, the mob after me, nuclear war, rape, overflooding toilets, the death of all cats everywhere, periwinkle blue, vanilla, silver rings and dark-haired persons all abolished, a lifetime of pot pies, a long kiss goodnight with George Bush (w/tongue, of course), vomit for breakfast, cat litter for lunch, plus that person's phone number... this is my wish list. I think Cate herself said it best: That particular fowl "could be living in a nest on the roof of my apt. and it would have no impact on me." Plus there are always prettier birds to behold in this world. But thanks for thinking of me. Next time, try flowers--even dead ones. ;-)

Later Kitties.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Teaching the Madness of the Jazz Age Tonight

"You told me that night you’d teach me to play. Well, I think love is all
there is or should be."

S. Fitzgerald from Tender is the Night

Monday, October 15, 2007

Let's Hear it for the Fish

Intagliod Super-Likes Eliot Wilson and Eliot Wilson Likes Eavan Boland and so...
(Intagliod shows EKW some Medbh McGuckian and he passes along some Eavan. So when Poetry Daily was retiring this poem and when I read it, I had to post it.)
(For Eliot, Michael G. and Drusilla Adler)

House of Shadows. Home of Simile

One afternoon of summer rain
my hand skimmed a shelf and I found
an old florin. Ireland, 1950.

We say like or as and the world is
a fish minted in silver and alloy,

an outing for all the children,
an evening in the Sandford cinema,
a paper cone of lemonade crystals and

say it again so we can see
androgyny of angels, edges to a circle,
the way the body works against the possible—

and no one to tell us, now or ever,
why it ends, why
it always ends.

I am holding
two whole shillings of nothing,
observing its heaviness, its uselessness.

And how in the cool shadow of nowhere
a salmon leaps up to find a weir
it could not even know
was never there.

Eavan Boland
October 2006

This next was given to me on a hard, hard Monday some years back. Michael Griffith, writer and human-extraordinaire sent this along on a most necessary day. In addition to its gorgeousness, it reminds me of an image I used in a poem of a round loaf of bread fallen into the harbor in Rhodes and the ecstatic silver chrysanthemum of sardines spinning it for all they were worth.

The Past
by Stephen Dunn

Herrings begin to glow just before they die,

never while alive. When I read this

I wanted to sit for a long time in the dark.

Nothing in nature is a metaphor.

Everything is. I thought both thoughts.

And knew inexactly why I felt sad.

Herrings dead and aglow--

I should have been properly amazed,

the way anyone looking at a star

would be, realizing it was years away,

untouchable. Yet there it is, shining.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

On Lingering

Requiem of Autumn

The saddest of all falls is in your hair.
My autumn tumbles in the broken air.
I do not think they will catch me there.

Beyond the brook the bank is crumbling down.
The willow waggles like a crazy clown.
They came for you because you have a town.

I would not let you go, I asked the tree.
I did not let them take your hair from me.
This water flows into some kind of sea.

With all that summer and a spring to spare.

Chad Walsh

Friday, October 05, 2007

"I sat once again on the bench I'd been sitting on before. The sun was going down. And I have to say that the colors in the park were quite extraordinary--almost edible, one would have to say. The air was a kind of rose color, and the light which ran through it was a twinkling yellow.
What were we waiting for? The appearance of the Messiah? Was all this nothing? I was quite fed up with the search for perfection. And rather amazed by all that I had--the lemonade stand with its lemonade, the cafe with its irritable customers and staff, the carousel, the squirrels, the birds, the trees. I'm sorry, Howard, your favorite grove was cut down. But so much remains. This light, so beautiful and warm, was not cut down. The flowers at my feet with their petals that kiss my ankles like little lips, were not cut down. The trembling air and trembling sky were not cut down. My sympathy about the loss of your favorite grove is fading out at the end of the day. It said in the paper that there will be fireworks tonight above the carousel, and right nearby, a parade of young dogs, including some of the newest breeds, some for sale.
I sat on the bench for a very long time, lost--sunk deep--in the experience of unbelievable physical pleasure, maybe the greatest pleasure we can know on this earth--the sweet, ever-changing caress of the early evening breeze."
Wallace Shawn
The Designated Mourner

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Doing the Two-Step (on three-toes)--Every Year Gets Sweeter

For child I am so glad I've found you
Although my arms have always been around you
Sweet bird although you did not see me I saw you

---E. Harris

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

September 30 Sitwells Cafe All-Star Line-Up

If you dig poetry (& really, how could you resist it?) Sitwells. Sunday. September 30. 7:30. (all strung-out on alliteration) is the place to be.

Consider the following:

A boat toward an orgy of waves outranks anchor, so we are far from the field
green detects and takes. Marked card of a field.
We’ll catch nothing this way.

When the sky finds its footing there will be
nothing left standing. Nothing
left to fly-away like things we want to have.

Leaving you
a kind of residue,
half what you’ve collected
half what’s always been.

Across continents
ages, species, we’d find us
birds of a feather

you are the silver
lining in my cloud,
we flock together

But closeness is pain. Where did I begin
and where did they end? Somewhere
around the third tune

Skull-kept, three modes of mind wander like radio.
That jade blue of your eyes: a risk in three cities

like walking
forever through trees
and briars—but why break
cobwebs as I watch?

Crescendo, shh and hum, went round until
I lost my breath, lay down.

Not long until morning comes
like the squid that flashes electric blue
when aroused

when from out of nowhere,
the parakeet chirps like a lion:
O emerald, forgive me,
the sky.

--Kristi Maxwell*Evan Commander*Brett Price*Sophia Kartsonis*Caleb Adler*Lesley Jenike*Cynthia Arrieu-King*Joshua Butts*Erica Dawson*Jillian Weise*Matt Hart

Saturday, September 15, 2007

At the Fruit Stand of My Dreams

your dreams are always in season.

Intaglio received a Rain Taxi review. This was on the "life list!" I love taxis of rain. I love reviews.

skinny boy, all bones no lies
your so miserable in the mornings
will you will wait up for me?
its sorted and I cant find my feet
and you’ve got lips I could spend a day with.

skinny boy, some where some prostitution.
some desire some doubt some dance.
they’re coming we see it’s through the back door,
and there you are on the fence
with those lips I could spend a day with.

when its done ill drink champagne to the lonely
lonely in me
monday, tuesday so lonely
wednesday, thursday only me
friday, saturday only me
here comes sunday…

Amy Millan

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Before Sunset

Today I feel like gathering the fanciful things I love and putting them into one big post.
I won't though. I will say that I had a lovely low-key holiday full of coziness, good movies and a certain vampire bunny-cat. Just now, under good musical advisement, I am listening to M. Ward and loving esp. Poison Cup. Also, that I rode on a snow-white Stella scooter on Saturday and (silly with alliteration,) it was the first time I saw this city I live in the way someone sees someone seeing a city that he has really loved. (I imagine/hope I gave S.L.C. to people from that perspective.) I read an article somewhere about meaningful sex happening b/c someone loves the way you see (as opposed to fun but flimsy sex with those we love for the way they look). And thought it came near what is said in Before Sunset about really looking hard at someone and in that way, taking them in.

Celine: "I mean, I always feel like a freak because I'm never able to move on. You know. People just have an affaire, or even... entire relationships... They break up and they forget! They move on like they would have changed a brand of Cereals! I feel I was never able to forget anyone I've been with. Because each person have… you know, specific qualities. You can never replace anyone. What is lost is lost. That's why I'm very careful with getting involved, because... It hurts too much. Even getting laid. I actually don't do that… I will miss of the person the most mundane things. Like I'm obsessed with little things. Maybe I'm crazy, but... When I was a little girl, my mom told me that I was always late to school. One day she followed me to see why... I was looking at chestnuts falling from the trees, rolling on the sidewalk, or... ants, crossing the road...the way a leaf casts a shadow on a tree trunk... Little things. I think it's the same with people. I see in them little details,so specific to each other, that move me, and that I miss, and... will always miss. You can never replace anyone, because everyone is made of such beautiful specific details. Like I remember the way...your beard has a little bit of red in it. And how the sun was making it glow that...that morning, right before you left. I remember that "

Friday, August 31, 2007

In New York & Strolling Along

trying to decide between Chinatown & The Poet's House. There are advantages to both, but I think I'm craving pretty, bright, plastic minutiae & food filled with textures I just barely recognize and not in this order. If paper made confetti of food, it would likely be found in Chinatown.

Yes, the Weather is a Bubble-Machine Set to Always

I feel Autumn's first chilly blow in my ear. Oh for one of those leaves all hand-shaped with five colors at once spreading from their palms.

Someone made me a mixed cd that's a bubble-machine season. Yum.

Tomorrow I ride a scooter with the best name: Stella--a mode of travel that makes me crave Italy and something I shouldn't be eating and a name that starts me wishing for Brando's chest, wife-beatered or just straight-up. Yum-again and then some.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Day the Babies Came Down

was unextraordinary, excepting the weather, accepting the no u-turn sign
erected certain happenings just go ahead and happen. We had known storms,
Babies, we had known the way a clap of thunder shivers our very timbers
but we couldn't know, couldn't begin to fathom, what weathers
our errors began. Then the babies, Good God, the babies,
overfed, pillow-bodied, resilient, sometimes mean.
Asher Paine, from The Day the Babies Came Down

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Thanaversary Poem

You're back again, still standing
ankle deep in red-tinged moss by the edge
of the lake, your buddy Clint, your girl Virginia
and you, sixteen, drinking beer, laughing
should we go to the fireworks show?

Trust in this, your forty-first re-telling,
trust I'll take you somewhere new.
Even if you do go, you make it home
because, instead of Clint, Virginia
sits next to you. So when you stomp
the throttle she touches your right wrist,
whisper, "We don't have to
speed. We're better when we go slow."

Which is to say, you don't scream
around that corner, your buddy doesn't
yank the wheel, you all don't hit the tree,
Virginia, sixteen, doesn't die.

You grow to actually love her, to receive
fully what she said one night after the drive-in,
"Loneliness has made us victims of desire."
Receive what's true: her wisdom, her gift
at dowsing the sweetness that runs
in all beings, even you. Way far

better yet: you don't drive anywhere,
Virginia says, louder, "Let's not go." Speaking
through her body, through her eyes,
she says, "Why so much thirst for oblivion?
Come sit with me on the moss. This is my
chance to show you what it's like to be alive."

She blows a breath my way.
I breathe it in, feel the yen
for death loosen its noose. Soon
it's evening, the sky explodes with stars,
the beginingless, the endless, so close
we can feel them on our skin as we perch
on the mossy lip of the black lake now
a night kingdom of ten thousand pyres.

--Peter Harris, reprinted from Crab Orchard Review

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Cate Marvin's new book is out. Your world needs one.

A Windmill Makes a Statement

You think I like to stand all day, all night,
all any kind of light, to be subject only
to wind? You are right. If seasons undo
me, you are my season. And you are the light
making off with its reflection as my stainless
steel fins spin.
On lawns, on lawns we stand,
we windmills make a statement. We turn air,
churn air, turning always on waiting for your
season. "There is no lover more lover than the air.
You care, you care as you twist my arms
round, till my songs become popsicle

and I wing out radiants of light all across
suburban lawns. You are right, the churning
is for you, for you are right, no one but you
I spin for all night, all day, restless for your

sight to pass across the lawn, tease grasses,
because I so like how you lay above me,
how I hovered beneath you, and we learned
some other way to say: There you are.

You strip the cut, splice it to strips, you mill
the wind, you scissor the air into ecstasy until
all lawns shimmer with your bluest energy.

Copyright © 2007 Cate Marvin


One of those weeks already, when the world seems stupid, small & mean. Last week, a complete physical and my every number perfection and the blood was all kinds of the right highs and lows. Crucial because medicine (for many reasons) terrifies. This has been a month of trying to get all the things done I meant to, so when I embarked on phase two of check-ups and clean-ups and teaching at dawn's first open-eye--there are snags, rushings around, expensive and upsetting so that aggravation ensues. The phone a distressor and sleep an old island I used to swim out to. Last night, utter insomnia. Today, a bath of spite am I. But Verse Daily....ah, Verse Daily take me away. Besides certain birds un-sad so much. Thank God for them.

Non-Sonnet For Sleeping Birds

Early morning light spills trails
of aqua in its quiet promenade.
I've been here before.

Consciousness, its brutal water wheel,
spins for hours & the morning brings
a hardy slipper I have not called for.

Nights in half-lit rooms, my peripheral vision
catches shadows of running dwarves, black cats
in masquerade, a skunk who preens his plume.

I only look when I'm ready to see.
I think the hallway is breathing.

copyright © 2007 Betsy Wheeler All rights reserved

Sunday, July 29, 2007

No Birdbrain He-mu

whose three-toed football kicks clean
into every goal.

Your vampire girls couldn't be more proud of you, John Adams & colleagues

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Bird Flu

More avgolemono on tap. One bird barely on the mend and another on the decline. The DeLong festivities slept right through as well as L-Bo's phonecall (miss you!) It's an achy, icky day for ailing emus.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Syrupy Daze of Summer

Slow-trickling and unwealthy. But the BFS concert was wonderful. And that I had to miss my beloved Old 97s last night was a little more okay because my good bird generously allowed me an outing too extravagant for summer and it was a blast.
My good bird is a little bit undertheweatherbird which means gallons of avgolemono soup and tea and Drusilla as heating pad. All the good coziness.

The yard sale that I posted to craigslist but not to my blog was a bit of a bust. Next time, more fliers, more vintage, more planning and yes, bloggers, all of you.

Java-ed with my dear friend Jixie yesterday and will be Arlins-bound for some All DeLong festivities on Friday. I am jonesing for NY and SLC and Tampa. Something will soon be done to remedy these tremors, but for now, I have gathered laundry money enough for a coffee after my work-out. Ah, the glamourous life.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Bowling for Soup Anyone?

Me & mine are hitting Bogarts on Monday July 23rd for the concert. Contact Headquarters for details. We are hoping you'll want to go, too.
If you haven't heard Almost or Come Back to Texas, you're kind of missing out.
(Speaking of missing out, the emu loves certain someones like Nathan Parker, Joel Brouwer, my unflakey-filo: Joshua Butts (Dr. Friday calls him The Good J,) Phil B. Stuart Vail--people the emu hasn't even met, by the way. The emu feels very shakey about some of the rest of y'all withholders. Maybe you're too good for emu-haiku? Maybe you should just write epics & Immortal Verse. But the thing is: Joel Brouwer's no slouch. Nathan Parker? Joshua Butts? These are the kind of quality peeps that would make an emu peck hard (not in a good way) at any disparaging comments.

There's nothing wrong with Ohio. There's nothing wrong with a little not-so-clandestine but so-hot emu luv. Give it up, already!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Frustrated Bird

Emu in heat makes
the most pitiful cry. Please
please the sorry bird.

Poets, friends of poets, fiction writers, lovers, fighters, summer-bored and murderous one and all, I am begging you. We, me and Doctor Friday/Sir Emu/The Pretty Bird and Drusilla the vampire vamp cat from hell are on our eight knees.

Hotemuluv isn't getting any. I see you there, your links, your you-tubes, your networks and extended networks, your friend and family plans. Our bird eyes you too, and what it sees is some stingy-assed literati. We are asking for you for seventeen syllables. Seventeen teensy syllables of courtly love or raunchy throw a bird up against a car kind of meter.

Make it the new meme for you and yours. Go to
Click on Give Birth to Emu
Check out the haiku
Hit submit your poem.

Then, send every single person you know to see the bird. S/he'll make it so worth your while. (Or you might at least appear on a t-shirt.)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Leaving Louisville

where the leaves on the side of I-65 seem to be already thinking autumn-wise. There was a white corvette with painful red leather interior, an afternoon on W Fourth where the streets are ready for a later-fervor and just up the road, all sharply-ironic, Ryan Adams will be singing tonight. I drove away from Ryan A. b/c that's the kind of genius-knot with which I'm tied.

In other news I wrote a poem in response to Danielle's poem. Maybe I'll post it and someone can respond to my poem about Danielle's poem which mentions another poem. Or should we start a new stone in the water and the group of us (you know who you are Poets, Emus, Countrymen) can ripple out.
Any takers?

Monday, July 09, 2007

For You
I once read a poem that compared

a pomegranate to a heart. And there

sparrows darting in and out

of the lines, violets throwing off

moonlight like old coats, and

a student raising her hand to say

I don't get it. Someone loved Someone
Else, though Someone Else didn't love

Someone back, or Someone Else did

but there was an obstacle, maybe

the sparrows darted dangerously

near the pomegranate and pierced it

or the violets stole Someone's letters,

kept them folded in their small blossoms

because they believed they deserved them

more than Someone Else. This poem

is based on that one. And also on

the time we took a scenic route through

aspens and you told me how they always

spread after a fire season because

when the pines burn down they leave

enough space for new trees to grow.

The poem was entitled, "For You."

And we kept driving and driving until

winter came, smoothing the roads white

with tiny combs of ice — your fingers

ready to sculpt my shape out of snow

so that you could ease into the hollow

chest and leave a pomegranate safe

from sparrows — the violets suddenly

confessing everything to the student

whose face opens like sunrise when

she says I understand now — I understand —

--Danielle Cadena Deulen

Veace & Me

have been working on some stuff together. This makes me feel like writing here as scratch pad, to say things like:

I could wait all day for the call right back, but I won't. What I wait for is more and less tangible than the trilling to touch of telephones. What I wait for goes like this: the cat's doughnuted herself beneath the desk. She has slept against your chest. She has a thing for intermittency, cold chicken, and the kind of skin that smells like olives and a kind of pine-chill aftershave. Even the bedding remembers.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

"If I Could Fold Myself Away Like a Card Table

a concertina or a Murphy Bed, I would. But I wasn't made that way."

No one tells me that Ryan A. is not a poet. And what Ryan Adams doesn't get about artists or chronic sadness or the halloween heads we sometimes battle, doesn't need to be understood anyway.

So there.

But today is pretty, Lots of walking and my neighborhood all giddy with its summeryness. People out. Families, kids, dogs, sidewalk artists, lots of Graeter's ice cream is being consumed. What summer Saturdays were made for.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Farewell thee Well, Fair Spike

Early one morning, just as the sun was rising
I heard a maid sing in the valley below
"Oh don't deceive me, Oh never leave me,
How could you use, a poor maiden so?"

Because indeed I am the last living soul to make my way through the series, which was completed last night. Between this, the end of Rome, and of course, The Sopranos...thank God we've adopted our own crazy Dru. Sigh... On to Angel.

Listening to Amy Millan's Honey from the Tombs and you should too.
"You've got lips that I could spend the day with."

Sunday, June 17, 2007

June 26th is the place to be

when Ryan Adams' latest cd appears and though your funds be summered and few, you will rush to the music store and you will bring that boy on home. (The way he ought to be.)

Friday, June 15, 2007


Drusilla leaves a mangled fish at various key points in the apartment intended to entice one emuist or another. If I had a groovy pink & yellow shimmery stuffed fish, I'd chuck it all the way to Chicago.

And it seems that R.M.R. was thinking of Ms. Dru, Gladiola & (yes, Liz & Chicky, also Bitsy and Harriet, too).

Black Cat
A ghost, though invisible, still is like a place
your sight can knock on, echoing; but here
within this thick black pelt, your strongest gaze
will be absorbed and utterly disappear:

just as a raving madman, when nothing else
can ease him, charges into his dark night
howling, pounds on the padded wall, and feels
the rage being taken in and pacified.

She seems to hide all looks that have ever fallen
into her, so that, like an audience,
she can look them over, menacing and sullen,
and curl to sleep with them. But all at once

as if awakened, she turns her face to yours;
and with a shock, you see yourself, tiny,
inside the golden amber of her eyeballs
suspended, like a prehistoric fly.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Monday, June 11, 2007


When I'm crying.
Thank you for that. And
For the ineffable sense
Of continuance. You were. You are
The brightest thing in the shop window
And the most beautiful seldom I ever saw.

Mary Jo Bang

Stars in Her Eyes

Friday night I walked into Sippy Cups to check email and someone called out
"When you said periwinkle, it threw me, but then I remembered that my favorite care bear was periwinkle. Happy Birthday."

The bear was beautiful, a vintage tie wrapped around her neck, her plush fur still glisteny and the color was indeed, all-dusk.
"She's called Daydream Bear. I like her best because she has stars in her eyes," he said.

Between that, the parade where a beautifully twilight-shirted someone (starsintheeyesinducing) and the fact that the Era of Great Disappointment has absconded itself to elsewhere, things are very not bad here. (To borrow the words of Eliot Wilson.)

I am reminded that I always wanted to thank the people that stayed and the people that have left my life, each for making it better by their actions.

Hello Sky!

Saturday, June 09, 2007


Go-Go Guenette!!!

Dream Horse Press has announced that our own Matthew Guenette's manuscript, Sudden Anthem, has won the 2007 American Poetry Journal Book Prize. The award carries a
$1000 prize and book publication, with the book slated for a
Winter/Spring 2008 release. The book will be available via Amazon,
Barnes & Noble, and other bookstores that see fit to order it.

This is a long, long, long, awaited and deeply overdue recognition. Google him (if you don't know his work already)& see why. Pre-order the book. Plus balloons. Plus confetti. Never enough confetti for a Guenette poem.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Sometimes I Love Being Wrong

Because I wanted not at all to see Knocked Up and I did and it was good.
Before it was a perfect Park City day: complete with Alpine Slide and an exhilerating dash down the mountain on a coaster thingy. After which was home and soup-making for my sick daddy and then a grocery store where the first bridal magazine was purchased and pondered pre-movie and then the phonecall from Person Very Much Fonded and word from a certain songbird-murderess, fish-mangling girl-gorgeous. And then there were fresh peaches and strawberries at Chez George & Kathy and it was lovely and tonight I sleep soundly and go bird-watching in my dreams.

Happy Birthday M.C & Congratulations Christina & Joe

My baby sister is engaged. In a Salt Lake canyon with a waterfall in tow, she got a beautiful square-shaped sparkley.

Today we Park City and wander. The weather is gorgeous and so is my hometown.

Certain birds are indeed missable.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Poem to Kill or Die For

This is the poem that blows the top of my head clear off and leaves me scalped and begging for more.

Poem to Keep What I Love

soon we shall know
if we have learned to accept that the stars
do not go out when we die
-- Abba Kovner

Even at dawn while my mother turns
in white quilted sheets for the last peel
of sleep while the dog waits pure of heart
for her door to open, my father
already gone, circling the same blocks
of empty buildings to check wet floors
or new locks, even on Sunday, even
at dawn--the birdsong's all reckless clatter,
stacked against air like metal while cats
hide under ferns and the petal-drunk
cherry trees burn their new beauty to bits.
Spring slides down leaves. Lilacs refuse
every warning. An old man in his good hat
waves without joy and the women follow.
Something falls inside, someone waking,
a new day setting its small systems straight.
Birds insist on themselves. Again again
we learn forgetting, practice our goodbyes.


In the five minutes between here and there,
Bradford Pears blooming round as balloons
on the clipped blocks of dress shops, framed
chattering white now by trees fat with air.
Poem to keep the Bradford Pears.
Poem to keep sleep, dreams that burrow
under the skin with their knots of questions,
dreams evacuating through the alarm's
blind end. Poem to keep the crowd of light
by the open closet seen only as light
upon waking and sourceless. Source
yields ending. Poem to keep five
minutes the sloped fields intact, the cows
unhesitating the blooms fastened to branches
completely. Poem to keep patience
protected. Afloat. Without pull. To keep stars
we can't see from their myth-born explosions
their traveling downward their endless arrival.


Against the black spine of fear that travels
through countries, poem, keep what I love.
Against the dreams, which kidnap me.
Against the silk hip of elsewhere, cities of still
swans on black rivers, the lonely nights
mapped neat by the windows of restaurants,
poem, keep what I love. Against days
wound like toys then let loose, painted cars
crashing hard what I love though unharmed
into memory. Against freedom's hummed
lilt, tremulous, trapped in the cloaked
sweetness of magnolias at the end of the street,
the front door opening and closing,
its greeting blind keep the thumped pulse
of the dog's tail meaning yes, meaning
here and so why won't the green
shutters rack the glass with recognition, why
won't the street turn to water and fall?


After they've left for some other shore where the air
gives off scent like a heat, sweet on the skin and blessed

dumb to the one empty house on its street
in its town where its picture rich rooms have begun

to collapse. Walls are lungs, losing breath.
Walls are ribcages, necks. Out of duty to grief
the dog's starving to death. And outside--

the world gives itself up like a sham. Departure
hangs loose, quivers bone white in place of the dogwoods.

I am trying to take stock, walk through doorways
before they dissemble. I'm collecting
the colors of windowsills, shutters.

This is the green of new mint. This gold
is the dark gold of nightlights.

Poem bring my love back. Trace the shape
of their absence to being. Polish loss to its starless
immutable sheen. Demand freedom's retreat

from the air inside bones, inside fire, from the air.


It isn't unhappiness, this feeling like rain in the bones.

What I love lost to the last farms
at the outer edge of the last towns.
What I love sleeping unawares
while I call to it: fern, jawbone, husk
of the laugh.
Warm fur in the sun, I am calling you.
But what does the dream mean,
the one where everything important is in danger
and my voice gurgles to whispers that no one
but danger can hear--
I want to tell you: this isn't unhappiness.
It's summer.
It's the last good light of the permanent afternoon.
The bay window watching the lake.
It is longing, and longing makes room. And room
makes the breath longer, the love patient and larger.

I want to tell you. Where are you?


When their absence hardens to air.
When their absence is the absence my body leaves.
When I will it gone.

Gone the last day moonlight waiting in milk pods
and gone the ringed oaks dropping dusk onto lawns. Gone
the light piled on doubtful black rooftops, the blithe
blink of lamps spreading outward like palms. And Nocturnes,
or opera, blue candle wax sliding, glass table's goodbye dinner
set for the deck. The goodbyes caught

to collarbones. The last day lost to sleep. Lost as miracles must be
to what we refuse to remember. Only in grief will love speak

through memory: ribbon-thin language of nomads and thieves.
Only in fear will it shapeshift, trade inherence for accident, the unforeseen.

Come back. We're the bird song.
Come back. We're the hum of the house at night.
Come back. We're rain, lifting.
Come back. We're the whole of the neighborhood, just loosening.
Just gathering dark.


Surf hum of an air conditioner cools the dark house.
All along the block, honeysuckle drops
scent, and the block takes it. I accept love.

Not its infinity, but its front porch.
All along the block: women at windows
in white nightgowns. Vines climb
a new trellis for air.

The kitchen's dimmed track lights unspool
on the counter, thread magazines loose
till they slip from their stacks.

Water glows from the bottoms of glasses.

And upstairs on a curtain: the yarn hair of lions.
A dragon's green scales are sequins we saved.

Look, it's late.
My mother's still reading on blue
patterned pillows. My father is dreaming of awe.
His head back and mouth tilted upward

and open, as if in his sleep he were trying to catch snow.


Let me tell you about the honeysuckle
Dense heavy like water soon it will be gone

Let me tell you about my mother
Standing in the kitchen

The world dissembles the window slides
Nothing can harm me

Let me tell you about the peonies
White apologies at the edge of yards

Let me tell you how goodbyes arrive
Gray ships on gray water, enormous

Let me tell you about the peonies
How the bloom wants everything

Let me tell you about my mother
Her skin is peonies, honeysuckle, early summer light
one glass of water one kiss goodnight

The air collides

(and where are the stars
long lost to the impossible)


yes and the evenings
my mother says
the moon!

once it decides
to get full it gets
full so quickly

yes love
keep you yes
how the sleep

grows sweet
how the last
days come

undone without
regret, this scent
of honeysuckle

too ripe for regret
though we dedicate it

-- Published in Poetry, April 2004

There is no caring less
for you. I fix on music in the weeds,
count cricket beats to tell the temp, count
my breaths from here to Zen.
September does its best.
The Alaskan pipeline lacks integrity,
mineral fibers are making people dizzy,
we're waiting for a major quake. Ultra-
violet intensity is gaining,
the ozone's full of holes and

I can find no shade.
There is no caring less.
Without the moon the earth
would whirl us three times faster, gale-force
winds would push us down. Say
earth lost mass, a neighbor
star exploded—it's if

and and and
but. The cosmos owns our luck.
Say under right and rare conditions,
space and time could oscillate.
I know what conditions
those would be for me.
I'd like to keep my distance,
my others, keep my rights
Yet look at you, intreasured,

where resolutions end.
No matter how we breathe
or count our breaths,
there is no caring less
for you for me. I have to stop myself

from writing "sovereign," praising
with the glory words I know.
Glaciologists say changes
in the mantle, the planet's vast
cold sheets could melt. Catastrophe
is everywhere, my presence
here is extra—yet—
there is no caring less.

Alice Fulton

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

IUIB Welcomes Drusilla

So this was the perfect birthday for so many reasons, at least two of which begin with the letter C. Upon arriving back at Chez Pooh Corner, a small, black cat waited on the front steps looking rather put-out by the delay in our return. This cat so resembled my own beloved Gladys that I had to run home and check to be sure a get-away had not occured.

She is a licorice gumdrop and adored. At the moment, she is a foster kitty and may be seeking out a home. If you or anyone you know is in need of (another) cat, contact Emu Headquarters.

Shrek the Third was good, not One or Two good, but worth-it. Hello Kitty Pez dispensers are a cure for depression. As are shiny silver and black I-Pods sportscar-sleek. Reading short stories by the river. Eating breakfast with a newly-returned Someone. Then sushi and olives and cherries and hot tea and kitty and me and thee....

Every birthday should be so gorgeous.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Some Birds

though flightless, will fly all night just to be home for your birthday. No bird could mean more, in spite of his breezy self.

594 days ago, you were favorited. 594 years from now will bring more of the same. Someone is waiting by the door for you. Maybe one someone, maybe two, some green, some blue. The someone who puts the mustard away weirdly hardly at all misses you.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Larry Levis AND David St. John

David St. John spoke about Larry Levis last night in the Elliston Room. Hearing the old stories and the trajectory of life, poems, career reminded me that a thing like Larry can happen in the world and sadly too, can stop. It made me want to go home and let everything I love know so. I also felt private and went late-night grocery shopping just to be alone and not talk to anyone. Those two feelings, all at once, are a Larry Levis poem. After I got home the sky just opened up and there was thunder and lightening and a voice on the phone making sure that I noticed. All in all, a bittersweet Tuesday.

DSJ ended with a quote from a note by an old friend of Larry's that went something like: He drops by sometimes. He likes being dead, it suits him. It just doesn't suit us.
If you knew Larry--even a little--you felt that one in your gut.

I'm posting one poem here, though you should read all of them, anywhere you can find them.

In a Country

My love and I are inventing a country, which we
can already see taking shape, as if wheels were
passing through yellow mud. But there is a prob-
lem: if we put a river in the country, it will thaw
and begin flooding. If we put the river on the bor-
der, there will be trouble. If we forget about the
river, there will be no way out. There is already a
sky over that country, waiting for clouds or smoke.
Birds have flown into it, too. Each evening more
trees fill with their eyes, and what they see we can
never erase.

One day it was snowing heavily, and again we were
lying in bed, watching our country: we could
make out the wide river for the first time, blue and
moving. We seemed to be getting closer; we saw
our wheel tracks leading into it and curving out
of sight behind us. It looked like the land we had
left, some smoke in the distance, but I wasn't sure.
There were birds calling. The creaking of our
wheels. And as we entered that country, it felt as if
someone was touching our bare shoulders, lightly,
for the last time.

Larry Levis

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Never Again Will Birdsong Be the Same

Extra:Rochester holds rare birds hostage. It's an outrage.

If I could shuffle
the alphabet, I'd stick I
right next to E-mu.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Happy Birthday T! *Mandarin Oranges Shaped Like Smiles*

A poem you might recall.

Vintage Verse-Lust (an old beloved scrap of a poem)

I made it up
here on this bridge between
starshine and clay,
my one hand holding tight
my other hand; come celebrate
with me that everyday
something has tried to kill me
and has failed.

Lucille Clifton
Human Beauty
by Albert Goldbarth
If you write a poem about love . . .
the love is a bird,

the poem is an origami bird.
If you write a poem about death . . .

the death is a terrible fire,
the poem is an offering of paper cutout flames

you feed to the fire.
We can see, in these, the space between

our gestures and the power they address
—an insufficiency. And yet a kind of beauty,

a distinctly human beauty. When a winter storm
from out of nowhere hit New York one night

in 1892, the crew at a theater was caught
unloading props: a box

of paper snow for the Christmas scene got dropped
and broken open, and that flash of white

confetti was lost
inside what it was a praise of.

Copyright © 2007 by Albert Goldbarth Reprinted from The Kitchen Sink: New and Selected Poems

I Love You Frank O' Hara

And in your honor I wrote a poem that dear, hot, sharp Jillian W. has directed me to read on Verse Daily. This makes me very happy: being Versed Daily. Verse This, Readers.

In other news: a big fat congratulations to Eliot Khalil Wilson for his Bush Foundation award. Eliot's poems make me proud to write poetry.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Saintly Days Ahead--Welcome!


Imagine the sky compressed within
The clenched earth

The pressure composed by deep fire
At the core of

The ether of transcendence surrounding
Us until the knuckles & nuggets

Spit high into the air
A smoldering blessing

Of the involuted skies as if even
The light above the sea had folded

Back onto itself so many times
This petrified mirror of stone we carry

Becomes a bible blue
Darkening from beauty into night
David St.John

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Back from Kenyon, a bit worse for the wear and trying to type with a splinted-up right hand. Some journeys are just as well left unmade.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Carrying On: For Whatever a Sun Will Always Sing is You

i carry your heart with me

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)

ee cummings

Monday, April 23, 2007

Greetings from Kenyon

Pretty little town it is.

A large Australian ratite bird it is not.

Soon I drive south.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Oh Omaha

Ready or not Omaha Nebraska, Coz here we com
Somebody pinch me Coz I can't believe I'm here This is somethin that I've dreamed of all my life Dreamed of all my life
And I can't believe That it all comes down to this,
And this is something that I've waited for all my life
---Bowling for Soup

Monday, April 16, 2007

The Snapdragons Love You. (Of course they do.)
Kisses Back Atcha.

Listen Up, Lemondrops

Just re/turned/covered from my Florida trip. The trip was so nice, but my idea of departure times was all but genetic. (My family manages to leave at 3 am, somehow. Fun, when you're the airport driver.) This time I dragged lovely Kathrine across (literally) the state of Florida and my sister and her terrific boyfriend out of bed at yes Kids, four a.m. But it was a wonderful time, nonetheless. Hung out with Noal and Kathrine. Had one of Chase's infamous (& my first!) Lemon Drop Martini. (You don't come back from that kind of knowledge.) Read with Kathrine. My feet touched ocean. I beachcombed. Saw a floating random Gypsy on the beach in Tampa. Watched the sun set. Ate grouper. Met (& adored!) Zoe the bunny-furred cat. Missed Gladys, the Dweebs and my beautiful neighborhood, neighbor. I want to live by the sea. Hold the hurricanes, please.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Little Pitchers

Props to JB for the info on In the Realms of the Unreal and the Ashbery connection.

As for yesterday: I've written you a note under the puddles. The posies still recall your voice on the phone. Your erased call-log is the only amnesia. Be the careful dweller amongst tyrants and spies. Her name sounds like a sigh in the pantry and ends with a threat. What music she carries, she carries away. Her dance step is the break and enter. I leave you a poppy, a tulip, alone.

In honor of Lesley & Hannah's Youtube treatment of my girls and their lives after death.
"Spring at Wu-Ling" by Li Ch'ing-chao (1084?–1151)translated by Eugene Eoyang
The wind subsides—a fragranceof petals freshly fallen;it's late in the day—I'm too tired to comb my hair.Things remain but he is goneand with him everything.On the verge of words: tears flow.
I hear at Twin Creek spring it's still lovely;how I long to float there on a small boat— But I fear at Twin Creek my frail grasshopper boatcould not carry this load of grief

Mary Cornish does a great job of discussing this poem on today's Poetry Daily. I just love its spareness, the frail grasshopper boat of it.

Today's weather is wet and grey. I welcome the sunlight and palm trees of Tampa & Boca Raton. I welcome the awayness.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

It is Spring, Damn It!

In the history of The Mood Swing, there have been a number of ways to ride it. Often, when amongst the literati, we "talk it out" When I say Mood Swing, I mean a blue tire hung off a childhood tree, the apples bright and too high to reach, the day ever the last of summer. (I mean all summers, dream and season.) I mean I can be a sad ocelot. Very gloomy. No fun ever. You read me, BigBear? I am and am not talking to you. Miss KittyKat knows what I mean when your SAD becomes all kinds of shapeless drab sweater sad. Not edgy Ophelia mad, just I'm too bored to breathe--or want to. Plus the sky's a stupid color again, like dirty water and it's cold as the draft of your ex-wife's soul or choose your metaphor. (Simile don't rhyme slantly with soul.)

In light of this, if this were David Letterman, there would already be a top ten list for why the Sir PrettyBird is the best handler of the zoo of my surreal loneliness where even the monkeys slouch some and frown. Even the kangaroos don't hop to that tune. Observe last summer. Sad girl rounding the corner to breakfast with SPB and! who is waiting with an orange plastic machine gun of cold water? That's right. Which girl was drenched and giggling far away from even the memory of the melancholy? But today, it's 3o degrees under the dirtywaterheavens we keep here just outside of Java Joes and when the kind sir picks me up in the car and I am bundled up in the winter clothes I thought I'd put away, he says "it's Spring damn it! and he takes the lid off his spacebubble car and puts the seats on simmer and we drive, me in my electric blue scarf and his borrowed slick shades and he all sunglassed and looking like mid-July on Sunset and the cars around us hope for a sip of the gush of music spilling from our very own sky and we let them taste a tiny bit and keep driving by.

Friday, April 06, 2007

With Apologies to the Emuist

Who regularly doses me with sci-fi and like my friend, Maggie once adviced me "when a beautiful man serves you, you should never turn the spoon away, " so I read and I admire...
And yet, this has been a few weeks of revelling in the odd little finds of books and pamphlets and chapbooks that I can finally w/o guilt, DEVOUR.

Currently, Jillian Weise is blowing me away (BUYBUYBUYthisbook!) expect postings later. I am also reading Black Box by Erin Belieu and this little jewel, from which I offer you a taste:

Upon Discussing Whether We Should Condescend to Science-Fiction Writers

Let's pretend we really believe fanged anorexic midget space aliens want to rape our pets and turn the President of the United States into soggy cotton candy....

from Steve Fellner's Blind Date with Cavafy

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Girl Baby's First Seder

Tuesday night it was. Loveliness. Next week I see Kathrine (& read w/Kathrine too!) After much too long I see my little sister, my soon-to-be bro-in-law (I already dig him) & my neice, the inimitable Ms. Zoe. After that, at the airport, the prettiest emuist will be. I feel like it's my birthday and I get the doll cake with the big frosting dress! (The brunette one, of course.) This is the spring I've been waiting for.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

My goals include the following: start waking up before noon, limit the TV watching to six hours a day, lose 90 pounds, don't let anyone other than my dog ever see me in this horrible ass "swimming outfit" I've just concoted, which includes a bathing suit that doesn't fit, underneath some clingy blue shorts and an old men's white t-shirt, and, lastly: learn how to love again.
Listen to me, I'm blaming you from five-hundred miles away.
Asher Paine, from Ninety-Six Bottlecaps on the Veranda

I almost like you in this lighting. I almost forgive you for whining at the hard parts in books. I almost want to hold you sometimes or hold you over a fire. I have unfocused rage. I take it out on beanbags. I hunt things. I am a good boy scout some days. Then I torch the city just to light my cigarette. I can read by the light of that shit.
Just when it starts speaking in cinders. Just when everyone’s ready for the end. I see something familiar in the shapes of the flames. That’s when I start weeping like a motherfucker. Just when you left it all for dead, think again. That, Reader, is when I’m going back in for what I love.
Asher Paine, from Ninety-Six Bottlecaps on the Veranda

Sunday, April 01, 2007


The belled air ringing. Slowly she wakes through a craving
to weave, through a sunlit dream of Athena singing her back into sleep,
she is alive no she is dead and it is Athena
standing watch over the ghost of her human form,
Athena who undid the plaited rope until it was
only a single strand and then she floated into
another way of moving so soft that she felt
her entire body whirled through a maze of light
and then her body disappeared and for a moment
she drowsed inside her shadow and then it was Athena
who told her what she had become or else
it was the mouth of an Argive woman speaking
after she had devoured her infant or perhaps
it was the eyes of Teiresias watching two snakes
coupling in the grass or it might have been
the slow hand of Zeus traveling a woman's body and
when she finally emerged from the long tunnel of silk
she saw that her own body hung exposed
in a shimmering web she was dead no she was alive
her skin reeling bright silver filaments helplessly
into the dusk. There was nothing else to feel
but a terrible hunger to spin.
Rita Signorelli-Pappas New Orleans Review

Saturday, March 31, 2007

V E G A S This, Baby

Most-missed Mister, giver of beautiful brocade shirt--such fuchsia and coral gardens. Such a blazing sky, so much sorry rain. It's late and the phone has been happy today. You are lighting up the Vegas strip, my sweet and I am glad to know you. Too much gets taken away. Thank you for the examhoorayrolextwinwristers and every present you brought me, which pales all to the comeback of you.

Armed with Such Singings


My arms are mostly cosmetic. If I say this
to a stranger, often he will wince,
he’ll look like he wants to hide
inside his eyes, be made to vanish
from that day. I shouldn’t say it,
shouldn’t laugh, should be tired twenty-one
years into the telling of what
is a poor joke, made of pain,
nerves snuffed like wicks. Back
then, I was a boy. No secret
that I fell through that
summer like a star. And here I am
anticipating spring, my ears
slave to birdsong after a long
winter. I look to the clouds
and think how once I prayed
my arms might serve me
again, roll toothpaste from the tube,
dump rice into boiling water,
swat dead the mosquito
drilling its derrick of a face
through my skin. That sum of symmetry,
left and right, one and one,it’s not a math I know
much of. Not anymore
though there are days I want
to lament the broken
glass or put my fist
through the cheap door
or throttle the blue sky’s long, silent
throat. There are nights
full of ache, full of
nothing nimble. No music
but smashed guitars
would suffice. How many clasps did I try
with my teeth and at this
fail until she put
her hands to my raw
work? Untrue to say I lost count
of what I never wanted
to keep. Untrue to say that when we loved
and for me she put
my hands to her hips
to hold her body there above mine
that I loved such need,
that I did not hate us both.

---Paul Guest (author of The Resurrection of the Body and the Ruin of the World, Notes for My Body Double, Exit Interview and soon, One More Theory About Happiness. (His poetry is mine.)

Friday, March 30, 2007

Used Bookstore Love

The mailman sighs when you open the front door in a silk kimono. I sigh when you open any door. I swear this before our sharp-beaked lovebirds just now awakening in their golden cage, exchanging necklaces crafted from the legs of a spider.
Peter Johnson

Reader Give Me Some Pause
I mean I like it: like how when a beautiful man dates an ugly woman and it gives me pause, you know you think it, too, Reader. It's not the easy math like when a beautiful girl dates an ugly man. The slot machines make such a racket. Or Daddy Issues or Garden Variety Catastrophe. But when a beautiful man dates an ugly chick the brain see-saws a little. I like that hiccup in the think-factory. When the gears catch & click and slowly grind again.

Like when Bernadette wears that green eyeshadow that flashes in the stop light I can't decide whether it's turning me on or grossing me out. Bernadette talking & talking & me thinking lizardine belly or hot jade hooker eyes. The stereo full-blast on the tree touching street. Arouse the birds off their perches.
Today I heard Nothing whistling through the trees. Some fake volcanos ignite. Keep your flouncy nacreous clouds for doilies, Aphrodite. Yesterday's sky had a hard-on. Wax & wane. What I love cannot be effaced.
---Asher Paine, excerpts from Ninety-Six Bottlecaps on the Veranda

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

There or at Sinai?

A million years ago, I found a poem called Love, a Dark, Untitled Comedy in, I think? Hayden's Ferry Review? No matter, the point is, I memorized it within a couple of days and accosted the author when she visited the BWR booth at AWP.
Today, as I am ready to donate old mags somewhere (the apartment brimmeth) I reach for Southern Poetry Review, open to a random page and stop:

after Andre Breton

the twilight is a red snapper
& in the tangerine grove
suns hang burning from the trees

because I am waiting for you

& if you come walk with me
no matter where
miracles will hurry to meet us

A chameleon will press his cool belly to my heart
turn first a sad tan
then a jade jealous green---

because he loves you too

I don't know why
but the earth is deeper than water
is a turtle finally shaking off its shell

I saw you evolve
from the salt sludge of the ocean
I was there

Wait, no, I wasn't

I was waiting here even then
& I was sad
the sky between leaves hard as a horseshoe crab

I shut my eyes--
I was where you see me

Where are you?

Jesse Lee Kercheval

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Sweet Basil

The new little plants are coming up in the big winter pot. It's always so exciting to see that scattering of green on the bare soil. I had hoped they'd be up in time for Sir Emu's return.

We moved stones
to the edges of our field,

sleeping outdoors in summer.

The sky dense with stars,
the horizon dark

with other voices singing.

We lived together a long time,
sometimes weeping as we ate,

silent as we dug the garden.

I have known finding
and losing her,

both were terrible.

We shared black sand,
many fallen roses,

losing our portion of sleep.

David Greenslade

Monday, March 26, 2007

Luminous Everything

I just watched Everything is Illuminated and wonder why I don't hear more about it--I thought it strange and lovely. Now that I have my life back, it's funny that I am still reading and viewing the same stuff. Currently, and kind of uncharacteristically, in some ways, I am reading Suite Francaise by Irene Nemerovsky. "We dressed the children by torchlight" is an example of eerie-pretty-starkness. It's the kind of book I think I should read (what brussel sprouts were to us when we were little) but then resist for that very reason. But I was coerced into it by friends and am now really grateful. Not necessarily feeling the same way about the new Assia Weevil biography... We shall see.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Seeing Each other

Just Walking Around

What name do I have for you?
Certainly there is no name for you
In the sense that the stars have names
That somehow fit them. Just walking around,

An object of curiosity to some,
But you are too preoccupied
By the secret smudge in the back of your soul
To say much and wander around,

Smiling to yourself and others.
It gets to be kind of lonely
But at the same time off-putting.
Counterproductive, as you realize once again

That the longest way is the most efficient way,
The one that looped among islands, and
You always seemed to be traveling in a circle.
And now that the end is near

The segments of the trip swing open like an orange.
There is light in there and mystery and food.
Come see it.
Come not for me but it.
But if I am still there, grant that we may see each other.
John Ashbery

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Question for AWP Attendees

This is a long shot but my fiction group was curious about the magazine that accepts work from writing groups instead of individual writers. Anyone else pick up that little postcard and NOT lose it?

In other this-evening news as it's Spring Break here and I am soloing it not just on account of certain migrating birds but the others of my posse who are either away or in other ways away; I made dinner and because I am always envious of Anthony Robinson's meals, I'll call him out and say I made this fabulous tuna with a vegetarian casserole. It was not at all the feasts of the gourmet poet I see pictured on but it was kind of pretty. Really.

Words on Walls is up and if not yet running, then limping along prettily. Check out the incredible stuff there and watch as it expands before your very eyes over the next couple of weeks.

Seven Days W/O Emu Makes One Weak

With apologies to Taco Time Evanston, Wyoming circa summer 1979. At Pooh Corner more basil was planted and the old basil never died, so that when me & my emu pesto it up we hope never to know which batch was which--such loss issues have we, such nostalgias. Lots of things like that basil--celebration material and a few to grieve. One day soon, a plane corrects itself. One day soon, a blissed-out someone waits in terminal three.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Hardly Skylarkin'

No Road
Since we agreed to let the road between us
Fall to disuse,
And bricked our gates up, planted trees to screen us,
And turned all time's eroding agents loose,
Silence, and space, and strangers - our neglect
Has not had much effect.
Leaves drift unswept, perhaps; grass creeps unmown;
No other change.
So clear it stands, so little overgrown,
Walking that way tonight would not seem strange,
And still would be allowed. A little longer,
And time would be the stronger,
Drafting a world where no such road will run
From you to me;
To watch that world come up like a cold sun,
Rewarding others, is my liberty.
Not to prevent it is my will's fulfillment.
Willing it, my ailment.
-- Philip Larkin

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Pretending it's Early Morning

at twilight, I head out to a neighborhood that looks like the inside of a body with all that wild pink light and a moon that looks clipped straight off a hand made of light. I felt like I was made of light--post Yeats, post so much talk of elegies and witness and survival. I pretended it was dawn, the day turned around to meet a day, say in....Thailand where a Sir-tain someone was off to a world all fishly dark and seaweed. My neighborhood is stunning with old houses that wear that dusk (dawn) so well. Big, old wealthy houses with a huge, huge bouquet left out by the trash, still cellophaned-up, a big glass vase and two ribbons keeping it all mummified. The flowers--roses and nasturtium and so many more--were not dead, hadn't even been brought in or adored yet. So they came home with me and I pretended they were sent for the end of exams but by some anonymous rich person who didn't know me and so didn't hurt my feelings by not knowing that I don't like flowers sent to me, I resent the expense. I prefer my own random, goofy arrangements or rescuing lost flowers from outside floral shops (they throw out the shabby roses about once a week here at my neighborhood florist...) I prefer the memory of one old boyfriend calling in a flower order from New York to Salt Lake and the florist calling me to say I had a few dollars to spend on a "Friday bouquet."