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