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