Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tomorrow Marks the First Day of National Poetry Month

And L-Bo and I are writing a poem a day, in honor. No matter how failed, how broken, how stinky, how sad, I will post here. I warn you now so that you can look away, look away or like miner's canaries fly through and see how toxic the fumes get. On the best days, we might all emerge singing. Or, you'll get good-jealous and join us?
To yellow feathers and flights of verse.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Dance Me to the End of Love, MD

Slow Dance
More than putting another man on the moon,
more than a New Year’s resolution of yogurt and yoga,
we need the opportunity to dance
with really exquisite strangers. A slow dance
between the couch and dining room table, at the end
of the party, while the person we love has gone
to bring the car around
because it’s begun to rain and would break their heart
if any part of us got wet. A slow dance
to bring the evening home. Two people
rocking back and forth like a buoy. Nothing extravagant.
A little music. An empty bottle of whiskey.
It’s a little like cheating. Your head resting
on his shoulder, your breath moving up his neck.
Your hands along her spine. Her hips
unfolding like a cotton napkin
and you begin to think about
how all the stars in the sky are dead. The my body
is talking to your body slow dance. The Unchained

Stairway to Heaven, power-chord slow dance. All my life
I’ve made mistakes. Small
and cruel. I made my plans.
I never arrived. I ate my food. I drank my wine.
The slow dance doesn’t care. It’s all kindness like

before they turn four. Like being held in the arms
of my brother. The slow dance of siblings.
Two men in the middle of the room. When I dance with him,
one of my great loves, he is absolutely human,
and when he turns to dip me
or I step on his foot because we are both leading,
I know that one of us will die first and the other will suffer.
The slow dance of what’s to come
and the slow dance of insomnia
pouring across the floor like bath water.
When the woman I’m sleeping with
stands naked in the bathroom,
brushing her teeth, the slow dance of ritual is being spit
into the sink. There is no one to save us
because there is no need to be saved.
I’ve hurt you. I’ve loved you. I’ve mowed
the front yard. When the stranger wearing a sheer white dress
covered in a million beads
slinks toward me like an over-sexed chandelier suddenly come to life,
I take her hand in mine. I spin her out
and bring her in. This is the almond grove
in the dark slow dance.
It is what we should be doing right now. Scraping
for joy. The haiku and honey. The orange and orangutan slow dance.

Matthew Dickman (From All American Poem)

I was in tears after reading it. Thank you Lovely Beary-Boy for drawing my attention to it.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Girl from Ipanema

's got nothing on the boy from Medina. (on "favoriting" onehundredtwentynine days ago and being unable to find the unfavorite button)

Standing on the corner of Sixth & How to Forget

Italy, October

To be here is to be where fruit you have never seen before grows on equally strange trees. The fruit is not, as you first thought, oranges, though it is orange in color. Nor is it a tangerine or some strangely colored apple. Then you see it in the market, each soft fruit cradled in its own nest of woven plastic. Cachi, the sign reads, 200 lire. You hold out a palm of silver, and let the cashier pick warm coins from your waiting hand. Then she wraps your cachi in white paper like a present, which you carry to your hotel, hoping cachi can be safely eaten raw.

In your room, you slice it open, lift the cachi to your lips and find it sweeter than any fruit you've ever tasted, half watermelon, half pressed roses. Only when you've finished, do you think to look up cachi in your pocket Italian dictionary which says it means persimmon. And you remember as a child picking a persimmon at a friend's house, then leaving it all afternoon in your mother's stand-up freezer. Still, when you bit the unripe fruit, your mouth drew up in a pucker from which you—silent person that you are—never did recover. Until today in Sacile when you took a bite of strange fruit.

Now, who knows? You may speak in tongues.

Jesse Lee Kercheval

Depleted Evening

I am almost counting hours until morning and until I can make something of Saturday since Friday I have so-failed. I tried. I did. I went through some clothes. I went thrifting--not great finds save for one fabulous bathrobe from China--that red (L-Bo!) and embroidered on the back. A phonecall that sort of saddened me and then a coffee meeting where I didn't even try to make it fun. I had won tickets to a concert in Nelsonville and should have gone. But I had plans and didn't want to go solo (though I really like that most of the time) but for some reason today, didn't. And this Ashleigh Flynn sounded so great on the radio. And I was Caller Number Four.

Someone posted something about vicissitudes and I thought of them in Annie-light. Every month taking in the scenery and spinning it like the wheel in the middle of the boardgame. What comes up is vicissitude month after month and how many vicissitudes do you count away, before like the twelve beastly increments of the zodiac, you're back at Pisces with its fish swimming both towards and away from themselves, one another, their bodies the hissing s of snakes, their destination always you, always me, always the same, never arriving. Therein lies the difficulty in perpetual vicissituding: how to measure, where you've come from, where you've been and degrees of change in Bettermentberg. I could go for a butter mint, just know. A belief system both creamy-rich and fresh on the tongue. A love affair thrown just in time and landing in sea of ruffles and petticoat-excess. A pinafore of old-time valentines. I'm not even sure what I'm asking for.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Found this out first thing this morning while researching Sylvia for a poem.
And then there was one. Saddest news for Frieda. It must feel as if it never stops happening somehow.

I am going out into the cold sunshine and bringing back a sweet coffee for my spring cleaning extravaganza. Today's basil to be planted in Nicholas' honor.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Beauty in Walking Away

Thursday night, L-Bo, Filo and I went to see our beloved Koogle perform some of his own songs. It was a lovely night and the strange reverberations of seeing someone you once kind of really, really like-liked do something that makes you feel so proud of him and also so protective when now you are a standard audience member with no rights to invest was kind of sad for a minute but then kind of cool. My good fortune at finding the most wonderful, special, rare and talented people always amazes me. I was just telling my favorite bear that today--regarding Veace and her way with words. L-Bo, Filo, Locksmith: all wonders to me and such friends. And my good, pretty, kind bird, I couldn't hope that a big brother would be better to me.
So Koogle hurts a little to see, and sends the air to electric-storm-settings and disturbs, disrupts, (bewitches, bothers, bewilders) but too, through battle after battle and much awkwardness, I can call him friend and he wrote those bright, beautiful songs and he was so all-grown-up up there and it was pretty great and makes me pretty proud of him, of me.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My Sweet Old ee.c

Looking through all my exams notes and the little notebook of quotes I kept just for me and came across all of these. So much of that time was hard to digest, a million books to read, my memory a selective, random, associative thing. Exams, (as dear Abraham once described certain aesthetics)require coming at the wind with hammer and nails. Still, finding this quartered bit of paper and the quotes reminded me how much I still love these words I've married.

why-colored worlds of because

since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you.

tomorrow is our permanent address
and there they'll scarcely find us
(if they do, we'll move
away still further: into now)

you shall above all things
be glad and young
for if you're young whatever life you wear
it will become you; and if you are glad
whatever's living will yourself become

how much more than enough for both of us
darling, and if I sing you are my voice

beware of heartless them
(given the scalpel, they dissect a kiss
or sold the reason, they undream a dream)

(formybff) I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
then teach 10,000 stars how not to dance

nobody, not even the rain,
has such small hands

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Today's Creed

I spend my time and try not to just kill minutes off with a big rock and the dead-eyed, broth-eating, "beige hallways," if I can help it.
They find their way in and they, (for no other life-force to them, and flimsy-souled as they otherwise are) can be persistant and tenacious when they want to apprehend the crayon-box toting, world-reading, soulful souls who are just trying to make a day of each day. We must be as vigilant as we are vibrant. They outnumber us by millions.

For this reason I have twice-Coralined. For this reason, I am going to Jacksonville to run near the water, to the Great Gatsby ballet, to Ireland, to Florida to see that first photo of a little someone for whom I must post the following advice: Eye your time, measure it out in coffee spoons but brew it strong and hearty and serve it to the few-few who deserve it. Make it hot, fair-trade and from good beans, the finest roast. Spend here if you must, they're your days, after all, Little Daisy. And most of all, be vigilant as you are vibrant.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

“The female seer will burn upon this pyre”

Sylvia Plath is setting my hair
on rollers made from orange-juice cans.
The hairdo is shaped like a pyre.

My locks are improbably long.
A pyramid of lemons somehow
balances on the rickety table

where we sit, in the rented kitchen
which smells of singed naps and bergamot.
Sylvia Plath is surprisingly adept

at rolling my unruly hair.
She knows to pull it tight.Few words.
Her flat, American belly,

her breasts in a twin sweater set,
stack of typed poems on her desk,
envelopes stamped to go by the door,

a freshly baked poppyseed cake,
kitchen safety matches, black-eyed Susans
in a cobalt jelly jar. She speaks a word,

“immolate,” then a single sentence
of prophecy. The hairdo done,
the nursery tidy, the floor swept clean

of burnt hair and bumblebee husks.

“The female seer will burn upon this pyre” Copyright �© 2001 by Elizabeth Alexander. Reprinted from Antebellum Dream Book, with the permission of Graywolf Press, St. Paul, Minnesota, www.graywolfpress.org.

I have forgiven Ms. Alexander for the inauguration. It isn't her fault that my Barack likes her best. Besides, after E. Arnold's the poem on Poetry and all the Elizabeth-poetry-chicks' general sensibilities, I feel like my admiration must outweigh my envy. It wouldn't be the first time that my digressive, associative way of connecting disparate entities damned or absolved the whole lot.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

All the streetlights in the city of Me

This morning your mother told me a secret over decaf and too many miles. From 10:45 a.m. on a Saturday morning, Eastern time, you are conceived anew--like a character in a long, long novel--in my story. There is word of you, Little One, all over the country.
I told her how I tried giving up caffeine for few weeks and then I returned and all of the lamps on the avenue of Me re-lit and the little citizens: fedoraed, sundressed, strolling by with stylish dogs and carriages began to move again.
--from Season of White Flies & Diary of a New Sparkle in the Night Sky of Us

The streets were so bodied last night. So sculpted and dense. The very air was shaking with hormones and be in the first weekend of something like spring, the heat of the muscular flesh moving with an awareness of the body, the human form as art and appetite, it's hard to say, but the streets were fairly shivering with desire. It was yummy. The lines to Jeni's out to the street and wrapping the sidewalk as the tongue imagined the strange songs of cherry lambic or olive oil sea salt pepita ice cream rolling tart, bitter, salty meeting sweet and finally butterfat creamy against it.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Loss Dog

My favorite typo of the week and already part of a story where such a hound was needed to wander the streets of sorrow, the aging neighborhoods where the pies baked are the pies of nostalgia and the berries are never the right vintage, too modern in their flavor, geometric on the tongue with the hum and buzz of excess where should be the sound of the screen door, the dazed days of boys on bicycles and the warm palms of his mother falling paradoxically cool on his febrile brow.

Such a neighborhood needs the loss dogs wandering its evening sidewalk, while the boys that ran with them, call for them at dusk and one night, they'll return to them, tags ringing on their collars and the thunk of their tails against the night air clearing a space for summer.

Or this student explaining her missed alarm clock and how the sound finds its way into the dream

I dream about a boat and the alarm is the bell.

I am really, strangely tired today but happy. A good phonecall as I was about to walk out the door to tell me "open the door, have you been out in it yet? it's amazing!" And it is and tonight I will not be able to get that pop song line out of my head with the warm wind blowing the stars around and I do, I really do, want to see you tonight.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Lest I Forget

Here is just the kind of poem I'd share with you were you here.

Letter Composed During a Lull in the Fighting
by Kevin C. Powers

I tell her I love her like not killing
or ten minutes of sleep
beneath the low rooftop wall
on which my rifle rests.

I tell her in a letter that will stink,
when she opens it,
of bolt oil and burned powder
and the things it says.

I tell her how Pvt. Bartle says, offhand,
that war is just us
making little pieces of metal
pass through each other.
Game Night
by Conor O'Callaghan

Love not
being in the loop.

Grant the spruces’ wish,
the golf compound
graying out of use,
suvs in the it lot,
power outage,
a chorus from the quad.

Bless the elsewhere
where others are
not here or you.

And rain
after midnight . . .
Ask yourself,
is that rain or bells?

I began two new of my own. One for Audrey, maybe Cynthia. One for a girl named Emily. And soon, the one about Song of the Lark. With a face of rapt listening...

I am fighting the wooly-horribles today. Sleep. More motion. More poetry, Poetry, prose.