Wednesday, August 19, 2009

In the thick dark I nose
toward the salt-smelling blood. It goes

swimming in all directions when I bite.
Above is the too-bright

where steel-fin moves from thin
to thick and back again.

It is the quickest swimmer I've seen.
The slowest blood stays close to sand, in the green-

tinted thin where the bottom stays lit.
Sometimes I get a taste of it.

Heather Hamilton!
from Verse Daily

Thursday, August 13, 2009

As You Like It

Saturday is Shakespeare in the Park and Friday a night picnic (as Clementine would say "they're different: night picnics" as midnight breakfast tastes different (even if the same food exactly) because it is midnight breakfast.

O My Darling O My Darling

This is the day we met...Wow, how odd, I'm drawn to someone's back...
I don't ever know what to say.
I'm Clementine.
Can I borrow a piece of your chicken?
Then you just took it, without waiting for an answer.
It was so intimate, like we were already lovers...
I think your name is magical.
This is it, Joel,it's gonna be gone soon.
I know.
What do we do?
Enjoy it.

And in real life...
In real life we rarely know to enjoy it, rarely know it will be gone soon, too soon always, no matter how long, if it matters at all, it's too soon.
Tonight is a lonely thing, sniffing around every beach in winter I miss and I've missed. I'm restless, want to slip this town, this skin, this fading summer.

This movie always makes me hungry for places and people and time.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Congratulations to Stephanie Rogers!

Our beloved Steph has once again dazzled the masses with her genius.
No news to me that she is (one of) the Best New Poets of 2009 but it needs to recognized, anthologized, known that her poems are well, they're greased lightning.

Look for her here
& here
& soon to be everywhere and I would like credit for saying that Steph Rogers is no new genius in my book. No, I have known because I do know amazing when I see it, and like these Johnnycomelately Best New Poets peeps, I know what to do it when I see it, which is why Ms. Steph is worth all the bullshit she can dish up and believe me when I say to you, this girl can dish, can she ever dish.

But I am lucky to know her and lucky to read her here first. So there.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Found this and had to take the silly putty of my tongue and lift it

Your tongue is shaped how lizards change color and I like to hear you read my words and I don't care who else you've touched and I don't care that the fondness handcuffs me and If you were a pair of pants that were too large I would gain weight in the winter time and wear you out and If you were a caged locker room and I was a young animal in young fur I'd get naked inside of you and I wouldn't be ashamed to hard wire your vestibular bulbs to my brainstorms or drill my lightning in to you to power you and lay my impressions across your forehead and If you were a weather balloon I'd bellow a thunder you could understand from end to end and Maybe I'd let you float through my violence but All this talk makes me want a massage and marijuana and I want to know the way around it and It makes me want to gum the the blood of my fat mind with your corn starch because You love corn and when I claw my way north like winter and hide on the surface of your gloves our Sleep is six of our ten commandments for drinking the slow hours and never getting distracted by what's passing definition down the pue and up The dangerous powers that yield our crosswalk grind me against the pillow in your name and My fat mind is young and knows it and likes to be served too hot for consumption and Your daring coyness enthralls me like why do you stand there and Who put your legs like that and I'd eat without utensils if your cake body was at the wedding I attended and I'd abridge nothing to live the fat fantasy of barking and drooling and reading and Out the door you'd go with the sun shining through your gravy and It moves slow and mechanically like a pinwheel in a tar pit and it's beautiful and I want my face an inch from yours and I want the breath of every morning we've shared to be put in a spoon so that I can freebase it and Feed my fat heart little bubbles of air from your fat lungs But the iron eyelashes of our real lives stop us from really getting close enough to dig our fingertips in to each other but I don't mind ignoring that because it hurts much less than pretending like I don't care about you

©2009 ~lasagnabomb
Night at the Fair Once again the fair–but differing from the fair of the afternoon as a girl in the daytime differs from her radiant presentation of herself at night. The substance of the cardboard booths and plaster palaces was gone, the forms remained. Outlined in lights, these forms suggested things more mysterious and entrancing than themselves, and the people strolling along the network of little Broadways shared this quality, as their pale faces singly and in clusters broke the half darkness.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Not new-news but felt like indulging myself this blah-day

ELIOT KHALIL WILSON of Norfolk, Virginia

The Tailor of Al Hamdaniyah

Because he wore a suit and seemed
of high-value and would name no terrorists,
knowing none, they stripped and hooded the old man,
the village tailor, and hung him by his wrists
from a mulberry tree that grew by the river

The old man knew only thank you and please
in English which he said through the night
to the sound of the Tigris and the sound of the wind.

He hung from the tree, strange fruit, five days.
Piñata man or Muslim ham, the Americans called him
and burned his feet with their lighters
when he seemed to sleep
Five days it took for his brother to get word

and travel to Mosul and bring his release
but by then the hands of the tailor had ripened.
His hands had changed, like the fruit of the tree,

from white to red to withered black and past saving.
They carried him to the clinic and cut them off.
Nine hundred dollars they issued him,

to which he said neither thank you nor please.

Henri Cole on Eliot Khalil Wilson

There is something close to the vivid cruelty of an Hieronymus Bosch painting in some of the poems of Eliot Khalil Wilson, where we encounter a pilot dropping incendiary bombs, a gunner shooting children and dogs (but not women or birds—"Bad luck.... Even when they are dead, they remember."), a village tailor stripped and hooded, hung from a tree like a "Piñata Man," and a man thrown from a helicopter. Yet even while depicting Bosch-like experiences from the "Descent of Man into Hell," Khalil Wilson, in his unforgettable poems, deploys a voice that has the sympathetic beauty of candlelight and of singing in darkness.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

by Octavio Quintanilla

I wait for you in a room
where the howls of dogs are mute.
Here, where there's no flight.
Where the clock gathers your eyelashes
with its tongue.

I wait for you without daybreak,
naked because everything is hunger,
thirsty because you have named everything.

I wait for you as your mother fills
my forehead with kisses. She discovers
my poverty and her tongue turns to foam
when she says I am lucky.

There's no such thing as luck.
There's waiting and this life
that never shuts up. It falls in love
with my blood.

Owns the cry that I swallow.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Spider Lily Love

Talking to my buddy Kate today and thinking about this flower again, the sudden firework on a stem, like if flowers were a carnival treat, these would that: sprouting crazy, sputtering petals like sparklers off a green stick, the leafless stem that seems too thin to hold such a storm of petal.
The Velocity of Love

1. Particle Physics

On the scale we're now talking,
we know nothing is solid,

matter riddled with the fretwork
of subatomic tumult.

Even the smooth, gold bands
we've wrapped around our fingers

are turbulent inside
as the rings of Saturn,

that orbiting debris field
that was once a moon, broken up

by the tug and welter
of gravitational tides.

Even our bodies,
which we vowed in unison

to love for all our days,
are made up

on their deepest level
of a chaotic stew of particles

that don't answer to anything
but a conflicting set of rules:

to attract when apart
but once linked, repel.

2. The Uncertainty Principle

We know now that we can't know
the velocity of love

at the same time
that we pin down its position.

Measuring changes everything.
Being able to say

where love stands
alters its momentum.

No wonder it makes me nervous
to mark our seventh year together,

spreading out a blanket
under the bright dice of stars

where those that burn hottest
are the most prone to going out

in a supernova explosion,
Rigel in Orion

or Polaris in The Bear,
someday vanishing from the story

where we imagined them
linked forever.

No wonder it makes me nervous,
knowing what we know

about Schrödinger's cat
and how the stars,

in whose light
our love shimmers tonight,

may or may not
be already dead.

3. Towards a Unified Field

The universe may be made of music
after all, countless

miniscule strands of energy
vibrating and bombinating

in a subatomic hum
where we thought nothing was.

Unruly music,
lurking under the level

of the Planck scale:
the bosons and gluons,

the messenger particles
love can still set thrumming

in your body, mine,
the superpartners

with their incompatible spins
held moment-

in a delicate symmetry.

Isn't that how we hold
each other these days,

the way breath
can be held,

or the strings
they're now saying

might make everything

but aren't necessarily tied
to anything.

Copyright © 2009 Kate Gleason All rights reserved
Delivering Eggs to the Girls' Dorm

For me it was the cherry blossoms flooding
Olive Street and softening the dawn,
the windows flung open in a yawn,
billowing curtains pregnant with the breeze,
the sounds of Procul Harum entering the air,
and fifty girls rising in their underwear.

O lost love. My girl and I had just split up.
The leaves of chestnut trees were rinsed in black,
the wind moaned grief, the moon was on the rack.
Humped over, stacking egg-crates in my Ford,
I was Charles Laughton ringing bells at Notre Dame--
spurned, wounded, but still in love with Sheila Baum.

Arriving at the gates of paradise,
I rang the service bell to wait on
Mrs. Cornish in her saintly apron
fumbling at the door, and the raucous gush
of female voices when she opened it. The flour
in her beard announced the darkness of the hour:

You're late. The hiss of bacon, pancake batter
as it kissed the grill, were a swarm of snakes to warn
the innocent away. Inside were virgins born,
like Sheila Baum, to stay that way. Outside
stood the egg man, despairing in his oval fate:
fifty girls staring, eggless, at an empty plate.

They may still be staring there. For emptiness
became my theme, sweeping eggshells
from my car, driving empty streets, fall's
cherry trees as bare as dormitory walls
washed by September rains. And the bells of Notre Dame
were as still as the broken shell of my dream of Sheila Baum.

B.H. Fairchild (as gracious & authentic as he is talented--reminds me of my favorite, living poet...)

From Bear 2 Bear

The More Loving One
W.H. Auden

Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.

How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.

Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.

Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.