Monday, September 28, 2009

Pumpkin-Lit & Firepit, Come on Baby, Light our Fire

My nephew was born this week on a crisp Sunday afternoon in Ohio, (though otherwise in Tampa where his appearance was made).

Evan George arrived at 2:15 p.m. Seven pounds. Seven ounces and adorable, even his cry is melodic (for now).

My sister went into labor while we our newly-carved jack-o-lanterns were being admired from the street below their second story vantage. One grins lopsidedly, charmingly, art-decoly, knowingly and the other: a bit skewampus, half-pirate-eyed and crooked, indesive-nosed, beamed down on second avenue. (Guess which I did!) Of course.

Thirty hours later, while L-Bo and I dined at North*, a southern star came into its own.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Fare thee well,

Athenian-Boy. Fireworks in rain, firepit fires that lingered in our hair until we washed them away, laughter, a nation of two--almost, an arc of held-hands overhead so from the sky, we must have looked wreathed in us. We were nearly wreathed in us.

It's Autumn, and so much I am happy about. My yard has exploded in periwinkle yamulkes of morning glory. I have my world in order and something amazing, I just know it, is on its way.


It's a dismal day. Too many things to think and the rain, the rain, the rain it's been pouring for days and there's no light to make golden the autumn I look forward to all year long.

But this boy
his mournful NickDrakeian-melancholic voice, the cheesy videos, are what the doctor ordered.

There is something so unapologetically over-the-top that I think too, Antony and the Johnsons and that moves the rain into a moving kind of weather instead of just endless gray drizzle, an anemia of sky and such lethargy.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Yellow Cake Frosting

We are muscle flowers in the shape of marzipan.

We are a trick.

We paint comet after comet onto the faces of cakes,

wipe the nebulae off of our fingers, give them names,

call it assemblage. Call it cross-indexing.

It is too early for fondant.


Whitewash makes me hungry. Astronomy does too.

Wherever we are it is soggy. Wherever I am there are mouthfuls.

Last night I dreamed I made you soup in a steel kitchen.

I sat on your floor and glowed.

Gale Thompson

Monday, September 21, 2009

Friday, September 18, 2009

Driving and driving and listening to poetry

podcasts,the one red barn fifteen miles out, the rest stops I nearly have memorized, stationed in one city and visting the other, now reversed so where I live and where I travel to mean just the opposite. Acceleration, exhileration when some impulsive evening, late winter, found me driving north and fast-fast. We are shuffled like cards but we're fine.

Destinations, VI.

Even after I died, I could not close my eyes
as the tiny empires

pile up their bodies. Four quarters for a dollar, the playground leaves

make small tornadoes of possibility, and at the waterfront
the poor are music as they wash
their pants. Their song and the wind, their song and the wind.

At the waterfront, the slovenly boat comes in and on its side
scrawled in stenciled block letters
is the name of our understanding—seven black-faced laughing gulls call out
the ship’s name in staccato, and it’s true

the water is cast-iron deep and the groan it makes
sounds like what it is: children.

Even after I died I could not close my eyes, not even after I died.

The weather makes crude maps of our emotions, the currents of the sea,
but only for so long. Sometimes, wind moves
so quickly across the bay it’s as if it’s holding it down.
Copyright © 2009 Nick Courtright All rights reserved

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Favorite Recent Student Excuse

"I'm sorry I was late, I was having trouble with my toga."

I gush about this place and I should stop. It's silly how much I like it, how proud I get over even our ribbon-cutting because we had students do the honors.

Tonight, exhaustion, major but after my raisin tarts arrived and made a happy night for their recipient: a major, serious foodie with that indie-musician/Aussie pro-chef ala Hell's Kitchen nonplussed, unimpressable manner, to be asked For A Recipe...well, I am feeling like a rockstar.

Desert Poem ONE

The loneliest road defeats its ranking. Who knows it who

hallelujahs thick air. Thicket of

green air, red air

mountains won’t movie you, little
man. That’s love,

that’s old steel, what
towers, flat land & each

able engineer we’ve known to bits— Josiah, two
trinkets, still

reel, what

crosses Texas in a low-slung solar car or

vexes next— here’s that
piece of us,

our eggy hunk. Josiah,

we hate or think we should hate

all of Amarillo.

---Stacy Kidd

Monday, September 07, 2009

The Heart Under Your Heart
Who gives his heart away too easily must have a heart
under his heart.
—James Richardson

The heart under your heart
is not the one you share
so readily so full of pleasantry
& tenderness

it is a single blackberry
at the heart of a bramble
or else some larger fruit
heavy the size of a fist

it is full of things
you have never shared with me
broken engagements bruises
& baking dishes

the scars on top of scars
of sixteen thousand pinpricks
the melody you want so much to carry
& always fear black fear

or so I imagine you have never shown me
& how could I expect you to
I also have a heart beneath my heart
perhaps you have seen or guessed

it is a beach at night
where the waves lap & the wind hisses
over a bank of thin
translucent orange & yellow jingle shells

on the far side of the harbor
the lighthouse beacon
shivers across the black water
& someone stands there waiting

Craig Arnold

Friday, September 04, 2009

In the early morning dreams we are not the man but the walking stick, steadying the gait, dug into the hard ground. A pond where we fish and fish unable to reel in again our life. Our boomerangs fly south v-patterned and one of us stopped waiting--but which? August gone autumn, so when, already, do leaves fall away? We meant instead: The Stay-Tree, the Believe-Again Grove. We cycle out into the night, watch the sky for a flock of returns, fish a lake where the forgive-fins shimmer in the late summer moonglow. No body flipping into the sidewalk, the betraying bicycle, sadistic sprinklers, we have hit the ground but only one of us is running.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Evening at Home

The eye that closes at dusk
winks a dark conspiracy. You reach

through the hanging between us. The russet
mums beside the front stoop gather

the fading light tenderly, like a worn wallet
molded to fit a hip, a granddaughter's

portrait in cellophane. Like creeping shadows,
yellow maple leaves descend the steps.

Look how the stem and lobes drift
and curl inward, curl like fingers closing

in a grasp. How do we know the season
enhances us? We touch lips, essences.

The rusty mums lose their color in
the purple pulse of evening. Clemmie,

we are the flowers' stained petals blooming
toward a frost we cannot predict, cannot stay.

Copyright © 2009 Arthur Madson All rights reserved
And the Crow Makes Wing to the Rooky Wood

Wings of moss, the fabric of this place where
lambs toward evening chew upon their damp green
grasses till each ewe's distinctive call, then
butt under the belly to nurse. Mother—
a sparrow hurls his dawn song at our wall.
Those droplet fingers I nuzzled, your linen
shroud, all becoming mossed—only for an
hour or so at a time can I feel whole.
What thrift, this tide incoming among lined
limpets whose pale blue circles are left behind.
A sand like honeycomb: presence and absence
from me. . . and she moved through the fair. Listen—
will you hear field blackbirds, the way they dance,
tap with their feet, pretending they are rain.

Copyright © 2009 Elizabeth Biller Chapman All rights reserved
from Light Thickens
My Childhood Love And Countryman, As Gypsies We Must Roam Forever. But Perhaps The Fates Do Not Foresake Us, And Our Travels Can Be Together.

"Maybe I should make coffee, make do with what's left

of the night..."

Instead I making antipasto, believe and an attempt at a willful amnesia. Three more tomatoes came into their blush today. My herbs are all wild and green and most days I think that I make much happiness out of little: a dinner at The Blue Danube, the memory of large laughter and colored lights, the hope that things do not shadow us for nothing, for years and years and years, for nothing.

I am working on a new story, trying to edit my poetry collection and dreaming The Pumpkin Show.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

All NC, All the Time

Elegy for the Builder's Wife

Slow build, houses where thousands live,
skeletons of houses without roofs, without walls,

houses like strange bones rising along red paths
we've always walked but will not walk again—

these are like sheets that will never feel the skin,
the white silences made most desperate

amongst so many indistinct voices,
when her red throat gently closes up.

In her hands the geraniums shake like railroads,
the plaster skin of walls becomes unattached

and a great wave draws back, making naked
the unknown earth beneath the sea, only

to close it off again. We are the builders
trembling under a bridge, pouring the gray rock

as her death calls through the din,
and he remembers nothing but what he whims.

I have shut off the grove, and the light.
For once I allow the night
its effect on every bowing branch. When I say
you are enormous, I mean you are the tree.

On the path the dogs have come
and gone, their tails whipping like emeralds
thrown in the time after money. The dogs lay
beneath the leaves, eating oranges.

The oranges could be you. The oranges could be.
The oranges could be you as a dog
or you as a fierce cup of a thousand leaves.
Those thousand leaves watch the night, too.

But today, let's not lie. Let's fall
into a stark raving madness, like children
whose hands are on fire. We can watch them
as they fly through the grove,

Nick Courtright