Thursday, March 25, 2010

O Bless You & Bless You & A-choo

Spoke with Evan on Skype tonight. He sneezed and his mommy and I both blessed him, which made him strangely-happy. He likes when things he does get response. He claps, I clap, I sing the little Greek song about clapping and braided Greek cookies in paper (koulourakia) brought home by the daddy. My own Daddy taught Evan the song, just as he taught Evy's mommy and her sisters which is yours truly, for one.

Yours truly is watching life steamroll in at the speed of well, something. Things she can't say here and things she can't say yet but there are life revolutions afoot, everywhere.

For now there are words and I have had some rattling around and some falling inkily-thud to the page. There will be more. There will be more. But the blog, is the blog a thing I use to keep things like wildflowers trapped between panes of glass? Is it a place I spoke to/from when loneliest? I am some things more than others but the loneliness tree does not grow tall in me. I can point to where it's planted, it will always stand but... I have lost the urge to say what I can't or shouldn't yet say.

But not to share beauty. My favorite phonecalls are the ones where Kat, Liz or Veace; The Bear, the Spoon, or even the old friend SF used to call in a poem to me. We would find something so urgently-beautiful that we rushed to share it, so pressing was the need to carry it to someone else.

How to Say I Love You
On evenings when my dogs and I circle the block,
if I am guilty of anything,

it's being distracted by the streetlamp.

I am visible in it.

If I look directly at the lamp, I can't see the stars.
I don't need the stars anymore?
I used to think

I'd cavern you, and grotto you, waterfall you,
and immense-rock you, solitude you

until rain Bristled the evening, lit
our roof to singing—

And of thinking too hard about what to say
when we're home from our walk:

my wife: welcome home high-wires
and habitual nightmares, lonely woes
and wooden shoes!

Copyright © 2010 Gary L. McDowell All rights reserved

Monday, March 22, 2010


One of those "Amelie" moments came to me today in the form of an old candy that no one recalled but me.

The scene I am referencing is the one where in a phone booth, our heroine sees to it that the older man finds the tin full of his treasures from forty years previous. My moment was not so large and moving but it was pure nostalgia. As a child I recalled Flicks for their design and the vibrant foil tubes. The chocolate was, in fact, chocolate-flavored and even years ago, it tasted kind of cheap but uniquely itself. But the tubes, like kaleidoscopes in shape, like special, exotic gifts: metallicly-red, gold, green and blue. Stacked together they were a wonderful xylophone or the satisfying cylinders of a pipe organ. In any case, they moved me, reminded me of lives and theatres gone by of Evanston, Wyoming's one Strand Theatre that held all the town's romantic secrets on any given Friday night. Of the young girl always on the outskirts of everything, waiting in line.
Stray Paragraphs, February, Year of the Rat
After Charles Wright

Why we resist coming after, coming second, coming late
but not last
I cannot say, but we seem to, though we should root to, if we
had the sense of a brush pile, or the squirrels.

There are no gifts that are not dowries; etym- and archaeologies
like the first divorce—the division of day from night,
that coin of solace and
precursor to the watershed, to the neighborhood's
downward contours—define where everything runs
and where runoffs deposit their wrack lines.

What accumulates is not a reason, not debris but tablature,
adagia, apologia, full-stops and half-lives along with twigs and trash,
notations scratched-out in unremarkable fashion.
We have commissioned a longitudinal study, so give it time,

but try to avoid that ur-emphasis poets put on being,
where what is best left unaccented they prod into becoming
something else,
a thing at all, that wants nothing anyway, more or less,

like our lost baby, our would-be who would-not-be,
who will miss the seventh moon's scheduled swell
but asks for no condolence.
February, old rite-monger, this is how you will be welcomed,
in the name of those who won't be.

Ignore my firstborn, as I cannot, as he pries up the corner
of the living room rug
to reveal the filthy tape, the wood floor's bright parts,
and nothing else
the naked eye can see, however suggestive.
Even so it ties the room together
in a way you cannot, or will not, willfully bereft
of origins, middle sister who, like us,
awaits recombination, some saving throw, mitochondrial.

Copyright © 2009 John Estes All rights reserved

Friday, March 19, 2010

Sans Loneliness

Have I nothing to say? I would like to think not but it's been hard to keep the blog going. April, with its poetry month challenge, that should get me back. Until then, or soon, or the next pretty I find to share.

Today I househunt, enjoy the sunlight that is, the grief almost blown-over for my Bronte, and how last Saturday she lingered still and I had to let her go.

That letting go seems to be the way lately. Something so long considered and then, a phonecall, a bit of news, a ripe May and so much changes in a day.

Not Yet
Give me, if you will, a little time
To understand how meanings come and go,
Resembling ants converging at an anthill
And then dispersing, each with work to do.
Meanwhile, the anthill rises and expands.
The sun comes out. The days grow ever shorter.

Give me time to sense how meanings perish
Like plums left unattended in a bowl.
Because their lives were finite in the first place,
That spreading mold should come as no surprise.
So it is with meanings, I suppose,
Though how and why I've yet to understand.

Copyright © 2009 Ben Howard All rights reserved
from Leaf, Sunlight, Asphalt
Salmon Poetry

Sunday, March 07, 2010

"In the Middle of the Night

Sam rolled to my side of the bed and I pretended a sleep deeper than the one that I began so that I could feel his extra hold on me, the kiss into my hair that lingered a beat or two longer and said in no-words, I cherish you.

One night he pulled me so tightly against him, I thought he knew something tragic about me, was so close to me that he could see my blood's betrayals, some wild cell marking my demise.

There were whole tiny villages inside me even then, imaginary and dreamed up by imaginary characters living behind my spleen each of which held small flags in the street parades held in Sam's honor--even before his death. I am not worried now that if I should someday love again that the strangeness of the widowed will leave its obsessive fragrance clinging to me in ways that will cause anyone the slightest discomfort. The bond that I had to Sam, preposterous as it might sound, runs umbilical cords made of solid steel from each of the town's residents straight to him even now. They are that removed, those townspeople dreamed up by the dreamed-up villagers living in a burrough behind my real but unseeable spleen, that removed and that constant."