Monday, April 20, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
Friday, June 6, 2008
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
- William Butler Yeats, "The Second Coming"
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Monday, May 26, 2008
Unknown faces in the street
And winter coming on. I
Stand in the last moments of
The city, no more a child,
Only a man, -- one who has
Looked upon his own nakedness
Without shame, and in defeat
Has seen nothing to bless.
Touched once, like a plum, I turned
Rotten in the meat, or like
The plum blossom I never
Saw, hard at the edges, burned
At the first entrance of life,
And so endured, unreckoned,
Untaken, with nothing to give.
The first Jew was God; the second
Denied him; I am alive.
- Philip Levine, "The Turning"
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Monday, May 5, 2008
The people Jesus loved were shopping at The Star Market yesterday. Even after his bags were packed he still stood, breathing hard and had declared a day off for the able-bodied, and I had wandered in Jesus must have been a saint, I said to myself, looking for my lost car out of caves or crawled from the corners of public baths on their hands If I touch only the hem of his garment, one woman thought, I will be healed.
An old lead-colored man standing next to me at the checkout
breathed so heavily I had to step back a few steps.
hawking into his hand. The feeble, the lame, I could hardly look at them:
shuffling through the aisles, they smelled of decay, as if The Star Market
with the rest of them: sour milk, bad meat:
looking for cereal and spring water.
in the parking lot later, stumbling among the people who would have
been lowered into rooms by ropes, who would have crept
and knees begging for mercy.
Could I bear the look on his face when he wheels around?
The people Jesus loved were shopping at The Star Market yesterday.
Even after his bags were packed he still stood, breathing hard and
had declared a day off for the able-bodied, and I had wandered in
Jesus must have been a saint, I said to myself, looking for my lost car
out of caves or crawled from the corners of public baths on their hands
If I touch only the hem of his garment, one woman thought, I will be healed.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Sunday, February 17, 2008
The clouds sank down
down to the pavement
between five and seven tonight
taillight soup, headlight soup
we were swimming in fog light soup
down the highway in a daze
watching for the dim light
down the road, in the distance
- Raymond A. Foss, "Taillight Soup"
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Saturday, January 5, 2008
Friday, January 4, 2008
To want to write, but to lack words.
More accurately, to lack some
thing to feel.
desk, cars outside
proving themselves on the hill,
smoke from burning fields
slipping unnoticed under the sun
until someone drowns
in his own breath.
To listen for some wind.
To feel responsible for listening
and to be unmoved, an air sock
limp as an unfilled dunce's cap
waiting some change in the weather,
something full as the river
you fished last weekend
and then swimming saw
grazing on stones
the flickering trout steady
as mobiles suspended
on more levels
than you thought water
- Ingrid Wendt, "Feeling Dry"
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Marilyn Monroe wasn’t Jean Harlow.
Jayne Mansfield wasn’t Marilyn Monroe.
Anna Nicole Smith wasn’t Jayne Mansfield.
Thankfully, there is only one Britney Spears.
But know, whoever you are,
whatever your gender, hair color, physique,
within you there does reside an unhappy blonde
archetype with enormous breasts.
It is her you need to contact.
- Elaine Equi, "#4 The Girl Can’t Help It (Jayne Mansfield unbuttons her blouse)" via Silliman's Blog
Sunday, December 23, 2007
My living will, waiting to be signed,
sits next to an old New Yorker
it's my ritual to read with breakfast
each morning, to finish
one issue before going to the next,
and this way I skip
the news merely timely—October 2004
with a fundraiser bringing Kerry
within blocks of President Bush
proves painful in December '05
but fast turning to find Graham Greene
his authorized biography reviewed,
I'm relieved, though perplexed, by
Because of an ambiguous comma
in a document Greene signed on his deathbed
other scholars were forbidden to quote . . .
and I wonder as I slowly eat
my oatmeal with raisins and cranberries
and four summer blueberries
I pick from their bag in my freezer,
gathering what pleases me, a woman of 73
with a will nearby, if I might not like
lingering in an ambiguous comma
someday, not rushing
to an afterlife I don't believe in,
drifting dreamily, held
for a day or two in its pause.
- Myra Shapiro, "Because of the Ambiguity"
Friday, December 21, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
I am your pilgrim, who wanders You are too difficult to love So I keep your shrine, the best of you, I am a stubborn priest, who knows himself - Val Vinokur, "Your Worship"
to stay home; your monk,
who keeps silent when you demand
confessions and theology.
directly; you have no roof
or floor, and I am too pious
for your rain and mud.
the clean, the smiling rest of you.
only in the dwindling oil of you,
the weeping and rebellious flame
about to die.
I am your pilgrim, who wanders
You are too difficult to love
So I keep your shrine, the best of you,
I am a stubborn priest, who knows himself
- Val Vinokur, "Your Worship"