Saturday, October 15, 2011

twist of the peach

don’t look.
there are some things you will just never see anyway
like snow on spiderwebs.

but you can see
four mallards on a freshwater sandbar gobbling,
guzzling, and the momentary dream
of a childhood
dunk in the clear water, waterstriders skating
all around, untouched.

this morning another zillion-legger in the bathroom and as long
as he stays right there on the wall in plain sight
it’s fine by me.

but the floaters, and the latent scary other flaws – no. i don’t find them.
i slop myself to sleep with the mantra “don’t worry. everything’s fine.”
and tell myself later, when the mantra’s not working, “just don’t look
where you’ll see it.” perception
is all.

pick up the peach and just twist it she said
if it’s ripe it’ll split right in half
sometimes even the pit.

i love my house but i long for a moat.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

"Watch for me by moonlight..."

I am obsessed with this lately, listening to it over and over and over and over. Poem by Alfred Noyes, adapted and sung by Phil Ochs. Brilliant marriage of love between imagery and music.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

from a free online psychic reading, the makings of a poem?

In Your Public Life...
Words that embody your presence are "Misadventure, Retribution”
Words that embody things that may be a part of you are "Abandon, Demon, Falcon, Feline, Forge, Libido, Limbo, Mars, Metal, Silk, Urge, Wave, Wine"
Words that embody people or things in your periphery are "Ballet, Bliss, Cage, Community, Devil, Door, Earth, Ebony, Elegance, Fame, Fertility, Finance, Flood, Funk, Gem, Giraffe, Heart, Immunity, Infinity, Ingenuity, Kaleidoscope, Linguistics, Magenta, Mist, Monolith, Pearl, Platinum, Pope, Pride, Profanity, Pursuit, Puzzle, Rabbit, Riddle, Rum, Sculptor, Sea, Ship, Staff, Stage, Steel, Strategy, Technology, Temptation, Trance, Ugliness, Virility, Voyeur"

In Your Private Life...
Words that embody your presence are "Hand, Dance, Job, Red"
Words that embody the people or things that you interact with are "Amulet, Bullet, Cathedral, Despair, Failure, Fashion, Lover, Lust, Money, Pilot, Reason, River, Rocket, School, Sweet, World"
Words that embody things that you may be a part of are "Syzygy"
Words that embody people or things in your periphery are "Obsession, Porcupine, Spotlight, Stability, Torture, University"

In Your Spiritual Life...
Words that embody your presence are "Encyclopedia, Mathematics, Stonehenge, Unknown"
Words that embody people or things in your periphery are "Attraction, Car, Cube, Fall, Fulfillment, Hard, Industry, Luxury, Mercury, Poverty, Rage, Revelation, Satellite, Splendor, Television"

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Let's not get too literal about it, but...

...here is the poem from Wonderbender inspired by this X-Files episode Quagmire....

A Ptarmigan

These two—they have such a pale understanding
of each other—not pale in a washed-out way but pale
as in understated, fine, subtle,
like a pale wine-stain that becomes part of the fabric's design
and would be missed if removed. And here they are,
two people on a very small island (the size, let's say,
of a 1950's convertible), in the dark, in the fog,
with the silken waters lapping
all around, and they are not afraid
exactly, just weary. They've brought with them, as always,
flashlights; one even has a lantern. They have
jackets, waterproof ones, and they have
conversation of an interesting type and they have bright,
bright eyes
in the darkness. They do not touch, for they do not
know each other well, but you can tell they will touch
at some undesignated future point, or would touch
if circumstances demanded it—would touch in a minute—
to save themselves, say, if the water rose too high,
or to huddle together if the wind became too fierce,
or the rain. Or they would touch if the conversation,
now at another interesting juncture—clever, you might say,
although never sarcastic—turned to reveal that one of them
suffered pain. What are they saying? In the cool drift
of the water and the night, delicate words can be heard
on the brine-scented air. One mentions a book, the other pretends
to have read it, but knows enough about it in fact
to be able to ask a fair question. This goes on for some time
and they are growing somewhat cold
and wearier, and although they do not like to admit it,
a little afraid. A ptarmigan dips down through the fog
to look at them, yet they do not kiss. The expressions
on their faces are kind, if puzzled, if bemused. What they do
not know is that the land is just nearby
beyond where the fog drops off and their line of vision
dissolves. They can hear the frogs on shore
beguiling their mates in deep voices,
yet their weariness stops them from believing
they could stretch out their four hands and touch them.

(for Mulder and Scully)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

poem of the day

the disgusting night

door opens across the hall

or the window, perhaps, left pushed up an inch
and then the lunatic across the path

and you’re worried about his beagle
the dog too loud for its skin

the flattened is-it-a-squirrel
next to the green lidded bin

mercy a watch running down all etched in glass
and worth half a million

an enormous bear in the childhood yard
by a rock by a stream in a shed

this is uncalled-for i know.

let it end here.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

another poem from Wonderbender (available at www.1913press.org and amazon.com)

perished gadabout

i asked him what the problem was and he said:

i have been reading. i have been reading the most dismal accounts of vacations in sunny places. also i have this feeling, unaccountably, that there are people i do not know who wrote these accounts and who i will never be able to like. i do not know about their hats, their parents, or their moral habits, and yet i am sure i will not like them. i do not like them now.

he said:

the priest came in and showed us the relics: sixteen toes of saint glossolalia,, nineteen arms of saint anapestus, saint poblermane's twelve white breasts, three precious foreskins from the baby jesus, nine whole and complete bodies of saint wally (though his corpse had been cremated), and one petrified tonsil of mary the mother of god—the only piece left when her body ascended to heaven. he told us that relic-seekers were an especially interesting breed.

and he said: i have perished as a gadabout

i am no longer who i thought i was or would be but i am my own puzzle. everything i say is a surprise to me and an albatross. i have no wingspan nevertheless. the best things i say are flown in an instant and the worst tag behind me. i drag them everywhere.

he said he was sorry. that there was no news.
that he would not be good company today.

Friday, May 13, 2011

here is a poem from wonderbender i've recently gotten cozy with -- a poem about "projecting"


Boiled in brine. This makes me remember Canada. Five or so of us stood in the parking-lot of a bar outside Vancouver and T said "Are you all right?" and he had that look on his face that people get when they say that really meaning "I know you're not all right because of something I've done but I'm going to try to turn it back on you and make you believe you're acting strangely so that you'll get confused and I'll feel better." I've heard it before. But he had this cellophane bag of white peanuts that were boiled in brine and I'd never seen anything like it. I asked him about it. "Local specialties," he said, still looking at me funny. I'd ignored his question. I'd asked one of my own. These things were not permitted. He put on his strange golfing cap and looked back at me once like an owl and got into his car.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Happy 90th Birthday, Richard Wilbur!

I have always loved his poems, and remember vividly the four or five times I saw him read when I lived in Amherst. Had I known it was his 90th birthday earlier this month, I would have baked a cake.  At the very least.  Here is a great article about him:  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704150604576166452338502880.html
Now I must go get out The Mind Reader and Walking to Sleep again....for starters.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Patti Smith signing JUST KIDS at the MFA Boston

Last night the impossibly true Patti Smith had a book signing and gave a "lecture" at the Museum of Fine Arts here in Boston.  The "lecture" (which was much longer than advertised, with a perceived pissy pout and botoxy forced smile  from the museum staff member who had admonished her that there were "just a few minutes" left -- to which Patti replied, before reading, commenting, and singing some more, with just the most pastel hint of  bite, "This will take more than a few minutes") consisted of readings from Just Kids, fascinating commentary on same, several songs with Patti on guitar, moving and frequently hilarious answers to audience Q&A, and the mindblowing finale of Patti taking a few steps back from the microphone, raising her long-fingered swooping hands into the air, and launching into an earthshattering a cappella version of Because the Night, complete with audience participation on the chorus.  Nights like this just do not happen often enough.  [Note to MFA museum administration:  You are supposed to be about art.  Do not tell geniuses who are mesmerizing and inspiring your audiences that they have "just a few minutes left."  The correct comment from you should have been, "Take all the time you'd like."]

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

WONDERBENDER is available from 1913 Press (and other much less intriguing venues)

After a long, wearisome journey through the wildernesses of the publishing world, my latest book, WONDERBENDER, found its true and perfect home:  1913 Press. Founder & Editrice Sandra Doller and Designer & Vice-editor Ben Doller have done the most amazing job presenting these poems to the world.  Please support 1913 Press (you do know the significance of the year 1913, correct?) by purchasing their books and journals directly from them. (By the way, no need to be afraid of PayPal; if you click on the PayPal link you will find you can use your credit card there too -- you don't have to be a member.)  Yessss, you can buy WONDERBENDER and other 1913 Press books in the usual other places, but why would you do that?  You want to support the arts, I'm sure.

Thank you, you three!

Warm recognition of the three poets who so graciously wrote blurbs for Wonderbender…..Here they are (in alphabetical order), so you can get a small taste of their own fine work……As the Coneheads would say, “You will enjoy it!”

Patrick Lawler

Mickey Mantle Sees Isabel Allende Holding the Head of Hermann Hesse as he Dreams of Mother Eve

Laurie Sheck

No summer as yet

John Skoyles


I Don't Pray

I Don't Pray

let me in, let me out

Reading -- March 1