Saturday, November 26, 2011

Too lazy to be ambitious

Too lazy to be ambitious
by Ryokan

Too lazy to be ambitious,
I let the world take care of itself.
Ten days' worth of rice in my bag;
a bundle of twigs by the fireplace.
Why chatter about delusion and enlightenment?
Listening to the night rain on my roof,
I sit comfortably, with both legs stretched out.

Patience

Patience
by Tony Hoagland

'Success is the worst possible thing that could happen
to a man like you,' she said,
'because the shiny shoes, and flattery
and the self-
lubricating slime of affluence would mean
you’d never have to face your failure as a human being.'

There was a rude remark I could have made back to her right then
and I watched it go by like a bright blue sailboat
on a long gray river of silence,
watching it until it disappeared around the bend

while I smiled and listened to her talk,
thinking it was good to let myself be stabbed by her little spears,
because I wanted to see what I was made of

besides fear and the desire to be liked
by every person on the goddamn face of the earth —

To tell the truth, I felt a certain satisfaction in taking it,

letting her believe that I was just a little bird
opening my mouth and swallowing
the medicine she wanted to administer
— a mixture of good advice combined with slow-acting poison.

Is it strange to say that there was something beautiful
in the sight of her running wild, cut loose in an
epileptic fit of telling the truth?

And anyway, she was right about me,
that I am prone to certain misconceptions,

that I should never get so big or fat that I
can’t look down and see my own naked dirty feet,

which is why I kept smiling and smiling as she talked —.

It was a beautiful day. I felt like crying.

I knew that if I could succeed at being demolished,
I could succeed at anything.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

How It Ends

How It Ends
by Andrea Gibson

It has been 3 years
10 months
And 27 days
Since the first time I saw you naked
Since the night you ripped off your shirt
Stuck your boobs in my face and said
Touch them
I touched them like a diabetic third grader opening a Snickers bar
You said
Hard
I thought, Yes I am
But you are so soft
I said, Your lips, they’re like whale blubber
That wasn’t my best line
But it worked

Tonight in the grocery store I found one of your hairs in my underwear
I pulled it out in the frozen foods section and screamed
That is so gorgeous it could kill a man!
Good thing I’m a leprechaun
Lucky…
Lucky…

Baby, I have no idea how this will end
Maybe the equator will fall like a hula hoop from the Earth’s hips
And our mouths will freeze mid-kiss on our 80th anniversary
Or maybe tomorrow my absolute insanity
Combined with the absolute obstacle course of your communication skills
Will leave us like a love letter
In a landfill

But whatever
However
Whenever this ends I want you to know
That right now
I love you forever

I love you for the hardest mile we walked together
For the day I collected every sharp knife in the house
And threw them one-by-one on the roof
And told the sun
Listen, show-off!
From now on, you better only give me blades of grass
Things that are growing and soft
‘Cause there’s this girl who says she wants to float on her back
Through my bloodstream
And when she does
I want my rivers to reach the sea

Do you hear me, lover?
Do you know the night you told me about a crush on my ears?
I swore to never become Van Gogh
And look, baby
They’re both still there
Just like my firefly heart is still right there in your glass jar
I never trusted anybody more to poke enough holes in the lid

So in the nights you sleep like a ballerina
I try to snore like a piccolo
And I press my lips to your holy temples
And I say
I crash into things in the dark
Even when the lights are on
And I am wrong more often than I am writing
And even then I am often wrong

But when my friends are in the bathroom at the bar
Rolling dollar bills into telescopes and claiming they can see God
I will come to you
Holding my grandmother’s Bible
I will press it to your chest
And I will bless it with your breath
And when you ask if I want to role-play altar boys fucking in the church kitchen during Sunday mass
I will say, Hell yes
But only if you leave a hickey on my ass in the shape of Jesus’ palm
So I can be sure I got nailed
Down

Lover, you will never lose me to the wind
You are the lightning that made me fill my chest with candles
You are the thunder clapping for the poem that nobody else wants to hear
You are an icicle’s tear
Water in a tulip on the first day of spring
You melt me alive
You kiss me deep as my roots will reach and I want nothing more
Than to be an eyelash fallen on your cheek
A thing collected by your fingers
And held like a wish
I promise whatever I do
I will always try my best
To come true