Friday, July 24, 2015

Lacoste IV

Lacoste IV 
by Marilyn Hacker
from Love, Death and the Changing of the Seasons 

It's almost as if we're already there,
in the narrow stone house, me upstairs
writing at the splintery pine table,
you in the downstairs study, with its cradle
of a marriage bed, slit window looking
into the Buniols' herb garden. I'm cooking
a sonnet sequence and a cassoulet
with goose from Carcassonne, let mijoter 
on the burner till nightfall. The vow
of silence breaks at seven. It's noon now.
Pleasure delayed is pleasure amplified
-- I'll show you these bitch Welsh quatrains I've tried.
It's your turn to work outdoors in the sun
on the roof -- your footsteps, and the last line's done.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

from Edward the Dyke ii

Elephant poem
by Judy Grahn

Suppose you have an elephant
with a 56 milimeter trunk
and say he’s
                                Tearing up the jungle
(say you think he’s drunk
or crazy)
How’re you going to bring that elephant down?
lion can’t
bear could but don’t want to
and the panther’s too small for that job.

Then suppose you have an elephant
with a million millimeter trunk
and his jungle is the whole green world?
(and drunk
and crazy)
you see the problem.
                                                                one more word
about elephants

No matter how hard they try
elephants cannot pick their noses
any more than bankers can hand out money
or police put away their pistols
or politicians get right with God.

a sty
in the elephant’s eye
ain’t nothing
but a fly in his nose
is a serious if not fatal condition
when the fly gets into that nostril
it begins to swell
and stay closed
he cant smell cant drink cant think
can’t get one up
on anybody
he begins to regret
all that flabby ammunition
hanging on him
he begins to wish
he’d been a little more bare-faced
like an ape or a fish
all those passageways
he needs to feed himself
tied up

by a fly
a million flies
outweigh a trunk
a tank
a bank
a million flies
outthink a pile of IBM

we must be wise
to the elephant’s lies
you may think we should try
to sober him up
but the trouble isn’t that he’s drunk
the trouble is
that he’s an elephant
with multi millimeter trunk
who believes the world is his jungle
and until he dies
he grows and grows

we must be flies
in the elephant’s nose
ready to carry on
in every town
you know there are butterflies
there are horse flies and house flies
blue flies, shoo flies, and it’s-not-
true flues
then there are may flies and wood flies
but I’m talking about
can flies & do flies
bottle flies, rock flies and sock flies
dragon flies and fireflies
in the elephant’s nose
ready to carry on
til he goes down

from Edward the Dyke

[prologue to Edward the Dyke and other poems]
by Judy Grahn

I'm not a girl
   I'm a hatchet
I'm not a hole
   I'm a whole mountain
I'm not a fool
   I'm a survivor
I'm not a pearl
   I'm the Atlantic Ocean
I'm not a good lay
   I'm a straight razor
look at me as if you had never seen a woman before
I have red, red hands and much bitterness

Ed.: text copied from this file, title unclear.

Monday, February 2, 2015

The Monster Hour

The Monster Hour 
By Zach Schomburg

On the Monster Hour, there was this monster that used to
come out and try to kill everybody in the audience. No one
expected it, not even the producers who were told by the
monster he would play a few blues tunes on the piano. The
monster apologized after each show and asked for another
chance. I’m planning on telling a few jokes this time he would say.
But time after time he’d break his word and try to kill everybody.
The producers finally replaced him with a gorilla dressed in people
clothes that came out and played a Wurlitzer, but they never
changed the name of the show. It was always the Monster Hour.
I don’t think anyone understood then what a monster really was.


By Laura Jensen

Flour is exhaustion.
There’s always some
in the bag’s bottom.

Butter is pain
and in the heat
it can only weep.

Salt is tears,
and cheap.

Onions are the same tunes
to their centers,
always singing to me.
It is their faith
that makes me cry—
they think I’ll stop cutting.

Milk is a satisfied whisper.
are harmony, one-two,
and won’t subdue
their shape to the bowl.
The child won’t subdue
his shape to the shoe.

And the oven
is vast to the toast,
stingy to the turkey.

Broom is the purr
without the cat.
Candles are clever,
clever, clever—
like the cat stretching up
to the handle of the door.

Bones won’t go,
bones won’t turn
into a rib cage,
find the leg bones,
and go.

Sweetie pie, why
go out with the ashes?
Cookie, why?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

To Have Without Holding

To have without holding
by Marge Piercy

Learning to love differently is hard,
love with the hands wide open, love
with the doors banging on their hinges,
the cupboard unlocked, the wind
roaring and whimpering in the rooms
rustling the sheets and snapping the blinds
that thwack like rubber bands
in an open palm.

It hurts to love wide open
stretching the muscles that feel
as if they are made of wet plaster,
then of blunt knives, then
of sharp knives.

It hurts to thwart the reflexes
of grab, of clutch ; to love and let
go again and again. It pesters to remember
the lover who is not in the bed,
to hold back what is owed to the work
that gutters like a candle in a cave
without air, to love consciously,
conscientiously, concretely, constructively.

I can’t do it, you say it’s killing
me, but you thrive, you glow
on the street like a neon raspberry,
You float and sail, a helium balloon
bright bachelor’s button blue and bobbing
on the cold and hot winds of our breath,
as we make and unmake in passionate
diastole and systole the rhythm
of our unbound bonding, to have
and not to hold, to love
with minimized malice, hunger
and anger moment by moment balanced.