Sunday, May 24, 2009

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Menage a trois

My first class left a little early. He came in, hesitant. I need for someone look my grammar, he said, holding out a sheet of paper the color of old mushrooms. His hand was dirty, his coat, his clothes. You teacher? he asked. You could help me with the English? I nodded. I am plumer an electricin, his paper began. Sometime I like my work but is dangerus. Very busy putting heavy pipe.

I wrote in missing words, corrected the spelling, made him read it aloud. Sonetines, he read. I stopped him, made him say sometimes, hum the mmmm. He practiced humming then asked if he could stay in the room to copy his paper over. He wrote slowly, keeping his eyes on the words, as if they might slip away. Midway, without looking up, he asked if I’d read Heningway.

Hemmmingway, I said. Mmmm.

Mmmm. He smiled, or half smiled, hiding bad teeth. He’d read the one about the man with the fish, read it in Spanish. Did I like teach literature, he asked. I loved to teach it, I said, stressing the to. I was a poet, I added. I loved Neruda; did he know Neruda?

Both hands flew to his heart. His smile forgot to hide his teeth. And he gave me Neruda, the last of the twenty love poems, his voice rising, his face like the old man’s when he feels the fish take, feels the line running, running, taut, sure, his.
The Lesson by Lynne Knight

Like a DQ Blizzard

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Please, I've done everything I was supposed to do. Can I go home now?

When the last living thing
Has died on account of us,
How poetical it would be
If Earth could say,
In a voice floating up
From the floor
Of the Grand Canyon,
"It is done.
People did not like it here."

The last lines that Kurt Vonnegut wrote, in his last book.

Work on your posture, I hear her eyes tell me

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

As you crawl into your corner, I sit awake

What beautiful stillness.
This is not
what I had expected. I have already seen you succumb
to kaleidoscopic chemical trips that took you
through nights of astral planes
and sidereal views. This is different,

so unlike what I have come to accept,
your stories,
how hallucinatory helicopters heave
up your bed night after night, great
mandible monsters nudging the plastic crucifix
hung on your bare wall.
Elevated within an engine hum, you confessed

to wondering if the door was closed
or if you might roll out, a sleeping bag
unraveling past tiny stars, admitted
there might be some small comfort
in the thought of nothingness
in the air,
and then demonstrated, spiraling
downward --
howl of wind drawing your cheeks
into hollow shadows, your eyes
into small black bones, your skin
taut against your skull
as if searching for darkness, tiny roots, dry dirt --
how to throw your arms out to the ground rushing up
to meet you. Only to land like this.
Perfectly, like a bubble that's landed intact
on the floor. I was afraid to touch you.
In The Language of Illness by Gary Kuhlmann

Maybe it's the softness of her hair

Monday, May 18, 2009

His eyes shone with unusual brilliancy, and he was full of vivacity on his liberation.

O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up-for you the flag is flung-for you the bugle trills;
For you bouquets and ribbon'd wreaths-for you the shores a-crowding;
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head;
It is some dream that on the deck,
You've fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchor'd safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won;
Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman

Friday, May 15, 2009

Monday, May 4, 2009

Remember when you were seventeen, you goin' crazy, you know what I mean. It wasn't that long ago.

That's how it starts.
We go back to your house.
We check the charts,
And start to figure it out.

And if it's crowded, all the better,
because we know we're gonna be up late.
But if you're worried about the weather
then you picked the wrong place to stay.
That's how it starts.

And so it starts.
You switch the engine on.
We set controls for the heart of the sun,
one of the ways we show our age.

And if the sun comes up, if the sun comes up, if the sun comes up
and I still don't wanna stagger home.
Then it's the memory of our betters
that are keeping us on our feet.

You spent the first five years trying to get with the plan,
and the next five years trying to be with your friends again.

You're talking 45 turns just as fast as you can,
yeah, I know it gets tired, but it's better when we pretend.

It comes apart,
the way it does in bad films.
Except in parts,
when the moral kicks in.

Oh when we're running out of the drugs
and the conversation's winding away.
I wouldn't trade one stupid decision
for another five years of lies.

You drop the first ten years just as fast as you can,
and the next ten people who are trying to be belied.
When you're blowing eighty-five days in the middle of this,
Yeah, I know it gets tired only wearing on friends tonight.

So tell the truth.
Oh, this could be the last time.
So when we go,
like a sail's force into the night

And if I made a fool, if I made a fool, if I made a fool
on the road, there's always this.
And if I'm sewn into submission,
I can still come home to this.

And with a face like a dad and a laughable stand,
you leave conceit on the plane or review what you said.
When you're drunk and the kids leave impossible tasks
you think over and over, hey, I finally did.

Oh, if the trip and the plan come apart in your hand,
you look concerted on yourself your ridiculous prop.
You forgot what you meant when you read what you said,
and you always knew you were tired, but then,
where are your friends tonight?

Where are your friends tonight?
Where are your friends tonight?

If I could see all my friends tonight,
If I could see all my friends tonight,
If I could see all my friends tonight,
If I could see all my friends tonight.
All My Friends by LCD Soundsystem