Saturday, August 04, 2007


12 Short Poems

"Getting On With It"

The word
reaches upstairs from CBC
I shiver, don't feel
so good. Poetry,
4:50 p. m. & this
curtained light.
drag yr mouldy old bones
up these stairs & tell me
what you died of,
I think
I've got it

--Sharon Thesen



I can't remember her name.
It's not as though I've been in bed
with that many women.
The truth is I can't even remember
her face. I kind of know how strong
her thighs were, and her beauty.
But what I won't forget
is the way she tore open
the barbecued chicken with her hands,
and wiped the grease on her breasts.

--Jack Gilbert


"The Best of It"

However carved up
or pared down we get,
we keep on making
the best of it as though
it doesn't matter that
our acre's down to
a square foot. As
though our garden
could be one bean
and we'd rejoice if
it flourishes, as
though one bean
could nourish us.

--Kay Ryan


"Portrait of My Lover as a Pineapple Fritter"

Wild lips
are biting into fruit
that oozes juice
through cracks
in batter jackets
that scratch my tongue
and tickle my fat cheeks
in a tinkling shower
of grease-encrusted sugar.

--Selima Hill



The seven stars
of the Great Wain
hang in the sky
a million light years
one from another
and from me, but I
gather the seven together
who could never know
me or one another
but for my human eye.

--Louis Dudek


"Editing Poems"

Fill a tall jar with water and place your latest poem in it. Try to
drop words into the text. It is very surprising that however care-
fully you aim, the words nearly always slip to the side.

It is seldom possible to get a word to fall straight. The very
slightest nuance with even the smallest tilt is enough to cause a
greater resistance of the water on the slanting underside of the
word. Because words are full of holes, they turn easily and drift
out of context.

--Sharon Harris


"Beautiful Woman"

The spring

her step

turned to

---A. R. Ammons



After a while
you get comfortable

listening to your
blood pass over your bones.

The love and hate
battling every cell.

If only alone didn't
mean peace.
And together unrest.

--Laura Lush


"A Night in a World"

I wouldn't have known if I didn't stay home
where the big dipper rises from, time
and again: one mountain ash.

And I wouldn't have thought without travelling out
how huge that dipper was,
how small that tree.

--Heather McHugh



Instant coffee with slightly sour cream
in it, and a phone call to the beyond
which doesn't seem to be coming any nearer.
"Ah daddy, I wanna stay drunk many days"
on the poetry of a new friend
my life held precariously in the seeing
hands of others, their and my impossibilities.
Is this love, now that the first love
has finally died, where there were no impossibilities?

--Frank O'Hara



It's slippery on the high fence
between self and moment.
Which side is which?
If the fence knows,
it's not telling.

Look, a yellow tulip
in the charcoal sky --
a vividness passing so quickly
I have to abandon the poem
to follow it.

--Chase Twichell


"New Pretexts"

He recalled the young newsboys, in winter, in the subway station;
the swallows in schoolyards in front of the steamed window panes;
those small beds in the children's hospital -- so blameless;
it was the day before christmas, raining, they were singing carols down below in the town.
"What's the matter with me?" he asked. there was no one to answer. The question
was staring elsewhere. So does poetry -- elsewhere -- with her kitchen apron,
heating up yesterday's meal for us. "Yes, poetry, too," he said,
"or rather the few words with the long intervening pauses."

--Yannis Ritsos
(translated by Minas Savvas)

A fellow collector of loveliness...I salute you. This blog is beautiful.

Mr Tom
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