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Steve Abbott. Long Haul on the Interstate.

13 May

Steve Abbott. Long Haul on the Interstate.

5 Apr

Long Haul on the Interstate

Metronomic, the relentless drumbeat of motion
may stutter or slow but never stops,
allows no silence, no interruption of the droning

wheels whirring beneath me like a mantra.
Whatever spins glitter behind my eyes
is diluted by headlights knifing the night,

too frequent for darkness to open
wide enough for me to look, question
where I’m flying to, fleeing to, belong.

The beat comes up through the road
like a telltale heart dragged over tar
strips, rhythm to what I think is a song

I’m singing as I sling myself headlong into
the landscape within, wide open spaces there
bristling wind and light, everything

headed toward a rough rut in the earth.
This is what drives me: believing
if I stop, the dust I am will settle

over my length as if thrown from a shovel.
Refusing to admit any place I came from
could be saved, any more than I was.

 

 

Steve Abbott

Late in My Sleep. David Marquard.

15 Jan

Late in My Sleep

I am not afraid to sleep but
I am afraid to talk with you
I will go to bed and
I will talk to myself

I will dream in all languages
all at once
but only three will talk to me

penned as a palimpsest
I will sleep incomplete

and while I am alive as I sleep
I will forget what I think to be a moment

described in detail
a constant masquerade will
separate imagination from rationale

and you will be alone
when I begin to talk to you

and the moments will be
recursive and your eyes will close

and here there will be no more
languages and no more dreams.

David Marquard

A Finger, Two Dots, Then Me. Derrick Brown.

14 Jan

Cassandra, California. Kayti Lahsaiezadeh.

13 Jan

Cassandra, California

And even a sunset feels doomed, all chewed up
blue and red like witchfire, like Roman candles

in July. A single callous spark could send
the entire county up in flame. Seven miles

from the base, she can still hear the shells
fall. On her back, she’ll watch the planes

scudding across the upturned bowl of sky,
crush them between her fingers like flies.

Kayti Lahsaiezadeh

Calendar. Carol Poster.

11 Jan

Calendar

I measure time in rotting deer
beside the road, a change
faster than seasons,
slower than sun,
a measure of weeks
rather than days or months.

I see the same ones, again
and again: the antlered male,
the doe beside the drainage
ditch, the spotted fawn.

They grow thinner
every day, as though
they are starving
rather than rotting
away.

Carol Poster

Goya Talks with the Widow. Emily Hipchen.

9 Jan

Goya Talks with the Widow

Here are your eyes.
I make them slits, slits like mouths,
the center just a grey focus,
an empty spot of empty wall.
Where your arms go?
You are dancing. Look.
Here you haul up the rope to hang you.
Here your hands slice at the sky.
Here you curl around a ghost.
Everything smokes upwards
like the beginning of flames.
I draw your sex,
the dry breasts gasping,
pendulous as shadows.
Your hips are empty like
the corners of your mouth.
I want to find you where your legs meet
but that’s also a nothing, a zero, nothing.
I have tried, I swear, with your feet,
flexed them, bent them against
the dirt, each toenail the shell of
an ear, listening to his dust.
You hang there, aghast,
in silence, as I draw the
gunmen who can help you.

Emily Hipchen

Napoleon Talks to the Widow. Emily Hipchen.

7 Jan

Napoleon Talks to the Widow

I draw a tight circle around myself
roughly the shape of an island.
The rest of the world is born
through the O of the spy-glass
I keep on the desk in a box.
Whole days, whole weeks
I don’t open the box.

What was I atop the Carpathians—
in the Pantheon—horse-deep in snow?
Was I insane then, or now?

At my coronation, my chef
spun me a delicate sugar crown.
It dissolved in my mouth with a sweetness
I can almost taste again. That crown.
That sugar. You and I know better.

You know what I miss most? No?
My horse. The way it quivered
between my knees and still went on.
Why did he?

Here at the window, a box of watery glass,
I stand watching nothing, my hand holding
my heart in. The linen, the starch,
this placket with its bone buttons
like shards of ribs, this hand
and its one gold ring. See now?
How the tide’s come in.

Emily Hipchen

The Levellers’ Song. Craig Kurtz.

20 Dec

The Levellers’ Song

We are the Levellers
and we have all the answers;
we’re going to liberate people
by making them all miserable;
we’re going to ban all sport and drink
and tell you what to read and think;
all city life is decadent
so we’ll make it non-existent;
we disapprove of theaters,
the beau monde and entrepreneurs;
the mere sight of the town’s smart set
gets us lusting for a gibbet;
we plan to plan human affairs
and kick all dissent down the stairs.

We are the Levellers
and we’ll cure mankind’s errors;
we’ll have nothing but farming toil
and eat raw food drenched in top soil;
because we’ll ban snuff and small beers
we’ll have good health to work more years;
we found the cure for poverty
is making you as poor as we;
we’ll have a state of martial law
to quash all things we call bourgeois;
we all agree with our leader
says me, his top bottom feeder;
and never once will we complain
because the ‘we’ is inhumane.

Craig Kurtz

Sunday Morning. Peter Grieco.

18 Dec

Sunday Morning

perhaps I will try to snap a picture with my poem
like this young married couple in Sunday summer outfits,

her bare back stripped with a tan-line, do, just before
gulls come, attracted by the thrashing in the water

we all go down, a squirrel has brought a bag of peanuts
to munch as it watches, but the ducklings seem unaware,

gathered about their mother, a shifting cluster of downy balls
bobbing atop the wriggling spiny weeds submerged & agitated,

up above singing comes from the church, organ driven
“faith of our fathers living still” in them who remain

“true to Thee till death,” but these fish know no faith,
when the drive is in ‘em they do not balk, they try themselves

against all obstacles, relentless, like the current flowing back
on itself while all strength lasts, massing together where

this concrete catch-all interferes with their dash upstream,
they are garbage fish, carp, the biggest fucking goldfish

you ever wanna see come to muddy the poisoned pathetic Scajaquada
with their spume and spawn, they are not great leapers & the water

is low, yet they heave their heavy bulks & seethe in slow turmoil,
but here, look, they are everywhere churning, spanking the water

with their mighty tails, sun yellowing their fins & sides,
they grip each other as they can, spin in sinuous desire,

the waters above & below the barrier are alive
with their slidings & rapacious nuzzlings, gaping their mouths

as if to devour one another, they whirl in corkscrew mixes
of fishy bodies suave & gray, glinting in the green-brown water

disturbed with many motions, in pairs & threes & fives, rising volcanic
from the underside of dark shallows always at most half visible

Peter Grieco

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