Poetry and song and maybe culture

Friday, October 05, 2012

A Newly Renovated Schoolyard with the Entire United States Painted on Asphalt

A Newly Renovated Schoolyard with the Entire
United States Painted on Asphalt

Whoever designed this,
separating states
into pale-yellow, pine-green,
decided to divide us
with a volleyball net, a taut
incision clear across Kansas,
North and South
at it yet again. He (or she)
plastered this metaphor
across an inner-city schoolyard
where a weary boy
weeps over Jersey,
having scraped his elbow
in Pittsburgh, I think.
Yes whoever made this
is in some way responsible
for the troubles of our land,
for the battle breaking
out between Texas
and Louisiana, where both
children yelled Mine!,
crashed into each other,
and the soft white globe
plunged into the Gulf.

The Threepenny Review
Fall 2012

Shira Lipken, "The Library,After"

"Awakened, the library went feral."

Unfortunately I will have to give you a link to a reading and not post the words here.

"Shira Lipkin’s ‘The Library, After’ comes along, magical and wry, a prose poem about an abandoned library where the books ‘told each other to each other’. You could read this as whimsy, you could read it as a bit of thumb-biting in the direction of rigid genre classifications – “New genres formed and split and reformed, tangents spilling out like capillaries. Freed of the responsibility to be useful and to fit human desires and expectations, Story explored itself in Mandelbrot swirls” – whichever way you look at it, it’s clever, funny and affirming. Literary fashions come and go – as we learn, ‘The science-noir-unicorn genre was shortlived’ – but story keeps on going. The image of stories continuing to twist and transmute after we’ve stopped looking at them is a perfect note to end on." -From Sabotage Reviews review of the poetry magazine it appeared in.

 This is a link to a reading - Go to the 01-21:40 mark on the podcast.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Day 2 - Peach Creamed Honey

They say she likes to suck peaches.
Not eat them, suck them,
tilt her head back and let the juice drip sticky down her chin,
before licking, sucking, swallowing the sunshine of it down.
They say she likes to tease her fruit,
bite ripe summer flesh just to get that drip going down, down,
sweets her elbow with the slip of it, wears it like perfume.
 I say she’s got a ways to go yet, that girl,
just a blossom yet herself, still bashful ‘round the bees.
I say no way a girl can tease like that who’s been bit into once or twice.
 So I come ‘round with just a little bit of honey,
just a little, little lick, just enough to catch her eye,
creamed peach honey, just the thing to bring her by.
 And I know she’ll let me tell her how the peaches lost their way how they fell out of a wagon on a sweaty summer’s day,
how the buzz got all around that there was sugar to be had,
and the bees came singing, and the bees came glad.
 They sucked – she’ll blush – I’ll tell her,
they sucked that fruit right dry,
‘till it all got tangled up in the heady humming hive.
 they made it into honey and they fed it to their queen,
and she shivered with the sweet, and she licked the platter clean,
and she dreamed of sunny meadows and she dreamed of soft ice cream -
 I’ll see her lick her lips, and I’ll see her bite a frown,
and I’ll see how she’ll hesitate,
look from me up to the town and back, and she’ll swallow,
and she’ll say “can I try?”
and I’ll offer like a gentleman, won’t even hold her eye.
 Because she’ll have to close them, see.
She’ll have to moan a bit.
 and it’s when she isn’t looking
 when she’s sighing fit to cry,
that I’ll lick the loving from her,
 that I’ll taste the peaches on her
that I’ll drink the honey from her
suck the sweet of her surprise.

 ~*~ Amal El-Mohtar Rhysling Award Winner 2011
This one is great to read aloud.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

This be the verse

- Phillip Larkin

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

- C. Little

Blossoms on bird bath

plum blossoms ring the
shining rain mirror whose depths
reflect the whole tree

A hundred words

A hundred words to talk of death?
At once too much and not enough.
My plans beyond that final breath
are currently a little rough.

The dying thing comes on so slow:
reluctance to get out of bed
is magnified each day and so
transmuted into dead.

I dream of dying all alone,
nobody there to watch me pass
nothing remains for me to own,
no breath remains to fog the glass.

And when I do put down my pen
my memories will fly like birds.
When I am done, when I am dead,
and finished with my hundred words.

- - Neil Gaiman

Monday, November 09, 2009


e.e. cummings shows us that a good poem can be only four words long.