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POETRY SWAP MEET: Poetry we don't usually know about, or?

jade tiger
Tyrant of Words
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Joseph Fasano
(An American poet. Born May 17, 1982, and raised in Goshen, New York)


Nec vitia nostra nec remedia pati possumus

We are like strangers in the wild places. We watch
the deer swinging the intricate velvet from its antlers, never knowing
we are only as immense as what we shed in the dance.

The bride and bridegroom stand at the altar. Each thing
learned in mercy has a river in it. It holds the cargo
of a thousand crafts of fire that went down at evening.

We can neither endure our misfortunes nor face
the remedies needed to cure them. The fawns move
through the forest, and we move through the ruins of the dance.

Like Job, the mourner lays his head on the cold oak
of the table. His heart is a hundred calla lilies
under the muck of the river, opening before evening.

We think there is another shore. We stand with the new life
like a mooring rope across our shoulders, never guessing
that the staying is the freightage of the dance.

Orpheus turned to see his Eurydice gone. The Furies tore him
into pieces. The sun, he said, I will worship the sun.
But something in his ruin cried out for evening, evening, evening.

The wrens build at dusk. Friends, I love their moss-dressed
nests twisting in the pitch of the rafters, for they have taught me
that the ruins of the dance are the dance.

Joseph Fasano: “This poem was written in response to Robert Bly’s experiments with the Arabic ghazal form. I gave myself two laws: the odd-numbered stanzas must end with the word ‘dance,’ the even-numbered stanzas with ‘evening’; and the final stanza must include a direct address. The other laws, as always, refuse to tell me what they are.”

jade tiger
Tyrant of Words
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Athena Kildegaard
(American Poet & Teacher, Morris, Minnesota)


My son calls to tell me
he held the two rabbits
he’d raised and was
about to kill close

to his chest, their hearts
racing, his heart full
of the blood of necessity
and qualm, his heart

filled with a song
of holy lullaby
to calm the creatures,
their warm bodies pulsing

against his, and I think,
as he falls silent on the phone,
that he will, some day—I’m
sure of it—make a good father.


Athena Kildegaard: “I live in western Minnesota, prairie pothole country, not too far north of where Carol and Robert Bly lived. Over the years I’ve met many poets who made pilgrimages to their place. I think of certain poems that way, places to which I make a pilgrimage every once in a while, to remind me of what’s sacred and necessary.”

poet Anonymous

A very readable piece!  Thanks for sharing it and the knowledge about the poetess!

jade tiger
Tyrant of Words
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Thanks, Ted, for dropping in!

If you start at the beginning of this forum you’ll see that this is a dream I wanted to realize years ago when I’d been a Deep member for about a year, and finally did something about it earlier this year. I encourage you to breeze through the forum pages, to get to know many of the poets & their works featured here. Enriching the spirit of so many colors of the poetry rainbow. I called this form a poetry swap meet because it’s got all of us to meet & swap personally picked poetry - preferably not well known by people who can recite them by heart - and post them in this thread, hopefully with a blurb & image of the poet (when possible).

poet Anonymous

That was / is an excellent idea! (Am I surprised? No.)  I will try to get to the start of your project and I'm sure there'll be much to appreciate!

jade tiger
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Kim Harvey


For the barbacks and the line cooks, this one’s
for you, for the jostle and bustle of
busboys hustling tips, for the aprons
and grease, for the fluorescent light above,

for how her hair falls at the nape of her
neck, for the way memory works, something
I chase, something I can’t control, slow burn
of swoon-jazz on the jukebox, for the sting

of tequila, for the draft beer on tap,
for the ones who come back night after night,
for yesterday’s special wrapped up as scraps
and for those who pass through just for a bite

or some human contact, for busting ass
and for refilling every empty glass.

—from Ekphrastic Challenge
August 2018, Editor’s Choice

Comment from the editor, Timothy Green: “Many excellent poems saw something sad or sinister in Alexis Rhone Fancher’s photograph, but Kim Harvey managed to flip the script entirely. I can’t remember the last time I read a good old fashioned praise poem. And there’s so much in this world worthy of praise that slips by unnoticed. I appreciated being reminded of that—and of all the night shifts I’ve worked over the years, and the strange intermingling of duty and possibility that comes to life in those hours.”

Image: “Waiting” by Alexis Rhone Fancher.

poet Anonymous

You captured the mood wonderfully!  The concrete images created were conceived so well!

Thought Provoker
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Antonin Artaud

Dark Poet

Dark Poet, a maid's breast
Haunts you,
Embittered poet, life seethes
And life burns,
And the sky reabsorbs itself in rain,
Your pen scratches at the heart of life.

Forest, forest, alive with your eyes,
On multiple pinions;
With storm-bound hair,
The poets mount horses, dogs.

Eyes fume, tongues stir,
The heavens surge into our senses
Like blue mother's milk;
Women, harsh vinegar hearts,
I hang suspended from your mouths.

Umbilical Limbo 1926
Translated by Victor Corti

Considered among the most influential figures in the evolution of modern drama theory, Antonin Artaud associated himself with Surrealist writers, artists, and experimental theater groups in Paris during the 1920s. When political differences resulted in his break from the Surrealists, he founded the Theatre Alfred Jarry with Roger Vitrac and Robert Aron. Together they hoped to create a forum for works that would radically change French theater. Artaud, especially, expressed disdain for Western theater of the day, panning the ordered plot and scripted language his contemporaries typically employed to convey ideas, and he recorded his ideas in such works as Le Theatre de la cruaute and The Theater and Its Double.

Thought Provoker
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John Berryman
1914 - 1972

Dream Song 4

Filling her compact & delicious body
with chicken páprika, she glanced at me
Fainting with interest, I hungered back
and only the fact of her husband & four other people
kept me from springing on her

or falling at her little feet and crying
‘You are the hottest one for years of night
Henry’s dazed eyes
have enjoyed, Brilliance.' I advanced upon
(despairing) my spumoni.—Sir Bones: is stuffed,
de world, wif feeding girls.

—Black hair, complexion Latin, jewelled eyes
downcast . . . The slob beside her     feasts . . . What wonders is
she sitting on, over there?
The restaurant buzzes.  She might as well be on Mars.
Where did it all go wrong? There ought to be a law against Henry.
—Mr. Bones: there is.


'and something that...that is theirs--no longer ours'
stammered to me the Italian page.  A wood
seeded & towered suddenly.  I understand --

The Leading Man's especially, and the Juvenile Lead's,
and the Leading Lady's thigh that switches and warms,
and their grimaces, and their flying arms:

our arms, our story.  every seat was sold.
A crone met in a clearing sprouts a beard
and has a tirade.  Not a word we heard.


John Berryman was born John Smith in McAlester, Oklahoma, on October 25, 1914. He received an undergraduate degree from Columbia College in 1936 and attended Cambridge University on a fellowship. He taught at Wayne State University in Detroit and went on to occupy posts at Harvard and Princeton. From 1955 until his death in 1972, he was a professor at the University of Minnesota.
Dream Songs which was published in 1964 and awarded a Pulitzer Prize, unveiled the unforgettable and irreppressible alter egos “Henry” and “Mr. Bones”

(by the way I do not care if I posted him already or not, one can never get too-much john berryman in their life)

Thought Provoker
United States
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Lao Tzu


He who tiptoes cannot stand; he who strides cannot walk.
     He who shows himself is not conspicuous;
     He who considers himself right is not illustrious;
      He who brags will have no merit;
     He who boasts will not endure.
From the point of view of the way these are 'excessive
food and useless excrescences'.  As there are Things that
detest them, he who has the way does not abide in them.

(translated by D.C. Lau)

jade tiger
Tyrant of Words
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Walter Bargen

for Robert Bly

Decades ago he cried,
“No more poems about the moon!”

Torn from its branch,
the moon waned for a couple of weeks.

Summer nights, a magnesium-bright
flare troubled his memory.

No wished-on, bottom-of-the-sky, dreamy coin.
No lover’s mercurial suffering.

For years, he drank fifths of hard light
wrapped in brown bags.

Empties crowded the closet.
He staggered moonstruck across the page.

He’s at it again, declaring the stars a loss.
Chicken Little, he’s down on his knees.

He watches the tides trapped in a sidewalk.
He watches sand make a jailbreak to another universe.

He follows a nervous column of ants
along a crack to the next moon.
Walter Bargen: “The unmatched pair of shoes next to my bed claim a glorious if not infamous lineage. The right shoe claims to belong to General Douglas MacArthur and keeps saying, ‘I shall return,’ as it fades away on dark shores. The left one was worn by Khrushchev and bangs on the worn oak floor, demanding attention. All night I lie awake dealing with international crises and Madonna still won’t speak to me.”

jade tiger
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Susanne R. Bowers


If I close my eyes I am there again, standing
on the platform in a proper dress and shoes,
staring at the train that will take me far
away to a school in the east, a crisp fifty
dollar bill tucked inside my pocket, saying
goodbye to the couple I will miss the most,
into whose room I would creep at night,
tiptoe softly down backstairs, find my spot
between them, warm, where I wasn’t afraid,
stuck like a burr to their socks.

If I close my eyes I am in the kitchen,
watching them prepare breakfast for my
father, the big man in the camel’s hair
coat, who is always in a hurry, who leaves
in a hurry one day to move into the Biltmore
Hotel and never come back except to pick up
his laundry, even his ironed handkerchiefs,
and bring things to be signed on the dotted

If I close my eyes I am aboard the streamliner,
counting the train tracks by their sound,
counting the red barns, the snow fences, the
tobacco nets, counting the bleaks and the
grays and the slushy whites, counting how
many times I flush the toilet by mistake
until there is no water left on the train.

If I close my eyes I am at the school, far
away, keeping step to the dance of rules,
to the bells signaling classes, meals, and
bed, crossing off the days on the calendar,
hearing the train whistles in the distance,

When it gets very dark and I close my eyes,
I am there again, in the house, on the train,
at the school, hiding under the covers,
pressing up against a wall, sucking in a
breath, holding myself as still as a dead
bird until morning.

Susanne R. Bowers: “My passion is creativity in all of its aspects and manifestations. I’m fascinated with psychiatry and the brain. I see life as a series of poems that help me sort out and understand feelings.”

jade tiger
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Devon Balwit


A squat, bald Jew … had stepped suddenly out of nowhere, wanting something, because that was the sort he was. He thought himself urbane and thought he had stepped away from his heritage as nimbly as he had skipped out of a doorway, whereas in fact everything he did, everything he wore or carried, and each affectation, revealed his nature, his background, and his ideals.
     —Evan S. Connell, Mr. Bridge

Everything we do, sooner or later,
exposes us—Jew—through and through.
We may as well sport ostentatious stars
of David, speak in the broad accent
of the shtetl, name ourselves Israel
and Miriam. Tuck our synagogues away
on the quietest street, and still
Swastikas appear, Cossacks
break down the door, the disgruntled
come after us with sharpened blades
and assault rifles. Someone at the office
passes around The Protocols of Zion,
asks Where are you from—really?
notes how good we are with money,
with words, but not in praise. We awaken
to our pictures plastering the campus,
schnoz exaggerated, all but quivering
with the rat-whiskers of the propaganda posters.
Even the Left doesn’t have our back,
“the Zionist oppressor” abandoned
in confrontations like a lost legion.
As with poor Avram of the epigram,
our human handshake, fleshy, moist, infectious,
awakens a shudder. What can survivors do
but survive? We say kaddish. We continue
the work of Tikkun Olam. Easy to kill,
we are hard to exterminate.

Devon Balwit: “On the same day of the Tree of Life Synagogue attack I read an anti-semitic passage in the lovely novel, Mr. Bridge. It made me think: Media vita in morte sumus—In the midst of life we are in death—we Jews, always a hair’s breadth away from being scapegoated for something. But we’ve survived a long while. We’re tenacious.”

Tyrant of Words
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Amy Lawrence Lowell was an American poet of the imagist school from Brookline, Massachusetts. She posthumously won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1926.
Born: February 9, 1874, Brookline, MA
Died: May 12, 1925, Brookline, MA
........................................................................................Petals -  by Amy Lowell

Life is a stream
On which we strew
Petal by petal the flower of our heart;
The end lost in dream,
They float past our view,
We only watch their glad, early start.

Freighted with hope,
Crimsoned with joy,
We scatter the leaves of our opening rose;
Their widening scope,
Their distant employ,
We never shall know. And the stream as it flows
Sweeps them away,
Each one is gone
Ever beyond into infinite ways.
We alone stay
While years hurry on,
The flower fared forth, though its fragrance still stays.

Thought Provoker
United Kingdom
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The unknown Anglo Saxon poet who wrote Deor ... still as relevant today, as I imagine it was then ...



Wayland new the wanderer's fate:
that single-willed earl suffered agonies,
sorrow and longing the sole companions
of his ice-cold exile.  Anxieties bit
when Nithhad put a knife to his hamstrings,
laid clever bonds on the better man.

That went by, this may too.

Beadohild mourned her murdered brothers:
but her own plight pained her more
- her womb grew great with child.
When she knew that, she could never hold
steady before her wit what was to happen.

That went by, this may too.

All have heard of Hild's ravishing:
the Geat's lust was ungovernable,
their bitter love banished sleep.

That went by, this may too.

Thirty winters Theodric ruled
the Maering city: and many knew it.

That went by, this may too.

We all know that Eormanric
had a wolf's wit.  Wide Gothland
lay in the grasp of that grim king,
and through it many sat, by sorrows environed,
foreseeing only sorrow; sighed for the downfall
and thorough overthrow of the thrall-maker.

That went by, this may too.

When each gladness has gone, gathering sorrow
may cloud the brain; and in his breast a man
can not then see how his sorrows shall end.

But he may think how throughout this world
it is the way of God, who is wise, to deal
to the most part of men much favour
and a flourishing fame; to a few the sorrow-share.

Of myself in this regard I shall say this only:
that in the hall of the Heodenings I held long the makarship,
lived dear to my prince, Deor my name;
many winters I held this happy place
and my lord was kind.  Then cam Heorrenda,
whose lays were skilful; the lord of fighting-men
settled on him the estate bestowed once on me.

That went by, this may too.

from The Earliest English Poems, translated by Michael Alexander.

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