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

Miss_Sub
Miss_Sub
- Missy -
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*I’ve just finished his “On Quiet Nights” anthology and recommend as a highly unusual abstract read*

Till Lindemann

Till Lindemann (born 4 January 1963) is a German singer, songwriter who is the lead vocalist of the German band Rammstein. He is noted for his muscular stature, bass voice, and unique stage presence.

Lindemann has been listed among the "50 Greatest Metal Frontmen of All Time" by Roadrunner Records. He has appeared in minor roles in films and has also two published books of poetry, one titled Messer (2002) and the other In Stillen Nächten (2013). His anthologies are published in his native German and translated into English.

~

Think broadly

You say, I am too old for you
Now
We will see
True the tooth of time does gnaw on me
Yet
Dear child be sensible if you please
look at your mother
think broadly
what a good time means for me
mid-twenties that’s clover
and the years that canopy over
you do not make the difference at the end
no question who laughs last or more
just look at your breasts
those flat spent stars
that are falling to the floor
I’ve seen a thousand times before

~

So beautiful

Lay your face
on a sheet of paper
it’s already a poem
and will live

Jade-Pandora
Jade-Pandora
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Catherine Bresner

CANVASSER

And in the middle of my grief
a puddle—
and in the middle of a puddle
a penny—
and in the middle of the penny
a president—
and in the middle of that president
a bullet—
and in the middle of that bullet
a wound—
and in the middle of that wound
another wound—
and in the middle of our wound
a night of splinters—
and in the middle of the night
a knock—
and in the middle of a knock
a go away—no one lives here
and in the middle of away
a clothespin—
and in the middle of the clothespin
a wet field
filled with black-eyed Susans
a thousand traffic cones
or, a thousand yellow traffic lights,
their lights punched out.
in the middle of the field
a sinkhole—
in the middle of the sinkhole
a question—
and in the middle of the answer
a silence—
and in the middle of that silence.

____________________________

Catherine Bresner: “This poem came from a guttural place of grief while walking through my neighborhood. Of course, it was November. Everyone I met seemed to be in a state of disillusionment and deep depression. It was a time when sentences just did not suffice. This is why poetry is the most honest vocabulary I know.”

Tallen
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Frightening Things
By David Mura

After wandering years
Basho returned
to gaze at his umbilical cord
pickled in a jar. Plopped
in brine years ago
like the frog in the pond
in his famous haiku.
Of course
fame meant nothing
to him. He stood
in the blazing rain
in his family graveyard
and as a crow squawked overhead
the stones proclaimed him
the last of his line. He
kept feeling inside his
straw raincoat for a missing
limb or the hole where
the wind and rain
flew in. I'll get drunk
tonight, he thought,
and his eyelashes glistened
as he trudged back
to his hermit's hut
to gaze again at the jar.


David Mura, "Frightening Things" from The Last Incantations. Copyright © 2014 by David Mura.

Jade-Pandora
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Manash Firaq Bhattacharjee

KASHMIR, KASHMIR
An Elegy

It rains through the day. I sleep, I wake up,
Kashmir, Kashmir.
On everyone’s fingertips, on everyone’s lips,
Kashmir, Kashmir.
The newsreader parrots his eroded soul,
Mockingbirds risk their tale,
Kashmir, Kashmir.
Telephones have lost their pulse,
News of the heart cannot cross the mountains,
Kashmir, Kashmir.
Clouds of agony move slowly in long queues,
They linger for a touch of broken words,
Kashmir, Kashmir.
Streets are sleeping rivers in the jaws of night,
A deluge of tongues wake them up,
Kashmir, Kashmir.
Windows looks out for a glimpse of life,
Tired doors heave a sigh,
The air of hope is in short supply,
Kashmir, Kashmir.
Curfewed medicines wait to cure the ailing,
The ailing wail the delay of god,
It is a wrong time to fall ill, a wrong time to die,
A wrong time to be born,
Kashmir, Kashmir.
Someone, somewhere, reads Darkness ‪at Noon‬,
History, like nature, has no scruples, when it rains
It rains, when it kills, it kills,
There is nothing darker than a dark sun.
Kashmir, Kashmir.
____________________________

Manash Firaq Bhattacharjee: “Kashmir was named ‘paradise’ by the 17th century poet Amir Khusro. History is a blind man with greedy hands. It has been cruel to what it considers beautiful. Between Kashmir and Kashmiris falls a long shadow of history that begun when the Mughal king, Akbar, set his eyes on it in the 16th century. Akbar exiled Kashmir’s ruler and the poet-queen, Habba Khatun’s husband, Yusuf Shah Chak. In his poem, ‘The Blessed Word: A Prologue,’ late Kashmiri-American poet Agha Shahid Ali wrote, remembering Khatun: ‘Her grief, alive to this day, in her own roused the people into frenzied opposition to Mughal rule. Since then Kashmir has never been free.’ Ali rues how unkind and brutal history has been to Kashmir, and how it imposed an unending saga of grief. But he also considers grief the fuel behind Kashmir’s resilient spirit. Hope the long night in Kashmir ends now, and voices of calm prevail.”

Tallen
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On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

By Ocean Vuong
i


Tell me it was for the hunger
& nothing less. For hunger is to give
the body what it knows

it cannot keep. That this amber light
whittled down by another war
is all that pins my hand

to your chest.


i


You, drowning
between my arms —
stay.

You, pushing your body
into the river
only to be left
with yourself —
stay.


i


I’ll tell you how we’re wrong enough to be forgiven. How one night, after
backhanding
mother, then taking a chainsaw to the kitchen table, my father went to kneel
in the bathroom until we heard his muffled cries through the walls.
And so I learned that a man, in climax, was the closest thing
to surrender.


i


Say surrender. Say alabaster. Switchblade.
Honeysuckle. Goldenrod. Say autumn.
Say autumn despite the green
in your eyes. Beauty despite
daylight. Say you’d kill for it. Unbreakable dawn
mounting in your throat.
My thrashing beneath you
like a sparrow stunned
with falling.


i


Dusk: a blade of honey between our shadows, draining.


i


I wanted to disappear — so I opened the door to a stranger’s car. He was divorced. He was still alive. He was sobbing into his hands (hands that tasted like rust). The pink breast cancer ribbon on his keychain swayed in the ignition. Don’t we touch each other just to prove we are still here? I was still here once. The moon, distant & flickering, trapped itself in beads of sweat on my neck. I let the fog spill through the cracked window & cover my fangs. When I left, the Buick kept sitting there, a dumb bull in pasture, its eyes searing my shadow onto the side of suburban houses. At home, I threw myself on the bed like a torch & watched the flames gnaw through my mother’s house until the sky appeared, bloodshot & massive. How I wanted to be that sky — to hold every flying & falling at once.


i


Say amen. Say amend.

Say yes. Say yes

anyway.


i


In the shower, sweating under cold water, I scrubbed & scrubbed.


i


In the life before this one, you could tell
two people were in love
because when they drove the pickup
over the bridge, their wings
would grow back just in time.

Some days I am still inside the pickup.
Some days I keep waiting.


i


It’s not too late. Our heads haloed
with gnats & summer too early
to leave any marks.
Your hand under my shirt as static
intensifies on the radio.
Your other hand pointing
your daddy’s revolver
to the sky. Stars falling one
by one in the cross hairs.
This means I won’t be
afraid if we’re already
here. Already more
than skin can hold. That a body
beside a body
must make a field
full of ticking. That your name
is only the sound of clocks
being set back another hour
& morning
finds our clothes
on your mother’s front porch, shed
like week-old lilies.


Source: Poetry (December 2014)

AnonymousBystander
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This is from Liam Guilar's latest collection of poems ... I've copied and pasted the below from his webpage ... http://www.liamguilar.com/a-presentment-of-englishry

His work is well worth the read ...

A Presentment of Englishry

Under the Norman Kings in the late 11th and early 12th Century a Presentment of Englishry was a legal process which involved the formal offering of proof that a murdered man was English, in order to escape the fine that would be levied on township or hundred if the dead man were ‘Norman’ or ‘French’.  
The book retells stories from ‘The Legendary History of Britain’; from the prehistoric tin trade to the end of the twelfth century.

Are you English? It’s never a neutral question. There’s never a simple answer.

Presentment of Englishry

(Mumchancing it, while the question takes a hike
past dark satanic mills and pleasant (Enclosed) pastures
where we do tug a forelock as m’lady rides to hounds.
Us folks below the stairs do know our place,
stunned in the underground while bombs fall overhead.

We stood our ground at Ethendun, Stamford Bridge and Senlac hill
then bartered, buggered, battered ground into the soil
from Agincourt to Waterloo; we fell in well-drilled rows
in Somme slime screaming there is a corner of some foreign
field that is forever foreign. Smashed scorched and sunk
for Drake to Jellicoe. Hatred handed down amongst the people
we defeated, and we reviled by those we did the fighting for.

Prosperity rode misery to market, past sullen tenements
street maggot urchins breeding in the gutters while
the gin-sunk stench of slack jawed women at the gallows
slumping towards oblivion, transported, (not to joy) their men folk
beaten dogs, looking anywhere but up. By what grounds English?
West Midlands, I. Not mercenary, prat, a Mercian! Of Penda’s folk.)

Gehyrest þu?

Josh
Josh
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AnonymousBystander said:This is from Liam Guilar's latest collection of poems ... I've copied and pasted the below from his webpage ... http://www.liamguilar.com/a-presentment-of-englishry

His work is well worth the read ...

A Presentment of Englishry

Under the Norman Kings in the late 11th and early 12th Century a Presentment of Englishry was a legal process which involved the formal offering of proof that a murdered man was English, in order to escape the fine that would be levied on township or hundred if the dead man were ‘Norman’ or ‘French’.  
The book retells stories from ‘The Legendary History of Britain’; from the prehistoric tin trade to the end of the twelfth century.

Are you English? It’s never a neutral question. There’s never a simple answer.

Presentment of Englishry

(Mumchancing it, while the question takes a hike
past dark satanic mills and pleasant (Enclosed) pastures
where we do tug a forelock as m’lady rides to hounds.
Us folks below the stairs do know our place,
stunned in the underground while bombs fall overhead.

We stood our ground at Ethendun, Stamford Bridge and Senlac hill
then bartered, buggered, battered ground into the soil
from Agincourt to Waterloo; we fell in well-drilled rows
in Somme slime screaming there is a corner of some foreign
field that is forever foreign. Smashed scorched and sunk
for Drake to Jellicoe. Hatred handed down amongst the people
we defeated, and we reviled by those we did the fighting for.

Prosperity rode misery to market, past sullen tenements
street maggot urchins breeding in the gutters while
the gin-sunk stench of slack jawed women at the gallows
slumping towards oblivion, transported, (not to joy) their men folk
beaten dogs, looking anywhere but up. By what grounds English?
West Midlands, I. Not mercenary, prat, a Mercian! Of Penda’s folk.)

Gehyrest þu?



Excellent find AB; thanks for the introduction.

Jade-Pandora
Jade-Pandora
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Alida Rol

TIME TRAVEL

We served our sentence
under the city’s insomniac glare,
by the racket of garbage trucks
and the screams of all-night sirens,
racked up paychecks and overtime
to the smell of pissed-on
asphalt baked in swampy heat.
After the punishment
of never alone but too often
lonely, we left for the country, took
custody of a glowering sky,
the withering glances of bare trees,
a house full of dust and
crumbled hope. We
have no idea what to do
with the silos, their stern
concrete, or how we’ll feed
the sheep in snow. Feral cats
possess the outbuilding, so we’ve kept
its one door closed. When a pair
of cow-eyed Herefords, the docile
bulk of them, stares at us
like aliens, we understand
we are. We gawk in awe
at their foreignness and
see ourselves. Tonight
we make love in the barn
despite the dark, our animal
scent in the air, ears already
callousing to the growl
of planes overhead. Contrails
spike our dreams, but we vow
by day to tread a gentler and less
breathless path. We will warm
to the neighbors despite
their reminders that Herefords
are raised for slaughter. Come
spring we’ll spin our wool, bring
the neighbors fresh laid
eggs, tomatoes in the summer.
We will often be alone.

Josh
Josh
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U.A Fanthorpe had a sensible career as teacher of English at Cheltenham Ladies College until her mid-forties when she became a 'middle-class drop-out' to write poetry, taking up 'lesser jobs' to support herself. Eventually became (the first women) to be nominated for Professor of Poetry at Oxford.

The poem below is based on a 1470 painting by Paolo Uccello, of the archetypal 'George & the Dragon' myth as in Victim-Perpetrator-Rescuer (Maiden-Dragon-Knight). The painting itself was/is structured around triangles and shows the dragon held on a string by the maiden, and George on a strange looking horse coming to the rescue. The picture can be seen on Wikipedia here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_George_and_the_Dragon_%28Uccello%29

My audio of the poem can be heard here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2j_MIout-E

The poem is in 3 parts where the dragon, the women and the knight each speak in turn.



NOT MY BEST SIDE by U.A. Fanthorpe (1929-2009).

I
Not my best side, I'm afraid.
The artist didn't give me a chance to
Pose properly, and as you can see,
Poor chap, he had this obsession with
Triangles, so he left off two of my
Feet. I didn't comment at the time
(What, after all, are two feet
To a monster?) but afterwards
I was sorry for the bad publicity.
Why, I said to myself, should my conqueror
Be so ostentatiously beardless, and ride
A horse with a deformed neck and square hoofs?
Why should my victim be so
Unattractive as to be inedible,
And why should she have me literally
On a string? I don't mind dying
Ritually, since I always rise again,
But I should have liked a little more blood
To show they were taking me seriously.

II
It's hard for a girl to be sure if
She wants to be rescued. I mean, I quite
Took to the dragon. It's nice to be
Liked, if you know what I mean. He was
So nicely physical, with his claws
And lovely green skin, and that sexy tail,
And the way he looked at me,
He made me feel he was all ready to
Eat me. And any girl enjoys that.
So when this boy turned up, wearing machinery,
On a really dangerous horse, to be honest
I didn't much fancy him. I mean,
What was he like underneath the hardware?
He might have acne, blackheads or even
Bad breath for all I could tell, but the dragon--
Well, you could see all his equipment
At a glance. Still, what could I do?
The dragon got himself beaten by the boy,
And a girl's got to think of her future.

III
I have diplomas in Dragon
Management and Virgin Reclamation.
My horse is the latest model, with
Automatic transmission and built-in
Obsolescence. My spear is custom-built,
And my prototype armour
Still on the secret list. You can't
Do better than me at the moment.
I'm qualified and equipped to the
Eyebrow. So why be difficult?
Don't you want to be killed and/or rescued
In the most contemporary way? Don't
You want to carry out the roles
That sociology and myth have designed for you?
Don't you realize that, by being choosy,
You are endangering job prospects
In the spear- and horse-building industries?
What, in any case, does it matter what
You want? You're in my way.


Josh
Josh
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Simon Armitage (b.1963) is the new U.K Poet Laureate, taking over the baton for the next 10 years from Carol Anne Duffy.
This poem Zoom! was the title poem of his first poetry book published in 1989 when he was 26 - and launched his career as a poet, eventually allowing him to give up his day-job as a probation officer in Manchester.
The poem, one of my favourites, is about the power of words.

My audio of the poem can be heard here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmIqhQjC5Pw


ZOOM! [1989]
(Simon Armitage, 1963-  )

   It begins as a house, an end terrace
in this case
    but it will not stop there. Soon it is
an avenue
    which cambers arrogantly past the Mechanics' Institute,
turns left
    at the main road without even looking
and quickly it is
    a town with all four major clearing banks,
a daily paper
    and a football team pushing for promotion.

    On it goes, oblivious of the Planning Acts,
the green belts,
    and before we know it it is out of our hands:
city, nation,
    hemisphere, universe, hammering out in all directions
until suddenly,
    mercifully, it is drawn aside through the eye
of a black hole
    and bulleted into a neighbouring galaxy, emerging
smaller and smoother
    than a billiard ball but weighing more than Saturn.

    People stop me in the street, badger me
in the check-out queue
    and ask "What is this, this that is so small
and so very smooth
    but whose mass is greater than the ringed planet?"
It's just words
    I assure them. But they will not have it.

Josh
Josh
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With so many pages on DUP POETRY SWAP MEET, and so many poems (about 150 so far) I was getting lost on what had been posted already so I typed up an alphabetical list to find stuff. I don't know how to get it to align in columns properly on this page - and I assume the 'page number' at the end of each line is the same on differing computers.

ACHTERBERG, Brady   Trips to Hell and What I Found There      9
AGBAAKIN, O-Jeremiah   The Book of revelation            10
ALVI, Moniza         I would like to be a Dot in a Painting by Miró      9
ANDERSON, Chris      Misreading Darwin               12
ANON            (? Afgan Landay - A Saying ?)         12
ARCHPOET         The Confession of Golias            5
ARMITAGE, Simon      Sloth                     9
ARMITAGE, Simon      Zoom!                     13
ARTAUD, Antonin      Dark Poet                  8

BACA, Jimmy         Celebrate                  6
BALWIT, Devon      Jew                     8
BARACA, Amiri      A Poem for Speculative Hipsters         7
BARGEN, Walter      Lunacy (for Robert Bly)            8
BEBAN, Richard      My Grandmother told us Jokes         11
BELL, Heather      Love Poem                  9
BELL, Marvin         White Clover                  10
BELL, Meghan      Where do People go, when you close your Eyes   11
BERRYMAN, John      Dream Song 4                  8
BERRYMAN, John      The Dispossessed               8
BESTARD, Nicole      Ortolan                  12
BHATTACHARJEE, Manash   Kashmire, Kashmir               13
BICKHAM, Katie      The Blades                  10
BIDART, Frank      Hunger for the Absolute            7
BLAKE, William      The Tyger                  1
BLAUNER, Laurie      Peculiar Crimes               10
BOWERS, Susanne      Childhood Journey               8
BRESNER, Catherine      Canvasser                  13
BROOKS, Gwendolyn   An Aspect of Love, Alive in the Ice and Fire      7
BROWN, Nickole      To those who were our first Gods: An Offering   9
BUKOWSKI, Charles      Death Wants More Death            1
BUKOWSKI, Charles      Eat Your Heart out               1

CALLAN, Patricia      Clerking at the Ideal Library            12
CARLSON-WEE, Anders   Where I’m At                  11
CENDOYA, Gerardo      Creationism                  6
CHINN, McKenzie      You Don’t Look Like Someone         10
CLIFT, Liz         At the Edge of the Hennessey Farm         10
COHEN, Bruce      The Jerry Lewis Telethon            9
COHEN, Leonard      Hallelujah                  4
COHEN, Leonard      You want it darker               4
COLLINS, Billy      Purity                     1
COLLINS, Billy      Reading Myself to Sleep            2
COLONA, Sarah      From One Sarah To Another            11
COOLIDGE, Clark      Leafing the Book on Rocky Feathers         9
COYLE, Elizabeth      Hoe To Talk About Guns In America         12
CRANE, Hart         The Broken Tower               7
CUEVAS COB, Briceida   (Parts IV & V of a longer poem)         12

DALEY, Victor         Brunette                  4
DARWISH, Mahmoud      Lesson from the Kama Sutra            11
DE ANDRADE, Eugénio   Goats                     1
DEAN, James         Ode to a Tijuana Toilet            5
DENBY, Edwin      Adjoining Entrances to Office Buildings in
            Renaissance Styles               1
DEV SEN, Nabaneeta   The Appointment               5
DOOLITTLE, Hilda      Hermes of the Ways               9
DWYER, June         Afternoon                  1
DURCAN, Paul      My Beloved compares herself to a Pint of Stout   10

EMPEROR TENCHI      (Untitled)                  5
ESTABROOK, Michael   Grand Illusion                  7
EVANS, Anna         Crash                     7

FANTHORPE, U.A      Not My Best Side               13
FASANO, Joseph      Hymn                     8
FERNANDEZ, Megan      Why We Drink                  9

GLANGLUN, Amairgen   The Song of Amairgen            1
GLOEGGLER, Tony      Some long Ago Summer            7
GROSSBERG, Benjamin   The Space Traveler’s Moon            12
GU CHENG         Sleeping Soundly in Daytime            4
GUILAR, Liam         A Presentment of Englishry            13

HAINES-STILES, Alexandra   Ten Year Challenge               10
HARVEY, Kim         Sonnet for the Night Shift            8
HEMINGWAY, Ernest      Country Poem with Little Country         5
HEMINGWAY, Ernest      (10 short war poems)               6
HICOCK, Bob         Going Big                  4
HOLTON, Jackleen      I’m sad with you               5
HUGHES, Langston      Let America be America Again         12
HUGHES, Langston      The Negro Speaks of Rivers            3

JAEGER, Lowell      Fish-Burger and Fries               5
JEFFERS, Robinson      The House Dog’s Grave            1
JOHNSON, Brad      They said it was a Weather Balloon         5
JOHNSON, John      The Book go Fly               11
JONKER, Ingrid      Lied Van Die Lappop               10

KAMPA, Courtney      In Charlottesville after Charlottesville         10
KEATS, John         Bright Star                  6
KELBLEY, Sean      The Happy Game               9
KILDEGAARD, Athena   Allurement                  8
KIPLING, Rudyard      Mandalay                  11
KNIGHT, Etheridge      The Sun Came               2
KNIGHT, Lynne      Disappearing Borders               12
KOCZKUR, Cambra      Dear Senator,                  11
KOMACHI, Ono no      Was I Lost                  1
KRONENFELD, Judy      Letter to the Ministry of Loneliness         9

LAO TZU         XXIV                     8
LARKIN, Philip      Afternoons                  1
LARKIN, Philip      No Road                  1
LATHAM, Juliet      Trompe L’oiel                  11
LAVERS, Michael      Will Exult Over You With Loud Singing      10
LEONARD, Thomas      (Excerpt from unknown poem)         10
LINDEMANN, Till      Think Broadly                  13
LINDEMANN, Till      So Beautiful                  13
LORCA, Frederico Garciá   Despedida                  1
LORCA, Frederico Garciá   Farewell                  1
LOWELL, Amy      Petals                     8
LOWELL, Robert      Colloquy in Black Rock            2

MacCAIG, Norman      Patriot                     12
MARK, Michael      Jews in the wrong place in San Diego      11
McCLOUGHAN, Mark      (? …All these lathe-Cut ?)            6
McGAVICK, Jack      The Shape of your Elbow            6
McGEE, John         High Flight                  11
MERELLO, Rafael      (Unknown)                  6
MILLER, Amy         To the Firefighters sleeping in the Yard      7
MILLER, Amy         To Whoever inherits the Earth         11
MORRISON, Jim      An American Prayer               3
MORRISON, Jim      Stoned Immaculate               3
MORRISON, Jim      (Untitled)                  3
MURA, David         Frightening Things               13
MYERS, Jed         American Border Study: Two Bodies in a River   12

NERUDA, Pablo      One hundred Love Sonnets: XVII         1

OLIVER, Mary         Poppies                  2
OLIVER, Mary         Wild Geese                  3
OPPEN, George      Leviathan                  7
ORIA MOUNTAIN DREAMER  The Invitation               6

PATCHEN, Kenneth      As we are so wonderfully done with each other   5
PLATH, Sylvia         The Moon and the Yew Tree            4
POUND, Ezra         (Extract from the flyleaf of Pound’s “Cantos”      9
POUND, Ezra         In a Station of the Metro            2

QUINN, Matt         Ink Blots                  12

RATUSHINSKAYA, Irina   I will live and survive               4
RENFREW, McKenzie   Vague Existence               6
RILEY, James         Three Dead Friends               6
ROL, Alida         Time Travel                  13
ROLLINS, Henry      A Moment of Guilt               2
SCHIELE, Egon      (Untitled)                  5

SEXTON, Anne      Her Kind                  1
SHAKESPEARE, William   (from Titus Andronicus)            2
SHIELDS, Bill         Floorplan to a Lease               5
SHIELDS, Bill         Jingoism                  5
SHIPERS, Carrie      In Preparation for a Visit from our CEO      11
SIMIC, Charles      Gray-Headed Schoolchildren            2
SIMIC, Charles      What the Gypsies Told my Grandmother while
            she was a Young Girl               2
SNYDER         Cormorants                  3
SNYDER, Gary      Mid-August at Sourdough Mountain Lookout      3
SMITH, Patti         Because the Night               4
SMITH, Patti         Edie Sedgewick               4
STEVENS, Wallace      Sunday Morning               4
SUN YUNG SHIN      Return of the Native               4

THOMAS, Larry      Steers in Summer, lowing            11
TORBATNEJAD, Mehrnoosh   Asia                     11
TORO, Vincent      All the Mexicos               10

UNKNOWN SAXON POET   Deor                     8

VALLEJO, César      Los Heraldos Negros (The Black Heralds)      4
VALVIS, James      Love Poem to my Wife, with Pigeons         6
VAN ROOYEN, Craig      How to swim an Elegy            6
VAN ROOYEN, Craig      Till she appeared and the Soul Selt its Worth   7
VUONG, Ocean      On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous         13

WALLACE, Ronald      Nightline: An Interview with the General      9
WEVELL, David      29                     2
WHITTIER, John      What the Birds Said               4
WILDE, Oscar         (A quote on books)               12
WILLIAMS, C.K      The Sanctity                  2
WRIGHT, James      Blessing                  2
WRIGHT, James      You and I saw Hawks Exchanging the Prey      2

ZEPHANIAH, Bejamin   The British                  12

Jade-Pandora
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Jenna Le

GUZANOZ
a sonnet crown

We leave for good. I-89
absorbs my little Honda Civic
into its southbound lane. Quick
it’s not: most times, we’re plovers flying
when we take this road (in north
New Hampshire, traffic is a rarity),
but luggage wedged into the narrow
gap between the third and fourth
snow tires in the trunk weighs down
the car so that we’re trudging syrup,
and making turns is actual work.
My blood flows light, however, stirred
by hope: I’m moving to New York.
It’ll all work out when we reach town.

It’ll all work out when we reach town:
a chorus of champagne flutes’ clinks
awaits. No more will we be jinxed
by clock hands spinning, spinning round.
Fresh start. Sure, there are things I’ll miss
about New England, like that weekend
at Stowe, the bath steam, snowmelt leaking
from ski boots in the corner. Bliss.
Still, it’s pleasant to return
where spicy restaurants are plenty:
the only spot where you could sate
a taco lust near my old place
was Gusanoz, their always friendly
staff warning, “Careful—you’ll get burned!”

Their staff warned, “Careful—you’ll get burned!”
How long ago was that? An age?
This morning, an ex-colleague’s rage
on Twitter caught my eye: his stern
avatar scowled above a pic
he’d scanned in from the Valley News
where, under halcyon heaven’s blues,
a line of orange cones inflicts
a gash upon the highway. “Border
Patrol checkpoint on Interstate
89 snarls traffic, stirs strife,”
the headline reads. The piece relates
Gusanoz’s busboy’s been deported.
His boss: “Great kid … They’ve ruined his life.”

His boss: “Great kid … They’ve ruined his life.”
Gulping the article, I burn,
for all that I’d been warned. I learn
eleven folks were seized by ICE.
An agent, who wouldn’t show his badge,
threatened the neighbors who, concerned,
approached the scene, a clash that spurred
one woman’s fretting, “Shall six large
men with dogs stop me with no warrant?”
Border Patrol? We’re near no coast,
this inland town with tourist charms.
Last fall, my sister and I threaded
through a corn maze owned by a redhead
who was most kind, the perfect host.

The farmers here are kind, good hosts.
So what has happened to this place
I lived until last week, this space
amid the mountains where my most
fulfilling job was teaching all
who came from all around the earth
to learn? Will these kids now get hurt?
I shot a text out to my pal
who lives up north still. She replied
to say she has begun to carry
her green card in her wallet, wary.
And when she used her car to ferry
our mutual friend to class, he smiled
but gripped his passport the whole ride.

He gripped his passport the whole ride—
and here I’m talking big brave guys,
ceiling-tall, enormous smiles,
the type that’s eager to provide
pointers to more junior learners.
The news has got them worried. All
of us are worried. I, now walled
in the Big Apple, am a furnace
of worry. That stern prof on Twitter
scowls, pounds on “Block” and on “Ignore.”
This rural town, to be quite clear,
is miles and miles from the perimeter.
There’s just one sandwich counter here:
Cambodian. Nice town, like yours;

and combed by Border Patrol, like yours
has two-thirds odds of being, Reader.
You thought the edge was far yet teeter.
Lay Yi, her birthplace mined by wars,
migrated in 2004
and now she’s feeding hungry locals
at this sandwich joint, a focal
point in the neighborhood, a core.
She greets me by my name each time.
When moving out, I went to say
goodbye, but she was out that day.
Perhaps it’s fitting: farewells could
give the false sense one leaves for good
when one drives down I-89.

________________________

Jenna Le: “I didn’t think I’d ever write a sonnet crown, but a story in my inland small-town local paper about the unexpected appearance of a Border Patrol checkpoint on our local highway that got posted on Twitter on Monday appears to have yanked a crown out from inside me. The crown form allowed to me to say all manner of things I didn’t realize I needed to say, about the bittersweetness of moving, spicy tacos, my all-time favorite Cambodian sandwich shop, corn mazes, Twitter, and working as a teacher.”

AnonymousBystander
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Junk
By Richard Wilbur

Huru Welandes
worc ne geswiceσ?
monna ænigum
σara σe Mimming can
heardne gehealdan.

—Waldere

An axe angles
                              from my neighbor’s ashcan;
It is hell’s handiwork,
                                             the wood not hickory,
The flow of the grain
                                          not faithfully followed.
The shivered shaft
                                      rises from a shellheap
Of plastic playthings,
                                            paper plates,
And the sheer shards
                                         of shattered tumblers
That were not annealed
                                            for the time needful.
At the same curbside,
                                          a cast-off cabinet
Of wavily warped
                                   unseasoned wood
Waits to be trundled
                                         in the trash-man’s truck.
Haul them off! Hide them!
                                                The heart winces
For junk and gimcrack,
                                            for jerrybuilt things
And the men who make them
                                                for a little money,  
Bartering pride
                                 like the bought boxer
Who pulls his punches,
                                            or the paid-off jockey  
Who in the home stretch
                                             holds in his horse.  
Yet the things themselves
                                                in thoughtless honor
Have kept composure,
                                         like captives who would not
Talk under torture.
                                       Tossed from a tailgate
Where the dump displays
                                             its random dolmens,
Its black barrows
                                    and blazing valleys,
They shall waste in the weather
                                                         toward what they were.
The sun shall glory
                                       in the glitter of glass-chips,
Foreseeing the salvage
                                            of the prisoned sand,  
And the blistering paint
                                               peel off in patches,
That the good grain
                                       be discovered again.
Then burnt, bulldozed,
                                            they shall all be buried  
To the depth of diamonds,
                                                in the making dark
Where halt Hephaestus
                                          keeps his hammer
And Wayland’s work
                                      is worn away.

from https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/43045/junk

EvaChunMeng
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Thank you for posting that remarkable poem.

Jade-Pandora
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David Kirby

LITTLE MOVIES

I’m telling my friend Charlotte that Barbara and I
are going to New York, where I hope not to spend
a whole lot of money in fancy restaurants, and Charlotte tells me
she was just in New York herself but didn’t
spend much money on food because “I was with
a group of pregnant women.” I can see them now as they

decide between the goat cheese salad and the hummus,
the hearts of palm and the orange-glazed shrimp with
spicy walnut crumble as the waiter says, “Can I interest
you ladies in a mimosa, bloody mary, glass of prosecco?”
and they say, “No, not this time, maybe in a few months.”
Barbara asked her hairdresser if she plans to have

children, and the hairdresser says she’s leaning
the other way because she works on a lot of young
mommies, and “they’re just not selling it.” Then again,
parenthood isn’t about joy. Studies show that parents
report significantly lower levels of happiness,
life satisfaction, marital satisfaction, and mental well-being

compared with non-parents. Why do it, then? Why
have children at all? Probably because children add
narrative to a life that doesn’t have one or add more
narrative to a life that is actually pretty rich in narrative
already or seems as though it may never have
a narrative at all. Did you know that even aliens

love stories? The woman who claims to have
interviewed the alien whose ship crashed in Roswell,
New Mexico, in 1947 said the creature’s favorite books
were Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Don Quixote,
and One Thousand and One Nights, all stories
of great spirit, great power. Great images: Tom Petty

says, “A good song should give you a lot of images.
You should be able to make your own little movie
in your head to a good song,” and the same is true
of stories. A man had a peacock, says playwright
Tom Stoppard, and the man was shaving one morning,
and in the mirror he sees the peacock atop the garden wall

and about to jump to the other side, so the man drops
his razor and races out just as the bird reaches
the motorway and starts to leg it to god knows where,
and he catches it after a hundred yards or so and puts
the peacock under his arm and starts home.
So the story ends happily, but in the meantime, a good

half-dozen cars have sped by, and their occupants
have seen a man clad only in pajama pants, his face
covered by shaving foam, carrying a peacock.
What did they think? That the man had lost a bet
on a rugby match, perhaps, and now he has to walk
from Whitby to Berwick-upon-Tweed with the foam

on his face and the bird under his arm. Or that he belongs
to a cult religion that worships shaving, partial nudity,
and peacocks, and he’s on his annual pilgrimage.
Or that he has been slipped a powerful drug by his wife’s
lover, who is sending the man out into the world
this way so that he will appear deranged and spend

the rest of his days in a care home while the two lovers
squander the man’s considerable fortune. All lives
end the same way. Between the start and the finish,
it’s the stories that count. May we all say what the poet
Edward Field did when his partner of long standing died,
and Field tells us that “we were together for 58 years.

It was so wonderful I don’t mind being by myself for a while
and reflecting on our life together. I am so grateful.”
Charlotte laughs as she tells me about her pregnant friends,
and I love thinking of all that life around the table, and then
I ask Charlotte if she plans to have children, and she wags
her finger at me as if to say, wouldn’t you like to know.

___________________________________

David Kirby: “Researchers ask parents if they’re happy, but that’s the wrong question; it’s like asking a cow if it can fly. Evidently there’s something we prize above happiness, and that’s a good story, especially if it stars us.”

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