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

Jade-Pandora
Jade-Pandora
jade tiger
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Jaime R. Wood

QUARANTINE DAY 35


The online coronavirus survey asks
if you’ve experienced hair loss
and you laugh because just yesterday
you took brand new clippers to your scalp
and sheared off enough hair to help someone
with cancer feel human again.
Your friend told you over Zoom happy hour
to hug yourself to trick your body
into feeling less lonely, so you wrap your arms,
right to left and left to right,
across your chest until your hands reach
your shoulder blades and you can feel
your heart beating inside you
as if it belongs to someone else,
but you know that hasn’t been true for a long time.
You stay up all night watching hospital dramas
because you want to know who will live
and who will die.
And one morning you wake to find out via email
that one of your students died in her sleep.
All day you tell people again and again,
“She had kids. She had kids.” Plural.
But it turns out she only had one
five-year-old daughter. Singular.
But what does it matter?
Every child is a universe.
And one morning one small girl in Portland, Oregon
woke up without her one very important mother.
Sometimes my hands shake with all they cannot hold,
and I don’t know how to measure what it means
for time to pass. Which simile will do?
Like a heartbeat?
Like a million fine hairs falling from a head?
Like a mother who slept through the night
and then stopped, her universe carrying the weight
of her through all the days of her life?

_________________________________

Jaime R. Wood: “The ongoing event that we’re all experiencing right now is social isolation in an attempt to protect ourselves and our loved ones from COVID-19, and some people, like me, live alone, and so the isolation is profound. Last week, I learned that one of my students died in her sleep, and of all the things I knew about her, the thing I kept thinking about was the fact that she was a single mother and that her kids were young. I knew that, but I couldn’t remember how many kids she had until someone told me that she only had one, and at that point, it didn’t really matter to me. The loss is great, no matter how you calculate it. The loss of this one woman, and my feelings about it, can be multiplied many times over and applied to each of us. We wake up and fall asleep to loss, and there aren’t adequate words to measure it all.”

Sky_dancer
Sky_dancer
A girl has no name
Tyrant of Words
United Kingdom
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Sonnet 19: When I consider how my light is spent


BY JOHN MILTON


When I consider how my light is spent,
  Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
  And that one Talent which is death to hide
  Lodged with me useless, though my Soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
  My true account, lest he returning chide;
  “Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
  I fondly ask. But patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, “God doth not need
  Either man’s work or his own gifts; who best
  Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is Kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed
  And post o’er Land and Ocean without rest:
  They also serve who only stand and wait.”

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44750/sonnet-19-when-i-consider-how-my-light-is-spent

https://www.express.co.uk/entertainment/books/31947/Milton-Poet-Pamphleteer-and-Patriot-By-Anna-Beer-Bloomsbury-15

Kinkpoet
Kinkpoet
Dangerous Mind
United States
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Frank Vincent Zappa (December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993) was an American multi-instrumentalist musician, composer, and bandleader. (source: Wikipedia)

Harder Than Your Husband

We must say good-bye
There's no need for you to cry
It's better that I tell you this tonight
Our affair has been quite heated
You thought I was what you needed
But the time has come, my darlin'
To set things right, 'cause

I'll be harder than yer husband
To get along with
Harder than yer husband every night
Harder than yer husband
Harder than yer husband
An' I don't want our love affair
To end with a fight

You been like a little angel
How you loved me
I appreciate the warmth of your embrace
Well, the world don't need to know
How I adored you
But there's somethin' I must tell you, darlin'
Face to face. ..

I'll be harder than yer husband
To get along with
Harder than yer husband every night
Harder than yer husband
Harder than yer husband
An' I don't want our love affair
To end with a fight

So, it's adios, adios, my little darlin'
(Adios my little darlin'. ..)
Gotta go now. ..
Keep that hankie that I gave you for when you cry
There are things that trouble me
And I'm sure that you must see
That it breaks my heart the same as yours
When we say good-bye

Harder than yer husband
Harder than yer. .. Much, much, much
Harder than yer husband
Harder than yer. .. Much, much, much
Harder than yer husband
Harder than yer... Much, much, much
Harder than yer husband
Harder than yer...

Frank Zappa – Harder Than Your Husband Lyrics
from album: You Are What You Is (1981)

Sky_dancer
Sky_dancer
A girl has no name
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United Kingdom
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he means difficult to get along with, right?

Kinkpoet
Kinkpoet
Dangerous Mind
United States
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Sky_dancer said:he means difficult to get along with, right?

Perhaps. You know I love ambiguities.
🙏

Jade-Pandora
Jade-Pandora
jade tiger
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Jose A. Alcantara

SI SE PUEDA


When I take my morning walk now,
I am Pancho Villa. I am Che Guevara.

I am an outlaw in a mask and dark glasses.
I am starting a revolution.

Power to the peonies!
¡Vivas to the violets!

We would rather die on our knees,
sniffing at a flower,

than live, standing in line,
waiting for toilet paper to arrive.

Quivering, I throw my heart out,
six feet in every direction.

All that creeps, crawls, slithers,
or flies, I love.

I lower my mask.
I fling wide my arms.

I kiss death full on the mouth.

__________________________________

Jose A. Alcantara: “As the lockdown continues, I continue to venture out, wearing my mask. When, looking in a mirror, I tie my bandana around my neck, I see how my look looks like a look most people wouldn’t like. And so, as is required, I embrace that which I previously avoided.”

Jade-Pandora
Jade-Pandora
jade tiger
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In Koo Kim

THE COMMUTERS OF PENN STATION WANT TO GO HOME


The commuters of Penn Station want to go home. 
A way home is up there, somewhere on the board.
The gate will show there, up there on the board.
A penetrating stare may uncrack the code,
A penetrating stare will uncrack the code.
That trash bag by the stairs looks like a man.
The trash bag lying by the stairs is a man.
Hey You. You lookin’ at me?
Not you. Yeah You—Why you lookin’ at me?
A flicker on the board and they flow toward the man.
The flow becomes a river and we step over the man.
Stairways must be kept clear, rivers flow to the sea.
The stairway is now clear, that man was swept out to sea.
The commuters of Penn Station want to go home.

__________________________________

In Koo Kim: “I’d never taken an online course before, but decided to risk it since I heard great things about Kim Addonizio. I received helpful high quality insights from Kim and her assemblage of poets. I studied with her in the spring of this year, and she helped me learn several forms, including the duplex, which is one of my submissions.”

Jade-Pandora
Jade-Pandora
jade tiger
Tyrant of Words
United States
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Sarah Freligh
(born/raised in Adrian, Michigan)

WILD ME
after Mary Oliver by way of Kim Addonizio

You do not have to be bad.
You do not have to get down on your knees
in a gas station bathroom for a guy
whose name you’ve already forgotten. 
You only have to tell him
a dirty joke in which you’re
the punchline. Tell me
about your sex toys
and I’ll show you mine. 
Meanwhile the sun sets.
Meanwhile feral cats slink
from shadow to shadow 
howling at your need. 
Meanwhile, you grow paws, 
claws, a tail. Wherever
you are, a coyote is watching
and waiting over and over
for you to lie down.

_________________________________

Sarah Freligh: “Years before I took the first of three online classes with Kim Addonizio, she was already teaching me about the kind of poetry I wanted to write. As a fiction writer turned poet, Jimmy and Rita and Tell Me were my first bibles; I kept copies in my purse or backpack until they were worn-out and dog-eared. Years later, Kim is still teaching me and so many others. In fact, I wager you’d be hard-pressed to find a contemporary American poet who hasn’t been influenced in some way by Kim. My biggest takeaway from studying with Kim is a reminder to be fearless in my own work, to pursue my own truths about the world with passion.”

Jade-Pandora
Jade-Pandora
jade tiger
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Steve Cushman

MY NEIGHBOR

who tried to hang himself from a garage 
rafter two months ago, seems fine this 
morning, blowing leaves off the back porch.  
Last night I saw him cooking burgers, a beer 
in one hand, spatula in the other, surveying his 
backyard, as if surprised by its simple beauty.

What makes a man want to take his life?
Mental illness, chemicals, abundant sadness?  
Yes and yes and yes and a million more yesses.

When is the bottom the bottom?
I don’t pretend to know, but he looks fine 
now. But how can you forget 
that moment when you kicked the chair away, 
everything tightening as your throat snapped shut?
How can you ever forget that?  
Maybe you lock the door 
and throw away the key, so that even 
on those days when you reach 
for the door again it will not let you in. 

Last night, while grilling, I watched him 
plant three pansies in a large backyard pot, 
orange and purple and yellow,
as if he was trying to brighten the world a little. 

When I asked how he was doing 
he said, fine and day by day,
and he does look pretty good, 
maybe thinner and a little shaky,
but if you didn’t know you wouldn’t suspect
he was someone who had stood on the edge of a cliff 
and someone or something beyond himself
pulled him back, an act that surprised even him.

_________________________________

Steve Cushman: “I studied with Kim Addonizio and a wonderful group of poets in 2014 via an online class. It was at a time when I was transitioning from primarily writing fiction to writing poetry, as well. The class allowed me to test myself, to see if I could write poetry at all. The students in the class were amazing and pushed me as a writer in ways I hadn’t been pushed since graduate school. Kim was a gentle and strong teacher, allowing us to each move in our own way but still pushing us to do more. Now it’s been five years since then, and I’m still trying to figure out this poetry thing, but I have no doubt that Kim’s class, and the poets writing and studying along with me, made a huge difference on this journey.”

Kinkpoet
Kinkpoet
Dangerous Mind
United States
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Gordon Meredith Lightfoot Jr. (born November 17, 1938) is a Canadian singer-songwriter guitarist who achieved international success in folk, folk-rock, and country music. He is credited with helping to define the folk-pop sound of the 1960s and 1970s. He is often referred to as Canada's greatest songwriter[2] and is known internationally as a folk-rock legend. This is from his new album, Solo, recorded at the age of 81.

Just A Little Bit

Do you ever get tired of hanging out just a little bit?
Do you ever get tired of the old routine?
Do you ever get tired of the blue jeans just a little bit?
Do you ever get tired of making the scene?
Down by the back step checking out dawn
Down by the sundeck, give a big yawn
Do you ever get tired of mowing the lawn?
Do you ever get tired of the telephone just a little bit?
Do you ever get tired of a telephone bill?
Do you ever get tired of a cheap thrill just a little bit?
Do you ever get tired of curing your ills?
Down by the clothesline picking up sheets
Down by the hoe line picking up beats
Ever get tired with the food we eat just a little bit?
Do you ever get tired of an upset just a little bit?
Do you ever get tired of being on time?
Do you ever get tired of a cigarette just a little bit?
Do you ever get tired of hearing me whine?
Down at the dog house picking up dew
Down at the deadwood seeing what's new
Do you ever get tired of shining them shoes just a little bit?
Do you ever get tired of worrying just a little bit?
Do you ever get tired of singing the blues?
Do you ever get tired of the clothes you wear just a little bit?
Do you ever get tired of combing your hair?
Down by the schoolyard smoke some alone
Down by the pool hall money's all gone
Do you ever get tired of me singing this song?
Do you ever get tired of the Olympic Games just a little bit?
Do you ever get tired of calling me names?
Do you ever get tired of a-moving on just a little bit?
Do you ever get tired of hauling that flame?
Pick up the bread pan, pick up the dough
Pick up the deadpan, pick up the show
Ever get tired of shoveling snow?
Do you ever get tired of a-hanging out just a little bit?
Do you ever get tired of taking that shower?
Do you ever get tired of hanging in a little bit?
Do you ever get bored with the CN Tower?
Down by the mailbox pick up the news
Trying to find a new point of view
Do you ever get tired of shining them shoes just a little bit?
Just a little bit
Just a little bit
Just a little bit

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Gordon Lightfoot

Jade-Pandora
Jade-Pandora
jade tiger
Tyrant of Words
United States
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Gary Leising
Utica College Professor of English


FIVE MANNEQUINS AND ONE PERSON AT THE SOCIALLY DISTANCED DINING ROOM


A Proposal

I’m down before you on my bended knee
Offering a ring. Diners strain to hear me speak.
My hat, white suit, and words, circa 1940,
All fold before you as I bend my knee
And ask your hand. The war worries the country
And we might all be dead within a week.
I’m down before you on a bended knee
Offering this ring. I strain and strain to speak.

 
An Observing Woman at Another Table

More interested in the butter than this scene,
My affianced appears to count the fork tine
By tine. My lump of a man slumps over the cuisine
More interested in plain butter than this scene,
And all meal long not a word passed between
My love and I. The waiter poured wine and wine.
More interested in the butter than this scene
My affianced appears as dull as the fork tine.

 
The Man Who Wants to Leave

My hat is on the table; I know it’s unmannerly,
But le garcon keeps passing, passing us by.
The little wife says, “We have nowhere to be,
Take your hat off the table; it’s unmannerly.”
“I’m stubborn, lady.” “Be patient, why can’t you be
patient?” Her cheeks quiver, she’s going to cry.
My hat is on the table; I know it’s unmannerly.
So, dammit, is the garcon passing passing us by.


The Man Seated Alone

I don’t know why I’m here, but I’ve nowhere else to be
And so I sit, food gone, bill paid. I’m not wanted
By anyone, not my wife or kids, not the maître d’.
No one wants me here, but I’ve nowhere else to be
Except among the non-living, all of them like me.
The world is still and fine, it’s only me that’s haunted.
I don’t know why I’m here, where I don’t want to be,
And so I sit, bill paid, food gone, and know I’m not wanted.

 
The Lone Human Diner

I wait for them to move, resume their lives.
Will one raise the water glass to her lips?
A roomful of fake hands rest by shiny knives.
I wait for them to move, resume their lives,
Stroll outside to see what from before survives,
How the world changed during the apocalypse.
I wait for them to move, resume their lives.
Will she please raise a glass to her lips?

 
The Woman Being Asked the Question

Ten thousand tomorrows hang on my reply,
Some bad some good in the yes or no I give.
Can he see the future like a filmstrip in my eye?
Ten thousand tomorrows hang on my reply,
Possible lives I accept, other ones I must deny.
Will this be the rut-stuck existence I have to live?
Ten thousand tomorrows hang on my reply,
Some good some bad—no or yes? I give.

_________________________________

Gary Leising: “As I read about this restaurant opening with mannequins to fill empty tables, I thought about how many of us may have felt like mannequins, our lives stilled over the past months. So I thought I’d try to enter the voices of the mannequins in this article’s photo. Using a fixed form with a refrain seemed natural, because there’s so much repetition in pandemic, stay-at-home times.”

badmalthus
badmalthus
Harry Rout
Dangerous Mind
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Drill Shed by Irving Layton

The passive motion of sand
Is fluid geometry.
Fir needles Are the cool, select thoughts of madmen, and
Like a beggar the wind wheedles
Pine cones from the pines.
Inside there’s no violence
Only the silence
Of an empty church;
Drilled zygotes shift
From foot to foot or lurch
With half-closed eyes against the guns
While the ack-eye shows
With delphic joy
The deeper things a dial sight knows;
Curious now
I marvel how Lord
Euclid’s dream
Can stiffen a boy.

Kinkpoet
Kinkpoet
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Abraham Verghese (born 1955) is an American physician, author and professor. He is also the author of three best-selling books, two memoirs and a novel. Although not a poet, much of his writing has a poetic quality.

excerpt from the book Cutting For Stone:

...I chose the specialty of surgery because of Matron, that steady presence during my boyhood and adolescence. “What is the hardest thing you can possibly do?” she said when I went to her for advice on the darkest day of the first half of my life. I squirmed. How easily Matron probed the gap between ambition and expediency. “Why must I do what is hardest?” “Because, Marion, you are an instrument of God. Don’t leave the instrument sitting in its case, my son. Play! Leave no part of your instrument unexplored. Why settle for ‘Three Blind Mice’ when you can play the ‘Gloria’?” How unfair of Matron to evoke that soaring chorale which always made me feel that I stood with every mortal creature looking up to the heavens in dumb wonder. She understood my unformed character. “But, Matron, I can’t dream of playing Bach, the ‘Gloria’ …,” I said under my breath. I’d never played a string or wind instrument. I couldn’t read music. “No, Marion,” she said, her gaze soft, reaching for me, her gnarled hands rough on my cheeks. “No, not Bach’s ‘Gloria.’ Yours! Your ‘Gloria’ lives within you. The greatest sin is not finding it, ignoring what God made possible in you.”...

Kinkpoet
Kinkpoet
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Edward Paul Abbey (January 29, 1927 – March 14, 1989) was an American author and essayist noted for his advocacy of environmental issues, criticism of public land policies, and anarchist political views.
He was also a poet. Benedictio is from his book Earth Apples: The Poetry of Edward Abbey
.

Benedictio:
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing views. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through pastoral valleys tinkling with bells, past temples and castles and poets’ towers into a dark primeval forest where tigers belch and monkeys howl, through miasmal and mysterious swamps and down into a desert of red rock, blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottoes of endless stone, and down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs, where deer walk across the white sand beaches, where storms come and go as lightning clangs upon the high crags, where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you—beyond that next turning of the canyon walls. So long.

nomoth
nomoth
Thought Provoker
United Kingdom
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just love this, based on an old Indian parable.

The blind men and an elephant by John Godfrey Saxe (1816-1887)

It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.

The First approached the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
“God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a WALL!”

The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, “Ho, what have we here,
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me ’tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a SPEAR!”

The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a SNAKE!”

The Fourth reached out an eager hand,
And felt about the knee
“What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain,” quoth he:
“‘Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a TREE!”

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: “E’en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a FAN!”

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Than seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a ROPE!”

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,

And all were in the wrong.

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