Off the Corner Block 
Convallaria’s memorable scent
dispersed from the bore run
of an original rain, down
to the cloaked grip on all
these shoots and blossoms, 
these imminently done postures,
a borne ground to stand upon,
where I have my time, craven,
bumbley prepared with a fammulus
vole sleighting off an underworld. 
And what’s to be known of the
quaggy inklings, wiffled dynamics,
murmuring losses-- a mulched pulse
and when gone missing from
foundations of pale hospitals, 
a reality parallels the cyclorama
personally backed by sapphire,
as to meander is to wisp violet
without a swaddle from anything
but sideslips of botanical breath.


The Man Who Awoke with Singing over the Roofs
--Tomas Tranströmer 
Morning. May rain. The city is still quiet
as a mountain hamlet. The streets quiet. And in
the sky a bluish-green aero-engine rumbles.—
....................The window is open. 
The dream where the sleeper is lying prostrate
turns transparent. He stirs, begins
groping for attention’s instrument—
....................almost in space.


[ Personal Shelf ; Jacek Yerka (1999) ].......


Dooms of Balm
--L. S. Klatt 
The earth is covered
in lilacs. Corals
in the lilac sea mean
brains are thinking
of bee balm. When
last perfumed, there was a purple discharge, then
a gratitude. We sleep, knowing we may be ambushed 
by a lilac dream,
but the sun is
a friend, our ultra-
violet friend. To
make a synthetic
grief out of lilacs
is not to feel

[from Sunshine Wound; Parlor Press (2014)]


Intrepid Pilot
--L. S. Klatt 
Dear Stranger, if a lark chased by a birdshot
seeks asylum where things are hidden, go
to it with an armload of chameleons &
armadillos. And if, in the flooded glades
of the Orinoco, you discover a woman
bathing a panther with lilac oils, go to her.
And if you eavesdrop on certain light-
bearing insects, take a bicycle that will wheel
you into dark space. What you must not
blot out, but rather imagine, is that your cloak
is a lifeboat. Into midnight then fall backward
because, weightless there, you phosphoresce
in a slipstream of transit.

[from Sunshine Wound; Parlor Press (2014)]


--Lawrence Sail    
From each drowned river
they drain out to sea,
the shivering images
of inverted hills,
bridges and cities,
to be scoured by salt — 
and return as stormburst,
sunlight or the moon's
pale versions
of attraction: the flood
of born-again blankness,
a belief in beginnings.

[via verse daily]


[ Endless ; Keith Jarrett (1992)]

p - Keith Jarret
b - Gary Peacock
d - Jack Dejohnnette


54th Chorus
Communities of houses
Caparisoned by sunlight
On the last & fading hill
Of America a-rollin
To the Western Chill 
And delicacies of statues
Hewn by working men
Neoned, tacked on,
Pressed against the sign
To see the swellest coupon 
Light on the fronts
.....of old buildings
Like in New York
In December dusks
When hats point to sea
--from "San Francisco Blues"; Jack Kerouac (1954)

Beat doesn’t mean tired or bushed, so much as it means beato, the Italian for beatific; to be in a state of beatitude, like St. Francis, trying to love all life, trying to be utterly sincere with everyone, practicing endurance, kindness, cultivating joy of the heart. How can this be done in our mad modern world of multiplicities and millions? By practicing a little solitude, going off by yourself once in a while to store up that most precious of goals: the vibrations of sincerity.   ~Jack Kerouac


53rd Chorus 
Pulsing push
To come on in
Inundate Frisco
....Fill the rills
And ride the ravines
And sneak on in
With Whippoorwill
............The Chinse call it woo
............The French les brunes
............The British
............Cellar door
--from 'San Francisco Blues'; Jack Kerouac (1954)


3rd Chorus 
3rd St Market to Lease
Has a washed down tile
Tile entrance once white
...Now caked with gum
Of a thousand hundred feet
Feet of passers who
...Did not go straight on
Bending to flap the time
Pap page on back
With smoke emanating
From their noses
But slowly like old
...Lantern jawed junkmen
...Hurrying with the lump
...Wondrous potato bag
......To the avenues of sunshine
......Came, bending to spit,
& Shuffled awhile there. 
--from 'San Francisco Blues'; Jack Kerouac (1954)


It's all gotta be non stop
ad libbing within each chorus,
or the gig is shot.

--Jack Kerouac


The problem of time seen through the example of music. Music is returning time. The taut springs of time. Time coursing through certain creative personalities, and so personal time. The time of Beethoven, the time of Brahms, Chopin’s time, Mozart’s time. 
These individual times, so varied in their movement, their temperaments, their energies—are subject just the same to the general laws of time. There are always two inclines leading into the present: the past and the future. For all that, though, music taken as a whole holds hints of eternity, of permanence. 
The raw material of music is time. 
Time is the raw material of our lives, too, although each of us molds something different from it. 
Time as a gift, as something given to us—to use, to fulfill, as one fills a glass of wine. It’s given like the coin in the Gospel parable, to be multiplied. And how could time be multiplied except through eternity and outside eternity. 
When I listen to music, I feel how time passes, I hear it passing. Time is intensified, revitalized, recharged. 
--from 'Industrious Amazement: A Notebook'; Anna Kamienska


Poetry constructs parallel worlds. It makes us stretch, as if we were made of rubber, toward the people it is possible for us to be, toward our possible realities, starting from the matter that forms us, dark and light. We can live there, in a world of eternal possibility and perpetual promise that are equally tangible (as dreams are). And in the very instant we seek to define poetry, pin it down as if it were a simple matter of free will, or as if this were the only guiding energy, everything becomes an option—good or bad, better or worse; then the plurality of meanings hidden in the poetic word is threatened; that word becomes univocal and collapses. 
--Pura López-Colomé

[via MAKE]


To be able to speak 
without punctuation 
jubilant infinite moment
moment jubilant infinite
infinite moment jubilant
and as if that weren’t enough
burn and sing
a solipsist
heard by no one
but the weird world’s
distant core 
To be able to speak 
without contrivance,
underlinings or cursives 
supreme instant
of unbounded pleasure
at the center of an immensity
without any outside pressure
knowing full well that vital forces
peel away from the muscle easily
and drift off
and one drowns
and it doesn’t matter
that one is protected
To be able to speak  
to speak it
to speak it to them
to oneself
--from 'Dehiscent, Enraptured Invention'; Pura López-Colomé


--Pura López-Colomé 
You insist
on moving mountains
under the mantle
and to the skirts
of an opacity
not surmountable
by equivocation,
by which no one appears,
by which the magnolia offers itself
and also gives off
so much scent that
padlocks of pores and eyelids
are opened
and something peculiar
comes clear,
a howl,
a blaze
behind the screen.


Our intention is to affirm this life, not to bring order out of chaos, nor to suggest improvements in creation, but simply to wake up to the very life we're living, which is so excellent once one gets one's mind and desires out of its way and lets it act of its own accord. 
--John Cage

[via whiskey river]


[Donald Byrd/Gigi Gryce; Over the Rainbow (1957)]

tr- Donald Byrd
as- Gigi Gryce
p- Tommy Flanagan
bs- Wendell Marshall
d- Art Taylor


Six Significant Landscapes
--Wallace Stevens 
An old man sits
In the shadow of a pine tree
In China.
He sees larkspur,
Blue and white,
At the edge of the shadow,
Move in the wind.
His beard moves in the wind.
The pine tree moves in the wind.
Thus water flows
Over weeds. 
The night is of the colour
Of a woman's arm:
Night, the female,
Fragrant and supple,
Conceals herself.
A pool shines,
Like a bracelet
Shaken in a dance. 
I measure myself
Against a tall tree.
I find that I am much taller,
For I reach right up to the sun,
With my eye;
And I reach to the shore of the sea
With my ear.
Nevertheless, I dislike
The way ants crawl
In and out of my shadow. 
When my dream was near the moon,
The white folds of its gown
Filled with yellow light.
The soles of its feet
Grew red.
Its hair filled
With certain blue crystallizations
From stars,
Not far off. 
Not all the knives of the lamp-posts,
Nor the chisels of the long streets,
Nor the mallets of the domes
And high towers,
Can carve
What one star can carve,
Shining through the grape-leaves. 
Rationalists, wearing square hats,
Think, in square rooms,
Looking at the floor,
Looking at the ceiling.
They confine themselves
To right-angled triangles.
If they tried rhomboids,
Cones, waving lines, ellipses --
As, for example, the ellipse of the half-moon --
Rationalists would wear sombreros. 


Always as it holds us in one place, the earth
Grows as it moves, exhaling
Its rooted joy. I stand on tracks
Where nothing starves. Vegetation, green blush,
You and I sail today
Through newly infinite
Space on this surfeited hillside. Complacency has its own force

Leafed-out with renewal. I cannot be anything
But alive, in a place as far

From the blank and the stark, as this.

--from 'Immortals'; James Dickey


Wise men, you have cast me aside.
Fools, I do the same to you.
I would be neither wise man nor fool;
From now on, let us hear no more from each other.
When night comes I sing to the bright moon;
At dawn, I dance with white clouds.
How could I still my voice and my hands
And sit stiff as a stick with my grey hair rumpled?  
--Han-shan (trans. Burton Watson)

[from Cold Mountain: 100 Poems by the T'ang poet, Han-shan]


[ Second Letter (Zen Spring) ; Brice Marden (2009) ]..........


This—is the land—the Sunset washes—
These—are the Banks of the Yellow Sea—
Where it rose—or whither it rushes—
These—are the Western Mystery! 
Night after Night
Her purple traffic
Strews the landing with Opal Bales—
Merchantmen—poise upon Horizons—
Dip—and vanish like Orioles! 
--Emily Dickinson (1862)


The two poems below are from Harrison’s more recent volumes, 'Songs of Unreason' (2011) and 'In Search of Small Gods' (2009). Regarding his later verse, it is often identified as mortality poetry. But Harrison referred to his poem 'Barking' as a satori poem. And while that specific poem does contain the imagistic and thematic qualities traditionally found in Asian/Zen verse, the self applied characterization could work for the majority of the poems he penned later in life. 

To remember you're alive
visit the cemetery of your father
at noon after you've made love
and are still wrapped in a mammalian
odor that you are forced to cherish.
Under each stone is someone's inevitable
surprise, the unexpected death
of their biology that struggled hard, as it must.
Now to home without looking back,
enough is enough.
En route buy the best wine
you can afford and a dozen stiff brooms.
Have a few swallows then throw the furniture
out the window and begin sweeping.
Sweep until the walls are
bare of paint and at your feet sweep
until the floor disappears. Finish the wine
in this field of air, return to the cemetery
in evening and wind through the stones
a slow dance of your name visible only to birds.

The moon comes up.
The moon goes down.
This is to inform you
that I didn’t die young.
Age swept past me
but I caught up.
Spring has begun here and each day
brings new birds up from Mexico.
Yesterday I got a call from the outside
world but I said no in thunder.
I was a dog on a short chain
and now there’s no chain.