2016-09-27



A few days ago I was out for a run after work and while coming up to a crosswalk by a playground, I saw a grey haired man wait with a toddler age boy cradled in one arm and a red plastic Tyco toy car of some sort carried by the other. The light changed a bit before I caught up to them and when they started to cross, I could see the boy squirm in an attempt to turn backwards, with fingers fully spread while also grasping, clawing, gripping at the air, and with vocal cords increasingly strained. He obviously dropped something when they were stopped for the light and was none happy about it.


When I got to the corner myself I began looking around to help out. Maybe a figurine? Rubber ball? Piece of candy? The boy calmed when he saw me begin my search and the man must have noticed the change as he stopped to turn around as well. At that point I was hoping to be able to bring to them whatever was left behind, but I couldn’t find a thing. Just grass and crumbled concrete about the curb. I was a bit dumbstruck. The man picked up on my befuddlement as he first chuckled, then paused a second to let some humor fill into his eyes, and then said, “It‘s a rock.”




2016-09-25



It’s dark because you are trying too hard. 
Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. 
Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. 
Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them. 

I was so preposterously serious in those days,
such a humorless little prig. 
Lightly, lightly – it’s the best advice ever given me. 
When it comes to dying even. Nothing ponderous,
or portentous, or emphatic. 
No rhetoric, no tremolos, 
no self conscious persona putting on its celebrated imitation
of Christ or Little Nell. 
And of course, no theology, no metaphysics. 
Just the fact of dying and the fact of the clear light. 

So throw away your baggage and go forward. 
There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet, 
trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair. 
That’s why you must walk so lightly. 
Lightly my darling, 
on tiptoes and no luggage, 
not even a sponge bag, 
completely unencumbered.

 --Aldous Huxley





2016-09-23




[ Peggy-O ; trad. ]


Borrowed time from the afternoon below the thin stirring of a locust tree, archaic marigold leaves that fell like sifts of paper rain and with those that landed on my lap, intoned by verse once lived but never understood upon being spoken. From years that grew after time into autumn’s shadows, stretched from what I can now only know through a flux of symbols, silent messages. Gracious are those mellifluous winds from the far reaches, the likes of Caledonia, and slowed down for peninsular songs of flaxen yield gone memorable. Linseed dreams are bottomless valleys. Myself there surrounded by heights of forever, hanging on to the covered brevity of nothing.



2016-09-21


Ghostly Twilight
--Georg Trakl (trans. James Reidel) 
Stillness meets at the edge of the woods
A dark deer;
On the hill the evening wind quietly ends, 
The blackbird's lament trails off,
And the soft pipes of autumn
Fall silent in the reeds. 
On a black cloud
Drunk from poppies you sail
The night pond, 
The starry sky,
The sister's lunar voice forever echoes
Through the ghostly night.



The horrendous beauty of Trakl's poetic efforts are being newly presented in a gorgeous three volume series from Seagull Press. 'Ghostly Twilight' was taken from Sebastian Dreaming, which is the second publication and out earlier this year (a copy of which I had the fortune to purchase while visiting City Lights Books in May). A review can be found at Queen Mob's Tea House. The third book has not yet been released. I eagerly await.   




2016-09-19



Transfigured Autumn
--Georg Trakl 
So the year ends enormously
With golden wine and fruit of the gardens.
All around the forests silence wonderfully
And are the lonely one's companions. 
Then the countryman says: it is good.
You evening bells long and quiet
Still give glad courage to the end.
A line of birds greets on the journey. 
It is the mild time of love.
In the boat down the blue river
How beautifully image is strung to image -
That declines in rest and silence.


[via Georg Trakl: Poems]


2016-09-17



Salt flats of dream of memory of dream ... limitless horizons
and out on the utmost rim (can you see?) a house
white-on-white abstract except for the room-within-a-room
which can’t be seen but can be known, white being one thing
in sunlight another under moonlight, not oblivion, not revival,
and the soul’s song across that windless landscape, unheard;
by night the heart-stopped silence, by day the rising glare.


Graves under bramble and a wet light through the trees.
A quietness something like stealth or sudden absence; it seemed
to gather and disperse. Rat-run, ground for stray dogs, a place
where lovers come to be swallowed whole by half-light.
You could lie down here on thorn, on stone, and find your match.


Wind-driven salt in the crevice of the rock is how
memory works: image, invention, regret. It maddens
with its ersatz colors, unknowable language, sudden reversals,
shoreline, skyline, cityscape, landscape ... There are those who wake
with the whole thing fixed at the forefront of their minds:
a stage-set, people held in a frozen moment who will break
to action soon, one fearful, one laughing, one clawing at her eyes.

--from "Salt"; David Harsnet



[via POETRY; September 2016]




2016-09-15



What is it all for, this poetry,
This bundle of accomplishment
Put together with so much pain?
Twenty years of hard labor,
Lessons learned from Li Po and Dante,
Indian chants and gestalt psychology;
What words can it spell,
This alphabet of one sensibility?
The pure pattern of the stars in orderly progression,
The thin air of fourteen-thousand-foot summits,
Their Pisgah views into what secrets of the personality,
The fire of poppies in eroded fields,
The sleep of lynxes in the noonday forest,
The curious anastomosis of the webs of thought,
Life streaming ungovernably away,
And the deep hope of man.
The centuries have changed little in this art,
The subjects are still the same.
“For Christ’s sake take off your clothes and get into bed,
We are not going to live forever.” 
--from 'August 22, 1939'; Kenneth Rexroth



2016-09-05


Summer Haiku- 2016


ageless dawn
filled with a birdsong
above all else


cottonwood seeds
floating transcription
of wind chimes


summer solstice
wild daisies, an unknown
path to nowhere


a sunny yesterday
now bent in slow rain,
silent peony


Independence Day-
freely I shut the windows
for some quiet


people getting to me-
hungry ants that found
my raspberry patch


dust cloud 
at an intersection-
stale memory


what stands in the heat
of high summer asphalt,
the crow


tickled joy
black swallowtail
in tiger lily blooms


saying goodbye,
thoughts brought by the dew
will fade in sunlight


chinese lanterns
in a labor day evening sky-
summer in remnants




2016-09-02



A Poem- for September 
Staghorn sumac velvet
color in outbound light
impossible with goldenrod
and misdealt constancy 
while crouched crickets
pullulate featherless
stygian teal trill wings
as translucent riddles 
scintillating experience
beyond personal
pronoun photographs,
intimate subjectives 
blemished into posed
images, surpassed
through hunches taken
from how they once were.




2016-08-31


A Display of Mackerel
--Mark Doty 
They lie in parallel rows,
on ice, head to tail,
each a foot of luminosity 
barred with black bands,
which divide the scales'
radiant sections 
like seams of lead
in a Tiffany window.
Iridescent, watery 
prismatics: think abalone,
the wildly rainbowed
mirror of a soapbubble sphere, 
think sun on gasoline.
Splendor, and splendor,
and not a one in any way 
distinguished from the other
--nothing about them
of individuality. Instead 
they're all exact expressions
of one soul,
each a perfect fulfillment 
of heaven's template,
mackerel essence. As if,
after a lifetime arriving 
at this enameling, the jeweler's
made uncountable examples,
each as intricate 
in its oily fabulation
as the one before.
Suppose we could iridesce, 
like these, and lose ourselves
entirely in the universe
of shimmer--would you want 
to be yourself only,
unduplicatable, doomed
to be lost? They'd prefer, 
plainly, to be flashing participants,
multitudinous. Even now
they seem to be bolting 
forward, heedless of stasis.
They don't care they're dead
and nearly frozen, 
just as, presumably,
they didn't care that they were living:
all, all for all, 
the rainbowed school
and its acres of brilliant classrooms,
in which no verb is singular, 
or every one is. How happy they seem,
even on ice, to be together, selfless,
which is the price of gleaming.


2016-08-29



Often down here I have entered into a sanctuary . . . of great agony once; and always some terror; so afraid one is of loneliness; of seeing to the bottom of the vessel. That is one of the experiences I have had here in some Augusts; and got then to a consciousness of what I call "reality": a thing I see before me: something abstract; but residing in the downs or sky; beside which nothing matters; in which I shall rest and continue to exist. Reality I call it. And I fancy sometimes this is the most necessary thing to me: that which I seek. But who knows - once one takes a pen and writes? How difficult not to go making "reality" this and that, whereas it is one thing. Now perhaps this is my gift: this perhaps is what distinguishes me from other people: I think it may be rare to have so acute a sense of something like that - but again, who knows? I would like to express it too. 
 .......--Virginia Woolf


[via whiskey river]


2016-08-27


[ untitled ; Hughie Lee-Smith (1930-39) ].........




2016-08-25



Women and Men
--Robert Bly 
We'd like to know what women want-- some want
Heaven and earth joined. Some men want sawn
Boards, roads diverging, and jackdaws flying,
Heaven and earth parted. Women love to see
Strangers fed, children fed and laughing,
Daughters in seats of honor, canvases with Venus
And a naked man, doves returning at dusk,
Cloths folded, and giants sitting down at a table.




2016-08-23



Walking on the Shore in Late August
--Robert Bly 
I look out over the muddy lake.
All at once I see a fin rise, what alertness!
All my brain power pours toward that spot on the water.
How we long for a bit of consciousness to appear above
..............the water! 
Now I notice what I have never noticed before,
Bending over graceful,
At the shoreline… 
Mother take me deeper—
Take me on your fins down…




2016-08-20


This is
--Amanda Auerbach 
Let there be light.
Let there be forms.
I make the woods.
Let woods make woods. 
Let creeks wind through
Let rocks break ground.
They need no lakes.
They need no pinks. 
Three things are all
I need to make
Each one is good?
Each one makes beings. 
Let these see all
as being good.
I shall make them
not see further. 
If they seek more
They will not live.
Let them not seek
What we don’t make. 
You may make pinks.
The wood will fruit.
The light will help
The creeks reveal 
What you can see.
What can you see
That you should seek
And nothing more? 
What you can make
Is something else.


[via conjunctions]



2016-08-18


[ The Spinach Tree ; William Sommer (1934) ].......



[L'Arbre Dans L'Art]


2016-08-16


Jasmine's Beautiful Thoughts Underneath The Willow
--Wallace Stevens 
My titillations have no foot-notes
And their memorials are the phrases
Of idiosyncratic music. 
The love that will not be transported
In an old, frizzled, flambeaud manner,
But muses on its eccentricity, 
Is like a vivid apprehension
Of bliss beyond the mutes of plaster,
Or paper souvenirs of rapture, 
Of bliss submerged beneath appearance,
In an interior ocean's rocking
Of long, capricious fugues and chorals.


2016-08-14



Of Bright & Blue Birds & The Gala Sun
--Wallace Stevens 
Some things, niƱo, some things are like this,
That instantly and in themselves are gay
And you and I are such things, O most miserable... 
For a moment they are gay and are a part
Of an element, the exactest element for us,
In which we pronounce joy like a word of our own. 
It is there, being imperfect, and with these things
And erudite in happiness, with nothing learned,
That we are joyously ourselves and we think 
Without the labor of thought, in that element,
And we feel, in a way apart, for a moment, as if
There was a bright scienza outside of ourselves, 
A gaiety that is being, not merely knowing,
The will to be and to be total in belief,
Provoking a laughter, an agreement, by surprise.



2016-08-12



Poem of a Forest of Clouds Sweeping By
--C. D. Wright 
your life blew past as a shirt off a line
but then turned and turned again
O Archangel of the Mirror
what would you have done
it's been said that over the years
the house sustained the smell
of fresh-cooked trout and the rest
as we well know is still journeying



2016-08-10


from One Big Self
--C. D. Wright 
Count your fingers 
Count your toes 
Count your nose holes 
Count your blessings 
Count your stars (lucky or not) 
Count your loose change 
Count the cars at the crossing 
Count the miles to the state line 
Count the ticks you pulled off the dog 
Count your calluses 
Count your shells 
Count the points on the antlers 
Count the newjack’s keys 
Count your cards; cut them again


2016-08-08

from Summer Nights, Walking ].........
"Still photographs often differ from life more by their silence than by the immobility of their subjects. Landscape pictures tend to converge with life, however, on summer nights, when the sounds outside, after we call in children and close garage doors, are small – the whir of moths, the snap of a stick." 
--Robert Adams

[via this isn't happiness]


2016-08-06


Carousel
--Jaya Savige 
Dense night is a needs thing. 
You were lured
.....in a luminous canoe
said to have once ruled
.....a lunar ocean. 
.....The 2 am soda pour
of stars is all but silent;
only listen —  
...sedater than a sauropod
.....in the bone epics
it spills all the moon spice, 
.....releasing a sap odour
..........that laces
.....us to a vaster scale
..........of road opus. 
A carousel of oral cues,
these spinning sonic coins. 
A slide show of old wishes.


2016-08-03


At Home
--Gregoire Turgeon 
Night lifts the roofs
from houses, reaches in,
pushes chairs farther
into the corners, studies people
who do not move
from room to room. 
Dreams return, spiders
back to thread the same webs
of sleep. The moist dust
of the carpenter's dream
clings to his shoes and skin.
The tailor's dream
turns itself inside out
again and again. 
The body shifts
in bed. The dream
dances in darkness.
The tongue slides in
the closed mouth
and no one is far from home.


2016-08-01


’til soon
--Paulo Leminski (trans. Elisa Wouk Almino) 
Even you, raw matter,
even you, lumber, mass and muscle,
vodka, liver and chuckle,
candlelight, paper, coal and cloud,
stone, avocado meat, falling rain,
nail, mountain, hot-press iron,
even you feel saudade,
first-degree burn,
a longing to return home? 
Clay, sponge, marble, rubber,
cement, steel, glass, vapor, cloth and cartilage,
paint, ash, eggshell, grain of sand,
first day of autumn, the word spring,
number five, the slap in the face, a rich rhyme,
a new life, middle age, old strength,
even you, matter my dear,
remember when we were only a mere idea?


[via asymptote]