Poem (External Scene)
--Dan Beachy-Quick 
The field blank in snow. But I mean this page.
Now print mars the surface to make surface
Seen. Sheen only error brings. Perfect rage
So the sun rises. Rage is your slow practice
That makes of every day another day
In whose gathering promise the shy sparrows
Shiver instead of sing. I want to go away.
See these footsteps? These black shapes in the snow?
If there is a word for them, it’s no word
I know. Pursuit?, no. Proof?, no. Don’t call it fear.
Could I cross this white sheet if I were coward,
Edge to edge, margin to margin, never
Referring to anything outside itself?—
Stop that. Stop pointing to the photo on the shelf.


The Author woke up one morning and wrote down all the things he had to do. Then he looked at his finger. The same finger he had had all his life at the end of his hand. All his life he had pointed at things with this finger, asking what they were. But he had never asked about his finger. A finger like any other, it should not have given him any pause. To think, even this day. But there it was, a finger at the end of his hand, extended and breaking at the edge into the end of him. He examined it closely and saw a singular finger. He tried pointing at this and that, but all he could see was his finger. Everything was his finger. Everything he touched now was a finger. A long time passed for everyone. He went through the list, moving his finger down the page. So much to do, so much to do. 
--from Boris by the Sea; Matvei Yankelevich


Alone I stare into the frost’s white face. 
It’s going nowhere, and I—from nowhere. 
Everything ironed flat, pleated without a wrinkle: 
Miraculous, the breathing plain.    
Meanwhile the sun squints at this starched poverty—
The squint itself consoled, at ease . . . 
The ten-fold forest almost the same . . . 
And snow crunches in the eyes, innocent, like clean bread.   
--Osip Mandelstam (trans. by John High/Matvei Yankelevich)
January 16, 1937 


He was a wise man who invented beer.............
[Oatmeal Stout; Samuel Smith Old Brewery, Tadcaster, England]///


In this dream world
We doze
And talk of dreams --
Dream, dream on,
As much as you wish. 
--Ryokan (trans. by John Stevens)


The I Ching States Happiness Lies in the Proper Blend of:
--Ryokan (trans. by John Stevens) 


Within a light snow
Three thousand realms;
Within those realms,
Light snow falls. 

[via daily zen]


In my first year of college I read The Origins and History of Consciousness by Erich Neumann. As I recall, he offered a psychological interpretation of the story of the Garden of Eden: the expulsion of Adam and Eve symbolized the birth of higher consciousness, when humans separated themselves out from animals. Thus the triumph, however tenuous, of the conscious over the unconscious entailed a loss as well, the loss of innocence, that is, the loss of being an animal unaware of its own mortality, but also the loss of the bond with the other animals of the earth. Humanity had taken the first step toward isolating itself, and it would seem that we have taken many more steps in that direction, to the point that now we are isolating ourselves from one another. The final step would be to isolate ourselves from ourselves, in effect erasing our humanity. If you want to see that in a positive light, imagine it as a return to the Garden of Eden. Except that the Garden itself would be gone, too. 

Can you have a thought that is completely unlike any you’ve ever had? I don’t think I can. The words for it seem to be locked out of my head, where my consciousness is dashing around looking for something it can’t find—and doesn’t even know what it is. The day goes by, and late in the evening the mind assumes it has done its best and turns part of itself off for a while, leaving the other part to do whatever it does. I used to put great stock in that other part—the dream life— and I suppose I still do, but now the paradigm of conscious versus unconscious seems utterly simplistic. There is something beyond my concept of my own mind, beyond my sense of my self, but I do not know what it is. 
--from 'Completion'; Ron Padgett

[via LitHub and Padgett's 2019 publication, Big Cabin]


--Ron Padgett 
I'll bet that not one
in ten thousand people
knows where the expression OK
came from
and yet all over the world
even people who don't speak English
say it every day.
That's how it works,
"it" being life.
We don't understand much of anything
but it's OK!
(I guess.)


--Ron Padgett 
It feels cold in this room
until I go outside.
Is that a metaphor
waiting for its meaning?
Isn't everything waiting for its meaning?
Go ahead,
infuse everything with meaning.
See how far it'll get you.


[Drawing with the wild boar's toothBirches ; Alfred Freddy Krupa (2017)]


--Carsten René Nielsen (trans b. David Kepling)
I woke up inside my refrigerator and questioned whether it wasn't about time to cut back on my drinking. Decided nevertheless to remain there a bit, studying the climate and the light conditions. But wouldn't you know, there came a snow shower, and rarely have I ever seen a more remarkable twilight. Peas hung twinkling in the night sky, and the ground was full of eggs. Like everything else, the experience of true beauty depends upon a certain moderation, so the question was whether or not someone could hear me. "May I come out now," I asked hesitantly, "may I?"


--Carsten René Nielsen (trans. by David Keplinger) 
At night things become ever so smaller, our shoes and teeth, too, and everywhere in buildings screws turn a quarter of a revolution, but even if you press your ear against the wall, the sound is rarely heard. Always there is someone who plays the gelatin piano, someone who packs his pipe with snow, and on a radio channel from somewhere in the world, where the sun is already on its way up through the mist in the horizon: a gospel choir of hoarse, nearly inaudible women.


Grand piano
--Carsten René Nielsen (trans. by David Keplinger) 
Following the birth he was laid out in a grand piano. He lived fairly well off his wordless daydreams and by the few faint notes the strings produced when he turned in his sleep. Outside on the street, people passed with black umbrellas, the streetcars full of snow stood parked in the cemeteries, zeppelins hung attached to the sky by pins. Had the moon crumbled into the fine dust that settled on his eyelashes? Did the sun rise in his right ear and set in the left? Did he have any siblings, and well, who was that, who every year on his birthday sat down at the piano and began to play, but always stopped so suddenly and without any explanation?


[ Toy ;  Julian "Cannonball" Adderley (1962) ]

as - Cannonball Adderley
b - Percy Heath - Bass
d - Connie Kay - Drums
p - Bill Evans

orig. by Clifford Jordan


A few selections from Daniel Bosch's Octaves, which is available for download through Beard of Bees:

“The bereaved cannot communicate with the unbereaved.”
—Iris Murdoch
We never have more than one bar.
Our server is usually down.
We over-interpret each star.
But I never see more than one bear
In the lights of an oncoming car
As I walk from the bar into town.
We’ve never had more than one bar.
Our server is usually Dawn.

“Better is always less good!”
—Thomas Hirschhorn

Do you want to make a killing?
Do it cleanly. Be efficient. Show some style.
Fuck fashionable deskilling.
If you want to make a killing
Do it well. It’s fucking thrilling
The way a sucking chest wound winks and smiles.
What do you want? To make a killing?
Do it cleanly. Be efficient. Show some style.

“All the time he’s boxing, he’s thinking. All the time he was
thinking, I was hitting him.”
—Jack Dempsey
Unlearn’d astronomer,
Where I see blow-by-blow, do you see bling?
Is there a paparazzo any dumber,
Unlearn’d astronomer,
Who in bright constellations without number
Sees only stars? Do cauliflower ears not ring?
Unlearn’d astronomer,
The blow-by-blow’s obscene, and so’s the bling

“If you understood everything I said, you’d be me.”
—Miles Davis

The last time I saw a Queen’s rook
And a King’s
Shake hands, that King’s was shook.
The last time I saw a Queen’s rook
Take a King’s, that Queen’s was took.
Can a Queen’s rook tell a King’s rook anything?
One last time: I was a Queen’s rook
And a King’s.


From Daniel Bosch commentary on Robert Pinsky's anthology, Singing School:

Was there church wedding? An elopement in Reno, with the Department Chair as witness? Was a shotgun necessary? Did it happen all at once, en masse, as in the ceremonies held in Shea Stadium by the Reverend Moon, five thousand couples joined at a go? Are poetry and the academy long-term “friends with benefits”? Maybe they just live together. 
However it was, and is, several generations of their offspring have gone forth and multiplied, and the union of age-old poetry and young upstart academy has altered how and what we talk about when we talk about poems. Time was, a poem stood the test of time because one person after another stood up and spoke that poem aloud, and their speaking gave him or her pleasure, or terror, or grief, or wonder. Nowadays people stand for timed tests on a poem and are compelled to establish that they have “understood” it, but they are rarely asked to account for what and how that poem made them feel physically, while and just after it was coordinating their breath and the movements of their lips and tongues. Nowadays almost any talk about a poem begins naming its topic: people love to tell you what a poem is “about.” Many readers today evaluate a poet according to whether or not his or her body of work can or cannot be said to be “about” an idea which is of interest aside from the quality of their experience of saying it aloud. Perhaps these relatively new ways of regarding poetry have not cost it too dearly. But if its relationship with the academy has come with perks—nice real estate, the chance of employment, a (contested) degree of respectability—it can seem, taking a long view, that the public life of poetry today is “about” the needs of the academy, and not the experience of poetry.


The Crucible
--Daniel Bosch 
After virtue, under the eye of the clock,
Patterns of culture in our time, our bodies,
Ourselves, let us now praise famous men,
Invisible cities, pride and prejudice. 
After Babel, to the land of the cattails,
Tender is the night of grammatology,
The well-wrought urn, silence in the snowy fields,
Paradise lost from here to eternity. 
Other criteria hopscotch on liberty,
On deconstruction, on dreams.
The separate notebooks cry “the beloved country.”
Mimesis travels with Charley, islands in the stream 
Marry me. Far from the madding crowd, the possessed
Bang the drum slowly against interpretation,
Pale fire, men and women, labyrinths, the best
Short stories of 1988, civilization 
And its discontents. Languages of art,
I know why the caged bird sings:
To have and have not a part of speech,
Of time and the river, the order of things.


[ Brocken Spectre ]..


Constancy to an Ideal Object
--Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Since all that beat about in Nature's range,
Or veer or vanish; why should'st thou remain
The only constant in a world of change,
O yearning Thought! that liv'st but in the brain?
Call to the Hours, that in the distance play,
The faery people of the future day—
Fond Thought! not one of all that shining swarm
Will breathe on thee with life-enkindling breath,
Till when, like strangers shelt'ring from a storm,
Hope and Despair meet in the porch of Death!
Yet still thou haunt'st me; and though well I see,
She is not thou, and only thou are she,
Still, still as though some dear embodied Good,
Some living Love before my eyes there stood
With answering look a ready ear to lend,
I mourn to thee and say—'Ah! loveliest friend!
That this the meed of all my toils might be,
To have a home, an English home, and thee!'
Vain repetition! Home and Thou are one.
The peacefull'st cot, the moon shall shine upon,
Lulled by the thrush and wakened by the lark,
Without thee were but a becalméd bark,
Whose Helmsman on an ocean waste and wide
Sits mute and pale his mouldering helm beside.

And art thou nothing? Such thou art, as when
The woodman winding westward up the glen
At wintry dawn, where o'er the sheep-track's maze
The viewless snow-mist weaves a glist'ning haze,
Sees full before him, gliding without tread,
An image with a glory round its head;
The enamoured rustic worships its fair hues,
Nor knows he makes the shadow, he pursues!


Two Illustrations That the The World Is
What You Make of It

--Wallace Stevens 
I. The Constant Disquisition of the Wind 
The sky seemed so small that winter day,
A dirty light on a lifeless world,
Contracted like a withered stick. 
It was not the shadow of cloud and cold,
But a sense of the distance of the sun ---
The shadow of a sense of his own, 
A knowledge that the actual day
Was so much less. Only the wind
Seemed large and loud and high and strong. 
And as he thought within the thought
Of the wind, not knowing that that thought
Was not his thought, nor anyone's, 
The appropriate image of himself,
So formed, became himself and he breathed
The breath of another nature as his own, 
But only its momentary breath,
Outside of and beyond the dirty light,
That never could be animal, 
A nature still without a shape,
Except his own --- perhaps, his own
In a Sunday's violent idleness.


London Snow
--Robert Bridges

When men were all asleep the snow came flying,
In large white flakes falling on the city brown,
Stealthily and perpetually settling and loosely lying,
      Hushing the latest traffic of the drowsy town;
Deadening, muffling, stifling its murmurs failing;
Lazily and incessantly floating down and down:
      Silently sifting and veiling road, roof and railing;
Hiding difference, making unevenness even,
Into angles and crevices softly drifting and sailing.
      All night it fell, and when full inches seven
It lay in the depth of its uncompacted lightness,
The clouds blew off from a high and frosty heaven;
      And all woke earlier for the unaccustomed brightness
Of the winter dawning, the strange unheavenly glare:
The eye marvelled—marvelled at the dazzling whiteness;
      The ear hearkened to the stillness of the solemn air;
No sound of wheel rumbling nor of foot falling,
And the busy morning cries came thin and spare.
      Then boys I heard, as they went to school, calling,
They gathered up the crystal manna to freeze
Their tongues with tasting, their hands with snowballing;
      Or rioted in a drift, plunging up to the knees;
Or peering up from under the white-mossed wonder,
‘O look at the trees!’ they cried, ‘O look at the trees!’
      With lessened load a few carts creak and blunder,
Following along the white deserted way,
A country company long dispersed asunder:
      When now already the sun, in pale display
Standing by Paul’s high dome, spread forth below
His sparkling beams, and awoke the stir of the day.
      For now doors open, and war is waged with the snow;
And trains of sombre men, past tale of number,
Tread long brown paths, as toward their toil they go:
      But even for them awhile no cares encumber
Their minds diverted; the daily word is unspoken,
The daily thoughts of labour and sorrow slumber
At the sight of the beauty that greets them, for the charm
...............they have broken.


[ untitled ; Jean David (1908-1993) ]..


Haiku- Autumn 2019

over the rooftops
flocks flying south leave us
to our addresses

hard knocked laughter
from the falling of acorns,
as black squirrels rein

autumnal equinox-
first step of the tango
now led by the shadow

october morning,
a leaf riding an updraft
dances on it's fate

through the river banks,
autumn always on a lone
personal course

november evening,
the trees' silhouettes slide 
through cold silence

last leaf down,
now just one world
of sky and stone