Archive for the ‘poems’ Category

For the moment, a poem…

201118_lIn No Man’s Land

Wise Kung Fu

 

Waited out

One whole moon

on ‘is lutestrings

 

What tunes could fill those twentyeight days a woman’s monthly round

Did he have a copy of the classic anthology at his fingers’ tips

Asleep fingers twitch dreamquick licks

 

from March End Prill

Six new poems up at Dispatches

Dispatches from the Poetry Wars has most generously posted six hitherto unknown poems of mine in their summer upload.

It’s a vast and provocative site, well worth the time.

banner

Saint Patrick’s Day 2003

Below is a poem from my 2011 volume March End Prill (BookThug) marking an intersection of the calendar’s circle and history’s line of singularities.

Saint Patrick’s Day 2003

 

libera agonalia nefastus publicus

I’d love to tell of sudden fish

 

 

late end of January Friday afternoon

New Square Fish Market New Square NY NY Luis

Luis Nivelo single handed lifts a flashing carp on the scale 20lb

Then out and down club up to club it for Sabbath gefilte

    tzaruch     shemirah     hasof     bah    !

Diablo! 57-year-old Skver Hasid Zalmen Rosen

11 children “Luis, what?!” I heard that fish talk! 

tzaruch     shemirah    Old Abraham

buried last week? Adonai?    hasof     bah

“account for yourself

“the end is near

“pray & study the Torah”

 

 

St Patrick’s: Shamrock Irish triple deities

long before Patrick’s Trinity; Roman festival

of Mars, an enormous phallus paraded

through the streets: green for sex festivals the fashion;

Middle Ages the day Noah boarded the Ark:

World Maritime Day.

 

 

…Saddam Hussein’s got 48 hours…

…the Day of Iraq’s Liberation is near…

…do not destroy oil wells…

…do not follow orders to use Weapons of Mass Destruction…

…“I was just following orders” no excuse…

…we are a peaceful people…

…not intimidated by thuggery or murder…

…new and undeniable realities…

…a policy of appeasement toward…

…plotters of chemical, biological, or nuclear terror…

…the just demands of the world…

…to overcome violence…

…the future we choose…

…& may God continue

to bless America

 

 

Thursday morning Kenneth Masterson out the front door for his paper

“five or six dead fish about 10 or 12 inches long out by th’edge of my yard”

in the street more some rush hour road kill more across

“don’t look like they’ve been hooked”

might be white bass no ponds or lakes near

“really bad storms I wonder if some twister didn’t just pickemup & dropem”

 

 

imagine being “jess a pohet”

in Baghdad; who gives a fugg

 

if you care little abt Saddam

& less abt Geawge Dablya,

 

jess wanna pen yr little

quirky sufi scrapings

 

in peace, pumpin yr 2 wives — thassall

ye kin afford– chewing yr majoun like:

 

you’ll be incinerated along with them

maddogs jess ’cause ya happen to be an Iraqi!!!

 

I believe it ain’t unright fr me to

feel some solidarity with benighted pohets

 

‘n’ artists cowering in bum shelters,

disfigured into faceless monsters a la

 

Saddam. I is dead certain

there are more than one confreres there

 

who write Je est un autre — only we

aren’t allowed to see them, knowem.

 

Is there such a thing as Iraqi samizdat

how to send ’em secret artists a sign?

 

Multiversic takes on 9/11

Despite its being the fifteenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks Sunday, I had decided to, here, pass over the event in silence. Then, The Griffin Trust website posted Fanny Howe’s “9/11”.

I was struck—as I often am—by the commentary accompanying the poem:

Is it virtually impossible to write about certain events that are too immense, too devastating, too charged on so many levels? To go into the specifics, one risks being maudlin, self-absorbed, short-sighted, too emotional. To try to broaden the discussion and perhaps recklessly try to scale something to the universal, one risks being too political, polarizing or simply missing the mark.

Howe’s poem, of course, avoids being too “self-absorbed” and “too political”—by “suggesting the heart of the event’s impact, is how it affects who and what we love.” I wonder what the commentator thinks of Shelley’s The Mask of Anarchy or Charles Reznikoff’s Testimony or Holocaust.

By way of contrast and to broaden and concretize the discussion, let me offer these two poetic texts that both fail to escape the commentator’s extremes: “The Tao of 9/11”  by Peter Dale Scott (that both goes “into specifics” and is “too political”) and one of my own, excerpted from a longer work, that, too, is “too specific,” composed, as it was, in real time.

Writing a poetry including history is no easy matter, and the question how far the “heart of the matter” escapes history’s particulars and the machinations of power no less demanding.

 

Get Real: a poem

I recently got caught up in a brief on-line debate as to whether emotions, sensations, and other mental phenomena were “really only” neurological states or not, which, later, reminded me of the poem below that had come to me a little like a joke concerning the same topic-ish.

 

Get Real

 

A neurobiologist, a theoretical and a computational physicist, an anaesthesiologist, and Deepak Chopra walk into a lecture hall to discuss The Nature of Reality.

Better to have staged a dramatic recitation of Plato’s Sophist, the Tao te Ching, or The Divine Comedy; even better if nobody knew Greek, Chinese, or Italian.

Better to’ve performed Schubert’s last sonata in B flat or had Ahad Master improvise, had everyone enter an anechoic chamber to hear their blood circulate and nerves hum,

Gone to The National Gallery of Canada and gazed on Barnett Newman’s Voice of Fire,

Had everyone guided through a sequence of novice yoga moves or instructed how just to sit and fix the wandering mind on the breath swelling their bellies,

Fast forty days and forty nights, take a heroic dose of Psilocybe Cubensis (with due care to set and setting), cry for a vision, or participate in a potlatch,

Consider the view of the proverbial fly on the wall, the air in the room.

“A book is a heart that only beats in the chest of another”

Brainpickings just posted some passages from an essay on writers, books, and reading by Rebecca Solnit, from which comes this post’s title. Solnit’s remark echoes one in an untitled “soughknot” from Ladonian Magnitudes:

 

When the hand’s styled

at the alphabet as

eyes sense words there

here’s something new say

five thousand years ago

 

Not the mother tongue which

when we think it born

 

all time dreams

comes to completion

 

What’s bound cannot be carried like air

shelved in the library the dearest

books give spine to fingers and palm

by heart beat and hip get carried away

Call and response: community and collaboration

When T. S. Eliot died, Ezra Pound famously and bitterly quipped:  “Who is there to share a joke with?”

I’ve been in a similar funk for some time now. This sense of acute isolation was recently aggravated by a friend’s lauding the sense of collaborative community she felt working with her publisher. Ironically, this same publisher recently despaired over getting any interesting conversations going given the hermetic nature of most social circles that are too often made up of like-minded, nodding heads.

That’s why it’s  heart-warming and somewhat heartening to escape this dilemma and collaborate by chance. Yesterday, Bruce Rice, a poet I knew when I resided in Saskatchewan, posted a picture of a chickadee feeding from his hand at a writer’s retreat where he’s staying. The picture reminded me of a little ditty from March End Prill, which I shared with him. My lines, in turn, prompted him to compose a pantoum and put the picture, my poem, and his together as a spontaneous, e-broadsheet, which I share here, thankful for the ephemeral community that enabled the collaboration (including the chickadee!).

Chickadee 1; poets O

“Apart Twelve Weeks, Together in Three” / «Séparés douze semaines, ensemble dans trois»

“Apart Twelve Weeks, Together in Three” / «Séparés douze semaines, ensemble dans trois»

Antoine Malette does me a great favour, translating a poem from Ladonian Magnitudes into French, and even sounding it out. Un grand merci!

Three poems in German translation

Three poems in German translation

Karawa.net has kindly published three poems from Grand Gnostic Central  in careful, meticulous German translation by Petra Sentes, with the English-language originals.

Poem newly up at the BookThug blog for Poetry Month

March End PrillEver wondered who the guy on the cover of March End Prill is and what he’s got to do with the book? BookThug has posted  “What the Hell…” that might help clarify the issue, here.