Sunday, June 30, 2013

there is nothing you won't do

          for mama

by Lucille Clifton

remember this. 
she is standing by 
the furnace. 
the coals 
glisten like rubies. 
her hand is crying. 
her hand is clutching 
a sheaf of papers. 
she gives them up. 
they burn 
jewels into jewels. 
her eyes are animals. 
each hank of her hair 
is a serpent's obedient 
she will never recover. 
remember. there is nothing 
you will not bear 
for this woman's sake.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Thank You

Variation on a Theme

Thank you my life long afternoon
late in this spring that has no age
my window above the river
for the woman you led me to
when it was time at last the words
coming to me out of mid-air
that carried me through the clear day
and come even now to find me
for old friends and echoes of them
those mistakes only I could make
homesickness that guides the plovers
from somewhere they had loved before
they knew they loved it to somewhere
they had loved before they saw it
thank you good body hand and eye
and the places and moments known
only to me revisiting
once more complete just as they are
and the morning stars I have seen
and the dogs who are guiding me

Sunday, June 9, 2013

glint of the sun off a spider web

Full Moon, Key West

by Elizabeth Bishop

The town is paper-white:
the moonlight is so bright.
Flake on flake
of wood and paint
the buildings faint.
The tin roofs break
into a sweat
of heavy dew
dripping steadily
down the gutters
click click.
All over town
from black gaps
in bedroom gables
from little tables
behind the shutters
big alarm clocks
tick tick.
A spider's web
glints blue, glints red,
the mirrors glisten
and the knobs on the bed.

The island starts to hum
like music in a dream.
Paper-white, drunk,
the sailors come
stumbling, fighting,
mumbling threats
in children's voices,
stopping, lighting
with pink dull fires,
in groups like hands
and fingers on
the narrow sidewalks
of cement
that carry sounds
like tampered wires,
—the long strings of
an instrument
laid on the stream,
a zither laid
upon the flood
of the glittering Gulf.

Saturday, June 8, 2013



by Ted Berrigan

Now I wish I were asleep, to see my dreams taking place
I wish I were more awake
I wish a sweet rush of tears to my eyes
Wish a nose like an eagle
I wish blue sky in the afternoon
Bigger windows, & a panorama—light, buildings & people in street air
Wish my teeth were white and sparkled
Wish my legs were not where they are—where they are
I wish the days warmly cool & clothes I like to be inside of
Wish I were walking around in Chelsea (NY) & it was 5:15 a.m., the
           sun coming up, alone, you asleep at home
I wish red rage came easier
I wish death, but not just now
I wish I were driving alone across America in a gold Cadillac
           toward California, & my best friend
I wish I were in love, & you here