Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Erin Moure


The inner noise of the body, string
of the veins & fibrous coatings, muscle
Light glinting off the shoulder, which glistens
white or red or grey
the buds having already burst out on the trees

the yard bright with flowers
& the back bent down
a piano

(As if, beautiful is this
necessary heart strain
the bead of water on the skin
how it got out

from the inside
thru the solid barrier
skin density

it trickled through & formed

they say

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Gary Snyder


He had driven half the night
From far down San Joaquin
Through Mariposa, up the
Dangerous Mountain roads,
And pulled in at eight a.m.
With his big truckload of hay
behind the barn.
With winch and ropes and hooks
We stacked the bales up clean
To splintery redwood rafters
High in the dark, flecks of alfalfa
Whirling through shingle-cracks of light,
Itch of haydust in the
sweaty shirt and shoes.
At lunchtime under Black oak
Out in the hot corral,
---The old mare nosing lunchpails,
Grasshoppers crackling in the weeds---
"I'm sixty-eight" he said,
"I first bucked hay when I was seventeen.
I thought, that day I started,
I sure would hate to do this all my life.
And dammit, that's just what
I've gone and done."

Monday, June 28, 2010

Ernesto Trejo

Your room would only be complete
with music and a tired cat,

a phone pleading
and no hand to lift it.

From the window, a sidewalk
lined with willows would stretch on.

On the wall, a map of the city
would peek from behind your back.

Under the table,
a pair of battered boots, your size.

You will hear sycamore leaves
breaking like glass.

Your wrists will join like palms,
like the murmur crossing your life.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

H. Kent Craig

An Indian Prayer
My grandfather is the fire
My grandmother is the wind
The Earth is my mother
The Great Spirit is my father
The World stopped at my birth
and laid itself at my feet
And I shall swallow the Earth whole
when I die
and the Earth and I will be one
Hail The Great Spirit, my father
without him no one could exist
because there would be no will to live
Hail The Earth, my mother
without which no food could be grown
and so cause the will to live to starve
Hail the wind, my grandmother
for she brings loving, lifegiving rain
nourishing us as she nourishes our crops
Hail the fire, my grandfather
for the light, the warmth, the comfort he brings
without which we be animals, not men
Hail my parent and grandparents
without which
not I
nor you
nor anyone else
could have existed
Life gives life
which gives unto itself
a promise of new life
Hail the Great Spirit, The Earth, the wind, the fire
praise my parents loudly
for they are your parents, too
Oh, Great Spirit, giver of my life
please accept this humble offering of prayer
this offering of praise
this honest reverence of my love for you

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Jurgen Rooste

you are beautiful like billie holiday
moonlight in Vermont
I’m afraid to drone along with you
because I might spoil you

the city resonates with the presentiment of spring
where we are speeding in a taxi
with the fiery steed of our dreams
through the dark hot concrete of prejudice and anxiety

your eyes are those diligent sapphires which tomorrow
I will take with me to hell
your eyes are those real Estonian coach wheels
those fear deep witching well eyes

when I roll a rock there or reach
for food and water
your glance burns in my breast
like a hundred suns a thousand cigarette ends

but I will survive that pain
that pain is beautiful like
billie holiday’s moonlight in vermont
and I drone along

as quietly as I can
in a husky feline voice

Friday, June 25, 2010

Adrienne Rich

Living In Sin
She had thought the studio would keep itself;
no dust upon the furniture of love.
Half heresy, to wish the taps less vocal,
the panes relieved of grime. A plate of pears,
a piano with a Persian shawl, a cat
stalking the picturesque amusing mouse
had risen at his urging.
Not that at five each separate stair would writhe
under the milkman's tramp; that morning light
so coldly would delineate the scraps
of last night's cheese and three sepulchral bottles;
that on the kitchen shelf amoong the saucers
a pair of beetle-eyes would fix her own--
envoy from some village in the moldings...
Meanwhile, he, with a yawn,
sounded a dozen notes upon the keyboard,
declared it out of tune, shrugged at the mirror,
rubbed at his beard, went out for cigarettes;
while she, jeered by the minor demons,
pulled back the sheets and made the bed and found
a towel to dust the table-top,
and let the coffee-pot boil over on the stove.
By evening she was back in love again,
though not so wholly but throughout the night
she woke sometimes to feel the daylight coming
like a relentless milkman up the stairs.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Gabriela Mistral

I Am Not Alone
The night, it is deserted
from the mountains to the sea.
But I, the one who rocks you,
I am not alone!

The sky, it is deserted
for the moon falls to the sea.
But I, the one who holds you,
I am not alone !

The world, it is deserted.
All flesh is sad you see.
But I, the one who hugs you,
I am not alone!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

April Bernard

Coffee & Dolls
It was a storefront for a small-time numbers runner,
pretending to be some sort of grocery. Coffeemakers
and Bustello cans populated the shelves, sparsely.
Who was fooled. The boxes bleached in the sun,
the old guys sat inside on summer lawn chairs,
watching tv. The applause from the talk shows and game shows
washed out the propped-open door like distant rain.

It closed for a few months. The slick sedan disappeared.
One spring day, it reopened, this time a sign
decorated the window: COFFEE & DOLLS.
Yarn-haired, gingham-dressed floppy dolls
lolled among the coffee cans. A mastiff puppy,
the size and shape of a tipped-over fire hydrant,
guarded as the sedan and the old guys returned.

I don't know about you, but I've been looking
for a narrative in which suffering makes sense.
I mean, the high wail of the woman holding her dead child,
the wail that filled the street. I mean the sudden
fatal blooms on golden skin. I mean the crack deaths,
I mean the ice-cream truck that cruised the alphabets
and sold crack to the same deedle-dee-dee tune as fudgesicles.
I mean the raw scabs of the beaten mastiff, and many other things.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Bianca Varela

you can tell me anything
believing isn't important
what does matter is that the air moves your lips
or that your lips move the air
that fables your story your body
all the time without respite
like a flame that looks like nothing
but a flame

Monday, June 21, 2010

Shota Iatashvili

He flew off and turned out to be right:
They praised him, blessed him, bent his neck down.
He flew off again, and again turned out to be right:
They gave him a reception and didn’t grudge him bread, water and
A comb for his wing and plumage.
He flew off a third time and this time, too, he turned out to be right:
They put up with him, tolerated him.
He flew off a fourth time and turned out to be in the wrong:
They called him a silly plagiarizer of an angel.
But he still flew off a fifth time –
They fired at him,
They killed him.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Robert Hunter/ Jerry Garcia

High Time
Lyrics By: Robert Hunter
Music By: Jerry Garcia
You told me goodbye
How was I to know
You didn't mean goodbye
You meant please don't let me go
I was having a high time
Living the good life
Well I know

The wheels are muddy
Got a ton of hay
Now listen here baby
'Cause I mean what I say
I'm having a hard time
Living the good life
Well I know

I was losing time, I had nothing to do
No-one to fight, I came to you
Wheels broke down, the leader won't draw
The line is busted, the last one I saw

Tomorrow comes trouble (note 1)
Tomorrow comes pain
Now don't think too hard, baby
'Cause you know what I'm saying
I could show you a high time
Living the good life
Don't be that way

Nothing's for certain
It could always go wrong
Come in when it's raining
Go on out when it's gone
We could have us a high time
Living the good life
Well I know

Friday, June 18, 2010

Dylan Thomas

Clown In The Moon
My tears are like the quiet drift
Of petals from some magic rose;
And all my grief flows from the rift
Of unremembered skies and snows.

I think, that if I touched the earth,
It would crumble;
It is so sad and beautiful,
So tremulously like a dream

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Roo Borson

Ten Thousand
It is dusk. The birds sweep low to the lake and then dive
up. The wind picks a few leaves off the ground
and turns them into wheels that roll
a little way and then collapse. There's nothing like branches
planted against the sky to remind you
of the feel of your feet on the earth, the way your hands
sometimes touch each other. All those memories,
you wouldn't want them over again, there's no point.
What's next, you ask yourself.
You ask it ten thousand times.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Kutti Revathi

Breasts are bubbles, rising
In wet marshlands

I watched in awe — and guarded —
Their gradual swell and blooming
At the edges of my youth’s season

Saying nothing to anyone else,
They sing along
With me alone, always:
Of Love,

To the nurseries of my turning seasons,
They never once forgot or failed
To bring arousal

During penance, they swell, as if straining
To break free; and in the fierce tug of lust,
They soar, recalling the ecstasy of music

From the crush of embrace, they distill
The essence of love; and in the shock
Of childbirth, milk from coursing blood

Like two teardrops from an unfulfilled love
That cannot ever be wiped away,
They well up, as if in grief, and spill over

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Eunice Odio

Three Songs of Solitude

Mother solitude


She’s very deep by day

and very quiet by night.
Because at night
mother solitude
runs imperfectly through the walls

that transform her
from a lonely, irradiant mother
to a naked one in the shape of gold.


I had not seen you, rosebush;

but one day, in the afternoon,
I knew there was a rose
in your depth

falling from itself,
and her petals shed swiftly
the small closeness of doves.

Mother solitude

held tight between her whistling
the reverse side of a flower.

I dreamed I was dreaming.


Listen to this silence

It is an anchored silence

it is the slope of the rose
it is the sleeping crease of angels.

Listen to this silence
that sticks to your flesh

It is a passing of smoke at your side

Mother solitude surrenders by the woods’ edge,
by the dreams of the Sun
by the ranks of the flowers.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Jorge Carrera Andrade


Ears of corn, with canary bird wings,
plucked from roof beams.

Guinea pigs
deceive the illiterate silence
with bird squeaks and a dove-like cooing.

There is a silent rustling in the hut
as wind pushes at the door.

The fierce mountain
has opened —with ribs of lightning—
its dark umbrellas of cloud.

Francisco, Martin, Juan:
working the mountain plantation
are surprised by a downpour.

A shower of birds
falls shrieking into the tilled fields.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Antjie Krog

overwhelmed by the whisper of our
capacity to grip
this kneadable earth’s mantle

can I not be not-you
you not be no-one
we not be nowhere
the unheard-of befitting word
not be unsaid by us

my heart falters – more weightless than before
yet bridgeable

there where I am other than you
I begin
it’s true

but there where I am you
have become you
I sing beyond myself
light pulses of quicksilversong
a thing cast beyond all humankind

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Seamus Heaney

My father worked with a horse-plough,
His shoulders globed like a full sail strung
Between the shafts and the furrow.
The horse strained at his clicking tongue.

An expert. He would set the wing
And fit the bright steel-pointed sock.
The sod rolled over without breaking.
At the headrig, with a single pluck

Of reins, the sweating team turned round
And back into the land. His eye
Narrowed and angled at the ground,
Mapping the furrow exactly.

I stumbled in his hob-nailed wake,
Fell sometimes on the polished sod;
Sometimes he rode me on his back
Dipping and rising to his plod.

I wanted to grow up and plough,
To close one eye, stiffen my arm.
All I ever did was follow
In his broad shadow round the farm.

I was a nuisance, tripping, falling,
Yapping always. But today
It is my father who keeps stumbling
Behind me, and will not go away.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Armando Romero

The three of them arrived at the same spot
They ordered foaming drinks
They greeted the courteous multitude

All three went up to the same table
They drank smoking potions
They knew nobody
They were not uncomfortable

And lo and behold,
When all three jumped together
Over the cornice
Over the window
Over the hole
The woman at the bar said there was no reason to be afraid
Since they were a new flower brought from the East

But when they came down again and killed the whole multitude
She said before dying that there was nothing to fear
That she had come upon the wrong garden
That she was mistaken about the flower
And that instead of blossoms from Buddha
She had brought blossoms of Uranium

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Alexandr Blok

Don't Fear Death
Don't fear death in earthly travels.
Don't fear enemies or friends.
Just listen to the words of prayers,
To pass the facets of the dreads.

Your death will come to you, and never
You shall be, else, a slave of life,
Just waiting for a dawn's favor,
From nights of poverty and strife.

She'll build with you a common law,
One will of the Eternal Reign.
And you are not condemned to slow
And everlasting deadly pain.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Pedro Serrano

Black Poplars
green height on blue,
scraping, climbing the air.
Each one makes its own ascent,
hair to the wind,
its own prayer.
They emerge from the greenest mass,
articulating themselves,
wilful filaments in air.
Calm, proud,
centred on their crowns,
flickering, almost immaterial.
They tremble with fear,
each leaf, each branch
a silken mane, vertical.
God's legions, poets
of discipline or of exhaustion,
brushstrokes of blue, green jaguars,
Cut-outs of water, virtual reflections,
totems of glass.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Seamus Heaney

Requiem for the Croppies
The pockets of our greatcoats full of barley...
No kitchens on the run, no striking camp...
We moved quick and sudden in our own country.
The priest lay behind ditches with the tramp.
A people hardly marching... on the hike...
We found new tactics happening each day:
We'd cut through reins and rider with the pike
And stampede cattle into infantry,
Then retreat through hedges where cavalry must be thrown.
Until... on Vinegar Hill... the final conclave.
Terraced thousands died, shaking scythes at cannon.
The hillside blushed, soaked in our broken wave.
They buried us without shroud or coffin
And in August... the barley grew up out of our grave.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Billy Ramsell

The Magic Carpet
Because I am the greatest in his realm
your husband sent for me, left me alone with you in the inner palace

where, on pain of death, no man may tread.
My commission was to render your face

in silks and thread of gold, the most delicate of textiles.
Of course the inevitable happened (for the rumours

of your beauty weren’t greatly exaggerated) and I set out to make your portrait
unfinishable. Every night I heard the women and eunuchs murmur

in the corridors: “Hush, hush, the master is working!”
when every night my work was withering,

stitch by ripped stitch, in my own hands. How long can I explain the delay,
my doings and undoings, this penelopian dithering?

Your face shimmers on the floor beneath me.
I cannot insert the final threads of vermilion, jade and blue

for fear that we have lift off before I can even step aside
and it carries me away from you.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Marina Tsvetaeva

I know the truth! Renounce all others!
There’s no need for anyone to fight.
For what? – Poets, generals, lovers?
Look: it’s evening, look: almost night.

Ah, the wind drops, earth is wet with dew,
Ah, the snow will freeze the stars that move.
And soon, under the earth, we’ll sleep too,
Who never would let each other sleep above

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Robert Priest

(for Galileo)

i am a tall white thing that birds fly out of
that is why you see me in the morning so open-mouthed and foolish
the doctor said
"you are upside down
you have a large wounded thing in your mouth
i would advise you to cry"
but i said "no doctor
you are wrong
i am tremulous and exultant—a green strand
drawn from the throat of a flower
i am the magnet the wind arrives at finally
those are songs you see lodged in me
if i cry there will be no passion in it
i have tried again and again to throw off these robes of water
but wherever i have whirled them—
there the drunken—the inexhaustible flowers
have followed and come groping up to me
with praises
why should i cry?"
"you're upside down" he said
"no" i replied, and i began to revolve in the air
in front of him
"you think it must be somewhere near here
that the ground is
the suicides have told you
the rain and snow have told you
it's down below
somewhere under the houses
but they are wrong
and you are wrong
i am that dancing man
who kicks over the jug of the stars
those are my tracks across the moon

wherever i put my feet
that is where
the ground is

Friday, June 4, 2010

Henrik Nordbrandt

A Note from the War in Kosovo
Down in the basement I couldn’t see a thing
because, I discovered, I had my sunglasses on.
When I finally took them off
I threw them from me in a rage.

Now I sit and can’t make out the sea
because I have my reading glasses on.
And I can’t read what I’ve written
because the sun’s too bright.

Out of stubbornness I keep my reading glasses on
and nothing
will get me to go down in the basement after the sunglasses!
That’s my life. That’s all of our lives.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Angela Garcia

Agreements of Body and Voice
No one saw the ones
that were in Giordano Bruno
when he spoke

They did not burn
on borrowed lips
the ones who came from far away

The bonfire that was life
did not go out
in the fire that was death

In spite of Bruno’s pile of cinders
what it bore survives

Each life is no more
than the time assigned
to a man
as a turn of light

And the Voice is loyalty
no uproar hides
from a sharp ear

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Zou Jingzhi


The wheat reaper
has ground his sickle
His wine is also ripe
like the sickle

The wheat is waiting
to fall
like friends far away
coming over
to fall into your arms

He hears
the sound of wheat meeting the sickle
He is that sickle
as well as the wheat

If there were no winter
the reaper would have given up the harvest
Wine agrees
when it cuts his throat

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Dew is a name under which Love works:
When that Fire has burned up all in its violence,
The dew falls, imparting moisture everywhere
Like a strong wind of unheard-of sweetness.
It calls forth the kiss of noble natures
And gives them constancy in the midst of changes.
Love's zeal engulfs her gifts to such an extent
That the dew's gentle action must always be present.
Then are appeased all the storms
That previously arose in the soul;
Calm reigns at last,
When the loved one receives from her Beloved
The kisses that truly pertain to love.
When he takes possession of the loved soul in every way,
Love drinks in these kisses and tastes them to the end.
As soon as Love thus touches the soul,
She eats its flesh and drinks its blood.
Love that thus dissolves the loved soul
Sweetly leads them both
To the indivisible kiss --
That same kiss which fully unites
The Three Persons in one sole Being.
Thus the noble dew appeases the conflagration
That had been raging in the land of Love.