Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Tuesday Poem: "American Sonnet for My Past and Future Assassin' by Terrance Hayes

The black poet would love to say his century began
With Hughes or, God forbid, Wheatley, but actually

It began with all the poetry weirdos & worriers, warriors,

Poetry whiners & winos falling from ship bows, sunset

Bridges & windows. In a second I’ll tell you how little

Writing rescues. My hunch is that Sylvia Plath was not

Especially fun company. A drama queen, thin-skinned,

And skittery, she thought her poems were ordinary.

What do you call a visionary who does not recognize

Her vision? Orpheus was alone when he invented writing.

His manic drawing became a kind of writing when he sent

His beloved a sketch of an eye with an X struck through it.

He meant 
I am blind without you. She thought he meant
I never want to see you again. It is possible he meant that, too. 

by Terrance Hayes

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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Tuesday Poem: "Today's Special" by Warren Decker

Today's special is all-natural rage, 
Grilled on a smoldering fire. 
Its powerful flavor made subtle with age,
Today's special is all-natural rage. 
Domestically raised in a comfortable cage, 
And fed only free-range desire, 
Today's special is all-natural rage,
Grilled on a smoldering fire. 

by Warren Decker

Poet, Warren Decker, keeps a low profile, but you can find his blog here:

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Tuesday Poem: "On the pier at Kinlochbervie" by Norman MacCaig

The stars go out one by one
as though a bluetit the size of the world

were pecking them like peanuts out of the sky's string bag,

A ludicrous image, I know.

Take away the gray light.

I want the bronze shields of summer

or winter's scalding sleet.

My mind is struggling with itself.

That fishing boat is a secret

approaching me. It's a secret

coming out of another one.

I want to know the first one of all.

Everything's in the distance,

as I am. I wish I could flip that distance

like a cigarette into the water.

I want an extreme nearness.

I want boundaries on my mind.

I want to feel the world like a straitjacket.

by Norman MacCaig

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Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Tuesday Poem: "Rain— Birdoswald" by Frances Horovitz

    I stand under a leafless tree
more still, in this mouse-pattering

    thrum of rain,

than cattle shifting in the field.

    It is more dark than light.

A Chinese painter's brush of deepening grey 

    moves in a subtle tide.

    The beasts are darker islands now. 

Wet-stained and silvered by the rain 

    they suffer night,

marooned as still as stone or tree.

    We sense each other's quiet.

    Almost, death could come 

inevitable, unstrange

    as is this dusk and rain, 

and I should be no more 

    myself, than raindrops

glimmering in last light

    on black ash buds

or night beasts in a winter field.

by Frances Horovitz

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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Tuesday Poem: "The Tropics in New York" by Claude McKay

Bananas ripe and green, and ginger-root,
      Cocoa in pods and alligator pears,

And tangerines and mangoes and grape fruit,

      Fit for the highest prize at parish fairs,

Set in the window, bringing memories

      Of fruit-trees laden by low-singing rills,

And dewy dawns, and mystical blue skies

      In benediction over nun-like hills.

My eyes grew dim, and I could no more gaze;

      A wave of longing through my body swept,

And, hungry for the old, familiar ways,

      I turned aside and bowed my head and wept.

by Claude McKay

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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Tuesday Poem: "Interview" by Dorothy Parker

The ladies men admire, I’ve heard,
Would shudder at a wicked word.

Their candle gives a single light;

They’d rather stay at home at night.

They do not keep awake till three,

Nor read erotic poetry.

They never sanction the impure,

Nor recognize an overture.

They shrink from powders and from paints ...

So far, I’ve had no complaints.

by Dorothy Parker

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Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Tuesday Poem: "I hope to God you will not ask" by Esther Belin

I hope to God you will not ask me to go anywhere except my own country. If we go back, we will follow whatever orders you give us. We do not want to go right or left, but straight back to our own land.

I hope to God you will not ask

Me or my People to send

Postcard greetings: lamented wind

Of perfect sunrisings, golden

Yes, we may share the same sun setting

But the in-between hours are hollow

The People fill the void with prayers for help

Calling upon the Holy Ones

Those petitions penetrate and loosen

The binds you tried to tighten

Around our heart, a tension

Blocking the wind, like a shell

Fluttering inside, fluttering inside

For more information about the poet, Esther Belin, see: