Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Tuesday Poem: "Advertisement" by Wisława Szymborska



I’m a tranquilizer.
I’m effective at home.

I work in the office.

I can take exams

on the witness stand.

I mend broken cups with care.

All you have to do is take me,

let me melt beneath your tongue,

just gulp me

with a glass of water.


I know how to handle misfortune,

how to take bad news.

I can minimize injustice,

lighten up God’s absence,

or pick the widow’s veil that suits your face.

What are you waiting for—

have faith in my chemical compassion.


You’re still a young man/woman.

It’s not too late to learn how to unwind.

Who said

you have to take it on the chin?


Let me have your abyss.

I’ll cushion it with sleep.

You’ll thank me for giving you

four paws to fall on.


Sell me your soul.

There are no other takers.


There is no other devil anymore.



by Wisława Szymborska (translated from the Polish by Stanisław Barańczak)



For more information on poet, Wisława Szymborska, see:



Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Tuesday Poem: "Saying Goodbye to Very Young Children" by John Updike



They will not be the same next time. The sayings  
so cute, just slightly off, will be corrected.  

Their eyes will be more skeptical, plugged in  

the more securely to the worldly buzz  

of television, alphabet, and street talk,  

culture polluting their gazes' pure blue.  

It makes you see at last the value of  

those boring aunts and neighbors (their smells  

of summer sweat and cigarettes, their faces                        

like shapes of sky between shade-giving leaves)  

who knew you from the start, when you were zero,  

cooing their nothings before you could be bored  

or knew a name, not even your own, or how  

this world brave with hellos turns all goodbye.



by John Updike



For more information about poet, John Updike, see:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Updike

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Tuesday Poem: "Hard-Wired" by Jenny Xie



A misfortune can swell
for a long, long time in the mind.


While goodness shrinks

down to a hard shell.


I reach for the hammer,

but it doesn't crack.


Evolutionarily, it makes sense.


These fishbone days, this fatty grief.



by Jenny Xie



For more information about poet, Jenny Xie, see:


https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poet/jenny-xie-0

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Tuesday Poem: "They'll say: "She must be from another country" by Imtiaz Dharker



When I can’t comprehend
why they’re burning books

or slashing paintings,

when they can’t bear to look

at god’s own nakedness,

when they ban the film

and gut the seats to stop the play

and I ask why

they just smile and say,

‘She must be

from another country.’


When I speak on the phone

and the vowel sounds are off

when the consonants are hard

and they should be soft,

they’ll catch on at once

they’ll pin it down

they’ll explain it right away

to their own satisfaction,

they’ll cluck their tongues

and say,

‘She must be

from another country.’


When my mouth goes up

instead of down,

when I wear a tablecloth

to go to town,

when they suspect I’m black

or hear I’m gay

they won’t be surprised,

they’ll purse their lips

and say,

‘She must be

from another country.’


When I eat up the olives

and spit out the pits

when I yawn at the opera

in the tragic bits

when I pee in the vineyard

as if it were Bombay,

flaunting my bare ass

covering my face

laughing through my hands

they’ll turn away,

shake their heads quite sadly,

‘She doesn’t know any better,’

they’ll say,

‘She must be

from another country.’


Maybe there is a country

where all of us live,

all of us freaks

who aren’t able to give

our loyalty to fat old fools,

the crooks and thugs

who wear the uniform

that gives them the right

to wave a flag,

puff out their chests,

put their feet on our necks,

and break their own rules.


But from where we are

it doesn’t look like a country,    

it’s more like the cracks

that grow between borders

behind their backs.

That’s where I live.

And I’ll be happy to say,

‘I never learned your customs.

I don’t remember your language

or know your ways.

I must be

from another country.’



by Imtiaz Dharker



For more information on poet, Imtiaz Dharker, see: