Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Tuesday Poem: "Dark Harvest" by Joseph Millar

           For Annie

You can come to me in the evening,

            with the fingers of former lovers

fastened in your hair and their ghost lips

            opening over your body,

They can be philosophers or musicians in long coats and colored shoes

and they can be smarter than I am,

            whispering to each other

                        when they look at us.

You can come walking toward my window after dusk

            when I can’t see past the lamplight in the glass,

when the chipped plates rattle on the counter

            and the cinders

dance on the cross-ties under the wheels of southbound freights.

Bring children if you want, and the long wounds of sisters

            branching away

                        behind you toward the sea.

Bring your mother’s tense distracted face

                        and the shoulders of plane mechanics

slumped in the Naugahyde booths of the airport diner,

            waiting for you to bring their eggs.

I’ll bring all the bottles of gin I drank by myself

            and my cracked mouth opened partway

as I slept in the back of my blue Impala

                                                          dreaming of spiders.

I won’t forget the lines running deeply

            in the cheeks of the Polish landlady

who wouldn’t let the cops upstairs,

            the missing ring finger of the machinist from Spenard

whose money I stole after he passed out to go downtown in a cab

and look for whores,

            or the trembling lower jaw of my son, watching me

back my motorcycle from his mother’s driveway one last time,

            the ribbons and cone-shaped birthday hats

scattered on the lawn,

                                  the rain coming down like broken glass.

We’ll go out under the stars and sit together on the ground

            and there will be enough to eat for everybody.

They can sleep on my couches and rug,

                                                         and the next day

I’ll go to work, stepping easily across the scaffolding, feeding

the cable gently into the new pipes on the roof,

                                                                  and dreaming

like St Francis of the still dark rocks

that disappear under the morning tide,

                                             only to climb back into the light,

sea-rimed, salt-blotched, their patched webs of algae

blazing with flies in the sun.

by Joseph Millar

For more information about poet, Joseph Millar, see:

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Tuesday Poem: "The Guest Room" by P.J. Harvey

One gray dove circles the ruins.
A jet heads to the base.

A boy sings to the bird.
He carries a blue gas cannister.

Where shall I go?
I have no home.

I had a place
but guests came

and they remained.
Where shall I go?

He leads us through the village.
One cockerel. A pile of shoes

outside a curtained door.
We sit on orange cushions.

Children bring us tea and bread.
I wish we had brought gifts.

I hope we know when to leave.

by P. J. Harvey

Polly Jean Harvey, MBE (born 9 October 1969), known as PJ Harvey, is an English musician, singer-songwriter, writer, poet, and composer. Primarily known as a vocalist and guitarist, she is also proficient with a wide range of instruments.

For more information about poet, P.J. Harvey, see:


Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Tuesday Poem: "My Name" by Mark Strand

One night when the lawn was a golden green
and the marbled moonlit trees rose like fresh memorials

in the scented air, and the whole countryside pulsed

with the chirr and murmur of insects, I lay in the grass

feeling the great distances open above me, and wondered

what I would become -- and where I would find myself --

and though I barely existed, I felt for an instant

that the vast star-clustered sky was mine, and I heard

my name as if for the first time, heard it the way

one hears the wind or the rain, but faint and far off

as though it belonged not to me but to the silence

from which it had come and to which it would go.

by Mark Strand

There is something fragile and beautiful and ethereal about this poem. I just love it. It lingers in the mind.

For more information about the poet, Mark Strand, see:

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Tuesday Poem: "Philip Seymour Hoffman" by Nick Flynn

Last summer I found a small box stashed away in my apartment,
a box  filled with enough Vicodin to kill me.  I would  have sworn
that  I'd  thrown it away years earlier,  but apparently not. I stared
at the white pills blankly for a long while, I even took a picture of

them,  before  (finally, definitely)  throwing  them away.  I'd been

sober  (again)  for  some years  when  I found that box,  but every

addict  has  one— a  little  box,  metaphorical  or  actual— hidden

away.  Before I flushed them  I held them in my palm,  marveling

that  at  some  point in  the  not-so-distant  past it seemed a good

idea  to  keep a  stash of  pills on hand.  For
an emergency, I told
myself.  What kind of emergency? What  if  I needed  a root canal

on  a  Sunday  night?  This little  box  would  see me through until

the   dentist   showed   up  for   work  the  next  morning.  Half  my

brain  told  me  that,  while  the other half  knew that  looking into

that  box  was  akin  to  seeing  a photograph of myself standing on

the  edge of a bridge,  a bridge  in the  familiar  dark neighborhood

of  my  mind,   that   comfortable  place   where  I  could  somehow

believe that
fuck it was an adequate response to life.

by Nick Flynn

Philip Seymour Hoffman was born on July 23, 1967 in Fairport, New York and died on February 2, 2014 (aged 46) in Manhattan, New York.

This was my birthday. Not a happy event to coincide with one's birthday. I admired the actor's talent very much and I was saddened to hear of his untimely death.

However, as poet, Nick Flynn, demonstrates in the above prose poem, anything can be fodder for poetry or art.

Nick Flynn
Photo Credit: Dion Ogust

For more information about the poet, Nick Flynn, see: