Dancing on the Grave of a Son of a Bitch- Diane Wakoski
January 30, 2012, 4:10 pm
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God damn it,
at last I am going to dance on your grave,
old man;
            you’ve stepped on my shadow once too often,
you’ve been unfaithful to me with other women,
women so cheap and insipid it psychs me out to think I might
ever
be put
in the same category with them;
you’ve left me alone so often that I might as well have been
a homesteader in Alaska
these past years;
and you’ve left me, thrown me out of your life
often enough
that I might as well be a newspaper,
differently discarded each day.
Now you’re gone for good
and I don’t know why
but your leaving actually made me as miserable
as an earthworm with no
earth,
but now I’ve crawled out of the ground where you stomped me
and I gradually stand taller and taller each
day.
I have learned to sing new songs,
and as I sing,
I’m going to dance on your grave
because you are
          dead
          dead
          dead
under the earth with the rest of the shit,
I’m going to plant deadly nightshade
on your grassy mound
and make sure a hemlock tree starts growing there.
Henbane is too good for you,
but I’ll let a bit grow there for good measure
because we want to dance,
we want to sing,
we want to throw this old man
to the wolves,
but they are too beautiful for him, singing in harmony
with each other.
                   So some white wolves and I
will sing on your grave, old man
and dance for the joy of your death.
“Is this an angry statement?”
                            “No, it is a statement of joy.”
“Will the sun shine again?”
                            “Yes,
                            yes,
                            yes,”
                            because I’m going to dance dance dance
Duncan’s measure, and Pindar’s tune,
Lorca’s cadence, and Creeley’s hum,
Stevens’ sirens and Williams’ little Morris dance,
oh, the poets will call the tune,
and I will dance, dance, dance
on your grave, grave, grave,
because you’re a sonofabitch, a sonofabitch,
and you tried to do me in,
but you cant cant cant.
You were a liar in a way that only I know:
            You ride a broken motorcycle,
            You speak a dead language
            You are a bad plumber,
            And you write with an inkless pen.
You were mean to me,
and I’ve survived,
God damn you,
at last I am going to dance on your grave,
old man,
I’m going to learn every traditional dance,
every measure,
and dance dance dance on your grave
                                                    one step
for every time
you done me wrong.
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Bronzed- Dean Young
January 28, 2012, 10:02 pm
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That dusty bubble gum, once ubiquitous as starlings,
is no more, my love. Whistling dinosaurs now populate
only animation studios, the furious actions of angels
causing their breasts to flop out in mannerist
frescos flake away as sleet holds us in its teeth.
And the bus-station’s old urinals go under
the grindstone and the youthful spelunkers
graduate into the wrinkle-causing sun. The sea
seemingly a constant to the naked eye is one
long goodbye, perpetually the tide recedes,
beaches dotted with debris. Unto each is given
a finite number of addresses, ditties to dart
the heart to its moments of sorrow and swoon.
The sword’s hilt glints, the daffodils bow down,
all is temporary as a perfect haircut, a kitten
in the lap, yet sitting here with you, my darling,
waiting for a tuna melt and side of slaw
seems all eternity I’ll ever need
and all eternity needs of me.


Choices- Tess Gallagher
January 28, 2012, 3:13 pm
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I go to the mountain side
of the house to cut saplings,
and clear a view to snow
on the mountain. But when I look up,
saw in hand, I see a nest clutched in
the uppermost branches.
I don’t cut that one.
I don’t cut the others either.
Suddenly, in every tree,
an unseen nest
where a mountain
would be.


On Poetry Analysis
January 26, 2012, 7:11 pm
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“There are scientific situations where the individual, subjective experience is an integral part of the research tools. Poetry analysis is one situation.” -Lars Gustaffson



On Astrild, Honing his Arrows- Georg Stiernhielm
January 25, 2012, 6:32 am
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The grindstone can never cut; but it sharpens arrows and axes:
of similar nature is my beloved; she sharpens and hones
great love in my breast; herself she is duller than whetstone.
My proud heart she then weakens and wounds in its love,
while hers, sage and sane, is harder than flintstone.
She herself is ice and snow; to me she is hotter than fire.
Frigid is she by nature; but me she does hurry to love her.
All she occasions and does, by her is unfelt or unknown:
mild is she and gives away what she neither owns nor ever was hers.



From “It is the Rising I Love”- Linda Gregg
January 23, 2012, 7:25 am
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As long as I struggle to float above the ground
and fail, there is reason for this poetry. . . .

See me rise like a flame,
like the sun, moon, stars, birds, wind. In light,
In dark. But I never achieve it. I get on my knees
this gray April to see if open crocuses have a smell.
I must live in the suffering and desire of what
rises and falls. The terrible blind grinding
of gears against our bodies and lives.



Home for the Holidays- Philip Levine
January 20, 2012, 6:53 am
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Does anyone give a shit? Not
I, said the little brown mouse.
And so to bed, said Mother,
but no one was listening.
Praise the Lord, said the radio,
the radio said Praise the Lord
again, and the television
turned its back on the room.

Turnips for wisdom, eggplant
for beauty, parsnips for ease,
cabbage for size, a raw egg
for the hair, a slice of ham
to seize the hips, for the nose
foxglove and salt, for grace
ice-cold water poured from
way high up to way down low.

Everyone sits at the big table
in the dark. The empty plates
moon, the silverware stars,
the napkins scrub their hands.
I’m home, says the front door.
The windows are deep in thought,
the roof has taken off its hat.
Nothing to do, chants the toilet.