After Your Death -Natasha Trethewey
April 30, 2012, 5:27 pm
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First, I emptied the closets of your clothes,
threw out the bowl of fruit, bruised
from your touch, left empty the jars

you bought for preserves. The next morning,
birds rustled the fruit trees, and later
when I twisted a ripe fig loose from its stem,

I found it half eaten, the other side
already rotting, or—like another I plucked
and split open—being taken rom the inside:

a swarm of insects hollowing it. I’m too late,
again, another space emptied by loss.
Tomorrow, the bowl I have yet to fill.


I Think Of You… -Nazim Hikmet
April 26, 2012, 5:04 pm
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I think of you
and I feel the scent of my mother
my mother, the most beautiful of all.

You are on the carousel of the festival inside me
you hover around, your skirt and your hair flying
Mere seconds between finding your beautiful face and losing it.

What is the reason,
why do I remember you like a wound on my heart
what is the reason that I hear your voice when you are so far
and I can’t help getting up with excitement?

I kneel down and look at your hands
I want to touch your hands
but I can’t
you are behind a glass.
Sweetheart, I am a bewildered spectator of the drama
that I am playing in my twilight.

If You Ask Me – Gunnar Ekelöf
April 26, 2012, 4:59 pm
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If you ask me where I am
Well I live here beyond the mountains
It is far but I am near
I live in another world
but you live in it too
It is everywhere, as rare as helium
Why do you ask for an aircraft to travel in
Ask instead for a filter for nitrogen
a filter for carbon dioxide, hydrogen and other gases
Ask for a filter for all that separates us
a filter for life
You say that you can hardly breathe
What of it! Who do you think can breathe?
Most of the time we take it equably
A wise man has said:
“It was so dark that I could barely see the stars.”
He only meant that it was night.

Agony in the Garden -Peg Boyers
April 25, 2012, 7:23 am
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At supper he whispers something in your ear,
the Judas boy, who wants you.

We go to the garden where it’s cool
and wait.

From my place against the tree
I see you through the window,

watch as you walk from door to desk,
reach into your pocket,

pull out your wallet, empty it and leave it by the lamp,
pick up a pen, lean over to write, then don’t,

take something heavy from the drawer, put it back
then sweep the money into a paper bag.

You walk from desk to door and out, your hand
reaching back to put out the light.

On the security film you leave the building
alone, holding the heavy bag.

Off camera you walk towards the Charles, leave
your saddle shoes under the pedestrian bridge.

We wait in the garden.
And wait.

We don’t know yet whom you meet or why.
We don’t know yet that the river has claimed you.

How to be a Surrealist- Dean Young
April 23, 2012, 7:27 am
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Sleep well. A gland in the command
center releases its yellow hornet
to tell you you’re missing the point,
the point being that getting smacked
by a board, gored by umbrellas, tongue-
lashed by cardiologists, bush-wacked
by push-up bras is a learning experience.
Sure, you’re about learned up. Weren’t
we promised the thieves would be punished?
Promised jet-packs and fleshy gardenias
and wine to get the dust out of our mouths?
And endless forgiveness? A floral rot
comes out of the closet, the old teacher’s
voice comes out of the ravine, red-wings
in rushes never forget their rusty-hinged
song. Moon-song, dread-song, hardly-a-song
at all song. Let’s ignore that call,
let someone else stop Mary from herself
for the 80th time. It’s never really dark
anyway, not even inside the skull. Take
my hand, fellow figment. Every spring
we’ll meet, definite as swarms of stars,
insects over glazed puddles, your eyes
green even though your driver’s license
says otherwise. And yes, mortal knells
in sleepless hours, hollow knocks of empty
boats against a dock but still the mind
is a meadow, the heart an ocean even though
it burns. As long as there’s a sky, someone
will be falling from it. After molting,
eat your own shucked skin for strength,
keep changing the subject in hopes
that the subject will change you.

In Winter- Michael Ryan
April 21, 2012, 7:03 pm
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At four o’clock it’s dark.
Today, looking out through dusk
at three gray women in stretch slacks
chatting in front of the post office,
their steps left and right and back
like some quick folk dance of kindness,
I remembered the winter we spent
crying in each other’s laps.
What could you be thinking at this moment?
How lovely and strange the gangly spines
of trees against a thickening sky
as you drive from the library
humming off-key? Or are you smiling
at an idea met in a book
the way you smiled with your whole body
the first night we talked?
I was so sure my love of you was perfect,
and the light today
reminded me of the winter you drove home
each day in the dark at four o’clock
and would come into my study to kiss me
despite mistake after mistake after mistake.

Twentieth Century Limited- Betsy Sholl
April 20, 2012, 6:45 am
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I used to think a train whistle fathered me,
story my mother once told, then refused

to repeat, as if conception’s not a subject
for the conceived. It hardly had to do with me:

four A.M. milk train, my father’s wakened passion,
my mother having watched his kindness

to strangers the night before, wanting
that warmth inside her. . .

So, in the pre-dawn I became a passenger
riding their wail, offspring of love cries

too quickly morphed into the all aboard
carrying my father’s coffin back East,

the long sigh of my mother’s widowhood.
Even now, the late-night rumble makes me shudder

as those wheels clatter through town,
arrivals and departures riding the same track.