Friday, September 29, 2017

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Tuesday, September 26, 2017


it's never too late to read a good book
one in here has an excellent eye to bob dylan

Monday, September 25, 2017


Many Times

There is the absolute way

Of doing it, and we have done it

Many times and again —

How I will come to you

How you will meet me

The early morning sun

Perfect on the bed, and

Stripes in the Mexican blanket

Like blood, the sea, yellow iris petals —

And it is a silly lovers ritual of ours

I hug you and you hug me and step onto

My boots, and I walk you and me around the

Sunlit room, the sway of patchouli in your hair

And your face smooth against my lips

Like the inside of your hands

Day And Night

How often have we

Stepped together into water —

You left your clothes on the rocks

And shivered your way to me

Said it was freezing as I thought

Of the mountain stream filling this

Clear basin of evening light, and how

Swallows showed us the angles of the sky

Far above barbed wire and pasture heat

Which we came down from after work

Smelling lilac in the breeze —

And it was the long blonde hair you shook

Out of a blue bandana and later braided

That had me remember the day and night

The Skin Of Her Neck

Tonight, because her hand

Is in pain, the small finger

Swollen, yes, I’ll stir the

Batter, although she is better

And first taught me how

Something is done right

And I came from behind

And smelled the skin of

Her neck, the long blonde

Hairs alive and the blouse

White and rough, tucked into

A thin summer skirt —

Winter, near Christmas

3 feet of snow and her

Body moves across the

Cabin room with summer

A clay bowl with

Colored stripes in her

Arms, the fresh heat

Of the flat iron stove


After supper

No longer summer

A windy night ahead

We sit in the kitchen

One lamp

Read before the fire

Nothing else in our lives

Boots drying

Rain on the windows


I'm In Love With You
Who Is In Love With Me
Longhouse 2012

Sunday, September 24, 2017

bell hooks ~

"Silence is present everywhere under patriarchy, though it requires
different silences from men than from women. You can imagine
the policing of gender as the creation of reciprocal silences, and
you can begin to recognize male silence as a tradeoff for power and
membership. No one ever put it better than bell hooks, who said:

The first act of violence that patriarchy demands of males is not
violence toward women. Instead patriarchy demands of all males
that they engage in acts of psychic self-mutilation, that they kill
off the emotional parts of themselves. If an individual is not suc-
cessful in emotionally crippling himself, he can count on part-
icular  men to enact rituals of power that will assault his self-esteem.

That is, patriarchy requires that men silence themselves first (and
perhaps it's worth noting again that, though patriarchy is a system
that privileges men and masculinity, many women are complicit in it,
some men rebel against it, and some people are undoing the rules of
gender that props it up). This means learning not only to be silent to
others but also to themselves, about aspects of their inner life and self.

Reading hook's passage, I was chilled, as though I suddenly
understood that this is the plot of a horror movie or a zombie
movie. The deadened seek out the living to exterminate feeling,
either by making their targets join them in numbness or by intim-
idating or assaulting them into silence. In the landscape of silence,
the three realms might be silence imposed from within; silence
imposed from without; and silence that exists around what has not
yet been named, reorganized, described, or admitted. But they are
not distinct; they feed each other; and what is unsayable becomes
unknowable and vice versa, until something breaks."

— Rebecca Solnit

(Happy Birthday bell hooks, 25 September 1952)

Friday, September 22, 2017


The Prayer Book

For years I've wanted to write a prayer book.

Why? Because I've learned

that the solid hangs upon nothingness.

Because I've found that the sentence is a kind of petition.

And because I've found that in all that I've said

in all that I've said I've said only thank you.

So, little by little,

                       in fact I've written that book

and today it weighs some two hundred pounds

and soon it will celebrate its fiftieth birthday

and yesterday I bought it shoes.

Aharon Shabtai (translated by Peter Cole)

Kharja / Closure

 "Oh, I'll

love you alright;


   long as you

manage to bend

   both of my


back to the

   thin silver

earrings you gave me."

(Anonymous, Mozarabic, 12th century
 translate by Peter Cole)

Palestine: A Sestina

Hackles are raised at the mere mention of Palestine,
let alone  The Question of — who owns the pain?
Often it seems the real victims here are the hills —
those pulsing ridges, whose folds are tender fuzz of green
kill with softness. On earth, it's true, we're only guests,
but people live in places, and stake out claims to land.

From Moab Moses saw, long ago — a land
far off, and once I stood there facing Palestine
with Hassan, whose family lives in Amman. (We were his guests
at the Wahdat refugee camp.) Wonder shot with pain
came into his eyes as he gazed across the green
valley between Nebo and Lydda beyond the hills.

Help would come, says the Psalmist, from one of those hills,
though scholars still don't know for certain whether the land
in question was Zion, or the high places of Baal. The green
olives ripened, and ripen, either way in Palestine,
and the memory of groves cut down rings on pain
for those whose people worked them, for themselves or guests.

"I have been made a stranger in my home by guests,"
says Job, in Hebrew that evolved along these hills,
though he himself was foreign to them. His famous pain
is also that of those who call the Promised Land
home in  another tongue. Could what was pledged be Palestine?
Is Scripture's fence intended to guard this mountain's green?

Many have roamed its slopes and fields, dressed in green
fatigues, unable to fathom what they mean, as guests.
And armies patrol still, throughout Palestine,
as ministers mandate women and men to carve up its hills
to keep them from ever again becoming enemy land.
The search, meanwhile, goes on—for a balm to end the pain,

though it seems only to widen the rippling circles of pain,
as though the land itself became the ripples, and its green
a kind of sigh. So spring comes round again to the land,
as echoes cry: "It's mine!" —and the planes will bring in guests,
so long as water and longing run through these hills,
which some (and coins) call Israel, and others Palestine.

The pundits' talk of Palestine doesn't account for the pain—
or the bone-white hills, breaking the heart as they go green
before the souls of guests-on-earth who've known this land.

Peter Cole
Hymns & Qualms
new & selected poems & translations
Farrar, 2017

Thursday, September 21, 2017


The University of Alabama Press 


Wednesday, September 20, 2017


Nicolas Guillén, Cuban Poet


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Monday, September 18, 2017


Wood For Water

How come this night
You wash in a pan
A shallow draw of stream water
Spilled down from wild apples
Of the mountain, where deer
Browse, make trail
Leave droppings

Hand over hand, you may
Think of it this way, or
Water that simply flows
Spreading into a sound of peepers
Where I’ve entered
Truck low geared
Flushing every redwing
From trees we were to clear

Blackberries grew then
Tickling stone walls
While working in the heat, high boots
Rolled pants
Many came apart wet in my hands —
Couldn’t save any, not even for you

That was a half year ago —
Now dead wood dropped, hauled, split
Chickadees perch closely, fluttering pine
There is firewood to stack dry
Someplace through winter

At night you bathe cold, cold water
Heated warm —
When you dress you forget underwear
And the thin white blouse —

Just a dress, sleeveless and red

Rope Of Bells

It is the

Rope of bells

You have put behind the door

That let me know

Whenever one of us goes

To the privy

The woodshed

The outdoors



It is Spring

Already you relax in a cotton skirt

Passing through mountains is a strong feeling

Fields plowed, new wood split, the hawk floating

Puffs of softwood in the gray hills

A river runs with snow melting

A small bridge neatly built to get by

There is a pleasure in such places

An old woman and her huge straw hat

Raking the far corner of a hay field

These Of The Morning

There is the wondrous that begins here

So easily, the pail that you put out in the rain

That fills

Walk a meadow

Hold a hand with your two hands

Be with your closest

Sunlight is never far away

We’ve crossed the small water into our surroundings

Hiked and became tired and loved

And what we didn’t bring with us

We found

In the smell of each other, the little movings


I'm In Love With You
Who Is In Love With Me
Longhouse 2012

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Friday, September 15, 2017


H A R R Y     D E AN    S T A N T O N

July 14, 1926 - September  15, 2017 

opening words spoken by hunter s. thompson (from samuel johnson)
 then harry dean stanton's
gears and oils voice takes over as
 the only one of reason 




Princeton 2016

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


driving while under the influence

it was three AM and I hit

the blinking yellow light

on the route three rotary near Drum Hill

we got out quick

to throw away beer cans

and then I backed up the car a bit

and tried to go forward

but the car wouldn't go forward

so I backed up around the rotary

into a gas station

I figured I could put my car

in the row of cars already there

and nobody would notice     right?

I get out and hide behind but

by this time I can see the flashing lights

and it was really something

the police cruiser goes around the rotary

take the exit I took

and comes right to me

I was alone      all my friends split

and they get me      for leaving the scene

driving under the influence

and being a minor in possession

all kinds of stuff      right?

I asked the guy found me

how'd you catch me?

he said he followed the leaking radiator

it leaked after the crash      right?

fifty million dumb cops in the world

and this guy

has to be a genius

Michael Casey
Adastra Press 1999

*by the way, "I asked the guy found me"
is how the line reads in the book