Thursday, February 28, 2019
We hitchhiked America. I
still think of her.
I walk the old streets thinking I
see her, but never.
New buildings have gone up.
The bartenders who poured roses
into our glasses are gone.
We are erased.
one street out of nowhere through cornstalks.
Winter clutched the cornfields into Chicago.
Cold, we couldn't get in out of the cold.
But a lonely filling station owner risked
letting his death in out of the night.
I lay on his gas station floor and let her
use me for a bed.
I will never forget the cold into
my kidneys or lying awake bearing the
pain while she slept like a two month
old child on the hill of its mother's tit.
It was on the stone floor
that I knew I loved her.
just a portion of this excellent long poem by
Penmen Press, 1976
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
The Museum of Modern Art
A labor of love portrait by Deborah Wye
which spirals around
as only Bourgeois could feel
the intricacies in art & labor
of this astonishing artist —
every man should study this artist
and this book —
Every woman is already born to it
[ BA ]
Tuesday, February 26, 2019
Janine Pommy Vega circa 1969 ~
how a troubadour poet lived
The back of the sheet —
one of Janine's poems and drawings
Janine in Lima, Peru with a dream
w/ Bill Bathurst, Bob, Susan and Carson Arnold
Monday, February 25, 2019
JK & JPV
go live in
not in Venice
or France but
I am old
I will go
I Sent To My Mother
my book of forty years of
love poems and she never
said if she received the book
or not, so I asked —
and she sighed
“Oh yes, I have that
I put it away”
They have come to visit
From a long way off —
The expectations are thrilling
He is 40
She is 30
Their daughter is 3
By the time they leave
After nearly two weeks
He is miserable
She is middling
And the daughter
Keeps hugging us
Sunday, February 24, 2019
she shivers around the corner
where the wind is wild
I went around the corner
And I asked her come with me.
There's a yellow fire at my house
by a green cedar tree.
My wife will dry your shoes
The fire will warm your feet
My daughter will count your toes
And I'll look for your mother
In the wind and the sleet
From Collected Out
Saturday, February 23, 2019
K A T R I N A
I was birthed restless and elsewhere
gut dragging and bulging with ball lightning, slush,
broke through with branches, steel
I was bitch-monikered, hipped, I hefted
a whip rain, a swirling sheet of grit.
Scraping toward the first of you, hungering for wood, walls,
unturned skin. With shifting and frantic mouth, I loudly loved
the slow bones
of elders, fools, and willows.
Coffee House Books
Friday, February 22, 2019
I have my yellow boots on to walk
Across the shires where I hide
Away from my true people and all
I can't put easily into my life.
So you will see I am stepping on
The stones between the runnels getting
Nowhere nowhere. It is almost
Embarrassing to be alive alone.
Take my hand and pull me over from
The last stone on to the moss and
The three celandines. Now my dear
Let us go home across the shires.
The Night City
Unmet at Euston in a dream
Of London under Turner's steam
Misting the iron gantries, I
Found myself running away
From Scotland into the golden city.
I ran down Gray's Inn Road and ran
Till I was under a black bridge
This was me at nineteen
Late at night arriving between
The buildings of the City of London/
And then I (O I have fallen down)
Fell in my dream beside the Bank
of England's wall to bed, me
With my money belt of Northern ice.
I found Eliot and he said yes
And sprang into a Holmes cab.
Boswell passe me in the fog
Going to visit Whistler who
Was with John Donne who had just seen
Paul Potts shouting on Soho Green.
Midnight. I lost the moon
Light chiming on St. Paul's.
The city is empty. Night
Watchmen are drinking their tea.
The Fire had burnt out.
The Plague's pits had closed
And gone into literature.
Between the big buildings
I sat like a flea crouched
In the stopped works of a watch.
[ From the Sleeping Hand ]
Look down from a height on the long
Oystercatching shore of Loch
Long at first light with the tide
Streaming out between the pools
And you will see. Don't breathe
Or frighten me waiting to meet
My dear from the sleeping house coming
Over the shingle with her bare feet.
Selected by Michael Hofmann
New York Review of Books
Thursday, February 21, 2019
Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Out of the corner
of his eye the
other world, the one
that always seems like
real one, the one
on the hill a
saddle of light.
He dreams he wakes
in his childhood
room, can't find the
light to write this
down, then wakes for
real, finds light and
paper, writes To
place back the stone
and enter the
world of end-time
A long way from the Andes
the sound of a wooden flute
rides up the escalator
at Lexington Avenue.
Sudden as birds
two girls' hands
break into conversation
across the car.
Under the snow the meadow
more like a river than the river.
Threadbare hillside, whose colors
go out as clouds gather.
Two crows cross the frozen lake
without a sound.
dusk, Ninth Avenue, face
bathed in a cellphone glow, cowboy
Narcissus, at his tasks
A V E N U E
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Summer Time — The Full Moon
Four Days After July 27th
my mother silently went to heaven four days ago
and tonight is the full moon
my mother quietly completed her work
the last penance called living
when she breathed in and exhaled as though reaching
as far back as to the Inca Empire
the thin river of her life
trembled like a thread
snow everything is fine
she is happier than the moon she does not have to wander about
among the dark clouds
she does not have to shine serenely
and slowly leave
she has obtained the permanence
of her existence by not existing ah
I forgot to say, thank you because your leaving
this world was too soon and too quiet a sigh
what is called permanence is transient
because it only exists inside me
in this finite inside
infinity that is a permanence is now
ah full moon
on my beloved my mother
like a spring breeze
quietly over the repose of her soul
drops of light
MY FLOATING MOTHER, CITY
New Directions 2009
translated from the Japanese by
Yumiko Isumura & Samuel Grolmes
Monday, February 18, 2019
No one visited all winter
No one —
There was too much ice
From the road to the house
We’d see squirrel tracks
In the lightest snow
Isn’t it great
When it rains —
Suddenly everyone is running!
The old cat
Is deaf —
I saw the face of god today —
now having lost half my readers because of the
word god, no hard feelings, let’s continue
as I was saying I saw the face of god
in fact his whole body and soul
he was walking towards us in an old Rangers team jacket
cap, shorts, he maybe even had his god beard, I believe he did
the sun returned after five straight days of rain and
no one showed up on the park bench right
outside of the grocer’s
but the two of us
and how good does it get
when god speaks to you
as we rise to leave walking the side-
walk toward this bearded transient
waving confidently one arm in the air
shouting these very words —
“You guys are the salt of the earth —
(pointing) I hate those other people”