Sunday, 26 September 2021

My Mom Buried a Saint in the Yard by Laura Villareal

Not like you think, but yes, he’s upside down.
St. Joseph faces my childhood window.

The internet says he should face
what must be moved.

My mom buried him 20 years ago to sell our house.
I use the same trowel to plant seeds in the garden.

There must be something to it,
holy intervention,

because the grass where he’s buried
stays green when July browns the fields.

But the house never sold & the only one
who hasn’t stopped moving is me.

My mom prays to St. Anthony when I don’t text back.
She believes in woo woo like I trust in vanishing points.

I pack her remedies with me wherever I go.
I’ve beckoned St. Anthony when love is lost

& I can’t be found. In church
I read Revelations, as a kid, while everyone prayed the rosary.

Forgive me, mother, for I often forget to text back.
Glory be to the suitcase, the postcard, & care package.

I buy a St. Christopher medal for my partner
when his flights get cancelled three times in a row.

I know I should dig St. Joseph up,
but some things are better unmoved.

A novena candle melted in my car, the pink wax filled each corner
of a cardboard moving box & honeycombed the bubble wrap.

Our Lady of Perpetual Wandering,
should I settle like this wax or overflow?

From: https://www.guernicamag.com/my-mom-buried-a-saint-in-the-yard/

Date: 2021

By: Laura Villareal (19??- )

Saturday, 25 September 2021

Ravishment by Anna Rose Welch

Over the trees, birds hang themselves from the sky.
In portraits, the Christ Child clutches sparrows like these
in his fist. Something this ordinary is supposed to represent my soul.
In your fist, a tangle of my hair the color of a finch.
With each tug, my skull understands rapture.
Somewhere, I know there’s a hunter with astonishing red hands
tossing a heart aside like a broken clock. It leaves its brilliance behind
on his skin, on the snow like a scarlet ribbon torn from a gift.
This is how we decide who the hunter and who the hunted:
by whichever has the most light.
First there’s the blaze, then the chase, then the taking.
Into the woods like marionettes, the man, the sudden doe.
The trees tremble to flee themselves. The moon’s silver yawns
holy and wide like the jaws of a trap. Love, so much love,
thrown over a shoulder, its legs tied together with cord.

From: https://kenyonreview.org/kr-online-issue/2015-fall/selections/anna-rose-welch-763879/

Date: 2015

By: Anna Rose Welch (19??- )

Friday, 24 September 2021

Mad in the Morning by Gōzō Yoshimasu

I shout the first line of my poem
I write the first line
A carving knife stands up madly in the morning
These are my rights!

The glow of morning or a woman’s breasts are not always beautiful
Beauty is not always first
All music is a lie!
Ah! First of all, let’s close all the petals and fall down to the earth!

This morning, September 24, 1966
I wrote a letter to my dearest friend
About original sin
About the perfect crime and the method of destroying intelligence

Ah!
What a drop of water rolling on my pale pink palm!
The woman’s breasts are reflected in a coffee saucer!
Oh! I can’t fall down!
Though I ran rapidly over the edge of the sword, the world has not disappeared!

From: https://www.poetryinternational.org/pi/poem/28601/poem_english/0/0/Gozo-Yoshimasu/MAD-IN-THE-MORNING

Date: 1966 (original in Japanese); 2017 (translation in English)

By: Gōzō Yoshimasu (1939- )

Translated by: Y Yoshida (24 September 2021)

Thursday, 23 September 2021

The Wolves by Rollie Lynn Riggs

Puzzled and challenging
At our fear,
They have wavered, waiting to spring
Ear by ear.

Circuitous their path
Through rivers of mud,
Avoiding our spilt wrath
Like blood.

Laughter may suffice
To avert the pack—
Fanged, snapping, twice
Turned, but never turned back.

From: Riggs, Lynn, ‘The Wolves’ in Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, Volume XXXII, Number V, August 1928, p. 262.
(https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/browse?contentId=18071)

Date: 1928

By: Rollie Lynn Riggs (1899-1954)

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Jacket Notes by Ishmael Scott Reed

Being a colored poet
Is like going over
Niagara Falls in a
Barrel

An 8 year old can do what
You do unaided
The barrel maker doesn’t
Think you can cut it

The gawkers on the bridge
Hope you fall on your
Face

The tourist bus full of
Paying customers broke-down
Just out of Buffalo

Some would rather dig
The postcards than
Catch your act

A mile from the drink
It begins to storm

But what really hurts is
You’re bigger than the
Barrel.

From: http://www.afropoets.net/ishmaelreed1.html

Date: 1973

By: Ishmael Scott Reed (1938- )

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

& The Tea Will Seem Golden by Peter Anton Orlovsky

Oh, Oh mama whare did you go
what did you do with your human cry
the wine you drank when I was 14-teen
you beat your head on the grownd
I stood near by watching this
its the tears I remember most
the yells forgotten, my age disappeared
I wanted you to stop, I even got mad at you
for banging your self so
So I through you in bed but you kissed me good night
night has made lonely dances in your head
cigrette ashes dry up your tears
I’m older now I could put my arm around you if you were to
cry again So Ma cry like you used to
lets go thro that sadness again, more agoney Ma
& then we’ll have a long talk afterwards & the tea will seem golden
& we’ll pat bellies again & tickle each others feet –

1959 N.Y.C.

From: https://www.lyrikline.org/en/poems/tea-will-seem-golden-15687

Date: 1959

By: Peter Anton Orlovsky (1933-2010)

Monday, 20 September 2021

Orpheus by Graham Foust

To sing’s to field thought’s
failed arrow, then drop it,

as sadness surprises,
as always, then doesn’t,

its record all rumors, bits
of lithic in its meat,

and floats me dream-dead
to this, its constant room.

From: http://www.conjunctions.com/online/article/graham-foust-04-07-2021

Date: 2021

By: Graham Foust (1970- )

Sunday, 19 September 2021

Last Request by Michael Palmer

Bury me in a cocoa pod, it’s time.
Bury me in a Mercedes Benz, a
silver one, I’ve met my end.
Bury me in a lobster shell, a

carapace of red, now I’m dead.
Bury me in a jet marked KLM,
a typewriter labeled Remington,
a stove-in boat, symbol of my clan.

Bury me in a pot of India ink,
only place that I can think.
Bury me in a skull in Voronezh
that dreams of dragonflies

and the spider’s web, heaped
hills of human heads, since I’m dead.
Bury me in a can of flammable film
with Keaton (Buster) and Beckett (Sam).

Bury me in Little Boy and in Fat Man,
plunging toward the edge of time.
A cuckoo clock, a block
of bluest ice. Quincunx, Devil’s Trill,

or 22 June, Town Hall, ’45.
Lay me beside her in the Song of Songs,
our limbs forever intertwined,
now that I’m not alive.

Or plant me with the poets in an opium pipe,
its glowing ring of light.

Stick me in the ground
without a thought without a sound.

From: https://www.poetryinternational.org/pi/poem/17582/auto/0/0/Michael-Palmer/LAST-REQUEST/en/tile

Date: 2010

By: Michael Palmer (1943- )

Saturday, 18 September 2021

Sleep by Marietta Holley

Come to me soft-eyed sleep,
With your ermine sandalled feet;
Press the pain from my troubled brow
With your kisses cool and sweet;
Lull me with slumbrous song,
Song of your clime, the blest,
While on my heavy eyelids
Your dewy fingers rest.

Come with your native flowers,
Heartsease and lotus bloom,
Enwrap my weary senses
With the cloud of their perfume;
For the whispers of thought tire me,
Their constant, dull repeat,
Like low waves throbbing, sobbing,
With endless, endless beat.

From: Holley, Marietta, Poems, 1887, William Briggs: Toronto, p. 65.
(https://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/10216/pg10216.html)

Date: 1887

By: Marietta Holley (1836-1926)

Friday, 17 September 2021

The March of Xerxes by Luigi Alamanni/Alemanni

When in the wantonness of kingly pride,
Vain Xerxes spurr’d his war-horse through the tide,
And bore his fleet o’er mountain tops—e’en there
The Eternal bade his evil heart despair:
O’er Hellespont and Athos’ marble head,
More than a god he came, less than a man he fled.

From: de Vere, Aubrey, Mary Tudor: An Historical Drama and Other Poems, 1847, William Pickering: London, p. 407.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=WFFGAQAAMAAJ)

Date: 1556 (original in Italian); 1818 (translation in English)

By: Luigi Alamanni/Alemanni (1495-1556)

Translated by: Aubrey de Vere (1788-1846)