Archive for February, 2023

Tuesday, 28 February 2023

[The Silent Road] by Herman Gorter

The silent road
the glowing moonlit road—
the trees
the oh so still and aged trees—
the water
the gently tautened contented water,
And beyond, far off, the sunken sky
with the stars’ wheedling cry.

From: Gorter, Herman, Poems of 1890: A Selection, 2015, UCL Press, p. 33.

Date: 1890 (original in Dutch); 2015 (translation in English)

By: Herman Gorter (1864-1927)

Translated by: Paul Vincent (19??- )

Monday, 27 February 2023

[Winter — might pray to green trees] by Matvei Yankelvich

Winter — might pray to green trees
to see the star bring in a season in
which I sit metastasizing in my briefs
by the breeze of a blue fan with some
same complaints so that if you came
upon me — there, now — you would
not recognize me, but it’s me. The curve
of my back — same emails, same friend
requests ignored. Should I give up
for Martians don’t speak through me?
I’m observing this lack of purpose
proliferate in my cell walls; my whole
awareness is of distraction. Doubt
the erotic verse will get me a residency
or exile on the Black Sea where I’d stare
at brutal resorts built over the beach.
Can’t say I’m fond of this coercion, but
every night I try to do something
meaningful, and break what keeps
coming back. So I tie up a sack and
anchor a word to the bottom of
water. It’s a syntax, but it’s not a life.


Date: 2021

By: Matvei Yankelevich (1973- )

Sunday, 26 February 2023

The Enterprise of History by Sean Negus

Here in the columnar appendixes of lives
(Those human injuries) where sod and marsh land
Wake in the starkness white-blind
Even the quick tender surplus in the love economy
Got barred for transgressing the norms
Said it lost its vulgarity and fast
Became entertainment wise and lost the salve.


Date: 2015

By: Sean Negus (19??- )

Saturday, 25 February 2023

Felix’s Helixes by Marc Rahe

What is it makes me
hear in the sound of my air

coming on, the sound
of a zombie-dragged foot?

My father isn’t particularly
skittish. I’m at home alone.

I don’t look behind me.
I look like my father.

I’m writing. The room dims
and brightens with sunlight.

More lines,
the scar on my father’s lip.

I’m writing lines in the light.
I’ve been dead twice,

clinically. What makes me ready,

when I hear the neighbor’s
door slam, my apology?


Date: 2005

By: Marc Rahe (19??- )

Friday, 24 February 2023

The Ruins of Nostalgia 1 by Donna Stonecipher

In the fall we were nostalgic for the summer. In the winter we were nostalgic for
the fall. In the summer we were nostalgic for the spring. But in the spring we
were not nostalgic for the winter, not even for its quiet, or its hot cocoas, or its
video fires, though we did ask our father from time to time to tell us about how,
when he was a child, the man-made lake in the middle of our city froze over
every winter, and how one December day he broke through the ice and was only
saved from drowning by a neighbor boy whose name he can no longer
remember. We were nostalgic for the frozen lake we had never seen, that is, for
the lake we had never seen frozen, the man-made lake we had swum in during
the summers after the lake froze. It was hard to imagine the summer lake frozen.
It was hard to imagine the winter lake summery. It was hard to imagine the lake
being made, and not just spontaneously welling up its murky green effluence.
We were nostalgic for winters that had descended before we were sentient, as if
those winters existed in snow globes we could stow on our nightstands and
dream of falling and falling through the ice we are always rescued from by
neighbors who become strangers over time. The lake is always melting in the
ruins of nostalgia.


Date: 2022

By: Donna Stonecipher (1969- )

Thursday, 23 February 2023

“Yari Yari: Writing for the Future” by Melba Joyce Bard

my father did not rape me.
my mother does not hate me.
and i’m at peace with my god.
but, i write to stop the pain.

i write to clean the rain.
i write to incite ocean waves.
i communicate with
the eyes of tornadoes,
and sift through the ash
of volcanoes.
i tell trees to reclaim
their rightful terrain.
i write to stop the pain.

i write apologies to blind fish
swimming with injured fins.
i send get well cards
to crippled, three-legged frogs
who want to hop again.
i write editorials to applaud
dolphins who inspired
an environmental conference.
i write prayers for the noble elk
slain, beheaded and displayed.
i write to stop the pain.

i write pleas for human beings
i write so white folks
can take off their skin,
i write for young teens
pulling up their jeans,
singing syncopated rhythms
in discordant, rhyme schemes,
i write for young women
with spiraling, sculptured hair
reaching for pastel sunsets
painted on false fingernails,
i write to stop the pain.

i speak in tongues and
swear in ancient languages,
i encode with signs and
transcribe tragic images,
i write as a reason to be.
i write poetry that bleeds,
i write to stop the pain

From: Bard, Melba Joyce, “Yari Yari: Writing for the Future” in The Black Scholar, Volume 29, Number 2/3, Summer/Fall 1999, p. 9.

Date: 1999

By: Melba Joyce Bard (1950- )

Wednesday, 22 February 2023

Unromanized Displacement by Sagirah Shahid

I have never been
citizen to a nation that
hasn’t tried to kill

me, some idea of me, my
people. Free until we aren’t.


Date: 2022

By: Sagirah Shahid (19??- )

Tuesday, 21 February 2023

Dispersion Song by Seán Hewitt

O hoverfly and gnat and aphid,
stitched music of the sallow plough.

Mosquitoes, draw out my blood
for him. Make me a cloud of wings.

O insects, knitting a song for him
in the sways of the sycamore dark,

lay your veil across my head.
Marry me. I am a bride for you tonight.


Date: 2023

By: Seán Hewitt (1990- )

Monday, 20 February 2023

Breathless by Michael Bazzett

Today I rose and put on summer
clothes and sat in the corner chair.
I can’t say when I first settled
into the habit of noticing wind
in the trees. I do it and wonder
about how things began. Wind
and leaf-shimmer: the all of it.

If you read the first book, it was
finished at chapter one: in the image
he created them, male and female
he created them. But then this
out of clay, that from the other:
the lack of childhood memory,
rapt in dark bone and suddenly

woman, stunned in the new
light, the necessary thrum of bees
pulsing everywhere and nowhere—
she closed her eyes to shut it out.
He didn’t know good, evil, her name.
It was orchard and garden all around.
They must have found themselves

locked into a position that left them
breathless. Because there was a first time—
even and especially without words
to ask or raise the possibility of asking
like even and especially or how was it
because there was nothing but garden
all around and no shadow of leaf-litter
beneath the outline of even a single tree.


Date: 2012

By: Michael Bazzett (19??- )

Sunday, 19 February 2023

Pygmalion by Megan Gower

Your hands dig me
Out of my tomb of ivory,
Carve the mark of my eyes,
Open so the whites are white and
Guileless, onlooking, sand down
The apple of my hips, chisel
The dips of my back, every stroke by
Calloused hands, those yellowed
And aching hands, those coarse and
Clawing, cloying hands that wrench
Me into unmovingness. I’m made
More perfect by the cold, skin
Unknown to blemish but by the
Weathering of your running hands,
The wearing of your knobby hands
Only a man’s gaze to awaken me
To praise the pure expanse of
My impassive beauty, to linger
On the sheen of my jaw and my
Roman-column neck, earthly-globen
Breasts, the way I gleam under summer
Sun or by cavernous torchlight.
How your eyes frighten me, lingering
And you finger every mountain,
Every cavity, wish me awake, fervently
Pray I would take to your breath
Step down from the dais and down
To your feet, plead Aphrodite make
Me soften and melt at your body
But if heat came to me, it would come
First to my legs, like fire, and burn
All at once, and I would roil and churn,
And I would run, I would run, I would run.


Date: 2021

By: Megan Gower (19??- )