Posts tagged ‘1994’

Sunday, 11 September 2022

The Damselfly by August Kleinzahler

A petal of jasmine caught up
by the breeze
or morning glory aflutter
between the four o’clock and naked lady?

No, not a flower at all,
a butterfly,
showing suddenly white
against the green of a leaf.

And that blue there, cobalt
a moment, then iridescent,
fragile as a lady’s pin
hovering above the nasturtium?

Ah, the older poet tells me,
that’s a damselfly.

And if you just slowed down
and looked,
you’d see all sorts of things:

midmorning toward the end of summer,
head swimming in the garden’s perfume

after a quick, surprise rain.

From: Kleinzahler, August, “The Damselfly” in Poetry, Volume 164, Issue 5, August 1994, p. 263.

Date: 1994

By: August Kleinzahler (1949- )

Wednesday, 29 December 2021

Perhaps the World Ends Here by Joy Harjo

The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what, we must eat to live.
The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the table. So it has been since creation, and it will go on.
We chase chickens or dogs away from it. Babies teethe at the corners. They scrape their knees under it.
It is here that children are given instructions on what it means to be human. We make men at it, we make women.
At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the ghosts of lovers.

Our dreams drink coffee with us as they put their arms around our children. They laugh with us at our poor falling-down selves and as we put ourselves back together once again at the table.
This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella in the sun.
Wars have begun and ended at this table. It is a place to hide in the shadow of terror. A place to celebrate the terrible victory.
We have given birth on this table, and have prepared our parents for burial here.
At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow. We pray of suffering and remorse. We give thanks.
Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table, while we are laughing and crying, eating of the last sweet bite.


Date: 1994

By: Joy Harjo (1951- )

Saturday, 30 January 2021

Little Clown, My Heart by Sandra Cisneros

Little clown, my heart,
Spangled again and lopsided,
Handstands and Peking pirouettes,
Backflips snapping open like
A carpenter’s hinged ruler,

Little gimp-footed hurray,
Paper parasol of pleasures,
Fleshy undertongue of sorrows,
Sweet potato plant of my addictions,

Acapulco cliff-diver corazón,
Fine as an obsidian dagger,
Alley-oop and here we go
Into the froth, my life,
Into the flames!

From: Cisneros, Sandra, Loose Woman: Poems, 1994, Vintage: New York, p. [unnumbered].

Date: 1994

By: Sandra Cisneros (1954- )

Wednesday, 2 December 2020

To the Censorious Ones by Anne Waldman

(Jesse Helms & others…)

This chant accompanied by a chorus of women flexing their muscles.
First performed at the Naropa Institute.

I’m coming up out of the tomb, Men of War
Just when you thought you had me down, in place, hidden
I’m coming up now
Can you feel the ground rumble under your feet?
It’s breaking apart, it’s turning over, it’s pushing up
It’s thrusting into your point of view, your private property
O Men of War, Censorious Ones!
I’m coming up now
I’m coming up with all that was hidden
Get ready, Big Boys, get ready
I’m coming up with all you wanted buried,
All the hermetic texts with stories in them of hot & dangerous women
Women with lascivious tongues, sharp eyes & claws
I’ve been working out, my muscles are strong
I’m pushing up the earth with all you try to censor
All the iconoclasm & bravado you scorn
All the taunts against your banner & salute
I’m coming up from Hell with all you ever suppressed
All the dark fantasies, all the dregs are coming back
I’m leading them back up now
They’re going to bark & scoff & rage & bite
I’m opening the box

From: Waldman, Anne, Kill Or Cure, 1994, Penguin Poets: New York, p. [unnumbered].

Date: 1994

By: Anne Waldman (1945- )

Monday, 27 July 2020

Grief House by Eric Beach

for gwen

enter through unreasoned gates
one over-grown night, when uncut stars
on crossed wires catch wool-wisps of light

follow a dull curve of drive, down
past macrocarpa & pine, antiseptic
smelling, but there’s no anodyne

you must open a door which warns
that bones & iron rust, enter here
seek what you’ve lost because you must

slummock tears, you touch wet walls
coming unglued, appearances thin
maps of darker places coming through

strange consolation, to build anew
to leave behind, light arrives & is lost
& a roof staring open, bewildered & kind.

From: Beach, Eric, “Grief House” in Westerly, No., Winter 1994, p. 39.

Date: 1994

By: Eric Beach (1947- )

Friday, 5 June 2020

Vegetarian Physics by David Clewell

The tofu that’s shown up overnight in this house is frightening
proof of the Law of Conservation: matter that simply cannot be
created or destroyed. Matter older than Newton,
who knew better than to taste it. Older than Lao-tzu,
who thought about it but finally chose harmonious non-interference.
I’d like to be philosophical too, see it as some kind of pale
inscrutable wisdom among hot dogs, the cold chicken,
the leftover deviled eggs, but I’m talking curdled
soybean milk. And I don’t have that kind of energy.

I’d rather not be part of the precariously metaphorical
wedding of modern physics and the ancient Eastern mysteries.
But still: whoever stashed the tofu in my Frigidaire
had better come back for it soon. I’m not Einstein
but I’m smart enough to know a bad idea when I see it
taking up space, biding its time.
Like so much that demands our imperfect attention
amid the particle roar of the world: going nowhere, fast.

From: Collins, Billy, Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry, 2003, Random House Trade Paperbacks: New York, p. 158.

Date: 1994

By: David Clewell (1955-2020)

Friday, 28 June 2019

Moon Sitting by Hui Yung

High mountain cascades froth.
This wild temple owns few lamps.
Sit facing the glitter
of the moon: out of season
heart of ice.

From: Seaton, Jerome P. and Maloney, Dennis (eds.), A Drifting Poet: An Anthology of Chinese Zen Poetry, 1994, White Pine Press: Fredonia, New York, p. 19.

Date: 4th century (original); 1994 (translation)

By: Hui Yung (332-414)

Translated by: Jerome P. Seaton (1941- )

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Sonnet by Attipate Krishnaswami Ramanujan

Time moves in and out of me
a stream of sound, a breeze,
an electric current that seeks
the ground, liquids that transpire

through my veins, stems and leaves
toward the skies to make fog and mist
around the trees. Mornings brown
into evenings before I turn around

in the day. Postage stamps, words
of unwritten letters complete with commas,
misplaced leases and passports, excuses
and blame swirl through the night

and take me far away from home
as time moves in and out of me.


Dater: 1994 (published)

By: Attipate Krishnaswami Ramanujan (1929-1993)

Monday, 1 April 2019

Journeybread Recipe by Lawrence Schimel

Even in the electric kitchen there was the smell of a journey.
—Anne Sexton, “Little Red Riding Hood”

1. In a tupperware wood, mix child and hood. Stir slowly. Add wolf.

2. Turn out onto a lightly floured path, and begin the walk home from school.

3. Sweeten the journey with candied petals: velvet tongues of violet, a posy of roses. Soon you will crave more.

4. Knead the flowers through the dough as wolf and child converse, tasting of each others flesh, a mingling of scents.

5. Now crack the wolf and separate the whites—the large eyes, the long teeth—from the yolks.

6. Fold in the yeasty souls, fermented while none were watching. You are too young to hang out in bars.

7. Cover, and, warm and moist, let the bloated belly rise nine months.

8. Shape into a pudgy child, a dough boy, lumpy but sweet. Bake half an hour.

9. Just before the time is up—the end in sight, the water broken–split the top with a hunting knife, bone-handled and sharp.

10. Serve swaddled in a wolfskin throw, cradled in a basket and left on a grandmother’s doorstep.

11. Go to your room. You have homework to be done. You are too young to be in the kitchen, cooking.

From: Datlow, Ellen and Winding, Terri (eds.), Black Thorn, White Rose, 2014, Open Rose Media: New York City, pp. [unnumbered].

Date: 1994

By: Lawrence Schimel (1971- )

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Two Boys by Doug Anderson

They take the new machine gun out of its wrap
in pieces, the flat black barrel, the other
parts, delicate in their oil, plastic stock
like a toy until snapped onto the rest,
pressed against the shoulder of the corporal
with almost white blond hair. He looks around
for something to sight in on. With a grin
the other, darker one points to three
children dawdling to school along a paddy dike.
The first rounds are high and the gunner adjusts,
fires again, the children running now,
the rounds pluming in the wet paddies,
another click and all but one child has made
the safety of the treeline, the other splashing
into the new rice, and as the gunner sights in
on him, this eight year old, with wisdom perhaps
from the dead, yanks off his red shirt, becomes
the same color as the fields, the gunner lowering
the muzzle now, whispering a wistful, damn.


Date: 1994

By: Doug Anderson (1943- )