Posts tagged ‘1999’

Monday, 3 April 2017

Dog Music by Paul Zimmer

Amongst dogs are listeners and singers.
My big dog sang with me so purely,
puckering her ruffled lips into an O,
beginning with small, swallowing sounds
like Coltrane musing, then rising to power
and resonance, gulping air to continue—
her passion and sense of flawless form—
singing not with me, but for the art of dogs.
We joined in many fine songs—”Stardust,”
“Naima,” “The Trout,” “My Rosary,” “Perdido.”
She was a great master and died young,
leaving me with unrelieved grief,
her talents known to only a few.

Now I have a small dog who does not sing,
but listens with discernment, requiring
skill and spirit in my falsetto voice.
I sing her name and words of love
andante, con brio, vivace, adagio.
Sometimes she is so moved she turns
to place a paw across her snout,
closes her eyes, sighing like a girl
I held and danced with years ago.

But I am a pretender to dog music.
The true strains rise only from
the rich, red chambers of a canine heart,
these melodies best when the moon is up,
listeners and singers together or
apart, beyond friendship and anger,
far from any human imposter—
ballads of long nights lifting
to starlight, songs of bones, turds,
conquests, hunts, smells, rankings,
things settled long before our birth.


Date: 1999

By: Paul Zimmer (1934- )

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Forgetfulness by William James “Billy” Collins

The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read,
never even heard of,

as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.

Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses goodbye
and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,
and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,

something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,
the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.

Whatever it is you are struggling to remember
it is not poised on the tip of your tongue,
not even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.

It has floated away down a dark mythological river
whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall,
well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those
who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.

No wonder you rise in the middle of the night
to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.
No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted
out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.


Date: 1999

By: William James “Billy” Collins (1941- )

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Summer by Luke Davies

The sky broods like the whole of Sydney’s
done something wrong and it can’t quite put its finger
on it. Christmas stretches into New Year and
Sydneysiders wear the vacant stare of the slightly
troubled. This is nothing, you think. Humidity
of gathering crowds. Everyone heads to the beach
and the beach too is not quite right, the way
the water stalks foreigners, the way the seaweed

crunches underfoot, the way the wind whips sand
into your fillings. This is nothing, you think.
Diving onto the sandbar, the boy breaks his neck
and the helicopter takes him away. Too much sun,
everywhere. All a helicopter ever meant
is Apocalypse Now, the way its blades shimmer
in the salt haze. The gulls go more insane than ever,
if that’s possible, and later you learn the neck boy dies.


Date: 1999

By: Luke Davies (1962- )

Monday, 24 October 2016

The Apotheosis of Delacroix by Mary Maxwell

The heavens rumble. Clouds are raised by riderless thunder
that halts then storms unreined, snorts and halts again
in sweaty, wide-eyed frenzy. Black, the dog, is barking.
Pissarro has just set up parasol and easel. Cézanne looks up
from under broad-brimmed hat, paint-box burden strapped across
his back. farmers drop jaw and pitchfork and gape
in pious wonder. They behold Apollo’s chariot charge through
sky’s Mozarabic arches; they observe that beyond
those gates (opened by a turbaned servant) a fragrant Odalisque
welcomes the artist in sprawled nakedness. Kohl-rimmed
eyes of the divine tigress promise endless angelic wrestling. But
as mortal and immortal forms do at last commingle,
impassioned and violent, could Death’s voyeurs suppose that
the resplendent Delacroix himself composed this one last
painted ceiling, this celestial arabesque of his own soul’s uprising?


Date: 1999

By: Mary Maxwell (19??- )

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

I See People Riding on Shrieking Horses by Mahd al-Aadiyya

I see people riding on shrieking horses
Steering clouds of sparkbelching fires
On their way to flame life out of you.


Date: 4000 BCE (original in ?Arabic); 1999 (translation in English)

By: Mahd al-Aadiyya (4000 BCE)

Translated by: Abdullah al-Udhari (19??- )

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Excerpt from “Elegy On Féilim Mac Maghnusa Méig Uidhir” by Anonymous

Sorrow is the worst thing in life.
What life is not misery for us?
A grief which cannot be overcome is upon us;
it is difficult to set sorrow aside.

No one will live forever;
alas that my sorrow
which is akin to death has increased;
it is a great misery that it is only beginning.

From: Ó Cuív, Brian, “Elegy On Féilim Mac Maghnusa Méig Uidhir, Ob. 1487” in Celtica, 23, 1999, 261-268.

Date: 1487 (original); 1999 (translation)

By: Anonymous

Translated by: Brian Ó Cuív (1916-1999)

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Below the Horizon by Stephen Eng

(for Anne, Mary, Michael, David, and Natalie Eng)

Beginning poets write of sunsets, yes,
And so do ending poets, too,
Wan singers whose exhausted little tunes are through,
Who sing one final tune of purple-splendored rosiness,
Of twilight turned to violet
And then to grey. Poetic suns have set,
As black-winged angels press their skeletal-caress.

From: Eng, Steve, Yellow Rider and Other Fantasy Poems, 1999, Gothic Press: Baton Rouge, Louisiana, p. 35.

Date: 1999

By: Steve Eng (19??- )

Friday, 9 October 2015

When the World Ends THIS is How It Will Be by Holly Hopkins

When the aliens came
they watched us prepare our offerings of scientists
for our final introduction.
The sinking of this ship, first class to the end
no chance of life pod or rescue
none whatsoever
Our final waltz.
Time to finger photographs in silver frames
the end of history.
No one speaks during our final waltz.
The music is everywhere on Earth, out in the void
loud and defiant
It played across the volume of space to heard in their tin
Our final waltz
the rest of our lives condenses
compressed into a few last minutes
life ripping out of our shirts
women in gowns sparkled, diamonds
life ripping bursting pushing forcing
Out Out
the end of monkeys.
Radios in the kitchen play
dinner jackets in ballrooms.
We grew thorny weeds to the light
and they came metal to harvest our rose.


Date: 1999

By: Holly Hopkins (19??- )

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Gallipoli Peninsula by Alistair Te Ariki Campbell

It was magical when flowers
appeared on the upper reaches –
not that we saw much of the upper reaches.
But when we did,
we were reminded of home
when spring clothed the hills with flowers.
The dead lying among them
seemed to be asleep.
I can never forget the early mornings,
before the killings started up,
when the sea was like a mirror
under little wisps of cloud
breathing on its surface, so dazzling
it hurt the eye.
and the ships, so many of them,
they darkened the sea.
But the evenings too were magical,
with such hues in the sky
over Macedonia,
so many colours, gold bars,
green, red, and yellow.
We noticed these things,
when the firing stopped and we had respite.
It was good to feel,
during such moments,
that we were human beings once more,
delighting in little things,
in just being human.


Date: 1999

By: Alistair Te Ariki Campbell (1925-2009)

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Another New Year by Joanne Burns

the first week of the new year and
indolence drops in as usual uninvited:
here’s lassitude like flat champagne flatter
than sorrow flat as the image of the year
ahead — a schedule of trivial and significant
failures making its prescience felt; any humour
of self parody is frizzled by the heat, an insect
voice rasps        make it new        make it new —
a decision to give up writing for sandwich
making seems quite positive, the first new year’s
resolution approximating common sense in quite a while yet

in a slow thin panic you begin pigging out
on poetry: surrounding yourself with texts, slimthick volumes
of verse, biographies, essays, articles, interviews, as if
you’re building a formidable sandcastle at low tide:
american essays on poetic truth-honesty-sincerity make
you want to puke
to burn the lot pity about the fire bans there’s nothing
more pesky than the pieties of american poets doubling
as lit crits up to their crowns their laurels in
certainties and eloquence, a rhetoric that’s never lost
for words, and cee-vees long as the mississippi; to grow
illiterate, mute (not to be confused with vocally challenged)
is what you crave: a big long sleep on a blank white page.


Date: 1999

By: Joanne Burns (1945- )