Posts tagged ‘2000’

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Giving Poetry Readings by Donna Brook

I don’t want to say, “This is called . . .”
when I’m the one who called it this.

I don’t want to explain a poem to people.
I want them to explain it to me.

I don’t want to pull rabbits out of top hats.
But I’d love to hold a rabbit by its silky ears
and pull a hat out of its bottom,
popping the hat open as if I were Fred Astaire
without getting rabbit shit on anyone.

And this little number
which I extracted from the asshole
of a timid but multiplying woodland creature
is from the heart, dedicated to you
and yours,
and theirs.

I don’t want to commit egotism under the guise of art.
How about art under duress
and over the top;
how about that
and then this
and then what you’ve always wanted
in the way of magical and communal and possessed?

From: Brook, Donna, “Giving Poetry Readings.” Ploughshares, vol. 26, no. 4, 2000, p. 42.

Date: 2000

By: Donna Brook (1944- )

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Sentimental Moment Or Why Did the Baguette Cross the Road? by Robert Hershon

Don’t fill up on bread
I say absent-mindedly
The servings here are huge

My son, whose hair may be
receding a bit, says
Did you really just
say that to me?

What he doesn’t know
is that when we’re walking
together, when we get
to the curb
I sometimes start to reach
for his hand.


Date: 2000

By: Robert Hershon (1936- )

Thursday, 17 January 2019

From “Contr’Amours (Counter Loves)” by Étienne Jodelle

O you who have the head of Jove
For father and mother, who as you please
Can wage a war or keep the peace,
If I be yours and praise you alone

And if I distress for you the goddess
Who bore false Love, he whose arrows
Of peace and war, charms and sorrows,
Are plunging your poet into madnes,

Then come, come help avenge your suitor.
Bring me the writhing locks of the Gorgons,
Squeeze the filthy paunch of your dragons,

Get me so drunk on Stygian water
That I puke such ordure on the lady
As she hoards in her soul and body.


Date: c1570 (original in French); 2000 (translation in English)

By: Étienne Jodelle (1532-1573)

Translated by: Geoffrey Brock (1964- )

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Your Humble Wife is Unwell by Xu Shu

Your humble wife is unwell,
Sickness prevents her from returning.
Lingering disease keeps her indoors,
Her health situation is not stable.
Imperial attendance is not worthy,
Respect goes to the wrong people.
You are on an official mission,
Going afar to the capital.
You will depart for long,
But we cannot meet.
Expectation and longing is intense,
Waiting only makes one restless.
I am missing my husband,
Your looks appear in dreams.

From: Peterson, Barbara Bennett (ed.), Notable Women of China: Shang Dynasty to the Early Twentieth Century, 2000, Routledge: Oxon, pp. [unnumbered].

Date: 1st century (original); 2000 (translation)

By: Xu Shu (1st century)

Translated by: Zhu Zhongliang (19??- )

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Joy by Joseph T. Barbarese

sometimes appears where nothing was
as wildflowers will
suddenly there in the afterstorm
on the banks of ragged hills

just as a passing trucker,
roaring by, happens to look
past the angles of his fingernails
and the cover of the matchbook

between his teeth, and asks himself
what’s new in that old field
and feels his lonely surprised heart
shaken, and maybe healed.


Date: 2000

By: Joseph T. Barbarese (1948- )

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Jugglers by Francisco Aragón

She and I on a bench eating prawns:
the first day of her fiftieth year and she points
at two street performers about to juggle
fire and a distant summer morning
surfaces, afloat on the light wind blowing
off the bay — older sisters are hiding in the dark,
big brother is parading around the house
his hands outstretched and clutching large candles
I’m on a search! he shouts
marching from room to room
till he finds them huddling in a jungle
of clothes, his beacons flickering as flame-
hot wax begins to flow across his fingers…
while she is walking to Centro Adulto, her head brimming
with phrases: the words she needs to learn so she can quit
sewing, land a job in a bank…and the sitter
is arriving minutes late, finding us wet
and trying to save a coat, a shirt, a dress — it’s
a small one: nothing the green hose
and frantic assembly line of buckets
doesn’t eventually douse, leaving walls and curtains
the color of coal — ¡Mira! she gasps
her left hand rapping my shoulder, still pointing with the right
as the torches,
from one juggler to the other,
begin to fly.

in memory of my mother (1932-1997)


Date: 2000

By: Francisco Aragón (19??- )

Saturday, 13 January 2018

The Eagle and the Crow: A Dialogue by Abul Qasim Hassan Unsuri Balkhi

A dialogue occurred, I happen to know,
Betwixt the white eagle and the crow.

Birds we are, said the crow, in the main,
Friends we are, and thus we shall remain.

Birds we are, agreed the eagle, only in name,
Our temperaments, alas, are not the same.

My leftovers are a king’s feast,
Carrion you devour, to say the least.

My perch’s the king’s arm, his palace my bed,
You haunt the ruins, mingle with the dead.

My color is heavenly, as everyone can tell,
Your color inflicts pain, like news from hell.

Kings tend to choose me rather than you,
Good attracts good, that goes for evil too.


Date: 11th century (original in Persian); 2000 (translation in English)

By: Abul Qasim Hassan Unsuri Balkhi (980-1039/40)

Translated by: Iraj Bashiri (1940- )

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Epigram 1 by Nossis

Nothing is sweeter than desire. All other delights are second.
From my mouth I spit even honey.
Nossis says this. Whom Aphrodite does not love,
knows not her flowers, what roses they are.


Date: 3rd century BCE (original in Greek); 2000 (translation in English)

By: Nossis (3rd century BCE)

Translated by: Marilyn B. Skinner (19??- )

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

The Exorcism by Joyce Sutphen

It was homemade and primitive,
like pulling a tooth with a string
and a slamming door, like taking out
an appendix by kerosene light
where dogs wandered in and out
the dirt-floored room.
Nothing for the pain that
everyone wanted to examine,
the twisted heart they thought
they could shout back into place.

Moaning and fluttering their fleshy hands
on the wind, on the wail of the soul possessed,
they certified her in a manner Inquisitional,
frantic when she held to the grip of darkness,
grimly determined to wait the thing out,
something learned from movie sheriffs,
white hats ghostly in the moonlight.

When she would not answer (though they
conjured her by heaven and by the all
mighty names they knew), they laid hands
on her and shouted down the well of her eyes.
Many tongues twisted in their mouths when
she went, leaving behind only
the smallest tooth of wickedness.


Date: 2000

By: Joyce Sutphen (1949- )

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Chanukah Lights Tonight by Steven P. Schneider

Our annual prairie Chanukah party—
latkes, kugel, cherry blintzes.
Friends arrive from nearby towns
and dance the twist to “Chanukah Lights Tonight,”
spin like a dreidel to a klezmer hit.

The candles flicker in the window.
Outside, ponderosa pines are tied in red bows.
If you squint,
the neighbors’ Christmas lights
look like the Omaha skyline.

The smell of oil is in the air.
We drift off to childhood
where we spent our gelt
on baseball cards and matinees,
cream sodas and potato knishes.

No delis in our neighborhood,
only the wind howling over the crushed corn stalks.
Inside, we try to sweep the darkness out,
waiting for the Messiah to knock,
wanting to know if he can join the party.


Date: 2000

By: Steven P. Schneider (19??- )