Posts tagged ‘2006’

Friday, 29 November 2019

Stomackes by Albert Goldbarth

We know far more about the philosophical underpinnings of Puritanism than we do about what its practitioners consumed at countless meals.
—James Deetz

1

Yes. So we must reconnect
ideas of God, and the definitions of “liberty,”
and the psychology of our earliest models of governance, with
oyster peeces in barley beer & wheet,
chopt cod & venyson seethed in a blood broth,
hominy pottage, also squirell.
Their heads might well have brimmed with heaven
and its airborne personnel, but still their mouths were a mash
of white meat [cheese] and a motley collation
of eel leavings, a fine samp, and a roast Fowl.
Worshipp first, then after—butter Biskuits!
David Ignatow:
“seeking transcendence
but loving bread”

2

And it is too easy to get lost in abstraction,
as if smoke, and dream, and quantum ersatz-states
are our proper environment… it’s easy to conceptualize in “politics”
and not in the clack of the black or white dried bean
we drop in the voting bowl. In some tribes, there’s a designated
“reminderer,” and when the shaman novitiate—or sometimes
simply a mournful family member—follows the star trail
into the country of ghosts, and lingers there, this person tugs
the wanderer back home: perhaps a light thwack
with a broom-shock, or the rising steam of a broth that one
can hungrily shinny down to Earth like a rope.
In the Mesopotamian Inanna myth, it’s water and bread
that resurrect the goddess and allow her
to begin the long ascent out from the craters of Hell.

We can spend all day, and many days, and years, in theorizing.
“A Computer Recreation of Proto-Hominid Dietary Intake:
An Analysis”
… we’ll float off, through these foggy lands of argot,
in the way that someone else might dissolve in the blue cloud
of an opium den… no wonder there’s such pleasure in uncovering
the solid fossil record of those appetites, and in emptying out
its evidence grain by grain, a stone piñata. How often
the stories bring us back to that grounding! In 1620,
a first exploratory party from the Mayflower went ashore
on the northern Cape Cod coast. The weather was bad
and disorienting: a half a foot of snow, in air
so thick as to be directionless. But we sense they recouped
their spirits that night, from three fat Geese
and six Ducks whitch we ate with Soldiers stomackes.

3

And it is too easy to lose ourselves in cyberthink,
untethered from the touchable, from even the cohesive force
suffusing through one atom. “What we keep,”
reports an archivist at the New York Times, “is the information,
not the paper”… everything e-storaged now.
A thousand years of pages, pffft: dismissiveness
as obliterative as a bonfire, in the long run. Oh, yes,
easy to cease to exist as an actual shape, inside the huge,
occluding mists of legalese: we say “repatriation
of native archeological remains,” and we mean
human bones, that’s what we mean: hard and dear
and contested. We say “ritual signifier of threat,” but
what the Narragansetts sent to the colonists at Plymouth
was a bundl of thair Arrows tyed about in a mightie Snake skin.

I died. And I was stolen
into a land of strangers—of not-the-People.
I floated all day, many days. And here
the ribs of my cage were empty: always
I was hungry, for the things that People need.
But this was not the sun, and this was not the soil,
of the People; and I was restless, I had no one
for between my legs, and no drum in my chest.
There was much war from this: the People
desired me back, they said “this one
is part of many-ones,” and after words and words,
their word was so. One day the breezes sent the fishes
and savory beaver parts, and I knew at last
that I was home: my mouth of my skull watered.

4

“When hegemonic identity-structures systemize cognition—” whoa.
There are times I think my friends might flimmer away in that
high-minded mush… and I concentrate, then, on the names
of those people from 1621, names that are true, specific
labor and specific, beautiful common things. Cooper.
Fletcher. Glover. Miller. Glazer. Mason. Carpenter.
Cheerfull Winter.
Oceanus Hopkins.
Lydia Fish, Nathaniel Fish and Steadfast Fish, of Sandwich.
Zachariah Field, father, and daughter Dutiful Field.
Pandora Sparrow.
Who wouldn’t care to meet Peregrine Soule?
And who could wish to let go of this life
when faced by Countenance Bountie?

From: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/48076/stomackes

Date: 2006

By: Albert Goldbarth (1948- )

Monday, 24 June 2019

Testimony of Baby Haydova by Seni Seneviratne

Beirut – 14th August 2006

In days to come I may grow older
learn to speak the names for anger, fear, forgiveness

but these days all I know is how my mother often
holds my face so tight against her that I feel

the tremors of her heartbeat pumping through my veins.
The smell of her blood will never leave me.

Take your picture now
then tell me why I have been saved.

From: https://badilishapoetry.com/seni-seneviratne/#inline1

Date: 2006

By: Seni Seneviratne (19??- )

Sunday, 21 April 2019

The Discipline of Craft, Easter Morning by Judith Harris

for John Easterly

No use going hunting for angels,
for a Christ in the tree-tops,
a Moses winding his way up the mount,
into the fire of God’s fresh stubble.

There is just a serious rain,
a steady crutch for the air,
colder than any April should be.

I am up to my neck in chores:
the cat needs more food,
my daughter’s clutter piles up like anthills.
I fold her little sleeves, ghost by ghost.
What melody springs from the heart so well?

These lone trees can’t be dazzled by sun today;
they have tremors like the pope’s.
Lost loons pitched into sky folds,
their crusty buds just blinking
as if to test how fierce the light is.

They sag and meander from their stems;
they bleed from transparency.
Needless or hopeless as overused fountains,
they are my metrics, my fortitude,
plants with lemony grass spigots
that will never go dry.

From: https://imagejournal.org/article/discipline-craft-easter-morning/

Date: 2006

By: Judith Harris (19??- )

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

It’s High Time for Me to Sing by Cercamon

It’s high time for me to sing;
I have been slumbering so long
that my music wasn’t heard far away anymore,
but now I am waking up,
and I will keep retrieving my joy
against the Winter and the cold north wind.

I should not shun again that joy,
for it didn’t shine on me a single day
but today it springs deep in my heart
so that I go through people sighing
the desire that I have of a great love
and I can’t sleep nor stay awake, nor hear nor see because of it.

If ever I was kept awake by love
or startled and driven insane,
or changed by a changing woman,
now – be god and Saint John be praised! –
I go loving with a love such
as I’d never trade it for another one.

I don’t think this one deceives me
albeit I am not yet in her good graces,
nor have I lost my reason over her so much
that I’d ask or entreat her for anything,
small or great, here or there,
bad or good, this way or that.

I see her, so graceful and worthy,
and in her deeds is such distinction
that here I consider myself enriched
and there I shall be at her beck and call
night and day and [every] month and [every] year
for I am hers as I must be.

The verse is simple, and I am refining it
without trivial, false or preposterous words;
and it is put together so
that there aren’t but elegant words in it,
and now it is still improving
if there is someone to sing and present it well.

From: http://www.trobar.org/troubadours/cercamon/cmn3.php

Date: c1140 (original in Occitan); 2006 (translation in English)

By: Cercamon (fl. c1135-1145)

Translated by: Leonardo Malcovati (19??- )

Friday, 1 February 2019

The Credit Card by Frederick Turner

He wonders how he could have got so free,
How stress and boredom lost their hold on him.
Was it just tricks of neurochemistry,
Was he just drugged by smiling cherubim?

Or was it that he’d simply seen the truth?
And more than seen it, thrown himself that way,
So that the great change had brought back his youth,
And the cloud-curtains parted on Commencement Day–

The cosmos is a chopped-up credit card,
Whose fragments are the dust of galaxies,
Whose code encodes the pattern of each shard,
And guides the shredder, Time’s antitheses:

So he who reads Time’s spinning blade aright
Has found the key unlocking worlds of light.

From: http://www.expansivepoetryonline.com/journal/frederickturnerpoems.html

Date: 2006

By: Frederick Turner (1943- )

Monday, 26 November 2018

Magdalen into Cairn by John Charles Stuart (Jack) Beeching

Stoned her to death? Why not? It was unanimous.
All who stood around raised a hand.

Everyone stoned her to death: democratic,
Quite democratic.

Stoned her? And very popular.
Hundreds of eager faces.

Stones for confetti
As if for a mock wedding,

And one last miracle. Stoning to death
Turns a maiden to a cairn.

From: http://www.qualm.co.uk/mainpr.html#hwilliams2

Date: 2006 (published)

By: John Charles Stuart (Jack) Beeching (1922-2001)

Sunday, 18 November 2018

A Century Later by Imtiaz Dharker

The school-bell is a call to battle,
every step to class, a step into the firing-line.
Here is the target, fine skin at the temple,
cheek still rounded from being fifteen.

Surrendered, surrounded, she
takes the bullet in the head

and walks on. The missile cuts
a pathway in her mind, to an orchard
in full bloom, a field humming under the sun,
its lap open and full of poppies.

This girl has won
the right to be ordinary,

wear bangles to a wedding, paint her fingernails,
go to school. Bullet, she says, you are stupid.
You have failed. You cannot kill a book
or the buzzing in it.

A murmur, a swarm. Behind her, one by one,
the schoolgirls are standing up
to take their places on the front line.

From: https://poetrysociety.org.uk/poems/a-century-later/

Date: 2006

By: Imtiaz Dharker (1954- )

Monday, 15 October 2018

Goodbye, New York by Deborah Garrison

                      (song from the wrong side of the Hudson)

You were the big fat city we called hometown
You were the lyrics I sang but never wrote down

You were the lively graves by the highway in Queens
the bodega where I bought black beans

stacks of the Times we never read
nights we never went to bed

the radio jazz, the doughnut cart
the dogs off their leashes in Tompkins Square Park

You were the tiny brass mailbox key
the joy of “us” and the sorrow of “me”

You were the balcony bar in Grand Central Station
the blunt commuters and their destination

the post-wedding blintzes at 4 A.M.
and the pregnant waitress we never saw again

You were the pickles, you were the jar
You were the prizefight we watched in a bar

the sloppy kiss in the basement at Nell’s
the occasional truth that the fortune cookie tells

Sinatra still swinging at Radio City
You were ugly and gorgeous but never pretty

always the question, never the answer
the difficult poet, the aging dancer

the call I made from a corner phone
to a friend in need, who wasn’t at home

the fireworks we watched from a tenement roof
the brash allegations and the lack of any proof

my skyline, my byline, my buzzer and door
now you’re the dream we lived before.

From: https://womensvoicesforchange.org/poetry-sunday-goodbye-new-york-by-deborah-garrison.htm

Date: 2006

By: Deborah Garrison (1965- )

Sunday, 27 May 2018

Customer Lounge by David Hernandez

The old woman hauled her bones
here, where they hoist our cars

and tinker with their guts.
She can’t sit still. Up, toward

the sun-washed window, back
to her blue chair, up again.

The air-conditioner rattles,
ball of phlegm in its throat.

Everything falls apart, needs repair.
She knits and the pink spreads

across her lap. Sweater or shawl,
time will unravel it, a moth will build

a hole there. You can even hear
her breathing coming undone,

its rusted bolts squeaking free.
Static on the intercom, then a name.

The old woman gets up, pays,
and hobbles out into the afternoon

where a mechanic curses, fixing
what cannot be fixed.

From: http://www.escapeintolife.com/poetry/david-hernandez/

Date: 2006

By: David Hernandez (1971- )

Friday, 18 May 2018

Pleasure, Love, the Fierce Desire These Beget by Ausiàs March

Pleasure, love, the fierce desire these beget,
hope that bears me from one stage to the next:
these bring but joy, yet fear of failure turns
it all to torment, and wastes my tender flesh,
while I feed a fire deep raging in my heart,
such that it gives off neither smoke nor heat.
Come to my rescue before this hour is done,
for this can only mean my imminent death!

A skilled physician always is alarmed
when he finds heat within the body trapped;
only a quack, finding there no fever
and no sweats, would then conclude that all was well.
For even if the patient’s weak and frail,
and cannot put his symptoms into words,
then gestures, anguish, and his complexion,
can say, all three, as much as speaking will.

Envoi
Beauteous Wisdom, to say I love you
there’s no need: I’m sure that you’re quite sure of it,
show as you may you’ve not the slightest clue
why some might see imbalance in this love.

From: March, Ausiàs and Archer, Robert (ed. and transl.), Ausiàs March: Verse Translation of Thirty Poems, 2006, Barcino Tamesis: Barcelona/Woodbridge, p. 39.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=HAAwuFDF0McC)

Date: 15th century (original in Valencian); 2006 (translation in English)

By: Ausiàs March (1400-1459)

Translated by: Robert Archer (19??- )