Posts tagged ‘2007’

Wednesday, 21 December 2022

Homo sapiens: A Stew of Time by Peggy Miller

Out in the kitchen chowder bubbles
in the old pot, the recipe
not mine but spiced with all cooking

before me, and at my desk, cup
of cometary water, pencil and draft,
I play with half a million years

of knowledge—my inheritance.
The window leaks night until
I slip along an axis in dark space

toward the riddle of infinity—
any direction will do—
never getting any closer.


Date: 2007

By: Peggy Miller (19??- )

Saturday, 10 September 2022

Self-Portrait in the New World Order by Reginald Shepherd

You’re walking down the street alone,
absorbed in the anticipation of a lunchtime salad
with that crusty olive bread you like so much,
and suddenly you’re marching in formation
in a crowd, it’s called a regiment.
You seem to be a soldier this time, you learn
to be at war. You’re never really in danger
because you know you can’t die
in your dreams, but sometimes
you wonder who told you that and whether
they could be trusted. The sidewalk is split
and uneven because of the shrapnel
and the artillery shells; yesterday
you didn’t know the definition of artillery,
but today you know how to use it, all kinds
of field ordnance. “Ordnance” is a word
you’d never heard before. Every time
there’s so much to notice, so much
to remember and write down. Here’s
a little notebook with rubbed-down corners
for your back pocket. It’s the little things
that distinguish one war from another,
tonight your shoes are black standard issue
marching boots that lace halfway up
your calves, whereas the other night
you had no shoes, or the shoes you’d lost
were beige bedroom slippers whose plush
offered no protection from the slush and rain
you trudged through. The subway crash
distracted you from that, now
you’re climbing over the wreckage
to the next sheltered position, air thick
with morning mist (you’re shivering), smoke
and a haze of acrid dust, it burns your lungs.
You’re clambering through accordioned
cars, where are those twisted rails
that won’t carry any passengers taking you?


Date: 2007

By: Reginald Shepherd (1963-2008)

Tuesday, 30 August 2022

Weary Rings by César Abraham Vallejo Mendoza

There are desires to return, to love, to not disappear,
and there are desires to die, fought by two
opposing waters that have never isthmused.

There are desires for a great kiss that would shroud Life,
one that ends in the Africa of a fiery agony,
a suicide!

There are desires to. . .have no desires, Lord;
I point my deicidal finger at you:
there are desires to not have had a heart.

Spring returns, returns and will depart. And God,
bent in time, repeats himself, and passes, passes
with the spinal column of the Universe on his back.

When my temples beat their lugubrious drum,
when the dream engraved on a dagger aches me,
there are desires to be left standing in this verse!


Date: 1918 (original in Spanish); 2007 (translation in English)

By: César Abraham Vallejo Mendoza (1892-1938)

Translated by: Clayton Eshleman (1935-2021)

Friday, 1 July 2022

The Road from Corpus Christi to Sangre de Christo by Ellen Dudley

Outside Seguin, a billboard says you can hunt year round
— in safety —  and the Army boys love it.
They gather the way the Navy boys gathered in our livingroom
where I brought beer, wore shorts against my husband’s edicts,
stayed across the counter while they watched the movie:
a naked man bent over a blonde woman on her hands and knees,
the veins on his arms and neck standing out
as he held her shoulders, her throat, rammed at her
until she wasn’t pretending, until her eyes widened
with surprise, then fear, and she was thrashing
and the only sound you could hear was his breathing, her choking
until his harsh wail covered everything in my house
and she didn’t move any more. The tail of the eight millimeter reel
slapped the projector and nobody said anything —
just like I don’t say anything now, driving across the Pecos, left
foot up on the dashboard to catch the wind, long tan expanse of
thigh exposed, as a trucker passing hisses his airbrakes
and swerves. I don’t even give him the finger.
But I think about the way those two thumbs on the temples
held my head steady while that tongue traced a line
from ear to clavicle, palms on my carotids.
I remember the Beretta between us, its blue heft warming
on my belly, my hand resting on its grip, as a man
whose name I can’t remember moved in me.
Out here now, the night is coming on, and when the moon rises
full and burning, I’ll kill the lights and ride the shining
white line into the desert dark.


Date: 2007

By: Ellen Dudley (19??- )

Monday, 20 June 2022

In Shadows, They Cry by C.S. Fuqua

Vague apparitions,
she explains,
assemble near the soon-to-die,
faces and features distorted,
darkness shaping, reshaping
all but the eyes which
remain constant,
pleading, accusing,
until she flees
in prayers for strength
to blind herself.
Trembling with knowledge,
she says nothing to those
around whom the darkness gathers,
nor to the darkness itself.
If the shadows clot around me,
I begged her, please tell me.
She cried softly
across the ocean that separates us.

Longing in this room,
I whisper to the silence,
さびしい です、*
and reach for invisible hands.

*sabishii desu:  “I am lonely.”


Date: 2007

By: C. S. Fuqua (19??- )

Sunday, 3 April 2022

[The Midnight Moon] by Yasuhara Teishitsu

the midnight moon—
almost like a big chunk
of coolness.


Date: c1670 (original in Japanese); 2007 (translation in English)

By: Yasuhara Teishitsu (1610-1673)

Translated by: Gabi Greve (1948- )

Tuesday, 22 March 2022

The Backwards Flight of Names by Gretchen Mattox

in dream my mother has planted a yard of sorrel,
yellow flowers folding into themselves like beach umbrellas

taste sour like sorrow and I want that yard of grass—

we know the men can’t be trusted so let them go

but what about the bitterness?—sting like soap in the eye
the time my mother washed my mouth out

for saying shit—hard bar of Dial sudsing, rabid


Date: 2007

By: Gretchen Mattox (19??- )

Tuesday, 30 November 2021

In the Shadow of Turning: Throwing Salt by Carolyn Marie Rodgers

Salt is what
it all becomes.
Salt always did make me crave
sugar. If I could have turned and
looked back, like Lot’s wife,
I never would have.
Turning is for other memories.

Memories are actually seasons
of homeless dreams.
The main event in life is something
we think we can plan, but can’t.
A nest or fishnet of categories. Of hunger.
A need river, running wild in every
imaginable direction.

It would have all been salt, and me,
craving sugar.


Date: 2007

By: Carolyn Marie Rodgers (1940-2010)

Monday, 1 November 2021

All Saints Day by Amy Gerstler

The holiday arrives
quietly like phrases
of faint praise
in Braille. Famous
saints bow at the waist,
then step back, making
room for scores
of unknown saints,
to whom this day
also belongs. Not
a glamorous bunch,
these uncanonized,
unsung ones, shading
their eyes shyly
in the backs of the minds
of the few who knew them.
Hung-over, mute, confused,
hunched, clumsy, blue,
pinched, rigid or fidgety,
unable to look the radioactive,
well-dressed major saints
in the eye, they wonder
terrified: What (the fuck)
Am I Doing Here? Still
drenched, the tobacco
spitting fisherman who dove
after a dog swept downriver
looks in vain for a towel,
too timid to ask. (His dog
now sports a halo, too.)
Robed in volcanic ash,
a brave Pompeii matron
is mistaken by St. Catherine
for a sooty statue. An old
coot who serenaded
his dying wife with her
favorite ukulele tunes
is still trying to find her,
as his map of the afterlife
proved unreliable. What can
we offer these reticent saints
who lacked press agents?
Flowers? Lit candles? Floating
lanterns? The nerdy
fat whistle-blower from
the chemical plant
whose plaid slacks
made his coworkers
laugh behind his back
nervously jokes sotto
voce that he’d give
his soul for a Coke,
but no one can hear him.


Date: 2007

By: Amy Gerstler (1956- )

Thursday, 13 May 2021

Music (from “Antigone”) by Sophocles

By Memory’s daughters,
the Muses,
named Lethe, is hated
And not to be loved.
O for mortals, what
Power there is in songs,
What greatest happiness
That can make bearable this
Short narrow channel of life!

From: Sophocles, “Music” in Poetry, Issue 71437, March 2007, p. 462.

Date: c441 BCE (original in Greek); 2007 (translation in English)

By: Sophocles (c497/6 BCE-406/5 BCE)

Translated by: Reginald Gibbons (1947- )