Posts tagged ‘2009’

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Trestle Crossing by Ian Haight

Coal tar reek in August heat,
we watch carp and fronds weave
in water.  Dropped rocks move
so slow fish don’t care.  Dreams
of train whistles forcing
a thirty foot jump, or loping
the wooden tracks, tripping:
a train rush over us.  We find
flattened pennies other boys
forget to claim.  Cattails,
mosquito swarms in weeds,
spider webs between rocks,
thunder sounds at sundown.

At home, heat lightening
and jitterbug huzzz.  Cats
eat moths by porch light,
and fire, fire against
the woods.  Walk the moonlit
grass, catch earth smells—
horse dung in collapsed barn stalls.

An Indian is buried here somewhere.


Date: 2009

By: Ian Haight (19??- )

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Crossing Iron Mountain River by Kyun Hŏ

Sunset. I arrive
at an old ferry.
A west wind blows—
alone, I cross.
Dark waves rush south,
the north, plentiful
with new autumn colors.
The year goes—
I’ve already said it all.
How are the gardens at home?
In mid-flow, the sudden grief
of disappointment—
on the river, songs
of fishermen drift.


Date: 1598 (original in Korean); 2009 (translation in English)

By: Kyun Hŏ (1569-1618)

Translated by: Ian Haight (19??- ) and T’ae-Yong Ho (19??- )

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Artifact by Frannie Lindsay

You came to put up with
the buxom peonies
Helga kept bringing.
First you asked them to stop
the prednisone, next the valium,
finally you waved away
even the laxatives
your bowel had so long given over to.
The white nun of morphine
tended you prayerlessly,
while all I could do
was spoon-feed you fewer
ice chips, tuck
the last gorgeous medicines
under your tongue.

After they come and take you,
the day is simple: the shade being raised,
room emptied, conversational
tones of voice in the hallway,
bathroom scrubbed echo-clean,
sky uninhabitably blue, no birds
moving across it, then one, then many,
while even the hospice Monday
grows busy with sheet-changing,
jokes getting told, time in the throes
of being ignored,
therapy dogs and friends
settling in for an hour or two,
hoping they’ll know
when to go.


Date: 2009

By: Frannie Lindsay (19??- )

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Lunaria by Katha Pollitt

Now that I am
all done with spring
rampant in purple
and ragged leaves

and summer too
its great green moons
rising through
the breathless air

pale dusted like
the Luna’s wings
I’d like to meet
October’s chill

like the silver moonplant
that bears toward winter
its dark seeds

a paper lantern
lit within
and shining in
the fallen leaves.


Date: 2009

By: Katha Pollitt (1949- )

Friday, 23 September 2016

If I Was by Mark Waldron

If I was,

I don’t know, walking down, say, a street
and I happened to come across

a group of, I don’t know, firemen
who were fighting, say, a fire,

then I might imagine, might I not,
their fire hose to be a long and beige salami.

And then I might imagine, might I not,
that I could take a slice of that salami,

that I could peel it of its ring of canvas skin
and then I’d have a lens,

the freshest monocle through which,
if I held it to my open eye, I’d probably see

a group of firemen with a cut hose
shouting angrily.


Date: 2009

By: Mark Waldron (1960 – )

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Summer Solstice by Stacie Cassarino

I wanted to see where beauty comes from
without you in the world, hauling my heart
across sixty acres of northeast meadow,
my pockets filling with flowers.
Then I remembered,
it’s you I miss in the brightness
and body of every living name:
rattlebox, yarrow, wild vetch.
You are the green wonder of June,
root and quasar, the thirst for salt.
When I finally understand that people fail
at love, what is left but cinquefoil, thistle,
the paper wings of the dragonfly
aeroplaning the soul with a sudden blue hilarity?
If I get the story right, desire is continuous,
equatorial. There is still so much
I want to know: what you believe
can never be removed from us,
what you dreamed on Walnut Street
in the unanswerable dark of your childhood,
learning pleasure on your own.
Tell me our story: are we impetuous,
are we kind to each other, do we surrender
to what the mind cannot think past?
Where is the evidence I will learn
to be good at loving?
The black dog orbits the horseshoe pond
for treefrogs in their plangent emergencies.
There are violet hills,
there is the covenant of duskbirds.
The moon comes over the mountain
like a big peach, and I want to tell you
what I couldn’t say the night we rushed
North, how I love the seriousness of your fingers
and the way you go into yourself,
calling my half-name like a secret.
I stand between taproot and treespire.
Here is the compass rose
to help me live through this.
Here are twelve ways of knowing
what blooms even in the blindness
of such longing. Yellow oxeye,
viper’s bugloss with its set of pink arms
pleading do not forget me.
We hunger for eloquence.
We measure the isopleths.
I am visiting my life with reckless plenitude.
The air is fragrant with tiny strawberries.
Fireflies turn on their electric wills:
an effulgence. Let me come back
whole, let me remember how to touch you
before it is too late.


Date: 2009

By: Stacie Cassarino (1975- )

Thursday, 19 November 2015

The Author by Luke Kennard

In 1967 Cain killed the author.
This was a disaster for everyone.

Now language is a prison,
true communication is impossible,
our deepest desires remain eternally frustrated.

We are the flies nutting the closed window
next to the open window.

The mark of Cain is something thought disgusting
at a particular time in a particular culture for a particular reason.
Bring on the border-control puns,
the novel-length slurs, the other hands.

Our best efforts get edited down to silence;
I mean Biblical silence: the sound of a book with very thin pages closing.


Date: 2009

By: Luke Kennard (1981- )

Friday, 30 October 2015

The Vampire as Narcissist by Duane Ackerson

Yes, the hair continues to grow after death—
even more so among the living dead.
Before a night out on the town,
he can’t just go into a barber shop and say,
“Shave and a haircut, two bits.”
(Even though he is old enough to remember
when those services only cost a quarter.)
So, at home, he passes on the electric razor
(besides, the power to the mansion
was shut off, past due years before);
instead, opting for the good, old-fashioned straightedge.
Trying to unearth his reflection in the mirror,
he draws blood
along with a full-throated scream.
Licking the blade clean,
drawing fresh blood from the tongue,
he drinks even deeper of the elixir of death.
No reason to go out now.
He can just stay home
and enjoy himself.


Date: 2009

By: Duane Ackerson (1942- )

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Here Is Something You Don’t Know by Eileen Pun

Mother I am frowning while I work.
I am browning like a peasant,
I have been months in these fields of Grosseto,
that are too removed and too wild for you.
Weeds should not grow too flamboyant.
It is July, the work will be hacking.
Sorry, nothing can be done about the hot.
They hand me implements, gloves for blisters,
a hat for the sun. I carry these under my arm,
your ransoms in my head, a dull hoe for hacking.
The land is not like you. It needs love and taming like me.
It is itching underneath sheets of heat.
It is dry as static, prickly as our conversations,
carcasses fouling in thickets of scratches.
Brittle things snap with little provocation.
There are collapsing nests, bloodlines
dismembered. In these fields you are a giant.
Your yawns and disappointments
are vortices and huge shadows.
You think I make big dramas, loud disagreements
But I flee to dark burrows when disturbed.
I relate to the spiders, no more than abdomen core
and propping stick. I am insectile and careful.
I make movements in miniscule.
My breath is buzzing, my steps are ticks.
Here is something you don’t know.
Here we talk in pulses, our chatter is intimate
immediate as trembling teeth.
We work in staccato, we mate in situ
we are ringing with love.
Weeds should not grow too flamboyant
But I am deep in this place.
Propped like a cricket
in a bed a man is hacking at me.
I hear crescendo of whistling stalks
limbs rubbing like strings.
I am surrounded and cannot hear your reasonings.


Date: 2009

By: Eileen Pun (198?- )

Monday, 17 August 2015

Just Passing Through by Jim W. Goar

When the wind blows
night. And the cows roll
home. Listen for minor
keys. Arrive without a
name. A Texas Ranger.
Maybe. The Grail in tow.
Ride on out of town. Leave.
But slowly. April in the waste-
land. In No-Man’s-Land. In snow.


Date: 2009

By: Jim W. Goar (1975- )