Posts tagged ‘2010’

Thursday, 28 July 2022

Dictator by Melissa Stein

The quail are back: the big quail,
and the smaller quail, scurrying
to keep up. They’re pecking in the garden,
rooting for seeds or grubs or whatever
quail root for. They’re absurd, these birds,
apostrophes bobbing from their heads,
burbling staccato in their collective fright.
Each time I see them, I feel lulled
lazy, enormous. Each time it’s like
watching puzzle pieces of myself
scattering for their lives,
and yet here I am, above it all,
leaning against the porch railing,
sipping a cool glass of lemonade, coolly
noting that for all the terror of their collective flight
it sounds like nothing so much as umbrellas opening.


Date: 2010

By: Melissa Stein (19??- )

Sunday, 12 June 2022

Untitled (Dark Breadth of the Sea) by Pēters Brūveris

dark breadth of the sea,
dunes like creased, crumbling
nameless gods,
on the horizon a lead-grey Sun sinks
and in the sky a fine
shroud of snowflakes;

closing eyes, on inner lids
the grazing touch of glimmering Ostracoderms,
red-streaked snail shell chambers open
and, bass flutes humming,
reveal their beauty’s fossils

a fine snow in my hair;
pack on my back, full of unresuscitated minerals;
my feet feeling the upper sediments,
heart linked to the Devonian, the age of fish;

I’ll thaw like snow;
in the best case scenario like mineral
I’ll be scraped free and put in some strange backpack;
yes, my feet in this century no longer know how to
touch the ground; even though my heart reaches back to the Devonian,
the age of fish!

the sea’s a dark nude
incessant transit of the snails of sorrow
through the provisional harbor of my being;
I write letters to humankind
with spear-grass on my sandy palm…


Date: 2010 (original in Latvian); 2010 (translation in English)

By: Pēters Brūveris (1957- )

Translated by: Inara Cedrins (19??- )

Friday, 13 May 2022

Better Brown than Blonde by Elisabeth Koolart-Hoofman

Don’t ever change your colour, fair brunettes,
For lighter hue or blonder tress.
The rose looks pale beside dark violets
And white grapes never equal reds.
How can scent of blooms soon gone
Rival ripe morellos?
Does the proud brown oak not throne
High above white willows?
Unlike others I’ll praise brown
Rather than light yellows;
What Nature aims to clothe in loveliness,
She gives a darker hood or dress.
So never change your colour, fair brunettes,
For lighter hue or blonder tress.

From: van Gemert, Lia; Joldersma, Hermina; van Marion, Olga; van der Poel, Dieuwke; and Schenkeveld-van der Dussen, Riet (eds.), Women’s Writing from the Low Countries 1200-1875: A Bilingual Anthology, 2010, Amsterdam University Press: Amsterdam, p. 347.

Date: 1774 (published) (original in Dutch); 2010 (translation in English)

By: Elisabeth Koolart-Hoofman (1664-1736)

Translated by: Myra Heerspink Scholz (1944- )

Monday, 9 May 2022

Merry-Go–Round by Julian Randolph Stow

This is the playground circumnavigation:
The leap in space and safe return to land,
Past sea and hills, boats, trees, familiar buildings,
Back to the port of one assisting hand.

Adventurers learn here; but do not venture
Yet from their circular continuous sweep
From start to start. Where going is home-turning
Nothing is lost, what’s won is all to keep.

The gulls stoop down, the big toy jerks and flies;
And time is tethered where its centre lies.


Date: 2010

By: Julian Randolph Stow (1935-2010)

Thursday, 20 January 2022

Brush Turkey’s by Sue Watson

powerful claw
scrapes  leaves
into a metre high
incubator   eco-mound
for the eggs of many hens
it’s shoulder peak season
he has a Rolls Royce address
instinct outweighs his beauty
given an ugly head & neck
of the worst sunburnt hue
a goitre of bright yellow
ruffles the base of his throat
contrasts with the blue black
of his feathers   his walk is neither
swagger nor trot
he’s reclaimed his spot on the hill
in flannel flower cul-de-sac.


Date: 2010

By: Sue Watson (19??- )

Friday, 14 January 2022

How to Ask for My Hand at My Grandmother’s Grave by Mihaela Moscaliuc

“What a waste of space,” you murmur as the train cuts
through a cemetery whose halves rest like drowsy wings
between two pine forests, then “spooky” as our window
zips by faces smiling from porcelain plates glued to crosses.
You’ve crossed the ocean to marry me, so I cannot say
I knew only one of them, but they are all mine,
these dead turned strigoi who’ll not return
to their bodies because the earth’s too loud
and the town has betrayed them.
But I have to warn you—
We carry cemeteries on our heads,
in our bellies, round our ankles,
we carry them to work
and we carry them to sleep
and when we make love
they moan, they rattle, they sing.
When our spine starts sinking we spit
and curse and dance the pain off.
When I bring you to Grandmother’s grave,
behind the Dacian fortress, she’ll be armed
with questions: how hardy your love, how soft your fingers,
and your dead, how do you spoil them?
“After you cup your hands to catch the soul,”
she’ll want to know, “how do you release it?”
Don’t tell her about ashes thrown to winds, don’t say
you’ve never spilled red wine onto the earth
to quench your father’s thirst, or that you never read him
the Sunday paper. Do not tell her you love him
but have never seen his grave. I’ll translate your silence
and spread a white cloth under the rose trellis. We’ll offer
walnut breads and gossip, and she’ll forgive, and bless us,
then send me back across the ocean with a saddlebag of ghosts.


Date: 2010

By: Mihaela Moscaliuc (19??- )

Tuesday, 28 December 2021

A New Law by Greg Delanty

Let there be a ban on every holiday.
No ringing in the new year.
No fireworks doodling the warm night air.
No holly on the door. I say
let there be no more.
For many are not here who were here before.


Date: 2010

By: Greg Delanty (1958- )

Sunday, 19 September 2021

Last Request by Michael Palmer

Bury me in a cocoa pod, it’s time.
Bury me in a Mercedes Benz, a
silver one, I’ve met my end.
Bury me in a lobster shell, a

carapace of red, now I’m dead.
Bury me in a jet marked KLM,
a typewriter labeled Remington,
a stove-in boat, symbol of my clan.

Bury me in a pot of India ink,
only place that I can think.
Bury me in a skull in Voronezh
that dreams of dragonflies

and the spider’s web, heaped
hills of human heads, since I’m dead.
Bury me in a can of flammable film
with Keaton (Buster) and Beckett (Sam).

Bury me in Little Boy and in Fat Man,
plunging toward the edge of time.
A cuckoo clock, a block
of bluest ice. Quincunx, Devil’s Trill,

or 22 June, Town Hall, ’45.
Lay me beside her in the Song of Songs,
our limbs forever intertwined,
now that I’m not alive.

Or plant me with the poets in an opium pipe,
its glowing ring of light.

Stick me in the ground
without a thought without a sound.


Date: 2010

By: Michael Palmer (1943- )

Tuesday, 20 July 2021

Neither One by Catharina Questiers

Hence, Venus with your love
And Bacchus with your tun:
My taste chooses neither of you;
The Cypriot goddess aside I shove,
And drinking is no more fun.
Since it turns every head askew.
I enjoy a sweeter rest,
Which always gives me joy,
Let each love what they like best:
My freedom’s what I enjoy.

Parnassus’ mountainous pass
Is what my heart desires,
Where sensual joy I can view,
O fountain clear as glass.
I long for your liquid fires
That make me true to you;
In your wisdom I find rest
That always gives me joy.
Let each love what they like best:
My freedom’s what I enjoy.

O noble painter’s art,
To practise you delights
Much more than Venus’ love.
Your grace to me impart;
I hate Bacchus’ dizzy heights,
Your art is my heaven above,
Your love brings me such rest
And always brings me joy.
Let each love what they like best:
My freedom’s what I enjoy.

From: van Gemert, Lia; Joldersma, Hermina; van Marion, Olga; van der Poel, Dieuwke; and Schenkeveld-van der Dussen, Riet, Women’s Writing from the Low Countries 1200-1875: A Bilingual Anthology, 2010, Amsterdam University Press: Amsterdam, p. 289.

Date: 1663 (original in Dutch); 2010 (translation in English)

By: Catharina Questiers (1631-1669)

Translated by: Paul Vincent (19??- )

Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Again a Solstice by Jennifer Chang

It is not good to think
of everything as a mistake. I asked
for bacon in my sandwich, and then

I asked for more. Mistake.
I told you the truth about my scar:

I did not use a knife. I lied
about what he did to my faith
in loneliness. Both mistakes.

That there is always a you. Mistake.
Faith in loneliness, my mother proclaimed,

is faith in self. My instinct, a poor polaris.
Not a mistake is the blue boredom
of a summer lake. O mud, sun, and algae!

We swim in glittering murk.
I tread, you tread. There are children

testing the deep end, shriek and stroke,
the lifeguard perilously close to diving.
I tried diving once. I dove like a brick.

It was a mistake to ask the $30 prophet
for a $20 prophecy. A mistake to believe.

I was young and broke. I swam
in a stolen reservoir then, not even a lake.
Her prophesy: from my vagrant exertion

I’ll die at 42. Our dog totters across the lake,
kicks the ripple. I tread, you tread.

What does it even mean to write a poem?
It means today
I’m correcting my mistakes.

It means I don’t want to be lonely.


Date: 2010

By: Jennifer Chang (19??- )