Posts tagged ‘2012’

Monday, 17 July 2017

Who Eats, Drinks, and Makes Merry by Debayudh Chatterjee

Forever with the light and darkness and melancholy and love
Whatever it needs, I shall sumptuously be fed on
Before death or after, from behind or in front
In slumber or in awakening, whatever life gifts
I shall eat them and gulp down like a faithful mutt

I really cherish living
In my past, present , future or in doomed days
Whenever you burn me
I shall be ablaze in magnificent flames
And devour and gulp down and eat whatever that comes

Like putting my tongue inside your lips at foreplay
My corpse shall delve into
A sea of fire rippling with love-
The furnace that ends everything.


Date: 2012

By: Debayudh Chatterjee (1991- )

Monday, 10 July 2017

Dog Bite by April Lindner

The worst for him was his friend turned wolf,
and the blood that splattered as he ran. The worst
for us: the hospital, his upper lip tugged back
to show the gash—the flesh halved deeply,
cleanly—while I hold him for the needle
that rubs pain out. He submits
to the quick stitch, the thread black
against pink skin, calm now he sees
the doctor can be trusted, his voice
soothing, his face clean shaven,
the clues that signal kindness to a child.
He’s worried, though, about his pet
who didn’t mean it, Mom. His voice is flat.
He knows the months he’s tried to woo this dog
were over when it leapt for his throat
and caught his mouth. The scars, at least,
will be invisible. At home, he’ll sleep,
big boy between his parents, till he’s sure
no beast will tear into his dreams. And we
will want him there, our bodies makeshift walls.
We who led the stranger to our home,
fixed him a bowl, taught him to sleep
under our blankets, we who taught our son
to rub the muzzle that sheathes the teeth.


Date: 2012

By: April Lindner (1962- )

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Against Chaos by Sandeep Parmar

after Jagjit Singh

Love could not have sent you, in this shroud of song,
To wield against death your hollow flute, tuned to chaos.

Whatever the Ancients said, matter holds the world
to its bargain of hard frost. But life soon forgets chaos.

He who has not strode the full length of age, has counted
then lost count of days that swallow, like fever, dark chaos.

And you, strange company in the backseat of childhood,
propped on the raft of memory like some god of chaos,

You threaten to drown me: wind through palmed streets.
Oracle of grief. The vagrant dance of figures in chaos

carting trash over tarmac. Stench of Popeye’s Chicken,
the Capitol Records building, injecting light and chaos

into the LA sky. That paper boat in rainwater, rushing, dives
out of my reach and old women give no order here to chaos,

nor calm with their familiar tales. Your voice follows me
into and out of the wrong houses, riding my heels in chaos

as if to say that every half-remembered element I’ve forged
in glass is only the replicate, dying shadow of love’s chaos

that once spoken, is like a poison dropped in the mouth
of song, turning it dolorous and black. I’ve eaten this chaos,

its paroxysm of birth, and seen it uncoil from the faces
of loved ones, into sickness and distance and loss. Chaos

that hounds—that drums its fingers on the window like rain—
who will not forget me and permit me to reach across

thirty years for the child peering out over the very same
landscape, day after day. Yellowing day, that day of chaos

where you are still sounding your warning (though I was too
young). To be left with the bitter heaviness of song, its chaos.


Date: 2012

By: Sandeep Parmar (1979- )

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Plantain by Chin’gak Kuksa Hyesim

A plantain is an unlit
green candle of beeswax

the spread leaves, a vernal coat’s sleeves
desiring to dance.

I see this image in my intoxicated eyes
though the plantain itself

is better
than my comparisons.


Date: c1210 (original in Korean); 2012 (translation in English)

By: Chin’gak Kuksa Hyesim (1178-1234)

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

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Releasing the Sherpas by Campbell McGrath

The last two sherpas were the strongest,
faithful companions, their faces wind-peeled,
streaked with soot and glacier-light on the snowfield
below the summit where we stopped to rest.

The first was my body, snug in its cap of lynx-
fur, smelling of yak butter and fine mineral dirt,
agile, impetuous, broad-shouldered,
alive to the frozen bite of oxygen in the larynx.

The second was my intellect, dour and thirsty,
furrowing its fox-like brow, my calculating brain
searching for some cairn or chasm to explain
my decision to send them back without me.

Looking down from the next, ax-cleft serac
I saw them turn and dwindle and felt unafraid.
Blind as a diamond, sun-pure and rarefied,
whatever I was then, there was no turning back.


Date: 2012

By: Campbell McGrath (1962- )

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Broken by Robin Robertson

He’s back in the ghost house
where he, himself, is the ghost.
In this slow silt of neglect
half the light bulbs are blown, the drawers
jammed full of emptiness; the mail
still drifts unopened by the stair.

Outside the old house
—which his mother would call
broken, a ‘broken home’—
he’s trying to clear his head:
sweeping leaves into piles
that the wind just blows away.


Date: 2012

By: Robin Robertson (1955- )

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Various Effects of Love by Félix Lope de Vega y Carpio

To be fainthearted, to be bold, possessed,
abrasive, tender, open, isolated,
spirited, dying, dead, invigorated,
loyal, treacherous, venturesome, repressed.

Not to find, without your lover, rest.
To seem happy, sad, haughty, understated,
emboldened, fugitive, exasperated,
satisfied, offended, doubt-obsessed.

To face away from disillusionment,
to swallow venom like liqueur, and quell
all thoughts of gain, embracing discontent;

to believe a heaven lies within a hell,
to give your soul to disillusionment;
that’s love, as all who’ve tasted know too well.


Date: 1634 (original in Spanish); 2012 (translation in English)

By: Félix Lope de Vega y Carpio (1562-1635)

Translated by: David Rosenthal (19??- )

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Lines 367-408 from “The Treatise (Le Tretiz)” by Walter of Bibbesworth

Now to oven-bake your bread the French way:

When your wheat is well threshed, then winnowed and ground
But to speak more correctly before respectable people
There is blow, winnow and wind and their meanings must be kept in mind:
The scullion blows the fire, the wind winnows the bush,
But hunters wind their horns when in pursuit of their prey
What was grain in the morning becomes meal by grinding,
And from meal comes flour through the miller’s bolting-cloth
Because, using the bolting-cloth, flour is separated from the bran that was in it;
Give the bran to your horses. Mix warm water with the flour
And knead your dough, clean the trough with a dough-rib –
But rake and rib serve different purposes:
The baker holds an oven-rake, but the rib cleans the trough
Because when the dough sticks to the trough the dough-rib removes it;
As long as there’s hay in the meadow the rake will be used.
Heat up the oven with ferns if there’s no straw
(But there’s litter and litter, different, so bookmen say:
The mower in the meadow mows litter ; a man rides in a litter for comfort.
But [the first] litter in pure French is properly called paille ‘straw’.
Chaff and straw are so called when separated from the grain)
If there’s no straw, take pea-straw instead;
And when the oven is well warmed, put the dough into it on a shovel.

From: Walter of Bibbesworth and Dalby, Andrew (transl.), The Treatise (Le Tretiz) of Walter of Bibbesworth, 2012, Prospect Books: Devon, pp. 75-77.

Date: c1260 (original in Anglo-Norman); 2012 (translation in English)

By: Walter of Bibbesworth (1235-1270)

Translated by: Andrew Dalby (1947- )

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

I Love You More Than All the Windows in New York City by Jessica Greenbaum

The day turned into the city
and the city turned into the mind
and the moving trucks trumbled along
like loud worries speaking over
the bicycle’s idea
which wove between
the more armored vehicles of expression
and over planks left by the construction workers
on a holiday morning when no work was being done
because no matter the day, we tend towards
remaking parts of it—what we said
or did, or how we looked—
and the buildings were like faces
lining the banks of a parade
obstructing and highlighting each other
defining height and width for each other
offsetting grace and function
like Audrey Hepburn from
Jesse Owens, and the hearty pigeons collaborate
with wrought iron fences
and become recurring choruses of memory
reassembling around benches
we sat in once, while seagulls wheel
like immigrating thoughts, and never-leaving
chickadees hop bared hedges and low trees
like commas and semicolons, landing
where needed, separating
subjects from adjectives, stringing along
the long ideas, showing how the cage
has no door, and the lights changed
so the tide of sound ebbed and returned
like our own breath
and when I knew everything
was going to look the same as the mind
I stopped at a lively corner
where the signs themselves were like
perpendicular dialects in conversation and
I put both my feet on the ground
took the bag from the basket
so pleased it had not been crushed
by the mightiness of all else
that goes on and gave you the sentence inside.


Date: 2012

By: Jessica Greenbaum (19??- )

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

A Life by Edith Irene Södergran

That the stars are adamant
everyone understands—
but I won’t give up seeking joy on each blue wave
or peace below every gray stone.
If happiness never comes, what is a life?
A lily withers in the sand
and if its nature has failed? The tide
washes the beach at night.
What is the fly looking for on the spider’s web?
What does a dayfly make of its hours?
(Two wings creased over a hollow body.)

Black will never turn to white—
yet the perfume of our struggle lingers
as each morning fresh flowers
spring up from hell.

The day will come
when the earth is emptied, the skies collapse
and all goes still—
when nothing remains but the dayfly
folded in a leaf.
But no one knows it.


Date: c1916 (original in Swedish); 2012 (translation in English)

By: Edith Irene Södergran (1892-1923)

Translated by: Averill Ann Curdy (19??- )