Posts tagged ‘2014’

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Thinking of You on the Train by William Marr

the more I wipe
the more it becomes blurry
the foggy skies
the foggy fields
the foggy windows

yet you
are looking at me
with such clear eyes
from another scenery
from another world.


Date: 2014

By: William Marr (1936- )

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Peruvianus by Jacob Riyeff

Making love to February air;
staring out at neon lights freezing.
Droning into a rising sun
and drinking soma in the mind—
this beatific brace stunting every thought
and settles simply with a longing laugh.


Date: 2014

By: Jacob Riyeff (19??- )

Friday, 28 April 2017

Almsgiving by Unknown

That disciple is blest whose spirit burns
with generosity, renovating the inner room
of her heart. The world rejoices at her worthiness
and the Lord glories in the welcome glow of her light.

Jesus ben Sirach says a surging
flame will be snuffed, raging fires
put down with welling water—no longer
able to damage dwellings with burning—
when that disciple douses sin, healing souls
with the gracious gift of her alms.


Date: c970 (original in Anglo-Saxon); 2014 (translation in English)

By: Unknown

Translated by: Jacob Riyeff (19??- )

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Poem in Which I Consider My Labours by Kate Potts

It’s like the cotton mills of the eighteenth century,
he says. Yes – yes. My mouth

is open and tilted, a golf hole. Outside, the students
squall, butting their foreheads

against the dome of the afternoon. I am stunted,
frayed from the defibrillator kick

of early wakeups, shifts that begin in dim morning toffee
and end in the dumb blackout of sleep.

Yes – I’m deafened by the machine’s gut-snap clatter.
Such heat and dust! Such grotesque accidents!

The walls are shored up with staples and knucklebone.
I pack thick wads of student assignments

(my students – that puddle of yellow beaks) into my bag,
and set out into the dark

where my ancestors stand in a wonky, makeshift chorus.
They’re hard-fired, lean as striplings,

got up in their double-darned best. Their sighing’s
the engine of my endeavour;

their sighing’s the bright sting of all my luck,
and ADULT is all about using your anger

just so: kitten piston, slow combustor,
mechanism of the soft intestine.


Date: 2014

By: Kate Potts (1978- )

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Café Future by David Dalton Yezzi

The bunting they put out for the grand opening
never got put away, so every day

looks as if it might be opening day.
You inquire if Café Future carries pie,

and sure enough it’s right there on the menu.
A piece of rhubarb and black coffee, please.

The pie tastes like you’d hoped it would, but sweeter.
And though you’re wary of newfangledness,

you’ve never had a piece of pie this good.
You think you’ll make the Future your new place.

The long counter’s reflected in plate glass,
where sunlight pours in from the parking lot,

and the guy who’s looking back at you is you
and not quite you. The morning rush is over.

The chrome gleams with a perfect gleaminess.
The waitress’s smile lets you know she agrees.

It makes you want to stay and eat more pie.
She comes by, young-looking, like her own daughter,

and whisks your plate away. Another slice.
I know I really shouldn’t. Just one more.

That’s fine with her, she says. She’s on a double
and happy to bring you pie all day long.


Date: 2014

By: David Dalton Yezzi (1966- )

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Two Paths by Richard Parker

I came to a division;
Along the one grassy turn to left
Leaf-logged and dewy-grassed and mulched
With fosse and pool and fosse and pool,
Danced black monsters at the path sides
You might see move like steel firing, bellows through the ribs
As, icy, the creatures’ clean clear minds
They knew knowing between the vines
Under dockleaf and cowslip.

While to right, a clearing, out-spreading and open
And in the trees interstellar entropy,
Torpor. On one path white chill clouds
And rolling grey, with swatches of that rimey blue–
Above the other conjecturally you see the stars spin
Or flashing and popping.

I needn’t state the path I trod,
Or my head thick and buzzing against the molten gale,
That one might fall out of life and into the autonomous.
Blackness and blackness.


Date: 2014

By: Richard Parker (19??- )

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Disengagement by Shai Dotan

Jerusalem has disengaged itself
From the earth.
It is floating in the sky
Like a flock of hot-air balloons.
No one knows where it will land.
Maybe Baghdad
Maybe Athens
Maybe Prague
And maybe Jerusalem will glide
Straight into Tel Aviv’s warm bosom,
Embraced to its teeming heart
Like a rare and
Courageous lie.


Date: 2014 (original in Hebrew); 2016 (translation in English)

By: Shai Dotan (1969- )

Translated by: Vivian Sohn Eden (19??- )

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Island of Voices by Tom Chivers

Weightless           on the rim of the land
a weathered disc in a turquoise box
registering marks of volume, scale
Neolithic skull an upturned casserole
sea again unfolding over us
and the black Madonna
spinning on the Lazy Susan.


I went to be alone
in the heat and the light
and with cicatrix crowding at my knees

two stone eyes monitor
the ascent           a skein
of barren mountain

screams of hidden goats
triggered like car alarms

beyond the edge
where scree meets sky
a city        shimmering
with invisible lusts.


In this dream the Pope is facing West
and chanting the Credo in an infinite loop.

I am walking in a line towards the gaudy light;
a crown of buzzing bulbs.

Gaudí made the most of electric lighting
in his renewal of the Cathedral in Palma.

To be true to life, it must be retold
in the wrong order

and faster. Prayer is nothing
if not performance.

At every corner a quack in a crow mask
will offer to heal you.


A door opens. There is light
behind it                glowing
from every drawer every floorboard
every switch box shelf chair bowl of fruit
and when inside it’s like swimming
your knees ache with the joy of it
and your chalky skin flakes to the touch
floats to the floor
until you are pure light
you           the room           the door and the doorframe
and you and you are bleeding
bleeding from the throat
and the floor is now a sea

swimming together
towards the edge of light.


Literally buzzing mate like
faulty wiring static in the nave

dropped coins jangle
in the fruit machine

it might have been
her face swimming or burning

I swear it moved like

wax poured in the darkening slow-mo
dust explosions through which

light in one single beam or joist
or column penetrates as if but no

as if won’t do won’t do                              as if
a voice might emerge from all this babble.


Date: 2014

By: Tom Chivers (1983- )

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Troll by Shane Koyczan

Once upon a time,
You and all your kind lived underneath bridges,
Had ridges for ribs that dropped off into empty chests as if your hearts were all stolen treasures,
As if an excavation crew were hired to dig up and remove the part of you that let you feel.
And while the world above you invented the wheel, you stayed put,
Knowing it would one day need to roll over top of you to get to where it’s going.
You had an endlessly flowing supply line of food.
You began to brood over humanity and made meals of our hope,
As if crushing our spirits would make your mirrors cast better reflections than the ones they gave,
As if the only way you could save yourselves was to make the world ugly so no one would notice you hiding in it.
You learned to knit pain into a kind of camouflage,
Treated hope like a mirage that you could use to lure in your next meal.
You lived off of our fears, as if you could taste what we feel.
And every night, as the moon read bedtime stories to sunlight.
You took darkness as an invite to head out into the world,
You curled your hands into wrecking balls, your breath became squalls, you made rocks rumble, you made land shiver
You made boys and girls pray that someone would deliver them from you
We told them you aren’t real.
Then one day, the world changed, but you all stayed the same.
Just migrated from living underneath bridges to living underneath Information super-highways.
Days and nights became meaningless, each already deepened chest became an abyss that no one would ever find the bottom of.
Concepts like love fell into your gravity,
We turned ourselves into life preservers, hoping to save as many as we could,
But the fathers who stood guarding closet doors and the mothers who secured the floors underneath beds,
All shook their heads not knowing how to deal with you.
You, who crept into our lives with tongues like knives stabbing your words into our skin.
You began to begin uploading yourselves into our homes you had computer screens for eyes, and software for bones.
You turned your hate into stones and hurled them at beauty,
As if you couldn’t bear to see anything other than ugly, anything different.
You had fingernails like flint, and scraped them along decency hoping we would be the ones to all catch fire.
You all had smiles like one-way barbed wire not meant to keep us out,
Meant to keep us in
Voice like a firing pin, you spoke in explosions
It isn’t cute. It isn’t funny.
You’ve talked strangers into death, and laughed.
And as each family learns to graft skin over the wounds you gave them, you hem yourselves into the scar.
You have coaxed the sober back into bars,
Handed out cigars at memorials,
Offered nooses, cliffs, and pills to those who unfortunately found
You before they found help.
You have praised suffering,
Waltzed in between tragedies,
Gracefully dipping misery as if we would somehow be impressed with the dexterity of your animosity.
You have cheered on rape, dashed through police tape as if it were the finish line in a race of who can be awful first.
Even now, you somehow see this as an invitation to turn your keyboards into catapults,
Wondering which of you can be the first to hate this best.
Your loathing, already dressed in riot gear,
Ready to incite rage,
As if each message board is a stage,
Where you recite hostility,
Turning freedom of speech into freedom of cruelty.
We are stuck with you, the same way you are stuck with you.
Your mind is glue, and it keeps malice fastened there like cheap wallpaper.
We were once upon a time told that none of you exist,
We dismissed you as make believe or myth.
Now armed only with resolve, we can no longer afford to tell ourselves that you aren’t real.
We will not let you make your dinners out of the things we feel.


Date: 2014

By: Shane Koyczan (1976- )

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Skin by Brenda Saunders

He’s suddenly there on a platform at Central.
With a voice like a teacher, he bends to ask.

Where are you going today, my dear?

What is he saying? He’s leaning too close
long teeth, chin, a grey fedora.
I think of red-riding hood, ‘stranger danger’.

Spittle gathers at the edge of his mouth
I say nothing, wondering will he bite?

I’m taking the train to Grandma’s I say.

But we’re not in the woods and I don’t have
a basket, so I show my schoolbag, just in case.

And who are these ladies? he cries even louder,

Watching my Aunties, dark hands holding mine.
He’s eyeing our faces, from one to the other
Waiting in silence, to find an answer.

Everything’s still, but they don’t say a word.
Their eyes look down to the dusty ground.
Searching for something they fear they’ve lost.

As he turns away, he yells to the crowd.

Never can tell with these Abos today,
mixing the blood will lead to disaster.

I don’t understand, but I hear the threat, feel
the pain in familiar faces. I look around
reading the signs. Anxious to find a new way out.


Date: 2014

By: Brenda Saunders (1946- )