Posts tagged ‘2014’

Thursday, 27 February 2020

Holy Wars by Robert Schechter

Do even numbers, when they pray,
give thanks unto their God
that unlike all their neighbors they
were not created odd?

If so, is there a second God
some integers believe in
to whom the reverential odd
give thanks that they’re not even?


Date: 2014

By: Robert Schechter (19??- )

Sunday, 16 February 2020

Hurricane by Annelyse Gelman

Curse us if you will—we are already cursed
to ruin what we love and yet
to love. Everything we touch
lifts to dust; forgive us our weakness.
We have such trouble holding on, only wanted
to show you what homes are made of
by pulling them apart—we were so curious.
We didn’t think how to put them back
together. No one told us there was an order
to your grief, your stubborn acres of love
planted in something so temporary.
No one warned us how fragile your hands are.
We only wanted to help—we who lifted, we
who sank, who pulled roots of asphalt with fists
of wind to make a garden of your city. Please—
grow—look how little you need. We have given you
the gift of robbing you of everything
inessential. We didn’t realize you never wanted
to be reminded that everything
is inessential. Forgive us. We were so
afraid. The first time we saw you, we thought
you were gods: how you pass through fields
unnoticed by the trees, the way you can leave
without leaving anything behind. There is nothing
more dangerous than something with no
destination. Forgive us our reverence. We made skylights
of your rooftops. If you had only looked up
you would have seen what became of them:
your shingles chasing flocks of starlings, lawn chairs
dancing two-step with garden gnomes, orchids
in mailboxes, treehouses in the clouds.
We wanted to show you anything is possible.
Forgive us. We were so in love.
In a past life, we were mothers, and you mourned
when we promised you would outlive us.
We were fires, and you wept when all you knew
would turn to ash turned to ash before you
were ready, because you will never be ready.
We were heart surgeons, but no one wants to hear
you can’t hold onto anything without tearing it apart,
that everyone you love is a stranger to someone
who’s a stranger to you, and sometimes who you love
is a stranger, too. Forgive us our strength.
We have such trouble letting go. Above the keening
branches, a smothering of clouds. Even heaven
is not perfect. Even heaven aches to hold the earth.


Date: 2014

By: Annelyse Gelman (19??- )

Monday, 3 February 2020

Consultation by Chris Woods

He doesn’t look too good,
Suit not as snappy.
His tie’s a bit frayed.
He doesn’t look happy.
Domestic difficulties,
Staff shortages, cuts?
In the driving seat
no longer. Driven nuts.
He doesn’t look too hot.
Has he been up all night?
I’ll be supportive –
“Doc. Are you all right?”

From: Wolf, Rogan (ed.), Poems for…those who wait, 2014, Central and North West London NHS Trust: London, p. 12.

Date: 2014

By: Chris Woods (19??- )

Saturday, 11 January 2020

His Winter by Christine Brandel

He was an obscure poet, I know that,
one not particularly of note as other
poets would say. He hadn’t even written
his own book, for god’s sake.
Yet I stumbled upon his winter
poem, the title meaningless. He was
not the first to write that winter was a kind
of death, a grey, heavy, slow dying
of all who lived. Yet he convinced me
so absolutely that I set the poem on my desk,
got my affairs in order, and went to bed
prepared for the last and longest sleep.


Date: 2014

By: Christine Brandel (19??- )

Monday, 9 December 2019

Told One of the Goldfish Wouldn’t Last the Night… by David John Constantine

Told one of the goldfish wouldn’t last the night
He hid his eyes under a fierce scowl
And went outside on the flags and rode his bike
Round and round, round and round

But it did no good and he brought the fact back in
Heading for his bedroom and his secret stash of chocolate
But his mother got under his scowl and halted him
Till he showed her his eyes and that was that.

So much sorrow there is in a not-quite-five-year-old
They know so much already and suspect the rest
Already they are beyond being consoled
They watch, they have seen it signed and witnessed

That all living creatures have one thing in common:
They die. Creatures as intricate and various
As a worm, a swallow, a cat, a water-scorpion
Baby and grown-up, all of them, all of us

Die. So when in her arms her child became a well
And the waters of sorrow that are under the earth broke through
For a golden fish she was inconsolable
Grieving that his grief was right, just, true.


Date: 2014

By: David John Constantine (1944- )

Monday, 21 October 2019

Artschool Villanal by Krista Bell

Oh, artschool asshole
with your dichotomy, ontology, paintbrush sodomy.
Charcoal on hands, black-like soul.

Intellectually masturbate to the concepts you dole
‘cause pretension’s just tension before epiphany,
you artschool asshole.

Eyes cross the gallery, see an outsider troll.
Those visual obstructions to site specificity
plague your charcoal hands, black-like soul.

Secluded (self-deluded) you function your form.
Swear you’re campy, not kitschy,
while you artschool your asshole.

Top seat, totem poll–
a clean slate beacon of post-post contemporary,
eager to make dirty with charcoal hands, black-like soul.

So, here is a way of taking control
from avant-garded pride (underpainted in painstake cadmium),
with charcoal on my hands, and a black’s-not-a-colour-like soul:
I don’t want to be an artschool asshole.


Date: 2014

By: Krista Bell (19??- )

Thursday, 3 October 2019

Bodies, Flowerbeds: A Villanelle by Viola Allo

The earth, carved up, engraved with bodies,
this hollow vision of death: people resting
together, bodies beneath a bed of flowers.

We soften death into poems and stories.
The art of writing is just a way of wailing
for the earth, carved up, sculpted by bodies.

In Cameroon, hair from the dead is carried,
mixed with cam wood and kept; the living
remember bodies beneath beds of flowers.

What we seek through our endless studies
sits beyond death, but the path to it is sinking
into a carved-up earth, paved with bodies.

The sharp shovel of silence briefly remedies
the ear deaf to the voices of the dead, linking
it to slender-petaled tongues in a flowerbed.

A poem or a story is an etching of memories,
dignity in the fragile face of loss. Soothing
the earth, carved up, engraved with bodies,
we hum together beside a bed of flowers.


Date: 2014

By: Viola Allo (19??- )

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

My Brother My Wound by Natalie Diaz

He was calling in the bulls from the street.
They came like a dark river —
a blur of chest and hoof —
everything moving, under, splinter — hooked
their horns through the walls. Light hummed
the holes like yellow jackets. My mouth
was a nest torn empty.

Then, he was at the table.
Then, in the pig’s jaws —
he was not hungry. He was stop.
He was bad apple. He was choking.

So I punched my fists against his stomach.
Mars flew out
and broke open or bloomed —
how many small red eyes shut in that husk?

He said, Look. Look. And they did.

He said, Lift up your shirt. And I did.

He slid his fork beneath my ribs —
Yes, he sang. A Jesus side wound.
It wouldn’t stop bleeding.
He reached inside
and turned on the lamp —

I never knew I was also a lamp — until the light
fell out of me, dripped down my thigh, flew up in me,
caught in my throat like a canary.
Canaries really means dogs, he said.

He put on his shoes.
You started this with your mouth, he pointed.
Where are you going? I asked.
To ride the Ferris wheel, he answered,
and climbed inside me like a window.


Date: 2014

By: Natalie Diaz (19??- )

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

When Giving is All We Have by Alberto Rios

One river gives
Its journey to the next.

We give because someone gave to us.
We give because nobody gave to us.

We give because giving has changed us.
We give because giving could have changed us.

We have been better for it,
We have been wounded by it—

Giving has many faces: It is loud and quiet,
Big, though small, diamond in wood-nails.

Its story is old, the plot worn and the pages too,
But we read this book, anyway, over and again:

Giving is, first and every time, hand to hand,
Mine to yours, yours to mine.

You gave me blue and I gave you yellow.
Together we are simple green. You gave me

What you did not have, and I gave you
What I had to give—together, we made

Something greater from the difference.


Date: 2014

By: Alberto Rios (1952- )

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

You Turned Sixty by Candace Calsoyas

It might be 60,000 meals you’ve eaten, 60 years times 1000.
What would a garbage compacter do with all that
Would it be a pound of ash or decomposed peat, could it make oil, all that deadness that went into you to become only more dead

What did it make? Energy, laughter, struggle and kindness
(Along with many hours in the Loo)
What kind of plant did it grow, what kind of animal did it make?

A person who writes poetry but doesn’t like to read it—
Because then it all becomes the same, words

A person who likes to sing, preferably out of tune
Because that comes naturally

A person who likes to paint to see how internal brush strokes
inscribed in secret, walled chambers
Fly into thin air
To appear as color and line

A person who goes to non-western countries
To feel relief at not being rich

But whose likes are these, these ones at 60?
Not much of your mother’s or father’s
not much of former lovers, husband, or mother-in-law.
Whose likes are these?

These likes are yours and
Have brought you to sixty.
To another like: Witnessing
beauty and bounty in your eating
Before all becomes a very small mound of ash.


Date: 2014

By: Candace Calsoyas (19??- )