Posts tagged ‘2015’

Friday, 20 May 2022

San Juan Capistrano Mission by Paul Lieber

The chipped façade of cream brick.
The uneven plaster reminds me
of my apartment on 17th,
those little hills for floors,
the toilet in the hall and
dreams of the tenement swaying.

Forget stiff interpretations
of the bible and the slaughter
of infidels. Stay with the mortar,
stones and age, the adobe couches,
those motherly laps
in the garden
away from the burn
of sun and the mission
of this mission.

I hear my father through the archways.
“Religion killed half the human race.”

I stroll into the gilded chapel
as narrow as that flat downtown
but the ceiling, with its primitive
beams and mismatched lines, climbs
to the heavens and Latin chants
swirl so,
so I pull up a tier
and pray
as involuntarily as any seduction.

The winding chant pulls me further
to those holy stories, to the creepy almighty,
calling, and I, obedient music, am summoned

past the rape of aunt Jenny,
past the repairman fiddling with a hinge,
above the bombings to the east.
I’m over the ruins,
above the gift shop,
above the bells.

A single note.
An infidel.


Date: 2015

By: Paul Lieber (19??- )

Thursday, 21 April 2022

Trophic Cascade by Camille T. Dungy

After the reintroduction of gray wolves
to Yellowstone and, as anticipated, their culling
of deer, trees grew beyond the deer stunt
of the midcentury. In their up reach
songbirds nested, who scattered
seed for underbrush, and in that cover
warrened snowshoe hare. Weasel and water shrew
returned, also vole, and so came soon hawk
and falcon, bald eagle, kestrel, and with them
hawk shadow, falcon shadow. Eagle shade
and kestrel shade haunted newly berried
runnels where deer no longer rummaged, cautious
as they were, now, of being surprised by wolves.
Berries brought bear, while undergrowth and willows,
growing now right down to the river, brought beavers,
who dam. Muskrats came to the dams, and tadpoles.
Came, too, the night song of the fathers
of tadpoles. With water striders, the dark
gray American dipper bobbed in fresh pools
of the river, and fish stayed, and the bear, who
fished, also culled deer fawns and to their kill scraps
came vulture and coyote, long gone in the region
until now, and their scat scattered seed, and more
trees, brush, and berries grew up along the river
that had run straight and so flooded but thus dammed,
compelled to meander, is less prone to overrun. Don’t
you tell me this is not the same as my story. All this
life born from one hungry animal, this whole,
new landscape, the course of the river changed,
I know this. I reintroduced myself to myself, this time
a mother. After which, nothing was ever the same.


Date: 2015

By: Camille T. Dungy (1972- )

Saturday, 26 March 2022

Persephone Writes to Her Mother by Tara Mae Mulroy

Mother, he is a gentleman.
He is a builder with bricks of moonlight.
He knows the secret places of the earth.
He washes the sleep from the eyes of the souls.
He lets them look on beauty.
He lets them tell him they hate him.
In the mornings, I gather berries and apples.
I scrub his back with rind.
I weave spider-spit, eyelash.
He talks in his sleep: pudding, fire, discus,
the things he misses.
He breathes, Your body is my orchard.
I am undulating grass.
I am a field of wheat he parts with his fingers.
Poppies bloom in my veins.
When he kisses me, he tastes pomegranate.
The night crawls nearer.
The moans of the dead roll and swell.
Mother, we are well.


Date: 2015

By: Tara Mae Mulroy (19??- )

Thursday, 10 February 2022

Looking for Soho in Soho by Susan Browne

Many streets, but not the streets
we wanted, and many shops
but not the shops we wanted. We wanted
a different place, not where we were
although we swore we’d been there before
and thought it was near,
so we kept on, and finally
we asked someone where it was, and she said,
Where you are, but we didn’t believe it.
Where the cobblestones, where the leafy trees
with branches like filigree,
where the little shops, crammed with curios?
We were thirsty, exhausted, asking
each other where, where did it go?
If we found it, we could rest, it would be
the destination, the answer to our question,
a question of meaning, of rescue
from other places, streets, shops, meanings
that hadn’t done their job to soothe our seeking.
Now it was evening, but we continued,
turning corners and decades, growing old, dying, dead,
yet persevering, reincarnating, searching through centuries
for that one small street, cool, quiet,
except for the tap-tap of our shoes entering
where we’d find what had been hidden from us
all of our lives, our many, many lives.


Date: 2015

By: Susan Browne (19??- )

Friday, 12 November 2021

After a Bad Dream by Gerrit Engelke

I am a soldier and stand in the field
And know of no-one in the world.
Thus I cannot celebrate this rainy day,
So tenderly concerned, damp and leaden
Since at night your image broke my sleep
And brought me near to you.

I am a soldier and stand in the field,
Gun on the arm and far from the world.
Were I at home, I would close door and window
And remain alone for a long time,
Sink into the sofa’s corner,
With closed eyes, think of you.

I am a soldier and stand in the field.
Here the old human world ends.
The rain sings, the wet skeins flow.
I can do nothing – only shoot lead.
Don’t know why, I still do it, as if I must
Into the grey weather a shot cracks!


Date: 1918 (original in German); 2015 (translation in English)

By: Gerrit Engelke (1890-1918)

Translated by: Penelope Monkhouse (19??- )

Saturday, 23 October 2021

Still, It Pulls Me by Annie Neugebauer

The darkness pulled me, in those years—
delicious taste of sacred fears,
to satiate my appetite
for all things roaming in the night
with ghostly garb and toothy sneers.

Window through which the monster peers,
or gloomy path on which he nears,
for me did equally delight…
the darkness pulled me.

The blackened stain of bloody smears
revealed, once all the carnage clears—
it drew me like a moth to light—
inspired me to start to write
of lunacy and her sharp shears…
the darkness pulled me.


Date: 2015

By: Annie Neugebauer (19??- )

Friday, 10 September 2021

[141] by Yoel Hoffmann

We owe nothing to no one. Certainly not a story. If we like we could write a single word 7,387 times. A word is as cheap as a stick. Or we could compose our sentences along the lines of Japanese syntax (that is, from the end to the beginning). Or insist that the publisher burn the bottom edge of the book so that the reader’s hand will be blackened by the charcoaled page . . .

From: Hoffmann, Yoel and Cole, Peter (transl.), Moods, 2015, New Directions Publishing: New York, pp. [unnumbered].

Date: 2015 (original in Hebrew); 2015 (translation in English)

By: Yoel Hoffmann (1937- )

Translated by: Peter Cole (1957- )

Sunday, 22 August 2021

Monochrome by Sue Clennell

Dementia’s tweezers pluck her apricot memories,
pop Wordsworth’s daffodils like spilt beads.
X-rays expose the bullet holes
while medicos check for the calibre,
sift through the embers of a dying skull.
There is a little Halloween here,
white ants in the art deco,
you get the picture.
The dice falls like a guillotine.


Date: 2015

By: Sue Clennell (19??- )

Friday, 21 May 2021

Everlasting Green by Susan Yuzna

They told us the green of Vietnam
Was so bright, it made your eyes hurt. They stood

In the doorway of the pizza parlor
In heavy boots, heads shaved, stomping for warmth,

These boys, our boys, shivering through their winter leave
As they told us appalling stories,

Giggling, darting glances at each other.
I can’t say we believed them. Who

Were these boys, gone not long, but so
Alien, they could have come from Mars?

They were bored with us now.
A friend’s brother came home spooky,

Spent every night shooting fireworks
Over the skies of Lake Calhoun

Until he re-enlisted, dying over there
In the bright green jungle, electric

As the morning my father gave up the ghost
Of a life gone wrong, deep in the frigid

Winter of my first year at college,
During the Tet Offensive, of all things.

Nothing was green then, not my tears, not one thing.

Upon returning home, one of them shot to death a family of five.

From: » Susan Yuzna Banango Street

Date: 2015

By: Susan Yuzna (1949- )

Thursday, 15 April 2021

Unfinished by Margaret Owen Ruckert

symphony concert, the mid-row
seat I approach by habit
from the sympathetic side

I’m conscious of a woman, seated
to my right, never looking my way,
but perfumed, like summer in a soap,
just enough to get me interested

I see her in profile, if I turn my head,
which I never do – we’ve not known
each other for four seasons now

we sit still, emotionless,
connecting through the music
a greeting would freeze us – and free us


Date: 2015

By: Margaret Owen Ruckert (1951- )