Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Black Stone on Top of a White Stone

I shall die in Paris, in a rainstorm,
On a day I already remember.
I shall die in Paris-- it does not bother me--
Doubtless on a Thursday, like today, in autumn.

It shall be a Thursday, because today, Thursday
As I put down these lines, I have set my shoulders
To the evil. Never like today have I turned,
And headed my whole journey to the ways where I am alone.

César Vallejo is dead. They struck him,
All of them, though he did nothing to them,
They hit him hard with a stick and hard also
With the end of a rope. Witnesses are: the Thursdays,
The shoulder bones, the loneliness, the rain, and the roads...

-Cesar Vallejo

This Dust was Once the Man

This dust was once the Man,
Gentle, plain, just and resolute—under whose cautious hand,
Against the foulest crime in history known in any land or age,
Was saved the Union of These States.

-Walt Whitman

Monday, October 25, 2010

My Bohemian Life

I went off with my hands in my torn coat pockets;
My overcoat too was becoming ideal;
I traveled beneath the sky, Muse! and I was your vassal;
Oh dear me! what marvelous loves I dreamed of!

My only pair of breeches had a big whole in them.
– Stargazing Tom Thumb, I sowed rhymes along my way.
My tavern was at the Sign of the Great Bear.
– My stars in the sky rustled softly.

And I listened to them, sitting on the road-sides
On those pleasant September evenings while I felt drops
Of dew on my forehead like vigorous wine;

And while, rhyming among the fantastical shadows,
I plucked like the strings of a lyre the elastics
Of my tattered boots, one foot close to my heart!



Frogs sit more solid
than anything sits. In mid-leap they are
parachutists falling
in a free fall. They die on roads
with arms across their chests and
heads high.

I love frogs that sit
like Buddha, that fall without
parachutes, that die
like Italian tenors.

Above all, I love them because,
pursued in water, they never
panic so much that they fail
to make stylish triangles
with their ballet dancer's

- Norman MacCaig

Generator 2nd Floor

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fiction (the lucksmiths)

singsongy song lyrics...wha?

Written down here, gentle reader
It seems too good to be true
But there's a girl in Kansas City
With my favourite tattoo
Oh why would I lie to you?

This was in another century
Somewhere near the summer's end
The fahrenheit was frightening
I was awake the whole weekend
Invited to a barbecue
I found refuge in the kitchen
Discussing post-war US literature
With a girl whose upper arm read 'fiction'
Like it might have been typewritten

I asked her its significance
She said she sometimes took reminding
What she wanted to be doing
Whether reading it or writing
I admitted admiration
For both typeface and intent
And said more softly 'sotto voce'
I knew too well what she meant
She just smiled
And in a while she went

For a time I forgot this ever took place
She left her bottle on the bookcase

So though I leave you little option
But to take me at my word
I assure you, dearest listener
That it happened as you've heard
A beer left on a bookshelf
At a bygone barbecue
By a girl from Kansas City
With my favourite tattoo
Oh why would I lie to you?
Oh why would I lie to you?
Oh why would I lie?

Rushdie and Doolittle

Landscape With The Fall of Icarus

According to Brueghel
when Icarus fell
it was spring

a farmer was ploughing
his field
the whole pageantry

of the year was
awake tingling

the edge of the sea
with itself

sweating in the sun
that melted
the wings' wax

off the coast
there was

a splash quite unnoticed
this was
Icarus drowning

-William Carlos Williams


To Tu Fu from Shantung

You ask how I spend my time--
I nestle against a treetrunk
and listen to autumn winds
in the pines all night and day.

Shantung wine can't get me drunk.
The local poets bore me.
My thoughts remain with you,
like the Wen River, endlessly flowing.

- Li Po

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Future Bible Heroes - No River

Angelica the Doorkeeper

The falcon soars
The town's gates are even higher

Angelica's their doorkeeper
She's wound the sun round her head
She's tied the moon round her waist

She's hung herself with stars.

- Anonymous

Monday, October 11, 2010

Get Drunk (slurpee edit)

One should always be drinking slurpees. That’s the great thing; the only question. Not to feel the horrible burden of Time weighing on your shoulders and bowing you to the earth, you should be drinking slurpees without respite.

Drunk with what? With slurpees, dummy.

And if sometimes you should happen to awake, on the stairs of a palace, on the green grass of a ditch, in the dreary solitude of your own room, and find that your drunkenness is ebbing or has vanished, ask the wind and the wave, ask star, bird, or clock, ask everything that flies, everything that moans, everything that flows, everything that sings, everything that speaks, ask them the time; and the wind, the wave, the star, the bird and the clock will all reply: “It is Time to drink more slurpees! If you are not to be the martyred slaves of Time, be perpetually drunk! With slurpees!

-Baudelaire (and Kindschy)

Monday, October 4, 2010

since feeling is first...(VII)

since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;

wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world

my blood approves,
and kisses are a better fate
than wisdom
lady i swear by all flowers. Don't cry
- the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids' flutter which says

we are for each other; then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life's not a paragraph

And death i think is no parenthesis

-E. E. Cummings

The Idea of Order at Key West

She sang beyond the genius of the sea.
The water never formed to mind or voice,
Like a body wholly body, fluttering
Its empty sleeves; and yet its mimic motion
Made constant cry, caused constantly a cry,
That was not ours although we understood,
Inhuman, of the veritable ocean.

The sea was not a mask. No more was she.
The song and water were not medleyed sound
Even if what she sang was what she heard,
Since what she sang was uttered word by word.
It may be that in all her phrases stirred
The grinding water and the gasping wind;
But it was she and not the sea we heard.

For she was the maker of the song she sang.
The ever-hooded, tragic-gestured sea
Was merely a place by which she walked to sing.
Whose spirit is this? we said, because we knew
It was the spirit that we sought and knew
That we should ask this often as she sang.
If it was only the dark voice of the sea
That rose, or even colored by many waves;
If it was only the outer voice of sky
And cloud, of the sunken coral water-walled,
However clear, it would have been deep air,
The heaving speech of air, a summer sound
Repeated in a summer without end
And sound alone. But it was more than that,
More even than her voice, and ours, among
The meaningless plungings of water and the wind,
Theatrical distances, bronze shadows heaped
On high horizons, mountainous atmospheres
Of sky and sea.

It was her voice that made
The sky acutest at its vanishing.
She measured to the hour its solitude.
She was the single artificer of the world
In which she sang. And when she sang, the sea,
Whatever self it had, became the self
That was her song, for she was the maker. Then we,
As we beheld her striding there alone,
Knew that there never was a world for her
Except the one she sang and, singing, made.

Ramon Fernandez, tell me, if you know,
Why, when the singing ended and we turned
Toward the town, tell why the glassy lights,
The lights in the fishing boats at anchor there,
As the night descended, tilting in the air,
Mastered the night and portioned out the sea,
Fixing emblazoned zones and fiery poles,
Arranging, deepening, enchanting night.

Oh! Blessed rage for order, pale Ramon,
The maker's rage to order words of the sea,
Words of the fragrant portals, dimly-starred,
And of ourselves and of our origins,
In ghostlier demarcations, keener sounds.

- Wallace Stevens

Friday, October 1, 2010

Song Of The Artless Ones (Poèmes Saturniens: Caprices III)

We are the artless ones,
hair braided, eyes blue,
we who live almost hidden from view
in novels barely read.

We walk, arms interlaced,
and the day’s not so pure
as the depths of our thoughts,
and our dreams are azure.

And we run through the fields
and we laugh and we chatter,
from dawn to evening,
we chase butterflies’ shadows:

and shepherdesses’ bonnets
protect our freshness
and our dresses – so thin –
are of perfect whiteness.

The Don Juans, the Lotharios,
the Knights all eyes,
pay their respects to us,
their ‘alases’ and sighs:

in vain though, their grimaces:
they bruise their noses,
on ironic pleats
of our vanishing dresses:

and our innocence still
mocks the fantasies
of those tilters at windmills
though sometimes we feel

our hearts beat fiercely
with clandestine dreams,
knowing we’ll be the
lovers of libertines.


In Memory of Marie A

On that day in the blue moon of September
Quietly under a young plum tree
Is where I held her, the still pale love
In my arm like a lovely dream.
And above us in the beautiful summer sky
was a cloud, which I saw for a long time
It was very white and immensely high
And when I looked up, it was never more.

Since that day many, many moons have
Quietly swum down and past.
The plum trees probably have been chopped off
And you ask me, how is it with the love?
So I tell you: I cannot remember.
And yet, sure, I do know what you mean
But her face, I really do not know it anymore
I only still know: I once kissed it.

Even the kiss, I would have forgotten it long ago
had the cloud not been there
That I still know and will I always know
Very white it was and came from above.
Perhaps the plum trees are still flowering
And that women now perhaps has her seventh child
But that cloud blossomed only for minutes
And when I looked up, it already was disappearing in the wind.