Thursday, June 16, 2011


Romance Sonambulo

Green, how I want you green.
Green wind. Green branches.
The ship out on the sea
and the horse on the mountain.
With the shade around her waist
she dreams on her balcony,
green flesh, her hair green,
with eyes of cold silver.
Green, how I want you green.
Under the gypsy moon,
all things are watching her
and she cannot see them.

Green, how I want you green.
Big hoarfrost stars
come with the fish of shadow
that opens the road of dawn.
The fig tree rubs its wind
with the sandpaper of its branches,
and the forest, cunning cat,
bristles its brittle fibers.
But who will come? And from where?
She is still on her balcony
green flesh, her hair green,
dreaming in the bitter sea.

--My friend, I want to trade
my horse for her house,
my saddle for her mirror,
my knife for her blanket.
My friend, I come bleeding
from the gates of Cabra.
--If it were possible, my boy,
I'd help you fix that trade.
But now I am not I,
nor is my house now my house.
--My friend, I want to die
decently in my bed.
Of iron, if that's possible,
with blankets of fine chambray.
Don't you see the wound I have
from my chest up to my throat?
--Your white shirt has grown
thirsty dark brown roses.
Your blood oozes and flees
around the corners of your sash.
But now I am not I,
nor is my house now my house.
--Let me climb up, at least,
up to the high balconies;
Let me climb up! Let me,
up to the green balconies.
Railings of the moon
through which the water rumbles.

Now the two friends climb up,
up to the high balconies.
Leaving a trail of blood.
Leaving a trail of teardrops.
Tin bell vines
were trembling on the roofs.
A thousand crystal tambourines
struck at the dawn light.

Green, how I want you green,
green wind, green branches.
The two friends climbed up.
The stiff wind left
in their mouths, a strange taste
of bile, of mint, and of basil
My friend, where is she--tell me--
where is your bitter girl?
How many times she waited for you!
How many times would she wait for you,
cool face, black hair,
on this green balcony!
Over the mouth of the cistern
the gypsy girl was swinging,
green flesh, her hair green,
with eyes of cold silver.
An icicle of moon
holds her up above the water.
The night became intimate
like a little plaza.
Drunken "Guardias Civiles"
were pounding on the door.
Green, how I want you green.
Green wind. Green branches.
The ship out on the sea.
And the horse on the mountain.

- Federico Garcia Lorca

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Not for Chopin

Don’t put off your shower anymore
listening to Chopin.
Take the Preludes personally;
he’s telling you that he can describe a progression
that you yourself have been unable to see,
shapely, broad light at one-thirty,
evening travelling up a road,
an overcast day as gentle bones.
Don’t remember the music;
remember it as something obvious
that you are compelled, doomed, to obscure
and complicate. You erase it twice.
The first time
as you listened, unable
to have it,
the second time
as you were unable
to remember it.
Angry with Chopin,
what does he know?
The components of your dinner are waiting for you downstairs.
The golden evening takes flat, slow turns outside.
Become gray.
Listen to him describe what you would be like
if you were blind, sitting in a chair, at a wake, the days short, that there might
be nothing
else, night,
content, unable, unwishing, to recall desire, or sight.

-Arda Collins

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The House Was Quiet and the World Was Calm

The house was quiet and the world was calm.
The reader became the book; and summer night
Was like the conscious being of the book.
The house was quiet and the world was calm.
The words were spoken as if there was no book,
Except that the reader leaned above the page,
Wanted to lean, wanted much most to be
The scholar to whom the book is true, to whom
The summer night is like a perfection of thought.
The house was quiet because it had to be.
The quiet was part of the meaning, part of the mind:
The access of perfection to the page.
And the world was calm. The truth in a calm world,
In which there is no other meaning, itself
Is calm, itself is summer and night, itself
Is the reader leaning late and reading there.

- Wallace Stevens

Saturday, June 11, 2011


I look across the table and think
(fiery with love)
Ask me, go on, ask me
to do something impossible,
something freakishly useless,
something unimaginable and inimitable

Like making a finger break into blossom
or walking for half an hour in twenty minutes
or remembering tomorrow.

I will you to ask it.
But all you say is
Will you give me a cigarette?
And I smile and,
returning to the marvelous world
of possibility
I give you one
with a hand that trembles
with a human trembling.

- Norman MacCaig


Through blue summer nights I will pass along paths,
Pricked by wheat, trampling short grass:
Dreaming, I will feel coolness underfoot,
Will let breezes bathe my bare head.

Not a word, not a thought:
Boundless love will surge through my soul,
And I will wander far away, a vagabond
In Nature - as happily as with a woman.

- Arthur Rimbaud

Linger On

A Song Of The Degrees

Rest me with Chinese colours,
For I think the glass is evil.

The wind moves above the wheat-
With a silver crashing,
A thin war of metal.

I have known the golden disc,
I have seen it melting above me.
I have known the stone-bright place,
The hall of clear colours.

O glass subtly evil, O confusion of colours!
O light bound and bent in, soul of the captive,
Why am I warned? Why am I sent away?
Why is your glitter full of curious mistrust?
O glass subtle and cunning, O powdery gold!
O filaments of amber, two-faced iridescence!

-Ezra Pound

Friday, June 10, 2011

Dancing With the Enemy

5. Angel of Blizzards & Blackouts

Angel of blizzards and blackouts, do you know raspberries,
those rubies that sat in the green of my grandfather's garden?
You of the snow tires, you of the sugary wings, you freeze
me out. Let me crawl through the patch. Let me be ten.
Let me pick those sweet kisses, thief that I was,
as the sea on my left slapped its applause.

Only my grandfather was allowed there. Or the maid
who came with a scullery pan to pick for breakfast.
She of the rolls that floated in the air, she of the inlaid
woodwork all greasy with lemon, she of the feather and dust,
not I. Nonetheless I came sneaking across the salt lawn
in bare feet and jumping-jack pajamas in the spongy dawn.

Oh Angel of the blizzard and blackout, Madam white face,
take me back to that red mouth, that July 21st place.

-Anne Sexton

Rima VII

In the dark corner of the hall,
perhaps forgotten by her mistress,
silent and dusty,
laid the harp.

So many notes slept in her strings,
as the songbird sleeps in the branches,
waiting for the snowy hand
that knows how to awake them!

Alas! - I thought - how often does genius
likewise sleep in the deepest of the heart,
and a voice, like Lazarus, awaits
to be told "Rise and walk!

-Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Everything is far
and long gone by.
I think that the star
glittering above me
has been dead for a million years.
I think there were tears
in the car I heard pass
and something terrible was said.
A clock has stopped striking in the house
across the road...
When did it start?...
I would like to step out of my heart
an go walking beneath the enormous sky.
I would like to pray.
And surely of all the stars that perished
long ago,
one still exists.
I think that I know
which one it is--
which one, at the end of its beam in the sky,
stands like a white city...


Friday, June 3, 2011


for a friend of a friend

all life's washed out
and washed up on this shore;
pale bones &
tides ignore our pleas,
and our "please"
and our most pleasant thoughts.
tonight's a night to stay indoors
& count the blessings the night affords
ours...our weary souls,
all full of holes
and loss and death
and the "i wish i told"s
all washed upon this shore.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


O You,
Who came upon me once
Stretched under apple-trees just after bathing,
Why did you not strangle me before speaking
Rather than fill me with the wild white honey of your words
And then leave me to the mercy
Of the forest bees.

-Amy Lowell

When I Grow Up...

In Michael Robins’s Class Minus One

At the desk where the boy sat, he sees the Chicago River.
It raises its hand.
It asks if metaphor should burn.
He says fire is the basis for all forms of the mouth.
He asks, why did you fill the boy with your going?
I didn't know a boy had been added to me, the river says.
Would you have given him back if you knew?
I think so, the river says, I have so many boys in me,
I'm worn out stroking eyes looking up at the day.
Have you written a poem for us? he asks the river,
and the river reads its poem,
and the other students tell the river
it sounds like a poem the boy would have written,
that they smell the boy's cigarettes
in the poem, they feel his teeth
biting the page.
And the river asks, did this boy dream of horses?
because I suddenly dream of horses, I suddenly dream.
They're in a circle and the river says, I've never understood
round things, why would leaving come back
to itself?
And a girl makes a kiss with her mouth and leans it
against the river, and the kiss flows away
but the river wants it back, the river makes sounds
to go after the kiss.
And they all make sounds for the river to carry to the boy.
And the river promises to never surrender the boy's shape
to the ocean.

-Bob Hicok

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Old Folks Laugh

They have spent their
content of simpering,
holding their lips this
and that way, winding
the lines between
their brows. Old folks
allow their bellies to jiggle like slow
The hollers
rise up and spill
over any way they want.
When old folks laugh, they free the world.
They turn slowly, slyly knowing
the best and the worst
of remembering.
Saliva glistens in
the corners of their mouths,
their heads wobble
on brittle necks, but
their laps
are filled with memories.
When old folks laugh, they consider the promise
of dear painless death, and generously
forgive life for happening
to them.

- Maya Angelou