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Archive for the tag “Poetry”

in a stranger ocean than I wished

Parachutes, My Love, Could Carry Us Higher

A poem by Barbara Guest

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This is one of my favorite poems. Barbara Guest (1920-2006) was a poet of the New York school, which also included John Ashbery, another poet whose work I admire.

Roll the Dice

Speaking of stranger oceans, here’s a great poem–and challenge–by Charles Bukowski:

if you’re going to try, go all the
way.
otherwise, don’t even start.

if you’re going to try, go all the
way.
this could mean losing girlfriends,
wives, relatives, jobs and
maybe your mind.

go all the way.
it could mean not eating for 3 or 4 days.
it could mean freezing on a
park bench.
it could mean jail,
it could mean derision,
mockery,
isolation.
isolation is the gift,
all the others are a test of your
endurance, of
how much you really want to
do it.
and you’ll do it
despite rejection and the worst odds
and it will be better than
anything else
you can imagine.

if you’re going to try,
go all the way.
there is no other feeling like
that.
you will be alone with the gods
and the nights will flame with
fire.

do it, do it, do it.
do it.

all the way
all the way.

you will ride life straight to
perfect laughter, it’s
the only good fight
there is.

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soloist (a poem)

MOON

moon (Photo credit: Nick. K.)

You pass through glass
(thick, leaded, amber panes)
into moments . . . doors opening and closing,
exposing the visible threads of your soul
to the brightlight: rhythms of dreams,
fractured fantasies,
and wrung-out visions of a holy life.

You hold your breath and stare
as time explodes around you
feeding your senses such seductive visions of hell
(the sight of people coming and going);
and the world arranges and rearranges itself
into patterns of roads that you watch
like a TV show
for signs of life.

Someone (something) is always moving,
toward you or away,
while you remain unmet,
framed in the doorway, entranced
by images refracting to the surface,
playing them out on silver strings
(your silver wings);
playing only to the moon at night,
you pass through glass.

this november life (3 poems)

November

November (Photo credit: Cape Cod Cyclist)

enough

Jeffrey Harrison

It’s a gift, this cloudless November morning
warm enough for you to walk without a jacket
along your favorite path. The rhythmic shushing
of your feet through fallen leaves should be
enough to quiet the mind, so it surprises you
when you catch yourself telling off your boss
for a decade of accumulated injustices,
all the things you’ve never said circling inside you.
It’s the rising wind that pulls you out of it,
and you look up to see a cloud of leaves
swirling in sunlight, flickering against the blue
and rising above the treetops, as if the whole day
were sighing, Let it go, let it go,
for this moment at least, let it all go.

~ ~ ~

november night

Adelaide Crapsey

Listen. . .
With faint dry sound,
Like steps of passing ghosts,
The leaves, frost-crisp’d, break from the trees
And fall.

~ ~ ~

reasons to survive november

Tony Hoagland
(you can listen to him recite the poem here)

November like a train wreck—
as if a locomotive made of cold
had hurtled out of Canada
and crashed into a million trees,
flaming the leaves, setting the woods on fire.

The sky is a thick, cold gauze—
but there’s a soup special at the Waffle House downtown,
and the Jack Parsons show is up at the museum,
full of luminous red barns.

—Or maybe I’ll visit beautiful Donna,
the kickboxing queen from Santa Fe,
and roll around in her foldout bed.

I know there are some people out there
who think I am supposed to end up
in a room by myself

with a gun and a bottle full of hate,
a locked door and my slack mouth open
like a disconnected phone.

But I hate those people back
from the core of my donkey soul
and the hatred makes me strong
and my survival is their failure,

and my happiness would kill them
so I shove joy like a knife
into my own heart over and over

and I force myself toward pleasure,
and I love this November life
where I run like a train
deeper and deeper
into the land of my enemies.

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