January 17, 2007

All in a dream, all in a dream
The loading had begun

Cara Ober, Carrier

-- by Rae Armantrout


Anything cancels
everything out.

If each point
is a singularity,

thrusting all else
aside for good,

'good' takes the form
of a throng
of empty chairs.

Or it’s ants
swarming a bone.


I’m afraid
I don’t love
my mother
who’s dead

though I once –
what does 'once' mean? –
did love her .

So who’ll meet me over yonder?
I don’t recognize the place names.

Or I do, but they come
from televised wars.

Danse Russe
-- by William Carlos Williams

If when my wife is sleeping
and the baby and Kathleen
are sleeping
and the sun is a flame-white disc
in silken mists
above shining trees,-
if I in my north room
dance naked, grotesquely
before my mirror
waving my shirt round my head
and singing softly to myself:
'I am lonely, lonely,
I was born to be lonely,
I am best so!'
If I admire my arms, my face,
my shoulders, flanks, buttocks
against the yellow drawn shades,-

Who shall say I am not
the happy genius of my household?

Each Morning My Neighbor Walks Out
-- by Jane Hirshfield

In the morning
my neighbor walks onto his deck and looks out,
some days in a yellow jacket,
some days in a raincoat, some days in a shirt.
The house is far enough off
I do not know his name, cannot quite see his face.
I would not know him in line at the grocery.
He looks for a moment in my direction, across the small gorge,
then turns and reenters his door.
Between us leaves shift their colors, fall, reappear.
Between us the flash of a blue jay, sometimes a hawk.
Each time happiness greatens, sorrows too must increase,
but I cannot let go the longing for what passes.


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