March 30, 2007

and the walls have ears
but the walls don't talk

Nicola Tyson, Red Self-Portrait, 1996

Poem 8
-- by Ron Padgett and Yu Jian

When I was a child
my elders taught me
that there are 24 hours
in each day
But 24 hours is
afterward too
Is a springtime
The flower opened
I look similar to yesterday
Except that I am open
and my petals
are starting to fall
O excuse me!
For a moment
I thought
I was a flower

-- by Eileen Myles

for Joan

There was a bird
on my sill
this morning
stone sill
dark grey bird
and it bumped
against my window
then it flew in
it was freaked
turned round tried
to fly out; crashed
the bird's face was huge
vanished into my tiny apartment
no bird under the bed
no bird in the kitchen
bird flying out of
bumped into the window
and dizzy zoomed
into the white day

We Real Cool

-- by Gwendolyn Brooks

We real cool. We
Left School. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.

But There Can Be An Abiding
-- by Megan Pugh

You're busy having big ideas
about the past when a cream pie
hits somebody's face and you guffaw.
Or some quaint lantern casts
phantasmagorias on the fog
and you think what carnival was like
in such colors. The same ones
you have now. Today's potholes,
relics of the weather, are still
today's potholes. But how to climb
back into it, when people walked
differently, so they don't look
like us but at us, and will say
Oh thank you for doing us justice,
for showing the others all about us—
here things you never noticed
will reach out to hold you,
to keep you from yourselves.

-- by Frank Stanford

She pours sweetmilk over me before the sun comes up
Her dress is like a tent in the desert
Her whippings don't count

She buys the young men suits
And they cross the river with someone else
And check-in at Hotel Nemo

She buries her pay in a bucket
Every new moon
She cuts her snuff with happy dust

I trace her butt in the shade
Like a Spanish Oak
We throw light bread to the fish

She mosaics the Lord's mysteries
With scales and egg yolks
Emma is a humming


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