April 11, 2007

culture craves corruption
sunlight likes to scream

Dana Ellyn, Happy Anniversary George

The Guitarist Tunes Up
-- by Frances Darwin Cornford

With what attentive courtesy he bent
Over his instrument;
Not as a lordly conquerer who could
Command both wire and wood,
But as a man with a loved woman might,
Inquiring with delight
What slight essential things she had to say
Before they started, he and she, to play.

Pistol Packing Poets
-- by Charles Potts

Yesterday I renewed
Without hesitation
My permit to carry a concealed weapon.

It’s gotten more explicit.
It now reads:
Permit to carry a concealed pistol.

I paid $42 to exercise my right,
$10 extra because
The previous permit had expired.

You never know when some overwrought poet
Will feel like getting shot,
As the Rabbi Simon once reminded me:
Verlaine shot Rimbaud.

If I had a dollar
For every time some crazy poet
Walked into a reading or otherwise
Waved a pistol in my face,
I’d have 4 dollars.

Bag Of Mice
-- by Nick Flynn

I dreamt your suicide note
was scrawled in pencil on a brown paperbag,
& in the bag were six baby mice. The bag
opened into darkness,
from the top down. The mice,
huddled at the bottom, scurried the bag
across a shorn field. I stood over it
& as the burning reached each carbon letter
of what you'd written
your voice released into the night
like a song, & the mice
grew wilder.

-- by Frank Stanford

a woman came to take my picture
she told me the time of day in a letter
I wanted to be dressed
fit to kill
and ready when she took it
I wanted to be lying on the edge of a pond
smoking a long pipe
and an unsaddled horse would be grazing
beside me I wanted a gaze no one could forget
without a word of warning
I heard the whirring come to an end
bumble bees sucking a rose
this woman should have told me
these pictures wouldn't be still
I'd of ridden the white horse


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