November 19, 2008

There will be no end soon


Frencesca Woodman, Providence, Rhode Island 1976, printed 1997


The Mysterious Human Heart
-- by Matthew Dickman

The produce in New York is really just produce, oranges
and cabbage, celery and beets, pomegranates
with their hundred seeds, carrots and honey,
walnuts and thirteen varieties of apples.
On Monday morning I will walk down
to the market with my heart inside me, mysterious,
something I will never get to hold
in my hands, something I will never understand.
Not like the apricots and potatoes, the albino
asparagus wrapped in damp paper towels, their tips
like the spark of a match, the bunches of daisies, almost more
a weed than a flower, the clementine,
the sausage links and chicken hung
in the window, facing the street where my heart is president
of the Association for Random Desire, a series
of complex yeas and nays,
where I pick up the plantain, the ginger root, the sprig
of cilantro that makes me human, makes me
a citizen with the right to vote, to bear arms, the right
to assemble and fall in love.


Bad Year
-- by Jane Hirshfield

Even in this bad year,
the apples grow heavy and round.
Three friends and I trade stories:
biopsy, miscarriage, solitude,
a parent's unravelling body or mind.
"What is reliable? What do you hold?"
I demand of the future, later.
The future -- whose discretion is perfect --
says nothing, but rolls another
apple loose from its grip.
A hopeful yellow jacket comes to hunt
the crack, the point of easy entry.


Sad Advice
-- by Robert Creeley

If it isn't fun, don't do it.
You'll have to do enough that isn't.

Such is life, like they say,
no one gets away without paying

and since you don't get to keep it
anyhow, who needs it.

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