June 24, 2009

People be careful not to crest too soon


Karl Lindvedt, Wes, 2009

Poem Addressing Why I Choose To Write Poems When I Know
It Is A Highly Unlikely Way To Receive The Approval That I Crav
e
-- by Peter Davis

My need for approval is such that even normal approval is not good enough. I only feel good about approval if I have earned it in the hardest way I can imagine. If you, by some amazing stroke of luck, find this poem and it impresses you so much that you feel very positive about me, and if you communicate that positive feeling to me, I will feel very good for a very short period of time (especially if you are well-respected and prestigious). I wait for this rare and fleeting event because I can’t think of anything else worth waiting on. It’s sad.


The Hand
-- by Mary Ruefle

The teacher asks a question.
You know the answer, you suspect
you are the only one in the classroom
who knows the answer, because the person
in question is yourself, and on that
you are the greatest living authority,
but you don’t raise your hand.
You raise the top of your desk
and take out an apple.
You look out the window.
You don’t raise your hand and there is
some essential beauty in your fingers,
which aren’t even drumming, but lie
flat and peaceful.
The teacher repeats the question.
Outside the window, on an overhanging branch,
a robin is ruffling its feathers
and spring is in the air.


Storm Catechism
-- by Kim Addonizio

The gods are rinsing their just-boiled pasta
in a colander, which is why
it is humid and fitfully raining
down here in the steel sink of mortal life.
Sometimes you can smell the truffle oil
and hear the ambrosia being knocked back,
sometimes you catch a drift
of laughter in that thunder crack: Zeus
knocking over his glass, spilling lightning
into a tree. The tree shears away from itself
and falls on a car, killing a high school girl.
Or maybe it just crashes down
on a few trash cans, and the next day
gets cut up and hauled away by the city.
Either way, hilarity. The gods are infinitely perfect
as is their divine mac and cheese.
Where does macaroni come from? Where does matter?
Why does the cat act autistic when you call her,
then bat a moth around for an hour, watching intently
as it drags its wings over the area rug?
The gods were here first, and they're bigger.
They always were, and always will be
living it up in their father's mansion.
You only crawled from the drain
a few millennia ago,
after inventing legs for yourself
so you could stand, inventing fists
in order to raise them and curse the heavens.
Do the gods see us?
Will the waters be rising soon?
The waters will be rising soon.
Find someone or something to cling to.

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