October 28, 2009

all I want in life is a little love
to take the pain away



Arshile Gorky, The Liver is the Cock’s Comb, 1943

Progress Report
-- by Leonard Nathan

The trees won't talk; but we've got instruments
To get the truth. Old omens of the air
Mean birds are hungry, here as everywhere,
And speak, if forced to, in present tense.
This took eternity and some expense
To verify. Gods, never really there,
Reduce to heros dying for a share
In prospects disconnected and immense.

Symbols, like homespun drugs, were handy things,
But facts are good as guns. And then there's you --
No priestess circled by sacramental wings
From Cythea, but a girl well suited to the act;
And what's to be done with nature? Nothing new.
We'll dream in symbols, wake up in cold fact.


Gravity
-- by Louis Jenkins

It turns out that the drain pipe from the sink is attached to
nothing and water just runs right onto the ground in the
crawl space underneath the house and then trickles out
into the stream that passes through the backyard. It turns
out that the house is not really attached to the ground but
sits atop a few loose concrete blocks all held in place by
gravity, which, as I understand it, means "seriousness." Well,
this is serious enough. If you look into it further you will
discover that the water is not attached to anything either
and that perhaps the rocks and the trees are not all that
firmly in place. The world is a stage. But don't try to move
anything. You might hurt yourself, besides that's a job for
the stagehands and union rules are strict. You are merely a
player about to deliver a soliloquy on the septic system to a
couple dozen popple trees and a patch of pale blue sky.


Untitled
-- by Grace Paley

Life is as risky
as it is branchy

treetop and twigtip
are only the beginning

then comes the westwind to lean
and the northwind to turn

then the sunshine implores
and up all of us go

we are like any
greengrowing machinery

riding the daylight route
to darkness

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