July 20, 2011

up on the roof
it's almost dawn
see the water towers
look so forlorn
they've got no reason
to feel that way



Grace Hartigan, American, 1960

Facet
-- by Dean Young

For weeks, I’ve gone unbroken
but not unpunished by the quiet
of zero degrees which is worse than
the quiet of twenty when at least
you can’t hear the stars wheeze.
I can’t make it any clearer than that
and stay drunk. A crash course
in the afterlife where I still walk
beside you but unable to touch your hair.
It worries me I could no longer care
or only in a detached way like a monk
for a scorpion.


Beyond Pleasure
-- by Jack Gilbert

Gradually we realize what is felt is not so important
(however lonely or cruel) as what the feeling contains.
Not what happens to us in childhood, but what was
inside what happened. Ken Kesey sitting in the woods,
beyond the fence of whitewashed motorcycles, said when
he was writing on acid he was not writing about it.
He used what he wrote as blazes to find his way back
to what he knew then. Poetry registers
feelings, delights, and passion, but the best searches
out what is beyond pleasure, is outside process.
Not the passion so much as what the fervor can be
an ingress to. Poetry fishes us to find a world
part by part, as the photograph interrupts the flux
to give us time to see each thing separate and enough.
The poem chooses part of out endless flowing forward
to know its merit with attention.


Dead of Winter
-- by William Corbett

Factories close, the harbor stinks
our bridges rot and roads decay
we sail farther and farther out
to take fewer fish,
we refuse to educate our children
and they are murderous and murdered,
our leaders tell us nothing
we do not want to hear.
Real estate robbed some of us
and illness bankrupts others.
Out of complicated laws
endless litigation.

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