March 1, 2013

Deep in the back of my mind is an unrealized sound
Every feeling I get from the street says it soon could be found

Deedra Ludwig, Veins of Gold, 2007

Poem for the Working Man and the Upper Mobile Yuppie
-- A.D. Winans

Some people guard their lives
Like a eunuch guards
The Harem door
Like a stock broker with
A hot tip
Like a banker who knows
That today's dollar will only
Be worth one-fourth what
It is today
In less time that it takes
To die
Better to linger over
A cup of coffee
Like a skilled lover with
No need for bragging rights
Remember that every newsman
On every street corner in America
That every meat packer and fisherman
Knows more about life than
Your average poet
That blind man rattling
An empty tin cup
Makes more noise than
A yuppie gunning
On his way
to the graveyard

I Don't Believe In the Peaceful Way
-- Nicanor Parra (translated by Miller Williams)

I don't believe in the violent way
I'd like to believe
in something--but I don't
to believe means to believe in God
all I can do is
shrug my shoulders
forgive me for being blunt
I don't even believe in the Milky Way.

The Place on the Corner
-- William Matthews

No mirror behind this bar: tiers of garish
fish drift back and forth. They too have routines.
The TV's on but not the sound. Dion
and the Belmonts ("I'm a Wanderer") gush
from the box. None here thinks a pink slip
("You're fired," with boilerplate apologies)
is underwear. None here says "lingerie"
or "as it were." We speak Demonic
because we're disguised as ordinary
folks. A shared culture offers camouflage
behind which we can tend the covert fires
we feed our shames to, those things we most fear
to say, our burled, unspoken, common language --
the only one, and we are many.


Anonymous Thomas L. Vaultonburg said...


on moonless nights
the arboretum's
prize roses
slip their elegant
skirt the limelight
and take turns
being just drab
behind the dogwoods

9:26 PM  

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