December 16, 2014

One hundred years from this day
Will the people still feel this way

Frederic Edwin Church, Iceberg, 1861

The Coming of Light
-- Mark Strand

Even this late it happens:
the coming of love, the coming of light.
You wake and the candles are lit as if by themselves,
stars gather, dreams pour into your pillows,
sending up warm bouquets of air.
Even this late the bones of the body shine
and tomorrow's dust flares into breath.

Night Thought
-- Bill Knott

Compared to one's normal clothes, pajamas
are just as caricature as the dreams
they bare: farce-skins, facades, unserious
soft versions of the mode diem, they seem
to have come from a posthumousness;
floppy statues of ourselves, slack seams
of death. Their form mimics the decay
that will fit us so comfortably someday.

Questions and Answers
-- Nicanor Parra

do you believe it would be worth the trouble
to kill god
to see if that would straighten out the world?

--of course it would be

would it be worth the trouble
to risk your life
for an idea that might be false?

--of course it would be

I ask you now if it would be
worth the trouble to eat crab meat
worth the trouble to raise children
who will turn against
their elders?

--obviously yes
no, its worth the trouble

I ask you now if it would be worth
the trouble to play a record
the trouble to read a tree
the trouble to plant a book
if everything disappears
if nothing lasts?

--maybe it wouldn't be

don't cry

--I'm laughing

don't get born

--I'm dying

December 3, 2014

no kind of love is better than others

Carl Andre, Am Am Not Am Not Willing, 1972

-- 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

-- Patti Smith

I keep trying to figure out what it means
to be american. When I look in myself
I see arabia, venus, nineteenth-century
french but I can't recognize what
makes me american. I think about
Robert Frank's photographs -- broke down
jukeboxes in gallup, new mexico...
swaying hips and spurs...ponytails and
syphilitic cowpokes. I think about a
red, white and blue rag I wrap around
my pillow. Maybe it's nothing material
maybe it's just being free.

Freedom is a waterfall, is pacing
linoleum till dawn, is the right to
write the wrong words, and I done
plenty of that...

We Evolve
-- Charles Bukowski

at first it seems like fucking is the big thing,
then after that -- social consciousness,
then intellectual accomplishment,
and then after that
some fall into religion
others into the arts.
after that begins the gathering of money
and after the gathering of money
the stage where we pretend that
money doesn't matter.
then it's health and hobbies,
travel, and finally just sitting around
thinking vaguely of vague things,
rooting in gardens
hating flies, noise, bad weather, snails,
rudeness, the unexpected, new neighbors,
old friends, drunks, smoking, fucking,
singing, dancing, upstarts,
the postman and weeds.
it gives one the fidgets: waiting on