Posts Tagged ‘ poem ’

Note to Reality by Tony Hoagland | Poetry Magazine

Note to Reality

Without even knowing it, I have
believed in you for a long time.
When I looked at my blood under a microscope
                I could see truth multiplying over and over.
—Not police sirens, nor history books, not stage-three lymphoma
                                                                                     persuaded me
but your honeycombs and beetles; the dry blond fascicles of grass
                                                              thrust up above the January snow.
Your postcards of Picasso and Matisse,
                                         from the museum series on European masters.
When my friend died on the way to the hospital
                                           it was not his death that so amazed me
but that the driver of the cab
                                              did not insist upon the fare.
Quotation marks: what should we put inside them?
Shall I say “I”  “have been hurt” “by”  “you,”  you neglectful monster?
I speak now because experience has shown me
                                 that my mind will never be clear for long.
I am more thick-skinned and male, more selfish, jealous, and afraid
                                   than ever in my life.
“For my heart is tangled in thy nets;
                              my soul enmeshed in cataracts of time…”
The breeze so cool today, the sky smeared with bluish grays and whites.
The parade for the slain police officer
goes past the bakery
and the smell of fresh bread
makes the mourners salivate against their will.

Source: Note to Reality by Tony Hoagland | Poetry Magazine


First Known When Lost: What The Leaves Say


Far from your own little bough,
Poor little frail little leaf,
Where are you going? — The wind
Has plucked me from the beech where I was born.
It rises once more, and bears me
In the air from the wood to the fields,
And from the valley up into the hills.
I am a wanderer
For ever: that is all that I can say.
I go where everything goes,
I go where by nature’s law
Wanders the leaf of the rose,
Wanders the leaf of the bay.

Giacomo Leopardi (translated by J. G. Nichols), in Giacomo Leopardi, The Canti (Carcanet Press 1994).

The poem is a translation of “La Feuille” (“The Leaf”) by the French poet Antoine-Vincent Arnault (1766-1834).  Hence the title “Imitation.”

Source: First Known When Lost: What The Leaves Say

Poems and Poetics: Rochelle Owens: “Beloved the Aardvark,” a new poem with author’s comments

The letters horizontal


or vertical  f l o a t  before
your eyes
a black line shapes itself
spells out the first noun in
an english dictionary
with a forefinger and thumb
spells out  A a r d v a r k
an animal from Africa
body of data  data of body
rabbitlike ears  a long cylindrical
the tail of a kangaroo
nocturnal  burrowing  a member
of the mammalian order
made of the parts
of different animals  lay your hand
feel the bones under the skin
The universe contains
everything that exists  letters
that spell out
r u i  n s c a p e
end to end long strings
of words blinking in and out
as the universe contracts
e x p a n d s
across the twenty-first century
mounds of sand  appear
always the Aardvark moves
in circles  moves in circles
in the here and now                                                                                                        2
swaying side to side
massive the claws digging
work is a binding obligation
a jaw opens and closes
On a computer screen
reflections of water  metal  glass
bouncing radio waves
black lines form letters
precise  methodical  long strings
of words  vertical/horizontal
words detached from
the course of events  planned
or spontaneous patterns
spirals of wind and fire
zigzags of black and white lines
layers of brown dust
biomorphic  geomorphic
polymorphic  slashes  slashes
of solar light
earth  air  fire  water
motionless the Aardvark
stands  listening  blood in
blood out
Press button to see
Science and Art of creating
archetypal scenes
come into being
long ago  an hour ago
only a minute                                                                                                                  3
known and unknown shapes
the flesh of the apple  the dome
of a human skull
a mushroom cloud
each successive image
signs and wonders  earth  air
fire  water
motionless the Aardvark
stands listening  blood in
blood out
Press button to see
a bucolic setting  grape vines
olive groves
fields of sunflowers
white the summer blossoms
a wedding party
the bride and groom  pale
and red his lips  her breast vein
as thick as a finger
out of his mouth
protrudes his tongue  cinnamon cumin
honey and salt
lines of insects appear
disappear  tendons and nerves
a flow of hormonal forces
blood in  blood out  the universe
e x p a n d i n g
an outline shapes itself
playful the unborn babe in its
amniotic sac                                                                                                                    4
Always the Aardvark
moves in circles  moves in circles
in the here and now
earth  air  fire  water
moves in circles  swaying
side to side  rhythmic the blood
the months in a year
disease  famine  torture  war
mounds of sand appear  disappear
massive the claws
digging  searching  long ago
an hour ago
only a minute
On a warm day in spring
a woman plays a harpsichord
the lid painted with scenes
of mythological animals
known and unknown shapes
nocturnal  solitary
black zigzags
appear  disappear  motionless
the Aardvark stands
listening  a jaw opens
and closes  audible  inaudible
the sound of the predator
lay your hand
feel the bones under the skin
author’s comment: “To look at the image of an Aardvark is to take a cosmic Rorschach test, and like a cubist mural is both a microcosm and macrocosm.  You understand
Intuitively – a Cartesian resolution of body and spirit.  The poem presented here is the first of a series of poems titled ‘Beloved the Aardvark,’ related I suppose to the poem ‘Devour Not the Elephant’ that appeared earlier in Poems and Poetics.” (Rochelle Owens)


Source: Poems and Poetics: Rochelle Owens: “Beloved the Aardvark,” a new poem with author’s comments

#MeToo: Sina Queyras | Chicago Review

Sina Queyras



February morning, 2018


You are being asked to drop your worm’s eye view
Of the world. Signs come at you from every direction:
The world is all fists up and fuck it, rivers lift their skirts,
Forests whistle for their lost canopies, California
Is parched, the celluloid is not soluble. I thought I saw
The future on social media, but, no, the future is still
In the body. I am humbled by the young ones: I see their
Raised glasses clinking in the sunset. I see myself an old spider
On crutches, only two of my eight legs function, I move
Through the city a ball of pain on stilts tilting into
The future, which is bristling and full of fear; but beyond
That fear is open space: I think, I must get there, I must
Grow arms, more arms, a forest of arms, there are so many
Bodies that need holding, there are so many voices to hear.

Source: #MeToo: Sina Queyras | Chicago Review

Tilsa Otta – Palabras Errantes


Translated by K.T. Billey.


today for the first time I was offended by god
having met you as a woman
without a penis
you who likes them so much
you say pricks
speaking of sizes
I have one
but it’s for personal use
it’s not really mine
I couldn’t use it with you
it’s not permanent, either
I see it about three times a week
I really like it
I’m waiting for it to say I love you
in the end I suppose I’m like all the girls
without a penis
I don’t believe in god but that’s not why
I’m not bothered by him
the truth is I’m happy and grateful to have met you
I write this so that you know
if I had a prick
you’d be the first to know it


Source: Palabras Errantes » Archive Tilsa Otta – Palabras Errantes

Palabras Errantes » Archive My Neighbour without Men – Palabras Errantes


By Dinapiera Di Donato. Translated by Fionn Petch.


a fence made of cactus
marked the home of the sting ray’s harpoon
her black veils rippled
no one talks to her

not the breeze, not the dried-up well

the girls from Madeira
sell lace from a white bundle
they feel like pigeons beneath her gaze
avoid her

my grandmother takes pails of water for her
an offering placed before the shut door
while teaching us courtesy
forcing on us ladylike manners
comb our hair say thank you bid farewell
and catch stones
in mid-flight

the vengeful sayona gathers up her
Diogenes syndrome and spills
yards of smooth filaments
around her neck
I do the same
in the ceremony of the waters

hers silver with tortoiseshell
mine dark
an eternity taming
my thatch
an eternity she
brushes hers to a shine
between us
the water
my grandmother knew.

we were good demons
taking care of each other

her barbed wire fence attracts hummingbirds
to the cactus flowers

the sweet fruits allowed us

her threadbare cloak washed for us
my four-year-old war cloak
her ninety-year-old solitude

my own
my grandmother knew

that we could
pluck up the courage
if we were to carve
a pathway through
the house
polish gooseberries
as a gift

not me
I didn’t know

my grandmother crosses the threshold
because Gema Orta is dying
I clear a path through the midden
with a junior witch’s
because I am a soldier and
never a princess
her remains are carried off
in suitcases full of wind that
I choose

my grandmother knows

it was the wrong choice:
wrong to pack oneself up
fold oneself up inside with fear and
grey cacti with their fuchsia flowers
a shotgun a silence
to protect oneself
and the unfailing love of another old woman
who understands

it was a place of encounters
but I got lost
mixed up the customs

my stubborn grandmother would not succumb to a bribe
for an ID card that lawfully belongs to her
Gema Orta the vampire the weird forlorn one
the only one on our street
without running water
let the stones fall
my grandmother wraps her in Madeira lace

these are different times
a village of unploughed, fog-wrapped hills
golden dust choking the streets
at the bottom of the last water pail I perceive
the future and the starting point:
this shady place of entwined leaves
will be good
the oasis for parched mining caravans
but not yet

a fence of spiky plants
dry tracks of the great river

a suitcase of bones as strong as jasmine flowers
the word canarí
arrives on the breeze



Source: Palabras Errantes » Archive My Neighbour without Men – Palabras Errantes

Of Being Numerous by George Oppen

pure joy of the mineral fact, says dmf, who blogs at synthetic zero

George Oppen reads at