Posts Tagged ‘ poem ’

PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine – Procuring Poetryafter Carlos Drummond de Andrade (1945) after John Yau and Michael Palmer – Charles Bernstein – PN Review 247

Procuring Poetry

after Carlos Drummond de Andrade (1945) after John Yau and Michael Palmer

Charles Bernstein

No fake verses about what’s going on.
No creation or death before poetry.
Compared to which, life’s a static sun,
with no heat or illumination.
Affinities, anniversaries, personal anecdotes – don’t matter.
No fake poetry with the body,
an excellent, complete and comfortable body – senseless for poetry.

Your spleen, your fits of pleasure or pain in the dark – make no difference.
Don’t share with me your feelings,
which reek of equivocation and beat around the bush.
What you think and feel, that is not yet poetry.

No singing about your city – leave it in peace.
Songs aren’t machine music or family secrets;
and they’re not music heard in passing
nor rumors of the sea on streets lined with spume.

Song’s not nature
or community.
Storm and light, fatigue, fright – are of no importance for song.
Poetry – no taking poetry from things! –
elides subject and object.

No dramatising, no invocations,
no nagging. No wasted time lying.
No belaboring.
Your ivory yacht, your diamond slippers,
your manias and mazurkas, your family skeletons,
disappear in time’s tunnels, worthless.

No reworking
your buried and melancholy childhood.
No oscillating between mirror and
disappearing memories.
What disappeared wasn’t poetry.
What broke was no crystal.

Penetrate, with stealth, words’ dominion.
Poems are waiting to be written.
They are paralysed but without despair.
Calm, fresh, membrane intact.
Mute and brute, immaculate as a dictionary.

Let the poem live within you, then write it.
Be patient with obscurity. Calm down when provoked.
Wait for each poem to become real, consummated
with the power of words
and the power of silence.

No forcing a poem out of limbo.
No picking a lost poem off the floor.
No adulating a poem. Accept it
like it accepts its concrete form concentrated
in space.

Each one
has a thousand secret faces under the surface
that ask you, without interest in the reply –
bad or worse – that you devise:
Did you bring the key?

bereft of melody and conceit,
words, still humid, pregnant in sleep,
hide in the night, tumbling in a difficult river
transformed to scorn.

This poem is taken from PN Review 247, Volume 45 Number 5, May – June 2019.

Source: PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine – Procuring Poetryafter Carlos Drummond de Andrade (1945) after John Yau and Michael Palmer – Charles Bernstein – PN Review 247

datableedzine | Aditya Bahl issue 10

Aditya Bahl

Source: datableedzine | Aditya Bahl issue 10

Orion Magazine | When the Time’s Toxins

When the Time’s Toxins

When the time’s toxins
have seeped into every cell

and like a salted plot
from which all rain, all green, are gone

I and life are leached
of meaning

somehow a seed
of belief

sprouts the instant
I acknowledge it:

little weedy hardy would-be

tugged upward
by light

while deep within
roots like talons

are taking hold again
of this our only earth.

Source: Orion Magazine | When the Time’s Toxins

Orion Magazine | The Pepper Kingdom

The Pepper Kingdom

Never has the world seen so much rumble
and sail over such a small berry. Dark meteor,

perfect pop of fire—you docked millions
of boats to the southern coast of India,

kept so many folds of pale flesh awake and skittled
at night. Dreams of quicker trade routes, maps

and battle plans inked in case anyone
tried to stop them from bringing back

sackfuls of peppercorn. Every kingdom
must have a king. Let us bow to the flavor

of cannonball and palm husk in our cheeks.
Let that small fire on our tongues combust

just enough that we never forget pepper
first came not from a land of flame and blaze,

but from a quiet shoreline of green.

Source: Orion Magazine | The Pepper Kingdom

Orion Magazine | Chromatic



The barnacles sip ballast water
from port to port, shedding larvae in cascades
of tiny, glass-like feathers.

Starfish creep beneath the ice field’s
melt; above their chilled forms,
glaciers crumble
to the size of sugar cubes. Like the paper

oceans of a squeaky globe, the waves
smooth out, concealing depths
within a color field of Tiffany box green-blue,
a century of pesticides glossed
within a century of proposals.

The seawater should remember
what it holds. But like me, its gift
is forgetfulness. It loves with its whole mouth
open, full of sunlight and corpses
and glittering strings of eggs.

Bright passengers! I think of the light
in whose belly you are standing —
how the dead corals flare.

Source: Orion Magazine | Chromatic

The Future’s Not Ours to Keep by Larissa Pham | Poetry Foundation


A man celebrates erstwhile conquests,
his book locked in a silo, still in print.
I scribble, make Sharpie lines, deface
its text like it defaces me. Outside, grain
fields whisper. Marble lions are silent
yet silver-tongued, with excellent teeth.
In this life I have worshipped so many lies.
Then I workshop them, make them better.
An East India Company, an opium trade,
a war, a treaty, a concession, an occupation,
a man parting the veil covering a woman’s
face, his nails prying her lips open. I love
the fragility of a porcelain bowl. How easy
it is, to shatter chinoiserie, like the Han
dynasty urn Ai Weiwei dropped in 1995.
If only recovering the silenced history
is as simple as smashing its container: book,
bowl, celadon spoon. Such objects cross
borders the way our bodies never could.
Instead, we’re left with history, its blonde
dust. That bowl is unbreakable. All its ghosts
still shudder through us like small breaths.
The tome of hegemony lives on, circulates
in our libraries, in our bloodstreams. One day,
a girl like me may come across it on a shelf,
pick it up, read about all the ways her body
is a thing. And I won’t be there to protect
her, to cross the text out and say: go ahead—
rewrite this.
Sally Wen Mao, “Occidentalism” from Oculus. Copyright © 2019 by Sally Wen Mao.  Reprinted by permission of Graywolf Press,


In Sally Wen Mao’s Oculus, voices lost to empire finally have their say.

Source: The Future’s Not Ours to Keep by Larissa Pham | Poetry Foundation

[Poetry] Beckoned | Be With by Forrest Gander | Harper’s Magazine

READINGS — From the July 2018 issue



At which point my grief-sounds ricocheted outside of language.

Something like a drifting swarm of bees.

At which point in the tetric silence that followed

I was swarmed by those bees and lost consciousness.

At which point there was no way out for me either.

At which point I carried on in a semicoma, dreaming I was awake,

avoiding friends and puking, plucking stingers from my face and arms.

At which point her voice was pinned to a backdrop of vaporous color.

At which point the crane’s bustles flared.

At which point, coming to, I knew I’d pay the whole flag pull fare.

At which point the driver turned and said it doesn’t need to be

your fault for it to break you.

At which point without any lurching commencement,

he began to play a vulture-bone flute.

At which point I grew old and it was like ripping open the beehive with my hands again.

At which point I conceived a realm more real than life.

At which point there was at least some possibility.

Some possibility, in which I didn’t believe, of being with her once more.


By Forrest Gander, from Be With, a collection of poetry that will be published next month by New Directions.

Source: [Poetry] Beckoned | Be With by Forrest Gander | Harper’s Magazine