Saturday Poem

To S, After Years Apart Dusk. The horse no one calls begins to amble home from the fields. I open the door of time and breath the misty, incomparable autumn. The I go again to find the old woman who lives just beyond the turn in the road. She has a potion that cures the…

Friday Poem

Why the Poet Always Reads First and the Fiction Writer Second at the Saturday Afternoon Readings at the Art School in Carrboro, NC. The reason is that poetry was present at the poorly advertized first audition of the universe ……. when a slight breath of cloud ……..passed over the dark waters poetry was in fact…

Thursday Poem

Correggio There are things I want so badly and then I don’t want them at all, so I go to sleep and when I wake up it’s not desire in heart, crotch, lungs or brain, it’s outside of myself and coming at me like the Smog Monster or that thumb of mossy Jove-smoke that climbs…

Wednesday Poem

At the Galleria Shopping Mall Just past the bin of pastel baby socks and underwear, there are some 49-dollar Chinese-made TVs; one of them singing news about a far-off war, one comparing the breast size of an actress from Hollywood to the breast size of an actress from Bollywood. And here is my niece Lucinda,…

Tuesday Poem

Nativity: For Two Salvadoran Women, 1986-87 Your eyes, large as Canada, welcome this stranger. We meet in a Juárez train station where you sat for hours, your offspring blooming in you like cactus fruit, dresses stained where breasts leak, panties in purses tagged “Hecho en El Salvador,” your belts like equators, mark north from south,…

Sunday Poem

Mural with HUD Housing and Schoolbus When 213b finally opens in a crack of yellow linoleum, Garrett comes out with the left side of his afro as flat as the tire that used to be on his mom’s car & the stuck snick of the cheap door locking behind him sounds exactly like someone trying…

Saturday Poem

First Lesson Lie back daughter, let your head be tipped back in the cup of my hand. Gently, and I will hold you. Spread your arms wide, lie out on the stream and look high at the gulls. A dead- man’s float is face down. You will dive and swim soon enough where this tidewater…

Friday Poem

Foundations I built on the sand And it tumbled down, I built on rock And it tumbled down. Now when I build, I shall begin With the smoke from the chimney. . Leopold Staff from A Book of Luminous Things translation from Polish by Czeslaw Milosz Harcourt, 1996

Thursday Poem

The Mother’s Seduction —for Emily Dickinson I christen you my mother, and you, Like her, refuse to give straight answers- She, silent; you, forever talking slant. And I’ve exhausted all questions except The one to which I am answer And therefore cannot form. You deal your words like blades or cards And to keep the…

Wednesday Poem

I Sing the Body Electric …..— excerpt 4 I have perceiv’d that to be with those I like is enough, To stop in company with the rest at evening is enough, To be surrounded by beautiful, curious, breathing, laughing flesh … is enough, To pass among them or touch any one, or rest my arm…

Tuesday Poem

Barbarians They do not come with furred caps Smelling of maresmilk, scimitared, Dour, as tellable as kites. They live quietly next door, Speak almost the same language, Wear almost the same clothes. Inside the walls. But Do not think they lack Precisely the same intentions. . John Fowles, 1973 from Poems, John Fowles Ecco Press,…

Monday Poem

Brevity I need a good poem lifespan-short, one I can shoe-horn between instants which in that pinch says so much I’ll understand long and short by the depth of calluses they leave on my brain but it’s not happening I’m already up to nine lines so it’s too late for brevity what I’d like is…

Sunday Poem

The Physics of Angels I suspect the world remembers everything— time and bones and words flung together, and me in it, suspecting. If we can believe in photons—entities that possess movement but not mass, and if the spirit, too is made of light—then who am I to say I haven’t lived before—or you, and thus…

Saturday Poem

Ormesby Psalter East Anglican School, c. 1310 The psalter invites us to consider a cat and a rat in relationship to an arched hole, which we shall call Circumstance. Out of Circumstance walks the splendid rat, who is larger than he ought to be, and who affects an expression of dapper cheer. We shall call…

Friday Poem

Hummingbirds Driving the perfect fuel, their thermonuclear wings, into the hot layer of the sugar’s chromosphere, hummingbirds in Egypt might have visited the tombs of the Pharaohs when they were fresh in their oils and perfumes. The pyramids fitted, stone slab against slab, with little breathers, narrow slits of light, where a few esters, a…