Poetry Less Than Daily

Strong Poems. Beautiful Poems. Tough Poems. Poems w/ the F-word. Poems less frequent than before but no less kick-ass.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Jonathan Mayhew trans. Jonathan Mayhew


Escuchaba yo un disco - en la edad de los tocadiscos -

entró mi padre, me comentó, extrañado y despectivo, que le sonaba a piano de cóctel

En vano habría sido contestarle, avergonzado, que se trataba del gran Bill Evans

que sí tocaba en esa época algo parecido a la música de Cóctel


I was listening to a record - in the age of recordplayers -

when my father came in, surprised and dismissive, telling me it sounded like Cocktail piano

It would have been in vain to tell him it was the great Bill Evans

who was in fact playing, in that period, a form of Cocktail piano


Guest Editor: David Shapiro

David Shapiro

Song for Another Envelope

The fatal exceptions occurred

without exception and not fatally.

They stole my throne from me:

it was a tree, or a tree

stump as they rotted it,

cut it to a chair,

democratic as a T

then sank it into the ground

and I forgot to take last snaps

of a serious mossy thing.

Fire at evening, or was it the

evening on fire?



migrant drunk, ally,

unemployed luminosity,

mirror in the air, feather,

scrawny light--

You decide.

Andy Carter

start with the last line or end with the beginning

I have left
that resembles what courage
bruised bananas mashed
up against the nothing
days spent rubbing
stainless steel kiss
fuck hole on my new computer
shooting smack between its toes, our future
unable to stop
I know, I let go
as they ought to
high school couples holding on
they don't speak and they choose not to
cows in a slaughter queue
for the ants to contemplate
a damp pink splotch
into the plum so cold and sweet
I'm going to insert explosives
when not, the victim of it
when convenient the author of history
they buried Ronald on a sunset drenched hill
buried Ronald in Topeka, how inappropriate
lately, I've noticed silence cutting itself
with each shrug the official offer increased
slid across the table, apocryphal
I scribbled on the back of the photo
and only one computer screen
if there were only one extension cord
I love the new Sleater-Kinney
red grows nervously on the tv, the radar, my city

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Maggie Nelson

Morning Prayer

This morning I awoke with a fresh sense

of the total, desperate hell

Our failure to love each other well

O let a jesus come down and make it sweet

Let a jesus take an axe to the wheel

Part the fire with tongs

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Carlos Drummond de Andrade


From everything a little remained.
From my fear. From your disgust.
From stifled cries. From the rose
a little remained.

A little remained of light
caught inside the hat.
In the eyes of the pimp
a little remained of tenderness,
very little.

A little remained of the dust
that covered your white shoes.
Of your clothes a little remained,
a few velvet rags, very
very few.

From everything a little remained.
From the bombed-out bridge,
from the two blades of grass,
from the empty pack
of cigarettes a little remained.

So from everything a little remains.
A little remains of your chin
in the chin of your daughter.

A little remained of your
blunt silence, a little
in the angry wall,
in the mute rising leaves.

A little remained from everything
in porcelain saucers,
in the broken dragon, in the white flowers,
in the creases of your brow,
in the portrait.

Since from everything a little remains,
why won't a little
of me remain? In the train
travelling north, in the ship,
in newspaper ads,
why not a little of me in London,
a little of me somewhere?
In a consonant?
In a well?

A little remains dangling
in the mouths of rivers,
just a little, and the fish
don't avoid it, which is very unusual.

From everything a little remains.
Not much: this absurd drop
dripping from the faucet,
half salt and half alcohol,
this frog leg jumping,
this watch crystal
broken into a thousand wishes,
this swan's neck,
this childhood secret...
From everything a little remained:
from me; from you; from Abelard.
Hair on my sleeve,
from everything a little remained;
wind in my ears,
burbing, rumbling
from an upset stomach,
and small artifacts:
bell jar, honeycomb, revolver
cartridge, aspirin tablet.

From everything a little remained.

And from everything a little remains.
Oh, open the bottles of lotion
and smoother
the cruel, unbearable odor of memory.

Still, horribly, from everything a little remains,
under the rhythmic waves
under the clouds and the wind
under the bridges and under the tunnels
under the flames and under the sarcasm
under the phlegm and under the vomit
under the cry from the dungeon, the guy they forgot
under the spectacle and under the scarlet death
under the libraries, asylums, victorious churches
under yourself and under your feet already hard
under the ties of family, the ties of class,
from everything a little always remains.
Sometimes a button. Sometimes a rat.

--Carlos Drummond de Andrade. trans. from the Portuguese by Mark Strand

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Kenneth Koch

To High Spirits

You have taken the vodka
That I was probably
Saving for tomorrow.
Go on and take it
For there's more enterprise
In waking naked.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Mackenzie Carignan

bear in the air

you follicular me corps me
annotate me balloon me
you prod me diethylstilbestrol me
get over it in the cotton
if it’s open to getting

you billboard me diverge me
study me cosmic me
you amygdaline me oliver me
strange pluck of recent cymbal
like your undone mystical thrust

you fenugreek me rayleigh me
gabardine me hydrofuge me
pin me to a lupine forest without
mush drawers mechanism of sorting

you venturi me command me
ossify me barnacle me
beautiful ocean in a handwriting cassette
instead of knowing instead

Monday, July 18, 2005

Tony Towle

The Works of Li Po

The mountain flowers are growing and in bloom,
the different insects carry on their business.
At the sound of my rambling you awake
o drunkard
and arise from the dew of the wine shop.

The thick wine is called the wise,
the clear the sage,
poured blissfully in a ditch above the stars
where my city like yours stand by a serene waterfall
and after a jugful we are couds on the eyelid of heaven.

I cannot be less precise because my words have fewer meanings;
'vessel' is a wonderful word in our language,
for as the liquor travels it is also a ship,
bearing the liquid course of the seasons.
Syntactically I am on the vessel
as on the wine curtain of the shore.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Sandra Simonds

a sonnet called I've heard a lot of conflicting etymologies for "okay"
for tony robinson


ro killed (apo-

cryphal) or the christchild’s torn paw (Choctaw language)

your chrysanthemum zippo, your bodyweight in pearls and please

[ole correct, all aboard, all right, no use]: oil?

Earp’s torso in a corral of salt and goldfish

"It is no exaggeration to say that the reputation of the Royal Navy

is founded on British oak."


1. to aggressively court the generation X demographic. I fuck you.

2. ,and outright negative publicity

3. zero killed. all aboard. see the chirstchild’s mauve rib.

4. officially declared out of production by 1995

5. their slogan was “things are going to be OK”