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.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Joseph Ceravolo

Pregnant, I Come

I come to you
with the semen
and the babies:
ropes of the born.

I rise up as you go up
in your consciousness.
Are you unhappy
in the source?

The clouds sputter
across the ring.
Do the birds sing?

Is the baby singing in you? yet.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Maggie Sullivan

Thirsty Gulp

being 39 isn’t a good enough reason to feel bad
take Donn for instance
he’s 42 and still works at Borders
and gives a babe like me a boner
he knows you’re supposed to put butter on the popcorn
he knows you’re supposed to put salt on
he knows you’re supposed to read slow
he knows you’re not supposed to know
right now he’s memorizing moves behind the register
from a book about wrestling in the 1800s
I’m dusting the mystery shelves behind him
wishing he’d use one on me

he speaks Old Minnesotan
criminy, he goes way back!
funnier than W.C. Fields and scarier
he knows how to say “That was delicious. Thank you.
and he can be wrong
he ate a whole anchovy all at once
from my plate in the breakroom yesterday,
and then realized—

he is old-time punk rock music
he knows for a fact it’s possible to break your back in two
and still walk
he’s an expert on lite fare
although it doesn’t help so much
Donn born with two Ns
even in big beige plastic gramma glasses
and corrective shoes
he’s so in style
it breaks me

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Kristin Kelly

Poem Neither about Sex Nor Death

All of it is here that should not be. A
summer motel, coffee, bible, cable,
our set of big books. Lord Byron over
his peony. Then Countess Blessington
on her knees. She hears all of it: not his
want, hers. All the da da da da da and
hectic red, a book she’s bought but never
read because she hates endings as much as
the lute. Shelley is painting his face with
crayolas: a whole box of terror blue.
You draw a boat. It breaks all over your
notebook. Love, we are drowning. Here’s the part
where you wave. This is not about any
thing. It is comfort. I take off my old
high heels. Remember that picture you drew—
the one with the la la’s and the heart and
the ocean. You colored out of the lines.
I will still sleep with you tonight.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Barbara Ras

Letter to the Front, 2

When it is still, I listen for your voice.
It has a life of its own, without you.
On bad days, just words, strength,
gardenias, repent.
On good days, stories, like children coming out
after rain. The one about being put out of the car
by the side of the road, how small your parents looked
driving away and how big the dandelions near you
little shoes. The one about the baby teeth
you kept in a miniature silver trunk
until one Saturday you laid them out in the sun
and a bird ate them.

Before the war, I thought I knew
where we stood, the ground
solid and the big blue earth
held up by a turtle and below that
turtles all the way down.

The mail is slow. I wait
for your letters, for the one that says,
“If I survive the enemy and the fire
we will live in the country and raise sheep
and in the lambing season
when the new grass is fragile enough
I will go down
on all fours, I will feast and weep.”

I watched a man touch his wife
on the cheek with the rounded back
of his hand. Just once, his half-fist
brushed the invisibly fine fur of her face,
just once, like a comb, like salt, like a line
their bodies would never cross.

Some days I can’t eat. By night
I am hollow with caves, your absence painting
my walls with giraffes, swans,
a black rabbit whose eyes are vermilion.
No one knows about the animals.
No one knows about the speechlessness they keep.

When we danced and our bodies curled
to each other, I couldn’t imagine collisions.
It was the sea I wanted to feel under us.
Now there are windows.
This one to see if there’s fire.
This one to see if there’s bigger fire.
This one for the bomb
the size of a Volkswagen shot twenty miles.
This one for you. This one for you.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Andy Carter

Severed from the possible world

I have hope for the lemon, as mediator of contact, magic item, and mortal. I trust only that it removes itself, gradually, without harm or anger, for another.
I have seen the limit and it radiates a false yellow light.
I have doubled back. I have awoke in places that insist my body must have traveled why I was asleep.
I have bathed in amber light and my lungs fill with glue. I have been attached to machines that must be plugged in. I have taken your hand and invited you in. How an ordinary day.
I have come home every day. I have walked through the front door to find myself sleeping.
I have hey wife and I have where is my wife; I have no possessions.
I have doubted the quality of magic, a dollar and a pen in every pocket.
I have been frank with the outside. I have not been thanked for listening.
I have wondered aloud whether we can all be tragic.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Ted Berrigan

Words for Love
for Sandy

Winter crisp and the brittleness of snow
as like make me tired as not. I go my
myriad way blundering, bombastic, dragged
by a self that can never be still, pushed
by my surging blood, my reasoning mind.

I am in love with poetry. Every way I turn
this, my weakness, smites me. A glass
of chocolate milk, head of lettuce, dark-
ness of clouds at one o’clock obsess me.
I weep for all of these or laugh.

By day I sleep, an obscurantist, lost
in dreams of lists, compiled by my self
for reassurance. Jackson Pollock René
Rilke Benedict Arnold I watch
my psyche, smile, dream wet dreams, and sigh.

At night, awake, high on poems, or pills
or simple awe that loveliness exists, my lists
flow differently. Of words bright red
and black, and blue. Bosky. Oubliette. Dis-
severed. And O, alas

Time disturbs me. Always minute detail
fills me up. It is 12:10 in New York. In Houston
it is 2 p.m. It is time to steal books. It’s
time to go mad. It is the day of the apocalypse
the year of parrot fever! What am I saying?

Only this. My poems do contain
wilde beestes. I write for my Lady
of the Lake. My god is immense, and lonely
but uncowed. I trust my sanity, and I am proud. If
I sometimes grow weary, and seem still, nevertheless

my heart still loves, will break.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Shanna Compton


To my dear & loving head wound,
There is no beautiful mountain
anywhere near where you were born.
But let's just say there were,
instead of swamp & highway
instead of woods & marsh gas
instead of dualie pickup trucks
with slingshot gangs and make-up
camouflage there were a pretty mountain.
You would have climbed it first of all.
I would have too, to meet you.

Welcome to Poetry Dailier

This blog will, each day, feature a poem that I like better than whatever's up over at Poetry Daily that day. Yes, I will shamelessly post the poems of my friends and lovers. I will scour my shelves for better poems. I will not post any poems by Jorie Graham or Billy Collins.