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, March 18, 2005

Terrance Hayes


Soul, I am going to ask you again
to return the thin white gloves
I lent you that night.
They were not a gift.
Return the pearls
and at least twelve
of the eighty-seven kisses
I filled with water,
I am dying of thirst.
Have you forgotten
my name? Soul, a week ago
you scurried beneath the fence.
I need armor
if I am to leave this house.
I would like to wear
into the world
which drags me around
like a piece of tin.
I need the gleam
of the black Packard
crouching in the drive
and the strong fingers of the girl
picking thorns for a crown.
Soul, return the black boots
and felt-bottomed collection plate.
I was waiting
for the hour’s darkest page to turn
when you cast down
a succession of notes.
I remember watching you
cross a footpath into the woods.
I remember watching you
vanish into a thatch hut.
Soul, return or return
your slow extractions.
It is time you ceased being a poem.
Show me the words
written on the back of the map.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

César Vallejo


Today no one has come to inquire,
nor have they wanted anything from me this afternoon.

I have not seen a single cemetery flower
in so happy a procession of lights.
Forgive me, Lord! I have died so little!

This afternoon everyone, everyone goes by
without asking or begging me anything.

And I do not know what it is they forget, and it is
heavy in my hands like something stolen.

I have come to the door,
and I want to shout at everyone:
If you miss something, here it is!

Because in all the afternoons of this life,
I do not know how many doors are slammed on a face,
and my soul takes something that belongs to another.

Today nobody has come;
and today I have died so little in the afternoon!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Catherine Wagner


Prince Genji was in love with me in the eleventh century. He put his hand through my screens. Why Lady Murasaki you may go.

Sir Walter Scott courted me wi’glove and ring, wi’ brotch and knife. I said you faker.

Sartre I fucked, it was bad.

Djuna Barnes was in love with me I told her I was scared she said Lie down!

Byron said he was we only flirted.

Will you said Lady Mary Wortley Montague stay after tea. Your ankle my dear as you rose from the clavichord.

Your hair being of the softest brightness and your bosom of the brightest softness I am loath to choose between and must address myself to both—so Philip Sidney

Once sat on Wystan Auden’s lap—kissed his jaw and rubbed his belly. I stuck my hand in his pants and found his old thing. We were both delighted. “Hag,” he said.

Job I said God punish you for a righteous man I am raw.

Come in while I dress. I will not, said Charlotte Bronte and waited in the snow.

Virginia W and I bathing—neglected pond. A honeybee pricked my lower thigh. Quoth she, where the bee suck

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Joe Safdie


At the beginning
of "The Wizard of Oz"
the fate of a Kansas farm
during the Depression

is vividly rendered --
an early example
of realism keeping company
with the magical.

"We've got to get away --
We've got to run away!"
"But why are you running away?
Well, Professor Marvel,

a homicidal cretin just got re-elected
as President of the United States

* * *

"She's putting her hand on her heart!"
The Munchkins seem to like rhyme
as a poetic device
(which, witch, etc.)

but show an unfortunate Cartesianism
in verifying the death
of the Wicked Witch

as do those who tally
the civilian dead in Iraq

Margaret Hamilton:
Best Actress of All Time
(the problem of evil
in the world, etc.)

from now on you'll be history

Monday, March 14, 2005

E.E. Cummings

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
wich is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday;this is the birth
day of life and love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any-lifted from the no
of all nothing-human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Brenda Hillman

River Song

Panic diagonals
their river-method duck’s-head breath

You preferred the park
before the leaves came out

Later was too late for the river fronds
to unbraid the hair of the raven

The moon has two birthdays
you’re the personal servant of taillights

Spectator of day’s finest closing

At dusk you apologize

The colors forgive you because they change