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, April 23, 2005

Robyn Sarah


It is possible that things will not get better
than they are now, or have been known to be.
It is possible that we are past the middle now.
It is possible that we have crossed the great water
without knowing it, and stand now on the other side.
Yes: I think that we have crossed it. Now
we are being given tickets, and they are not
tickets to the show we had been thinking of,
but to a different show, clearly inferior.

Check again: it is our own name on the envelope.
The tickets are to that other show.

It is possible that we will walk out of the darkened hall
without waiting for the last act: people do.
Some people do. But it is probable
that we will stay seated in our narrow seats
all through the tedious denouement
to the unsurprising end -- riveted, as it were;
spellbound by our own imperfect lives
because they are lives,
and because they are ours.

Carlos Drummond de Andrade


Carlos, calm down, love
is what you are seeing:
a kiss today, tomorrow no kiss,
the day after tomorrow is Sunday
and nobody knows what will happen
on Monday.

It's useless to resist
or to commit suicide.
Don't kill yourself. Don't kill yourself.
Save all of yourself for the wedding
though nobody knows when or if
it will ever come.

Carlos, earthy Carlos, love
spent the night with you
and your deepest self
is raising a terrible racket,
saints in procession,
ads for the best soap,
a racket for which nobody knows
the why or wherefor.

Meanwhile, you walk
upright, unhappy.
You are the palm tree, you are the shout
that nobody heard in the theater
and all the lights went out.
Love in darkness, no, in daylight,
is always sad, Carlos, my boy,
don't tell anyone,
nobody knows or will know.

trans. fr. the Portugese by Mark Strand

Friday, April 22, 2005

Donald Revell

Moving Day

My bed abandoned
On a ranch road
Waits for anyone,
And they should hurry.
It's a good bed.
If the roads were level
I'd have it still.

Not half so lucky,
The teapot's in pieces
In a trash barrel.
It was *white* white
When I bought it
And I was new to poetry
Twenty years ago.

We're not home yet.
And I'm still new
To my callings:
Teacher, drunkard, absent minister.
I was in Carcassonne once.
I saw two horses there
And God who invented them.

An Apology to my 3-5 Loyal Readers

I know that I should probably change the name of this site to "Poetry Less Than Daily" but I don't like the sound of that so much.

I've been quite busy/burdened lately, but I hope to return to a super-regular publishing schedule very soon. Watch this space.

Maggie Nelson

A Misunderstanding

I thought Zen poems
were supposed to sound wise.

Now I'm going to buy
as much beer as five dollars

can buy and drink it
right here on the sofa.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Mary Ruefle

The Taking of Moundville by Zoom

If you were very, very small, smaller than a leprechaun, smaller than a gnome or a fairy, and you lived in a vagina, every time a penis came in there would be a natural disaster. Your dishes would fall out of the cupboards and break and the furniture slide all the way to the other side of the room. It would take a long time to clean up afterwards.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Kenneth Koch

Variations on a Theme by William Carlos Williams

I chopped down the house that you had been saving to live in next summer.
I am sorry, but it was morning, and I had nothing to do
and its wooden beams were so inviting.

We laughed at the hollyhocks together
and then I sprayed them with lye.
Forgive me. I simply do not know what I am doing.

I gave away the money that you had been saving to live on for the next ten years.
The man who asked for it was shabby
and the firm March wind on the porch was so juicy and cold.

Last evening we went dancing and I broke your leg.
Forgive me. I was clumsy and
I wanted you here in the wards, where I am the doctor!