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  1. A little poem from Jeffrey Ross titled I Miss Her Sometimes

    I ran into my old girlfriend yesterday.
    And I backed up and ran into her again.
    I miss her sometimes.
     
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  2. Levite

    Levite Levitical Yet Funky

    Location:
    The Windy City
    Ha! If Ambrose Bierce were alive today, that's the kind of stuff he'd be writing....
     
  3. clarksdale

    clarksdale Vertical

    Location:
    Minnesota
    Youth (W.S. Merwin)

    Through all of youth I was looking for you
    without knowing what I was looking for

    or what to call you I think I did not
    even know I was looking how would I

    have known you when I saw you as I did
    time after time when you appeared to me

    as you did naked offering yourself
    entirely at that moment and you let

    me breathe you touch you taste you knowing
    no more than I did and only when I

    began to think of losing you did I
    recognize you when you were already

    part memory part distance remaining
    mine in the ways that I learn to miss you

    from what we cannot hold the stars are made
     
  4. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member Donor

    Location:
    Toronto
    I stumbled upon an old poem I wrote. It's a found poem whose source is listed below.

    [untitled]

    From the next island,
    a single humour
    ignited a firestorm—
    playing, mocking, comic, ignorant.

    Fondness for animals rose
    with one voice.
    Howling in protest, the
    incident has not forgotten the
    sense of desire.

    Look down on the sense of
    separateness; invite me to
    the tobacco shop for coffee.

    I laugh but not at the natural
    world, that's clear.

    Give the problem
    an old war.

    Source: Range, Peter Ross. "France's Paradox Island: Corsica" in National Geographic, April 2003: 67.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2013
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  5. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia ...

    Location:
    Florida
    Between us
    twenty years of age
    between your lips and my lips
    when they meet and stay
    the years collapse
    the glass of a whole life shatters.

    The day I met you I tore up
    all my maps
    an my prophecies
    like an Arab stallion I smelled the rain
    of you
    before it wet me
    heard the pulse of your voice
    before you spoke
    undid your hair with my hands
    before you had braided it

    There is nothing I can do
    nothing you can do
    what can the wound do
    with the knife on the way to it?

    Your eyes are like a night of rain
    in which ships are sinking
    and all I wrote is forgotten
    In mirrors there is no memory.

    God how is it that we surrender
    to love giving it the keys to our city
    carrying candles to it and incense
    falling down at its feet asking
    to be forgiven
    Why do we look for it and endure
    all that it does to us
    all that it does to us?

    Woman in whose voice
    silver and wine mingle
    in the rains
    From the mirrors of your knees
    the day begins its journey
    life puts out to sea

    I knew when I said
    I love you
    that I was inventing a new alphabet
    for a city where no one could read
    that I was saying my poems
    in an empty theater
    and pouring my wine
    for those who could not
    taste it.

    When God gave you to me
    I felt that He had loaded
    everything my way
    and unsaid all His sacred books.

    Who are you
    woman entering my life like a dagger
    mild as the eyes of a rabbit
    soft as the skin of a plum
    pure as strings of jasmine
    innocent as children's bibs
    and devouring like words?

    Your love threw me down
    in a land of wonder
    it ambushed me like the scent
    of a woman stepping into an elevator
    it surprised me
    in a coffee bar
    sitting over a poem
    I forgot the poem
    It surprised me
    reading the lines in my palm
    I forgot my palm
    It dropped on me like a blind deaf
    wildfowl
    its feathers became tangled with mine
    its cries were twisted with mine

    It surprised me
    as I sat on my suitcase
    waiting for the train of days
    I forgot the days
    I traveled with you
    to the land of wonder

    Your image is engraved
    on the face of my watch
    It is engraved on each of the hands
    It is etched on the weeks
    months years
    My time is no longer mine
    it is you


    Nizar Qabbani
     
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  6. --- merged: Apr 11, 2013 at 6:33 PM ---
    Great thread. I will have to go through it at length at some point. In the meantime, here is something I have always liked. I would have posted some Eliot but that would require a post three pages long.

    Recitation - W. H. Auden

    If the muscle can feel repugnance, there is still a false move to be made;
    If the mind can imagine tomorrow, there is still a defeat to remember;
    As long as the self can say "I," it is impossible not to rebel;
    As long as there is an accidental virtue, there is a necessary vice:
    And the garden cannot exist, the miracle cannot occur.
    For the garden is the only place there is, but you will not find it
    Until you have looked for it everywhere and found nowhere that is not a desert;
    The miracle is the only thing that happens, but to you it will not be apparent,
    Until all events have been studied and nothing happens that you cannot explain;
    And life is the destiny you are bound to refuse until you have consented to die.
    Therefore, see without looking, hear without listening, breathe without asking:
    The Inevitable is what will seem to happen to you purely by chance;
    The Real is what will strike you as really absurd;
    Unless you are certain you are dreaming, it is certainly a dream of your own;
    Unless you exclaim -- "There must be some mistake" -- you must be mistaken.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 18, 2013
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  7. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member Donor

    Location:
    Toronto
    Artichoke

    O heart weighed down by so many wings

    — Joseph Hutchison​
     
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  8. Levite

    Levite Levitical Yet Funky

    Location:
    The Windy City
    This is one of the first poems I wrote for Mrs. Levite....


    The Northwest Passage

    In storms of the mundane I’m lost, I try but cannot find you now.
    In frost-locked squalls of daily grind, you’re muddled and can’t feel my hand,
    or see the way to go with me,
    and so around us it comes down: a maelstrom of minutiae
    our creditors and balances within and sometimes due without
    a wrack of places, dates, and now-we-musts, of expectations and of others’ doubts
    a farrago of all the fears of the not quite so young or new,
    the brilliant and the underused, who worry what they’ve brought they’ll lose.
    We’re snowblind in the blizzard, then,
    forget to breathe and now we’re panicking,
    forget to stop before we go, and now we’re shocked our steps are faltering
    forget to listen for the quiet and now sick our paths are vanishing;
    and how the noise just snowballs,
    ‘til we’re running blind and deaf to all
    the lines we cross, the signs we left, the signals back and forth we missed.

    It’s in silences I find you best, the warm and curving stillnesses.
    In calm of moments taken well you see me and know where I’m bound,
    and it’s together we have always found, with surety of doubled breath,
    a symphony of sacred time, the spark of synchronicity,
    to see our path, to know our way, to find the hope for years and days
    yet unarrived, a pair of lives no more or less
    unbounden or unburdened with the troubles and the weights
    that all fight off, or all take on, or all fall to, or all flee from;
    but in those sun-becalming undulations of our moments of serenity,
    I see you and you hear me, and in glad appreciation of the patience
    and the perseverance of the pridefulness, refusing pain’s privations;
    the unhurried sense of harmony that let us come together first
    becomes our compass, and our spyglass, and our footing and our nerve.

    Fair-weather friends are free to suffer fickle fate or flee,
    but all is fair in love, we know, and for us there in unity’s no strength unless
    it be a map, a chart, a jointly written rutter that shall route us from
    the bitterest of winter’s parts and bring us to ourselves again:
    for in our twoness when we’re one, our fear’s undone, and we
    can learn to trust our way again and come through struggle’s cyclone swirl
    to tranquil light upon the eye, the stillness of uniqueness that’s
    a glance of what’s in you and I.
     
  9. Love this one, though it is probably not his best.

    Anthem - Leonard Cohen

    The birds they sang
    At the break of day
    Start again
    I heard them say
    Don't dwell on what
    Has passed away
    Or what is yet to be.
    Ah the wars they will
    Be fought again
    The holy dove
    She will be caught again
    Bought and sold
    And bought again
    The dove is never free.

    Ring the bells that still can ring
    Forget your perfect offering
    There is a crack in everything
    That's how the light gets in.

    We asked for signs
    The signs were sent
    The birth betrayed
    The marriage spent
    Yeah the widowhood
    Of every government
    Signs for all to see.

    I can't run no more
    With that lawless crowd
    While the killers in high places
    Say their prayers out loud.
    But they've summoned, they've summoned up
    A thundercloud
    And they're going to hear from me.

    Ring the bells that still can ring

    You can add up the parts
    But you won't have the sum
    You can strike up the march,
    There is no drum
    Every heart, every heart
    To love will come
    But like a refugee.

    Ring the bells that still can ring
    Forget your perfect offering
    There is a crack, a crack in everything
    That's how the light gets in.

    Ring the bells that still can ring
    Forget your perfect offering
    There is a crack, a crack in everything
    That's how the light gets in.
    That's how the light gets in.
    That's how the light gets in.
     
  10. Mayflow

    Mayflow New Member

    The mind of the awakened is clear and bright
    as it thinks all day and it thinks all night
    Letting the old thoughts go for the new ones to come
    The asleep cannot go where the awakened have gone
     
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  11. Did you write that? I really like it; especially the last line.
     
  12. Mayflow

    Mayflow New Member

    Yes, I wrote that.
     
  13. GeneticShift

    GeneticShift Show me your everything is okay face. Donor

    Have had some words rolling around in head for the past few months.

    yesterday's makeup smeared dark across her face
    a bleak morning reminder of last night's fall from grace

    Nowhere near anything yet, but I still kind of like it.
     
  14. DamnitAll

    DamnitAll Wait... what? Donor

    Location:
    Central MD
    I'm in a mood for sharing, um, things today.

    Sex Conquest
    September 28, 2000

    Love motion begins
    in the growling of stomachs
    pressed together
    in twisted cotton sheets,
    a little more flesh
    than necessary
    exposed,
    bordering the unfolded map
    of a quilted blue ocean
    blanket—palming ships
    to name this new continent,
    once they push
    up against sensitive,
    unclaimed shores
     
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  15. DamnitAll

    DamnitAll Wait... what? Donor

    Location:
    Central MD
    I'm inclined to poetrybomb the shit out of this thread. I'll try to restrain myself.
    (I already put this one into a blog post anyway. Whatever.)

    Big Dipper
    August 28, 2006

    The house fly’s death dance
    spun fractal patterns on the chapel floor
    in odd time signatures;
    the minister delivered
    a eulogy lacking cadence, impotent
    like a measured elk in dance.

    Lovers first, then
    chemists, believing they would
    meet again at the molecular level—
    she memorized insanity
    in color. He, a man,

    awakens,

    collapses before beachfront homes
    in flames, far
    from her fog-swallowed cornfields,
    from clouds of starlings,
    grieving. Along the water sweaty youth
    propels like a misfired
    cannonball, its dialect lost

    already

    to the surf—far from the crickets
    that kept time for her
    at night,
    at home. She had always denied
    the end of the world
    in her bridal bouquet.

    Tomorrow he will climb
    out of fresh blisters in his palms
    and, dancing, die.
     
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  16. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia ...

    Location:
    Florida
    The Breast

    This is the key to it.
    This is the key to everything.
    Preciously.

    I am worse than the gamekeeper's children
    picking for dust and bread.
    Here I am drumming up perfume.

    Let me go down on your carpet,
    your straw mattress - whatever's at hand
    because the child in me is dying, dying.

    It is not that I am cattle to be eaten.
    It is not that I am some sort of street.
    But your hands found me like an architect.

    Jugful of milk! It was yours years ago
    when I lived in the valley of my bones,
    bones dumb in the swamp. Little playthings.

    A xylophone maybe with skin
    stretched over it awkwardly.
    Only later did it become something real.

    Later I measured my size against movie stars.
    I didn't measure up. Something between
    my shoulders was there. But never enough.

    Sure, there was a meadow,
    but no young men singing the truth.
    Nothing to tell truth by.

    Ignorant of men I lay next to my sisters
    and rising out of the ashes I cried
    my sex will be transfixed!

    Now I am your mother, your daughter, your brand new thing - a snail, a nest.
    I am alive when your fingers are.

    I wear silk - the cover to uncover -
    because silk is what I want you to think of.
    But I dislike the cloth. It is too stern.

    So tell me anything but track me like a climber
    for here is the eye, here is the jewel,
    here is the excitement the nipple learns.

    I am unbalanced - but I am not mad with snow.
    I am mad the way young girls are mad,
    with an offering, an offering…

    I burn the way money burns.

    - Anne Sexton
     
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  17. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia ...

    Location:
    Florida
    Tristia

    There is, I know, a science of separation
    In night’s disheveled elegies, stifled laments,
    The clockwork oxen jaws, the tense anticipation
    As the city’s vigil nears its sun and end.
    I honor the natural ritual of the rooster’s cry,
    The moment when, red-eyed from weeping, sleepless
    Once again, someone hoists the journey’s burden,
    And to weep and to sing become the same quicksilver verb.

    But who can prophesy in the word good-bye
    The abyss of loss into which we fall;
    Or what, when the dawn fires burn in the Acropolis,
    The rooster’s rusty clamor means for us;
    Or why, when some new life floods the cut sky,
    And the barn-warm oxen slowly eat each instant,
    The rooster, harbinger of the one true life,
    Beats his blazing wings on the city wall?

    I love the calm and custom of quick fingers weaving,
    The shuttle’s buzz and hum, the spindle’s bees.
    And look — arriving or leaving, spun from down,
    Some barefoot Delia barely touching the ground …
    What rot has reached the very root of us
    That we should have no language for our praise?
    What is, was; what was, will be again; and our whole lives’
    Sweetness lies in these meetings that we recognize.

    Soothsayer, truth-sayer, morning’s mortal girl,
    Lose your gaze again in the melting wax
    That whitens and tightens like the stretched pelt of a
    squirrel
    And find the fates that will in time find us.
    In clashes of bronze, flashes of consciousness,
    Men live, called and pulled by a world of shades.
    But women — all fluent spirit; piercing, pliable eye –
    Wax toward one existence, and divining they die.

    Osip Emilyevich Mandelstam, 1918
     
  18. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia ...

    Location:
    Florida
    Quattrocento

    The snake enters your dreams through paintings:
    this one, of a formal garden
    in which there are always three:

    the thin man with the green-white skin
    that marks him vegetarian
    and the woman with a swayback and hard breasts
    that look stuck on

    and the snake, vertical and with a head
    that's face-colored and haired like a woman's.

    Everyone looks unhappy,
    even the zoo animals, stippled with sun,
    even the angel who's like a slab
    of flaming laundry, hovering
    up there with his sword of fire,
    unable as yet to strike.

    There's no love here.
    Maybe it's the boredom.

    And that's no apple but a heart
    torn out of someone
    in this myth gone suddenly Aztec.

    This is the possibility of death
    the snake is offering:
    death upon death squeezed together,
    a blood snowball.

    To devour it is to fall out
    of the still unending noon
    to a hard ground with a straight horizon
    and you are no longer the
    idea of a body but a body,
    you slide down into your body as into hot mud.

    You feel the membranes of disease
    close over your head, and history
    occurs to you and space enfolds
    you in its armies, in its nights, and you
    must learn to see in darkness.

    Here you can praise the light,
    having so little of it:
    it's the death you carry in you
    red and captured, that makes the world
    shine for you
    as it never did before.

    This is how you learn prayer.

    Love is choosing, the snake said.
    The kingdom of God is within you
    because you ate it.

    - Margaret Atwood

    (hero.)
     
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  19. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member Donor

    Location:
    Toronto
    (national treasure) :)
     
    • Like Like x 2
  20. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia ...

    Location:
    Florida
    this poem gave me a buzz.