Sunday, February 23, 2014

February Blues

The city is a tired eye
swaddled scarf
a pulled down hat

Wind an unchained mongrel
its relentless grip
clamped onto bones

Snow banks form a frozen surf
car exhaust fog low hung
over a sea of yellow headlights

We are the cave people
dark and gutteral
in search of hibernation

in wait for that morning
when the sun outstretched
extends the evening

Debbie Calverley

Saturday, February 22, 2014


Tomas Tranströmer
translated by Robert Bly

2 A.M. moonlight. The train has stopped
out in a field. Far off sparks of light from a town,
flickering coldly on the horizon.
As when a man goes so deep into his dream
he will never remember he was there
when he returns again to his view.
Or when a person goes so deep into a sickness
that his days all become some flickering sparks, a swarm,
feeble and cold on the horizon
The train is entirely motionless.
2 o’clock: strong moonlight, few stars.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Lisa Ampleman

Mouth: To Say

To say a word, we put it in our mouths.
       It may roll between the teeth
or hum on the palate. Love, after all, starts
       on tongue against teeth and ends on lips.
To communicate once meant to take communion.
       I take the wafer into my mouth:
speech. Silence as it melts on my tongue.
       Your speaking hums in your chest
when my ear is to it. There's a wasp nest
       under my porch. They fly home at dusk,
but you know how to suss them out.
       And in my kitchen, plaster cracks on
one discolored wall. Is it water damage?
       Is the house settling? You put your hand
on my wall, say It doesn't look like water
       (water, which begins on pursed lips).
The cracked pipe in the wall seals up.
       The glass of water we share is cold.
You kiss my mouth, which tastes like your mouth.

Full Cry 


"When writers die they become books, which is, after all,
not too bad an incarnation."
                                          —Jorge Luis Borges

Sunday, February 9, 2014

A Sacred Unhappiness

There’s a few things I want to say
about the un in happiness
and why it’s sacred to be.

His love came boiling up like
like the sea rolling and boiling
up until I noticed him there

I just hadn’t before.  Only sand
no footprints, a sharp breeze
out of the north-west -

that was it.  I had walked there
forever next to the rolling
boiling sea thinking

nothing of the whole thing or
what might come out of it
until he emerged all covered

with sea-weed and barnacles
a short stint on the shore he
said I never walk here.

That was a happy day and
the wind shifted to southerly
no bite at all only that switch

and bait over skin an awareness
that all is somehow right not wrong
until that moonless night

when he slipped away
I awoke to see the curtains
blowing in the wind

distinctly north-west
shivering I again became
un, a little waif in the world

sacred, nevertheless.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The passionate are immobilized.
The case-hardened undulate over walls
of the library, in more or less expressive poses.
The equinox again, not knowing
whether to put the car in reverse
or slam on the brakes at the entrance
to the little alley. Seasons belong
to others than us. Our work keeps us
up late nights; there is no more joy
or sorrow than in what work gives.
A little boy thought the raven on the bluff
was a winged instrument; there is so little
that gives and says it gives. Others
felt themselves ostracized by the moon.
The pure joy of daily living became impacted
with the blood of fate and battles.
There’s no turning back the man says,
the one waiting to take tickets at the top
of the gangplank. Still, in the past
we could always wait a little. Indeed,

we are waiting now. That’s what happens.

from Where Shall I wander:  New Poems, by John Ashbery