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  • Sherrie Kolb Cassel (12/26/2013 7:22:00 PM) Post reply


    By Fanny Howe

    There is no Rescue Mission where it isn’t freezing

    from the need that created it. The lost children

    distill to pure chemical. Where Good is called No-Tone

    it’s the one who cries out who doesn’t get a coat.

    The children fuse colors because they don’t want to

    separate. Daughters shot off of hydrants who cut

    each other in the neck and gut, don’t care

    which one of them will end up later in surgery.

    And drugged sons pretending to be costumes,

    well, they’re not welcome to comprehension either.

    Why does a wild child confuse a moon

    with a hole in his skin?

    One was born soaked in gin.

    His first sip was from a bottle of denial.

    What can “leave me alone” mean after that?

    The system is settled, dimensions fixed.

    Another one’s hand feels like a starfish.

    Makes me hysterical like the word perestroika.

    But they all dig the way the pepper is rosy in the vodka.

    It’s verbocity that creates jokers.

    Brick and grit are the candy and frosting

    where volunteers and teachers write cards that go:

    “Donate books that say NOT and NO and poets

    who say Urn instead of Oh.”

    How do the children convert their troubles

    into hip-hop?Dunno—but it’s wonderful.

  • Eliza K (12/26/2013 7:04:00 PM) Post reply

    I just read Rime of the Ancient Mariner (Coleridge) , and I was reminded Tennyson's Crossing the Bar (because it mentioned bar, then had a pilot) Rereading the latter, I couldn't help but imagine that it was the same narrator, sick of the world and wishing to move on. Thoughts?

    Also curious about the role of the Pilot in Mariner. What was he doing with a hermit?What was the meaning of that word in their era?

  • Sherrie Kolb Cassel (12/26/2013 8:05:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    Anna Begins

    By Adam Duritz

    My friend assures me " it's all or nothing"
    I am not worried- I am not overly concerned
    My friend implores me " for one time only,
    make an exception." I am not not worried
    Wrap her up in a package of lies
    Send her off to a coconut island
    I am not worried - I am not overly concerned
    with the status of my emotions
    " oh" , She says, " you're changing."
    But were always changing
    It does not bother me to say this isn't love
    Because if you don't want to talk about it then it isn't love
    and I guess I'm going to have to live that
    but, I'm sure there's something in a shade of gray
    or something in between
    and I can always change my name if that's what you mean
    My friend assures me " it's all or nothing`
    But I am not really worried
    I am not overly concerned
    You try to tell your self the things you try tell your self to make
    yourself forget
    to make your self forget
    I am not worried
    " If it's love" she said, " then were gonna have to think about the
    She can't stop shaking and I can t stop touching her and.....
    This time when kindness falls like rain
    It washes her away and Anna begins to change her mind
    " these seconds when I'm shaking leave me shuddering
    for days" she says.
    And I'm not ready for this sort of thing
    But I'm not gonna break
    And I'm not going to worry about it anymore
    I'm not gonna bend. And I'm not gonna break and
    I'm not gonna worry about it anymore
    It seems like I should say " as long as this is love..."
    But it's not all that easy so maybe I should just
    snap her up in a butterfly net-
    Pin her down on a photograph album
    I am not worried
    I've done this sort of thing before
    But then I start to think about the consequences
    Because I don't get no sleep in a quiet room and...
    The time when kindness falls like rain
    It washes me away and Anna begins change my mind
    And every time she sneezes I believe it's love
    and oh lord.... I'm not ready for this sort of thing
    She s talking in her sleep-it s keeping me awake
    And Anna begins to toss and turn
    And every word is nonsense but I understand and and
    oh lord. I m not ready for this sort of thing
    Her kindness bangs a gong
    It's moving me along and Anna begins to fade away
    It s chasing me away.
    She dissappears, and oh lord I'm not ready for this sort of thing

    Replies for this message:
    • Sherrie Kolb Cassel (12/26/2013 8:08:00 AM) Post reply

      Pardon the misspellings. I cut and pasted this one...and am just not wide enough awake to go in and correct them. Coffee awaits!

  • Sherrie Kolb Cassel (12/26/2013 7:56:00 AM) Post reply

    Buddhist New Year Song

    By Diane di Prima b.1934

    I saw you in green velvet, wide full sleeves
    seated in front of a fireplace, our house
    made somehow more gracious, and you said
    “There are stars in your hair”— it was truth I
    brought down with me

    to this sullen and dingy place that we must make golden
    make precious and mythical somehow, it is our nature,
    and it is truth, that we came here, I told you,
    from other planets
    where we were lords, we were sent here,
    for some purpose

    the golden mask I had seen before, that fitted
    so beautifully over your face, did not return
    nor did that face of a bull you had acquired
    amid northern peoples, nomads, the Gobi desert

    I did not see those tents again, nor the wagons
    infinitely slow on the infinitely windy plains,
    so cold, every star in the sky was a different color
    the sky itself a tangled tapestry, glowing
    but almost, I could see the planet from which we had come

    I could not remember (then) what our purpose was
    but remembered the name Mahakala, in the dawn

    in the dawn confronted Shiva, the cold light
    revealed the “mindborn” worlds, as simply that,
    I watched them propagated, flowing out,
    or, more simply, one mirror reflecting another.
    then broke the mirrors, you were no longer in sight
    nor any purpose, stared at this new blackness
    the mindborn worlds fled, and the mind turned off:

    a madness, or a beginning?

  • Sherrie Kolb Cassel (12/26/2013 7:55:00 AM) Post reply

    To the Garbage Collectors in Bloomington, Indiana, the First Pickup of the New Year

    By Philip Appleman b.1926

    (the way bed is in winter, like an aproned lap,
    like furry mittens,
    like childhood crouching under tables)
    The Ninth Day of Xmas, in the morning black
    outside our window: clattering cans, the whir
    of a hopper, shouts, a whistle, move on...
    I see them in my warm imagination
    the way I’ll see them later in the cold,
    heaving the huge cans and running
    (running!) to the next house on the street.

    My vestiges of muscle stir
    uneasily in their percale cocoon:
    what moves those men out there, what
    drives them running to the next house and the next?
    Halfway back to dream, I speculate:
    The Social Weal?“Let’s make good old
    Bloomington a cleaner place
    to live in—right, men?Hup, tha! ”
    Healthy Competition?“Come on, boys,
    let’s burn up that route today and beat those dudes
    on truck thirteen! ”
    Enlightened Self-Interest?“Another can,
    another dollar—don’t slow down, Mac, I’m puttin’
    three kids through Princeton?”
    Or something else?

    A half hour later, dawn comes edging over
    Clark Street: layers of color, laid out like
    a flattened rainbow—red, then yellow, green,
    and over that the black-and-blue of night
    still hanging on. Clark Street maples wave
    their silhouettes against the red, and through
    the twiggy trees, I see a solid chunk
    of garbage truck, and stick-figures of men,
    like windup toys, tossing little cans—
    and running.

    All day they’ll go like that, till dark again,
    and all day, people fussing at their desks,
    at hot stoves, at machines, will jettison
    tin cans, bare evergreens, damp Kleenex, all
    things that are Caesar’s.

    O garbage men,
    the New Year greets you like the Old;
    after this first run you too may rest
    in beds like great warm aproned laps
    and know that people everywhere have faith:
    putting from them all things of this world,
    they confidently bide your second coming.

  • Sherrie Kolb Cassel (12/25/2013 6:47:00 AM) Post reply

    Jazz Station

    By Michael S. Harper b.1938

    for sandy and henry carlile

    Some great musicians got no place to play

    Above the freeway, over the music,
    we speak of the strategy of poems,
    bleeding wives who ulcerate
    our voices rhythming in the cut-heat
    Portland stink from the Willamette River;
    arteries of smog fixate this place
    in each recording, music, music, on Impulse.
    This little racist community has few friends;
    thousands of deerslayers hum into Beaverton,
    the one talk show driven out for their talk
    as the liberals dig in to KGO out of San Francisco;
    we troop toward the Lloyd Center for the ice-skating,
    the colorette bloomered dream merchants on rented skates,
    and the Sunday Chronicle near the big hotel.

    The poets, man and wife, write in the dimming air,
    their daughter in the toy rooms connecting them,
    the typewriter tacking the nails and snaps of her gown.
    This image of separation begins in adoption:
    her mother adopted out in San Jose; her father
    disowned, abandoned, torn out of the will; her name: Phoebe.

    And the sun does shine on them for this visit
    in squat pigeontoes, and this beach ball sings.

  • Mike Acker (12/24/2013 8:43:00 PM) Post reply

    " A poet's work is to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, and stop it from going to sleep." – S. R.

  • Sherrie Kolb Cassel (12/24/2013 9:41:00 AM) Post reply

    52 Hits to my " Opportune Moment" - and 53 hits to my Poet's Page....nice...advertising is advertising! Nice. Wishing everyone a great day. (really)

  • Sherrie Kolb Cassel (12/24/2013 9:34:00 AM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

    The People on the Bus

    By Stephen Burt

    We have had our lives.
    The reservoir visible
    In the window beside our elbows, and the willow
    Branches trailing at our stop
    Are the nature we leave
    Behind us gladly, since it has no place

    For all we have recently learned: that sex
    Is temporary, help
    Ours to hand down now, and materials science
    Not the only kind. We thank
    Calm, careful Minerva, goddess
    Of adults, who for so many years took us

    To school: her voice the timbre of fretless bass,
    Her eyes the color of pencil lead, she taught
    Us how to behave in order to have our rewards
    In twenty years. We have them, and if we wish
    Too often, this fall, to have led another life
    We do not mean that we would give up ours:

    Though we stand in a row and sway
    Before an obstructed view, we are able to find
    Initials outlined in the crosshatched trees,
    And pebbles—calculi—around our ponds
    And cherish them; we like to watch the roads
    Along which the perennial pollen sifts down

    As finely as ever, making a soft powder
    Of brass amid the troughs in softball fields.
    Our skills are finally in demand.
    If you mock us, Pan,
    In whom we also believe, do it
    As gently as you can.

    Replies for this message:
    • Lamont Palmer (12/25/2013 7:11:00 PM) Post reply

      Didn't mean to delete my comment on Burt: he's one of the best poet/critics writing today. Thoughtful poems that behave like poems. -LP

    • Lamont Palmer (12/25/2013 6:42:00 PM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

      Thank you. I don't mind being called 'dull' along with other greats. Idiots always think the best poetry is dull. -LP

  • Sherrie Kolb Cassel (12/24/2013 9:32:00 AM) Post reply

    Good morning, and Merry Holidays' Eve.....Osip Mandelstam is a poet I learned about at PH from another actual poet. Mandelstam, IMO, is a great poet, and one who I enjoy tremendously.

    By Osip Mandelstam 1891–1938

    Translated By John High and Matvei Yankelevich

    Yet to die. Unalone still.
    For now your pauper-friend is with you.
    Together you delight in the grandeur of the plains,
    And the dark, the cold, the storms of snow.

    Live quiet and consoled
    In gaudy poverty, in powerful destitution.
    Blessed are those days and nights.
    The work of this sweet voice is without sin.

    Misery is he whom, like a shadow,
    A dog’s barking frightens, the wind cuts down.
    Poor is he who, half-alive himself
    Begs his shade for pittance.

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