Jackie Morris

Jackie Morris

(Source: kavery.livejournal.com)

An Adventure


It came to me one night as I was falling asleep
that I had finished with those amorous adventures
to which I had long been a slave. Finished with love?
my heart murmured. To which I responded that many profound discoveries
awaited us, hoping, at the same time, I would not be asked
to name them. For I could not name them. But the belief that they existed—
surely this counted for something?


The next night brought the same thought,
this time concerning poetry, and in the nights that followed
various other passions and sensations were, in the same way,
set aside forever, and each night my heart
protested its future, like a small child being deprived of a favorite toy.
But these farewells, I said, are the way of things.
And once more I alluded to the vast territory
opening to us with each valediction. And with that phrase I became
a glorious knight riding into the setting sun, and my heart
became the steed underneath me.


I was, you will understand, entering the kingdom of death,
though why this landscape was so conventional
I could not say. Here, too, the days were very long
while the years were very short. The sun sank over the far mountain.
The stars shone, the moon waxed and waned. Soon
faces from the past appeared to me:
my mother and father, my infant sister; they had not, it seemed,
finished what they had to say, though now
I could hear them because my heart was still.


At this point, I attained the precipice
but the trail did not, I saw, descend on the other side;
rather, having flattened out, it continued at this altitude
as far as the eye could see, though gradually
the mountain that supported it completely dissolved
so that I found myself riding steadily through the air—
All around, the dead were cheering me on, the joy of finding them
obliterated by the task of responding to them—


As we had all been flesh together,
now we were mist.
As we had been before objects with shadows,
now we were substance without form, like evaporated chemicals.
Neigh, neigh, said my heart,
or perhaps nay, nay—it was hard to know.


Here the vision ended. I was in my bed, the morning sun
contentedly rising, the feather comforter
mounded in white drifts over my lower body.
You had been with me—
there was a dent in the second pillowcase.
We had escaped from death—
or was this the view from the precipice?

Louise Glück

In the Bois de Vincennes

Someone plays the piano
from memory it goes on
and on I believe it is from the era
we call Romanticism that is how
I feel about it I also
in the darkened courtyard feel
a storm is coming on
though it’s just the afternoon
Last day of summer
stripped bare beneath the sun
like a fascist searchlight searching
the park but we’re drinking
wine on a blanket underneath
some trees
the kids playing with toy knights
you’ll never get me ha
ha ha the knife on the blanket
open so the blade dries
because it’s real French steel
with a hint of melon
Dazed in the breeze
picnic over S. kisses me I text
her though we’re right beside
each other something the kids
don’t need to hear
laughter I am happy to discover
in every language is laughter

Matthew Rohrer

(Source: The New York Times)



Trees are swaying to the ebb and flow of time.  In a small room in a basement, a rug is unrolled and a boy and girl get comfortable with each other.  The room is filled with dark items.  Soon, a lie will be born.  The lie will be held briefly by the boy.  Then, he will give it to the girl.  This exchange of words will continue for days, weeks, years.  Finally, the truth will emerge as a small bird.  The truth will fly away as a small bird, and the truth will build a nest in the shape of a small basement room.  Isn’t this the way it always ends?  With words as fragile as small blue eggs?

Bernd Sauermann

(Source: levelerpoetry.com)

Frida Stenmark

Frida Stenmark

West Cork

I know the green leaves of the grapevine
scaling the rafters of the glass sunroom
are not green. Rather, they absorb
part of the spectrum of light and what they bounce
back is green. But I also know
that green is only a phenomenon
of this wavelength, and not even that, really. “Green”
is a set of symbols and a sound that represent
my experience of seeing
the grapevine and the tall grass outside
and the verdant cliff-walled island
in the harbor and the cold
and shallow water near the rocks, the rocks filmed with algae
and the slatted table and the transplanted park bench in the sun-
room, and the grape, of course, that I pop into my mouth,
which tastes especially “green.”

When I was a child in that time before quotation marks,
I favored green. And of the many greens
in the crayon box, the dark and almost wet
green of Forest Green.

Now such markers of identity
are immature, imprecise; I’ve rejected all
that cannot be confirmed, meaning life—I am trapped
in my body, with a brain aged
like a mid-range, wax-sealed wheel of cheddar.

Here on the wet southern coast of Ireland,
a hot white sun fills the room built to capture it,
and looking out past the vines at the shrubbed arboled
ferned grassed cliffs and at the algaed rocks,
I feel a muted terror sitting
at the center of this white totality.

Christopher Robinson

The Purple Bottle

I’ve gotta big big big heart beat, yeah!
I think you are the sweetest thing
I wear a coat of feelings and they are loud
I’ve been having good days
Think we are the right age to start our own peculiar ways?
With good friendly homes

You get me freaked freaked freaked on Preakness
I’ve never met a girl that
Likes to drink with horses
Knows her Chinese ballet
I must admit you smell like fruity nuts and good grains
When you show my purple gaze a thing or two at night.

It’d make me sick sick sick to kiss you and I think that I would vomit
But I’ll do that on Mondays
I don’t have to work away
I like it when I bump you
An accident’s a truth gate
I’m humbled in your pretty lens
I’ll hold you don’t you go

Sometimes you’re quiet and sometimes I’m quiet,
Sometimes I’m talkative and sometimes you’re not talkative, I know

Well I’d like to spread your perfume around the old apartment
Could we live together and agree on the same wares
A trapeze is a bird cage and even if its empty it definitely fits the room
And we would too

And my dear dear dear Khalana
I talk too much about you
Their ears are getting tired of me singing all the night through
Lets just talk together
You and me and me and you
And if there’s nothing much to say
Well, silence is a bore.

I’ve gotta big big big heart beat, yeah!
I think you are the sweetest thing
I wear a coat of feelings and they are loud
I’ve been having good days
Think we are the right age to start our own peculiar ways?
With good friendly homes

Sometimes you’re quiet and sometimes I’m quiet,
Sometimes I’m talkative and sometimes you’re not talkative, I know
Sometimes you hear me when others they can’t hear me.
Sometimes I’m naked and thank god sometimes you’re naked. Well, hello

Can I tell you that you are the purple in me?
Can I call you just to hear you would you care?
When I saw you put your purple finger on me
There’s a feeling in your bottle
Found your bottle, found your heart
Gives a feeling from your bottled little part

Can I tell you that you are the purple in me?
Can I call you just to hear you would you care?
When I saw you put your purple finger on me
There’s a feeling in your bottle
Found your bottle, found your heart
Gives a feeling from your bottled little part

Gotta crush high
Thought I crushed all I could
Crushed all I can then I touched your hand
Crush high
Don’t want it to stop
Cause stories of your brother make my crush high bop
And you couldn’t really know cause its in my toes
And sometimes I wonder where’d that crush high go
Crush high
Then I go and take some pills
Cause I cant do all of my do’s and still feel ill
You get that WOOOO!

Animal Collective

Man at the End of Something

Admit the day’s veering toward something
else, the tiny flag of your heart inverted.
Admit the pause between words, wearing
away at the febrile. Admit jealousy, the want
for what you have if you didn’t have it.
Admit hunger. And an absence of which
you are far too aware. Admit the necessity
of breathing, the sound of several thousand
humming birds in torpor, ruby throats
pinched against their breasts. Admit sorrow,
which is the only heirloom that lasts.
Admit the deity, hallowed be his hollow
name. Admit change, but not so much
its progress or lack thereof cannot be seen.
Admit intrigue. Admit hangnail. Admit lovely,
how it casually and often passes you by.
Fail, because you won’t find respite.
Recourse, only as an occupation for the hands.
Reject delicate because you have walked
on glass for reasons. Admit deduction,
how easy it was to itemize. Then possibility,
but limit it to the aroma of an orchid, wilting.

John Hogan

(Source: levelerpoetry.com)


For today, I will memorize
the two trees now in end-of-summer light

and the drifts of wood asters as the yard slopes away toward
the black pond, blue

in the clouds that shine and float there, as if risen

from the bottom, unbidden. Now, just over the fern—
quick—a glimpse of it,

the plume, a fox-tail’s copper, as the dog runs in ovals and eights,
chasing scent.

The yard is a waiting room. I have my chair. You, yours.

The hawk has its branch in the pine.

White petals ripple in the quiet light.

In the quiet, a necklace of gourds on the fence.

A mourning cloak on a seeded spray of crabgrass.

An undulant whine of cicadas.

Margaret Gibson

(Source: writersalmanac.publicradio.org)

In the Guest House for Pilgrims

it’s still dark and cold. Andrew’s rib
under her arm his scent the undeniable
fact of him warm and even when he’s sleeping
American, holding on for her
to all that loosens its hold:
what she told people when asked
for example the story about before
when we were some kind of bird
beaks buried under the outer layer
of each other’s feathers.

 Elizabeth T. Gray, Jr.

Thanks to the keen eye of fluttering-slips!

Sol in Leo


Shooting a .22 is perversely
gentle. There is no real

kickback, it is simply an insistent
digging in the shoulder,

trailed by the sour smell of burnt
gunpowder, shells sputtering

from the magazine in a ticking
of brass. When I buy a pass

to the basement rifle range,
my instructor advises me

to conceal my gun on the train
in a guitar case. Aiming at paper

torsos, I see it is foolish to wait
for winter days to lengthen.

How weak a dependence
on light is; like a body easily

betrayed, it can kill a man.
In the Persian miniature,

Sol in Leo, the lion is its own
composite of animals

eaten by the lion: plaited
in the mane, woven in the tail,

folded inside haunches like
contortionists in an open—

walled box of hide. Uncover
enough of what you are

and the world won’t think
to look for anything else.

Sam Ross


        for Lynn

Just think of me whispering
A small, tender thing,

Or something quite beyond our limit,
But in an intimate ring.

Just think it, don’t say it.
Merely fold it into your mind.

A thing not fully possessed, perhaps,
But never left behind.

Michael Cavanagh

(Source: rattle.com)

Ear to the Wake

we unweave what
we weave

our dreams like Penelope
at her loom

who nightly
takes apart what she

makes by day
to put off suitors

knowing that
what she unmakes

will be woven into
a final tapestry

while Odysseus at sea
on his way

back to reclaim
his kingdom

a star among
stars blown off

course seldom

anywhere by

Paul Pines

Thanks, friends!

Hum In Me, Muse. No Words, Just Thousands of Arpeggios

The butterfly book has escaped from the air, doused itself in magnifying brine.
All the pebbles from all the kaleidoscopes in North America are here, darting

between ads for every resort, each kite of each kid in China, spun down the drain.
Pennants and banners, gardens, insignia, the open-air fruit markets in all five boroughs,

the flower shops of Thailand, each pot of clown paint in Europe, every diamond facet.
Wrasses and tangs, threadfins and triggerfish, Picasso, Gaugin, Parrish, and Porter,

humuhumunukunukuapua’a, the fancy-butted eater fish, the rock-hiding daisy fish,
the turtle whose fins hosanna, the octopus turning into a living rock, godbeams, lolling

of surface, drum of my breathing, slap of a wave. Try to paint or photograph an opal.
Iridescence eludes film, can be seen only while floating, not moving, breathing, above.

Tina Kelley

(Source: dmqreview.com)