Categories
Commentary My Poetry

Read My Poetry

I started this blog with the intention of posting old poems, maybe even adding some new poems, but it quickly became fun just to post whatever the hell came to mind whenever the hell I felt like posting–my literary impulses buried by the weight of whimsy.  It doesn’t surprise me, alas, that my poetry isn’t burning up the internet goes–in the great Pantheon of Poets, my feet are planted squarely in the muck.  Or, as I recently joked to another hobby artist: of all the would-be poets on the internet, I’m confident that I’m on of them.

I don’t think it helped that I posted a bunch before anyone actually started noticing this blog, but the truth is that, according to my statistics, my view drop considerably when there’s a poem on the page–like folks are scared of verse.  You’re not scared of a little verse, are you?  I considered reblogging some of those old posts, but I think that might be tacky.  Instead, I’m just going to throw out links like a Carnival barker.

Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, you won’t believe your eyes…

https://oldroadapples.wordpress.com/category/my-poetry/

 

Categories
Poetry Uncategorized

National Poetry Month: Robert Pinsky

prd_018776

I received the following facebook message last night, from the gallery of distant rogues: “Poesy Month, eh? Where’s the fucking Pinksy (sic), Chuck?”

Point taken.

An Explanation of America: A Love of Death by Robert Pinsky

Imagine a child from Virginia or New Hampshire
Alone on the prairie eighty years ago
Or more, one afternoon—the shaggy pelt
Of grasses, for the first time in that child’s life,
Flowing for miles. Imagine the moving shadow
Of a cloud far off across that shadeless ocean,
The obliterating strangeness like a tide
That pulls or empties the bubble of the child’s
Imaginary heart. No hills, no trees.

The child’s heart lightens, tending like a bubble
Towards the currents of the grass and sky,
The pure potential of the clear blank spaces.

Or, imagine the child in a draw that holds a garden
Cupped from the limitless motion of the prairie,
Head resting against a pumpkin, in evening sun.
Ground-cherry bushes grow along the furrows,
The fruit red under its papery, moth-shaped sheath.
Grasshoppers tumble among the vines, as large
As dragons in the crumbs of pale dry earth.
The ground is warm to the child’s cheek, and the wind
Is a humming sound in the grass above the draw,
Rippling the shadows of the red-green blades.
The bubble of the child’s heart melts a little,
Because the quiet of that air and earth
Is like the shadow of a peaceful death—
Limitless and potential; a kind of space
Where one dissolves to become a part of something
Entire … whether of sun and air, or goodness
And knowledge, it does not matter to the child.
Dissolved among the particles of the garden
Or into the motion of the grass and air,
Imagine the child happy to be a thing.

Imagine, then, that on that same wide prairie
Some people are threshing in the terrible heat
With horses and machines, cutting bands
And shoveling amid the clatter of the threshers,
The chaff in prickly clouds and the naked sun
Burning as if it could set the chaff on fire.
Imagine that the people are Swedes or Germans,
Some of them resting pressed against the strawstacks,
Trying to get the meager shade.
A man,
A tramp, comes laboring across the stubble
Like a mirage against that blank horizon,
Laboring in his torn shoes toward the tall
Mirage-like images of the tilted threshers
Clattering in the heat. Because the Swedes
Or Germans have no beer, or else because
They cannot speak his language properly,
Or for some reason one cannot imagine,
The man climbs up on a thresher and cuts bands
A minute or two, then waves to one of the people,
A young girl or a child, and jumps head-first
Into the sucking mouth of the machine,
Where he is wedged and beat and cut to pieces—
While the people shout and run in the clouds of chaff,
Like lost mirages on the pelt of prairie.

The obliterating strangeness and the spaces
Are as hard to imagine as the love of death …
Which is the love of an entire strangeness,
The contagious blankness of a quiet plain.
Imagine that a man, who had seen a prairie,
Should write a poem about a Dark or Shadow
That seemed to be both his, and the prairie’s—as if
The shadow proved that he was not a man,
But something that lived in quiet, like the grass.
Imagine that the man who writes that poem,
Stunned by the loneliness of that wide pelt,
Should prove to himself that he was like a shadow
Or like an animal living in the dark.
In the dark proof he finds in his poem, the man
Might come to think of himself as the very prairie,
The sod itself, not lonely, and immune to death.

None of this happens precisely as I try
To imagine that it does, in the empty plains,
And yet it happens in the imagination
Of part of the country: not in any place
More than another, on the map, but rather
Like a place, where you and I have never been
And need to try to imagine—place like a prairie
Where immigrants, in the obliterating strangeness,
Thirst for the wide contagion of the shadow
Or prairie—where you and I, with our other ways,
More like the cities or the hills or trees,
Less like the clear blank spaces with their potential,
Are like strangers in a place we must imagine.

Categories
Poetry

National Poetry Month: Jones Very

The New Birth  by Jones Very

a new life;–thoughts move not as they did
With slow uncertain steps across my mind,
In thronging haste fast pressing on they bid
The portals open to the viewless wind
That comes not save when in the dust is laid
The crown of pride that gilds each mortal brow,
And from before man’s vision melting fade
The heavens and earth;–their walls are falling now.–
Fast crowding on, each thought asks utterance strong;
Storm-lifted waves swift rushing to the shore,
On from the sea they send their shouts along,
Back through the cave-worn rocks their thunders roar;
And I a child of God by Christ made free
Start from death’s slumbers to Eternity.
Jones Very

Categories
Uncategorized

National Poetry Month: James Dickey

A BIRTH   by James Dickey

Inventing a story with grass,
I find a young horse deep inside it.
I cannot nail wires around him;
My fence posts fail to be solid,

And he is free, strangely, without me.
With his head still browsing the greenness,
He walks slowly out of the pasture
To enter the sun of his story.

My mind freed of its own creature,
I find myself deep in my life
In a room with my child and my mother,
When I feel the sun climbing my shoulder

Change, to include a new horse.

Categories
Poetry

National Poetry Month: Edwin Godsey

I Hope I Don’t Have You Next Semester, But

Cnidus_Aphrodite_Altemps_Inv8619_n2before you step out
Aphrodite
honey
hold your ear down close to the conch
and see can you make out
any
noises.

by Edwin Godsey

 

Categories
Commentary Poetry

April is National Poetry Month

We missed National Ice Cream Month, and International Pancake Day (but only by a day, so we were close), but I’m damn certain we’re not going to blow National Poetry Month, even if I’m pretty sure I’ll live to regret that vow.

I’m still debating how to celebrate this exquisite holiday which begins, appropriately enough, on April Fools Day.  I’ll probably shout some “whoops” and maybe eat a cupcake–neither of which full under the purview of this blog, so I guess that each day I’ll post a poem I like.

Now, the folks who brought you NaNoWriMo are bringing us the equally titillating NaPoWriMo–and however tempted I may be to say I’ll participate, I’m rotate.php

http://www.napowrimo.net/

also old and wise enough to know better than to accept a job I know I can’t finish–I’m a slow poet, and far from prolific–I don’t have a shot at it, but will certainly support those who are, and who aspire to the challenge.

I”m sure I’ll come up with some other suitably themed celebratory posts–maybe I’ll boost the number of reposts, or note some cool poetry links.  We’ll see

Categories
Short/Micro/Flash Fiction

An Hour From Boise (another excerpt from an abandoned story)

Motorcycle_CopThere’s this pit of the stomach feeling, I know you know it, when you blaze over the crest of a slope on the highway with the Pogues blaring Streams of Whiskey from a dozen speakers and that big block Chevy 454 thundering backup, and the unmistakable profile of a Ford Police Interceptor crouches on the median like a sullen lion. There’s no time to brake, no place to go, the speedo jiggling somewhere north of ninety.  You reel it in causally, will he buy it that the beast got away from you—and your normally grandmother-like driving—and what about those hippie-dippy girls in the backseat, stinking of patchouli and peanut butter.  The pretty one, the one with the freckles in her cleavage and the ice blue eyes, is snoring like a drunk.  It’s likely she is, in fact, still drunk—and god knows what else.  You don’t even want to know what she’s got in her purse, or if she’s got a prescription for that, and if so, what for?  Maybe it won’t even matter.

Categories
My Poetry Poetry

I Dreamt You Said

I dreamt you said:
We were just playing
Whats in my pants
When my husband
(who was some other
Husband not mine at all)
Found your keys—
what’s this one for?—
and said: so many goddamn
keys, like twenty-three
or more for doors and trucks
and—toolbox, I said, and
the apartment in the city;
you nodded, toolbox,yes.
And the apartment
in the city.