Archive for ‘Poetry’

November 8, 2017

America, Not Always So Beautiful.

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America, Not Always So Beautiful

Not so beautiful to the thousands of families burnt out of their homes or flooded only to be stiffed by the insurance companies and an underfunded FEMA who who do not care for them.
Not so beautiful to the three million Americans in Puerto Rico who don’t have electricity or enough food.
Not so beautiful to bicycle riders who get run over by drunks who the law allows to keep driving our roads.
Not so beautiful to the 50,000 Americans killed each year by gun fanatics who can’t get the mental healthcare they need.
Not so beautiful to the sick and dying Americans who suffer a lack of healthcare so the rich can buy new summer homes.
Not so beautiful to the millions of immigrant children thrown in jail and deported back to a country they hardly know.
Not so beautiful to American women who face discrimination and sexual harassment on the job and at home.
Not so beautiful to people of color who face racism every day.
Not so beautiful to American citizens threatened with nuclear war by a president too narcissistic and too sociopathic to face reality.
Not so beautiful to the people who are not rich enough to afford the lies the rich tell themselves about how beautiful they imagine America might be.

And it wouldn’t be so beautiful to Jesus Christ. He threw the rich moneylenders out of the temple, when they sold their souls for such riches.
And it wouldn’t be so beautiful to Martin Luther King, Jr. to hear that his dream has not become true.
Not always so beautiful to me.
When the Star Bangled Banner plays, I kneel out of respect for the human dignity and justice this country no longer offers.

(All text by me, Art by Anne Abrams.)

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February 11, 2017

Fire Flower (A sonnet)

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Fire Flower
(A sonnet)

If my eyes were dreams, I’d need no sleep
to picture her face in the light or in the dark.
Memories of her touch would linger for weeks,
not minutes, to soothe my non-poetic parts.
But without the help of imagination’s magic,
I’d drown in ink or lose the fire flower light
that saves all my inspiration from its tragic.
Her eyes might make my darkness take flight,
but eyes are not dreams, they see bright hues
and so lose to dark or to ears with fine hearing.
I’m left with a cold chair, a guitar, and the blues
to pray her ears love my muse without judging.
Imaginary stories don’t warm me like tea,
but their leaves
reveal light’s fortune in thee.

(Art by Anne Abrams)

August 10, 2016

Un-Remembered, a poem to remember

Mannequin:AAbrams

Un-Remembered

I memorize the lines sculpted
by your face into my fingers, but
I can’t memorize words of poems.
If my literary memory loss tastes
like freedom to my speech today,
why can’t I tell you I love you?

If I only memorize love in songs,
I’m pleased by the lack of memory
that forces me to eternally invent.
I must re-touch each point of view,
but un-remember each one, or fail
to allow imagination to draft it all.

To quote Chekhov or Shakespeare
sublimes me like a new-lover kiss,
a finger-kiss touch on Dad’s casket,
or a kiss-off for an unloved poet, yet
the words of other writers lose me.
So I need deep memories of touch
and agile notes of melody to know
how your kiss tastes across a room.
I need your history from A to Z
to touch your future from Z to A.

I can’t memorize words of poems.
I’m pleased by a lack of memory.
Laugh, if you’ve heard this before.

(Art by Anne Abrams)

 

December 18, 2014

Rondeau At The Train Stop By Erin Belieu

Rondeau At The Train Stop

It bothers me: the genital smell of the bay
drifting toward me on the T stop, the train
circling the city like a dingy, year-round
Christmas display. The Puritans were right! Sin
is everywhere in Massachusetts, hell-bound

in the population. it bothers me
because it’s summer now and sticky – no rain
to cool things down; heat like a wound
that will not close. Too hot, these shameful
percolations of the body that bloom
between strangers on a train. It bothers me

now that I’m alone and singles foam
around the city, bothered by the lather, the rings
of sweat. Know this bay’s a watery animal, hind-end
perpetually raised: a wanting posture, pain
so apparent, wanting so much that it bothers me.

Rondeau At The Train Stop By Erin Belieu.

 

 

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December 3, 2014

New poem by Walt Whitman

New poem by that upstart poet, Walt Whitman:
“To Bryant, the Poet of Nature”

 

 

September 28, 2014

Position Needed, a poem for peace

Position Needed

United States Secretary of Peace:
an Executive Cabinet position to
be appointed by enlightenment
itself. This Secretary may not be
removed by any president ever.
Secretary of Defense answers to
Secretary of Peace who has veto
power over anything it says or does.
The United States Secretary of Peace
answers to no one but to peace itself. 

  (Photo by Anne Abrams)

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August 8, 2012

Emily Dickinson, Virgin Recluse—Not

Wild Nights by Emily Dickinson, The Text

Wild nights! Wild nights!
Were I with thee,
Wild nights should be
Our luxury!

Futile the winds
To a heart in port,
Done with the compass,
Done with the chart.

Rowing in Eden!
Ah! the sea!
Might I but moor
To-night in thee!

—”Wild nights! Wild nights!” is a poem of sexual passion. Colonel Higginson, her editor, wrote:

One poem only I dread a little to print–that wonderful ‘Wild Nights,’—lest the malignant read into it more than that virgin recluse ever dreamed of putting there. Has Miss Lavinia [Emily Dickinson’s sister] any shrinking about it? You will understand & pardon my solicitude. Yet what a loss to omit it! Indeed it is not to be omitted.

The myth of Emily Dickinson as some kind of  virgin recluse?

We poet gots passion!

July 31, 2012

Four poems from Charles Simic: “The Future” & Other Poems

I’ve been reading a collection of the poems of Charles Simic. I like his poems. He is a Serbian American and was named the 15th poet laureate of the United States. I love the way he juxtaposes ordinary images with evocative ones. When questioned about his style, he once said: “I wanted something seemingly artless and pedestrian to surprise the reader by conveying so much more. In other words, I wanted a poem a dog can understand. Still, I love odd words, strange images, startling metaphors, and rich diction, so I’m like a monk in a whorehouse, gnawing on a chunk of dry bread while watching the ladies drink champagne and parade in their lacy undergarments.” At another time he said: “In America, if you want to know where the heart is you listen to the blues and country music.” This juxtaposition is also something Margot Suydam does well in her work (found below). Here are two excerpts of his:

“I like to cloister myself
Watching my thoughts roam
Like a homeless family
Holding on to their children
And their few possessions
Seeking shelter for the night.”
and:
“Friends of the small hours of the night:
Stub of a pencil, small notebook,
Reading lamp on the table,
Making me welcome in your circle of light.”

Here are four of his best poems from “The Future & Other Poems.”
http://www.pen.org/blog/?p=10928

January 1, 2012

Two Means of Swan by Alfred Lord Tennyson and Camille Saint-Saens

Two Means of Swan by Alfred Lord Tennyson and Camille Saint-Saens

The music and the poem:

The Dying Swan

by Alfred Lord Tennyson

I.

The plain was grassy, wild and bare,
Wide, wild, and open to the air,
Which had built up everywhere
An under-roof of doleful gray.
With an inner voice the river ran,
Adown it floated a dying swan,
And loudly did lament.
It was the middle of the day.
Ever the weary wind went on,
And took the reed-tops as it went.

II.

Some blue peaks in the distance rose,
And white against the cold-white sky,
Shone out their crowning snows.
One willow over the river wept,
And shook the wave as the wind did sigh;
Above in the wind was the swallow,
Chasing itself at its own wild will,
And far thro’ the marish green and still
The tangled water-courses slept,
Shot over with purple, and green, and yellow.

III.

The wild swan’s death-hymn took the soul
Of that waste place with joy
Hidden in sorrow: at first to the ear
The warble was low, and full and clear;
And floating about the under-sky,
Prevailing in weakness, the coronach stole
Sometimes afar, and sometimes anear;
But anon her awful jubilant voice,
With a music strange and manifold,
Flow’d forth on a carol free and bold;
As when a mighty people rejoice
With shawms, and with cymbals, and harps of gold,
And the tumult of their acclaim is roll’d
Thro’ the open gates of the city afar,
To the shepherd who watcheth the evening star.
And the creeping mosses and clambering weeds,
And the willow-branches hoar and dank,
And the wavy swell of the soughing reeds,
And the wave-worn horns of the echoing bank,
And the silvery marish-flowers that throng
The desolate creeks and pools among,
Were flooded over with eddying song.

November 12, 2011

Who Is The Dead String?

I might be a dead string now, but I don’t want to be. I don’t want to die alone. I don’t want to die before I’ve had a chance to live on my own. I want someone, anyone, someone real, to know who I am at last. I want to sing so that someone feels me, hears my voice. I want to sing out like Jimi Hendrix played and play guitar like Janis Joplin sang. I want that someone to listen and then put his head down and cry. Then I will know.

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