Sunday, September 24, 2006

Low Tee by Philip Heckman

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Perhaps this is obvious. Or simply untrue.

I find it easier and easier to believe that the problem with the poetry scene is that it's populated by such an incongruous array of intelligences. Poets and critics need to accept the fact that in such a varied field there's room for both masters and dunces—for both scholars that strive to understand through masterful control and passionate artists that long to record their intensity without the cypher of scholarship. Neither extreme wants to admit that it would be a less rewarding artform without the other, and I suspect that younger poets would be more willing to accept this and thus gather a more united front for poetry... except that we'd then be asked to choose which type of poet we are. When of course we strive to be both.

Love Song

Mourn with me the sorrowed lot,
the borrowed hand, the brow-bent heart,
those tennants that outlive the lease
of who they've got to praise or please.

Ship with me the ruined home,
the house that's made of sand, of stone,
of coral drowned or kernels dried...
The moment comes; you eat the seed.

Say what, say how; say when and why.
The lonely take us under—I,
who've built a home of solid gold,
would cast, from us, these bricks of love.

Monday, September 18, 2006

We Are Not the Animals

Look at how we cut the garden back,
how I stack the still-full boxes by the door.
Clear the bed; fill the aisle.
The bags are never full enough.
What’s more, the bridegroom gives a damn:
sleep in g in the corridor with me,
an autumn in his lap already.

We don’t sit in rows,
don’t wake aligned. We are water,
we are flesh—but we aren’t wheat,
can’t sit; we eat still standing
what we can of life. No hunger necessary
until the moment. He waits exactly,
conduit raised like a limb.

We do not trample us. We disengage:
falter only after marriage. Laughter made
of me. Laughter only. The party
in the kitchen has been running. We don’t
seize the afterlife with afterparties,
guns ablaze—in our homemade
rooms, in our homemade houses—days.

And this is how we tell: and this
is how we change: and this is how
the one of use is made
to love us holier. Animals break
their bodies for lust. Animals
turn their insect bodies away
and pack the dirt in columns, everywhere.

We stack the luggage by the bed
and empty, day by day, until it’s done.
We put away the dishes and the lust
compacts itself. The means fit neatly
where they should—while the tremendous air,
banking like the need for sleep,
groans in the garden wall, waking the neighbors.

We follow the star; we bury our dead;
we put our enemies in the pit until
they’re forgiven. Just drink and time,
drink and drink. The colander gives
and the noodles go everywhere
and it seems again the righteous have won.
Perhaps this time they have.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Wide Awake Today

David Levithan's latest (and in some ways most ambitious) novel is out in stores TODAY. Pick it up. Pick seven up. It inspires.

I'm not finished yet, but there will surely be a "review" (biased as it may be) when I do.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Nick & Norah Comic

Hilariously fun plug for my friends'—Rachel Cohn and David Levithan—collaborative novel for young readers. Check it out. As well as David's new book, Wide Awake, which will be in stores Tuesday, September 12th.