Monday, October 30, 2006

A Husband's Soliloquy

So what if the world is a fixed sphere,
if the paced space tilts onward
and we know nothing but what the light catches,
now in from elsewhere? I have lived a little
and learned too little—this road
then that traversed over and over,
and what I see glittering along the way
rivers in the tall pines and down
into the man-made dirt, holding out.
The brides are all in uniform, and the girls
don't mind—why should they? But the boys...
We've known as long as our mothers
that when the world shakes or is knocked free
it will be the men who will be asked
to right our wrongs. And the women,
God bless you, you'll forgive us.

Sleeping in lots, tearing loose from our beds,
walking drunkenly home from church,
bawling and bawling as the traffic bawls past.
We've seen what the dead do with history
and can only hope that when we are dead
things will finally be different. Still,
the canvas dries more slowly than the sad street;
the figures in the windows are as lonely.
So what if the world is only what we make of it?
There's no time for answers now that we've won
and gone tame through our neighbors' yards
hoping to steal our balls back. Girls,
you astonish me daily. Women, you devour me whole
in a way that makes me happy to have loved you.
My wife knows more than me in many ways:
she kisses in a way that tells me not to worry.

Oh, how the living heart lends some luster
to the boy awake who's counting backwards.
His body's heavy from being kissed and left.
Not from the dark shape of the room after,
but the kiss and the pinned breast
and the singing heat of a fever between sheets.
The lance is so long it pierces whatever it sees,
so he falls off his horse as quickly as he begins
whichever work is taken seriously today.
My, how we forget that the reasons, too, change,
that the mined lust has its own gravity to speak with.
Brides and horrific nights alone, tedious callings
for or from your own wont vocabularies... Shade me
from the vulgar disciplines we live by.
I want to be folded and yours forever, despite myself;
I want to be trampled alive with need each time I'm left.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Dolphin

Red sand breaks in bricks that make the hand
solid against their loosening. A crack, then clumps,
then the giant unmakes the cliff, at once in his grip.

The skull was dark; the crown caked with shadow.
And the giant told the others Let’s dig here, just to see
until we held her together, the soft shapes opening.

A boy, I saw her like no one could, and missed her.
The body browsed for meat, her spine intact—
and the girders. How the city now looks over her

as I pass a small death, a child lonely on a curb,
smashing the insects just to break the line.
Forget the snake that curled out toward us;

forget that the skin will fall away finally.
The bones show their dark selves eventually.
Let light or fog or canvas break. We have so much

left to uncover. Lean down through dust
to save yourself. But dig, brother, if nothing else.
Until each of us can see the final forms.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Poets in the Graveyard

Check out this article I compiled for work. And just in time for Halloween. I've found as many American poets' graves as we could and put them up in hopes that people will search for gravesites near them. Check it out >

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Paisley with Uncle Ed

Monday, October 23, 2006

Reckoning with Hart Crane

Today: Monday, October 23, 6:30 p.m.

Contemporary poets and critics discuss the life and work of the poet Hart Crane upon the publication of The Library of America's Hart Crane: Complete Poems & Selected Letters. With Langdon Hammer, editor of the new volume, Herbert Leibowitz, Wayne Koestenbaum, Brian Reed, and David Yezzi. Moderated by Rachel Cohen.

Admission is free.

Co-presented with The Center for the Humanities, CUNY.

The Graduate Center, CUNY
365 Fifth Avenue at 34th Street (Skylight Room)
New York, NY

Sunday, October 22, 2006

You Read My Mind

Ed Parades Sadly

Friday, October 20, 2006

Broadway & Houston

Early yet.
The perfect morning & the perfect day.
The fog dawn spent & the wrapped buildings rising
in and out of their own steadying bliss.
What now

now that the bliss is theirs,
now that the elevator door has closed
and I, too, am gone,
rising off the wet, perfect street? What
now that the dream has pulled back its sheath
and let me in from the morning chill
to where I see no one?

Notes from Work

"Poetry is the renewal of words forever and ever," Frost wrote in a letter to a friend March 6, 1938. "Poetry is that by which we live forever and ever unjaded. Poetry is that by which the world is never old. Even the poetry of trade names gives lie to the unoriginal who would drag us down in their own powerlessness to originate. Heavy they are but not so heavy that we can't rise under them and throw them off."

Monday, October 16, 2006

Recommended Reading

Three books every young poet should read:

Letters to a Young Poet
I fear I read this book a little too late to experience it as one is meant to. I had passed through that period in my life in which the canon seemed too large to fit into. I had written letters to poets that went unanswered. So ever since I read this book a little over a year ago and read how the long-dead German poet Rainer Maria Rilke had answered many of my own questions, I have been recommending it to writers—both writers with questions and those with answers they haven't figured out how to shape.

The Necessary Angel
Essays on Reality and the Imagination

"The real is constantly being engulfed in the unreal," writes Wallace Stevens "[Poetry] is an illumination of a surface, the movement of a self in the rock." These essays contain more truths than criticisms, more anomalies than philosophies... and the result is a reading experience more like hearing a friend confess his obligations than a teacher conduct a lesson. And yet lessons are there, too many to count, too articulate to question.

The Triggering Town
Lectures and Essays on Poetry and Writing

"For all students of creative writing—and for their teachers," writes Richard Hugo in his dedication note for this stunning collection of lectures, essays, and reflections. Now a classic text for the teaching of writing, this book is easy to read while offering insights anyone, from beginning poets to mature writers, will benefit from.