Posted in poem of the week

Poem of the Week: Elegy for Idle Curiosity, by Lucia Perillo

Out of this whirl: The Whirlpool Galaxy (M51) and companion galaELEGY FOR IDLE CURIOSITY

by Lucia Perillo

 

 
I used to ask aloud such things as: why is the moon round,

buffed only by the chamois cloth of space?

But now I hold my tongue, or else people start to tap

apparatus they’ve strapped to their hips

as if they were knights.  They are knights,

assailed by the uncertain.  When it stands to reason

that we must be somewhere on the map: the self

tends to be the only one not knowing where it is.

 

No more paddling the murk of pointless speculation,

wondering if the force that stirs the whirlpool

also winds the spider’s web.  A person can’t just wobble

with her mouth open–it arouses

the surveillance.  Instead we’re supposed to be

like traffic lights, vigilant in every season.

No more standing like a chanterelle, spewing out ten thousand spores,

penetrating the substrate, laying a fiber everywhere.

 

From Time Will Clean the Carcass Bones, Copper Canyon Press, 2016.

 

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Poem of the week: “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” By Bob Dylan

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Johnny’s in the basement, mixing up the medicine
I’m on the pavement, thinking about the government
The man in the trench coat, badge out, laid off
Says he’s got a bad cough, wants to get it paid off
Look out kid, it’s somethin’ you did
God knows when, but you’re doin’ it again
You better duck down the alley way, lookin’ for a new friend
The man in the coon-skin cap in the big pen
Wants eleven dollar bills, you only got ten.

Maggie comes fleet foot, face full of black soot
Talkin’ that the heat put, plants in the bed but
The phone’s tapped anyway, Maggie says that many say
They must bust in early May, orders from the DA
Look out kid, don’t matter what you did
Walk on your tip toes, don’t try, ‘No Doz’
Better stay away from those that carry around a fire hose
Keep a clean nose, watch the plain clothes
You don’t need a weather man, to know which way the wind blows.

Get sick, get well, hang around an ink well
Ring bell, hard to tell, if anything is goin’ to sell

Try hard, get barred, get back, write Braille

Get jailed, jump bail Join the army, if you fail
Look out kid, you’re gonna get hit
But losers, cheaters, six-time users
Hang around the theaters
Girl by the whirlpool, lookin’ for a new fool
Don’t follow leaders, watch the parkin’ meters.

Ah get born, keep warm
Short pants, romance, learn to dance
Get dressed, get blessed, try to be a success
Please her, please him, buy gifts
Don’t steal, don’t lift, twenty years of schoolin’
And they put you on the day shift
Look out kid, they keep it all hid
Better jump down a manhole
Light yourself a candle, don’t wear sandals
Try to avoid the scandals

Don’t wanna be a bum, you better chew gum
The pump don’t work
‘Cause the vandals took the handles.

Subterranean Homesick Blues” by Bob Dylan, originally released in 1965 as a single on Columbia Records

http://www.vevo.com/watch/USSM21501576?utm_medium=embed_player&utm_content=song_title&syn_id=346C2586-D3F8-4B75-BA0D-398FDB6E4C08 

Posted in poem of the week

Poem of the Week: “Abecedarian Requiring Further Examination of Anglikan Seraphym Subjugation of a Wild Indian Rezervation,”by Natalie Diaz

poem-of-the-week-1010
Angels don’t come to the reservation.
Bats, maybe, or owls, boxy mottled things.
Coyotes, too. They all mean the same thing—
death. And death
eats angels, I guess, because I haven’t seen an angel
fly through this valley ever.
Gabriel? Never heard of him. Know a guy named Gabe though—
he came through here one powwow and stayed, typical
Indian. Sure he had wings,
jailbird that he was. He flies around in stolen cars. Wherever he stops,
kids grow like gourds from women’s bellies.
Like I said, no Indian I’ve ever heard of has ever been or seen an angel.
Maybe in a Christmas pageant or something—
Nazarene church holds one every December,
organized by Pastor John’s wife. It’s no wonder
Pastor John’s son is the angel—everyone knows angels are white.
Quit bothering with angels, I say. They’re no good for Indians.
Remember what happened last time
some white god came floating across the ocean?
Truth is, there may be angels, but if there are angels
up there, living on clouds or sitting on thrones across the sea wearing
velvet robes and golden rings, drinking whiskey from silver cups,
we’re better off if they stay rich and fat and ugly and
’xactly where they are—in their own distant heavens.
You better hope you never see angels on the rez. If you do, they’ll be marching you off to
Zion or Oklahoma, or some other hell they’ve mapped out for us.
Natalie Diaz, “Abecedarian Requiring Further Examination of Anglikan Seraphym Subjugation of a Wild Indian Rezervation” from When My Brother Was an Aztec. Copyright © 2012 by Natalie Diaz. Reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press.
Photo Credit: https://decolonization.wordpress.com/2015/10/01/gaagegoo-dabakaanan-miiniwaa-debenjigejig-no-borders-indigenous-sovereignty/
Posted in poem of the week

Poem of the Week: “Slowly,” by Denise Levertov

wisconsinscenery

Slowly

~Denise Levertov

 

Spirit has been alone

of late. Built a house

of fallen leaves

among exposed tree-roots.

Plans dreamily

to fetch water

 

from a stone well.

Sleeps

hungrily.

Waking,

is mute,

listening. Spirit

doesn’t know

what the sound will be,

song or cry.

Perhaps

 

one word. Holds

at heart a

red thread, winding

 

back to the world,

 

to one who holds the far end,

far off.

Spirit

throws off the quilts

when darkness

is very hearvy,

 

shuffles among

the leaves

upstairs and down

 

waiting.

Wants

the thread to vibrate

 

again. Again! Crimson!

 

Meanwhile refuses

visitors, asks

those who come

no questions,

answers none. Digs in

for winter,

slowly.

 

 

from Life in the Forest, New Directions, 1978.