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Poem Of The Day

RIVER
Nic Alea

I think I am the river, no.
I think I am the alphabet, no.
I think I am in the back of
the car slamming my head against
the seat, I think I am screaming, no,
careless, maybe, I think I am too fast
over this canyon, I think my tape player
is stuck singing about the rain or
a field or no, this is a canyon and canyons
have the once upon a time river stuck to
the bottom, I’m going to hit the bottom
and it’s going to burn like the summer
and we feel good peeling the dead skin
off our shoulders and I press my thumb
into your chest to watch my imprint glow
against you, I think you forgot about me,
maybe we kissed goodbye on your bed with
the windows open and the orange house across
the street steamed like a fat sun and I fell all over
the wood floor, the dashboard smashing at the base of the canyon,
I’m a melted crayon, no, I’m a dried up riverbed, no,
you are kissing my mouth, no, neck, the canyon is opening
and a thousand moths fly up to the road,
I think my car is charred,
I am an empty gas tank,
when you kiss me,
I spit lonely into your mouth,
that’s the worst part.

Posted in Blog, Poetry & Prose and tagged ,

Poem Of The Day

Our Never

Benjamin S. Grossberg

Is the never of childhood, deeper
than the never of adolescence,
which has a whining, stammering
quality, which is a stamped foot
followed by huffing steps, and wholly
unlike the never of adulthood,
has none of the bright spider
cracks of reason multiplying
along its roof, threading its dark
dome with fine lines of light.
Didn’t you think, with such a
cavernous never in mind,
you might have consulted me?
Even a 3 AM phone call would’ve
been justified. On the line
in the dark, you could have shared
a little childhood mythology,
told me about some night when
you didn’t sleep, couldn’t hear
your parents, and morning seemed
further away than “far away,”
seemed consigned to a distinct
and inimitable never. You could’ve
evoked for me the particular textures
of that never, explained that
you were mulling them again now,
assaying them for a contemporary
application. Sure, I’d have been
startled. What would you expect—
hearing how your childhood bed
sank into a hollow in the earth,
or how nighttime had, snickering,
closed you in its trench coat, and
how the residue of the experience,
the resin it left, you were brewing
into something for us. I’d have
wanted to see you right away
and would have been myself
forced to wait till next morning.
So, I, too, would’ve spent
an evening in an underground
hollow, or bundled up inside
night’s coat, wading through
one never on the off chance
that I could forestall another.

Posted in Poetry & Prose and tagged ,

Poem Of The Day

Still I Rise

Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Posted in Blog, Poetry & Prose and tagged ,

Poem Of The Day

Sonnet

Bill Knott
The way the world is not
Astonished at you
It doesn’t blink a leaf
When we step from the house
Leads me to think
That beauty is natural, unremarkable
And not to be spoken of
Except in the course of things
The course of singing and worksharing
The course of squeezes and neighbors
The course of you tying back your raving hair to go out
And the course of course of me
Astonished at you
The way the world is not

Posted in Blog, Poetry & Prose and tagged

Poem Of The Day

Alexis Rhone Fancher

OVER IT

Now the splinter-sized dagger that jabs at my heart has
lodged itself in my aorta, I can’t worry it
anymore. I liked the pain, the
dig of remembering, the way, if I
moved the dagger just so, I could
see his face, jiggle the hilt and hear his voice
clearly, a kind of music played on my bones
and memory, complete with the hip-hop beat
of his defunct heart. Now what am I
supposed to do? I am dis-
inclined toward rehab. Prefer the steady
jab jab jab that reminds me I’m still
living. Two weeks after he died,
a friend asked if I was “over it.”
As if my son’s death was something to get
through, like the flu. Now it’s past
the five-year slot. Maybe I’m okay that he isn’t anymore,
maybe not. These days,
I am an open wound. Cry easily.
Need an arm to lean on. You know what I want?
I want to ask my friend how her only daughter
is doing. And for one moment, I want her to tell me she’s
dead so I can ask my friend if she’s over it yet.
I really want to know.

Poem Of The Day

Sage Cohen

HOW TO PRAY

I follow two steps behind my son
on the gravel path as he shouts

hello to ducks. The squirrel has lost
a stripe of fur down his back.

I should have married someone else.
A person can die of motherhood.

Even the flame maple’s promises
have stopped sleeping in the house.

He was gone years before he was
gone. First, he shot a doorway

through me, one complaint at a time.
Then he stepped through the place

my body once was and kept going.
He said he wanted to keep

trying, but what did that mean
in the absence of trying?

God, the cherry blossoms are in bloom.
This morning my son made me

an arrangement of flowers shredded
with scissors. I married a man

whose hands were unmade to please me.
I hold the vase like a torch.

Poem Of The Day

The Barnacle and the Gray Whale
by Cecilia Llompart

Said the Barnacle,

You enchant me, with your carnival
of force.

Yours is a system of slow.

There is you, the pulley
and there is you, the weight.

Your eyes wide on a hymn.

Your deep song like the turn
of that first,

that earliest of wheels.

Said the Whale,

I have seen you, little encruster,
in that business of fouling the ships.

Known, little drum machine, you
to tease out food from the drink.

Little thimble of chalk and hard water.

You could be a callus of whiter skin.

You could be a knucklebone. You
who hang on me,

like a conscience.

Posted in Blog, Poetry & Prose

Poem Of The Day

In the Happo-En Garden, Tokyo
by Linda Pastan

The way a birthmark
on a woman’s face defines
rather than mars
her beauty,

so the skyscrapers–
those flowers of technology–
reveal the perfection
of the garden they surround.

Perhaps Eden is buried
here in Japan,
where an incandescent
koi slithers snakelike

to the edge of the pond;
where a black-haired
Eve-san in the petalled
folds of a kimono

once showed her silken body
to the sun, then picked a persimmon
and with a small bow
bit into it.

Posted in Blog, Poetry & Prose

Poem Of The Day

No More Words

I’m going to have to abandon this any minute now. This writing life. The writing life right now. But I also have that feeling on a daily basis—that I’ll have to abandon it. Not for something sensible or anything. But because I’ll run out of words. Not run out of things to talk about. But words. I live in fear that they will no longer serve me. One day, my last word will be written. And that day I will die, but it will not be my last on earth. I’ll die and be forced to continue my existence. I make up the words to write and they won’t love me the way I love them. And they will abandon me. So I prepare myself to abandon them first. I must leave. I must cheat. I must break them.

Mary Fae Smith

Posted in Life, Poetry & Prose and tagged ,

Poem Of The Day

Anxieties
by Donna Masini

It’s like ants
and more ants.

West, east
their little axes

hack and tease.
Your sins. Your back taxes.

This is your Etna,
your senate

of dread, at the axis
of reason, your taxi

to hell. You see
your past tense–

and next? A nest
of jittery ties.

You’re ill at ease,
at sea,

almost in-
sane.  You’ve eaten

your saints.
You pray to your sins.

Even sex
is no exit.

Ah, you exist.

Posted in Life, Poetry & Prose