metanoia

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1.

the story Lydia used to tell, that one

about sobbing out behind the barn

so she missed the phone call with the

good news she’d waited so long for…

when I got your phone call last October

–His voice telling you CALL HER

you didn’t even know where to find me

I had this disembodied thought:

 bad news has planted a homing device

in me…has me on speed-dial

                2.

A few months before Jon died, I asked

him to tell me one true thing and he said

he couldn’t say…that he wasn’t sure

he’d ever told the truth about anything

…which was a lie

                3.

There we all were…our poetic fury

our tenderness to each other, our love,

our pathos… and our need to go on living,

to bear the brilliant madness of him…Jenny said

“I want to kick his motherfucking ass”

but I never felt angry…I knew his list

whittled down to scant few real things in

the end…and death was the last thing on it

                 4.

I still wake up in mourning…

the geese pull the gray sheet of

November up over the face of the

cold world…there are so few real things,

really alive things in it, but I know

they are worth living for… at least

I hope I know that

                5.

Spell 161 in The Book of the Dead tells how

to reanimate a soul…by releasing the four

winds…breathing life with written words,

through vigils, chants…by bringing back the light

…surely we have done that, just look

at the life of him we’ve made…just

look at the life he’s made of us

in loving memory of the poet Jon Berkley Wallace who died on this day ten years ago… and we couldn’t stop him
© Liana  10/11
(original post)

what it feels like . . .

I was trying to explain poetry to someone who is trying to understand . . .

THIS . . . THIS . . .

I wanted to see where beauty comes from

without you in the world, hauling my heart

across sixty acres of northeast meadow,

my pockets filling with flowers.

Then I remembered,

it’s you I miss in the brightness

and body of every living name:

rattlebox, yarrow, wild vetch.

You are the green wonder of June,

root and quasar, the thirst for salt.

When I finally understand that people fail

at love, what is left but cinquefoil, thistle,

the paper wings of the dragonfly

aeroplaning the soul with a sudden blue hilarity?

If I get the story right, desire is continuous,

equatorial. There is still so much

I want to know: what you believe

can never be removed from us,

what you dreamed on Walnut Street

in the unanswerable dark of your childhood,

learning pleasure on your own.

Tell me our story: are we impetuous,

are we kind to each other, do we surrender

to what the mind cannot think past?

Where is the evidence I will learn

to be good at loving?

The black dog orbits the horseshoe pond

for treefrogs in their plangent emergencies.

There are violet hills,

there is the covenant of duskbirds.

The moon comes over the mountain

like a big peach, and I want to tell you

what I couldn’t say the night we rushed

North, how I love the seriousness of your fingers

and the way you go into yourself,

calling my half-name like a secret.

I stand between taproot and treespire.

Here is the compass rose

to help me live through this.

Here are twelve ways of knowing

what blooms even in the blindness

of such longing. Yellow oxeye,

viper’s bugloss with its set of pink arms

pleading do not forget me.

We hunger for eloquence.

We measure the isopleths.

I am visiting my life with reckless plenitude.

The air is fragrant with tiny strawberries.

Fireflies turn on their electric wills:

an effulgence. Let me come back

whole, let me remember how to touch you

before it is too late.

– Stacie Cassarino, SUMMER SOLSTICE

what he said

the Impotence of Proofreading

Has this ever happened to you?

You work very horde on a paper for English clash

And then get a very glow raid (like a D or even a D=)

and all because you are the word1s liverwurst spoiler.

Proofreading your peppers is a matter of the the utmost impotence.

This is a problem that affects manly, manly students.

I myself was such a bed spiller once upon a term

that my English teacher in my sophomoric year,

Mrs. Myth, said I would never get into a good colleague.

And that1s all I wanted, just to get into a good colleague.

Not just anal community colleague,

because I wouldn1t be happy at anal community colleague.

I needed a place that would offer me intellectual simulation,

I really need to be challenged, challenged dentally.

I know this makes me sound like a stereo,

but I really wanted to go to an ivory legal collegue.

So I needed to improvement

or gone would be my dream of going to Harvard, Jail, or Prison

(in Prison, New Jersey).

So I got myself a spell checker

and figured I was on Sleazy Street.

But there are several missed aches

that a spell chukker can1t can1t catch catch.

For instant, if you accidentally leave a word

your spell exchequer won1t put it in you.

And God for billing purposes only

you should have serial problems with Tori Spelling

your spell Chekhov might replace a word

with one you had absolutely no detention of using.

Because what do you want it to douch?

It only does what you tell it to douche.

You1re the one with your hand on the mouth going clit, clit, clit.

It just goes to show you how embargo

one careless clit of the mouth can be.

Which reminds me of this one time during my Junior Mint.

The teacher read my entire paper on A Sale of Two Titties

out loud to all of my assmates.

I1m not joking, I1m totally cereal.

It was the most humidifying experience of my life,

being laughed at pubically.

So do yourself a flavor and follow these two Pisces of advice:

One: There is no prostitute for careful editing.

And three: When it comes to proofreading,

the red penis your friend.

©2017 Taylor Mali

profound realizations

(Selfy-Portrait)

And the Women Said

“And the Women Said” by Kelly Grace Thomas | Rattle: Poetry
http://www.rattle.com/wp-content/themes/reddle/js/html5.js

Kelly Grace Thomas

AND THE WOMEN SAID

And the women said watch as men call us lottery tickets
watch as they cash register us into gamble into played
out combinations of sweaty bills and pocket want
watch as they lick their lips for that better life
watch as they pout, when we don’t pay out.
When the bling of our breasts don’t make them
Cheshire cat the same. When we got our own debts
that gotta be paid, to mirrors, to mammas, to the way our hearts
traffic light in the closet after we sold ourselves
whole.
And the women said feel the way we became campfire
how we ghost storied into this dangerous beauty.
How them men can’t scrub out our smoke, how our blue learned
to burn slow, standstill like the moment between beggin and maybe.
Feel the way we soil into shovel, how we let ourselves be held even
after a matchbox tongue misspoke of our flames, even after we told flint,
you don’t live here no more. The women said feel how we are not open
fields waiting for their strike. They cannot not bury us
deep, call us things of war and be surprised
when we land mine.

from Rattle #51, Spring 2016
Tribute to Feminist Poets
2017 Neil Postman Award Winner

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Ligatures

ligaturescov
If words are our best weapon, then Denise Miller’s Ligatures is a full frontal assault on the nation’s apathy. You cannot read this elegiac chronicle of the indifferent, haphazard yet legal murder of black people without knowing in the veins of your conscience that we are all bloodstained. Miller cites and channels: victim and cop, reporter and spectator, medical examiner and mother. And because she is a great soldier of words, we follow Denise Miller straight into battle. We feel “born brown then broken, born brown then bent—born brown then esophagus-threaded through handcuff born brown then bracketed by [hashtag & period].” We see what we have tried so hard not to see—“those people”—the “black and brown bodies that have been named from auction blocks to blogs” who are not us . . . except they are. Ligatures binds us viscerally in an unconscionable, incongruous place where we cannot “scroll past as if this story isn’t ours.” So read it.   – Leeanne Seaver

Ligatures

 

Leeanne’s Fish

fish-for-dane

A fish there is

That swims across the canvas

Right to left

Bull-shit free

and bold

Beautiful and bereft

Of nothing

 

An admirably plain-speaking fish

This was a fish when time was

Famous in the Catacombs

When the Christ was spoken of

Only in whispers

 

It wears its glory lightly

Down at the mouth, yes,

But don’t be fooled

Leeanne’s fish glows contented

In its own shimmering skin

It’s candid iridescence

Eases without ego

 

The dull water in which it swims

Into the background.

 

 

~ my friend, the musician and writer
Andrew Roddy, Gortehark, Donegal
Ireland on 17 September 2016 was inspired to
write this lovely little piece about my attempt
to paint a fish.

I love it entirely.

the last thing She sees

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Of the field and fall

from grace we yield

the summer-sated grasses

and the golden-hour lasses . . .

Letting go the season

has come to pass

What wouldn’t I
do to spare you?

The Earth drops her gown

from green to gold to ground

but the last thing She’ll see

is blue . . . remembering

a world She once knew

. . . all the women do.

© LGS 9/14


(Bolstered by my writerly colleagues at http://www.lakeeffectwritersguild.com, I post this for my girl, and for all us girls)

“With No Language but a Cry”

barbed-wire

The Coyotes surely understand it.

Their primal sound

melding death and birth, pain and passion.

Our Scottie dog surely understood it,

howling with all the agony of Scotland.

The mother cows

bleating their grief when their calves are taken…

The deer

stomping their hooves and rubbing their foreheads

in an expression of emotion

that leaves me gaping in wonder.

The parents wailing in a playground in Pakistan . . .

My friends waiting for six year old Sophi to finish yet another round

of chemo . . .

Pieces of ourselves flying off our bodies, flying off our faces . . .

Emitting no words . . . not even organized cries, only high-pitched gasps,

trying to knit ourselves, our faces, our children, our planet

back together.

~ Barbara Jalon Hiles Mesle © 3/16

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