Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Kitchen Fable

Eleanor Ross Taylor (2010)

The fork lived with the knife
     and found it hard—for years
took nicks and scratches,
     not to mention cuts.

She who took tedium by the ears:
     nonforthcoming pickles,
defiant stretched out lettuce,
     sauce-gooed particles.

He who came down whack,
his conversation, even, edged.

Lying beside him in the drawer
     she formed a crazy patina,
the seasons stacked—
     melons succeeded by cured pork.

He dulled; he was a dull knife,
while she, after all, a fork.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Private Equity

Sophie Cabot Black (2010)

To put one and one together making
Two and so on. A house appears, room
With a bed in it. To configure anyway,

Even without enough information.
We work into it, the chosen. To measure
Everything out until the one who takes over

Becomes taken. This as strategy, the art
Of how we build until management
In turn builds us, elegant the logic

Used. To draw out more than what is put in.
Everyone wants beyond; even with the one last page
As exit plan it is the return that is watched and how

We will be known. To end up where we start
Again, and to look as if we gained.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Feather in Bas-Relief

Allen Edwin Butt (2009)

Words without much use
now. Unable to remake
the thing. And I thought

what should I think—
followed by: spring light looks
like feathers. (Birds

seemed conveniently
decorous.) What then
does this leave I asked

& was surprised to know
so quickly—that my understanding
of what the light & birds

could not be made to mean
would not detract
from them as they

were. Bound by feathers
(a thought, I will admit,
born of artifice alone)

they bore themselves aloft,
What could I counter with?
I, who held my heart

in offering as much for
show as for a fear so deep
I found I could not name it.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

from Death Republic

Ilya Kaminsky (2010)


Yet I am. I exists. I has
a body,
when I see

my wife's slender boyish legs
the roof
of my mouth goes dry.

She takes my toe
in her mouth
Bites lightly.

How do we live on earth, Mosquito?
If I could hear

you what would you say?
Your answer, Mosquito!

Above all, beware
of sadness

on earth, we can do
—can't we—

what we want.

Monday, May 3, 2010

from Death Republic

Ilya Kaminsky (2010)


I kissed a woman
whose freckles
aroused our neighbors.

Her trembling lips
meant come to bed.
Her hair falling down in the middle

of the conversation
meant come to bed.
I walked into my hospital of thoughts.

Yes, I carried her off to bed
on the chair of my
hairy arms. But parted lips

meant kiss my parted lips,
I read those lips
without understanding

soft lips meant
kiss my soft lips.
Such is a silence

of a woman who
speaks against silence, knowing
silence is what

moves us to speak.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

from Death Republic

Ilya Kaminsky (2010)


I look at you, Alfonso,
and say

to the late

good morning, Senators,
this is a battle

or our weapons.