Friday, May 20, 2011

In Daylight, I Turned On the Lights

Jane Hirshfield (2011)

In daylight, I turned on the lights,
in darkness, I pulled closed the curtains.
And the god of More,
whom nothing surprises, softly agreed—
each day, year after year,
the dead were dead one day more completely.
In the places where morels were found,
I looked for morels.
In the house where love was found,
I looked for love.
If she vanished, what then was different?
If he is alive, what now is changed?
The pot offers the metal closest to fire for burning.
The water leaves.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Imagined

Stephen Dunn (2011)

If the imagined woman makes the real woman
seem bare-boned, hardly existent, lacking in
gracefullness and intellect and pulchritude,
and if you come to realize the imagined woman
can only satisfy your imagination, whereas
the real woman with all her limitations
can often make you feel good, how, in spite
of knowing this, does the imagined woman
keep getting into your bedroom, and joining you
at dinner, why is it that you always bring her along
on vacations when the real woman is shopping,
or figuring the best way to the museum?

And if the real woman

has an imagined man, as she must, someone
probably with her at this very moment, in fact
doing and saying everything she's ever wanted,
would you want to know that she slips in
to her life every day from a secret doorway
she's made for him, that he's present even when
you're eating your omelette at breakfast,
or do you prefer how she goes about the house
as she does, as if there were just the two of you?
Isn't her silence, finally, loving? And yours
not entirely self-serving? Hasn't the time come,

once again, not to talk about it?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Nick Laird (2011)

You're beeswax and I'm bird shit.
I'm mostly harmless. You're irrational.
If I'm iniquity then you're theft.
One of us is supercalifragilistic.

If I'm the most insane disgusting filth
you're hardly curiosa.
You're bubble wrap to my fingertips.
You're winter sleep and I'm the bee dance.

And I am menthol and you are eggshell.
When you're atrocious I am Spellcheck.
You're the yen. I'm the Nepalese pound.
If I'm homesteading you're radical chic.

I'm carpet shock and you're the rail.
I'm Memory Foam Day on Price-Drop TV
and you're the Lord of Misrule who shrieks
when I surface in goggles through duckweed,

and I am Trafalgar, and you're Waterloo,
and frequently it seems to me that I am you,
and you are me. If I'm the rising incantation
you're the charm, or I am, or you are.