Friday, April 20, 2012

National Poetry Month

Given the erudition and intellect of our readership, I'm certain that all of you know that April is National Poetry Month. I celebrated by writing a little verse that drew comparison to Ogden Nash. I published it on Facebook, but it's reprinted at the bottom of this post.

My work, though, quakes before the poets lauded by Flavorwire as 10 of the Most Badass Contemporary American Poets. Badass poets? Badass poets.No shrinking violets, these, tucked behind a desk pensively looking out a window on a verdant tableau. Rather motorcycles, skulls whiskey, blood, guns, and grit. A few of my favorite verses follow:

You Asked How (formerly Even Now She Is Turning, Saying Everything I Always Wanted Her to Say)

At the end there were straws
in her glove compartment, I'd split them open
to taste the familiar bitter residue, near the end
I ate all her Percodans, hungry to know
how far they could take me.
A bottle of red wine each night moved her along
as she wrote, I feel too much, again and again.

You asked how and I said, Suicide, and you asked
how and I said, An overdose, and then
she shot herself, and your eyes filled
with wonder, so I added, In the chest, so you
wouldn't think
her face was gone, and it mattered, somehow,
that you knew this. . .

Every year I'm eight years old and the world
is no longer safe. Our phone becomes unlisted, our mail
is kept in a box at the post office,
and my mother tells me always
leave a light on so it seems
someone is home. She finds a cop
for her next boyfriend, his hair
greasy, pushed back with his fingers. He lets me play
with his service revolver while they kiss
on the couch. Cars slowly fill the windows, and I aim,
making the noise with my mouth, in case it's them,
and when his back is hunched over her I aim
between his shoulder blades, silently,
in case it's him.

Nick Flynn (author of Another Night of Bullshit in Suck City)

Disappointments of the Apocalypse

Once warring factions agreed upon the date   
and final form the apocalypse would take,   
and whether dogs and cats and certain trees
deserved to sail, and if the dead would come or be left   
a forwarding address, then opposing soldiers   
met on ravaged plains to shake hands   
and postulate the exact shade
of the astral self—some said lavender,   
others gray. And physicists rocketed
copies of the decree to paradise
in case God had anything to say,
the silence that followed being taken   
for consent, and so citizens
readied for celestial ascent.

Those who hated the idea stayed indoors   
till the appointed day. When the moon   
clicked over the sun like a black lens   
over a white eye, they stepped out   
onto porches and balconies to see   
the human shapes twist and rise   
through violet sky and hear trees uproot   
with a sound like enormous zippers   
unfastening. And when the last grassblades   
filled the air, the lonely vigilants fell   
in empty fields to press their bodies   
hard into dirt, hugging their own outlines.

Then the creator peered down from his perch,   
as the wind of departing souls tore the hair   
of those remaining into wild coronas,   
and he mourned for them as a father   
for defiant children, and he knew that each   
small skull held, if not some vision
of his garden, then its aroma of basil
and tangerine washed over by the rotting sea.   
They alone sensed what he’d wanted
as he first stuck his shovel into clay
and flung the planets over his shoulder,
or used his thumbnail to cut smiles and frowns   
on the first blank faces. Even as the saints   
arrived to line before his throne singing
and a wisteria poked its lank blossoms
through the cloudbank at his feet,
he trained his gaze on the deflating globe
where the last spreadeagled Xs clung like insects,   
then vanished in puffs of luminous smoke,

which traveled a long way to sting his nostrils,   
the journey lasting more than ten lifetimes.   
A mauve vine corkscrewed up from the deep   
oblivion, carrying the singed fume
of things beautiful, noble, and wrong. 
 
Mary Karr
 
a poem for spring

dandelion, so beautiful
I sing your praises
now please die
 
rob

33 comments:

zman said...

This is just like a 3 am voicemail from Teedge.

Igor said...

Gheorghe: The Poetry Slam. Proudly calling our own sexual preference into question since 2003.

rob said...

some are secure enough in their manhood to celebrate verse. others mock. not that there's anything wrong with that.

T.J. said...

Rhymin' and stealin' in a drunken state...and I'll be rockin' my rhymes all the way to Hell's gate.

TR said...

No poetry from Olaf?

Igor said...

I was including myself in the mockery. Remember, Marls and I created a quintet of limericks earlier this week.

rob said...

and you wrote about a ukelele. again, not that there's anything wrong with that.

Dave said...

here is a poem of mine. and remember, i teach creative writing, so don't get intimidated by how good it is:

Some Advice For Sylvia Plath

Get your head out of that oven,
and cook us up another poem.

Dave said...

not only did i write that poem, but i also have it memorized so that i can recite it for my students when we read "mirror."

Squeaky said...

Some Advice For Dave

Get your head out of that taco,
and cook us up another sentence.

rob said...

poetry slam!

T.J. said...

Hickory Dickory Dock.
My balls fell out of my jock.
I laid them to rest
On some hooker's chest
And paddled her face with my cock.

Igor said...

One thing about Dave that I detest
All his rhymes are half-rhymes at best

Igor said...

Remember Super Bowl Sunday? That was a while ago. That was the last time the local minor league hockey team, the Norfolk Admirals, lost a game. At any level, that's pretty good. 28 games amid counting.

rob said...

been to a lot admirals games, have we?

Danimal said...

poetry. NEAT.

Danimal said...

beer thirty?

Dave said...

how about some iambic rhythm, igor?

the thing about dave I detest,
his rhymes are half-assed at his best.

rob said...

this is the first nba playoffs i've even remotely looked forward to in 15+ years. just thought i'd share.

zman said...

I got an ad in the mail saying "Your in the house, now finish the dream.". With this level of attention to detail I will not use their services.

rob said...

no wife or kids tonight. gonna sip whiskey and watch sports. feel free to entertain me.

zman said...

More territorial pissings?

rob said...

i may now be drinking to mourn the death of the red sox season

TR said...

Was about to ask how that sports viewing was going. Oucher.

TR said...

Quickest 2 TDS I've ever seen the Yanks put up.

rob said...

i'd be pretty bitter if i wasn't certain the sox suck this season

rob said...

hope you guys are watching everton v man u. wow.

Danimal said...

Just some Tom and Jerry here rob.

Igor said...

ESPN called Philip Humber "an unknown." Well, he's known to Mets fans. Another ex-Met to throw a no-no. 50 years and none for the Mets. Sweet.

Dave said...

i had to look up the box score for the yanks/sox game to figure out TR's TD reference. reminds me of freshman year and rob doing shots to match red sox runs . . .

Danimal said...

Poetry. Still. Neat.

rob said...

efforting, danimal

T.J. said...

Likely this afternoon with something, danimal.