15 May, 2010

Tell Me Lies in a Dead Language

Perhaps it starts with genetics.
The knack of the body to remember
what the mind chooses to disregard:
gloom, heartbreak, and black eyes.
To routinely recall the verb forget
soon after a drunken argument
has leaned in close and shouted
sinister advice in your ears.

Each day, less of you survives,
and what remains seems fragile and disposable,
half-healed bones and broken china.
A penchant for shoplifting, sex,
and scotch before noon.
Scattered scars that outline your wrists
and bruises that ache, disappear, then return.

So you say that your husband is nice
in his own way, a statement as undecipherable
to me as Sanskrit.  You tell me lies
in a dead language and I answer them
with the comforting weight of silence.
I can only think of how at dusk,
as night closes around our world like a fist,
he will punch you behind drawn curtains
and locked doors.
If I believed in apologies,
I’d give all of mine to you,
mumbled like unanswered prayers
floating aimlessly toward heaven.

~ ~ Adrian Potter

From: The Shine Journal, Vol. 1 (2010).

Sounds like something squashed, squished,
stepped on, lost.

An guish
rather than a guish, as if right off,

you began wrong.

~ ~ John Levy

From: Oblivion, Tyrants, Crumbs, First Intensity Press, 2008.
in between petals
of a tiny white daisy
this shifting world

~ ~ Donna Fleischer

From: "Seed Packets", Bottle Rockets Press Anthology, 2010

with Spring light

an abandoned nest

~ ~ Donna Fleischer

Published in Kō, 2009.
Photo, with permission of Pam Harris.

The young dog would like to know
why we sit so long in one place
intent on a box that makes the same
noises and has no smell whatever.
Get out! Get out! we tell him
when he asks us by licking the back
of our hand, which has small hairs,
almost like his. Other times he finds us
motionless with papers in our lap
or at a desk looking into a humming
square of light. Soon the dog understands
we are not looking, exactly, but sleeping
with our eyes open, then goes to sleep
himself. Is it us he cries out to,
moving his legs somewhere beyond
the rooms where we spend our lives?
We don't think to ask, upset
as we are in the end with the dog,
who has begun throwing the old,
shabby coat of himself down on every
floor or rug in the apartment, sleep,
we say, all that damn dog does is sleep.

~ ~ Wesley McNair

From Lovers of the Lost: New & Selected Poems by Wesley McNair.
Used by permission of David R. Godine, Publisher, Inc.
Copyright © 2010 by Wesley McNair
Birds change places the bare tree branches.

~ ~  John Levy

From: Oblivion, Tyrants, Crumbs, First Intensity Press, 2008.

Shelf Life

Now that I am older, books love me intensely.
They have forgiven my college indiscretions
of cracking spines and highlighting pages in yellow,
back when I was desperate to eat words.

In the bookstore, I converse with the paperbacks—
These books have no sense of history.
They yawn, flip their flimsy pages incredulously
as if they know it all in 200 words or less.

They just don’t get it, so I visit the clearance bin,
say hi to the one-offs and discontinueds.
This is a generous lot. They mold themselves to my hands
as they often do for anyone bookworming on a Saturday afternoon.

Like kittens in a box, they’re waiting to be adopted
by someone like me, who combs the aisles of the familiar,
looking for a slim gem or doorstop tale to anoint
the small place in me that can always make room for one more.

~ ~ January Gill O'Neil

08 May, 2010

Moon Questions

How is it that I can enter at the sea
and come back through the moon

Is the purpose of the moon the ache of renewal 
or an eager decay

The moon is what I do not have
on the other side of falling

So, why is my sun limited to moonlight

Do I consume too much of the moon

~ ~ Grant Hackett
drifting on the river
emptying itself

~ ~ L. A. Krueger
facing the cream-white moon
out of place

~ ~ Chen-ou Liu

Published in Sketchbook Sept/Oct. 2009.

         ~   ~   ~

the same moon
Li Po drank to
the same autumn
Tu Fu wrote of—
I alone change

la même lune
dont Li Po s’abreuvait
le même automne
que décrivait Tu Fu—
moi seul je change

~ ~ Chen-ou Liu

Published in Gusts #10 (Fall/Winter 2009), and showcased in Atlas Poetica  (Special Edition: Canadian Tanka Poets in French and English).  French translation by Mike Montreuil and Huguette Ducharm.
no one


Lilliput Review #165 (November, 2008). 

full moon
my mind

~ ~ Ed Baker


the moon is never
out of fashion

pregnant belly
curved blade
ladle bowl

pulling the ocean
& our own red seas
sparking darkest

lunacies ~ the moon
is never retro

~ ~ Sharon Brogan