August 25, 2012 § Leave a comment
My third review in AMN is of Cabinet of Natural Curiosities’ album Searchlight Needles. See it here.
August 25, 2012 § Leave a comment
I decided to end the run of poems of the day with the 90th entry (though I was mistaken – I now realize there were only 88), because it started to seem more like drudgery and less like inspiration. Not that I demand inspiration from every project I undertake, but when the drudgery hits a certain point and there’s not enough payback, there doesn’t seem to be much of a reason to keep it going.
But upon ending the series, I found out that quite a few more people than I thought (stats? what?) had been following along. And I kind of miss the discipline. So I’m going to start it up again, but this time, for sure, along with the poems of the day, there will be other entries. So look back to Looking Back for the daily poems starting September 1, and look forward to new stuff on Looking Back!
August 19, 2012 § Leave a comment
Excerpt from SECRET HISTORY OF THE DIVIDING LINE (1978)
a short letter
embrace at departure
in a tremendous forward direction
house and host
-Susan Howe, from Frame Structures: Early Poems 1974 – 1979 (New Directions, 1996)
August 18, 2012 § Leave a comment
relic / relict: some users of nails
for Divya Victor
1. take a disused verb– say : disorb– & stick
a pin in it. what is left. in the area of interest
due to age or having been relinquished
or surviving in the sense of all else is lost.
let me burden your head with firn.
2. the precision of a suffix, bereft
of all superstition & filthy lucre. (remember how
Krapp looks up ‘viduity’?) disambiguate, revive a word
for it– say : depintrix– & count
any number of hands remaining,
a rehearsal of our best grammar.
3. objects in the category brandea do not concern the body, but rather
contact with the body. the witch Erichtho went grave-robbing specifically
for insertum manibus chalybem, iron that has passed through the hands.
4. frags, smithereens. we need
a useful word– say: the days in nowadays
or the qua in quag & its antecedent hwaet.
the orts & scraps & bits, to paraphrase,
that remain, a fraction of the body & we parse
the vernacular, unless it’s a dialect (with
or without an army.)
-Pattie McCarthy, from Table Alphabetical of Hard Words (Apogee Press, 2010)
August 17, 2012 § Leave a comment
Who remains in the city in August?
Only the poor and the insane,
Old ladies left behind,
Pensioners with Pomeranians,
Thieves, here and there an aristocrat, and cats.
Along the deserted streets
You hear a percussive beat of heels
And you see women with plastic bags
Standing in the line of shade along the walls.
Under the fountain with the turret
In the green algaed pool
There’s a middle-aged naiad
Ten and a half centimeters tall
With nothing on but a bra.
A few meters away,
Despite the well-known prohibition,
Set upon you
And steal the bread out of your hand.
You hear in the sky the whoosh,
In exhausted flight, of the noonday demon.
-Primo Levi, translated by Harry Thomas & Marco Sonzogni, from the anthology Counterfeits (Center for the Art of Translation, 2011; no. 17 in the Two Lines: World Writing in Translation series)
August 16, 2012 § Leave a comment
WE ARE MADE UP OF SMALLER VERSIONS OF OURSELVES STACKED UP ON TOP OF THE SMALLER VERSIONS OF OURSELVES’ SHOULDERS LIKE A HUMAN LADDER WEARING A TRENCHCOAT SO THAT WE LOOK LIKE JUST “ONE NORMAL-SIZED PERSON COMING THROUGH HERE, NO REASON TO GET SUSPICIOUS”
Whenever you were not going in from
the cold, you were gloveless.
SAPPHIRE: You had little hands
THE BUTCHER: And a sapphire
THE CHILDREN: And a butcher
THE MOTHERS: Give us our children.
In the spaceship, they were increasing
the parameter of experience
slowly. Back down, children.
THE LITTLE HANDS: Where are the little gloves?
THE LITTLE TRENCHCOATS: Are we alone?
THE MILES: We better stop.
I like that song that goes:
God only knows what I’d be without you.
GOD REMEMBERS THE NINETIES
Everybody has been hanging around here
ANITA: I stubbed my toe on the ottoman.
JEAN-BERTRAND: I touched myself in the eye.
A LAMP: If there is some music, there is a room.
WIKIPEDIA: Some people are listening to “The Dolphin’s Cry.”
I cannot think of anything sadder
than your parents’ clothes in a suitcase —
besides the mass production of spoons.
DOLLY (THE SHEEP): If the world had a face, I’d spit on it.
LOVE (THE SHEEP): I’m famous for being famous.
THE CARNIES: Philosophy can be a means.
of exploring joy and its intricacies.
There is a wooden bird that drinks water.
-Paul Legault, from The Other Poems (Fence Books, 2011)