Monday, September 29, 2008

"Man Listening To Disc" by Billy Collins

This is not bad --
ambling along 44th Street
with Sonny Rollins for company,
his music flowing through the soft calipers
of these earphones,

as if he were right beside me
on this clear day in March,
the pavement sparkling with sunlight,
pigeons fluttering off the curb,
nodding over a profusion of bread crumbs.

In fact, I would say
my delight at being suffused
with phrases from his saxophone --
some like honey, some like vinegar --
is surpassed only by my gratitude

to Tommy Potter for taking the time
to join us on this breezy afternoon
with his most unwieldy bass
and to the esteemed Arthur Taylor
who is somehow managing to navigate

this crowd with his cumbersome drums.
And I bow deeply to Thelonious Monk
for figuring out a way
to motorize -- or whatever -- his huge piano
so he could be with us today.

This music is loud yet so confidential.
I cannot help feeling even more
like the center of the universe
than usual as I walk along to a rapid
little version of "The Way You Look Tonight,"

and all I can say to my fellow pedestrians,
to the woman in the white sweater,
the man in the tan raincoat and the heavy glasses,
who mistake themselves for the center of the universe --
all I can say is watch your step,

because the five of us, instruments and all,
are about to angle over
to the south side of the street
and then, in our own tightly knit way,
turn the corner at Sixth Avenue.

And if any of you are curious
about where this aggregation,
this whole battery-powered crew,
is headed, let us just say
that the real center of the universe,

the only true point of view,
is full of hope that he,
the hub of the cosmos
with his hair blown sideways,
will eventually make it all the way downtown.


"My Affair with Rumpelstiltskin" by Ina Loewenberg

He wasn't really bad to look at
if you don't mind your men so short.
His head was disproportionate
but forceful, and his neck was taut,
his eyebrows were pointed and curly
and of course his black eyes burned
with mad glee, his arms were fully
muscled, his booted feet neatly turned.

He made his offer, good as gold,
so confident I would accept his special skill
to save my skin, but I, surprisingly bold,
countered with the skin itself, the heart, the will.
The straw was scratchy but the man was smooth,
he brought down pillows to cushion our elation;
I slept then while he labored to produce
the glitter that insured my royal station.

It was a bargain that was fair to each
of us, he mellowed, I grew wild,
and he knew games that he was glad to teach
and in our playfulness we made the child.
When I resumed the throne, all validated,
we knew we could no longer carry on;
he took his pleasure in what we had created—
the king would have a surprisingly short son.


Friday, September 26, 2008

word verification : phzed sqeeeo : fo shizzle

one of these is not like the others and dislocated itself in pixeland...

A Holy Trinity of Poetry (that title mine) by Elizabeth Willis

Primeval Islands

This I, this me, I’m speaking from a book. That brain that taught me delicious things, forgivable trains, a signal business. I don’t want to be tragic, even to the goldleafed bug. I, Walt Whitman, with Texas in my mouth. Dismiss this fantasy in favor of our startled shade. I remembered my tricks and what they did. Even apples aren’t free. Our life against the midnight lens: poor Crusoe on Mars. I’m walking through this wall of air to comfort my senate.

Why No New Planets Are Ejected from the Sun

These our ships are the copies of copies. This x is that, lifting off the dock. We think we’re here because we’re crouching in the umber of syllables, that sun is “killing me,” a flag among flies, our frozen boat in frozen oil. Let’s haunt the beach instead of this history beset with cosmic jelly. At the blind is it morning already? This word has meant so many things, I need a fence to move this gem-like feeling. Or I’m that bus, in hacked-up disquiet, stuck at the light.

Oil and Water

One person’s idyll is another’s confinement. Midnight everywhere is praying through the noise, a token of the obvious. Hours blurt out buds like synonyms of battle. Depending on your subject, a cup may be a sword, dropped on the tile like a capital “is.” To put away, to be instant, like “the sands of Iwo Jima,” an eager policy toward the nearest sea. Something dreamed a fire would quench it, something drew a finger through the fire.

via No: A Journal of the Arts.


Monday, September 22, 2008

sexy by proxy, by proxy

"caught in the act"