Saturday, May 30, 2009

Solidarity

Crossing the River Styx,
Sorrow

For the solitary
Oarsman

Up shit creek
Without a paddle.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Four Poems, Petros Bourgos

Received a short while back from David Miller's Kater Murr's Press, four poems by Petros Bourgos, who died in a swimming accident last summer while vacationing on Karystos, Greece. David's moving editorial tribute to Petros (and to Michael Thorp, who also died in November last year) is in the latest issue of Poetry Salzburg Review here; you can also read Petros' four poems here. Time for me to thank David publicly for honoring Petros in this way.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

10, Definitely Not Lemmings Street

Recently linked: My thanks to Kevin Atteridg who decided to move to 10, Definitely Not Lemmings Street; you can knock on his door here.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Record

The fingers
On the rim,

As the poet once
Said of the grooves

Cut by the ropes
Into the stones

Ringing the lip
Of the well.

NB: The poet is Dionysios Solomos from The Woman of Zakynthos; see also George Seferis, Mythistorema, poem number two.


Monday, May 25, 2009

The Nightest


Recently received from the author: An exquisite three-color foldout accordion booklet stuffed with twenty poems, forthcoming from Bob Arnold's Longhouse. Not only is Levy's poetry a sheer delight to read, the booklet itself is a work of art. Highly recommended.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Night Flight

To avoid unforeseen complications
Ushered in by unwarranted light

After filling jar with fireflies,
Seal off all access

To further night.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

NO/ON : journal of the short poem, #7, Spring 2009


Recently received: My contributor's copy of this hand-sewn, tastefully designed magazine edited by Philip Rowland. Number 7 includes poetry (in order of appearance) by John Levy, Victoria Bean, Vassilis Zambaras, Jonathan Greene, Chris McCabe, Daniel Zimmerman, Philip Lansdell, Jim Cacian, Philip Terry, Alan Botsford, James Sanders, Jeff Harrison, Bob Heman, Lee Gurga, Ed Markowski, John Vieira, Peggy Willis Lyles, Sam Ward, Carol Watts, David Giannini, Mark Terrill, Alex Jorgensen, Boyer Rickel, Gary Hotham, Travis Cebula, Scott Metz, J. J. Steinfeld, Emily Carr, Carrie Etter, Ruth Danon, Peter Hughes, Rufo Quintavalle, Marcia LeBeau, Jane Joritz Nakagawa, Sheila E. Murphy, Geraldine Monk and Gloria Frym--72 pages of excellent short poems.

To order this issue or check the availability of back issues, you can contact Philip at noonpress@mac.com or at Minami Motomachi 4-49-506, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0012, Japan.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Selected Poems, Pierre Reverdy

A bilingual edition, translated from the French, with an introduction by Kenneth Rexroth, Jonathan Cape, 1973.

I have long since forgotten how long this exquisite little book has been with me; nor do I remember where I bought it, if ever I did, because there is no price listed anywhere. However, I do remember the excitement I felt upon opening the book and finding gems such as this one--priceless.






From the Introduction: "As the years have passed and cette belle epoque recedes into perspective, for us today, Pierre Reverdy stands out from his fellows as the most profound and most controlled artist....In verse such as Reverdy's....the elements, the primary data of the poetic construction [they] are simple, sensory, emotional or primary informative objects capable of little or no further reduction....Reverdy works with dismembered propositions from which subject, operator and object have been wrenched free and restructured into an invisible or subliminal discourse which owes its cogency to its own strict, complex and secret logic."

"Poetry such as this attempts not just a new syntax of the word. Its revolution is aimed at the syntax of the mind itself. Its restructuring of experience is purposive, not dreamlike, and hence it possesses an uncanniness fundamentally different in kind from the most haunted utterances of the Surrealist or Symbolist unconscious."

"When the ordinary materials of poetry are broken up, recombined in structures radically different from those we assume to be the result of causal, or of what we have come to accept as logical, sequence, and then an abnormally focused attention is invited to their comprehension, they are given an intense significance, closed within the structure of the work of art, and are not negotiable in ordinary contexts of occasion. So isolated and illuminated, they seem to assume an unanalysable transcendental claim. Accompanying, as it were garbing, this insistent transcendence are sometimes certain projected physical responses induced or transmitted in the person undergoing the poetic experience, whether poet or reader. Vertigo, rapture, transport, crystalline and plangent sounds, shattered and refracted light, indefinite depths, weightlessness, piercing odours and tastes, and synthesizing these sensations and effects, an all-consuming clarity."


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Spiritual Nature of Anticipation

anxious, a-
spiring

to be heard,
as an

embryo's heart-
beat, hard

to grasp,
to see

the next leaf
over-

head breaking
away,

to Fall.

(First published in Poetry Salzburg Review #9, Spring 2006.)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Bring 'em Back Alive (1884-1950)

Hey, Frank

Buck, why don't you
just get up-

wind of that
specimen

blue and white pied spring
meadow riddled with red

bursts of poppy

anemones and bright
bleeding

tawny tiger lilies
yellow dandy

lions

coming back to life?


Friday, May 15, 2009

His Reticence

--for Eleni

Rain has been falling
All night, love,

So softly
I wanted to tell you,

I wanted to tell you
Forgive me,

You were sleeping so
Peacefully.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Disclosure

"I would love to be a word in a Zambaras poem."
--William Michaelian

Lovely being

a word in a poem
enclosed in a bottle

opened by one
you love.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Widow at Window; Witness

Photo taken in Kastoria, Northern Greece, 1974; poem written 34 years later--even if I hadn't taken the photograph, the image of this old woman looking wistfully out her window down at the foot traffic passing below her window would have remained indelibly in my memory.

Definitely Not Lemmings #9

I'd like to thank Drew Kunz for following this blog; an accomplished artist, writer and editor, you can read more about Drew here and check out his webpage here.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Witness

The ancient house emptied,
shuttered against the light;

on the wallpapered wall
of the study,

the gilt-edged portrait
of the dutiful young wife;

to the right of the picture,
the old widow's window,

framed for life.

(First published in Two Review 2009)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Presentiment

Verily we feel
Our bones shall follow

The wake,
To wake

In the dark
Of the morrow,

To find the glow-
Worm's glimmer,

Its spineless undulating underbelly
Underpinning

Our very marrow.


(First published in Kater Murr's Press)