Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Weight

Forgive me love but you were so 
Light and transparent, I didn’t feel you

Flying head over heels with me 
Over the deep end. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Living Daylights

My, my, all my pretty ones, 
Aren’t we a picture? Oh, 
Night’s a flying the coop, 
The crescent’s stuck 
On the vane, hallelujahs
On high for the lunatic cock 
That shall egg on the chicks 
That shall startle the yolk 
That shall sire the albumen 
Sunny-side up day after day! 

Sunday, January 29, 2012


A poem given, a gift

To cherish but not 
To gawk over, 

You stumblebum.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Way of All Things

If these clouds would just keep still 
Long enough, we could go on 

Trying to capture them. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Dirty Old Politician

A fish stinks from the head down. 
—Greek proverb 

That’s what they say about us but 
All I know Christ is it ever cold today 
And duty is duty so I’m sitting here 
In the dining room marking off 
The demands of my constituents and the maid 
She’s shivering, bent over the kitchen sink, 
Wearing a tight-fitting outfit 
That I bet makes even 
The blood of the fish 
She’s gutting steaming hot— 
Makes me feel like warming my hands up a bit— 
So I get up close behind her, blow hot 
On that cool nape, massage her shoulders 
And rub up and down her backside 
All for the good of the Motherland but 

Enough’s enough my friends I kid you not 
It’s time we get this fishy business over with 
So she can get down to giving me all 
The no-nonsense loving I lack. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Shooting the Zephyr

Village folk round here have a saying 
As old as Hephaestus:  

When the tongues 
Of fire in the hearth 
Hiss as if blown 
By some invisible bellows, 
Someone’s talking about you— 

If you ask me, that’s reason enough 
We should all watch 

Our tongues too. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Why I Didn't Write a Poem This Morning


In a sudden light drizzle, I spent most 
Of my energy musing 
Under the eaves 

Watching our pup, mouth 
Wide open, trying 
To catch 

Some shining 
Drops coming out 
Of the downspout—surely 

Here was an other 
Kind of thirst.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Last Meditation in an Emergency

I’ve had it with your mantras— 
I bet if Frank were here, 
He’d say something like 

A sure-fire way to stop clutter 
Cluttering your head is to stop 
Wondering why 

Sirens sing in your ear.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

On a Line of My Wife's and Some Others Borrowed from George Oppen

“Why, you’re just a boy with white hair!” 

Which made me think of that other 
White-haired “boy” writing

A poem about a friend visiting 
The rooms of Keats and Shelley, 
Who saw “they were just 
Boys’ rooms” and was moved 
By that.  

And indeed for the poet, 
A poet’s room is a boy’s room 
And he supposes women know it— 

Perhaps the unbeautiful banker 
Is exciting to a woman, a man 
Not a boy gasping 
For breath over a girl’s body.


That is what remains breathless, beautiful 
In this in which 

Some people never know. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Prescription Approaching Expiry Date

A poem a day keeps— 
For God’s sake, don’t 

Think about it before 
Throwing it away. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

We Gotta Get out of This Place

Lovable manners, lady? 
Maybe an endearing trait 
In domesticated animals, 

But when poets want to play 
Lapdog, it’s time 
To call the pound. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Fasten Your Seatbelts, Please


Those of you sick to death of being stuck in one place all your lives and who now wish to become followers of the Church of the Holey Galactic Bucket Seat Brigade, please take one step forward. Our craft will be departing shortly.

Aporia of a Somewhat Irreverent Lost Soul

It’s still Greek to me—though 
I know the good book says that 
Somewhere someone above all 
This is both the Alpha and the Omega, why 
Is there no table of contents? 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Critique on Blake's Songs of Innocence and of Experience Written by One Old Enough to Know Better

All in all, an encouraging effort in retrospect but still 
One should use the imagination sparingly, William— 

Too much of a good thing spoils 
An unruly child.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Definitely Not Lemmings #43

As the poem below illustrates, it’s currently freezing over here at The Milk and Honey House, so it’s time to give a warm welcome to Miroslav Dušanić, a Bosnian poet-in-exile living and working in Hildesheim, Germany. Miroslav writes in Serbian and German and you can visit his blog here. Thank you, Miroslav!

Polar Bare Treacle at The Milk and Honey House (Meligalas)

Stark naked 
At three below 
With the two 
Galvanized pails full 

Of water out waiting 
All night for the morning 
Over-the-head ablutions 
Now wearing ice caps—so 

Mush before the sun melts us all, 
You foot-dragging old dog! 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Midnight Rambler


No need to use it 
As a foil— 

In the end 
You’ll still be caught 

In the middle, the night just 
Beginning with your burning 

The midnight oil. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012



Keep throwing it long enough 
And soon you’ll hear 

Your voice carrying above 
All the other dummies— 

Do you really want to hear? 

Saturday, January 14, 2012


I know my simile’s weak but still
I insist these old houses are like old people 
In one aspect at least—finding themselves alone 

They fall silent, 
And wait and wait and wait 
Till they find themselves falling, 
Falling into a deep, uninterrupted sleep. 

Friday, January 13, 2012


The moon’s a round 
Pale-faced lunatic lurking 

Behind those silver-lined clouds— 
Watch out, you star-struck fool!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

One Writer's New Year's Resolution

I want to get something out 
that is working away at me. 
—Stevie Smith 

So I’m going 

To keep on walking past 
Midnight through this graveyard 
Even if it kills me— 


Wednesday, January 11, 2012


I beg to differ 

With you, sir
Is it not more 

A matter of your refusing 
Than my asking 

Forgiveness for you too? 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


I have to get this off my chest— 

The more I put down on paper, 
The less my bitter heart feels 

At rest. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Do I Look Like Your Fairy Godmother?

Dear Pollyanna— 

From where I’m standing 
Here amongst the asphodels, 
I can tell you if you want 

To begin with 
Once upon a time
You’d better not 

End it happily 
Ever after. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

John Berryman and Friend, Minneapolis, 1972

Enough’s enough 

Heraclitus, don’t you go 
Tell me again 
I know 
This river is different. 

NB: John Berryman committed suicide on January 7 (Nativity of St. John the Baptist or Forerunner).

Friday, January 6, 2012


We closed our eyes 

And then the heavens 
Opened and we heard 
That unmistakable sound 

Of rain arriving hard on the wings 
Of an insistent wind, 
Our eyelids softly fluttering. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

An Otherwise Tranquil Setting

Going past 

A stench, 
Then seeing 
A shining red 
Beetle parked 
Next to some white 
Sheep baaing over screams 
Escaping from the hog farm 
Makes it all so stunning 
You don’t know 

Which way to go. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Today's Lesson: Building on Experience


Can one learn 

From this wall of numberless black 

Stones surrounding this cemetery? 


Monday, January 2, 2012

In Credible Evidence

Our politicos? 

They’re unerring. Give them something 
To believe in and they’ll plug it 

Full of holes. 

Announcing the Results of Vazambam's Poetry Giveaway Contest!

                            Some rembetika before the big moment. 


                             The hand in the hat……………and

Congratulations to Elisabeth Hanscombe and Tom Clark! Your copies of Sentences will shortly be in the mail. I also want to thank everybody who participated in the contest—all of you are winners even if you didn’t win this one. 

(By the way, my first girlfriend's name was Jacqueline aka "Jackie".)
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