Monday, April 29, 2013

Artifice


Much spoken of lately by poets 
Hearing cliché-ridden voices, the muse waits 

For no man’s inspiration 
To come into view. 

As all this must come but to naught, 
Ennui seems equally ineluctable— 

The muse is a deaf-mute, savoring 
Nothing save what appears to strike her 

Like a bolt from the blue.






Saturday, April 27, 2013

Chew on This, Poet


Soon you will be begging for scraps 
Of paper to stave off your hunger— 

Better you had been born a dog. 


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Blooming Motley Crew


See how magenta swabs wide 
Swaths across windswept mustard 
Cliff face bursting with pied 
Splashes of anemones spilling over 
Whitecaps of agitated blue— 

Steady as the craft goes, lads, 
Make your master proud of you. 


Monday, April 22, 2013

Meltdown


While the priest drones on and on, 
The beadle plucks still-lit candles 
From the crowded candelabrum, 
Snuffs them out one-by-one 
And drops them dutifully 
Into the recycling bin. 

It has been duly ordained 
None shall be free 
To melt completely when 
Money’s to be made 
From eternal resurrection, 
And the devil still aflame within. 


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Sadly, Life is a Carnival, Sad Sack


To be the life of the party, revelers 
Try to make the best of it, masking 

Their ugliness in everything 
They do—it’s true 

Of course, any mask can do the trick, 
But if I were you—and just for laughs— 

I’d try the one that looks like you.




Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Listening to Lorine


No puerile wishy-washy 

Wishing, hoping 
To find 

Singular words 
Like hers 

To sound out a life by. 


Monday, April 15, 2013

Huuklyeand Cinquor on A. Figwitt Cye-Cophant's Introspection: Examining a Postmodern Mythopoetic (in Blank Verse)*

*The Laistrygonian Press, Homer Loomis, Idaho, 2012.


Let us marvel at how 
A. Figwitt Cye-Cophant created 

An incredible myth by doing nothing 
But gazing at his navel: 

No people, 
No tradition, 
No story, 
No history, 
No world view, 
No explanation, 
No wonder 

His lackeys are lapping it up— 
It’s unbelievable, lacking all imagination.
 

Moderator’s comments: It would have helped immensely if Cinquor had quoted some lines from Mr. Cye-Cophant’s book of poems to give us an idea of just how he was able to create a myth without incorporating any of the ingredients that make up one; as it is, Huuk’s throwaway middle stanza does nothing but summarize what’s missing and we are left to fill in the empty spaces of Figwitt’s waste land with the detritus left behind in the wake of his “earth-shaking” effort. Nor does the reference to Mr. Cye-Cophant’s omphaloskepsis assist us in delving further into the recesses of what Cinquor describes as the poet’s non-imagination. Huuk knows better than to leave us dangling like this—the least he could have done was throw us an umbilical cord. Unfortunately, it remains but a shallow effort leading us to re-examine the criteria for permitting him to use this platform as a sounding line. 

NB: Huuk’s reference to Cye-Cophant’s lack of a “world view” reminds me of what George Seferis once said in an interview in The Paris Review #50: ” . . .I have no idea about philosophical positions and world views. You know, whenever world views begin interfering with writing—I don’t know. I prefer world views in the sort of dry, repulsive, and (I don’t know how to put it) prosaic way. I don’t like people who try to express world views in writing poetry. I remember once I had a reading in Thessalonike, and a philosopher stood up and asked: ‘But what, after all, Mr. Seferis, is your world view?’ And I said: ‘My dear friend, I’m sorry to say that I have no world view. I have to make this public confession to you that I am writing without having any world view. I don’t know, perhaps you find that scandalous, sir, but may I ask you to tell me what Homer’s world view is?’ And I didn’t get an answer.” 

NBB: Also in that issue, right after the Seferis interview, there is a long excerpt from Jim Carroll’s manuscript-in-progress of his book The Basketball Diaries and I don’t have to tell you who the poetry editor of The Paris Review was back then, do I?

Friday, April 12, 2013

Have a Good Day, etc., Period


Back from my morning walk, I think 
To stop and have a chat with Athena, 
The filly who grazes now and then 
In the empty lot next to our house. 

Tired of anything resembling pedestrian
Human communication, I try my best 
Using gestures and words full of guile 
To win her deepest equine attention. 

With a snort I think must be full of vexation, 
She throws back her head so as to throw me 
A glance that makes it perfectly clear 
She wants nothing to do with anything 

That smacks of polite conversation. 


NB: άλογος (adj.) = without (logical) speech—το άλογο (neut. noun), the Greek word for ‘horse’. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Spring, Not Fall


Coming upon fallen 

Judas flowers on 
Old warped oak 

Table under tree, 
My six-year-old 

Niece asks me where 
They came from—this 

Leaves me dumbfounded, 
Though it should not— 

She cannot see how 
Innocent she is 

Nor for how long 
She will be.


Monday, April 8, 2013

What's My Line?


I spend most of my day trying 
To remember a line I forget 

The moment I wake, the rest of the day 
I remember to sleep on it. 


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Diners' Club


these buttercups 

closed all night 
on table in blue 
grey vase before bay 

window now open 
for light break 
fast. 


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Cracker-Barrel Philosopher


You poets in the know, you always say 
Waiting and looking is your thing, 
And presume your next poem promises 
Answers to questions you think 
No one’s up to asking but you, well 
If you think that’s true, try these two 
Simple ones—who do you think you are, 
And who asked you for your view? 


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Poem Should Be


No stranger to fear, Archibald— 
Like that line from Heraclitus, 

Ferocious and show 
It means business 

All the time, 
Like a good watch 

Dog that barks 
At passersby all 

The while be- 
Heading 

Bloody ticks. 





Monday, April 1, 2013

Poetfolio


Amongst sundry things seen, what flowers 
Most in my mind today is that solitary 

Wild fig tree leafing above 
A pied meadow.