"Poetry is a window onto the breath-taking diversity of humanity."
— Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General
June: The Gianicolo"
Mary Jo Salter
Driven to this, the pairs of lovers roll into the parking lot like shaken dice, and though they've come expressly for a vista much grander than themselves, begin to fuse into the other's eyes. Oh, that fond conviction of a match made in Heaven! Below them, at the base of an ancient hill, the million lamps of Rome light up in rosy approbation, each signalling to one chosen counterpart among the stars the nightly freshened wish to lie uniquely in its dazzled gaze.
Who will recognize him mother father brothers that other woman perhaps whose face in a clouded mirror flows down like rain and you when you look at yourself what do you see I see a man created in the image and likeness of a god who's gone
"Best Friend Robot Poem"
The best friend robot said: "am i than 'smater' are you but retard drater hrum!" And my dad wanted to take him back to Robots 'R' Us, but I felt bad for him because he'd been getting into my dad's really good oil stock lately. Normally, he'd have a few squirts on New Year's or Christmas Morning, but lately my Robot dad and my Robot Best Friend have been disagreeing a lot. Mom won't talk to either of them. She plays bridge with all of her online friends once a week and I overhear her complain when I sit quietly at the top of the escalator.
"Prodded Out of Prayer"
Stilled yet by the gauzed withdrawingness of midmorning sky: lo, a sharply lit acutely poignant and wonderfully humorous vision. It was an ant towing a grass-blade in a bee-line, but on rougher terrain, to the anthill.
"The Dogwood Trees" (for Robert Slagle)
Seeing dogwood trees in bloom, I am reminded, Robin, of our journey through the mountains in an evil time. Among rocks and rock-filled streams white bracts of dogwood clustered. Beyond, nearby, shrill slums were burning, the crooked crosses flared. We drove with bitter knowledge of the odds against comradeship we dared and were at one.
These poet words, nuggets out of corruption or jewels dug from dung or speech from flesh still bloody red, still half afraid to plunge in the ceaseless waters foaming over death. These poet words, nuggets no jeweller sells across the counter of the world's confusion but far and near, internal or external burning the agony of earth's complaint. These poet words have secrets locked in them like nuggets laden with the younger sun. Who will unlock must first himself be locked who will be locked must first himself unlock.
"The Yoga Exercise"
Within a rushing stream of morning light she stands still as a heron with one sole held flush along the other inner thigh and her long arms like bony wings folded back so that when the motion of a breeze passes through her body there is a deep repose at its root and in an eye's blink she has become this gently swaying tree stirring in the wind of its breath while linked to ground by the slow flow of energy that brings her limbs together now in prayer and blessing for the peace she is finding there.
The storm is rising and the buried people who lay smouldering in me all summer are glowing would break out in a blaze if the wind found so much as a crack. But the house is wind-proof. The ash from my cigarette falls off by itself and the postage stamp on the window-sill lies unmoving although the walls shake under the force of the storm. Here there's nothing to be sent and nothing to be received. The letters on my table are not going to fly. The sender's address is too heavy.
"The Art of War"
I'm sorry I was asleep when you called. I was up till dawn attacking the Prussians at Ligny, and I didn't do a good job, I'm afraid, there were still plenty left when I pushed "save" and shut down the computer. I'm glad I didn't know any of them personally as I ordered the 12 - pounders to concentrate on the tiny clusters of veteran brigades, and clicked on all the available cavalry to erase the inexperienced Landwehr from the screen.
"You lean your face on sorrow, don't even"
Eugenio de Andrade
You lean your face on sorrow, don't even hear the nightingale. Or is it lark? The air is hard for you to take, you, torn between the faithfulness you owe your mother's earth and that bleached blueness where birds disappear. Music, let's call it that, was always your wound, but also it was exaltation in the dunes. Do not listen to the nightingale. Or to the lark. It is within that all music turns to bird.
"Beethoven's Quartet in C Major, Opus 59"
The violins are passionately occupied, but it is the cellist who seems to be holding the music in his arms, moving his bow as if it were a dowsing rod and the audience dying of thirst.
"The Song of the Whisk"
My flail demolishes The gold of yolks; My mesh abolishes What it would coax. The waterspout can frisk While it souffles the sea; What's the twister but a whisk For instant entropy? I will erect a pinnacle Of undulant bearnaise; With clicking quite clinical, Paradisal mayonnaise.