The basses of their beings throb in witching chords (Wallace Stevens)

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From “Peter Quince at the Clavier” by Wallace Stevens

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She sighed for so much melody (Wallace Stevens)

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From “Peter Quince at the Clavier” by Wallace Stevens

“On Homo Sapiens” — Anne Carson

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“The Unexplorer” — Edna St. Vincent Millay

esvm

“Hey!” — William Carlos Williams

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“Tree Talk” — Tom Clark

tree talk

“Time does not bring relief; you all have lied” — Edna St. Vincent Millay

time

“Of Mere Being” — Wallace Stevens

“A Poem About Baseballs” by Denis Johnson

“A Poem About Baseballs” by Denis Johnson–
 
for years the scenes bustled
through him as he dreamed he was
alive. then he felt real, and slammed
awake in the wet sheets screaming
too fast, everything moves
too fast, and the edges of things
are gone. four blocks away
a baseball was a dot against
the sky, and he thought, my
glove is too big, i will
drop the ball and it will be
a home run. the snow falls
too fast from the clouds,
and night is dropped and
snatched back like a huge
joke. is that the ball, or is
it just a bird, and the ball is
somewhere else, and i will
miss it? and the edges are gone, my
hands melt into the walls, my
hands do not end where the wall
begins. should i move
forward, or back, or will the ball
come right to me? i know i will
miss, because i always miss when it
takes so long. the wall has no
surface, no edge, the wall
fades into the air and the air is
my hand, and i am the wall. my
arm is the syringe and thus i
become the nurse, i am you,
nurse. if he gets
around the bases before the
ball comes down, is it a home
run, even if i catch it? if we could
slow down, and stop, we
would be one fused mass careening
at too great a speed through
the emptiness. if i catch
the ball, our side will
be up, and i will have to bat,
and i might strike out.

“Quickly Aging Here,” a poem by Denis Johnson

“Quickly Aging Here,” a poem by Denis Johnson—

1
nothing to drink in
the refrigerator but juice from
the pickles come back
long dead, or thin
catsup. i feel i am old
now, though surely i
am young enough? i feel that i have had
winters, too many heaped cold
and dry as reptiles into my slack skin.
i am not the kind to win
and win.
no i am not that kind, i can hear
my wife yelling, “goddamnit, quit
running over,” talking to
the stove, yelling, “i
mean it, just stop,” and i am old and
2
i wonder about everything: birds
clamber south, your car
kaputs in a blazing, dusty
nowhere, things happen, and constantly you
wish for your slight home, for
your wife’s rusted
voice slamming around the kitchen. so few
of us wonder why
we crowded, as strange,
monstrous bodies, blindly into one
another till the bed
choked, and our range
of impossible maneuvers was gone,
but isn’t it because by dissolving like so
much dust into the sheets we are crowding
south, into the kitchen, into
nowhere?

“The Ritualists” — William Carlos Williams

ritualists

With rage and contempt

Capture

John Berryman at the Brockport Writers Forum in October of 1970

“O Florida, Venereal Soil” — Wallace Stevens

“O Florida, Venereal Soil”

by

Wallace Stevens


 

A few things for themselves,
Convolvulus and coral,
Buzzards and live-moss,
Tiestas from the keys,
A few things for themselves,
Florida, venereal soil,
Disclose to the lover.

The dreadful sundry of this world,
The Cuban, Polodowsky,
The Mexican women,
The negro undertaker
Killing the time between corpses
Fishing for crayfish…
Virgin of boorish births,

Swiftly in the nights,
In the porches of Key West,
Behind the bougainvilleas,
After the guitar is asleep,
Lasciviously as the wind,
You come tormenting,
Insatiable,

When you might sit,
A scholar of darkness,
Sequestered over the sea,
Wearing a clear tiara
Of red and blue and red,
Sparkling, solitary, still,
In the high sea-shadow.

Donna, donna, dark,
Stooping in indigo gown
And cloudy constellations,
Conceal yourself or disclose
Fewest things to the lover —
A hand that bears a thick-leaved fruit,
A pungent bloom against your shade.

Or shroud of gnome / Himself, himself inform (Emily Dickinson)

eds

Daniel Borzutzky poems (Books acquired, 9 March 2017)

Big thanks to BLCKDGRD for sending me two books of poetry by Daniel Borzutzky. I’d never read Borzutzky before, but I dig it so far. These poems are abject—stuff about what it means to have a body, to have some horror at having a body, etc.

A bit from “The Blazing Cities of Your Rotten Carcass Mouth,” collected in The Performance of Becoming Human:

“Spring” — William Carlos Williams