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The Best American Poetry
The Capital of trhe World
Welcome to The Best American Poetry blog. We launched this blog to create a place where we and friends can exchange, discuss, and argue about poems and poetry. We soon discovered that it would be even more fun to post about anything that fuels our passions, be it movies or sex or baseball or ballet or cocktails or finance or music, because these are, after all, the same subjects that generate poems. Then we flung the doors open and invited others to join in. And we decided that contributors to the blog need not be poets as long as they share a love of good writing and poetry. The only things we ask our regular and guest bloggers to avoid are personal attacks and loudmouth politcal opinions. You'll find enough of that stuff elsewhere. We celebrate freedom of expression. The views of our contributors are their own and not necessarily those of the blog's editorial team or of other contributors. We welcome comments as long as they keep within the bounds of civil discourse. Our roster of correspondents is always changing. We are large! We contain multitudes! Please visit often. The Best American Poetry blog made its debut in January 2008 under the general editorship of David Lehman and Stacey Harwood-Lehman. All content and design of the blog are Copyright © 2008,2009,2010, 2011,2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019, 2020,2021,2022,2023 by David Lehman. All rights reserved. Copyright of individual posts belong to the author.
Interests: music, food, finance, cocktails, movies, baseball, sex, poetry, mad men, mad women, life, la vie en rose, c'est la vie, and Marcel Duchamp.
Recent Activity
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“The world says: 'You have needs -- satisfy them. You have as much right as the rich and the mighty. Don't hesitate to satisfy your needs; indeed, expand your needs and demand more.' This is the worldly doctrine of today. And they believe that this is freedom. The result for the rich is isolation and suicide, for the poor, envy and murder.” -- The Brothers Karamazov "Man is so fond of systems and abstract deductions that he is ready to deny the truth intentionally; he is ready to deny what he can see and hear just to justify his logic.” -- Notes from Underground Continue reading
Posted yesterday at The Best American Poetry
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Mysticism for Beginners The day was mild, the light was generous. The German on the café terrace held a small book on his lap. I caught sight of the title: Mysticism for Beginners. Suddenly I understood that the swallows patrolling the streets of Montepulciano with their shrill whistles, and the hushed talk of timid travelers from Eastern, so-called Central Europe, and the white herons standing—yesterday? the day before?— like nuns in fields of rice, and the dusk, slow and systematic, erasing the outlines of medieval houses, and olive trees on little hills, abandoned to the wind and heat, and the head of the Unknown Princess that I saw and admired in the Louvre, and stained-glass windows like butterfly wings sprinkled with pollen, and the little nightingale practicing its speech beside the highway, and any journey, any kind of trip, are only mysticism for beginners, the elementary course, prelude to a test that's been postponed. -- Adam Zagajewski (born June 21, 1945) trans. CLARE CAVANAGH photo by Star Black. Copyright (c) 2008 by Star Black. Continue reading
Posted yesterday at The Best American Poetry
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I am not of those miserable males Who sniff at vice, and, daring not to snap, Do therefore hope for heaven. I take the hap Of all my deeds. The wind that fills my sails, Propels; but I am helmsman. Am I wrecked, I know the devil has sufficient weight To bear: I lay it not on him, or fate. Besides, he's damned. That man I do suspect A coward, who would burden the poor deuce With what ensues from his own slipperiness. I have just found a wanton-scented tress In an old desk, dusty for lack of use. Of days and nights it is demonstrative, That, like some aged star, gleam luridly. If for those times I must ask charity, Have I not any charity to give? This poem was written by 1) Robert Lowell on the subject of Hillary Clinton 2) George Meredith in Modern Love 3) Meredith Wilson in The Music Man 4) Lana Turner on Johnny Stompanato (April 4, 1958) 5) Woodrow Wilson, on being canceled For extra credit, what does the painting on top have to do with the poem? Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at The Best American Poetry
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Aubade Say I was in the camps And my friends were all gone And walking around me as memories In their grey striped pyjamas Not lying in the Bay of Skeletons anymore, naked And my dog was licking my cunt And Felix Nussbaum was painting barbed wire Like a necklace of lace With a few prisoners penned in, one shitting on a tall can And I was in love with him But couldn't show it because he was dead And I was saved by reciting poetry in my head But only until morning When the trees would relinquish darkness, barefoot And you said I was trivializing the Holocaust As you scrubbed on hands and knees In your striped seersucker robe -- Jill Hoffman from Kimono with Young Girl Sleeves by Jill Hoffman (Mudfish, 2024) Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at The Best American Poetry
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Today's comic was once again inspired by a Chapter 2011 in David Lehman's State of the Art (Pittsburgh, 2015) in which David quotes famous poets' definitions of poetry. He includes this wonderful quote from Gertrude Stein: "Poetry is nothing but using losing refusing and pleasing and betraying and caressing nouns." -- NA Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at The Best American Poetry
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In 1968 I didn't really know you though Dick Gallup, who sat next to me in Kenneth Koch's "Modern Poetry" class, invited me to a party and there you were and I went to hear you read and went through old copies of Columbia Review to read your poems (including the one signed "the sloth sloth") and why am I telling you this? Because it's your day of the year, and you're a gem as well as a Gemini twin, and I would tip my fedora to you if I were wearing one as men used to say when men wore fedoras. -- David Lehman (June 17, 2013) Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at The Best American Poetry
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Kevin Young (L) and David Lehman at Russ & Daughters Cafe (127 Orchard Street, NY NY). Photo by Stacey Lehman. If you visit New York City and want to try the restaurant of the moment, your best chance of getting seated is at lunchtime. So we picked a slow Monday and arrived after the early rush. Even so, we had to wait ten minutes for a table at Russ & Daughters Café, one of the hot new restaurants specializing in foods of our Eastern European and German Jewish ancestors. David and I went with Kevin Young, in town from Decatur, Georgia, where he lives with his wife, the writer Kate Tuttle, and their son Mack. In between writing and editing, Kevin teaches at Emory University and curates the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library. He had flown in to participate in the Poets’ House annual walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and to read from his latest collection, The Book of Hours, just out from Knopf . I know from our visits to Decatur that Kevin is an adventurous eater. He’s also something of an afficianado of Southern food and cooking (he’s been active in the Southern Foodways Alliance). The foods of Kevin’s childhood inform some of my favorite of his poems (see “Ode to Pork” and “Ode to Gumbo”). Like the best food writing, these poems evoke memories and arouse feelings of love, grief, and intimacy without being saccharine or sounding overly sentimental. How would Kevin feel about our food? As it turned out, and should have come as no surprise, Kevin was familiar with much of what was on the Russ & Daughters menu. We settled on cocktails--“Schmoozers” for David and Kevin, (Rye, Aquavit, sugar, Bitters and Herbsaint rinse), “Break-Fast Martini” for me (Gin, jam, lemon juice, egg white, Pernod Absinth, Bitters)--and an assortment of small plates or “Noshes.” Kevin was particularly impressed by the pickled herring trio (“exquisite”) and the latkes. I favored the “Super Heebster,” an open-faced sandwich of whitefish and baked salmon salad, wasabi-infused fish-roe, and horseradish dill cream cheese on bagel. “This I never had as a kid,” I said, helping myself to a second piece. To round out our feast we added potato latkes, pastrami-style cured salmon, pickled vegetables, and kasha varnishkas (a favorite of mine, owing to a goodly amount of caramelized onions) and new to Kevin. “An acquired taste,” said David. The prices were standard Manhattan, nicht billig. Our conversation ricocheted between food and drink and matters of poetry and academe. What is the best bourbon for a Manhattan? (Kevin favors Dickel or Michters, with Cocchi vermouth.) How do you make a perfect Old-Fashioned (by slowly stirring the sugar and sans cherry or orange). How do you make brisket (me: slow braise, lots of onions, Kevin: smoked). At the mention of brisket Kevin recalled his Auntie’s, which held its flavor and texture even after being transported from Louisiana to Cambridge, Massachusetts and reheated. After reminiscing about the year they worked together on The Best... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2024 at The Best American Poetry
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I first encountered John Jerome's book decades ago, when I was training to compete as a "master" in the Empire State Games. My events were the 200 breast stroke and the 1500 freestyle. The time trials were my first experience as a competitive swimmer; I hadn't competed in high-school or college and while my swimming stroke was OK, no one would mistake me for "real" competitor, with long fluid strokes and sharp flip-turns. I did it for fun. My team trained at the College of St. Rose (RIP) in Albany, NY. My good friend Linda, who learned that I was a fitness swimmer, invited me to join. My first outing in the pool with other masters swimmers was humbling. Everyone else was so fast and had such stamina. At the end of each lap, I clung to gutter as if for my life. On several occasions I shared a lane with a former professional football player who was training for a triathlon. He was so big that he nearly filled the width of the lane and swimming behind him was like swimming in the churning wake of a high-speed motor boat. I picked up Jerome's book having read a favorable review. Jerome had decided, at the age of 50, to become an athlete and swimming was his sport of choice. At the time, I was most interested in his training regimen and the physics of swimming and I found that the book motivated me to push harder to improve my times. After a long hiatus, I am swimming once again. This time I'm looking for motivation because I have volunteered to take part in a fundraiser on August 10 for Hospicare in Ithaca. I'm part of a team "Diana's Divas" that is swimming in honor of my friend Diana, who died earlier this year. Barring bad weather or an algae bloom, we're going to swim 1.2 miles across Cayuga Lake. It's not a race but I don't want to humiliate myself by being unable to cover the distance. I've begun to work out with a coach and other swimmers at the local YMCA. Tackling the drills is hard and by the time the hour is up, I'm spent. Fortunately, I had kept "Staying With It" and have been reading it, hoping for encouragement. The first time around, I was nowhere near what seemed to me to be the author's advanced age of 50. Anything about aging seemed abstract and not something that would happen to me. Now that that age is in my rear view, I am struck by different passages than the ones that resonated the first time around. Like this one, for instance: The physiological downslope of one's life does command a level of attention that isn't quite possible during the upslope, or growth, part of the process. I expected that. Still, I received regular, recurring, shocks. Aging is very rude, making no attempt at diplomacy, at softening its message. No small talk: it just starts slamming doors... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2024 at The Best American Poetry
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from "In Memoriam" Dark house, by which once more I stand Here in the long unlovely street, Doors, where my heart was used to beat So quickly, waiting for a hand, A hand that can be clasp'd no more— Behold me, for I cannot sleep, And like a guilty thing I creep At earliest morning to the door. He is not here; but far away The noise of life begins again, And ghastly thro' the drizzling rain On the bald street breaks the blank day. Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2024 at The Best American Poetry
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This is the epigraph that Edgar Allan Poe chose for "The Murders in the Rue Morgue": "What song the Syrens sang, or what name Achilles assumed when he hid himself among women, although puzzling questions, are not beyond all conjecture." -- Sir Thomas Browne, Urn-Burial Formidable and fascinating in its own right, the sentence is perfectly apposite to the story it heads. Poe's example makes me want to compose a succinct ode to the art of the epigraph, which involves not only a cunning eye for a great and somewhat out-of-the-way quotation but also a determination to build on the quoted material -- to use it to quicken a new work into being. T. S. Eliot was terrific at the game. Here is the epigraph Adous Huxley used for Point Counter Point: ‘Oh, wearisome condition of humanity! Born under one law, to another bound, Vainly begot and yet forbidden vanity: Created sick, commanded to be sound. What meaneth Nature by these diverse laws— Passion and reason, self-division’s cause?’ —Fulke Greville Joseph Conrad chose these lines from Edmund Spenser's The Faeire Queene for his epitaph: "Sleep after toyle, port after stormie seas, Ease after warre, death after life, does greatly please" Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2024 at The Best American Poetry
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Let's celebrate with Linda Ronstadt, Juan Diego Florez, Fats Waller, Bobby Darin, Frank Sinatra, Charlie Parker, Doris Day. . . Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2024 at The Best American Poetry
Music by Burton Lane, lyrics by Ralph Freed. "I love a fireside, when a storm is due / I like potato chips, moonlight, and motor trips, / How about you? // I'm mad about good books, / can't get my fill, / And Franklin Roosevelt's looks / give me a thrill. . . Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2024 at The Best American Poetry
Painting Within A Painting Nell Blaine, Joe Brainard, Rudy Burckhardt, Jane Freilicher Louisa Matthiasdottir, Fairfield Porter, Larry Rivers, and Trevor Winkfield June 8 to July 26, 2024 Jane Freilicher Studio Interior, 1982 oil on canvas 50 x 60 inches I have been painting small paintings of wildflowers from photographs from a wildflower book. Several have turned out as fake Fairfield Porters without me even trying. And almost all of them have bits of you in them. I don’t know if other people can tell or not, but I can tell. Joe Brainard to Fairfield Porter, circa 1966/1967 – excerpted from a written letter You could argue that every painting is a painting within a painting, right? The journey a painting makes from the easel to the gallery wall is full of iteration, trial and error, and practice. In Jane Freilicher’s painting, Studio Interior, 1982 we see that journey quite explicitly and joyously. Other journeys are long and relational, for instance Fairfield Porter’s dedication to the Maine Coast and other settings. Those who admired Porter, such as Joe Brainard, looked to Porter for guidance and found himself, unjustifiably, lacking. The painting canon provides fodder, bombast and competition for artists like Larry Rivers to interpret Matisse’s Dance, 1909, in a punchy riff, as three-dimensional object. Nell Blaine’s Autobiography, c. 1980 is a very personal painting, by an artist with an unusual story of physical resilience, in it she shares her influences, and significant people and places – a Cezanne postcard, an image from important trip Mykonos in 1959, a newspaper clipping of football players – within an all-encompassing still-life. In Rudy Burckhardt’s paintings you see the photographer within a painting, or the photographer’s eye for an elegant composition made in a deliberately articulate painting style. Louisa Matthiasdottir painted the same Icelandic mountain ranges, in purple, grey, and blue, dotted with sheep, horses and dogs, however she painted almost all of them in her studio in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City – a faraway icy country within a tumultuous metropolis. Trevor Winkfield’s Self-Portrait, 2001 portrays the painter, and possibly his inner life, as a hunter equipped with a paint palette and a quiver of arrows with one arrow through the artist’s own head. Larry Rivers Free Dance and Still Life, 1992 oil on canvas mounted on foamcore mounted on panel 78 x 84 1/2 x 5 inches Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2024 at The Best American Poetry
When skies are cloudy and grey They're only grey for a day So wrap your troubles in dreams And dream your troubles away Until that sunshine peeps through There's only one thing to do Just wrap your troubles in dreams And dream all your troubles away Your castles may tumble, that's fate after all Life's really funny that way No use to grumble, smile as they fall Weren't you king for a day? Just remember that sunshine Always follows the rain So wrap your troubles in dreams And dream your troubles away Sung by Sinatra; arrangement by Nelson Riddle. From album "Swing Easy" (1954) Lryics by Ted Koehler, music Harry Barris. First Sinatra album with all Riddle arrangemrents. Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2024 at The Best American Poetry
“I can't stand an actor or actress who tells me acting is hard work. It's easy work. Anyone who says it isn't never had to stand on his feet all day dealing blackjack.” Volare o o cantare o o o o, nel blu dipinto di blu felice di stare lassù, e volavo volavo felice più in alto del sole ed ancora più sù, mentre il mondo pian piano spariva laggiù, una musica dolce suonava soltanto per me. . . Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2024 at The Best American Poetry
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In a verse chronicle in the June New Criterion, William Logan excoriates James Tate ("a wisecracker. . . [who] giggled at his own jokes"), so what else is new; he pleads with the late C. K. Williams "to shut the hell up," and makes the astounding claim that "scarcely anyone reads James Schuyler or Kenenth Koch" these days. He loses no time in making a false assertion with the confidence of a lobbyist. "One poem like Gray's 'Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" will drag you into anthologies forever, no matter how dull your other poems." Dull? Has Logan read Gray's "Ode on a Distant Propsect of Eton College," or the sonnet on Richard West's death or his 'Ode on the Death of a Favourite Cat Drowned in a Tub of Goldfishes'." I ask readers to judge for themselves. Here is a link to Gray's "Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College," with my gloss on it, written for the "classic poems" section of Slate along with the other two poems I've named. -- DL <<< I have read Gray’s “Ode” many times and it has never failed to astonish me. It begins conventionally enough with a description of Eton seen from afar. “Happy” are the hills, “pleasing” is the shade. We anticipate an idealized evocation of the life of boys on the playing fields of Eton (where, 70 years later, the Duke of Wellington would say that the battle of Waterloo was won). But even as Gray summons up the image of the boys at their games, we get hints that Eton remembered is what Frost called a “momentary stay against confusion.” The boys “snatch a fearful joy,” we learn in the fourth stanza. The fifth stanza states the enviable condition of youth: “the tear forgot as soon as shed.” But nothing prepares us for the change in intensity signaled by the opening of stanza six: “Alas, regardless of their doom,/ The little victims play.” At the sound of the words doom and victim, the reader is in the position of a batter who had expected a fast ball and looks in amazement and dismay as an off-speed pitch curves over the heart of the plate. >>> Click here for the full post. https://www.slate.com/articles/arts/classic_poems/2013/01/david_lehman_on_why_thomas_gray_s_ode_on_a_distant_prospect_of_eton_college.html https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44302/ode-on-the-death-of-a-favourite-cat-drowned-in-a-tub-of-goldfishes https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44305/on-the-death-of-richard-west from "Hymn to Adversity": Thy form benign, O Goddess, wear, Thy milder influence impart, Thy philosophic Train be there To soften, not to wound my heart. The gen'rous spark extinct revive, Teach me to love and to forgive, Exact my own defects to scan, What others are, to feel, and know myself a Man. Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2024 at The Best American Poetry
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collage by Star Black My dad landed on Utah Beach, not as part of the first wave, thank god, or I probably wouldn't be here, but days later, to clean up. He went on to fight in the Battle of the Bulge and to liberate a concentration camp. The Germans gave his Division the nickname "Roosevelt's Butchers" for stacking the dead in houses and along roads and refusing prisoners, lacking the means to guard and transport them. Like so many others, my dad enlisted, a tough street kid from the Bronx, the child of Eastern European immigrants who fled pogroms. During boot camp, he was court-martialed for striking an officer who called him a dirty kike. Though he was acquitted, he got shipped out soon after without having completed his training. I don't know much about his service, not because he was particularly reticent but because he died suddenly at fifty, before I was mature enough to imagine my parents had lives worth learning about. How I regret that I never asked him about those years. Anyone who has tried to get WWII military records knows that a fire destroyed many of them. Thus, all I have are the things he carried, a French-English dictionary, a guide to Europe, and, oddly, a copy of Don Quixote, in Spanish. Several years ago, I gathered these mementos together and along with a few photographs asked Star Black, the brilliant poet, photographer, and collage artist to make something of them. A few weeks later she presented me with three collages, one of which is shown here. That's my dad in the middle, looking handsome, and so young! In the upper left is a page from his guidebook in which he wrote a list of the places he fought his way through, ending with "and a funeral in some god-forsaken place." One of the more moving accounts of life as an infantryman during WWII can be found in Roll Me Over, by Raymond Gantter. Ganttner was a teacher who turned down his third deferment to serve in the army. He was unfit for officer status so he joined the infantry as a private. His service was almost identical to that of my father's. Here's a passage: It is the slow piling up of fear that is so intolerable. Fear moves swiftly in battle, strikes hard with each shell, each new danger, and as long as there's action, you don't have time to be frightened. But this is a slow fear, heavy and stomach filling. Slow, slow . . all your movements are careful and slow, and pain is slow and fear is slow and the beat of your heart is the only rapid rhythm of the night . . . a muttering drum easily punctured and stilled. -- sdh [This post originally appeared on June 6, 2009 Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2024 at The Best American Poetry
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You're simply too spectacular to be in my vernacular! the sweetest words in Keats and Shelley's lyrics aren't sweet enough to be your panegyrics Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2024 at The Best American Poetry
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Do I belong? I never felt I did. If I do now, it is because I endeavor to ward off dogma and groupthink. Worry less and less about belonging. Eric Hoffer wrote in The True Believer, “A mass movement attracts and holds a following not because it can satisfy the desire for self-advancement, but because it can satisfy the passion for self-renunciation.” The worst mistake I made in college (2002-2006) was that I chose self-renunciation. I wasn’t being practical or prudent. If I had been more mature and knowledgeable back then and chosen to advance myself, I probably would have realized all or at least some of my ambitions right now. I know definitively that in living out my fantasies I was fulfilling a need for belonging. I sought not to belong to a mass movement, as in the kind that Eric Hoffer defined, but an ideology that comforted me, albeit within obvious limits. My own form of self-renunciative behavior wasn’t something I engaged in by protesting the war in Iraq regularly; I went to three marches, one in Washington D.C. and two in New York City, and I didn’t enjoy them much at all. Rather, it was more my style to spout out tedious left-wing bromides and clichés whenever I had the opportunity in class. It was an experience most satisfying to me, because I was doing so as a minority of one in my small, mostly blue-collar liberal arts school in rural New Hampshire. I think if I weren’t in the minority, had I gone to a different college with a radical left majority, the chances were, I would have changed my tune and become more sensible and conservative, earlier in life. At the time of my collegiate years, I got off on living out the fantasy that I was regurgitating the romanticized images of radicals from the 1960s movement in revolt and tumult. Thinking like an outsider was a fun experience. True, it did win me a few close friends, but it also resulted in a number of bitter enemies. These were students who resented the ideas I’d spout forth in class, and the best way they got back at me was to lull me into a temporary friendship, and then soon after, they’d renounce that friendship and spread horrible insults about me to the community. This was degrading and has led to my being even more insular and reclusive in my early middle age. But the memories have led me to choose my friends more carefully, and not to make the mistake of seeing friendly acquaintances as true friendships. I am glad, though, that for all of my youthful posturing, that is all it ever really came to—just posturing. Most importantly, I always had one north star, or position I didn’t waver on, and that was my love and support of the state of Israel, and the commitment to keeping her safe. I might have considered myself a progressive-minded Jewish boy, but I was never one... Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2024 at The Best American Poetry
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Ask Graham Greene the difference between journalism and fiction, and he'll say that "novelists are trying to write the truth and journalists are trying to write fiction." He will add that "Media is just a word that has come to mean bad journalism." -- DL [from the archives; originally posted May 9, 2014) Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2024 at The Best American Poetry
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On June the first, birthday of the first Lady of Gemini I have to catch my breath running as a wide receiver catches a football, shaking off tacklers and heading for the goal line, progress unimpeded, or like an angler angling for trout, turning over phrases languorously when I feel a tug, catch a bite, that’s what this jolt of morning joe, like “joltin’ Joe” DiMaggio, has done to me but if I could calm down long enough to stop hurrying and concentrate on the lawn in front of me the wind at my back the laughter from Alexander Pope’s dagger-like couplets still echoing from last night’s reading of The Dunciad – or maybe just to clear the mind of words, all of them, even the honeyed sonnets of youth not lost, just misplaced – if I could look at the trees darkening as a cloud covers the sun, look at the grass, the myrtle, the pine needles and the maple leaves and the one rhododendron the deer have not devoured, what then? After ten minutes of bliss, I shall return to my mind, and she will be singing, “After You Get What You Want, You Don’t Want It.” (June 1, 2013) Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2024 at The Best American Poetry
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When Love is Not Love Everything you do, you do in haste, except when you make love to the one whose mind, face, and heart at last made you think twice and drop the phone. A fool and his money get a slap on the wrist. If the meaning of Capitalism is gin and vermouth. the meaning of Bolshevism is vodka and lust. On a tour of your assets from north to south, I'd like to say that it starts with your mind, but in truth the journey starts with your eyes and their perfect view of the lay of our land. Your lips come next, and how can I lose? Easy. You lose what everyone else does. Love is not love that alteration mends. Our only future is the only all that is, Our only hope, the tie that binds us now. If the meaning of love is to sin together, the meaning of lust is just a slap on the butt. A fool and his honey are soon departed, and their only future is to sleep apart, two disembodied voices on a phone. What did you lose today? Mind, face, money? The one you love belongs to you, not someone else, but you better act fast, as gloria mundi is gone tomorrow, and life makes short work of love. The angelic archer may shoot his arrow, but his aim is just a shot in the dark, and his target the foolish human, not some heartless bot. [ipctured above: Bill Wadsworth] Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2024 at The Best American Poetry
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In 1976, When She Was Born Life was dull in 1976. Dad had to read "Ivanhoe" and write a report. Sex was not yet Mom’s favorite sport. The only rhyme that came to mind was "dicks." Mom was somewhere north of the Mass / NH border. She was just following an order, not calculating its moral worth. She was on vacation feeling unclever and not happily after ever. He promised to wait for her return to the state of eternal temptation. -- Molly Arden. Painting by Duncan Hannah ("Honey Trap"). Poem published in Coconut. Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2024 at The Best American Poetry