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Thursday, May 18, 2017

You think of your Facebook
as the Place Where the Affairs
of the World are Arbitrated,

but you’re right: It’s actually
your time on the toilet
that yields best insight,

and thank you for sharing it
So Vociferously with others—
of all ages—and their mothers.

Hey, once you’ve hammered
each thought into postable
gold, you can sit back and watch

the world get educated,
well, YOUR world. Of your
friends. Well, your world

of “friends,” for certainly none
or few of them whiffed
the poo you let flee

while you edited and re-
edited said post that’s drawn
16 comments. More to come

between now and dawn,
no doubt. Get some rest,
you Juggernaut of Socials!!!

Whether your readers are local
or at a distance, “you’re
making a difference.”

• • •
 


Synonyms

Monday, May 15, 2017

Look up “brontosaurus”
in any thesaurus
and “apatosaurus”

is listed.
So are “thunder lizard”
and “slippy wizard.”

• • •
 


Gioia on Mystery

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

As an artist, I learned something else from the Latin hymns—that art is mysterious. It reaches us in ways we don’t fully understand. The literal sense of a song or a poem is only part of its meaning. Physical sound and rhythm exercise a power of enchantment that eludes paraphrase. Our intuition often outpaces our intellect, and music anticipates meaning. He who sings prays twice, sometimes unaware.

–Dana Gioia, “Singing Aquinas in L.A.”

• • •
 


Sonnet 81

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Pendulous blooms, & crepuscular;
for the hour, it verges on nighttime.
The garden lurks among copses
and benches stuck under fountains…
Oh, mid-evening rhapsodic serenade,
sung to a bee by an unconscious maid!
When what is is becoming what was
and song sounds a little like buzz.
“Is she dead or playing possum?”
“To a bee, everything’s blossom.”

• • •
 


Ending With Lines From Supertramp

Monday, April 24, 2017

I CAN’T remember what they’re called,
the little tabs that go in shirts
to keep their collars straight—not tabs,
but plinths? Or stanchions? I’ve a friend
who calls them slidy flats. But what’s
the proper word for them? Not sharps,
surely, or monoliths. They can’t
be called straighteners or guides.
    But anyway I’m missing one
today, and so have one curled prong
or pointer: flyaway off to
the right. I feel a boy in school
inadequately dressed, of poor
couture, cannot afford fresh sticks
to sharp my collar points. And what
of love? It’s raining again; and
you know, it’s hard to pretend; oh no.

• • •
 


Poem Composed in 22 Seconds

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

We think you might be sending
Friedrich mixed messages, Janice.
We’d like you to stop contacting him.
If he needs anything, he’ll reach out,
and then you can reach out,
and the sun and moon will reach down
their light, and the rain reach its rain,
and life will go on reaching, imploring,
and feeling its way forward through time;
and that is the end of your picture
book, Janice, here in the middle
of our way. Caught on a rain-lashed
peninsula, poised atop a deck chair,
reading night-time words to a wee one,
both of you drenched, nothing
can get in the way now, Janice.
The future is yours to embargo.

• • •
 


Willem Jacob Gravesand

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Shortly after I became a brand
I decided to look up one
of my old schoolteachers—
Willem Jacob Gravesand.
We used to have fun
visiting various beaches

where we would conduct
experiments in mathematics
by multiplying bathers.
Sometimes it sucked,
though; Willem’s antics
wore thin, and his father’s

also got old. I hadn’t forgiven
him until much later,
when I became a Christian.
Jesus’s hands and riven
side. No longer a hater,
I joined a Dutch delegation

sent to welcome the Hanoverian
succession in Great Britain,
and Prof. Gravesand was there!
Bright eyes. Merely an
apology sparked the man,
the mathematician: my mentor.

• • •


Aaron Belz

Monday, April 17, 2017

The poet in all ages has despised riches and grandeur. Aaron Belz improves this sentiment into a hatred of the rich and great.

The poet of other times has been an enthusiast in the love of his native soil. Aaron Belz rejects all restrictions on his feelings. His love is enlarged and expanded so as to comprehend all human-kind.

The old poet was a warrior, at least in imagination; and sung the actions of the heroes of his country, in strains which ‘made Ambition Virtue’, and which overwhelmed the horrors of war in its glory. Aaron Belz hoists the dying onto his shoulder and carries them into the darkness of distant fireworks.

• • •
 


East Coker, Part IV

Friday, April 14, 2017

The wounded surgeon plies the steel
That questions the distempered part;
Beneath the bleeding hands we feel
The sharp compassion of the healer’s art
Resolving the enigma of the fever chart.

    Our only health is the disease
If we obey the dying nurse
Whose constant care is not to please
But to remind of our, and Adam’s curse,
And that, to be restored, our sickness must grow worse.

    The whole earth is our hospital
Endowed by the ruined millionaire,
Wherein, if we do well, we shall
Die of the absolute paternal care
That will not leave us, but prevents us everywhere.

    The chill ascends from feet to knees,
The fever sings in mental wires.
If to be warmed, then I must freeze
And quake in frigid purgatorial fires
Of which the flame is roses, and the smoke is briars.

    The dripping blood our only drink,
The bloody flesh our only food:
In spite of which we like to think
That we are sound, substantial flesh and blood—
Again, in spite of that, we call this Friday good.

–T.S. Eliot, 1940

• • •
 


My Cat

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Named my cat Whiskers.
If you think that’s unoriginal,
he named me Bill. My real
name is Aaron, and who
meows what his real name is?
Could be Alphonse Lord
Sparklepaws the Ninth.

• • •