Rainer Maria Rilke |
Ignorant before the heavens of my life,
I stand and gaze in wonder.
Oh the vastness
of the stars.
Their rising and descent.
As if I didn't exist.
Do I have any
share in this? Have I somehow dispensed with
their pure effect? Does my blood's ebb and flow
change with their changes? Let me put aside
every desire, every relationship
except this one, so that my heart grows used to
its farthest spaces.
Better that it live
fully aware, in the terror of its stars, than
as if protected, soothed by what is near.
Rainer Maria Rilke |
As once the winged energy of delight
carried you over childhood's dark abysses,
now beyond your own life build the great
arch of unimagined bridges.
Wonders happen if we can succeed
in passing through the harshest danger;
but only in a bright and purely granted
achievement can we realize the wonder.
To work with Things in the indescribable
relationship is not too hard for us;
the pattern grows more intricate and subtle,
and being swept along is not enough.
Take your practiced powers and stretch them out
until they span the chasm between two
For the god
wants to know himself in you.
Maggie Estep |
I'm all screwed up so
and take out the garbage
feed the cat and FUCK ME
you can do it, I know you can.
and theorize about
Sado Masochism's relationship
to classical philosophy
tell me how this stimulates
the fabric of most human relationships,
I love that kind of pointless intellectualism
so do it again and
Stop being logical
the origins of evil
and the beauty of death
this is not a TV movie about Plato sex life,
this is FUCK ME
so FUCK ME
It's the pause that refreshes
just add water and
I wrote this
so I'd have a good excuse to say "FUCK ME"
over and over
so I could get a lot of attention
and look, it worked!
So thank you
and fuck ME.
More great poems below...
Denise Duhamel |
They decide to exchange heads.
Barbie squeezes the small opening under her chin
over Ken's bulging neck socket.
His wide jaw line jostles
atop his girlfriend's body, loosely,
like one of those novelty dogs
destined to gaze from the back windows of cars.
The two dolls chase each other around the orange Country Camper
unsure what they'll do when they're within touching distance.
Ken wants to feel Barbie's toes between his lips,
take off one of her legs and force his whole arm inside her.
With only the vaguest suggestion of genitals,
all the alluring qualities they possess as fashion dolls,
up until now, have done neither of them much good.
But suddenly Barbie is excited looking at her own body
under the weight of Ken's face.
He is part circus freak,
part thwarted hermaphrodite.
And she is imagining
she is somebody else-- maybe somebody middle class and ordinary,
maybe another teenage model being caught in a scandal.
The night had begun with Barbie getting angry
at finding Ken's blow up doll, folded and stuffed
under the couch.
He was defensive and ashamed, especially about
not having the breath to inflate her.
But after a round
of pretend-tears, Barbie and Ken vowed to try
to make their relationship work.
With their good memories
as sustaining as good food, they listened to late-night radio
talk shows, one featuring Doctor Ruth.
When all else fails,
just hold each other, the small sex therapist crooned.
Barbie and Ken, on cue, groped in the dark,
their interchangeable skin glowing, the color of Band-Aids.
Then, they let themselves go-- Soon Barbie was begging Ken
to try on her spandex miniskirt.
She showed him how
to pivot as though he was on a runway.
to tie Barbie onto his yellow surfboard and spin her
on the kitcen table until she grew dizzy.
anything, they both said to the other's requests,
their mirrored desires bubbling from the most unlikely places.
Howard Nemerov |
Two universes mosey down the street
Connected by love and a leash and nothing else.
Mostly I look at lamplight through the leaves
While he mooches along with tail up and snout down,
Getting a secret knowledge through the nose
Almost entirely hidden from my sight.
We stand while he's enraptured by a bush
Till I can't stand our standing any more
And haul him off; for our relationship
Is patience balancing to this side tug
And that side drag; a pair of symbionts
Contented not to think each other's thoughts.
What else we have in common's what he taught,
Our interest in shit.
We know its every state
From steaming fresh through stink to nature's way
Of sluicing it downstreet dissolved in rain
Or drying it to dust that blows away.
We move along the street inspecting shit.
His sense of it is keener far than mine,
And only when he finds the place precise
He signifies by sniffing urgently
And circles thrice about, and squats, and shits,
Whereon we both with dignity walk home
And just to show who's master I write the poem.
Howard Nemerov |
Who can remember back to the first poets,
The greatest ones, greater even than Orpheus?
No one has remembered that far back
Or now considers, among the artifacts,
And bones and cantilevered inference
The past is made of, those first and greatest poets,
So lofty and disdainful of renown
They left us not a name to know them by.
They were the ones that in whatever tongue
Worded the world, that were the first to say
Star, water, stone, that said the visible
And made it bring invisibles to view
In wind and time and change, and in the mind
Itself that minded the hitherto idiot world
And spoke the speechless world and sang the towers
Of the city into the astonished sky.
They were the first great listeners, attuned
To interval, relationship, and scale,
The first to say above, beneath, beyond,
Conjurors with love, death, sleep, with bread and wine,
Who having uttered vanished from the world
Leaving no memory but the marvelous
Magical elements, the breathing shapes
And stops of breath we build our Babels of.
Edgar Lee Masters |
All they said was true:
I wrecked my father's bank with my loans
To dabble in wheat; but this was true --
I was buying wheat for him as well,
Who couldn't margin the deal in his name
Because of his church relationship.
And while George Reece was serving his term
I chased the will-o'-the-wisp of women,
And the mockery of wine in New York.
It's deathly to sicken of wine and women
When nothing else is left in life.
But suppose your head is gray, and bowed
On a table covered with acrid stubs
Of cigarettes and empty glasses,
And a knock is heard, and you know it's the knock
So long drowned out by popping corks
And the pea-cock screams of demireps --
And you look up, and there's your Theft,
Who waited until your head was gray,
And your heart skipped beats to say to you:
The game is ended.
I've called for you.
Go out on Broadway and be run over,
They'll ship you back to Spoon River.