happy halloween



book of the dead

"You're not dead until there isn't a flash of you in memory left
-S.J. Marks

Tonight I allow the dead
To live inside me,
To assemble their bleach white bones,
Their string of Told-You-So's.
I have kept within me their off time alphabet.
The dead move me,
As anything beautiful and extinct,
Made perfect by absence.
There are so many,
Like crows
Fighting for space, for survival
In a world where everything
Is consumed.
After awhile their stories
Become as harlequin as fairy tales.
I follow them like religion,
Keeping alive
The old woman who slept under bridges,
The boy who could tame wild animals with his singing,
The girl who ate make believe.

~ by Corinne De Winter




Did you have to fall
In love
Than where rests
The bones of travelers who never
Came back from winter
Where strings of pearls
And silver forks
And sea glass
Murmur together like
Old lovers?
Did you have to sink
As far as
The wishing well's
End where pennies and
Serpents and bloodworms
In wicked changing symbols?
Did you have to fall
Over and over
Through the air
Like a scarlet leaf in November,
Divine and destined
To dissolve against ice,
To tumble and spiral
Like the stricken acrobat
Who realizes too late
That there is no
Greater risk
Than diving
For one's holy

~ by Corrine De Winter 



it's been one of those weeks ...

thanks to goatman for the image


Life for me ain't been no crystal stair ...

Mother to Son

Well, son, I'll tell you:
Life for me ain't been no crystal stair.
It's had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor --
But all the time
I'se been a-climbin' on,
And reachin' landin's,
And turnin' corners,
And sometimes goin' in the dark
Where there ain't been no light.
So boy, don't you turn back.
Don't you set down on the steps
'Cause you finds it's kinder hard.
Don't you fall now --
For I'se still goin', honey,
I'se still climbin',
And life for me ain't been no crystal stair.

~ by Langston Hughes



yellow october

Come back to me.
The road is waiting quietly outside your door,
the wind is blowing the leaves this way.
It is late afternoon,
the best time for making love; half the world
is sleeping now: no longer sad
the violins fit
into their velvet cases, and lovers there
must do without their eyes.

Come back, I want to tell you how
all of the things I only half-believed before
are true, I want to find
that part of you I never touched
and make it blossom,
I want the clock to count the hours as seconds
until your sorrow is forgotten.

Come back.
Don't watch the sunlight lazing on the street,
don't wait for fruit to grow without a rind.
You know the way,
the heat that's in the flesh by afternoon,
the taste of salt,
the face that fits into your eyes.
I want to know, again,
what it's like to breathe your words;
I want to know, once more,
how it feels
to be peeled and eaten whole, time after time.

~ by Kevin Hart



e.e. cummings



the always exuberant Florence !!

Recorded at Abbey Road Studios

I'm not posting lyrics (love love the Virginia Woolf allusion)
because that tends to get me sad faces.  
I love the music!  I love Florence!
In my ideal world, she and I would be BFF's !


small moth

She's slicing ripe white peaches
into the Tony the Tiger bowl
and dropping slivers for the dog
poised vibrating by her foot to stop their fall
when she spots it, camouflaged,
a glimmer and then full on—
happiness, plashing blunt soft wings
inside her as if it wants
to escape again.

 ~ by sarah lindsay;  
Poetry (October 2008)


solicit free sunday



frivolous friday

the "Real Men Don't LOL"series


posters available at jackthreads


frivolous friday ~ ancient figures

rdg tentatively sitting at the base of a roman column
(a REAL roman column)
in front of York Minster, York, UK
aug 2007

photo courtesy of Soubriquet 


[She goes, she is, she wakes the waters]

She goes, she is, she wakes the waters
primed in their wave-form, a flux of urge
struck into oneness, the solid surge
seeking completion, and strikes and shatters

and is its fragments, distinction’s daughters
and now, unholding, the cleave and merge
the hew and fusing, plundering the verge
and substance is the scheme it scatters

and what it numbers in substantial sun.
Her hands hold many or her hands hold none.
And diving the salt will kiss a convex eye

and be salt fact and be the bodied sky
and that gray weight is both or beggared one,
a dead dimensional, or blue begun.

~ Karen Volkman, “[She goes, she is, she wakes the waters]” from Emblem.

the poetry of heartbreak

on Robert Lowell:

Lowell insisted that "a poem needs to include a man's contradictions." He himself contained multitudes of contradictions, and he struggled to include them in nearly every poem. Toward the end of his life he observed, "What I write always comes out of the pressure of some inner concern, temptation or obsessive puzzle ... All my poems are written for catharsis; none can heal melancholia or arthritis." Indeed, the poems healed no more than they concluded. In one poem he wrote, sadly, "Is getting well ever an art, / or art a way to get well?"
 The Aquarium is gone. Everywhere,
giant finned cars nose forward like fish;
a savage servility
slides by on grease.
Even these famous lines escape finality. Lowell's poems seldom find stability, whether or not they are seeking it; nearly every one of a thousand poems ends by making us surer of instability, personal and social. "Cured, I am frizzled, stale and small" ("Home After Three Months Away"). "The disturbed eyes rise, / furtive, foiled, dissatisfied / from meditation on the true / and insignificant" ("Hawthorne"). "I am tired. Everyone's tired of my turmoil" ("Eye and Tooth"). 

Lowell's health gradually declined (by the end of his life he had been treated in dozens of psychiatric hospitals) and his third marriage gradually crumbled, but his dedication to writing and teaching poetry never flagged. He died in 1977 in a New York taxicab, on his way from Kennedy Airport to his second wife's apartment, carrying a portrait of his third wife painted by her first husband.

Blair Clark, a lifelong friend of Lowell's, once wrote,
I remember ... a dozen years before he died, bringing him back to my house in New York in one of his crazed escapes from home. Watching him breathe in heavy gasps, asleep in the taxi, the tranquillizing drugs fighting the mania, I thought that there were then two dynamos within him, spinning in opposite directions and tearing him apart, and that these forces would kill him at last. No one, strong as he was, could stand that for long.
But the most desperate insight, as might be expected, comes from Lowell himself. The critic Helen Vendler has described how one day, discussing the reviews of his late work, Lowell lamented, "Why don't they ever say what I'd like them to say?"

"What's that?" Vendler asked.

"That I'm heartbreaking," he said.
~ excerpted from "The Poetry of Heartbreak" by Peter Davison in The Atlantic





we don't eat

If this is redemption, why do I bother at all
There's nothing to mention, and nothing has changed
Still I'd rather be working for something, than praying for the rain
So I wander on, till someone else is saved

I moved to the coast, under a mountain
Swam in the ocean, slept on my own
At dawn I would watch the sun cut ribbons through the bay
I'd remember all the things my mother wrote

That we don't eat until your father's at the table
We don't drink until the devil's turned to dust
Never once has any man I've met been able to love
So if I were you, I'd have a little trust

Two thousand years, I've been in that water
Two thousand years, sunk like a stone
Desperately reaching for nets
That the fishermen have thrown
Trying to find, a little bit of rope

Me I was holding, all of my secrets soft and hid
Pages were folded, then there was nothing at all
So if in the future I might need myself a savior
I'll remember what was written on that wall

That we don't eat until your father's at the table
We don't drink until the devil's turned to dust
Never once has any man I've met been able to love
So if I were you, I'd have a little trust

Am I an honest man and true
Have i been good to you at all
Oh I'm so tired of playing these games
We'd just be running down
The same old lines, the same old stories of
Breathless trains and, worn down glories
Houses burning, worlds that turn on their own

So we don't eat until your father's at the table
We don't drink until the devil's turned to dust
Never once has any man I've met been able to love
So if I were you my friend, I'd learn to have just a little bit of trust

~ lyrics and music by James Vincent McMorrow



frivolous friday

working on my balancing act ...


The Embankment

~ by request 

 (The fantasia of a fallen gentleman on a cold, bitter night.)

Once, in finesse of fiddles found I ecstasy,
In the flash of gold heels on the hard pavement.
Now see I
That warmth’s the very stuff of poesy.
Oh, God, make small
The old star-eaten blanket of the sky,
That I may fold it round me and in comfort lie.

~ T.E. Hulme



Above the Dock

Above the quiet dock in mid night,
Tangled in the tall mast’s corded height,
Hangs the moon. What seemed so far away
Is but a child’s balloon, forgotten after play.

~ T.E. Hulme




A touch of cold in the Autumn night—
I walked abroad,
And saw the ruddy moon lean over a hedge
Like a red-faced farmer.
I did not stop to speak, but nodded,
And round about were the wistful stars
With white faces like town children.

~ by T.E. Hulme