Robert Johnson, King of the Delta Blues
Courtesy once again of Ed Markowski, here's a little something to perk up a draggy Friday afternoon.
Thanks, Ed. Always great to go back to the source.
pine and cedar
to admire the wind
smell the sound
the bamboo waits for snow
what a sight
a morning glory
this also is not
path of the sun
the hollyhock leans into
early summer rain
Now, at break of day,
A cliché coldly peers out
From behind mountains.Travis Gray
Sleep happens outside
this window where
white groping fingers
of a dream grasp
and are as still as
frozen beaks of birds
pinned to earth,
tugging at words
beneath the wormsAlan Catlin
Father, forgive them
even though they know exactly
what they damn well do.David Denny
¶a friend hands me a book
-more shit to carry when we go into exile.Scarecrow
The Mad Yak
I am watching them churn the last milk they'll ever get from me.
They are waiting for me to die;
They want to make buttons out of my bones.
Where are my sisters and brothers?
That tall monk there, loading my uncle, he has a new cap.
And that idiot student of his--
I never saw that muffler before.
Poor uncle, he lets them load him.
How sad he is, how tired!
I wonder what they'll do with his bones?
And that beautiful tail!
How many shoelaces will they make of that!Gregory Corso
Just a quick note to suggest that E. E. Cummings' name be treated with the normal capitals. The lowercasing of his name was just something that his book designers did -- not Cummings himself. The policy and practice of the E. E. Cummings Society (I'm a longtime contributing editor to its journal Spring), Liveright (Cummings' publisher), and George Firmage (Cummings' literary executor, although recently deceased himself) is to treat the poet's name with initial capitals. Despite popular practice and perception, lowercasing his name is simply incorrect. For more information, please visit the definitive articles on the subject at http://www.gvsu.edu/english/cummings/caps.htm and http://www.gvsu.edu/english/cummings/caps2.html.
The myth of lowercasing E. E. Cummings' name is not unlike the myth of 5-7-5 syllables for English-language haiku. Too many people, even well-meaning poets and textbooks, have borrowed the number without thinking about what the number is counting. Yet people cling to their beliefs in odd ways, and perhaps lowercasing Cummings' name is similar. Or in some cases, they simply have heard anything to counter their beliefs. Please give the two essays I linked to a good read and give them a chance to shift your world just a little bit.
Michael Dylan Welch
Grasses of the Ancient PlainTender grasses across the plainEvery year wither and grow back.The wildfires fail to put an end to them,With the breath of spring, they are reborn.With their fragrances, they perfume the ancient way,
Emerald sheaves in the ancient ruins.
Agitated and quivering with nostalgia,
they bid farewell to the departing lord.Bo Juyi
all that remains
of soldiers' dreams.Basho
A Suggestion to My Friend Liu
There's a gleam of green in an old bottle,
There's a stir of red in the quiet stove,
There's a feeling of snow in the dusk outside -
What about a cup of wine inside?
New Year's morning--
old haiku linked together
each piece a shining eye
the rest of the explosion.scarecrow
Sheila E. Murphy
late summer rain
one droplet among many
catches my eye, trickles down the glass
thoughts of you
so different from all the restCathy Drinkwater Better
New And Collected Poems
Sun's branches leap
from the fingers across town
a one-way sign.
Talk Walks on
the wild side, spokes spin
too fast to be.
Silence squiggles and
creeps upstream, history
----Seeker of Truthseeker of truth
follow no path
all paths lead where
truth is here
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
Ichigyoshi is a web-based journal designed to foster adiscourse that is both academic and colloquial in nature.In addition to essays, manifestos, and the general writer'sstatement, Ichigyoshi will pursue this goal through thepublication of three types of literature: 1. experimentalliterature, 2. translation, and 3. [very] short poetry.
To see what we're all about and to find out how to submityour work, please make your way to the Ichigyoshi website:
on the church steps
a mourning dove
with mother's eyes
Stepping Out of Poetry
What would you give for one of the old yellow streetcars
rocking toward you again through the thick snow?
What would give for the feeling of joy as you climbed
up the three iron steps and took your place by the cold window?
Oh, what would you give to pick up your stack of books
and walk down the icy path in front of the library?
What would you give for your dream
to be as clear and simple as it was then
in the dark afternoons, at the old scarred tables?
is to skin
a) the act
b) the art
c) the oughtKen Waldman
One thousand views of Backbone Mountain.
One hundred black-hair brushes.
Seven stylistic changes.
One or two regrets.
Two hundred details.
Ten thousand things forgotten.Leslie Carroll
J. D. Smith
My first bar in Dixie--
all the usual beers but
Brueghel would've loved it
by urban renewal, bean soup,
like ambrosia, 50¢ a bowlWalt Franklin
¶ i will not drown
--rather i will raise the level of the oceanscarecrow
For e. e. cummings, on his birthday:my father moved through dooms of love
through sames of am through haves of give,
singing each morning out of each night
my father moved through depths of height
this motionless forgetful where
turned at his glance to shining here;
that if(so timid air is firm)
under his eyes would stir and squirm
newly as from unburied which
floats the first who,his april touch
drove sleeping selves to swarm their fates
woke dreamers to their ghostly roots
and should some why completely weep
my father's fingers brought her sleep:
vainly no smallest voice might cry
for he could feel the mountains grow.
Lifting the valleys of the sea
my father moved through griefs of joy;
praising a forehead called the moon
singing desire into begin
joy was his song and joy so pure
a heart of star by him could steer
and pure so now and now so yes
the wrists of twilight would rejoice
keen as midsummer's keen beyond
conceiving mind of sun will stand,
so strictly(over utmost him
so hugely) stood my father's dream
his flesh was flesh his blood was blood:
no hungry man but wished him food;
no cripple wouldn't creep one mile
uphill to only see him smile.
Scorning the Pomp of must and shall
my father moved through dooms of feel;
his anger was as right as rain
his pity was as green as grain
septembering arms of year extend
yes humbly wealth to foe and friend
than he to foolish and to wise
offered immeasurable is
proudly and(by octobering flame
beckoned)as earth will downward climb,
so naked for immortal work
his shoulders marched against the dark
his sorrow was as true as bread:
no liar looked him in the head;
if every friend became his foe
he'd laugh and build a world with snow.
My father moved through theys of we,
singing each new leaf out of each tree
(and every child was sure that spring
danced when she heard my father sing)
then let men kill which cannot share,
let blood and flesh be mud and mire,
scheming imagine,passion willed,
freedom a drug that's bought and sold
giving to steal and cruel kind,
a heart to fear,to doubt a mind,
to differ a disease of same,
conform the pinnacle of am
though dull were all we taste as bright,
bitter all utterly things sweet,
maggoty minus and dumb death
all we inherit,all bequeath
and nothing quite so least as truth
--i say though hate were why men breathe--
because my Father lived his soul
love is the whole and more than all
And here is a performance piece, by Lila Sakura,
of cummings "Pity this busy monster, manunkind",
that perfectly captures, um, today.
We have lost a friend and pioneer in English language haiku and Japanese poetic forms. Please join me in expressing our sincere condolences to Penny, family, and friends of William J. Higginson.
you a butterfly?
and I Chuang-tzu?
my dreaming heartBasho
the bell fades
----the blossoms' fragrance ringing:
I've hit the bottom
----of my bag of discretion:
an orchid's scent—
----its incense perfuming
--------a butterfly's wings
may the hokku that come
----be unlike our faces:
--------first cherry blossoms
in the plum's fragrance
----the single term "the past"
---------holds such pathos
so very precious:
----are they tinting my tears?
---------falling crimson leaves
wind - photographs
linger oh so briefly
before blowing on pastGary Jurechka
oh happy age!
on every faceIssa
translated by David Lanoue
Agenda At 74
Tap barometer, burn trash,
put out seed for birds, tap
barometer, go to market
for doughnuts and Dutch
Masters, feed cat, write
President, tap barometer,
take baby aspirin, write
congressman, nap, watch
Bills vs. Patriots, tap
barometer, go to post
office and ask Diane if
it's cold enough for her,
go to diner and say "hi,
babe" to Mazie, go to
barber shop and read
Sports Illustrated, go
home, take a load off,
tap barometer, go to
liquor store for jug
(Gallo chablis), go
home, pee, etc., sweep
cellar stairs (be careful!),
write letter to editor,
count dimes, count quarters,
tap the fucking barometer ...Hayden Carruth
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?I did this in my best "drop dead" Jersey accent and they loved it - when I heard the unrestrained laughter, I knew they were enjoying poetry and, so, I'd accomplished what I came for.
Who says you're like one of the dog days?
You're nicer. And better.
Even in May, the weather can be gray,
And a summer sub-let doesn't last forever.
Sometimes the suns too hot;
Sometime it is not.
Who can stay young forever?
People break their necks or just drop dead!
But you? Never!
If there's just one condensed reader left
Who can figure out the abridged alphabet,
-----After you're dead and gone,
-----In this poem you'll live on!
C Ra McGuirt
Why Did Buddha Sit Under the Tree
Because he is.
Because he is waiting.
Because he is waiting for you.Evans Burn
Why Did Buddha Sit Under the Tree
When you read Nazi books
why do you always turn
straight to the pictures?Noelle Kocot
Why Did Buddha Sit Under the Tree
When two or more are gathered in my nameMarty Campbell