Dailies 5/19/17: pronouns, sewing, joy, minnows, & the crown of a human’s eye

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Note: I wanted to make another mention of a Paris Review article that I blogged about yesterday re: Fonograf Editions and Eileen Myles.  I at first wasn’t going to mention this, (as I wanted to draw more attention to the subject of the article than to the language used in it,)  but this was the 1st article I’ve read in which Myles is referred to as “they” rather than “she.” After reflection I’m drawing attention to this now, as people who write about Myles will need to know to check into what pronouns to use, and because, in general, it’s an interesting topic for those who love language….

Something intriguing to think about, anyway. Now on to the dailies:

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Chase Twichell – The Phantoms for Which Clothes Are Designed

Sewing patterns are designed for imaginary
people, based on average measurements
taken in the 1930s by the WPA

Read rest of poem

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Thomas Lux – Ode to the Joyful Ones

          Shield your joyful ones.
from an Anglican prayer

That they walk, even stumble, among us is reason
to praise them, or protect them—even the sound
of a lead slug dropped on a lead plate, even that, for them,
is music. Because they bring laughter’s
brief amnesia. Because they stand,
talking, taking pleasure in others,

Read rest of poem 

 

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Sara Lupita Olivares – Moment Where I Keep What I’d Wanted to Give

once they appear
I reach out to touch
the minnows

Read rest of poem 

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Jack Marshall – Eye-Crowned

In the oasis of interior rest, come
lie with me on a cushion
of quantum foam

Read rest of poem 

 

 

Philip Guston’s “death mask” painting of T.S. Eliot

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“East Coker-Tse” by Philip Guston

East Coker

T.S. Eliot

I

In my beginning is my end. In succession
Houses rise and fall, crumble, are extended,
Are removed, destroyed, restored, or in their place
Is an open field, or a factory, or a by-pass.
Old stone to new building, old timber to new fires,
Old fires to ashes, and ashes to the earth

Read rest of poem 

Interesting and odd….I just found out about this painting of T.S. Eliot via a New York Times article on the exhibition “Philip Guston and the Poets” at the Gallerie dell’Accademia di Venezia in Italy: An Iconic American Painter, Re-examined Through Poetry – Kat Herriman – New York Times – May 16, 2017:

“Throughout the show, drawings and paintings are contextualized with stanzas — some are more direct than others. A painting from 1979 called ‘East Coker-Tse’ sits alongside lines from the poem that inspired it, the third installment of Eliot’s ‘Four Quartets.’ ‘It is a death mask of Eliot, but also a kind of self-portrait,’ Mayer explains. ‘He painted it after a heart attack that nearly killed him.’ As if in response, the last line ‘East Coker’ reads: ‘In my end is my beginning.’”

Dailies: Where am I? Bees, home renovation, & an inability to dance on one’s toes

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Jay Hopler – Swarm

Bees from a cleaved hive dive sky-
ward, draw upon the raw, October
air a hair shirt, a turret, a portrait of War-
wick (the earl of), a single modest opera

Read rest of poem 

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Craig Morgan Teicher – Where Am I?

How far from what
————————I keep calling
the world?

Read rest of poem 

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Jessica Greenbaum – Regardless of Disaster

Only through a disaster or a renovation
does the entire brick side of a house come down
and in this case the workmen threw stoves and refrigerators
out the windows, letting them bounce

Read rest of poem 

 

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Emily Dickinson – I cannot dance upon my Toes…

I cannot dance upon my Toes—
No Man instructed me—
But oftentimes, among my mind,
A Glee possesseth me,

Read rest of poem 

Fonograf Editions captures poets on vinyl sans shaky, tremulous, high-toned voices

 
There’s a fascinating piece at The Paris Review called Wax Poetic: Fonograf Editions brings poets to vinyl – Carson Vaughan – May 15, 2017. It tells the history of the recording company that puts out vinyl records of poets reading their work. 

“’Every time I heard a poet whose work I liked, I would be deeply disappointed and appalled by their voice,’ [Eileen] Myles said, referring to their limited exposure to spoken-word records. ‘Gertrude Stein would sound like Margaret Rutherford in Groucho Marx movies. It was always about class. Everything you hated about poetry would be there in those recordings. The caste of poetry being firmly defended by shaky, tremulous, high-toned voices.’”

But the recording of Myles by Fonograf Editions

 

“captures everything: the mulligans, the false starts, the mispronunciations, the pages dropping to the floor, the sips of water. The last track on the album is nothing more than trees creaking in the wind, recorded on Myles’s phone during an outing with friends in Ireland’s Wicklow Mountains. ‘I’m gonna catch up,’ Myles says, just before the player stops. ‘I have to pee.’ In a word, it’s sloppy—with purpose.”

 

Dailies 5/17/17: an Incident at the Mother’s, a woman lovely in her bones, behind the door that would not lock, & a poem based on a Marsden Hartley painting

 

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Sharon Dolin – Evening Storm

I want to paint the livingness of appearances.
—Marsden Hartley

What of these evening storms
where foam becomes rock—wave
becomes cove. Inside the billow as
you always dreamed it would be

Read rest of poem 

 

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Julie Brooks Barbour – Behind the Door that Will Not Lock 

You fill an abandoned house with pine trees. Needles spill from broken windows.

I met a man at a house without a locking door where he grieves over his deceased sister.  We locate her spirit in a doll whose eyes blink while its body rests.

Read rest of poem 

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Jason Sommer – Incident at the Mother’s

 

It would have been the last thing his mother said
to him, to him and Em, that miserable
visit, early in their marriage,
the final cutting thing
on their way out to the car,
standing before it—

Read rest of poem 

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Theodore Roethke – I Knew a Woman

I knew a woman, lovely in her bones,
When small birds sighed, she would sigh back at them;

Read rest of poem 

 

“The poet would not be bought, either by affirmation or exclusion.”

“Though his artistic vision squared well with an international vision of human rights that was then emerging in opposition to European fascism and U.S. segregation, Hayden nonetheless declared his opposition to the idea that work by black poets was received, ‘as the custom is, entirely in the light of sociology and politics.’ Additionally, he contended that uncritical celebrations of underdeveloped work by black artists— by a lib­eral, largely white art world— were equally undesirable. He explained further in the Counterpoise introduction that neither ‘a con­science to salve’ nor a political ‘axe to grind’ were due cause for anybody to be ‘overpraised.’ To be clear, Hayden was not suggesting that mainstream presses were indiscriminately underwriting black mediocrity. After all, he would not receive a contract from a commercial publishing house for another two decades. However, those who presided over publication oppor­tunities—’editors, reviewers, anthologists’—were not to be granted the power of life and death over an artist’s vision. Black leaders and the (presumably white) liter­ary establishment were both served notice. The poet would not be bought, either by affirmation or exclusion.”

Frederick Douglass

Robert Hayden

When it is finally ours, this freedom, this liberty, this beautiful
and terrible thing, needful to man as air,
usable as earth; when it belongs at last to all,
when it is truly instinct, brain matter, diastole, systole,
reflex action; when it is finally won; when it is more
than the gaudy mumbo jumbo of politicians:

But after the scarred years, comes a time of white magic

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(poetry diary 253-5/17/17)  since I’m in my mid-forties and am both  witnessing the graying of my own hair and the aging of older relatives and family friends, (yesterday my husband went to the funeral of a very cool family friend who was one of the policemen who arrested Jim Morrison in New Haven in 1967, for ex…. ) the topic of “Aging” is often on my mind.  I found this poem by Jose A. Alantara while exploring The American Journal of Poetry today. It put some magic into the topic.  

On Aging

 Jose A. Alantara             
I did not know childhood was a spell. 
—————————————————–Larry Levis

 

And that one day the incantation would wear off,
that all the princes would turn back into frogs,
that the rabbit would jump back into the black depths
of an even blacker hat, that someday, somebody

Read rest of poem 

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