Tribrach: for those who love (or would like to love) poetry

“Because in times like these/ to have you listen at all, it's necessary/ to talk about trees." -Adrienne Rich, "What Kind of Times Are These"

it’s doubtful that your poems will “raise one Lazarus from a grave / Metaphoric or literal.”


(poetry diary  215-3/24/17) waiting to find out what happens w/health care today. Did a search for poems about “health insurance” and found this ironic one, which for me in 2017 captures some of the tension many of today’s poets feel between wanting to help others via activism and wanting to write poetry. 

Progressive Health
Carl Dennis
We here at Progressive Health would like to thank you
For being one of the generous few who’ve promised
To bequeath your vital organs to whoever needs them.


Dailies 3/23/17: sirens, a seascape, breaking up, & a deception story



Bethany Schultz Hurst – Seascape with Evacuating

all of the ocean creatures
have been ripped out
of the pop-up book          no one’s

Read rest of poem 


Tony Hoagland – Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

On Friday afternoon David said he was divesting his holdings
in Stephanie dot org.
And Cindy announced she was getting rid of all her Dan-obelia,
and did anyone want a tennis racket or a cardigan?

Read rest of poem 


Solmaz Sharif – Deception Story


Friends describe my DISPOSITION

as stoic. Like a dead fish, an ex said. DISTANCE

is a funny drug and used to make me a DISTRESSED PERSON,

Read rest of poem 


Leslie Harrison – [Sirens]


I’m not Penelope married to faith married to waiting
bound in fine soft strands of silk dyed and stretched
in my world longing has teeth and fins has a taste
for blood longing is a room built entirely of knives


“What Beowulf fights against is the undoing of everything.”


“Beowulf is a natural comic book, full of fractured perspectives, sudden zoom-ins, and spooky poolings of consciousness around heavy-metal details.”

-James Parker – Beowulf Is Back! What’s behind the running pop-culture engagement with the epic poem? The Atlantic – 4/17


will anyone ever be able to use the word “trump” in a poem again w/out implying political overtones?


(poetry diary  214-3/23/17) Here’s a pre-President Trump poem by Isabelle Gardner (niece of the famous art collector)   called “The Last Trump.”  It’s about a mouse.


Isabella Gardner


You suddenly squeak breathlessly like a squeezed rubber toy

you scream and scrabble in my kitchen, I am paralyzed.

you doomed freak of black and white you with your cockaded soul

Read rest of poem 





Dailies 3/22/17: spiderwebs, aging, fleeing Chairman Mao, & archival footage of a necessary outburst



Albert Goldbarth – Forces

It’s different for the spiderweb:
the only architecture
in a five-block radius not
undone by yesterday’s tornado.

Read rest of poem + one other by Goldbarth 


Wendell Berry – VII.

What a wonder I was
when I was young, as I learn
by the stern privilege
of being old: how regardlessly

Read rest of poem 



Anne Cecelia Holmes – Archival Footage of a Necessary Outburst

It’s hard to know what lives
in my hands when I’m not paying
attention to who I claim to be.
I never said I wanted any of your
swagger because I don’t. You have

Read rest of poem


Chen Chen – First Light

I like to say we left at first light
with Chairman Mao himself chasing us in a police car,
my father fighting him off with firecrackers,
even though Mao was already over a decade

Read rest of poem 


the new national Poetry Coalition & 30 Portraits of Poets


because we come from everything: Poetry & Migration

“In November 2015, over twenty nonprofit poetry organizations joined forces to form a national Poetry Coalition working together to promote the value poets bring to our culture and the important contribution poetry makes in the lives of people of all ages and backgrounds.

“In March 2017, the Poetry Coalition will launch its inaugural effort, Because We Come from Everything: Poetry & Migration. For this collaborative effort, each organization in the Poetry Coalition will bring its unique mission to the task of presenting programs and projects on the theme of migration. Here’s a look at what will be taking place across the country in March:

Read more  

Langston Hughes On The Stoop
American poet and writer Langston Hughes (1902 – 1967) poses, his jacket over his shoulder, on the steps in front of his house in Harlem, New York, New York, June 1958. (Photo by Robert W. Kelley/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

Also, in honor of yesterday’s World Poetry Day, Time put out:

‘To Praise a Poet’: 30 Portraits of Poets From the LIFE Archives – Lily Rothman, Liz Ronk – Time – 3/21/17

“…though the magazine only occasionally ran actual poetry, usually in the course of news about poets and the poetry business — readers came face to face with some of the modern world’s most well-regarded poets. In one such instance, for a story about Robert Frost, the magazine quoted the poet Paul Engle’s statement that the best way to ‘praise a poet’ was to write a poem. LIFE, however, was better known for photography than for poetry, and so the magazine gave credit in its own way to the men and women who crafted the century’s best-loved verses.”

mushrooms opon a spot


(poetry diary  213-3/22/17) I have been eating a lot of mushrooms lately.  Esp. in the good soups that I get from the local places near my workplace. I wish I had more interesting things to write about in this poetry diary today but I do not. So I’m posting “The Mushroom is the Elf of Plants.”

Note: I’ll need to find my hard copy of Emily Dickinson poems to find out whether “opon” is a typo or what Dickinson intended to write….Perhaps it is an archaic spelling (The Scrabble Dictionary seems to accept it, at least….) 

Anyway. Here, Mushroom and Grammar Lovers, see here:

The Mushroom is the Elf of Plants – (1350)
Emily Dickinson
The Mushroom is the Elf of Plants –
At Evening, it is not
At Morning, in a Truffled Hut
It stop opon a Spot

Dailies 1/21/17: realizing we’re all going to die, saying goodbye to a friend, exile & Fort Dada



Billy Collins – The Order of the Day

A morning after a week of rain
and the sun shot down through the branches
into the tall, bare windows.

Read rest of poem 



Danielle Hansen – Saying Goodbye to a Friend

Not needing a fire but starting one
because we already had the wood.
The smoke becoming women,
then a deep fog with men disappearing
into the ground.

Read rest of poem



Mai Der Vang – Dear Exile,

Never step back    Never a last
Scent of plumeria

When my parents left
You knew it was for good

Read rest of poem 


Jaya Savige – Fort Dada


Once off the ship from sector blah blah
she checks into a spa in Baden Baden,
wet air spiced with a pile of old Who’s Whos
and warm custardy wafts of ylang ylang.

Read rest of poem 


“The cruel majority order the poor to stay poor./ They order the sun to shine only on weekdays.”


(poetry diary  212-3/22/17) Feeling overwhelmed as usual w/life-stuff and current- world-news-stuff. Did a keyword search for “overwhelmed” at The Poetry Foundation website and came up with this, which can be use to speak to the current-world-news-stuff, though it was 1st copyrighted in 1991. 

A Poem for the Cruel Majority
Jerome Rothenberg
The cruel majority emerges!
Hail to the cruel majority!
They will punish the poor for being poor.
They will punish the dead for having died.
Nothing can make the dark turn into light
for the cruel majority.
Nothing can make them feel hunger or terror.

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