A description of today’s America?


I’ve posted this before but wanted to do so again in light of recent events & this article:

It’s All Too Much, and We Still Have to Care: What’s going on at the border is horrifying, but we can’t go numb and turn away. – Dahlia Lithwick – Slate – June 14, 2018

Ilya Kaminsky–We Lived Happily During the War

And when they bombed other people’s houses, we
but not enough, we opposed them but not
enough. I was
in my bed, around my bed America
was falling: invisible house by invisible house by invisible house.

Dailies 6/6/18


Nicholas Friedman – Distraction Display

Some birds, to fend
against predators,
will fake a battered
or broken wing

Read rest of poem 


Sonia Greenfield  – Alternate Facts 

We never thought it could happen here—
the poisoned, the disappeared—

these tunnels a network of news channels—
server room, keyboards, screens aglow

Read rest of poem 



Sam Witt- You Drowned, to an Underworld Hospital, to Your .357 Magnum Sinking Down Forever to the Harbor Bed



At the harbor, in the smallest hour of this
(Death stuff for sure), this softly tendered now, the Youngest Day,
this silvery clarion blast:	   I have no distance.
Read rest of poem

~TRIBRACH Poetry Diary ~

A friend had to take his wife off life support last night….

If I remember the story of this poem correctly, it was written at a time when the poet was anticipating the loss of her husband, Donald Hall, from cancer. He recovered, but she herself died at the age of 47. Hall wrote several books of poetry and essays to try to help him memorialize her and survive her loss.

Jane Kenyon – Let Evening Come

Let the light of late afternoon
shine through chinks in the barn, moving
up the bales as the sun moves down.
Read rest of poem 


The Ezra Pound of Rap

Is Kanye West “the Ezra Pound of Rap”? – Jeet Heer – The New Republic – April 30, 2018

“This comparison might seem outrageous. Pound, the legendary American poet, stained his reputation by advocating for Benito Mussolini and broadcasting fascist messages on Italian radio during World War II. Trump, despite his authoritarian tendencies, is hardly Mussolini, nor are West’s tweets in the same category as Pound’s rants, which were laced with anti-Semitism.

“But it’s a useful comparison precisely because Pound’s actions were so extreme: The stillrunning debate surrounding him—about whether an artist’s political views should shape how an audience views their work—can help clarify the new debate surrounding West.”


This poem may explain why the slogan “Make America Great Again” was aimed at white people.

My friend Becky tagged me on this one, as she was wondering whether the sign creators “realize they have paraphrased Langston Hughes? Do you think they know who Langston Hughes is?”

Later note: I originally titled this “GOP paraphrases Langston Hughes, probably by accident” but my friend Justin pointed out that the organization who did it is actually Mad Dog PAC, “which is definitely not GOP,”so I changed it.

But he adds “But that poem pretty much explains why “‘Make America Great Again’ as a slogan was aimed at white people.”

GOP Begins “Impeachment” Strategy To Energize BaseNews and Guts – 4/8/18

Langston Hughes – Let America Be America Again

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)
Read rest of poem 

“For all the fun with his buffoonery, Trump’s language still holds power”

 “…like his fellow wordsmith Shakespeare, Trump has produced a remarkable burst of something like poetry. There is Hart Seely’s Bard of the Deal, a 2015 book of poetry compiled from interviews, speeches, and tweets; at least two different collections called Make Poetry Great Again (one in Norwegian); and the forthcoming Bigly: Donald Trump in Verse by Cheers writer Rob Long. He has also inspired others to verse: A Hundred Limericks for a Hundred Days of Trump, Trumpetry, and the self-published Shit My President Says Poetry.

“The latest collection of Trumpian verse is The Beautiful Poetry of Donald Trump, by McSweeney’s writer Rob Sears. Consider:

I am the best1

I predicted Apple’s stock would fall2

I will build a great, great wall3

I build buildings that are 94 stories tall4

My hands – are they small?5

“Not only are #Resistance poets against this president, but clearly they are against good poetry, too.”

“Not only are #Resistance poets against this president, but clearly they are against good poetry, too. The empty theatricality of so much of this protest writing comes from the fact that these authors have confused emotional intensity with the craft of verse. They only talk to one another as well. The poems don’t impress anyone but those who share the indignant passions.

“Poets need to get out more. If they want to overcome the emotionalism, they will do something genuinely inventive: attend a pro-Trump rally, talk to the people there, and write about them as if they were decent human beings.”

Mark Bauerlein and Garrick Davis – Poets and politics: Poets against Trump seem to be against good poetry, too Washington Times – January 10, 2018

Erasing Trump

The Trump-Era Boom in Erasure Poetry: How a poetic form gained new political purpose online in 2017. – Rachel Stone – The New Republic – October 23, 2017

“In these poems there is a desire to re-examine the institutions and narratives that shape Americans’ lives, from government bureaucracy to new media. The poems’ authors reassert power over language that has typically been used to determine who does and does not belong. And while poets have been reassigning meaning to texts in this way for at least a century, erasure has gained new energy at a moment when the country is deeply polarized—when official documents may hold radically different consequences and meanings for different people.”

Hooray to Eminem, one of our “literary greats” (?)

Eminem Lashes Out at Trump With Freestyle Rap Video

The full lyrics to Eminem’s Trump-bashing freestyle ‘The Storm’

Why am I posting this news on a poetry blog? See

 “…just how good are Eminem’s lyrics? Is all the fuss about him justified, or is it a case of hype over substance? In fact, a brief examination of Stan reveals it to have all the depth and texture of the greatest examples of English verse. To use the singer’s own language, it’s as ‘fat’ as Robert Browning – and it is with the Victorian master of sly irony that Eminem’s true ‘underground’ work is done”

Dailies 9/28: talking about money, stopping in a town to eat toast, your own palm, talking to an unborn son after the election, everyone has a house



Tracy K. Smith – The Good Life

When some people talk about money
They speak as if it were a mysterious lover
Who went out to buy milk and never
Came back, and it makes me nostalgic

Read rest of poem 



Christine Gosnay – It’s The Real Thing 

Underneath a sycamore tree I am sitting on a bench
dedicated by plaque to the memory of Ben Morgan, who
“Hated this park, and Everyone in it.”

Read rest of poem 



Tarfia Faizullah – Your Own Palm

O, my daughter, once I was a poor boy
folding peppers into my sarong
to walk three miles to sell, but what
can you tell me of sorrow,
Michelle Brittan Rosado – Poem to My Unborn Son the Morning after the Election

Since November began, the painters have been here
stirring their mixtures, preparing for the days ahead, laying down

the dark canvas around the grass perimeter outside.
First they papered the windows, so that in here when I wake

Read rest of poem 


Poetry Diary: Spending day cleaning my house. Found this poem…a good one to read for perspective, esp. after all of the recent devastation in Puerto Rico and other places. devastated by hurricanes. 

Kate Gale – Everyone Has a House

What I like about your country
she tells me is the toilets
I wouldn’t mind bringing one home
but it wouldn’t do much good

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