Dailies 11/9/17


Dana Levin – According to the Gospel of Yes

It’s a thrill to say No.
The way it smothers
everything that beckons―


 Erin Adair-Hodges –  In the Black Forest

Even the birds, stained black by the thumb
of morning. If not love, then at least a thing

that is not love’s undoing, that is not
a lung with nothing to do. When I dream

of loving another man it is only
a muscle remembering the joy

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Anne Sexton – The Truth the Dead Know

For my Mother, born March 1902, died March 1959
and my Father, born February 1900, died June 1959

Gone, I say and walk from church,
refusing the stiff procession to the grave,
letting the dead ride alone in the hearse.
It is June. I am tired of being brave.

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Richard Hague  – Keeping Watch

in memory of Jim Wayne Miller 

This man who sleeps in his clothes
changes in deeper ways,
unshed trousers and shirt the camouflage
under which he transforms
into briers, oak trees, panthers.

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Samuel Menashe – Salt and Pepper
Here and there
White hairs appear
On my chest—


Dailies 5/28/17: summer silence, truth, love, & living at the pitch that is near madness



Bruce Beasley – “Truth,” Says the Truism


“Truth”—says the truism—”has a scratched face.”
Tell me
the story of that scratch.

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Mary Dorcey – I Cannot Love You as You Want to be Loved 

I cannot love you
as you want to be loved—
without wanting.

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Maxime Kumin – At the Pitch

If I could only live at the pitch
that is near madness, Eberhart wrote

but there was his wife Betty hanging onto
his coattails for dear life to the end of her life.

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E. E. Cummings – Summer Silence

Eruptive lightnings flutter to and fro
Above the heights of immemorial hills;
Thirst-stricken air, dumb-throated, in its woe

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Dailies 4/22/17 (Earth Day)- an aubade, a tornado, a fool’s song, & a prayer in spring



Andrea Cohen – Tornado 

Woman comforting an injured
dog, the caption the morning

after the tornado says, but
if you click for the bigger

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Christopher Locke – Aubade 

It was the last good thing we heard: a bus
station bird more dismal than some errant
mudsplash dried between the arches. But
its voice bathed the concrete in iight, sang

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Robert Frost – A Prayer in Spring

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

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William Carlos Williams – The Fool’s Song

I tried to put a bird in a cage.
O fool that I am!
For the bird was Truth.
Sing merrily, Truth: I tried to put
Truth in a cage!

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“We boiled down the lies in another pan till they disappeared. / We washed that pan.”


(poetry diary 181 -2/17/17.) Watching re-caps of yesterday’s press conference and having a nice, gentle fantasy about feeding the President & his administration serum of the sort that Nye writes about.  A calming poem. 

Truth Serum
Naomi Shihab Nye 
We made it from the ground-up corn in the old back pasture.
Pinched a scent of night jasmine billowing off the fence,
popped it right in.
That frog song wanting nothing but echo?
We used that.

Dailies 1/30/17: the history of running, “the flea,” a mother’s teachings, & truth going through a leaky funnel



The History of Running – Elizabeth Langemak


The history of running is mostly away,

not chasing but chased, crashing

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What She Taught Me – Marjorie Saiser

She taught me linking verbs, predicate nouns,
long division, have a Kleenex ready, an apple
a day. She taught me three-quarter time, Greenwich

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Beginners – Michael Klein


Truth went through a leaky funnel starting in late 1963

that blade-lit afternoon Gary Orrin laughed at Kennedy’s murder

bleeding through the static of P.S. 41’s cheap PA. There’s Greenwich Village—

a drowsy dandelion—I called it once—and there

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La Pulga – Esteban Rodríguez

Sunday morning strolls along the frontage road
like a censer-swinging priest, scrapes its sunlight
against the corroded chainlink fence, between
the lines of traffic overflowing from the entrance,

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Dailies 11/22/16: Dutch Elms, the loss of friends, a satire of several different famous poems, + a poem that “wants to comprehend how one might give and receive with grace.”



Dutch Elm – Stanley Plumly 


I miss the elms, their “crowns of airy dreams,”
as Virgil calls them, their towering cathedral branching
spread into a ceiling above the lonely sidewalks of Ohio
where the first elm deaths were reported in America

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Prufrock’s Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Red Wheelbarrow Glazed with Rain beside White Chickens – A.M. Juster


Let us go then, you and I,

As the stench spreads out around the sty

Like a drumstick decomposing on a table.

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Rendition – Katrina Roberts

If “truth is a fire,” as Klimt scrawled on a sketch for his
painting Nuda Veritas, “and to speak truth means to shine and
to burn,” then I’m a spent firework, blown-open, hollow, grime-

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Oft in the Stilly Night – Thomas Moore

Oft in the stilly night

Ere Slumber’s chain has bound me,



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