Image result for swinging london

Let us take our jackets off and dance,

In a video, which portrays sexual elegance.

You can almost smell the perfume, but no.

Perfumes of every kind will have to go.

Music is the master. The wan arpeggio.

The dancers are but half aware

There is a camera there.

They do not laugh. They half-smile.

And, then, oh, perhaps, they do laugh, after a while.

The tempo of the piece is not too slow.

The eye of the audience should not linger long

On breasts thrusting out, or the moving parts below;

The key to elegance is a skimming, and an ease

Of viewing. Show what must be shown. Don’t tease

The viewer with too much covering up of flesh

That wants to get out, but is hidden.

Show a flash of breast, or two. Don’t make things too forbidden,

Because elegance is neither stuffy nor risqué.

It whispers regrets. And, then, kisses them quietly away.







How beautiful you are

Beneath this beautiful star,

Beneath this fateful sky,

Which turned, and made you cry.

Priestess! how well you listen!

Beneath these stars, which glisten,

In the valley of the sky,

Which changed, and almost made you die.

I loved this world—but loved you too late.

How well I focus now

On you.  I wonder. I wonder how

Your fate is my fate.

It is too dark not to see.

You fly directly down

To love me—with a frown.



Image result for penny lane fireman with an hourglass

In the third debate, Hillary Clinton promised she would not increase America’s national debt by “one penny.”

Under Obama, the national debt increased from 10 to 20 trillion dollars.

Hillary has promised not to raise taxes on the middle class.

Where’s her tax revenue coming from, then, to pay down the debt?

We know she’s in with Wall Street, so she certainly won’t add taxes to the rich.  She won’t bite the hand that feeds her.  That’s not her style.  She certainly never bit the husband who fed her.

With America’s growth rate currently at 1%, there is no way the debt does not go up astronomically under Hillary.

So her claim that she will not increase the national debt by “one penny” is a complete lie.   Fact-check, please!

So what is she going to do?  She will “invest” in “jobs…” or something.  She says she will invest in women and green jobs (though Stein and Bernie supporters doubt this) and even so, this has little to do with the hard economics upon which everything else rests. Hillary will spend a lot, and continue the current U.S. policy of crushing and destabilizing the Middle East, and the debt will increase.

Maybe one question everyone should be asking: If the debt increases to 40 trillion, does it matter?

But no one talks about that.  Because that would involve thinking.  And Zombies don’t think.  “I-will-not-increase-the-debt-by-one-penny.”  That’s better. That’s how you talk to zombies.

The elimination of Glass/Steagall (which separated investment from retail banking) by Bill Clinton and the support by congressman Barney Frank (D) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac led to the housing crash; yet somehow Hillary manages to blame the debt of 20 trillion on Bush, because he happens to be a Republican.  This is what the Democrat Zombies do: just the blame Republicans.  The zombie army will follow, to the ends of the earth.

Trump says he will cut taxes, and Hillary’s canned response is: you’re cutting taxes on the rich! This is what the Democrats always say, ever since Reagan cut taxes, and increased tax revenues.  Zombies go berserk when they hear this. A couple of sentences can explain why tax cuts are good: but the stupid Republicans, who are also zombies, stare into space, and let the retort, “you hate the poor, and love the rich!” go unanswered.

It’s not about Republicans and Democrats.

It’s about how vile and stupid the United States has become.

The Republicans should explain it this way: it’s not tax cuts for the rich; it’s tax cuts for job creation and growth.

If you have two modestly successful corporations taxed at 50%, this will bring in far less tax revenue than if you have 10 very successful corporations taxed at 25%.  Yet, for Democrats, strangling business in the cradle by over-taxing and over-regulating (enriching the lawyer class) is good.  Because it hurts “the rich.”  So the zombies march to the unemployment lines, happy, because at least the Democrats are punishing “the rich.”

My local ABC news affiliate, after the debate, had two “experts” weigh in, so that the zombies watching the telly could quickly grasp the significance of what they just viewed, and both the Democrat and the Republican talking heads said the same thing: “Hillary won the debate. Trump said stupid things. Hillary will win the election.”  Both of them.  Like zombies.  Especially bad for Trump—said the Democrat media zombie—was Trump’s statement that he wouldn’t accept the results of the election.  But as Trump said in a speech the next day, why should he agree to accept the results of the election when there is precedence for candidates having the right to question the election results: think Gore in 2000.  It’s done all the time. The media zombie was only talking like a—zombie.

Hillary has promised to not add “one penny” to the debt.  Yes, and maybe she won’t add any CO2 to the atmosphere, either.

The winner of this election will be the one who hides their creepiness the best.

Sex not only sells, it distracts. “Hey, hey LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?” shouted at a Democrat in 1967,  has been replaced, in 2016, by “Bill Clinton is a rapist!”

I think we should just sing ’60s songs.

“In Penny Lane there is a fireman with an hourglass. And in his pocket is a portrait of the Queen He likes to keep his fire engine clean. It’s a clean machine”

Image result for penny lane fireman with an hourglass



Image result for little girl praying in painting

There has been a lot of talk on equality and identity politics,
But what will always be true
Is no identity can possibly approach the presence of you.
The ego is bigger than anything.
You may like song if you don’t know how to sing,
But if singing is what you do,
No rival can ever sing better than you.
Ego is bigger than sympathy; no one is really sympathetic at all.
Go on. Be alone. Take, or do not, take this drink.
Every belief in equality will before the other, fall.
Describe your rape to your feminist friend: they secretly think,
“Was he cute? Didn’t you enjoy it at all?”
He fell in love with the love of his life but that lovely love was a fail:
I’ll pretend you raped me. And you will go to jail.
This is the horror we discover is true:
We face love alone. And this can’t matter to you.


Image result for self hatred in painting

We hate ourselves the most,
And love others, in despair:
Who sing to our shadow as it lies on the ground:
There, our misshapen head, here, our ungainly hair,
A warped silhouette stretched across the earth,
Which has no ease, no past, no arc, no birth,
Ourselves, but not ourselves! We hate the sound
Of the voice we own, and the mirror that looks in our eyes,
And yet they love our face, and fill our face with sighs!

I hate myself the most,
And love you, in despair:
I need to love you, the more frequently
I doubt you, and you seem not to care;
I cannot love my voice, my fate, my ghost
Who knows myself that none can see:
Myself, hiding behind paint or poetry,
I cannot love my face, my voice, my eyes,
And yet you love my face, and fill my face with sighs.

If I stop hating myself,
I will not love you.
My love, you are smarter than love.
That’s why you hate me like you do.



When you and I were together, we rarely made a sound.

We didn’t like it when others were around.

We went into the quiet car and quietly held hands.

We knew touch goes beyond what thought understands.

Understanding dies every time a sound is made,

Unless it’s music, sinking into a darkening shade

Like this aching verse, sinking, so it almost makes us afraid,

So pleasant the visit and the touch

Of our hands, that we don’t notice the noises of the train that much.

When drunk and loud passengers annoy you,

You curse them excitedly and I ask you

To lower your voice so the drunks can’t hear.

They might hear, and though I laughed, it was a genuine fear

Because you were quietly mine, not meant to mingle or fight,

Especially trapped in a train car late at night.

My arm around you was quiet, and quiet my hand,

Which played with yours, and, when I kissed you,

That was quiet, too;

Good, therefore, in a way that was easy to understand.

We sank into kissing in the quiet car

Until my stop.  And then we remembered who we were.

No. We remembered who we were not.

We got off at different stations. Character. Plot.

We each went home to a different star.

But we won’t forget the quiet of the quiet car.

In the quiet car you have to be quiet, it is true,

But now, in the middle of the kissing, I have something to say to you.





Image result for shakespeare sonnets

I thought love had to do
With all the intricate things I found in you.
I thought love was the only time
You could be the single reason for my rhyme.
But now I find love is waiting by a door,
Saying the right thing, struggling. I don’t like it, anymore.
I thought the whole point of love was you,
The truth, looking into your eyes, mesmerizing, your eyes, mesmerizing and true.
I thought that love had to do
Nothing—but look like you,
Under me, entirely lying,
And under you, me, sighing and dying.
But if love has to be these other things,
I’ll still love you and for you my poetry sings.


Image result for wedding in renaissance painting

I want the world to know

I love you. The world must know.

Knowing causes love, as love, to grow.

Love can be a secret appetite

And think itself love, but secrecy,

And all that crawls inside the night

Feeds delusion; no poetry is worth the name

Unless it bring the poet fame.

The unknown has only the unknown to blame,

The unknown is the greatest shame.

The death of the poet himself is bliss,

But the death of his poetry is hardly this.

His poems should be read and loved,

Not by springs and pools of the dove,

Where nightingales sing aloud, out of love,

But in the eyes and ears of men,

Who memorize poems, so they can be loved again.

If the world thinks you are wrong,

I’ll correct them with my song.

There are poets who celebrate drink,

And seem sensual and wise

As they write that soon tomorrow

Comes, ending happiness and sorrow,

So go ahead, and drink today,

And sacred love must hasten away.

But I will not drown myself in any set of eyes,

Loving this one at dusk, that one at sunrise;

Love is not a brief instant.

Love is not what we quickly want.

Wine can be a paradise,

But love that lasts is best; sensuality betrays

Tomorrow, and all the ways

We died in our yelping yesterdays,

Hoping for an arrow

To repel all sorrow.

The known is what we know;

And all that we have, we can have before we go,

In the understanding of the going.  Only then may we

Live in our poetry.

Girls who are socially needy

Circle around men, the lustful and greedy,

And find the hell of secrecy

And shame. When a girl is crying for help, trapped and alone,

Raped in the trivial unknown,

A secret shame which imitates death

A secret lust hides in the invisible breath

Forever. Of poetry never read. Secret life is truly dead.

After the shame, we know the truth: love is how much of love is known.

Marry in the sun. True love does not wish to be secret, or alone.










Image result for bob dylan

Robert Zimmerman, aka Bob Dylan, has won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature.

The great critic, Christopher Ricks, is happy.

But many people are objecting to Dylan’s literature Nobel because Dylan “is a musician.”

Here is Ryu Spaeth in The New Republic:

My main problem with giving Dylan the Nobel, besides the memories it invokes of playing too much Super Smash Brothers in a dorm room that reeked of stale bong water, is that he is a musician. It’s a category error. Music is an entirely different mode of expression that uses tools that are unavailable to the writer. Like, is the ache on a song like “Girl From the North County” expressed by the lyrics or the harmonica, or some combination of the two? Music is melody and rhythm and harmony, and at its best writing can achieve only one of those characteristics (rhythm). There’s a reason you always hear that Walter Pater line: “All art constantly aspires towards the condition of music.” It’s because music exists in this other sphere where form and subject are identical, where the sound of a harmonica represents nothing more than the sound of a harmonica. How can any other art compete? Dylan adds words to that sound, but the sound is a bass line, so to speak, anchoring his art.

This is all to say that “Girl From the North County” is a song, not a poem, and that Bob Dylan is a musician, and that he shouldn’t be awarded a prize that is meant to be for writing.

Ryu Spaeth has either taken too many bong hits or played too many video games.

He links Dylan to Super Smash Brothers. Why?

He uses Pater’s idea, that all art aspires to music, and the idea that “the sound of a harmonica represents nothing more than the sound of a harmonica” to dismiss words which, as everyone knows, in a song, coincide with music. Does Spaeth actually believe that simply because pure music is pure, that words used in songs are not significant as words, as literature?  Why in the world would he think this?

Spaeth might as well say that poetry is not literature.

A song lyric absolutely is literature. Why is this even an argument?

There’s a guitar in the mix. So what?

A nation’s literature will always include its folk and popular songs—songs which express everything literature expresses.

And since this is true, songs with words cannot possibly be categorized with music, for Spaeth describes music as “an entirely different mode of expression that uses tools that are unavailable to the writer.”  So where in the world should song lyrics be categorized, if not with literature?  There’s no “category error,” as Mr. Spaeth insists.

Another reason giving Dylan the Nobel is an inspired choice: American folk music is great and it, too wins with this award, since Dylan comes out of it.

And, another reason: it raises the bar for songwriting.

Not every song Zimmerman wrote is great. But again, so what? He wrote iconic songs.

Scarriet has written a great deal about the relation between song lyrics and poetry.  The One Hundred Greatest Hippie Songs of All Time.  The Top One Hundred Popular Song Lyrics That Work As Poetry.  They still get tons of hits!

Poems and songs are closer to each other than we might think, and we shouldn’t be afraid to push them closer together—even if it is more challenging to write poetry that is popular, like song, and to write songs that are good, like poetry.

If you can dance to a poem, will it fail the critical test, and only please the popular taste?

Musical poetry fell away from the critical taste in the 1920s, when craven authority usurped traditional poetry; the coup took many material forms: painting, building, film, photography, morals, and government, and smashed its fist through everything sacred, whether it was Nazi rallies, war planes, or ambitious art fraud: lurid spectacle and bad taste became the rule; manipulation, panic, and electrical communication created the sad effect of a great panic, in which the sedate and the beautiful became devalued; the screams of ecstasy and pain invaded every grove.

The new authority was so perverse in its tastes, that a reversal of good and bad occurred almost instantaneously.  Man had been an elephant, peaceful and tough-skinned, but the clamor and noise of modern life triggered a stampede, in which the elephant became highly dangerous to himself and others—“I accuse” merged with “I follow”; the elephants needed to be moved—they moved, and individuality and civility both died.

Love with a long-term focus is good; love with a short-term focus is bad—but in a stampede, everything “short-term” tends to be seen as good; and so we see how panic not only ruins everything, it makes us seek our ruin.

We seek oppression, with furious indignation and uncontrolled self-pity; we seek hunger, with the diets of religious fanatics; we seek the critical, squeezed out of all popularity, led by fake, manipulated, elite praise; and finally, we seek the popular just for its popularity, though it contains no merit—which diminishes the capacity for pleasure itself.

This is how people behave in a stampede.

This is what occurred in the 20th century: Byron and Shelley were beaten up by little men.

Poetry ought to be popular—because popularity should be poetic, not crass, and this is how great democracy thrives, not by fiat, but by subtle art; we see the reverse happened in the 20th century, as the modernists donned hair shirts and spoke against the splendid beauties of the 19th century and the past in general. Modernism became puffed up about a moment, not understanding that no moment is “modern.”  The modernists wanted love, not the infatuation of the 19th century; but infatuation is love—there is no difference, except love is infatuation that lasts, and momentary modernism was against this whole concept (lasting) altogether.

Look at the limerick—in the 19th century or the 20th century, it is still a limerick, a form which is amusing, but will quickly weary the educated taste.

Rhetoric, and even thought itself, belong to the music of language; poetry was imprisoned in image in the early 20th century; poetry of music was mistakenly associated with narrow Victorianism. And poetry as poetry died, and Man went back to grunting.

When spheres make music, but poetry does not, there’s something rotten in Denmark.  And look what happened to Denmark’s music.  Bach to Brahms was 200 years of glory.  In a mere 100 more, death metal hammers out our demise.

It is not easy to make great art, to make great music, to make great poetry. But why make these things more difficult, by confusing the spatial with the temporal?

The stampede needs to stop.

Bob Dylan winning the Nobel might help.

I heard someone complain that Dylan was a “white guy.” This doesn’t deserve a response.

Another beef against Zimmerman is to list authors considered great (in the opinion of the indignant commentator) who didn’t win—but this has nothing to do with Dylan and songwriting.

Finally, and this is heard often: this was merely a bone thrown to the Boomers, an old, failed, generation of influential losers. “Stale bong water,” as Spaeth, perhaps angling for a Nobel himself, puts it.  I recall that in the 1960s, LBJ was vilified because he bombed Vietnam—the protesters didn’t care that he was a Democrat.  Republicans and Democrats—neither one got a free pass. In today’s post-Boomer, “enlightened” atmosphere, the intellectual Left is simply the lapdog of the Democratic party—as the country sinks.

To contemplate the difference between song lyrics and poetry has endless philosophical interest.

If a poem already has a tune written for it, no matter how good it is as a stand-alone-poem, does that seal it off forever from us as a poem? Because it came into existence with its melody attached, it is forever condemned to never be a poem. Are there such things?  Poor unfortunate songs, forever exiled from poetry unfairly? And if not unfairly, can we then say true poetry will forever be the kind of thing that can never wear a melody?

Is there a realm where great songs and great poems touch but do not meet, since we know critically acclaimed poems are not songs and songs are not critically acclaimed poems?

To merely state that songs are not poetry, and therefore the Nobel Prize for Literature should not go to a songwriter, is inane.

To demonstrate how Dylan was the middle of American music: John Jacob Niles, the great folksinger born in 1892, wrote “Go Away From My Window,” a lovely and haunting ballad, which was first released in 1930.

Go away from my window
Go away from my door
Go away way way from my bedside
And bother me no more.

As the melancholy song continues, we find out “go away” is spoken by a heartbroken beloved, and one intuits this right away by the sad and beautiful melody of the song—which makes the lyrics even more heartbreaking.

I’ll tell all my brothers
And all my sisters, too.
The reason that my heart is broke
Is all because of you

How can one do better than this?

This is what Dylan does.

Go ‘way from my window,
Leave at your own chosen speed
I’m not the one you want, babe
I’m not the one you need
You say you’re lookin for someone
Who’s never weak but always strong
To protect you and defend you
Whether you are right or wrong
Someone to open each and every door
But it ain’t me, babe,
No, no no it ain’t me babe,
It ain’t me you’re lookin for babe

Dylan removes the sentimentality: no longer is it: Leave me, because you broke my heart. It is Leave me, because you want too much from me.

The tortured, hopeless, brooding entanglement of love-hurt break-up, in spite of the love, in the Niles song, is replaced by a pragmatic, disentangling break-up, where there is no love, but only dependency.  The speaker in the Dylan song, despite the echoed phrase, “Go away from my window,” and the melancholy spirit of the song and the words, (“babe” is a tender address) is saying something entirely different from the speaker of the Niles song.

Both songs practice “escape from emotion” (the poetic virtue expressed by T.S. Eliot in 1922).  The Niles song says “go away” instead of “I love you.”  The Dylan song says “go away” and means it, without irony.  The interest lies in the way the Dylan song rewrites the Niles song, but Dylan also uses Eliot’s advice: the “escape” from emotion in the Dylan song’s farewell lecture founders in the traditional structure of the sad love song itself—Dylan is fighting against the form he’s working in, while adding to its possibilities.

It is certainly true that the musical accompaniment will drive home the point I am making about these songs even more—but this doesn’t mean that in these remarks, I am not talking about literature.




I am, today, a god

To myself. If a god made me,

That god, too, is a god, and if a god is a god by what he makes,

He is not a god by what he takes,

But a fortunate god who fashions, invents, gives, and fakes.

I accept all mistakes

That made me, fashion me,

And fool me, and make me feel

I am a god. Unless I am a god thinking of a god, I am not real.



Image result for bob dylan with a bird feather

Don’t thank me; I gave you a good time

Because I wanted you forever;

You left me. Now, hearing bird songs and holding a feather,

I do the one thing I know how to do: write rhyme.

Pathetic, I know, but I once saw a poet treated like a king

Because he had a bird who could sing

And that bird, too, flew away.

Now I walk up the palace steps under the sun

To meet the king. I am read by everyone.

Thanks enough, when love tells you, Thanks. I cannot stay.




I can love for a thousand years—

But not for a day.

I am sick with a fever,

A fever that interferes with work and play.

I think of the universe—

Stars, and the singing gale.

When I attempt to love the earth,

O breath of wind! I fail.

I dream of the universe—

Stars, and my fortitude.

I said goodbye, forever,

Because once he was rude.

I slide through the graveyard,

On numerous grays of dawn,

By the beautiful statuary,

Adorning the lawn.

The oak and the sky are different shapes,

But always agree in tone.

Where the thickest grass is,

You’ll find a home.

I haven’t changed these thousand years

Beneath that stone.







Image result for second debate

I am confused by the TV news.

It seems to choose to show me what is real.

I know enough that in my heart I feel

You and I can’t quite agree on what we feel.

So we sometimes have an argument, or two.

I am probably lonelier than you.

My country, which I love,

Once had, as its symbols, sunflower and dove.

Has it changed? In the station, now, they push and shove.

I am confused by the latest news.

Yesterday, a new policy. Different. New.

I am probably lonelier than you.

I would rather stay home with tea and cat;

People confuse me, so I prefer that;

Men have wants. I prefer the purr of a cat.

Yes, there’s always something wrong. A rat.

I know. I see online you have friends. Even a love, or two.

I am probably lonelier than you.





“And in other news…Bill Clinton’s private locker room talk was made public today. And Donald Trump will now be your leader.”

Dignity lives far apart

From matters of the heart.

I would be anxious in a submarine,

No matter how clean:

The dark waters above my head

And above that, the sky.

Watching a beautiful woman walk by,

Erect, and lovely, with a flashing eye,

He kept this thought under his hat:

Only a pervert wouldn’t fuck that.

Only a pervert could deny

Desire for that, as it passes by.


Image result for working class hero is something to be

“Some of you sitting there with your cock in your hand/Don’t get you nowhere Don’t make you a man” —John Lennon, “I Found Out”

Women never fall in love with men.
They fall in love with wishes.
Sure why shouldn’t women fall in love with a man who doesn’t exist?
What is a man? Someone who jerks off into their fist.

A man is a plan, and also he is what he plans.
A woman is what she plans. A plan is a woman—the best plan of a man’s.
Plans are wishes and wishes are the best plans for adoring fans.

Do you see what I can do?
I can write a poem to you,
But not really to you—because other people see it, too.
I love you, but you don’t exist
Except as a plan, as a name on a list,
As someone in a picture, or someone in a bed,
Or a poem, perhaps, I was planning in my head.

The sexes exist for something higher; they don’t exist for each other.
Was Johnny being funny when he called Yoko, “mother?”
Is money funny, honey?



Image result for woman running for a train

Write a love poem. That way

Your voice will be heard across the bay;

The elements air and water will conspire

To carry the quick, insane fire

Of love and secrets; your readers

Walk on the day; they are not bottom feeders.

Let your words skip

Over the water

As you describe love’s slaughter

To love’s ears from love’s lip.

Love will always have listeners;

Love sums up all disasters

Of the refined mind;

Birth, death, and knowledge are blind,

But not love, despite what they say.

Consult the Phaedrus. Love does save the day,

The only feeling which feels and sees,

Love, the only mind which takes part

In the shadow play trapped forever in the heart.

Poetry’s articulation is poetry’s art,

And, in love, you will be weak,

In love with a beloved who is unable to speak.

So you must be the articulate one.

Go for poetry. Don’t believe the elevation of wine.

If you’re late for the train, run.

It’s okay to be late. Think before you write a line.

Since love forgives, it’s never too late to correct what you’ve done.






Image result for masked ball in painting

1. Matthew Zapruder: Hurricane Matthew. Hired by the Times to write regular poetry column. Toilet papered the house of number 41.

2. Edward Hirsch: Best American Poetry 2106 Guest Editor.

3. Christopher Ricks: Best living critic in English? His Editorial Institute cancelled by bureaucrats at Boston University.

4. Joie Bose: Living Elizabeth Barrett Browning of India.

5. Sherman Alexie: Latest BAP editor. Still stung from the Chinese poet controversy.

6. Jorie Graham: Boylston Professor of Oratory and Rhetoric at Harvard

7. W.S Merwin: Migration: New and Selected Poems, 2005

8. Terrance Hayes: “I am not sure how a man with no eye weeps.”

9. George Bilgere: “I consider George Bilgere America’s Greatest Living Poet.” –Michael Heaton, The Plain Dealer

10. Billy Collins: Interviewed Paul McCartney in 2014

11. Stephen Cole: Internet Philosopher poet. “Where every thing hangs/On the possibility of understanding/And time, thin as shadows,/Arrives before your coming.”

12. Richard Howard: National Book Award Winner for translation of Les Fleurs du Mal in 1984.

13. William Logan: The kick-ass critic. Writes for the conservative New Criterion.

14. Sharon Olds: Stag’s Leap won the T.S. Eliot Prize in 2012.

15. Nalini Priyadarshni: “Denial won’t redeem you/Or make you less vulnerable/My unwavering love just may.”  Her new book is Doppelgänger in my House.

16. Stephen Dobyns: “identical lives/begun alone, spent alone, ending alone”

17. Kushal Poddar: “You wheel out your mother’s latte silk/into the picnic of moths.” His new book is Scratches Within.

18. Jameson Fitzpatrick: “Yes, I was jealous when you threw the glass.”

19. Marilyn Chin: “It’s not that you are rare/Nor are you extraordinary//O lone wren sobbing on the bodhi tree”

20. E J Koh: “I browsed jobs”

21. Cristina Sánchez López: “If the moon knows dying, a symbol of those hearts, which, know using their silence as it was an impossible coin, we will have to be like winter, which doesn’t accept any cage, except for our eyes.”

22. Mark Doty: His New and Selected won the National Book Award in 2008.

23. Meghan O’ Rourke: Also a non-fiction writer, her poetry has been published in the New Yorker.

24. Alicia Ostriker: Born in Brooklyn in 1937.

25. Kay Ryan: “One can’t work by/ lime light.”

26. A.E. Stallings: Rhyme, rhyme, rhyme.

27. Dana Gioia: Champions Longfellow.

28. Marilyn Hacker: Antiquarian bookseller in London in the 70s.

29. Mary Oliver: “your one wild and precious life”

30. Anne Carson: “Red bird on top of a dead pear tree kept singing three notes and I sang back.”

31. Mary Jo Bang: “A breeze blew a window open on a distant afternoon.”

32. Forrest Gander: “Smoke rises all night, a spilled genie/who loves the freezing trees/but cannot save them.”

33. Stephen Burt: Author of Randall Jarrell and his Age. (2002)

34. Ann Lauterbach: Her latest book is Under the Sign (2013)

35. Richard Blanco: “One sky, toward which we sometimes lift our eyes/tired from work”

36. Kenneth Goldsmith: “Humidity will remain low, and temperatures will fall to around 60 degrees in many spots.”

37. Rita Dove: Her Penguin Anthology of Twentieth Century American Poetry is already 5 years old.

38. Stephen Sturgeon: “blades of the ground feathered black/in moss, in the sweat of the set sun”

39. Marjorie Perloff: Her book, Unoriginal Genius was published in 2010.

40. Kyle Dargan: His ghazal, “Points of Contact,” published in NY Times: “He means sex—her love’s grip like a fist.”

41. Alan Cordle: and Scarriet founder.

42. Lyn Hejinian: “You spill the sugar when you lift the spoon.”

43. Stephen Dunn: Lines of Defense: Poems came out in 2014.

44. Ocean Vuong: “Always another hour to kill—only to beg some god/to give it back”

45. Marie Howe: “I am living. I remember you.”

46. Vanessa Place: Controversial “Gone with the Wind” tweets.

47. Helen Vendler: Reviewed Collected Poems of John Crowe Ransom, editor Ben Mazer, in the NYR this spring.

48. Martin Espada: Vivas To Those Who Have Failed is his new book of poems from Norton.

49. Carol Muske-Dukes: Poet Laureate of California from 2008 to 2011.

50. Sushmita Gupta: Poet and artist. Belongs to the Bollyverses renaissance. Sushness is her website.

51. Brad Leithauser: A New Formalist from the 80s, he writes for the Times, the New Criterion and the New Yorker.

52. Julie Carr: “Either I loved myself or I loved you.”

53. Kim Addonizio: Tell Me (2000) was nominated for a National Book Award.

54. Glynn Maxwell: “This whiteness followed me at the speed of dawn.”

55. Simon Seamount: His epic poem on the lives of philosophers is Hermead.

56. Maggie Dietz: “Tell me don’t/ show me and wipe that grin/ off your face.”

57. Robert Pinsky: “When you were only a presence, at Pleasure Bay.”

58. Ha Jin: “For me the most practical thing to do now/is not to worry about my professorship.”

59. Peter Gizzi: His Selected Poems came out in 2014.

60. Mary Angela Douglas: “the steps you take in a mist are very small”

61. Robyn Schiff: A Woman of Property is her third book.

62. Karl Kirchwey: “But she smiled at me and began to fade.”

63. Ben Mazer: December Poems just published. “Life passes on to life the raging stars”

64. Cathy Park Hong: Her battle cry against Ron Silliman’s reactionary Modernists: “Fuck the avant-garde.”

65. Caroline Knox: “Because he was Mozart,/not a problem.”

66. Henri Cole: “There is no sun today,/save the finch’s yellow breast”

67. Lori Desrosiers: “I wish you were just you in my dreams.”

68. Ross Gay: Winner of the 2016 $100,000 Kingsley Tufts award.

69. Sarah Howe: Loop of Jade wins the 2016 T.S. Eliot Prize.

70. Mary Ruefle: Published by Wave Books. A favorite of Michael Robbins.

71. CA Conrad: His blog is (Soma)tic Poetry Rituals.

72. Matvei Yankelevich: “Who am I alone. Missing my role.”

73. Fanny Howe: “Only that which exists can be spoken of.”

74. Cole Swensen: “Languor. Succor. Ardor. Such is the tenor of the entry.”

75. Layli Long Soldier: “Here, the sentence will be respected.”

76. Frank Bidart: Student and friend of Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell.

77. Michael Dickman: “Green sky/Green sky/Green sky”

78. Deborah Garrison: “You must praise the mutilated world.”

79. Warsan Shire: “I have my mother’s mouth and my father’s eyes/On my face they are still together.”

80. Joe Green: “I’m tired. Don’t even ask me about the gods.”

81. Joan Houlihan: Took part in Franz Wright Memorial Reading in Harvard Square in May.

82. Frannie Lindsay: “safe/from even the weak sun’s aim.”

83. Elizabeth Oehlkers Wright: Translates contemporary German poetry.

84. Noah Cicero: This wry, American buddhist poet’s book is Bi-Polar Cowboy.

85. Jennifer Barber: “The rose nude yawns, rolls over in the grass,/draws us closer with a gorgeous laugh.”

86. Tim Cresswell: Professor of history at Northeastern and has published two books of poems.

87. Thomas Sayers Ellis: Lost his job at Iowa.

88. Valerie Macon: Surrendered her North Carolina Poet Laureate to the cred-meisters.

89: David Lehman: Best American Poetry editor hates French theory, adores tin pan alley songs, and is also a poet .”I vote in favor/of your crimson nails”

90: Ron Silliman: Silliman’s Blog since 2002.

91: Garrison Keillor: The humorist is also a poetry anthologist.

92: Tony Hoagland: “I wonder if this is a legitimate category of pain/or whether he is just spin doctoring a better grade”

93. Alfred Corn: One of the most distinguished living poets.

94. Philip Nikolayev: He values spontaneity and luck in poetry, logic in philosophy.

95. Laura Kasischke: Read her poem, “After Ken Burns.”

96. Daipayan Nair: “I was never a part of the society. I have always created one.”

97. Claudia Rankine: Her prize-winning book is Citizen.

98. Solmaz Sharif: Her book Look is from Graywolf.

99. Morgan Parker: Zapruder published her in the NY Times.

100. Eileen Myles: She makes all the best-of lists.












The poet Joie Bose is also a professor. But she writes like—a poet.

The American 2016 presidential election, which, thanks to both major party candidates, is a mud wrestle, has not yet become amateur. Professionals are ever present in politics, in business, in war, and always will be.

Poetry, however, is now an amateur activity through and through.

Love poems on the internet these days give more pleasure than the obscure, indecipherable poems published in the New York Times.

The poet John Keats, a Romantic Titan, easily one of the ten greatest poets writing in English who ever lived, once a fixture in the American college curriculum, and now growing less known every day—I imagine you could stop a thousand people on the street and none would know the name Keats—once remarked that there was something beautiful about a quarrel, and we all know what he means; you can find energy and drama alive among the homeless in the streets, such that it rivals anything got up, professionally, on the stage, in terms of body language and dialogue.

The same beauty, for me, applies to amateur love poems written by respectable women.

We recently lost the distinguished (if perhaps overrated) British poet Geoffrey Hill. The sudden demise of Hill’s Editorial Institute at Boston University, ended by a BU provost and a dean, as the Institute’s co-founder, and highly respected critic, and professor at BU, Christopher Ricks, helplessly watched, might signal, to some, the death of poetry as a professional pursuit.

But poetry lost its professional standing a long time ago.

There’s two underlying reasons for this, and it has to do with a perception of professionalism itself.

First. Professionalism has nothing to do with elitism—it is that which best allows mundane daily life to carry on: the concert in which Mozart is played well enough to make us feel warm inside; the democratic election process which defies a revolution or a coup; the smooth functioning of trains and planes; the vaccination given without too much inconvenience, or pain. Politics, the fussing about the economy and the law, is professional by default. It has to be. It defines professional, and once that’s gone, civilization is gone.

And second. There are some glorious things which were never meant to be professional, like a sudden outbreak of a passing quarrel, or a passing love affair, or a passing poem. And when they become professionalized, they die.

The glorious amateur. The mundane professional. Sometimes friends. Sometimes enemies. Always two very different things.

Poetry ceased being glorious the instant it tried to be professional.

When it became a “You Can Be A Writer! And Be Published!”course advertised in a newspaper.When it became swallowed up by the university as a creative writing program.

The greatest poetry has always been written by men and women getting in trouble, living busy lives, doing other things: climbing the Alps with Byron, sailing the Mediterranean with Shelley, dying with Keats, escaping a tyrannical father with Elizabeth Barrett, writing offensive reviews and fiction with Poe, busily hiding away with Dickinson, busily falling apart with Plath, busily falling in love with Millay.

The great 19th century poets, Barrett, Byron, Shelley, Keats, Poe, Dickinson, and Tennyson, were love poets—because poetry belongs, first and foremost, to love, and this is what makes poetry fully and gloriously amateur, and, in the most actual terms imaginable, glorious.

There is always—and we see this a great deal in the 20th century, up to our present day—the deeply earnest attempt to make poetry professional—which means making poetry a vehicle for politics (racism the new brash poetry topic)—an attempt which fails, not because of insincerity, or a lack of talent or education, but simply because poetry’s glory does not lie in the political, professional realm; the attempts to immerse poetry in frank, political rhetoric inevitably produces boring poems. The newspaper is for boring topics, frankly discussed; the poem is for something else.  Some get this.  Most don’t.

The best poem is the one which exists in the private sphere, which is written because a private citizen, contemplating their own experience, bursts forth with it, and tells a truth simultaneously private and universal, because it has to be written—not a poem which will be written, because the contemporary and the political demand it.

Politics, the professional river, unclean and unstoppable, will not have its course altered by poetry; many politicians these days are sexual predators or war predators; in the political realm these predators exist, and poetry has no chance if it attempts to invade the political realm; poetry belongs to the realm of love, and love is the atmosphere in which the sexual predator will be exposed and die. And who will speak up for love, if not poetry? Don’t expect it from speeches on racism or the economy, or from sex-joke sitcoms. Poetry is the true “policeman” of love.

We see poems published all the time which address thorny subjects, obscure subjects, political subjects, which attempt to address political wrongs, and though some of them, if they are explicitly indignant enough, elicit cheers, none of them, frankly, change anything, and, in the meantime, amateur poetry of private love and wisdom withers, and is ignored.

Well, not quite. And this is the good news.

Amateur poetry of private love and wisdom lives. It lives on the Internet.

Even as professional attempts at poetry continue with their pointy-headed, ineffective, obtuseness and obscurity.

Reading the web, I find the best poems are self-published, appearing on my feed without ceremony, and rarely the ones “linked” to an institutional, vast, cliquey, ostentatious tower.

Why is that? For the reasons given in this essay.

Here’s an example from Daipayan Nair, a short but effective poem:

I cannot smell
anything new, any longer.

It’s all me
in different places.

This short work by Nair falls under the category of insightful, self-aware, private wisdom, rather than love. Wisdom is a topic India does not fear, and private wisdom, or honesty, is very close to private love. India right now, in English, on the internet, is producing better work than England or the United States in their professional guises, which may be a remarkable claim, and all the more remarkable because it’s true. Perhaps this is because the West, in its post-modernism frenzy, simply has no belief in wisdom anymore, or a belief in love; and America, especially, has backed itself into a corner, turning its back on its relatively short history, abandoning the 19th century, in its 20th century modernist revolution—leaving itself very little that is traditional or time-honored; while India, with a much longer history, is more relaxed and assimilative, and much less historically cynical, and can still bring the accessible magic. So you have Indian poets self-publishing in English, out-performing the “professional” Americans.

What we like about Nair’s poem, beyond the fact that it is instantly comprehensible, and trades in none of this elitist, “difficulty” nonsense, and has none of the prickly, obscure language which ruins so many American poems, is that it fits the poem we described above—it feels like something written while the poet was busy doing other things; it does not feel professional and slaved over, even as it feels—somehow—necessary and important, that it had to be written. We like it. We like it very much. And we’ll put it up against the lengthier rig-a-marole of an Ashbery, for instance, any day. Perhaps this is comparing apples and oranges. But we like these apples.

Daipayan Nair is a wry, witty and highly prolific poet. He’s on the right track. The amateur one.

The housewives of India who write their impassioned verses on Facebook live remarkable, impassioned, beautiful lives, and their poems spring directly from their lives, not from any guarded, post-modern sensibility learned in college. These modern Elizabeth Barrett Brownings give immense pleasure from a world of timeless living put quickly and casually into poems. These are not workshop poems squeezed out into a box labeled 2016; these are poems that are poems not because of when they were written, but because they are—poems. Elizabeth Barrett made the 19th century better by her poems; the time didn’t write the poems; she did.

Joie Bose, not belonging to any school or movement or political party or university department, just puts up sonnet after sonnet on the Internet. Here’s one. Not perfectly written. Dashed off, perhaps. But God, if this isn’t an expression of genius:

Sonnet 7

Let’s count the stars, it’s dark now;
Let’s just count nothing else,
Not the lies that became thorns and pierced us,
No not that string of red pearls, glistening.
Let’s not count one by one all the alibis,
Those bouquets in those crystal vases,
Paint smiles on every eyes that look upon;
What else do we have left to give them?
The sun set on us, our work is done,
Our flaming heat gives way to the cold,
All eyes will shut, sleep shall descend,
We had been, what dreams were made of.
Know now this is eternal night, memories glitter
Let’s just count nothing else, just the stars.

18th September, 2016

And if you think this is an accident, here’s more of the sequence—which appears a couple of days later, on September 20th:

Sonnet 12

I will pray before I leave the earth
As I pray every time I leave my body,
I will leave a shadow as I leave the stage
As I leave a poem after every act.
I will pray that you will understand
As I pray every time you misunderstand,
I will leave you a shade in a bright tomorrow
As I leave you shade under this blazing sun.
You will talk of me as you do of history
You will be kind and the bitterness will be gone,
You will hold me in your tear-strewn heart
You will herald me as your guiding star.
Age will give me what my youth has sought
And I will give you then, what I now cannot.


Sushmita Gupta, like Joie Bose, is a mother from India, I am familiar with her only from Facebook; she is a painter, designer, and an amateur poet. Which means you probably won’t see her poetry in The New Yorker any time soon. Which also happens to mean she is very good. She writes the kind of poetry which, without any fuss or intellection, fills up your heart. Her lovely blog is called Sushness. This recent poem of hers reminds me of Goethe. Her unorthodox use of the comma slows things down even more, as the poem moves slowly over us, and into us. Almost like something God had passed along:



Just when,
I was all high strung,
And impatient,
And craving speed,
And burning passion,
And electrifying drama,
And singular attention,
And affirmation,
The dark,
And sedate clouds,
Rolled in,
From afar,
Showing off,
Places and peoples,
It had already touched,
And transformed.
All at once,
I was calmed,
By the cool,
On my face,
And being.
All at once,
I dropped,
And desperation.
I was naked.
I was bared,
Into simplicity,
Into a being,
In formlessness,
In not wanting.


Nalini Priyadarshni is also a mother, who explores love poetry as an art in itself, where love feeds poetry—and poety feeds love—in a mutual feedback loop of pure ideal experiment; the passion is willed; this may be considered naive poetry, and the topic (love poetry) might be seen as common and simple. But that is the point. A true intellectual is not afraid to be common and simple.

Your Words

Words born in the recesses of your heart, I  treasure
even before they rise in your throat
or find release from your lips
I know them from another place, another time
All that you say or leave unsaid for another day
I catch in my cupped palms and drink deep
I know its taste from another place, another time
Your silence, when it breathes heavy on my neck
I weave a song along its tendrils
I know its melody from another place, another time
There is no putting in words what can only be felt
live it and trust it will find its way to me
I know its footsteps from another place, another time


This poem by Priyadarshni expresses a fanatical faith in love. The sensual “throat,” “lips,” “neck” and “tendrils” are heightened in their sensuality precisely because the poem as a whole is a beautiful desert of hope—love is absent, even as it is intimately present. There is a thrill as the poet strains to transcend love in the poem—a poem remarkable in the manner it expresses love in a faithful underlying of absence/presence. Her book is Doppelgänger in my House, published by the Poetry Society of India.

So ends our brief survey of Bollyverses, available on the Internet, which lives under the radar of professional American poetry, and yet rivals, and even surpasses, American contemporary and academic/program writing, as significant and pleasurable English speaking poetry.

Daipayan Nair, Joie Bose, Sushmita Gupta, and Nalini Priyadarshni are four of the more remarkable poets who have randomly come to Scarriet’s attention—and we are very glad they have.

















Image result for autumn champs elysees

I’m not leaving this planet ever.

I will always be here. My poetry

Will be read as long as the planet’s here.

You will have to leave me,

And only then, if you put my poems away.

And even then, I’ll stay.

You won’t forget what you’ve seen—

My lines of black, but green.

Now that you are getting old

With other cares, what can you say about my love that was bold?

Nothing. My poems will say it all.

My poems will treat you kindly, when you, a mere leaf, fall.

And what about these?

Will my readers go away?

These drinking coffee, and talking as they please,

Along the Champs-Elysees?



Image result for ariadne

Is stupidity sexy?
Yes, I want to lie
With stupidity in its nudity.
Nothing has to be here.
Your teasing smile after a beer.
Now let’s have some fun.
We’ll forget about the bible.
And Psychology 101.
We’ll forget about our friends
And we’ll forget about ourselves,
The advice of world literature sitting on the shelves,
We’ll forget about everything that made us so subdued,
We’ll be stupid. And nude.
Yet I don’t know if this is very smart.
Unless nudity and stupidity get you closer to the heart.


Image result for woman and man in painting

She loves what she hates—

And so she loves me,

And hating, like love, cannot be helped;

We hate what we cannot see,

For seeing is a kind of love,

And is love, in the infinite eye.

Hate obscures our seeing;

She hates me so much it makes her cry.

Her hate is a tear in her eye.

She loses love, not seeing me accurately.

She errs, she mistakes, she slanders me

In hot, passionate hate

Which resembles love; such is her fate,

That others ask, why do you speak

So much of him? Is it hate? Or love—which makes you weak?






Love doesn’t care which way the wind is blowing,

Or who is wise, or who is knowing.

Love doesn’t care which way the wind is blowing.

Let’s say you get to the theater late.

As long as there is kissing, the theater won’t ruin the date.

Your love has no levels; you love her all the time.

You two can go anywhere and find your fate.

Your love will always give you the will to rhyme.

You love her. And every line will rhyme.

There is something magically heroic about all this,

The way you love her, the way you two look about before you kiss.

There isn’t a love for everyone like this.

Conversation and care is all they’ve got.

Love is that which—loves. And loves a lot.

Love will always give you a reason to try

Everything. It may give you a reason to cry,

And love will make you make mistakes and errors

And yes that is what Eros will do.

Be careful, you two.

This love: the way I feel, everything about it, is rare.

And I still love her, no matter what everybody says.

Love doesn’t care.






I expect in these hours

You, and for the few minutes I actually crave

You, no longer will I be brave.

You will make me sad. I will be your slave.

So I’m afraid these days must go on

Without a signal, without so much as a look,

And that’s why you see me reading a book,

And why these years are crowded with flowers

I pass; because in those hours,

When I expected you,

A minute to a century grew.

Every beat of my heart was a signal to you,

But no one heard them—only me.

And now these flowers grow by the sea.





It’s not that great,

Out with friends, laughing, drunk, late.

I wish I had been home an hour ago,

And sure it’s nice to know

People you know and friends

Are great, but when the night ends

And I am alone, I go

In my mind to the best

I had: when I held you, and got no rest.





Stop staring. You infiltrate my thoughts.

You melt my beauty like the sun.

Stop staring. Stop loving. I will run.

I can be reached by a single look

After the bombardment of a stare.

I am crippled by a look

That carries a little bit of care;

I am wounded and hurt

By your eyes—before your fingers dare.

Spies of yours cover my valley,

Where my tent sits, with surrender plans;

Flight is mine; let poetry and mystery

Be the intrusive man’s.

I am the dish and you are the cook—

You will eat me mostly rare.

Love was made for a nook.

Your stare is like a dark throat.

I was born at night, in a stormy boat.

Life is elusivity. Please don’t stare.

Beauty has a thousand flaws;

“Look away,” the crown of all love’s laws.



Image result for killed her children in painting

“How you must think and wonder how I must feel out on the meadow while you were on the field. I’m alone for you and I cry.” Shaman’s Blues—The Doors

There is a great confusion about the genders these days; this is natural, since they mingle now more than ever; but the confusion does a great deal of harm, since romantic thoughts oppress us constantly, even if we revel in crude jokes.

One of the great misperceptions is that the female is more tender, more affectionate, more sentimental than the male. This is not true, and has never been true. Men are the sentimental ones. Women are pragmatic. Why?

The reason is simple. Throughout human history, women have borne children. In the 19th century, roughly half of children survived childhood—your own dear child drawing its last little breath in your arms: this was the one constant of motherhood—a task not for the weak; the human race would not exist if sentimental feelings rebelled against motherhood. For the most part, they did not. Women are tough. Sorrow would have made them insane had mothers been sentimental.

From simple, Darwinian reasoning we arrive at the secret. Women may wear pink frills and men blue stripes, but inside it is the opposite.

Women may doll themselves up, but the-tiger-that-feeds-on-the-lamb is the true nature of the womanly soul.

How could it be otherwise? How could the woman live through the historic sorrow of watching her own children die? Nature, the breeder, would not breed unfit, sentimental mothers. Woman is the ultimate pragmatist, while men walk the meadows and sail the sentimental seas of pretty dreams.

This is why romance is so problematic. Men want it. Women do not. Romance is sentimental and men constantly seek it as an end in itself. Women see it as a means to an end.

Take the lovely, romantic phrase, “I’d love you to want me.” It happens to come from a 1972 song, from an era when deeply sentimental, romantic songwriting was very popular, and expressed the highest genius.  The post-war boom in the west was an era in which hardships in life, including high infant mortality, were fading, and all sorts of factors were contributing to an explosion of romantic sentiment—and it is surely no accident that during this time, with the phenomenal baby boom popularity of the Beatles, that men in general were overtly taking on sentimental, or “womanly” attributes, such as long hair and deeply sentimental, romantic personas.

What are “womanly” attributes?  Such a discussion would be an interesting one, but let’s see what we can do with just a narrow piece of the whole debate.

For the man, “I’d love you to want me,” means “I get a tremendous thrill out of the fact that you love me—for the man, love is nothing more than this: I love that you love me; and here we have an infinite loop of mutual love; love for the sake of love; love loving itself with the aid of two people who are meant to love each other, etc.  Love is all.  The ultimate sentimental expression.

For the woman, “I’d love you to want me,” means “I am glad you want me to love you—because this means you are in the proper state to be highly loyal to me, and I can use this loyalty to produce children and a stable family.”  Or, more cynically, if you like, “I can use this loyalty for all sorts of things, not necessarily for children”—sure, with modernity there’s an increasing number of women who choose not to have children; yet these women will still retain the same impulses towards men; it just plays out differently in a variety of social ways—impulses which converge on the confused and increased state of gender-mingling itself.

Gender roles will elude their true identity: we see this in our example of the woman truly being the gender which is less sentimental—despite the general culture seeing it the other way.

What makes things even more confusing is that oppressed cultures will flip—women will take on male attributes, and visa versa.  A culture which is dominated and conquered, so that its men “do not feel like men,” will see this occur most radically.  Men, for instance, will become more “macho” the more their society, their country, their community, is crushed and destroyed—but the gender-wheel is such that “more male” will turn into “more female” and “more female” will turn into “more male.”  For example, in oppressed cultures, women will tend to become sentimental fools who rely on the authority of misbehaving men; we know the true nature of women is to not be sentimental; but here we see they are. Loyalty is what sentimental men should have to prove to the pragmatic woman—who requires loyalty in a father. In oppressed cultures, the man seeks and gets loyalty from the woman—which is not ideal.  This is not to say that a certain amount of loyalty is not a good trait in both sexes, but it is the sentimental gender, not the pragmatic one, who should prove loyalty.

One could respond: what’s wrong with gender identity becoming blurred?


Whether blurring should occur or not, is not the point of our essay.

Here’s the point: if men and women have been hard-wired in natural, Darwinian necessity to feel and behave in a certain way, this is sure to be a source of social confusion and pain for the individual, if unconscious shifts occur, to say nothing of the impact on society in general.

The complexity of the whole issue is self-evident; cross-gender prohibition is not the aim here—only an understanding of the larger issue.  To lament sentimentality or to censor pragmatism is not our purpose—and it should be added that any analysis of this subject should be made in the largest possible context, and with an understanding that the pieces are not as important as how the pieces fit.

A further example will help, and we’ll reference another popular song from the recent historical period in question: The Doors’ 1966 song, “The End,” the eleven minute, theatrical piece on their first album, which rode the charts in the Summer of Love, in 1967. The Beatles and Stones are the better showmen, but Jim Morrison’s shaman may finally exceed the showmen when it comes to lasting, historically significant, recorded music.

1967 is roughly the same window of time in American culture as the 1972 song mentioned above, “I’d Love You To Want Me” by the artist Lobo—a passionate song of romance, not critically acclaimed, but effective, nonetheless.  In “The End,” Morrison, the singer, evokes explicit oedipal rage and lust—and if we examine what “killing the father and loving the mother” entails, we see it is nothing more than an extreme example of the impulse of the romantic male we are attempting to illuminate: killing the father and loving the mother is the ultimate expression of that loop of love (and yes, it’s loopy, too, of course) which is love endlessly loved in a purely unconditional manner: the love of the child for its mother. The oedipal impulse is the example par excellence of sentimentality, or romance, crushing, in heightened passion, pragmatism.




Image result for river god drowns the maiden in painting

Lyric love is done with you

And lyric love is done with me,

Because I’m the only lover

Who wrote you poetry.

Love is very common

And lyrics are common, too.

But I was the only lover

Who wrote poetry to you.

Now you give me yawn for yawn

And seek a love that’s new.

Lyric love’s fee is love.

No more poems for you.


Image result for train commuters

You ask the cruel silence why

More people don’t read poetry.

The answer is missed because it’s too plain:

Look at these faces boarding the train,

Tired faces, no longer innocent, yearning, or young.

To slip and trip on a beautiful tongue

Is neither their design nor desire.

Their soul sleeps by an obscure fire.

They wear death; they lack beauty’s youth;

A poem’s beautiful truth

Is meant for a beautiful face,

Beautiful, despite age, and disgrace

Visited upon sentimental eyes

Which sees beauty killed, and where it lies.

Not pretty, they find poetry

Insults the face which neither sings nor sighs.

The torturous mountain and tumbling streams

Soak the valley, where trees hang like dreams.

Grey mist falls fast; dense green covers the lower road

As you descend, as lights into shadows lightly go.

If your weakness makes you slow,

Nature becomes a picture.

As much as you love how nature aspires,

You cannot live in her airs and fires.

You rage against the sky, but it backs off.

You haven’t enjoyed poetry—since that cough.










I am a film. I go about, trying to explain my scenery to myself. The music in my headphones must be right if my soundtrack is to give pleasure; it can’t be a song with its own agenda; it has to rise to the egotistical sublime of my life. When the Doors abandoned me, and Bittersweet Symphony and Waterloo Sunset and I’ll Be Around and My Sweet Lord and A Day In the Life of a Fool, and Mozart piano concerto no. 17 and Moonlight Sonata and Gould Goldberg Variations by Bach and Chopin and Satie and Debussy and You Don’t Own Me and Be My Baby and Is That All There Is? wandering the park under the moon, I found Brahms’ Fourth Symphony, and fell into the sea. And woke on the train home.


Image result for river god drowns the maiden in painting

A seducer is a victim.

Only victims can have victims:

For wrong begets wrong;

Distortion must distort

Discord’s beautiful song:

Beautiful, because the discord

Corrects its beautiful wrong,


In the middle of the heart which sings inside its song.

Helpless demon, beautiful in your sadness,

You hated me that I took up your helplessness in gladness.

First, the beautiful poet cries,

And then, the beautiful poet’s reader cries.

Philosophers die with ignorance

Before they make us wise.


Image result for school of fools in painting

The problem with teaching is this:

The best way to teach is to convey what is true to oneself, so that one is not disseminating second hand information; one can undoubtedly best teach what one really knows to be true for oneself, and oneself is the very proof of that knowledge. If an obese person were to teach a weight-loss class, we would laugh. A poet we pay to teach us poetry would need evidence that he is, in fact, a good poet.

And yet we are told constantly that everyone is different—what is true for you is not true for me. Your first hand truth is not only second hand for me; it may be entirely wrong for me. Someone has different genes than you do—their diet and regimen would not work for you. The poet teaching you may be good, but it would be foolish to be like them—their poetry belongs to their experience and their nuanced use of language is entirely their own.

You see the dilemma. First hand is either wrong for you or shouldn’t be imitated. And second hand is well…second hand, and could be wrong for the same reasons.

And further, the more teaching fails, the more desired teaching is—the many who do not learn seek new teachers and more failure; the ‘education complex’ feeds more and more failure and the ‘teaching industry’ is unable to face the terrible truth that the self-taught are the true learners; teaching, beyond a kind of crude furnishing of information, is impossible both within and without, in both spirit and letter.

At enormous expense, degrees and diplomas are sought, diets and exercise are tried; the growing ignorance breeds more desire for diplomas and diet books; a defensive mania is ingrained to the point where the true secrets of the self-taught are entirely pushed aside as undocumented superstition, and teaching becomes so ridiculous that new subjects to teach are invented, increasing folly with folly; unable to teach, earnest teaching of what is entirely unnecessary commences, and since one cannot measure a lack, the lack is now an even larger apple the ignorant donkey chases; and in the very wake of more ignorance and folly, more certified professors, deans and experts are created: the certified certify the certified who certify in an infinite chain.

The terrible impact of the education folly is hard to see; stuck inside infinity, people “carry on” in whatever line of trade is offered, and the misery index climbs in millions of souls for causes unnoticed and unknown; ignorance is its own salve (ignorance is bliss) and ignorance among the educating and educated classes is more happy and more ignorant, still. Bad poetry grows apace, and yet imagination thrives among the practitioners of bad poetry—the social whirlwind surrounding book publications and live readings of bad poetry whirling bad poets about in a blind, eager, p.r. frenzy is the context in which bad poetry is imagined to be good. Imagination and teaching and learning roar on with full force, not abating, but increasing, even as knowledge and wisdom and pleasure and vistas to all these things fade and decline. Of course, in a few places, good teaching does manage to occur, as long as it is not too carefully watched, and sorted, and certified, and inspected.

Scarriet now offers some advice to counter this general folly.

The truly good can, and should, be imitated. This is one of the secrets of self-taught successes. There is no such thing as an excellence or a skill which does not belong to everyone. The more successful something is, the less unique it is, and the more it should be copied.  Also, a vast number of excellent things can be copied at once, and the combinations of excellence picked up will naturally combine with one’s own unique character (which is a given) —and this is all the originality one needs. Don’t buy into this idea: since you are different from the master, or the master template belongs to a bygone era, it does not belong to you. Yes it does. It’s all you’ve got. Steal it. Take it. There is no successful poem (formally excellent, moving) or successful diet (high protein, low sugar, balanced) which is not true, or not true (with very rare exceptions) to your needs.

Trust then, in the first hand excellence delivered to you. Be suspicious of all that is second hand; however, realize that a bygone era’s excellence must be second hand—therefore do not reject this kind of old excellence for being second hand, but make its excellence first hand for you.

Avoid teaching for the sake of teaching.

And that’s it. This is all the advice necessary.

You will notice that Scarriet prints original essays—and original poems by the same author. It is as first hand as we can make it.  We follow our own principle, and glory in it.






Let that be the love: a silent understanding,

In which you, nor I, ever have to speak.

Love is too willful. Love is too demanding.

We know we loved when both of us were weak

And, for those kisses, I would be weak again,

But kissing is rude. We need understanding.

Those who know, and would speak,

Should not. Theirs is weakness about the weak.

Let everyone return to innocence and silence.

I kissed you, and have not kissed anyone since.






There is a love who makes me love

Sweetly and true

And that love is your love.

Just a picture of you.

I’ve seen you go in for dinner

With a beautiful friend or two

And then I see your picture,

And then I see it’s you.

It’s you. I never have to guess.

You have a love that makes me love,

Always looking new.

Every picture is different, depending on the dress,

Depending on the atmosphere where the picture is shot,

And the expression of the eyes always means a lot.

There is a love who makes me love

Sweetly and true

And that love is your love.

Your love is you.



Image result for eliot's sybil trapped in a jar

Life is long—too long for sorrow.
If I die, rather than face a sad tomorrow,
It’s because of life’s length;
Had it been a day of sadness, then I would have the strength
To continue, but these years
Are too much for my tears.

I cannot go forward and I cannot go back—
I am a wasp trapped in a jar.
One thing defeats love.  Politics.
My lover dealt me a mortal blow—giving me more politics than I could bear.
I cannot love again. Desire feels too far.
His official gesture killed me. I need love, but I’m too proud—and he’s right there.


Image result for man giving a woman a letter in painting

What is meant for you

Is meant for everyone.

Everyone’s love is the love that measures the love of everything I do.

I sent this to you alone—

But it belonged to someone else before me,

And it doesn’t matter if I keep it, or give it away.

It just is. It’s not to give.

I can send it to you, but I cannot give it to you, because others see what is mine every day:

Those eyes you love, and personal things in my poetry.

It is not mine. It is not yours. Nothing truly belongs to us that is ours to give.

So giving is impossible, therefore loving is impossible; it’s impossible to live

Without living the messy life of everyone.

Send you my ass? I might as well send you the sun.









Image result for writing on the wall in renaissance painting

I only know poetry.

I only know the beauty of your name.

I don’t care what others say, or what others wear.

I am not the same.

I love you, but I was never here to be with you,

Only to love you, love that will possibly bring us fame.

I fell in love with your name,

And I love to say your name,

And I do, but not in this poem,

And you know why. You know me.  And our shame.

You saw what it did to me,

When I fell in love with your name.

You don’t know how much I love you,

Because you think I want a coarser fame.

I told you you were a poet.

You didn’t understand.

This is not a tongue. Or a game.

This is not a hand in a hand.

I succumbed to the sound of your name.







Image result for marilyn monroe and the dance number

Why is there Marilyn Monroe?

She’s not my mother, but I think I know.

Here’s the reason why this goddess must come into view

(And perhaps it’s the same reason I get excited by you):

To make all men look ugly by comparison.

A vain man is an abomination.

Men are supposed to murder and kill

To protect their females. Men will come after them. They will.

Marilyn Monroe is the template of female cute,

Forcing men to wear a similar suit

Which makes them look stiff and all the same.

Marilyn Monroe is the name of the game.

She is the aspiration and the map

And every woman is her—or you’ll get a slap.

Every man has to do what he has to do.

But I cheated. I wrote this poem to you.





1. Why love fails. You like me? You must be stupid. You love me?? You must be really stupid! I can’t possibly love you. You hate me? What discernment! What wisdom! Come here! I love you! I love you!

2. What you should do during the national anthem. A guide. Stand in awe. Sit in protest. Hand on heart in respect. Kneel in confusion. Prostrate in love. Stand on your head means you would like a visa. Hand on head in spoof. Fetal position if you are simply not feeling well. Talking aloud if you’re crazy.

3. Sometimes I meet someone who looks smarter than I am, but I’m always disappointed. Sometimes I meet someone who is better looking than I am and I am always disappointed, too.

4. Life is not fair. The male is happy, even when he kills or is being murdered. The female is sad, even when she is making love.

5. In evolution, what is evolving, and why? Sharp teeth evolve. No, sharp teeth don’t evolve. What really evolves? Breeding. Roaches and rabbits evolve. But do they? What truly evolves? And why? Do we know?

6. Out Damn Scandal. Hillary supporters call other people stupid. It boggles. The ultimate irony. Or maybe not.

7. What keeps life alive? Lack of death. What keeps death alive? Lack of logic.

8. All art is nothing but this: the dead living.

9. Only one thing dies and is born. Love.

10. Argument lives forever.

11. The greatest artist tends to be the male who moves towards female sensibility without being homosexual. If you have no art whatsoever, you will probably be a female who moves towards male sensibility without becoming homosexual.





Image result for funeral in renaissance painting

Who will mourn more

When you are no more?

Whose sorrow will be worse?

Your ghost’s, crying, “not yet, not yet!”

Or your retinue’s, who will disperse

Slowly? Quickly? And who in your crowd will most pitifully cry?

Will the day of your death let

The rains come? Will there be a grieving nurse?

Who will be sadder: the world, or you, when you die?

Will oceans lament? Will the sparrows know?

What speeches will be spoken, when you, at last, whisper goodbye, and go?

What sentimental gestures are obligated to be made

When ruin puts on the human soul—

Death making it ugly—and removes it to that hole

Where every human shade

Makes its way, and the interminable sorrow

Of life ends; but we do not go—no,

Because life is a constant going—

What does your elegy know? Is sorrow the same as knowing?

Is love the thing which makes you see, at last

The one who really loved you, going

Back, just for another glimpse of you,

When life was bright, in the bright past?

Who will stay, for your death, and feel, at length, true sorrow?

Who will stay, now, to make for you, a true memorial for tomorrow?

Or is regal sorrow killed by a life too smart and quick to last?

Smart and quick never made us afraid.

Time exists. Look at this cemetery and its long, deep shade.

All is limited. Even love. When you flee,

I’ll be dying; your death won’t mean that much to me.




Image result for a train in romantic painting

I still never do that

Even though my followers tell me I should,

Making arguments on paper

Which describe the beautiful and the good.

It seems easy, the way they say it,

And it would be easy to do,

And if I forgot myself

It might be exciting for me, and wonderful, and true.

I would be on some train.

A stranger would look me in the eye.

And he would have a book.

And I would let him lie.


Image result for lady of shalott

The poet who never suffers,
Writes his poems for you,
Who dreams for whole days, and is free of suffering, too.
You wake from a summer dream, which began at twelve o clock—
When the tree’s shadow climbed the moss on the mossy rock—
You wake from your sunny sleep
And hear the distant sounds of wandering sheep,
And find all changed: darkness devouring the flock;
Deep in shadow, tree and rock;
The workers home from work,
And the moon’s cunning
Still in the running.

The poet who never suffers,
Writes his poems for you,
The moon, new,
And you, barely there,
Combing your langorous hair
As the dawn sees
Your hair in a long tease
Against the sunlight flickering in
Where you and the poem patiently begin
With a sigh in the garden,
And, upon the hill,
You going about, wherever you will.
And the misty sun, like a wall,
Covers all.




Two Male Figures Looking in a Mirror and a Putto. - Jacopo Pontormo, 1518:

1– Men DO like to explain stuff. They absolutely DO. The obnoxious and recent term (2008) “Mansplain” or “Mansplaining” —guys patronizingly explaining things to women—is based in reality.  However, if men do like to explain stuff—and they do—to describe this as offensive (the man is being patronizing) kind of misses the point.  To take offense at what is ingrained behavior is to take offense needlessly and spitefully.  Women: you sort of need to get over this.

2– Men ARE simpler on every level than women are.  Even men who excel at “complex things” excel at those “complex things” precisely because they see the simplicity in those “complex things” which others don’t. “Simple” describes both the great fault AND the great virtue of the male psyche. “It’s complicated” belongs more to the female realm. When a man and woman are having a needlessly complicated argument, to be very objective here, in all honesty, the blame mostly should go to the woman.  The exception, of course, is that the man, with his admired ability to find simple solutions to complex problems, should be able to prevent hurtful and complex misunderstandings from arising and gaining momentum. And that’s a very important exception, mister!

3– When it comes to love, men DO care about looks; they do care about superficial appearances: as much as they may protest, as much as they may say otherwise. This chimes in with their “simple” nature, which really is simple. Men are simpler than anyone will care to admit.  Looks are not important to a man. Looks are everything to a man, and this is the simple truth. A lesbian is looking for sweetness, affection, and understanding. A male homosexual simply believes a handsome man is better looking than a handsome woman. Period. Male homosexuals are just as simple as their straight counterparts: the myth of the sensitive, complex gay male is just that: a myth. So yes, the truism of the “male gaze” is true. Having said that, however, it would be wrong to think males cannot be highly romantic, sensitive, focused, sentimental, monogamous, and cannot find an interesting variety of physical attributes attractive—they cannot help their “male gaze,” but the “male gaze” can be caught, tied up, and enslaved by any savvy woman who wants to do so.  But the woman should never naively think that once she has a man, a man who seems “nice,” that this means “this nice man loves me for who I am.” Sorry, no.  The “nice” man, who seems happy in a relationship, is still thinking about looks all the time. The woman just has to know what she is dealing with, and not get freaked out by superficial signs and superficial behavior of what is not finally connected to what a man really wants—one great satisfying love, not the anxiety and trauma of lonely, partial loves.  But the “look factor” is always there for the man.  But remember, the man is simple.  The “look factor” does not have to mean every feature is perfect: there is a whole creative and dynamic aspect to what “looks” entail.  The wise woman will know how to use the man’s simple nature to her advantage.

4– Men DO like sex, and they like it quickly, and it’s all about their silly little penis, and the only thing that slows down their sex instinct is the “male gaze” which wants to take time to “look” at their beloved in the beautiful stages of undress which match intoxicating stages of increased excitement, and yes, after the orgasm, the man will feel a strong sense of disappointment at being with the naked person who, a few minutes earlier, had made him so excited, and now, after the man’s release: not so much. The man is probably the most disgusting creature in the world at this moment, wanting to move away and secretly revel in his triumph, and be free of conversation and cuddling with a being who is less interesting to him now.  Men can protest all they want (“I feel closer to my woman after making love to her! blah blah blah”) but let the sorry truth be here revealed.  Post-coital cuddling is uncomfortable for the man, even when he feels a necessary bonding with someone he loves is taking place, since bonding of this kind always feels forced to him.  A man does not feel closer to a woman after the sex act.  He always feels more distant.  And this is more true the better the sex is—but only because the law of before (excited) and after (less excited) prevails—and it really shouldn’t be taken personally.  A woman should never delude herself that a man is ever not on the trajectory described here.  Don’t kid yourself.  He always is.

5– Men want to do things for a woman, but if they sense the woman is expecting things to be done, done in a very particular way, or not done, for this or that reason, they will very quickly become disoriented and lose all desire in this area.  Men like to explain and they like to do.  But they do want a partner in all this, they really do.  Women: Disagree, advise, and suggest as much as you can.  Do not mock or resist or fall silent. Do not be a contrarian.  Because then what’s the point?

6– Since men have the “male gaze,” and when it comes to love, care only for appearances, they themselves are vain—and obsessed with their own looks.  By playing on male vanity and fear in the looks department, women, by careful mirroring, can easily own and destroy a man if they take careful note of the mirroring phenomenon and use it well: however, if the woman doesn’t care about her appearance, she cannot influence the man’s opinion of his own looks. If she mirrors him, however, with her vanity, and rewards and diminishes him in the right manner in the looks department, so that he can’t figure out who is more attractive, her or him, or how attractive he really is, and needs to hear it from her—he will feel strangely and powerfully attracted to her.

7– Since men love to explain, it is easy to attract the man by turning his love of explanation into what seems to him a somewhat annoying and addictive folly—in the woman’s eyes. The woman should listen attentively to the fervor of his mansplaining. But she should interrupt frequently to ask questions, to make him feel she is extremely interested in what he is saying, but constantly make him feel he isn’t quite explaining it right, and that he has to do a better job.  He will be exquisitely tortured by this if it is done with the right combination of interest and nonchalance—and he will find himself helplessly attracted to the woman’s superior mind.

8– Do not mirror him, in superficial terms of “trying to be a man.”  This will be a disaster.  Make him feel that you are a woman, and different from him, and make these differences as prominent as you can. This absolutely does not mean you need to surrender any of the things which make you intrinsically superior, or truly yourself—and, in fact, as long as it is established that you are “a woman” to his sensibility, you can then be as “mannish” on top of this established identity as you want, and this will, in fact, make him even more attracted to you.  Always negotiate with the man from the fact that you are a woman first—even if superficially—and then you can be anything you want on top of that, and dominate him much more easily.

9– Because men want sex quickly, explain to him that taking it much, much slower (even if it takes days or weeks or months) will give him a great deal more pleasure—he will like this because he loves things to be explained, and this explanation benefits both of you—love is nothing if not a great mingling: male and female aspects fall into a rapturous blending.  The only catch is that what is male and what is female must be understood and established first, and this will be the first step in actually making love voluntary, so that instead of “falling under the spell” of your lover, love becomes conscious and willed, and this is a far more effective rapture—both of you are fully aware that this is what you are doing and why you are doing it.  Love is then a beautiful and exciting and conscious goal rather than a slothful and doubtful entrapment. Pride will tell us that only if the lover is under one’s spell is the love real and based on how attractive one is—but this is a myth.  The best love is voluntary and benefits from both sides understanding the deep truths about each side, male and female, and the drama and the tricks that must be consciously and delightfully played.  This is ultimate romantic love, which defies both involuntary suffering and boring convention.

10– Men care just as much about breeding as women do—it doesn’t matter that the woman is more at the center of the whole process than he is.  The question of children: Should we have them?  How many?  How should they be raised?  is of infinite importance to the man.  Men care very much how the child is to be raised, materially, morally, and aesthetically.  Never fail to bring out a man’s opinion on this issue. Never underestimate his interest, or the impact it will have if his ideas on the topic of children are downplayed or ignored.



Image result for hermaphrodite to renaissance painting

Is there a female equivalent to me?
What would she look like? Who is she?
When I was a child, I painted in a smock.
In school I put ink on a printing block.

Was I a girl when I first wrote poetry?
When I was a young man and cut my hair
And found a job, no one was there.
If I were shy would she dance with me?

If I ran down the leafy avenue
With everyone getting out of work, would she pursue?
Would she chase me-who-is-really-her, if she knew?
Would she follow me into the evening until the moon
Covered by clouds and serene, came into view?


Anonymous Southern Song artist, Pipa Mountain Bird, in Fu Sinian, ed., Zhongguo meishu quanji, huihua pian 4: Liang Song huihua, xia. Beijing: Wenwu chubanshe, 1988. pl. 96, p. 131. Collection of the National Palace Museum, Beijing. album leaf, colors on silk, 28.9 x 29 cm

When did I first know

I was superior,

A creature of wisdom and dismay,

An animal who knew he was an animal

But that every animal is in his way?

Who knew the moon and the leaf

Were like wine-drinking friends,

But that the leaf and the other things

Belongs to everything that ends?

I hoped, but hoped inside my sad mortality.

It might have been when I loved the world—as it refused to love me.

I think it was when I saw complexity

As simplicity

And this simplicity felt divine

And not only did I feel this; it was mine.

Divinity belonged to me as my pleasure,

Which increased in poetry and music’s measure

In the precise manner I sang my song

To you. So for once I might belong.





Image result for poe morella

Do you know why I love poetry?

It is not the sound of it, nor the fame.

Let me tell you what happened to me:

I fell in love with a name.


All the work that goes into a nation!

I love mine as a candle loves its flame.

I love the syllabification

My citizens speak, and kiss with, and we burn, and die, the same.


But look how my eye adores

This eye, who escaped to these colder shores

Barely intact, but with a strange name

I speak and love, as a candle feels its flame,


A quiet name of many syllables,

Now quietly spoken

Into my ear of a valley between its hills.

I saw. But when I heard, I was broken.


I intoned this liquid name for a day.

A name is how my voice adores

A  voice—eternal and known—and it promises to stay.

The name my poetry loves is yours.



Image result for poet writing in painting

I will just sit here and love

While you do what you have to do.

Loving is good, since to be happy is the only thing that’s true,

And loving is happiness—before you even know what you have to do.

Being happy is the job of love;

I’m telling you to allow me enough time

To love, as I sit here, in my room, and rhyme,

And compose, on this couch, a poem or two,

And show others how to do

The same; education

Is how love teaches the nation

To do things, with sweetness and style.

What you do with a frown, I do with a smile.

What you do in agony, making work organized and steady—

What is it for?  It is for joy—which thanks to me, loved before, and is beautiful, already.




I am trying to seduce you.

I’m trying to block all your wants and desires,

The warmth, you convince yourself, which can be found in all those small fires,

The meals and the convivial laughter with friends.

I’m trying to make sure conviviality ends.

All your small pleasures must go

To make room for one you hardly know

But once, you knew desperately well.

Remember? You looked on love with a sad face.

Remember? Love had a voice and a hand and a place,

Which nothing you know has now.

You don’t remember exactly how

Love murdered your life.

A blue sky? Money? Child? Wife?






Image result for baudelaire and rimbaud and nightmare painting

She cannot love unless she hates.

She never speaks directly—she insinuates

Love, because hate is coming up from behind

As love and hate go back and forth in her mind,

An alternating current of electric power,

Loving me for a minute, hating me for an hour,

Missing me terribly for an entire day

After announcing, to me, who did no wrong, “please go away.”

I don’t blame her for this,

Being a fool for a beautiful woman and her kiss,

But I also know

The engine of opposites is how things go,

The world and the non-world are fighting it out.

In order to have faith, you must have doubt.

In order to love, there must be dreams

Of hate overcome, of overcoming everything that only seems,

Including reasons for hate and fear and doubt

Which burns visible and beautiful and will never go out.

That’s why I love her, even in her hate—

Ugly, beautiful, angry, sweet, unfortunate, lucky, here, late.





If beauty were equally divided,
Where would pleasure dwell?
To my beautiful love I once confided
Her beauty made me unwell—
Her strange sexual beauty wrapped me up in hell.
But if beauty between all creatures were equally divided
All that madness would vanish.
English would be just as beautiful as Indian or Spanish.
Every person would be beautiful alone
Without comparison; none more beautiful than the rest.
The jealousy of the ugly would cease to exist—
Love would cease to be divisive, and every ecstatic moan
Would be decided by surrender—only that would be the test.
Some would surrender often, and they would be known
As loving too often, and yet, by giving themselves away, they would be blessed.
The one I would love would save her love; a sweet torture to be melancholy and glad.
Diluted beauty! She would hardly kiss me at all. And our love would be sweetly sad.



Beauty is not only true—but kind.

I witnessed a modernist lose his mind

Deploring what the imaginative Keats had said,

Who left for Rome—when England’s hedges were all dead,

When frost lay on the garden bed—

At Hampstead—and other places.

I’ve seen the look on women’s faces—

Women who are past child-bearing age,

Proud, and still beautiful, and kind,

Because they kept beauty in their mind—

I have seen women look placidly and calm

On gardens bursting, as the highest balm—

And when they stood with lovely jewels on

Beside friends, their smiles as cold as the moon,

Coldly beautiful, since they knew in frozen beds

They would be lying down soon,

The flowers gray, no more the passionate purples and reds!

I wished I had loved them. Never

Could I—no, never—this much beauty had known

As with you! Remember our sweet moan?

When we loved in nature’s yellow-lighted chapel?

How much can I tell—

If I auspiciously regret what we all regret: beauty lost forever?

Is this a frozen bed?

Its flowers with flowers that once sighed, dead?

So we read modernist verses instead.

Because we would rather forget

The flower—and our enormous debt?




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