HOT! HOT! HOT! SCARRIET POETRY HOT 100! HAPPY 2016!

  1. BEN MAZER –Simply the best poet writing today. Keeping John Crowe Ransom and Landis Everson alive, too. “all is urgent, just because it gives, and in the mirror, life to life life gives.”
  2. CLAUDIA RANKINE–“How difficult is it for one body to see injustice wheeled at another?”
  3. ROBIN COSTE LEWIS–Winner of the 2015 National Book Award in Poetry with Voyage of the Sable Venus.
  4. BILLY COLLINS–There’s only one Billy Collins. You will know him by his bathrobe and slippers.
  5. SHARON OLDS–Plain-spoken poignancy.
  6. JOHN ASHBERY–Essentially French
  7. KENNETH GOLDSMITH–We don’t see how he can redeem himself.
  8. TERRANCE HAYES–Highbrow examination of prejudice.
  9. ALICE NOTLEY–2015 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize
  10. SARAH HOWE–her debut book, Loop of Jade, wins 2016 T.S. Eliot Prize.
  11. CHUMKI SHARMA–“After every rain I leave the place for something called home.”
  12. SEAN O’BRIEN–“‘People’ tell us nowadays these views are terribly unfair,/But these forgiving ‘people’ aren’t the ‘people’ who were there.”
  13. MELISSA STEIN–because she wrote the poem, “never said.”
  14. MARY ANGELA DOUGLAS–“till the larks cry out/and not with music”
  15. DORIANNE LAUX–because she wrote the poem, “Facts About the Moon.”
  16. MAURA STANTON–“Who made me feel by feeling nothing”
  17. MOLLY BRODAK–“boundlessness secretly exists, I hear”
  18. TRACI BRIMHALL–“I broke a shell to keep it from crying out for the sea”
  19. CATE MARVIN–because she wrote the poem, “The Readership.”
  20. BETSY SHOLL–because she wrote the poem, “The Sea Itself.”
  21. SJOHNNA MCCRAY–2015 Walt Whitman Award winner for Rapture
  22. CHARLES HAYES–“her sweaty driver knows his load is fair”
  23. BRIAN BRODEUR–his blog is “How A Poem Happens”
  24. MELISSA GREEN–“They’ve mown the summer meadow”
  25. RICK BAROT–because he wrote the poem, “Reading Plato.”
  26. ALLEN PROWLE–Do we live in the Age of Plagiarism?
  27. VANESSA PLACE–What do you think, Vanessa?
  28. LORI JAKIELA–“In Pittsburgh, we have 2 dreams…go to Vegas to live…go to Florida to die”
  29. CONNIE VOISINE–“The oleanders are blooming and heavy with hummingbirds”
  30. SHARA LESSLEY–because she wrote the poem, “Advice From The Predecessor’s Wife.”
  31. ALFRED CORN–because he wrote “An Xmas Murder.”
  32. WILLIAM LOGAN–“The critic is a Diogenes in a world where everyone is Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm” (Battersea Review) Are there poets on Sunnybrook Farm?
  33. MARJORIE PERLOFF–Are there so many poets, that reviewers and critics no longer exist?
  34. DAVID HUDDLE–because he wrote the poem, “Men’s Sauna.”
  35. TIM LIARDET–“Its windows look through us, as if we offer a view.”
  36. BOB HICOK–because he wrote the poem, “The Active Reader.”
  37. LOUISE GLÜCK–because she wrote the poem, “A Fantasy.”
  38. CHARLES SIMIC–because he wrote the poem, “So Early in the Morning”
  39. DANA GIOIA–because he wrote the poem, “The Angel with the Broken Wing”
  40. DONALD HALL–“To grow old is to lose everything.”
  41. LAURA KASISCHKE–because she wrote the poem, “For the Young Woman I Saw Hit by a Car While Riding Her Bike.”
  42. CODY WALKER–because he wrote the poem, “Trades I Would Make.”
  43. DERRICK MICHAEL HUDSON–Will he be remembered?
  44. DAVID LEHMAN–Editor of Best American Poetry series has a soft spot for Tin Pan Alley.
  45. CARL DENNIS–2002 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry
  46. MARK JARMAN–narrative poet is a professor at Vanderbilt.
  47. KUSHAL PODDAR–Bold, intriguing, WC Williams-like poet in English from Bengal.
  48. VALERIE MACON–Briefly poet laureate from North Carolina
  49. GARRISON KEILLOR–Good for good poems.
  50. PHILIP NIKOLAYEV–Confounding the experts by drawing.
  51. JUAN FELIPE HERRERA–California laureate to U.S. Laureate.
  52. RON SILLIMAN–Hates Republicans.
  53. EILEEN MYLES–I Must Be Living Twice is her latest book.
  54. PATRICIA LOCKWOOD–Twitter poet with two books, a Best American Poetry regular, and a viral poem.
  55. TONY HOAGLAND–because he wrote the poem, “Lucky.”
  56. STEPHEN DUNN–2000 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry
  57. STEPHEN BURT–Critic at Harvard with an eye on the new.
  58. W.S. MERWIN–“you know there was never a name for that color”
  59. RICHARD WILBUR–“not vague, not lonely, not governed by me only”
  60. JOE GREEN–Limerick Homer. Yes, this is for real. Homer translated into limericks.
  61. ROBERT HASS–“So the first dignity, it turns out, is to get the spelling right.”
  62. NAOMI SHIHAB NYE–“If you love Jesus you can’t love anyone else”
  63. RODNEY JONES–“I happily took myself into the darkness of the underground, where I was king”
  64. GERALD STERN–because he wrote the poem, “Waving Goodbye.”
  65. JORIE GRAHAM–“A rooster crows all day from mist outside the walls”
  66. DAVID KIRBY–because he wrote the poem, “Broken Promises.”
  67. BARBARA HAMBY–“carrying around a copy of Being and Nothingness so boys will think you have a fine mind.”
  68. LISA LEWIS–“I knew it was love when I didn’t want to close my eyes.”
  69. SUSAN WOOD–“The simple fact is very plain. They want the bitterness to remain.”
  70. BRENDA HILLMAN–“Talking flames get rid of hell.”
  71. LUCIA PERILLO–because she wrote the poem, “Early Cascade.”
  72. STEPHEN STURGEON–“City busses are crashing and I can’t hear Murray Perahia”
  73. JESSE BALL–because he wrote the poem, “Lester, Burma.”
  74. CHARLES BERNSTEIN–Attack of the Difficult Poems was published in 2011.
  75. GEORGE BILGERE–The new Billy Collins. Featured on Garrison Keillor’s show.
  76. LES MURRAY–“Everything except language knows the meaning of existence.”
  77. SURAZEUS SIMON SEAMOUNT–Epic poems of the ancient philosophers.
  78. ALAN CORDLE–Foetry.com founder. Scarriet was his idea as a reply to Blog Harriet.
  79. NATHANIEL MACKEY–Reynolds Price Professor of Creative Writing at Duke University.
  80. AMY KING–received MFA in Poetry from Brooklyn College and MA in Poetics from SUNY Buffalo.
  81. LAWRENCE FERLINGHETTI–Presenter at mass S.F. protest (“Human Be-In”) in January, 1967, when LSD was banned in California in 1966.
  82. PETER GIZZI–“No isn’t it amazing, no none of that”
  83. DEBORAH LANDAU–“I don’t have a pill for that”
  84. SARAH ARVIO–In 2015 Best American Poetry
  85. MARK DOTY–His book Deep Lane was short-listed for 2016 T.S. Eliot Prize.
  86. MARY OLIVER–“You do not have to be good”
  87. DAN CHIASSON–because he writes for the New Yorker
  88. MARILYN HACKER–National Book Award for Poetry in 1975.
  89. A.E. STALLINGS–she rhymes.
  90. HAROLD BLOOM–does he still hate Poe?
  91. ANNE CARSON–“don’t keep saying you don’t hear it too
  92. RITA DOVE–U.S. Poet Laureate 1993-95.
  93. DON SHARE–“A brown bust of a sad man”
  94. HELEN VENDLER–The Ocean, the Bird, and the Scholar: Essays on Poets and Poetry was published in April, 2015
  95. CATHY PARK HONG–Teaches creative writing at Sarah Lawrence.
  96. SIMON ARMITAGE–chosen to succeed Geoffrey Hill as Oxford Professor of Poetry
  97. VICTORIA CHANG–“The boss tells me of the billionaire who likes me”
  98. MARILYN CHIN–wins Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Hard Won Province, first time for a book of poetry.
  99. DAVID BIESPIEL–Writes for The Rumpus.
  100. KAY RYAN–doesn’t like being compared to Emily Dickinson; “would you like to be compared to God?” —Paris Review interview
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134 Comments

  1. maryangeladouglas said,

    January 13, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    All Scarriet lists are appreciated because they provide clues to follow to look to what is out there new, or still in poetry land currently and provide ambrosially food for thought as the saying goes and now I’m hungry. I would like, however, to trade places with Valerie Macon on the list “briefly poet laureate from North Carolina” because I definitely place her above me; because, in that “briefly” lies a world of honor.

    An honor was given to her all poets would run toward and grasp to them fiercely come hell or high water. BUT SHE WALKED AWAY FROM IT WHEN SHE SAW THE CROOKED WRITING ON THE WALL OF POETS FIERCELY CAMPAIGNING, CATERWAULING, COMPLAINING WHO WANTED HER OUT THROUGH NOTHING BUT SHEER ENVY, BECAUSE SHE VALUED POETRY ITSELF AND HER OWN VOCATION AS A POET MORE HIGHLY THAN THE THE PRIZE AND HAD HER EYES ON SOMETHING INFINITELY MORE REAL.

    I BELIEVE HER RESIGNING AFTER ONE WEEK FROM THE NORTH CAROLINA POET LAUREATESHIP IN JULY 2013 AND HER DEPARTING STATEMENT THAT SHE WAS LEAVING OUT OF LOVE FOR POETRY, NOT TO BE A BONE OF CONTENTION AND IN THE SPIRIT THAT READING AND WRITING POETRY BELONGS TO EVERYONE – IS ETERNALLY ENOUGH TO PLACE HER AS NUMBER ONE ON ANY LIST OF POETS THROUGHOUT TIME. THE PERSON WHO LOVES THE MOST (POETRY. POETRY ITSELF).

    • maryangeladouglas said,

      January 14, 2016 at 2:18 pm

      Correction to my statement on Valerie Macon: It was July 17 2014 that Valerie Macon resigned for the sake of Poetry from her poet laureateship in North Carolina; not 2013. She did keep writing poetry afterwards and reading at various venues and recently published with Main Street Rag Press a lovely book of poems “Black String of Pearls.” By the way, those who cast stones at her during her tenure as being self published, in their eyes, justification for interminable scorn and jr. high school brand vilification (only they used the Neanderthal phrase “by a vanity press” for their own vain reasons) when taunting her, Main Street Rag is a legitimate press so now you can stop whispering behind your hands like tattle tale mean spirited school children that she is only a self published poet (and therefore unworthy of honor).and who, I ask who, made y’all King or Queen of These Things. Cheerfully submitted by Mary Angela Douglas

  2. January 13, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    A Great list and a Great effort!

  3. maryangeladouglas said,

    January 13, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    Beautiful touch with the poet, singer, artist David Bowie’s very natural photograph. Without words. And very happy Chumki Sharma is there too.

  4. maryangeladouglas said,

    January 13, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    CONNIE VOISINE–“The oleanders are blooming and heavy with hummingbirds” With this fragment I think I finally am starting to understand your preoccupation with poetic fragments, Thomas Graves. I kept reading this over and over and with each reading I felt, indelibly, like Spring was in my room peering over my shoulder. What an incredibly beautiful image. Not to mention that my apartment until just an hour or so ago was freezing cold even WITH the heat on.

    • maryangeladouglas said,

      January 13, 2016 at 7:28 pm

      And now I am having misgivings because maybe it was Summer peering instead of Spring because I don’t even know when oleanders usually bloom. Time to go look them up on Wikipedia. It’s still a beautiful flower fragment and in my estimation one that deserves pride of place in the history of flowers in poetry.

  5. maryangeladouglas said,

    January 13, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    Not forgetting Chumki’s vivid poem, where I see orange,and purple and scarlet and pearl white flowers spilling over the garden walls again not knowing the names of all the flowers.

  6. maryangeladouglas said,

    January 13, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    Thank you for letting me post so many poems here, Thomas Graves. It’s quite kind of you. I’m hoping other people will feel free to do the same and then Scarriet, will, among its many other unusual and completely unique aspects have invented a new kind of self effacing yet glorious literary mag, poetry as Commentry.

    • maryangeladouglas said,

      January 13, 2016 at 8:10 pm

      YOU WANT TO WRITE

      you want to write in an apple green closet
      with the snow coming down inside and
      one frosted lightbulb:(the old kind)

      your secret thoughts;
      and then it rains.
      exterminators come

      and you hide your notes
      and feel ashamed
      that your cubicle apartment

      wasn’t perfect
      when they walked in
      with their: all those books!

      exclaimed; funny looks,
      exchanged, as though you were hoarding dinosaurs.

      tromping in regulation boots
      they don’t stay very long,
      but it doesn’t feel that way:

      rooting out the few skittering enemies.
      turning back with a smile, a tip of the cap and
      glad to be out of the way.

      and now they’ve gone.
      (but not the bugs, who understand you
      as you do them). compadres.

      the snow settles in.

      the lightbulb is again your friend,
      both on or off;
      on a golden chain,

      yet free

      mary angela douglas 13 january 2016

      • maryangeladouglas said,

        January 13, 2016 at 8:17 pm

        oops. the word “few” is supposed to be inserted in front of “skittering”. It’s not that (in italics) bad and anyway I’m talking about an apartment I had in D.C. in 1992.

        • thomasbrady said,

          January 14, 2016 at 2:26 pm

          fixed. Great poem

          • maryangeladouglas said,

            January 14, 2016 at 2:48 pm

            Thank you Thomas. It was all true except for the apple green. All my apartments tend to have cream walls and I always liked the colour apple green so I painted the walls that way in the poem (and didn’t even get in trouble with management!)

  7. maryangeladouglas said,

    January 13, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    I realize I am excessively posting and without melodrama I would just like to say it’s not from any kind of pigheaded disregard for balance and proportion which you definitely incarnate, Thomas Graves especially in your impassioned poetry, and essays (though at a greater remove). I am exactly one year away from the age my mother died and I have a heart condition mildly similar to hers. That’s why I post so much, to share what I can being an obscure poet, where I can. And Thank You for the chance to do this. endlessly, thank you. TG.

  8. maryangeladouglas said,

    January 14, 2016 at 4:14 am

    When you read this list with careful attention to each careful detail and person noted, it reads like a poem in itself with endless scope for imagination and tracking thd golden threads down. I realized after reading the list several times that Thomas Graves could make a piece of art so subtle you wouldn’t even notice it and then when you did, you would be struck with amazement. Cool.

  9. maryangeladouglas said,

    January 14, 2016 at 4:22 am

    A hot drink (of sorts) to drink while reading the Scarriet Hot 100 Happy New Year Version. Some may prefer something stronger, but this is my poem.

    DRINKING THE COCOA UP

    the froth in the cup is so beautiful
    tiny rainbows winking round the edges
    how can I drink it down

    oh but I will and then another
    cocoa when the marshmallows melt too fast.
    why can’t they make marshmallows last

    in hot chocolate;

    is science not up to it?
    drinking cocoa out of season
    suddenly you wish you had some

    animal crackers to go with it
    in the barnum and bailey box
    with its string carrying handle

    all because of Christopher Morley’s poem.
    come home, Christopher Morley, you dream

    from wherever you are
    stop by the little corner store in Heaven
    and bring some by, old ghost

    or we’ll have cheese toast;
    you’ll like it.

    and then you start to cry

    mary angela douglas 13 january 2016

    P.S. In case you may not know this, here is the poem by Christopher Morley called “Animal Crackers” I referred to. It’s my favorite children’s poem I think.

    Animal Crackers
    By: Christopher Morley

    Animal crackers and cocoa to drink,
    That is the finest of suppers, I think;
    When I’m grown up and can have what I please
    I think I shall always insist upon these.

    What do you choose when you’re offered a treat?
    When Mother says, “What would you like best to eat?”
    Is it waffles and syrup, or cinnamon toast?
    It’s cocoa and animals that I love the most!

    The kitchen’s the coziest place that I know:
    The kettle is singing, the stove is aglow,
    And there in the twilight, how jolly to see
    The cocoa and animals waiting for me.

    Daddy and Mother dine later in state,
    With Mary to cook for them, Susan to wait;
    But they don’t have nearly as much fun as I
    Who eat in the kitchen with Nurse standing by;
    And Daddy once said he would like to be me
    Having cocoa and animals once more for tea!

    • Andrew said,

      January 18, 2016 at 3:22 am

      Ha ha – you also grew up reading Bumper Book ?

  10. mpvmuthu said,

    January 14, 2016 at 7:57 am

    Both YOU WANT TO WRITE and Animal Crackers are enjoyable to read. When a feeling is shared it becomes emotional.

    • maryangeladouglas said,

      January 14, 2016 at 12:31 pm

      Thank you. The cognescenti worship their own cynicism. I like cinnamon toast. And cocoa. Sue me, cognescenti.

      • Andrew said,

        January 18, 2016 at 3:42 am

        Mary, you have blasted out of striated space into the realm of the nomadically poetic — or rather, the poetically nomadic. Thanks for banishing my boredom tonight !
        Listen to the last line of this favorite Roxy tune:

        • maryangeladouglas said,

          January 18, 2016 at 4:00 am

          Like your phrase nomadically poetic and the inverse to. Nomads in our own poems why I like to keep the landscapes green just in case at least in some part of the poem. There are enough deserts in real life without introducing them into the poem. (HAHA desserts is another thing; I often put desserts I can’t eat anymore or don’t have money left over for into my poems. Yum. key lime pie, best ever.

          • Andrew said,

            January 18, 2016 at 4:14 am

            You remember, oh Isaac, the face of the bride

            From the Genesis foothills of dreaming’s beginning

            Arriving with dusk as the sunset was bringing

            The camel-bells music, the end of the ride?

            The nomadic return of a hope that had died

            Like a riverbed flooding and suddenly greening

            A promise fulfilled, flowing into the evening

            The song and the rhythm of life undenied…

            I remember the landscapes, the names, the dark faces

            A golden Havilah of biblical places

            the handclapping chants overcoding a mystery.

            Timeless recurrence; eternity imminent

            Israelite graves I beheld on that continent –

            Songs of Rebecca: the morning of history.

            https://connecthook.wordpress.com/mine/africana/africa/

            • maryangeladouglas said,

              January 18, 2016 at 4:50 am

              really beautiful, the whole thing, but my favorite phrase :eternity imminent”

            • thomasbrady said,

              January 18, 2016 at 6:34 pm

              Wow, Andrew. Nice poem.

              • Andrew said,

                January 18, 2016 at 8:39 pm

                Thank you.
                Mary and I had quite a night…

                • maryangeladouglas said,

                  January 18, 2016 at 8:52 pm

                  That’s kind of a weird way to put it. We did have a good conversation.

                  • Andrew said,

                    January 18, 2016 at 8:59 pm

                    I know I enjoyed it !

                  • maryangeladouglas said,

                    January 19, 2016 at 3:13 am

                    From this and the other comment you made after my David Bowie poem all the while knowing that I’m Christian that all you really wanted to do was insult/degrade me. Hope it got you brownie points with the Cool Club Andrew. Bye y’all. Y’all being collective in this instance.

                    • Andrew said,

                      January 23, 2016 at 12:29 am

                      Lighten up, Mary.

                      I never insulted nor degraded you.
                      Take it up with the Most High God.
                      Stop manipulating people with your insecurity.
                      God BLESS you.

                  • Andrew said,

                    January 19, 2016 at 6:00 pm

                    Mary – I can sense you are upset over my at times inappropriate humor. My intention was never to hurt or offend. I honestly felt I had found a kindred soul after staying up so late and conversing.
                    I truly enjoyed getting to know you better and finding out we like some of the same things in life. One of the obvious drawbacks of internet communication is that it leaves too much open to emotional interpretation and hence, misunderstanding. I sense very strongly in the Spirit that my recent joking and flippant remarks hurt you in some way. I felt troubled about it when I read your responses. I asked God to forgive me and to bless you, too when I prayed this morning. I still sense a need to communicate with you on this. I was not being intentionally sarcastic or hurtful in anything I said to you. The “Suffragette City” comment was really just the first thing that popped into my head when I considered your poem on David Bowie. I probably should not have joked that way. Again – I can only ask you to forgive me. In fact, just mentioning David Bowie opens up all sorts of hot-button topics. I was reacting, in a non-reflective way, to your poem and the pic that Tom opened the post with.
                    I am the first to acknowledge that I have a carnal and antinomian sense of humor which definitely does go over the edge sometimes. But I am also saved in Christ. I try to love God, my family and my brothers and sisters (and even my enemies) 24/7 – but of course I often fail spectacularly at this. The sad part about our misunderstanding is that I really began to read and appreciate your poetry during our dialog. You once felt like I was a malevolent troll – but again, I am your brother in Christ.
                    Before getting saved I was into all sorts of drugs, rebellion, perversity, anarchy, nihilism, antichrist behavior and philosophy, etc. I am afraid there are lingering effects of all that in my unhinged humor and outlook – even regarding Christianity. I hope we can still be friends Mary. Please pray to the Lord and ask him to show you that I am sincere, if a bit foolhardy at regrettable moments. Let me know if your spirit confirms or rejects this. I bear you no ill-will and hope we can enjoy communicating in the future, God willing.

                    • maryangeladouglas said,

                      January 20, 2016 at 12:01 pm

                      Of course I forgive you. I am not perfect either. But I can’t hang out where I never know where the next insult is coming around the corner. I have been through too much of this in life and still ongoing. I will protect myself from it wherever and however I can. That ‘wham bam thank you ma’m’ after my earnest poem on Bowie which you SURELY know (even outside the context of the song) is a quite obscene and DEGRADING thing to say to ANYONE of the feminine sex, It was NOT a spontaneous outburst on your part. But a deliberate calculation. And I do know the difference. And for me it is most definitely despite my gratitude to Thomas Graves for so much, the absolute last straw.

                • maryangeladouglas said,

                  January 19, 2016 at 3:50 am

                  Andrew. THIS IS A TOTALLY INAPPROPRIATE THING TO SAY AS YOU WELL KNOW.

                  • Andrew said,

                    January 23, 2016 at 8:04 pm

                    To be Christian is to be hated. Get over it.

        • maryangeladouglas said,

          January 19, 2016 at 3:59 am

          No Comment.

          • Andrew said,

            January 19, 2016 at 6:17 pm

            I notice that sometimes you suddenly get very upset and (to me at least) over-react and begin to vilify Scarriet and say you will no longer post here. That is a shame, and I am aware I bear some guilt for your reacting in this way but I hope you will pray about it in the name of Christ who is Lord. Don’t go away angry Mary. Please return and may God’s peace be with you.

            • maryangeladouglas said,

              January 20, 2016 at 12:08 pm

              Incredible. You have insulted me again. I NEVER VILIFIED ANYONE IN MY WHOLE LIFE. On Scarriet I stood up for things in which I believe, things which are important to me, which matter to me both in poetry and life. Such as the need to revere and to perpetuate the study of Shakespeare, Rilke. I never vilified Scarriet. You seem to have a penchant for slander where I am concerned. I tried my best to my a true friend to Scarriet and to everyone here.
              I think Scarriet wants to be composed of only male contributors. That is fine with me; I have no problem with it. And I am not a feminist as you seemed to imply. Neither am I shrill. You are some kind of jerk.
              I never expected in my 65th year of life to be spoken to the way you spoke to me even though as I live in public housing it happens to me more than you can imagine.

        • Andrew said,

          January 20, 2016 at 12:24 am

          At last the crimson chord cascade
          To shower dry cordials within
          Too late to leap the chocolate gate
          Pale fountains fizzing forth pink gin
          While destiny begins to fly
          The farmyard chorus sings its wake
          Upstanding anthem to the sky
          Too soon to realise their fate
          You were the raven of October
          I knew the sign you flew around
          Up in the air so high above me
          Never needed to look down
          I never thought I’d be a rover
          I didn’t even look around
          But now I know you’ve found another
          So will someone please find me
          Give now the host his claret cup
          And watch Madeira’s farewell drink
          Note his reaction acid sharp
          Should make the cognoscenti think

  11. thomasbrady said,

    January 14, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    Mary, thank you

    • maryangeladouglas said,

      January 14, 2016 at 2:50 pm

      You are more than welcome.

  12. maryangeladouglas said,

    January 14, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    WOULD LIFE ON MARS BE RUBY RED

    would life on Mars be ruby red, we wondered
    through our summers.
    sometimes in between the

    lemonade days,our butterscotched hopscotch
    a little out of sorts or bubble gum
    bazooka comic- faded out in last week’s wash…

    will there be porch swings?
    a slight, honeysuckle breeze?
    will there still be cinnamon toast, oh please-

    well this was what Ray Bradbury partially
    came to say, apart from Green Town.
    Mars is Green Town

    seen from a certain angle
    in the funhouse mirrors.
    wherever you go

    your home goes with you:
    be not afraid.

    mary angela douglas 7 october 2015

  13. maryangeladouglas said,

    January 14, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    SOMETHING FOUND, BUT WHAT

    it isn’t the right feeling on the page
    a someone says and so, it blows away
    and on another day and looking up

    from play, a small child finds it
    hidden in the grass while the white
    stars stray then

    turning into snow
    oh there you are
    she says as light as sunshine

    pouring onto glass
    a forgotten radiance
    at last, at last.

    mary angela douglas 14 january 2016

  14. maryangeladouglas said,

    January 15, 2016 at 12:40 am

    LIKE A SEAM IN THE EARTH

    [to Jesus Christ, my only Lord and Saviour for all Time]

    like a seam in the earth

    a seam in the heart can

    fall apart; be shaken

    unexpectedly

    so that seismic waves flow out

    from it, in untenable directions

    so that the stars shift

    as though in Dante’s hell they had fallen

    also the unknown zones

    what explorer could dare

    to dethrone unless, unless it were Christ

    crossing the violet, trembling air;

    this plenitude of emptiness and shock

    to find; to fix this

    broken animal, this blinded mind.

    oh heart my heart

    beating beyond all beatings now

    surely you have been shielded

    in the palm of God

    or you would have truly died.

    mary angela douglas 14 january 2016

  15. maryangeladouglas said,

    January 15, 2016 at 2:00 am

    MARS WILL NOT BE

    [to Ray Bradbury]

    Mars will not be
    the planet that you reach from
    the inside, as if you had the key.

    it will whirl off, into an Infinite sea,

    scattering into little rubies;
    a scatter pin on the field of the nights
    you will rest,

    but not quite, with one window cracked;
    the antique mirrors
    seized with a longing to look back on

    a single footprint in the red dust;
    a child’s hand imprinted on clay
    retrieved from old disasters.

    or the Last Day.

    Mars will not be a bent word straightened
    between one party and another;
    a radical cure for those who stutter;

    an Ark impelled forward
    past all we can’t endure on earth;

    nor the signet nor the crown of Space, rebirths
    though you will race to it with both hands open
    as if it had a Heart

    intending to intending to…
    what you can never start;
    though others coming after

    like a carmine afterthought,
    may, half dazzled stop- and marvel:
    who was here, is this the spot…

    then gather up carelessly,
    the nets you dropped.

    mary angela douglas 14 january 2016

    • Andrew said,

      January 18, 2016 at 3:21 am

      A question: Mary do you write your verse spur-of-the moment right here at Scarriet – or are you pasting previously written work?

      I’m just curious. And somewhat awed ☺

      • maryangeladouglas said,

        January 18, 2016 at 5:01 am

        I write my verse spur of the moment on my own blog and then cut and paste things in the scarriet comments, often I have just written them. Mostly I don’t revise. They come out in one piece. If there is anything related to awe in anything I write, wrote, it’s God helping me because I do pray over my poems and over my overall effort you know that verse, Andrew? I’m sure you do. “Establish Thou the work of my hands.”

  16. thomasbrady said,

    January 15, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    Mary,

    You really are on fire. Divine poetry. Thank you.

    • maryangeladouglas said,

      January 15, 2016 at 3:09 pm

      Thank you Thomas. Are all your music creations on you tube as well as FB? I had to shut my FB account down for safety reasons this morning. I would miss your beautifully eccentric songs, otherwise. I have written a lot of poems dedicated to Ray Bradbury, truly my favorite writer. I’m glad he lived so long.

  17. Chumki Sharma said,

    January 15, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    Mary is on fire indeed. So prolific! And such tenderness and beauty..

    • maryangeladouglas said,

      January 15, 2016 at 3:06 pm

      Thank you very much Chumki. I need to let you know I had to close my FB account early this morning. I only had it open for newsfeeds but I was glad to speak to you yesterday for that short time. I am having problems that I had before on FB with cyberbullying and related things so I had to shut it down. I was considering prosecution but it is not worth it. Please take care yourself. It is a rude world but poetry as an art form has outlived centuries of rudeness and that’s another reason I love it.

      • maryangeladouglas said,

        January 15, 2016 at 3:15 pm

        oops. I see I repeated the Mars poem twice. probably due to fact there has been inordinate noise in my apartment building since Jan. 6. very little sleep. The stress of that made me write more though, hah. I wonder if its quiet on Mars.

        • maryangeladouglas said,

          January 15, 2016 at 3:17 pm

          not repeated twice. two different poems on Mars. lack of sleep is a distortion like a carnival mirror. you think you are making sense and alas, it isn’t the case. but now the noise has died down and I will do what I can before the next wave starts. People who think living in public housing is “entitlement” should try it some time. Still, having a roof is very useful.

  18. noochinator said,

    January 15, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    101. Carly Simon — a/k/a the female Jagger — came out with her memoir, which by all accounts is pure poetry — the below clips of her still sear and stun, respectively:

  19. maryangeladouglas said,

    January 15, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    I’ve always loved her voice. One of those voices that can’t really be imitated, unique voiceprint. I wonder if voiceprint is a word.

  20. thomasbrady said,

    January 15, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    I love the Mars poem!

    “Mars will not be
    the planet that you reach from
    the inside, as if you had the key.

    it will whirl off, into an Infinite sea,

    scattering into little rubies…”

  21. thomasbrady said,

    January 15, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    Mock–yea! ing–yea! Bird–yea!

    I always hated that recording…!!

    Sorry.

    But yea, Carly Simon is great.

    • maryangeladouglas said,

      January 15, 2016 at 4:16 pm

      the mockingbird song was a mistake. I read parts of her memoir on a free kindle sample. very interesting snippets about her father the publisher and the people that came to dinner at her house when she was a kid. I have a feeling that she wrote more about other stuff though. I don’t care who wore the apricot scarf.

    • noochinator said,

      January 15, 2016 at 7:11 pm

      Yeah, dumb song, but watch her moves in the video….

      • noochinator said,

        January 15, 2016 at 9:16 pm

        OK, I’m a bit behind in celebrity news, but this one was a shocker to me:

        http://pagesix.com/2015/04/17/carly-simon-ex-pens-book-about-his-coming-out/

        • maryangeladouglas said,

          January 15, 2016 at 9:34 pm

          I only pay attention if someone wakes up and discovers they’re a Pumpkin and it’s Halloween. Sorry. still channeling Ray Bradbury. (Best writer ever).

          • maryangeladouglas said,

            January 15, 2016 at 9:39 pm

            It would be more dire if the pumpkin transformation took place on the day before Thanksgiving. Being made into a pie would be kind of final.

            • maryangeladouglas said,

              January 15, 2016 at 9:53 pm

              in regard to final pies I always remember that anguished line in the film: Chicken Run…”but we don’t want to be pies!” Love that film, but then I have the cultural taste of a 12 year old; a 12 year old in the 1960s.

          • Andrew said,

            January 18, 2016 at 3:15 am

            I loved The Martian Chronicles years ago.

            This one too: http://www.lib.ru/INOFANT/BRADBURY/october.txt

            Do you like H.P. Lovecraft, Mary?

            • maryangeladouglas said,

              January 18, 2016 at 5:19 am

              I tried to read H.P. Lovecraft one day or other and it was just too spooky but then I can’t even watch the Twilight Zone now even though I know every script by heart unless the sun is still out. There is one horror story I will never read again and which, unfortunately several times forget why and reread it thinking, oh, it can’t be THAT bad and then IT WAS and that is The Monkey’s Paw by Saki. Reading H.P. Lovecraft even a little gave me the exact same feeling as the horrible Monkey’s Paw tale. I like my ghost stories to be like the scholastic book grade school stories, anthologies like “give me back my golden arm” where the punch line is after the voice has haunted every nook and cranny of the cottage “HERE IT IS. TAKE IT.” Always made me laugh every time. Thanks for the Bradbury story link. I haven’t read that one yet. I’m always looking for more of his stories though I have quite a few. Apparently they are scattered all over the place and were never completely anthologized. It’s fun to still keep finding them. Miss his sunny far away in California presence on earth. Wonder what he thinks about the projected one way trips to Mars?

              • maryangeladouglas said,

                January 18, 2016 at 5:19 am

                Forgot to say The Monkey’s Paw is by Saki. Moral of that story is really really leave well enough alone; it’s just not worth it!

                • Andrew said,

                  January 23, 2016 at 8:14 pm

                  Are you sure Saki (Hector Hugh Munro) wrote this story ?

  22. maryangeladouglas said,

    January 15, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    Thank you, Thomas Graves. That is my favorite image too. I really saw it in my mind exactly like that. It was not even felt as a disaster, just a rearrangement of jewels as the planet dissolved.

    Wrote a poem about the noise level in my apartment building. Haha. Poe’s in it. I’m about ready to sic him on the neighbors. I’ll bet Poe’s neighbors kept it down. Can you imagine? It helps to laugh at it. Better alternative any time than going crazy, thank God I never have. But I’ve never been the kind to say to anyone: you’ll look back on this and smile. I wonder what wealthy writer with sound paneling installed from ceiling to floor (where they were esconced) came up with that saying?

    ABATEMENT

    I’m reporting this to the authorities
    you want to say
    but there are no authorities

    only people who want to make sure
    they have something to eat for lunch
    for several hours. and that you will

    not impede this.
    so what can you say
    there’ll be no noise abatement

    not today or any day

    and it doesn’t even go in waves anymore.
    it’s a continual rapping, tapping

    as though you were in Poe’s chamber
    the day the raven came.
    and now its a thumping clomping

    relentless, Thing that will stop if you complain
    and someone comes finally to investigate
    so that no one believes your report

    and thinks you’re making it all up.
    why didn’t Poe write a story about this?
    but maybe his neighbors were scared

    to act up; Poe being Poe, you know.
    and you want to go somewhere

    anywhere else this is not happening
    but where is it, is it?
    or is the whole earth filled with

    hammering
    your soul slammed into the walls.

    mary angela douglas 15 january 2016

    • maryangeladouglas said,

      January 15, 2016 at 4:17 pm

      I think maybe I need to pray for the Syrian refugees. Things could always be worse.

  23. maryangeladouglas said,

    January 15, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    LAYING THE BRIGHT WORDS END TO END

    laying the bright words end to end,
    could we get out of here and when
    the exit’s stuffed with snows? the things

    you said all summer froze.
    moon shot yesterdays piled up on the stoop,
    with the milk bottles,

    the half thawed cream.

    and the dream upon dream is
    you, in old newsprint, scuttling
    through odd neighborhods,

    units, brownstones
    of the living and the dead;
    looking everywhere for

    a thing you said in Spring.
    it will disappear on Monday
    into the sere scrub

    leaving, of all you loved, a single spark;
    and in the dark-
    the forge of a language

    locked and shuttered here
    by the hunched bodegas.
    and children with their candies skip

    where once mute angels stood:
    their arms – folded…
    the vapor rising.

    and you are done with surmising.

    oh how will you get up to sing
    you ask them but they never know
    all that cold awnings, dawnings bring

    when what was said
    to the cindered wind
    keeps dread on the payroll,

    mary angela douglas 15 january 2016

    • maryangeladouglas said,

      January 15, 2016 at 8:16 pm

      THE RANGE IN WINTER

      out on the blue furled range
      we sang about in schools
      has it started to snow yet?

      I always loved to wonder;
      the cows with their rolling eyes
      in the mists

      the buffalos stamping out the ghost fires.
      that would be some Christmas
      with the snows piled up to God

      and the little sod houses.
      we would live underground there
      cloudy with dreams and stews

      among the wild onions; the strings
      of peppers from the rafters strung
      like a thousand jewels won.

      and the plains going on without us outside
      to guide them.
      the frozen grasses

      breaking off in the winds.
      and brittle to the touch.
      I longed for this so much:

      and the skies coming down to meet us
      where the angels froze mid-air;
      singing and singing

      the sleet stinging our cheeks.
      and the long long weeks
      of the earth so trackless now shrouded and

      covered in linen.

      mary angela douglas 15 january 2016

      • maryangeladouglas said,

        January 15, 2016 at 11:38 pm

        SCRIPT WRITERS

        sometimes I wonder why so many scripts sound the same
        you know, you should have, if you’d looked before you leaped…
        you’ve never had a grain of sense in your head

        not enough sense to come out of the rain
        one picnic short of a sandwich who needs to know
        you and inquiring minds; you and whose army

        who’s wearing the pants go to the ants you sluggards
        who’s getting the grants, it’s so dog eat dog and
        water logged never starred but you’ll go far

        every time you just happened to hear in the school yard
        who was your servant this time, last year
        dumb cluck ewok sad sack break your Mother’s back

        you’ve let us all down get out of town psycho loco
        spaced out whacked out with a brilliant mind
        so don’t mind them who died and made them God so

        sticks and stones the flock all together
        come out of the weather
        unfair feathered friends and how the story

        ends and ends
        and ends come rain or shine
        we just want what’s best for you

        Time out of mind

        mary angela douglas 15 january 2016

        • maryangeladouglas said,

          January 16, 2016 at 1:52 am

          LITTLE KNOWING

          beyond now, the serial numbers of the stars o
          I wish we had not tagged everything
          and put the spectrums in jars

          at school!

          maybe the clouds can escape,
          and I went to warn them.
          but they in their fleeciness rose

          and gold in the cold outside a
          childhood home: frozen as
          they were, fluffed up and chimed

          and floated airily.
          never mind, laughed I now that
          you have it well in hand in

          fleecy land I’ll leave you there.
          and then I climbed a wandering stair
          little knowing that I wouldn’t be back

          again to catch them
          in their summer gladness.

          mary angela douglas 15 january 2016

          • maryangeladouglas said,

            January 16, 2016 at 8:04 am

            Beautiful music, Cantus: In Memorium to Benjamin Brittain by Arvo Part

            • maryangeladouglas said,

              January 16, 2016 at 8:06 am

              Link doesn’t seem to be working; don’t know why. Does work on youtube. Bells and mist. Seemed like good music for Scarriet.

              • maryangeladouglas said,

                January 16, 2016 at 7:38 pm

                Today (Saturday) seems to be working (the Arvo Part Cantus clip from youtube.

  24. maryangeladouglas said,

    January 16, 2016 at 8:14 am

    IF THEY BELIEVE IN A MAD THING

    if they believe in a mad thing,
    how will you dissuade them?
    you with your little spade

    digging holes in the sandbox
    waiting for radiance to appear.
    it will take years to notice

    no matter that you try
    with a handful of stones to get by,
    light – must be elsewhere.

    icarus maybe lacking wings to fly
    at the beginning, only
    looked at clouds.

    but you see farther,
    melting the sun outloud.

    mary angela douglas 16 january 2016

  25. maryangeladouglas said,

    January 16, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    JUST BECAUSE YOU SEE THE WORD ‘POETRY’ IN GOLDEN LETTERS

    just because you see the word “Poetry”
    high in golden letters
    sparkling over the transom,

    is no indication you should go in.

    or should judge where you are
    by the neighborhood;
    the iron wrought fence;

    the exorbitant garden.
    oh my friend, like Columbus
    who is hated now

    though he begged bread
    from country to country
    cherishing the unseen route,

    go thou also by another way;
    like the departing Magi
    who stayed alive surviving

    what they had come to say
    laying their gifts on the ground
    before the uncrowned king.

    there are many herods here
    in the here and now.
    say this outloud at the open mic

    on a diffident day and
    let me know what happens…

    having in hand your pencil
    or your quill
    a favorite jar of invisible ink

    your sheet of foolscap near the kitchen sink
    lest inspiration strike you there all unprepared;
    covet only

    a jeweled means to think of
    your bit of cheese and wonder
    in equal proportion to

    a heart brimming over;
    ever a mind, clarified by sadness;
    prone to sudden gladness.

    may you find a reason
    not to be bought
    in or out of season

    though others go the obvious way
    feted and carried on the shoulders of
    whoever may be king of the mob today

    or queen.of the cafe
    consider remaining a little to the side.
    or, if you can,

    obey the fairy tale commands
    when they direct: go this,
    not the usual way.

    pick the plain princess-
    over the one in emeralds
    head to toe;

    the small brown wren
    and not the one of gold
    though you feel

    you are crashing down from one floor
    to the next,failing the last examination,
    dreading the one that’s next;

    falling and falling like Alice did
    in a strange summer dream;
    while the roses gleam: this is not

    what it seems
    stripped of all pretexts
    to land unexpectedly in the basement of the stars.

    mary angela douglas 16 january 2016

    • Andrew said,

      January 18, 2016 at 3:02 am

      Oh my gosh I love this one !

      • thomasbrady said,

        January 19, 2016 at 8:32 pm

        Scarriet is visited by a starry heaven of poetry.

        Thank you, Mary Angela Douglas!

        • maryangeladouglas said,

          January 20, 2016 at 12:11 pm

          Thank you Thomas Graves. God bless you and everyone here. I sincerely wish you well your whole life long.

  26. maryangeladouglas said,

    January 17, 2016 at 5:06 am

    STILL IN THE PRESENT TENSE I WANDER THROUGH OLD ROOMS

    still in the present tense I wander through old rooms
    discarding what I cannot use keeping the silver buttons
    the embroidered shoes

    the pack of notebook paper from another century.
    it isn’t winter here or spring or fall
    it isn’t anything at all:

    a terminal filled with light
    where I’ll remain a little while longer
    waiting for a bus a train

    like you do in dreams

    and you get on
    if they let you
    without knowing where

    or even caring.
    I care. I say deeper down
    though never bonding with the

    town I’m in now and feeling it is the terminal
    in the end filling up with fog on
    any pretext.

    soon I will recover from the State I’m in
    the geography that doesn’t make sense
    and put the rooms to right

    flick on the rose pink nightlights
    absentmindedly chew the gold doubloon wrapped
    chocolates gone too soon

    the cherry vanilla stash consumed
    the ashes swept the coach arrives
    gilded with a new sunrise

    and I am going there.

    mary angela douglas 16 january 2016

  27. maryangeladouglas said,

    January 17, 2016 at 9:50 am

    FALLING DOWN IN FLOWERS YOU WILL LAUGH

    [to the poet William Blake]

    falling down in flowers you will laugh
    and in the snowy fields
    and in the pearled waters

    of the local streams bathe your feet
    green summered, sweet
    and rural in your origins sing

    the tide will turn upon a thread of gold

    and cherry brightness compass you in
    fold on fold
    before you come to understand

    and that firsthand
    the wilderness of man.

    and to withstand

    mary angela douglas 17 january 2016

  28. maryangeladouglas said,

    January 17, 2016 at 10:37 am

    WILL THEY TEAR YOU OUT OF THE BOOK

    [to the poet John Donne]

    [and to my Lord, Jesus Christ]

    will they tear you out of the book
    my Lord as though you were one page
    not knowing you are the whole Library

    and in their rage crumple and burn
    so that we coming after may not learn
    you were our beauty and our truth?

    then all flowering let it fade from the world
    and the lindenwood grow pale
    for without you there is neither song nor

    sod nor soul to rail
    let the ground not merely shift but disappear
    and all the rose crowned years each time

    we add the sum
    resemble nought for
    naught have we

    who You forgot.

    mary angela douglas 17 january 2016

  29. maryangeladouglas said,

    January 17, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    MY CAROL FOR CHRISTMAS DAY (WHEN IT’S FOREVER)

    one day will you wake to say:
    the beautiful world has come to stay?
    and troubles flee like night

    from day
    the beautiful world has come to stay
    the stars swirl out as in Van Goghs

    and all the cherry trees have snows
    of flowers deep beneath your feet
    when all the winds of Heaven meet.

    like crystal in the winter air
    before you know the snow is there
    something inside the soul will say

    the beautiful world has come to stay

    mary angela douglas 17 january 2016

  30. Andrew said,

    January 18, 2016 at 3:00 am

    This one I like a lot. It flows so easily.
    It makes me think of heaven and also paintings (oriental and Van G.)

    Mary – did you blow a poetry gasket?
    You have unleashed quite a torrent…
    I wish I could blow a gasket with such results.

    PS: did you see that Sayeed Abadini was released today?

    • maryangeladouglas said,

      January 18, 2016 at 3:23 am

      Thank you Andrew. Very funny about blowing a poetry gasket. I tend to write a lot since I’ve been retired. Since the first of the year I have 83 new poems and on my blog over 1600 poems. I know I posted so many but I was so stressed out because another blog where I was submitting poems kind of turned against me and started saying nasty things about me as well as my poetry so I thought well Scarriet won’t do that, my dear friends, so I think I kind of overdid it. Forgive me if it felt to anyone like spam. I just wanted to feel like I could go somewhere else with my poems besides my own blog. Haha I did contribute to getting the comment count up. YES I DID SEE THAT SAYEED WAS RELEASED. Like a lot of people I have been praying for that and for the other Americans held in Iran too. I was so happy I couldn’t do anything but just sit there and try to imagine what those families must feel like. Thank you for asking that. It was so wonderful.to remember that moment of finding out. There was awhile there when they said it wasn’t verified they’d gotten on the plane yet and the families were still hesitant to get their hopes up. I pray every chance I get for anything in the news I can because I do believe in the power of prayer and it’s the least I can do. All those drops of prayer together can turn into a tidal wave of reversal in desolate situations. Glad you liked my Christmas carol too. It just started when the phrase: the beautiful world has come to stay popped into my hand. I was thinking a lot about Narnia.

      • maryangeladouglas said,

        January 18, 2016 at 3:25 am

        popped into my head, not hand, unless God starts sending me words like a kind of poetry manna. head to heart to hand when you’re writing I think

      • Andrew said,

        January 18, 2016 at 3:30 am

        [I just wanted to feel like I could go somewhere else with my poems besides my own blog.]

        I feel (and behave online) in a similar manner; this resonates — in a funny kind of way.

        Lucky for us, Our Lady Scarriet is longsuffering, huh.

        • maryangeladouglas said,

          January 18, 2016 at 3:40 am

          I don’t know about that. I do know we are enjoined to share what we have with others and God knows, I have tried. I was happy with this poem today also. I am happy with all my poems. I feel that my poems are exquisite. What other people think, I can’t help.

          TO THE GIMLET-EYED, I AM WRITING THIS LETTER

          to the gimlet-eyed, I am writing this letter
          not that I think you will read it
          but your disguise is wearing a bit thin

          whenever you gather together
          to speak about someone’s sin
          (of course! it’s always someone else)

          and you zero in
          like hawks to the target
          but you’ve already had lunch

          in fact, by this time
          several or brunch
          in the church basement

          where you delicately pray
          for so and so who is going
          astray

          while outside on the lawn
          strolls the one you think so wrong!
          speaking with God

          in the cool of the day…
          and hand-in-hand.

          mary angela douglas 17 january 2016

          • Andrew said,

            January 18, 2016 at 3:45 am

            Whoo ha ! Smokin’ HOT …

            Now you’re channeling Anne Hutchinson (?)

            • Andrew said,

              January 18, 2016 at 3:48 am

              Makes me wanna sniff/sip/be dazzled by a gimlet.

              (VIVA Raymond Chandler. I forgot the name of his detective)

              • maryangeladouglas said,

                January 18, 2016 at 3:55 am

                I can’t remember where I first read the phrase gimlet-eyed. It was in a sentence something like so and so fixed their gimlet eye upon me. It might have been in Jane Eyre’s miserable childhood or something out of Dickens. Even without looking it up in the dictionary I knew what it meant. I’ve heard of Raymond Chandler; never read anything. My favorite thing with a detective theme now for some time has been the History Detectives on PBS (not least because of that song from Elvis Costello ‘just like watching The Detectives’. My favorite series ever on PBS (but that was espionage) was The Sandbaggers, the acting and the stories I remember I liked very much. I like Agatha Christie of course. But the best thing she ever wrote was her autobiography especially her childhood imagination. She was always trying to put characters together in situations even as a little kid. Very uncanny she was just start doing that spontaneously and then it turned into her real vocation later on.

                • Andrew said,

                  January 18, 2016 at 4:02 am

                  Chandler’s detective was always drinking gimlets.
                  That was the only previous exposure to the word I ever had.

                  It’s a drink, a gum-tree, and (drumroll………..) a MISSILE !

                  • maryangeladouglas said,

                    January 18, 2016 at 4:18 am

                    Incredible how many things sometimes a word in English can be. I know gimlet eyed means sharp eyed, beady eyed, and I think as in, rather like a bird of prey. I thought it a fitting image to the way some people latch onto the sins of others (in the Christian community) and in the world at large the same thing happens in all kinds of situations. You see stuff like that happen among the disciples too even when Jesus was with them like that time in a bad mood Peter asked Jesus what kind of life was John going to have (after Jesus had predicted great future difficulties for Peter) and Jesus said: What is that to you. The psychological truth of those interactions is very vivid to me, most especially when Jesus was on the cross and the gospels state that people in the crowd were snorting sarcastically: He saved others; himself he cannot save. This is not mythology. This rings completely true. Everybody deserves to have their own private relationship witht God, with Christ or not. Without other people boring into them like a drill. Why I’m an unaffiliated Christian. I’ve been in those other places where people will even come up to you and tell you point blank to your face: “God told me to tell you this” as if God couldn’t tell you Himself if he wanted to. Yuck. Double yuck.

                    • Andrew said,

                      January 18, 2016 at 4:25 am

                      “GOD told me to tell you not to listen to any lying false prophet who brings you a word in the Name of the Lord…”

                      Yes the disciples quibbled over who would be the biggest rock star, didn’t they? They were with him for 3 years and were still fairly clueless… until Pentecost. And even after, they gave great evidence of being fallen, sinful, squabbling mere men.

                      Mary I just listened to you sing Bye Bye Blackbird. You have a lovely singing voice.

  31. maryangeladouglas said,

    January 18, 2016 at 4:29 am

    Thank you Andrew. I love to sing. I made that in memory of my Father because he always used to whistle that in the car on Sundays when he came to pick up my sister and I. I loved my Dad a lot but my personality was so different from his he couldn’t figure me out. I do feel like I understood him though. I wish he could have known that I did. I guess a lot of people feel, have felt that way about their dads or mothers, sisters or brothers. It’s a harsh thing sometimes to think about but singing the song made me so happy, as if he really heard me, wherever he was and it is such a wonderful, sweet, nostalgic kind of song.

    • maryangeladouglas said,

      January 18, 2016 at 4:32 am

      Andrew, It’s good to think about the beauty and astonishment of Pentecost. But even more than that I love the story of the road to Emmaus when the two guys were sad about the crucifixion and Jesus appeared to them without them knowing it was him until he was gone and asked them why they were sad and then he encouraged them by explaining why it had to be that way. It makes me cry to think of it.

      • Andrew said,

        January 18, 2016 at 4:46 am

        Christ initially concealed His identity from Mary Magdalene at the tomb as well as the Emmaus disciples. He must have enjoyed playing such tricks on them. Or perhaps he wanted to show that he was not limited to one particular physiognomy ?

        • maryangeladouglas said,

          January 18, 2016 at 1:14 pm

          I guess it could be read. I felt in both cases that neither Mary Magdalene or the two men on the road could recognize Jesus (not because he concealed himself) but because they were too clouded with grief to recogtnize him. Their minds could not register it because of their grief and because it was strongly in their minds that they would never see him again. That’s my reading anyway. I do think though Jesus must have experienced a kind of joy in having the freedom after the resurrection he was constantly deprived of on earth when the Pharisees and the Saducees showed up every time and every place in order to needle him. But he was wise to it and to them.

          • Andrew said,

            January 18, 2016 at 4:22 pm

            He was also materializing within closed rooms…

            How do you think Mary M. or the disciples could not have recognized him? Grief and sense of loss would have made them more apt to recognize Him, to my way of thinking.

  32. Andrew said,

    January 18, 2016 at 4:40 am

    I have been enjoying your YouTubes tonight.
    We share some musical inspiration.

    Be Thou My Vision is also one of my soul-sustaining favorites. It’s still topping the charts after 13 centuries. The Celts – one of my favorite groups !

    Planxty’s “West Coast of Clare” breaks me up every time. I have to be careful if I hear it after 2 beers. How I love that combination of words and mournful melody. I just placed your Planxty tribute at my blog.

    • maryangeladouglas said,

      January 18, 2016 at 10:57 am

      Thank you Andrew. The way that Planxty plays and sings West Coast of Clare to me is in the real meaning of the word “unearthly”. I know what you mean. And I find such comfort in Be Thou My Vision not only from the beautiful words and melody but from knowing the song goes far back in time. There is a watering down and incipient commercialism in a lot of Celtic music now and interpretations of it. But I guess that happens in all musical traditions.

  33. noochinator said,

    January 18, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    67. Barbara Hamby

    Ode on My Wasted Youth

    Is there anything so ridiculous as being twenty
    and carrying around a copy of Being and Nothingness,
    so boys will think you have a fine mind
    when really your brain is a whirling miasma,
    a rat’s nest erected by Jehovah, Rousseau, Dante,
    George Eliot, and Bozo the Clown?
    I might as well have been in costume and on stage,
    I was so silly, but with no appreciation
    of my predicament, like a dim-bulb ingenue
    with a fluffy wig being bamboozled by a cad
    whose insincerity oozes from every orifice,
    but she thinks he’s spiritual, only I was playing
    both roles, hoodwinking myself with ideas
    that couldn’t and wouldn’t do me much good, buying berets,
    dreaming of Paris and utter degradation,
    like Anaïs Nin under Henry Miller or vice versa.
    Other people were getting married and buying cars,
    but not me, and I wasn’t even looking for Truth,
    just some kind of minor grip on the whole enchilada,
    and I could see why so many went for eastern cults,
    because of all religions Hinduism is the only one
    that seems to recognize the universal mess
    and attack it with a set of ideas even wackier
    than said cosmos, and I think of all
    my mistaken notions, like believing “firmament”
    meant “earth” and then finding out it meant “sky,”
    which is not firm at all, though come to find out the substance
    under our feet is rather lacking in solidity as well.
    Oh, words, my very dear friends,
    whether in single perfection—mordant, mellifluous,
    multilingual—or crammed together
    in a gold-foil-wrapped chocolate valentine
    like Middlemarch, how could I have survived without you,
    the bread, the meat, the absolute confection,
    like the oracles at Delphi drinking their mad honey,
    opening my box of darkness with your tiny, insistent light.

    http://www.storysouth.com/poetry_features/2007/02/seven_poems_by_barbara_hamby.html

    • Andrew said,

      January 18, 2016 at 4:25 pm

      I read ALL and more of this stuff the poetess mentions…

      (further confessions of a failed Anarchist).

      But actually, I WAS looking for the truth.

  34. maryangeladouglas said,

    January 18, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    This poem has a lot of beauty in it and a lot of self disparagement. I don’t tthink self disparagement is useful to either men or women. It is important tto respecf your own mind and I do respect mine as a temple of God. To have a mind full of bright and beautiful things, curious oddments even in some disorder is a wonderful thing for a poet, any poet.

    Never in my life did I carry around a book to impress anyone. I care about the things I care about my whole life long even when and if they are tangled together.
    It is in the end a person’s own business what is in their mind, their inner life. And the inner life of men women and children is what tyrants want most to own and control. Poetry and all the arts in their best moments escape the nets that would entangle, ridicule and even slay. Thank God for that. Who cares who wrote it: man, woman or child? Whatever is written if it is true is useful to everyone. Why quench the light.

    The whole universe is tangled no matter how much the scientists try to impose order, and to impose order is to control sometimes isn’t it, no matter who does it. Many many times to many to count or chronicle.

    These are things I think about when reading this poem. It does have a beautiful texture. The mind held up to ridicule for all to see is something that happens to many boys and girls even in grade school classrooms. I am sorry that it is this way now almost everywhere. It’s rare that a point is made without an assault on a person somehow involved. Barbarism.

    • maryangeladouglas said,

      January 18, 2016 at 11:29 pm

      I did not mean “Barbarism” as a play on Barbera Hamby’s name. The last stanza where she speaks of her love for words in such startling images is really dazzling and heartfelt, one of the most beautiful I have ever read and I would have placed her above ANY list for that; but surely if she should have been remembered for any “fragment” according to Thomas Graves philosophy of cherishing poetic fragments, it should have been for the last stanza. however, your list, not mine.

  35. maryangeladouglas said,

    January 19, 2016 at 1:43 am

    SANTIAGO

    caught in the downdraft of scurilous words
    could I walk on my knees to Santiago?
    would candles come out to meet me

    Mary, in her mantle of sobs
    I stood on no ground
    no hope of going over

    in the little boat moored.
    moored forever I must be on this shore
    I wept to the skies

    to the skies over Santiago
    to the endless shrines
    to the candles never going out

    in the long rains

    mary angela douglas 18 january 2016

  36. noochinator said,

    January 19, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    30. Shara Lessley — link below goes to her remarkable “Advice from the Predecessor’s Wife”

    http://poems.com/poem_print.php?date=15302

    • noochinator said,

      January 20, 2016 at 1:36 pm

      30. Shara Lessley

      Advice from the Predecessor’s Wife

      Amman, Jordan

      Learn Arabic—your husband won’t have time.
      At Carrefour Express, aisle one is the tax-free line.
      For poultry, go to Sweifieh (the Palestinian
      chicken man’s shop); pig, on the other hand,
      is impossible to find (frozen pork sometimes
      turns up at the co-op). Basha _________’s
      wife is pregnant with twins; expect to host
      a spa date or two for his mistress. Never make
      eye contact with local men. Read Married
      to a Bedouin,
      the Expert Expat’s Guide. (Skip
      Queen Noor’s book—she’s from the Midwest.)
      During Ramadan Crumbs’ breakfast is the best;
      everything else is closed. Never ride
      in the front of a taxi with an Arab. If you’re
      near the Embassy, avoid hailing a cab (security says
      we’re sitting ducks). Help in Amman
      runs cheap: hire a driver, a maid, a cook.
      Mansef is made with lamb or goat, and stewed
      in a hearty jameed. When dining with royalty,
      keep conversation neutral. At private parties
      be prepared to be the only woman in the room,
      save the staff. Look the part, but don’t
      show cleavage. Lipstick is fine. Laugh hard
      (but not too hard) at Colonel _________’s
      dick jokes. Know how to properly cut and light
      a cigar. When talk turns to politics, smile
      and nod, then say something obscure
      in Arabic—your husband will give you the cue
      (the Jords will think it cute). Never ask
      a woman how long her hair is
      under the hijab. Don’t call anyone
      but your husband habibi. Explore the souks;
      steer clear of the mosques. All Arabs hate dogs—
      walk yours after dark; comb your yard
      for poison and traps. Close your drapes
      (Western women are common victims
      of peeping toms). When moving among crowds,
      expect children and strangers to stop
      to stroke your hair. Always carry your passport.
      The number-one reason a man’s relieved
      from his post? His wife’s unhappy. Avoid this
      from the get-go—get a hobby! Play tennis,
      take a class, or find a job. (The field’s leveled
      for spouses: here, education and experience
      equal nada.) The work week runs Sunday to
      Thursday; your husband will clock in Saturdays,
      Fridays, too. Pack at least four ball gowns;
      stock up on shirts with sleeves. Gunfire means
      graduation, or congratulations—a wedding’s
      just taken place. Don’t be disturbed by
      the armed guards outside your apartment
      (their assault rifles don’t have bullets,
      rumor has it). “Little America” runs perpendicular
      to Ring Six (a.k.a. Cholesterol Circle)—Popeyes,
      Burger King, Hardee’s
      —you’ll find everything
      you need. McDonald’s Playland spans three
      upstairs levels. Ship a year’s worth of ketchup,
      mayonnaise. Blonds are often mistaken
      for hookers; consider dying your hair.
      By September or October you’ll learn to
      tune out the call to prayer.

      Shara Lessley

      • Andrew said,

        January 23, 2016 at 8:17 pm

        Start practicing the Shahada all you dhimmis…

  37. noochinator said,

    January 19, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    101. Carly Simon — the clip below is a remarkable folk song perf’d by Ms. Simon & her sister, who wrote the music to a poem by Edgar Field — song starts at 1:38

    • noochinator said,

      January 19, 2016 at 1:36 pm

      Wynken, Blynken, and Nod

      Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
      Sailed off in a wooden shoe,—
      Sailed on a river of crystal light
      Into a sea of dew.
      “Where are you going, and what do you wish?”
      The old moon asked the three.
      “We have come to fish for the herring-fish
      That live in this beautiful sea;
      Nets of silver and gold have we,”
      Said Wynken,
      Blynken,
      And Nod.

      The old moon laughed and sang a song,
      As they rocked in the wooden shoe;
      And the wind that sped them all night long
      Ruffled the waves of dew;
      The little stars were the herring-fish
      That lived in the beautiful sea.
      “Now cast your nets wherever you wish,—
      Never afraid are we!”
      So cried the stars to the fishermen three,
      Wynken,
      Blynken,
      And Nod.

      All night long their nets they threw
      To the stars in the twinkling foam,—
      Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,
      Bringing the fishermen home:
      ‘Twas all so pretty a sail, it seemed
      As if it could not be;
      And some folk thought ‘twas a dream they’d dreamed
      Of sailing that beautiful sea;
      But I shall name you the fishermen three:
      Wynken,
      Blynken,
      And Nod.

      Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
      And Nod is a little head,
      And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
      Is a wee one’s trundle-bed;
      So shut your eyes while Mother sings
      Of wonderful sights that be,
      And you shall see the beautiful things
      As you rock in the misty sea
      Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:—
      Wynken,
      Blynken,
      And Nod.

      Eugene Field

      • Andrew said,

        January 20, 2016 at 1:39 am

        • noochinator said,

          January 20, 2016 at 11:42 am

          Imagine being a little kid who has his mum Carly Simon sing this to him while tucking him in at night — I’d never get over it….

    • noochinator said,

      January 19, 2016 at 1:45 pm

      101. Carly Simon — here she is in 1995 running the Howard Stern-Robin Givens gauntlet, and emerging unscathed and in good humor:

    • noochinator said,

      January 20, 2016 at 12:40 pm

      Donovan did a version of this song too — pales in comparison to the Simon Sisters methinks:

  38. thomasbrady said,

    January 19, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    Meanwhile, Nooch works out his crush on Carly Simon…

    🙂

    • noochinator said,

      January 20, 2016 at 12:47 am

      Is there anything ELSE going on? I want a job as her personal assistant…

  39. noochinator said,

    January 20, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    41. Laura Kasischke

    For the Young Woman I Saw Hit by a Car While Riding Her Bike

    I’ll tell you up front: She was fine—although
    she left in an ambulance because
    I called 9-1-1

    and what else can you do
    when they’ve come for you
    with their sirens and lights
    and you’re young and polite
    except get into their ambulance
    and pretend to smile?

    “Thanks,” she said to me
    before they closed her up. (They

    even tucked
    her bike in there. Not
    one bent spoke on either tire.) But I

    was shaking and sobbing too hard to say good-bye.

    Later, at a party, I imagine her telling her friends, “It

    hardly grazed me, but
    this lady who saw it went crazy. . .”

    I did. I was
    molecular, while
    even the driver who hit her did
    little more than roll his eyes, while

    a trucker stuck at the intersection, wolfing
    down a swan
    sandwich behind the wheel, sighed. Some-

    one touched me on the shoulder
    and asked, “Are you all right?”

    (Over
    in ten seconds. She
    stood, all
    blonde, shook
    her wings like a little cough.)

    “Are you
    okay?” someone else asked me. Uneasily. As if

    overhearing my heartbeat
    and embarrassed for me
    that I was made
    of such gushing meat
    in the middle of the day on a quiet street.

    “They should have put her
    in the ambulance, not me.”

    Laughter.
    Shit happens.
    To be young.
    To shrug it off:

    But, ah, sweet
    thing, take
    pity. One

    day you too may be
    an accumulation

    of regrets, catastrophes.
    A clay animation
    of Psalm 73. (But

    as for me, my feet. . .) No. It will be
    Psalm 45: They

    saw it,
    and so they marveled; they
    were troubled, and hasted away.
    Today

    you don’t remember the way
    you called my name, so
    desperately, a thousand times, tearing

    your hair, and your clothes on the floor, and
    the nurse who denied your morphine
    so that you had to die that morning
    under a single sheet
    without me, in
    agony, but

    this time I was beside you.
    I waited, and I saved you.
    I was there.

    Laura Kasischke

    http://www.postroadmag.com/26/folios/kasischke1.phtml

  40. noochinator said,

    January 20, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    68. Lisa Lewis

    February

    This is the second month of the year I turn thirty-seven.
    Already the weather is warming in southeast Texas, rushing
    The weeks along; the trees have to work to keep up. One day
    I’ll look over my head and the elm will be leafed out,
    And then it will be summer. And probably I’ll be working
    On my birthday, probably teaching a couple of classes,
    And I’ll say to myself, it’s just as well, who needs to think about
    Turning thirty-seven, and I’ll go back to my regular life,
    Smiling and talking to students in the hallway,
    Breaking a sweat on the short walk from the door
    To the parked car, rolling all the windows down
    But not without glancing at the sky for stormclouds,
    Because a storm will be breaking every day then after noon,
    Lasting about an hour, and subsiding back to sun. You learn
    Such things about the weather when you’ve lived in a place
    For a while. Or maybe it’s really what some people say,
    It’s like that everywhere; I haven’t been anywhere near
    Everywhere, and maybe I’ll never make it.
    But there were years when I liked to search out danger,
    Late nights I learned each secret worn-out cars
    Bouncing through the ruts of logging roads could take me to.
    I learned about love like that; the full moon pierced
    The windshield like a spike and I knew it was love
    When the strong, agile boy above me sighed
    And pushed deeper inside me. I knew it was love
    When I didn’t want to close my eyes. I learned about trouble
    And I knew it was trouble when I dropped out of high school
    My senior year and took to prowling the roads with boys;
    We took to shooting heroin under the spring sky,
    We’d lie back together in the roadside grass and all let go
    Of our suffering, we were having a hard time growing up,
    It felt good to do a terrible thing together.
    No one could find us there. No one was looking.
    We would’ve counted the stars, but that was work.
    Instead we talked about loving one another, and I guess
    You’d say it was the heroin talking, but we thought we felt it,
    We were free together, we knew how we were when no one
    Could know us because we were doing evil. I took myself
    Far from those foothills the first chance I could.
    I didn’t find out what became of my friends, it looked like
    Some of them were headed for prison; I loved them once
    But I wouldn’t love them now, and I didn’t want to
    Think about mixing love and trouble, the trick I learned
    And never gave up; I just got older, and stopped
    Getting into the trouble of the young; I discovered
    The trouble of the older.
    This is the second month
    Of the year I turn thirty-seven. Already the little fists
    Of leaves are forming inside the knotted ends of twigs
    All over Houston. The cold weather is over. This winter
    Again there was no freeze. And tonight it’s very late,
    And it’s Sunday, and no cars pass on the big road
    By the house, but out there in the night
    Some kids about seventeen are doing terrible things
    They’ll get by with, and grow out of, and remember
    The way they’ll remember what love felt like at first,
    Before it stopped being the surest path to ruination,
    Before it had done the worst it could and passed away.
    And to them it’s as if those who lived this life before them
    Moved with the jerky speeded-up gestures of characters
    In old-fashioned movies, their expressions intense
    And exaggerated; they roll their eyes and loll their tongues
    When the heroin hits their blood. It’s as if the beauty
    Of evil lives only in the present, where the drop of dope
    Clinging to the tip of the stainless steel point
    Catches the light like dew; and it doesn’t matter
    That the light falls from a streetlamp with a short in it,
    And the impatient boy with the syringe in his hand
    Will touch the drop back into the spoon
    So as not to waste it. It’s his instinct telling him
    How much it means to live this now, before he knows
    Better, while he still has a chance to survive it.
    It’s the moon over his head with its polished horns
    That would slip through his skin if he touched them.
    It’s the trees leaping to life in his blood, greenness
    Unfurling so hard it almost bursts his heart.

    Lisa Lewis

  41. noochinator said,

    January 20, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    36. Bob Hicok

    THE ACTIVE READER

    Reading a used book on evolution I wonder
    about fingerprints, how long they live.
    Were the fingers licked before the pages
    were turned, did the owner
    of the book, of the fingerprints
    read in the bathroom, will there be a hair
    on page 231, on a train, did he take the C
    uptown, did she eat lunch with pigeons
    and hold the book open with her foot
    as she sat cross-legged on the lawn
    of the Municipal Building, a short hair,
    curly and black or blond and straight
    and long as my finger? Was she reading
    instead of getting her license on the day
    she’d promised to, after five months
    of dreading the DMV, instead
    of looking into the bill for lab tests,
    one hundred and seventy seven dollars
    to peek into her blood, her urine,
    instead of calling the furnace guy
    and dealing with his boots on the carpet,
    with his mouth moving in front of hers,
    with the expectation of small talk,
    did the book keep her from visiting
    her mother and asking about MS,
    did he hold the book between his face
    and his wife, is it how he asked
    for a divorce, by not speaking, by saying
    the name Leaky over and over to himself,
    by letting the pages stand in for his face?
    Will I become everyone who reads this book,
    did their eyes change the letters,
    is reading a sexual act, is there congress
    between the text and my gaze,
    is there no mirror left me but words,
    why am I afraid of people, why do I talk
    behind them to the edge of their shadows,
    why did the continents drift, why didn’t
    the thumb stay put, is fear what it means
    to be human, am I what it means to be human,
    why did the brain ransom the heart
    to the mouth, why did we ever come down
    from the trees?

    Bob Hicok

  42. noochinator said,

    January 20, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    17. Molly Brodak

    NICARAGUA

    There is an edge
    between the farthest you can hear and not:
    before it’s gone, everything
    hums some. Here and there—

    a curve around a pocked slope,
    a grey camel
    sky, and an evil feeling—
    handless mischief,
    the hard lean of time itself.

    Along the way, trees screen thin roosters, homeless goats,
    giant wrens. We had never been so close—
    so pressed in by the horizon’s chill mantle. This tiny oyster lip

    of the world is only headlight long; so, bones snap,
    food rots, and boundlessness
    secretly exists,
    I hear.

    Molly Brodak

    http://howapoemhappens.blogspot.com/2010/10/normal-0-false-false-false-en-us-x-none_26.html

    • Andrew said,

      January 23, 2016 at 12:18 am

      F—ing BORING poem !!

      El pueblo, unido — jamás sera vencido.
      Eat your heart out Ronald Reagan.

      (and Barracko)

    • noochinator said,

      January 23, 2016 at 1:14 am

      17. Molly Brodak

      The Flood

      Panic, because suddenly everything signifies,
      a kind of net of sunlight, pulling all directions at once;

      the background’s flaw is that it beckons:
      the poodle’s boat, Noah’s palm, the dove-magnet:

      a barbarity! A flame at the vanishing point!
      Where things trace back to one man’s wanting,

      which is often the wrong thing for him altogether.
      So people drowned. Their things emptied of humanness,

      made violent in the deaf water, became filth.
      Get used to it, Noah told his sons, drunk, sad as God—

      in a story, the first to die are the ones who don’t tell stories.
      The rest fish in a soul that narrows, defensively,

      into a corridor that exits the ark, into
      the awful future: half magnetic, half veil.

      Molly Brodak

      https://www.poetrysociety.org/psa/poetry/crossroads/own_words/molly_brodak/

  43. noochinator said,

    January 21, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    34. David Huddle

    MEN’S SAUNA

    Boy about seven’s hanging
    around outside the sauna.
    Naked, pale, thin-chested,
    he steps back, startled,

    when I reach for the door,
    looks up at me with ostrich
    eyes, glasses that magnify
    so much he must be almost

    legally blind. What’s funny
    is just before I step in,
    I notice the kid’s pencil
    stub of a pecker, such a joke

    I almost want to say, Hey,
    kid, don’t worry, it’ll grow.

    Inside, there’s a beefy guy,
    sweaty slab of meat reading

    a newspaper. I don’t know
    what it is about the sauna,
    the heat, I guess, or being
    naked in that coop of a room,

    but I get a little hostile
    when I’m in there. Somebody
    once told me he’d never met
    anybody from Texas who wasn’t

    an asshole. I never shared
    a sauna with anybody I didn’t
    suspect was an asshole, too,
    and I know this doesn’t shine

    the brightest light on me, but
    anyway, right off, I don’t
    like this guy, don’t like
    his pink skin, his moustache,

    his posture, or even the way
    his prick and balls hang,
    which of course has nothing
    to do with what kind of human

    being the man is, and I’m used
    to such sentiments arising
    in me when I’m in the sauna,
    I can stand it in there only

    about ten minutes anyway, so no
    big deal, this Texan and I
    settle into sweating in silence,
    when the door opens, and the boy

    outside holds it open while he
    addresses my sauna partner
    who must be the father.
    The boy’s voice is too low

    for me to hear what he says,
    and the angle of the room
    keeps me from seeing the kid,
    so the data I get is his dad,

    who says, “Tie your sneakers
    for me, will you? Why don’t you go
    on upstairs and find your mom?
    Find your mom, will you?”

    The guy speaks over his newspaper
    and doesn’t move, the door stays
    open while the boy murmurs something
    else, the cool air streaming in

    all the while. I expect the guy
    to say, Shut the door, will you?
    but he doesn’t, he just repeats,
    “Go upstairs and find your mom.”

    The door does finally close,
    and the boy’s dad and I are alone
    again, naked, silent, and sitting
    three feet away from each other.

    I have this urge to say,
    Did you know that your voice
    makes it evident that you hate
    your kid? And if I can hear it,

    you know for sure that your kid
    hears it, too.
    I don’t say that,
    of course, though the sauna
    makes me nearly crazy enough

    to say it, but I have in mind
    this cautionary tale a friend
    told me about getting the shit
    beat out of him in a Jacuzzi

    by some guys he’d insulted—
    he said it was pretty mythic.
    Naked, he got pounded bloody,
    and they almost drowned him.

    I’m way past the age of wanting
    to fight, even though hostility
    still has its little condo
    in my emotional village.

    Also, I’m a father of daughters,
    girls who often enough give me
    looks that say, My God, is that
    how it is with you men? You’re

    all crazy! I know they study
    me, their model male, the one
    by which they’ll measure all
    other men who approach them.

    So I stay quiet enough to hear
    my sweat drops hit the bench slats
    and the boy’s dad’s breathing.
    What I don’t hear but feel anyway

    is how this guy’s ashamed
    of his boy, this guy wishes
    his kid were bigger, louder,
    had a prick that didn’t make

    him want to laugh out loud,
    and for Christ’s sake didn’t
    have to wear those stupid bug-eye
    glasses. That’s what I hate,

    when my good buzz of hostility
    turns into this pissy pity.
    I’m down off the bench and out
    the door and into the shower,

    taking the water as cold
    as I can stand it. But here’s
    what’s weird here, the guy
    just keeps staying in there.

    I’m out of the shower,
    toweled dry, dressed, and combing
    my hair, when it occurs to me
    that he’s got to have been

    in there half an hour by now,
    which to me would be torture,
    assuming I could even force
    myself to stay in there so long.

    I’ve got my gym bag packed up
    and my coat on when the boy,
    dressed now in a hockey jersey
    that makes me notice how thin

    his shoulders are, trudges by me
    on his way back to the sauna door
    to have another word with his dad.
    I don’t hear it. I’m out of there.

    David Huddle

  44. noochinator said,

    January 22, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    60. Joe Green

    From Book Two of the Limerick Iliad :

    Though the Iliad on the whole is alluring
    I’m afraid that Book Two is quite boring.
    A catalog of the ships
    And some geography tips
    Is enough to wreck your own ship in its mooring.

    So Old Zeus came up with a scheme:
    He would send that vile King a false dream.
    Which is rather odd.
    After all, he’s a god.
    And you would think his power supreme.

    But the dream came upon old Aggie while sleeping
    And said “Enough of your worries and weeping.
    I got it from Zeus
    That you are Il Duce
    And your victory will be rather sweeping!”

    Then Old Aggie awoke quite excited
    And the fellow was still quite benighted
    For he thought it best
    To try out a test
    Which could render most of his hopes somewhat blighted.

    He summoned all to a great general meeting
    Then sadly offered this greeting.
    “It shall come to pass
    That they’ll kick our ass.”
    And that didn’t need any repeating!

    As soon as he said the last word
    The Generals said “By the Gods have you heard
    The Trojans are comin’?
    You can hear their drummin’!
    To stay on this beach is absurd!”

    Then word spread to all of the men
    From Geraldo, who was from CNN,
    Who got out of there fast.
    He, however, was passed
    By a preacher crying “Amen.”

    Brave Achilles was quite disgusted.
    It seemed that all of his dreams had been busted.
    The Greeks ran about on the sand.
    Each one quite unmanned.
    And there wasn’t a damn one he trusted.

    But, look, why its Ulysses in the midden!
    Shouting “Damn it, the King was just kiddin’
    It shall come to pass
    That we’ll kick THEIR Ass.
    If you thought he meant something else, why he didn’t.”

    The Greeks cried “By Zeus, that’s great news.”
    And blamed everything on those goddamn Jews.
    And grabbed a few peddlers
    Yes, wicked Jew meddlers
    And burnt them. Then became quite enthused!

    As Ulysses went through the host
    knocking their heads with his post
    He said, “Don’t be shirkers
    what we need are berserkers
    who’ll turn Ilium into toast!”

    So they all hurried back to their meeting
    to find out where all this was leading.
    But Thersites was pissed.
    Agamemnon he dissed
    ’till Ulysses gave him a beating.

    Then spoke brave Ulysses to all
    “I know you’d all like me to call
    down a host of fine virgins
    to assuage all your urges
    but, damnit, first scale that wall!”

    But the Argives were ready to leave
    and they raised a great shout by the sea.
    Nestor stood and he shamed them
    Agamemnon then tamed them
    and on victory they all agreed.

    Then Athena urged them all to battle
    and stop all the pussified prattle.
    “Get out there you Greeks
    and slaughter those geeks.
    Off your asses and into the saddle!”

    Now comes that moment you’re dreading.
    I admit that it could be rough sledding:
    A catalog of the ships
    And their significant trips
    And an account of Penelope’s wedding.

    So…this is the end of Book Two.
    We are kindly deferring to you:
    “Readers Digest Condensed”
    Because we have sensed
    You have something much better to do.

    Joe Green

  45. noochinator said,

    January 22, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    28. Lori Jakiela

    WORKING THE RED EYE, PITTSBURGH TO VEGAS

    The man in the emergency exit row has been drinking
    from his own bottle of duty-free vodka
    and because he was quiet about it,
    kept his clothes on, and didn’t hit
    his call button even once
    no one notices until we land in Vegas
    and he refuses to get off the plane.

    He’s sure we haven’t gone anywhere.
    “You people think I’m a sucker,” he says.
    “I’m no sucker. I paid good money for this.”
    He boarded in Pittsburgh, my home country.
    In Pittsburgh, we have two dreams:
    to go to Vegas to live
    and to go to Florida to die.

    The gate agents call the police.
    The pilots are pissed.
    The A-line flight attendant with the fake French name
    twirls a pair of plastic handcuffs and says,
    “These make me so-o-o hot.”

    My father, who stopped drinking years ago
    but never found his way, loved Vegas.
    He’d carry a sweatsock full of good-luck
    nickels through security
    and get stopped every time.
    He died at home in a rented hospital bed
    in Pittsburgh, not Florida.

    “Sir,” I say to the drunk on the plane
    who squeezes his eyes shut so he doesn’t have to see me.
    “Please put your shoes on.”

    “Fuck you,” he says. “I’m not going anywhere.”

    Lori Jakiela

    http://www.turningpointbooks.com/jakiela_poems.html

  46. noochinator said,

    January 25, 2016 at 10:04 am

    16. Maura Stanton

    TATYANA

    She leaves the room. Onegin writhes
    On stage, ashamed of his emotion.
    He scorned her as a young girl.
    Now he’s mad about her! But she’s
    Married, rich, so stern and cold. . .
    I lean forward in my opera seat.
    There goes me. And isn’t that
    Every man I loved in vain?
    The cast bows to wild applause.
    Our Tatyana smiles, steps forward
    To catch a bouquet of red roses.
    I button my coat, grab my purse,
    And make my slow way down the aisle
    Of well-dressed, gray-haired couples
    Watching their steps with downcast eyes.
    I bet I’m not alone in wishing
    I could go back in time, and break
    A few cold hearts that broke mine
    With all my hard won understanding
    Of the game of love, its rules
    And stratagems, and power plays.
    Then through the open lobby doors
    Where the crowd hesitates, tying
    Scarves or pulling on wool gloves,
    I see the promised snow’s begun
    And someone’s whistling an aria
    From the first act. A sweet joy
    Rushes through me. No, of course
    I’d fall in love the same way.
    I’d make every great mistake
    I could, and earn this lovely moment
    Walking home through fresh snow
    My head full of unsingable music,
    Remembering this one and that one
    Who made me feel by feeling nothing.

    Maura Stanton

  47. noochinator said,

    January 26, 2016 at 11:47 am

    83. Deborah Landau

    I Don’t Have a Pill for That

    It scares me to watch
    a woman hobble along
    the sidewalk, hunched adagio

    leaning on —
    there’s so much fear
    I could draw you a diagram

    of the great reduction
    all of us will soon
    be way-back-when.

    The wedding is over.
    Summer is over.
    Life please explain.

    This book is nearly halfway read.
    I don’t have a pill for that,
    the doctor said.

    Deborah Landau

    http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poem/249512


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