Poetry

Poetry

Love Is

A box of voices, a butt, a nose, a touch, a song, a torso’s twist; love is her sticking with me though I hurt her, what remains after burning through the lies and tentativeness and ...

To My Dear and Loving Husband

If ever two were one, then surely we. If ever man were loved by wife, then thee; If ever wife were happy in a man, Compare with me, ye women, if you can. I prize ...

On Being Sixty

A poem by Po Chü-i

Addressed to Liu Mēng-tē Between thirty and forty, one is distracted by the Five Lusts; Between seventy and eighty, one is a prey to a hundred diseases. But from fifty to sixty one is free ...

A Psalm of Life

What the heart of the young man said to the psalmist Tell me not, in mournful numbers, Life is but an empty dream! — For the soul is dead that slumbers, And things are not ...

Song of Myself: from Section 24

A passage from Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman, a kosmos, of Manhattan the son, Turbulent, fleshy, sensual, eating, drinking and breeding, No sentimentalist, no stander above men and women or apart from them, No more modest than immodest. Unscrew the locks ...

The Hat in the Sky

After the war, after I was born, my father’s hobby (perhaps his obsession) was photography. New fathers often become photographers, it seems. But he took pictures of many things besides me, as if he suddenly ...

Tanager

If only I had not listened to the piece on the morning radio about the former asylum whose inmates were kept busy at wooden benches in a workshop making leather collars and wristbands that would ...

My Niece

Born on the first day of spring the first year of the millennium. Imitator of waitresses and magicians; unpredictable thrower of tantrums; connoisseur of Gummy Bears, vanilla yogurt, and orange juice with calcium; disliker of ...

The Manifest

I love being a woman to be forty years old to be mistress of my life to fall in love with men to easily forget men to write my poems to cook aromatic dishes to ...

Pigging Out

— for Austin at the restaurant we sit down to wine we are so hungry the crisp appetizers/early loves and lightly seasoned salad we’ve developed appetites for the garlic & onion of life gorging on ...

Semper Fi

I meet this friend for lunch once a month. His name is Bud. Forty years ago Bud was swigging Scotch in an officers’ club. I was in Berkeley handing out anti-war pamphlets. Now we’re both ...