Poetry

Father William

“You are old, Father William,” the young man said, “And your hair has become very white; And yet you incessantly stand on your head — Do you think, at your age, it is right?” “In ...

And a Few of Your Thoughts on Writing, Please

I used to think that to write poetry I needed absolute silence, so I could hear the muse in her bare feet. I imagined special pens, ink the color of Shelley’s eyes, and paper made ...

Grown Up

Was it for this I uttered prayers, And sobbed and cursed and kicked the stairs, That now, domestic as a plate, I should retire at half-past eight. Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892–1950) was born in ...

With apologies to William Blake

Tyger Tyger, burning bright, In the forests of the night How did you end up in there, Trapped beneath my vacant stare? Am I supposed to quake in awe At thy claws, thy fearsome jaw? ...

I Am

I am — yet what I am, none cares or knows; My friends forsake me like a memory lost: I am the self-consumer of my woes; — They rise and vanish in oblivion’s host, Like ...

Waiting for Rain

Finally morning. This loneliness feels more ordinary in the light, more like my face in the mirror. My daughter in the ER again. Something she ate? Some freshener someone spritzed in the air? They’re trying ...

Come, My Celia

Come, my Celia, let us prove While we may, the sports of love; Time will not be ours forever; He at length our good will sever. Spend not then his gifts in vain. Suns that ...

This Is How Lonesome Feels

The sun goes down and the sky turns dusky And everything tastes like homesick You drape the sky around your shoulders And know how lonesome feels. Every chord is minor Every light dim And if ...

Love of Slapstick

Come, spritz of seltzer in the face, implacable banana peel. Come, brickbats, pratfalls, amazing grace- lessness, the yowl of the schlemiel. Away with wit, you clever flights of phrase it takes a Ph.D. to explicate. ...

Base Details

If I were fierce, and bald, and short of breath, I’d live with scarlet Majors at the Base, And speed glum heroes up the line to death. You’d see me with my puffy petulant face, ...

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 ...

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