Poetry

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 ...

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 ...

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