Poetry

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 ...

The Penitent

I had a little Sorrow, Born of a little Sin, I found a room all damp with gloom And shut us all within; And, “Little Sorrow, weep,” said I, “And, Little Sin, pray God to ...

A Toast

To your voice, a mysterious virtue, to the 53 bones of one foot, the four dimensions of breathing to pine, redwood, sworn-fern, peppermint, to hyacinth and bluebell lily. to the train conductor’s donkey on a ...

Meeting of Mavericks

Milkweed grows by my fence. Don’t ask me to pull it. Weeds were my friends in childhood — emerald explosions in the dull cinders of train track, green lace at the sleeves of our water ...

Have a _______ Day

Have a nice day. Have a memorable day. Have (however unlikely) a life-changing day. Have a day of soaking rain and lightning. Have a confused day thinking about fate. Have a day of wholes. Have ...

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