we smoke and the clouds do not notice us

Poem for personnel managers, Bukowski

Jorge Luis Borges: The Mirror Man

open culture

via openculture.com

Bukowski: Born Into This

via youtube.com

Why do so many poets settle for so little? I don’t understand why they’re not greedy for what’s inside them. The heart has the ability to experience so much—and we don’t have much time.

Jack Gilbert via theparisreview.org

and we stretched out in our beds and rose/in the late afternoons/like millionaires.

- Charles Bukowski, Millionaires

you are the beautiful half/of a golden hurt

Gwendolyne Brooks

Sometimes a piece of sun/burned like a coin in my hand.

Pablo Neruda – Clenched Soul

Meet me at the corner of Yearning and Lack/where the old red trams/rattled and clanked as they/took that last tight curve/where the line crests/the hill — you’ll remember it well — we saw/the coast so far below/reaching for the horizon/almost successfully/and in front of us the track crumbled to a stop in an/embarrassment of rust

Mary Cresswell

Over the phone your voice has a short delay and the quick-slow/of conversation mingles your words with mine/their beat a morse code calling me home.

Sarah Jane Barnett, Memento

Distance: Remember all that land/beneath the plane; that coastline/of dim beaches deep in sand/stretching indistinguishably/all the way/all the way to where my reasons end?

Elizabeth Bishop

oh what an evening is this evening now/together in the light of this one lamp?

Du Fu – Written for Scholar Wei

What falls away is always. And is near.

Roethke – The Waking

legs extend/lifted by your touch/Plantar Flex, Dorsi Flex/carving circles from the air

when the floorboards creak/i hear the aches of abused amps/up the corridor

brutal knitting

wet breath extends/the limits of the room

She dreams a space where he reads her waggling dance/decodes this mute desire/her bumbling movements clearly pointing/that sweetness lies here/between us and the sun.

- line: Rachael Mead, The sweetness and the sting

a sovereign state of self involvement/adrift in the pacific/impassive as the idle and impassioned alike/drown in the roaring thirties

image: Noemie Goudal line: me

Turn, look up/through the gritty window: an unexplored/wilderness of wires

Photo: Transit, Katrin Koenning.
Line: Margaret Atwood, A Bus Along St Clair: December

the paper-boy drive-by/cuts a deadly arc/through the sleeping dark

- image by Todd Hido line by me.

If you are a man of learning, read something classic, a history of the human struggle, and don’t settle for mediocre verse.