Wednesday, July 26, 2017


The Hand Organ Man

Mommy bathed her girl,

Daddy dried her off,

Grandpa hurried with

a nightie for her,

Grandma smoothed the sheets,

brother fluffed the pad,

Mommy laid her down,

Grandpa tucked her in.

[ Pain ]

Pain, you are the sole proof

that my body exists.

You have made your point;

now cease. But I

will never believe

the body is all

there is to me.

[ Crossing ]

Crossing a meadow of daisies,

pushing the pram along

a jolty path (a tiller

behind the plow),

singing peasant-style,

I pluck a daisy: Look!

From the pram a pair

of wide-open eyes

stare back at me.

[ ever ]

ever so gently

the cradle rocks

a bumblebee naps

insid a rosebud

in a puddle the rain

fell asleep like a drunk

where is she loafing

that daughter of ours

[ Making ]

Making love as much as we wish,

skinny-dippy whenever we feel . . .

How is life, naked kids?

Life teems in every cell!

All alone, as in an Eden,

no laws, as in dreams . . .

I spread my skirt on the grass:

life of mine, come to me.

[ I am ]

I am

a nail

being driven in

while I try

to keep



the carpenter

will get tired

or the hammer

will break

or the board

will crack and I

will roll

into a cozy nook

and will find you there

my love

my love

[ Remember ]

Remember me the way I am

this very instant: brusque and absent,

with a word beating against my cheek

like a butterfly caught in a curtain.

[ at twenty ]

at twenty

to fuck

at thirty

to love

what will I do at forty?

will look lively

will work

will be prod:

see, straight As!

will hope

to be pardoned

at fifty

[ I got ]

tanned all over

on a nameless island:

not a spot omitted,

not a single defect,

I am all like chocolate,

of fresh-brewed tea

from Sri Lanka, but

for one pale streak

under the wedding band.

[ lots ]

lots of knives

but only one cuts

lots of pens

but only one writes

lots of men

but I love only you

maybe at last you will

sharpen the knives?


Vera Pavlova
Album for the Young (and Old)
Knopf 2017
translated from the Russian by Steven Seymour

Monday, July 24, 2017



What a beautiful day

No matter how trite that sounds —

After days on end of heat and foul weather

Rain, storms, even tornadoes south of us

Which brought us hail here in the woods

Sounding off the steel roof like sparks!

Today the breezes are back cool across my face

Along my ears, on the cheeks, over the brow, to the hands

I imagine this happening to anyone close by

I’ll read a few more poems by Santoka before I head

Off to the woods with splitting maul & wedges

An old apple tree fallen to the ground awaits

In short lengths I cut it into last week with that heat

The bugs, the mud, the last of the blossoms on the tree

Which I waited to fully blossom and die before I returned

With the breezes, my saw, the faintest aroma of the bloom


It isn’t right

to have the sea

come to us from

the sky but on

Sunday that’s what

it did and every

one and every thing

that was once born

paid for it whether

there or not which

is the real message and

shape of this earth

Could Be

This has to be love —

she could be anywhere else

she could be under soft quilts asleep

she could be in a warm kitchen stirring

she could be in a playground watching what she loves

she could be in the garden dreaming

she could be walking the dog, petting the cat, singing with a bird

she could be by the ocean with all the day ahead

she could be in another's arms but no

she could be and is in my arms

beneath the driftwood of huge trees brought down with a flood

this little cave we've made under horizontal trees

it looks possibly dangerous and if it all collapsed

we would be crushed

and she has joined me there

while it rains


The ugliest house

on the road

has all the butterflies


Bob Arnold

— End of the book, see you in a few weeks with more

Saturday, July 22, 2017


The exhibition was organized by Sarah Greenough, senior curator of photography at the National Gallery of Art, where it had its debut in 2010.

Friday, July 21, 2017


A fine poet, interesting thinker,
acknowledgeable in the ways
of poetry, but not one to draw from
any poet other than compatible to the usual syllabus;
the most Hass let's his hair down is drawing an example of
Ted Berrigan and Jackson MacLow —
no Bob Kaufman here, Thomas McGrath or Janine Pommy Vega.
Where Hass has intrigued me the most are his informal
and off-the cuff introductions he presents from his post at the
University of California Berkeley reading series.

Thursday, July 20, 2017



This book was gifted to me knowing, as the presenter
does, that I read everything by Simic. Simic actually
advises this for poets, young ones, so I must still be young: read
everything and pretty much do your own thing as a writer.
He left off: and accept the consequences.
We are throttled by poetry schools, foundations, houses,
frat-party poetics, mean and lean criticizing threshers,
swords with blood on them, so you take your chances writing
as you wish. But please do so. I want to read you. I am reading
this new Simic slender book of poems in early June and
because I am always reading, and writing, and doing as I wish,
this won't appear until sometime in July.
The Birdhouse is nicely bottled up and singing.
If we're still here.
There's a Menace in the White House
also doing as he wishes.

The Week

Monday comes around with a new tattoo

It won't show us and here's Tuesday

Walking its latest nightmare on a leash

And Wednesday blind as the rain tapping

On a windowpane and Thursday sipping

Bad coffee served by a pretty waitress

And Friday lost in a confusion of sad

And happy faces and Saturday flashing

Like a pinball machine in the morgue

And Sunday with a head of crucified Christ

Hanging sideways in a bathroom mirror