Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Vegetatrian Physics by David Clewell

The tofu that’s shown up overnight in this house is frightening
proof of the Law of Conservation: matter that simply cannot be
created or destroyed. Matter older than Newton,
who knew better than to taste it. Older than Lao-tzu,
who thought about it but finally chose harmonious non-interference.
I’d like to be philosophical too, see it as some kind of pale
inscrutable wisdom among the hot dogs, the cold chicken,
the leftover deviled eggs, but I’m talking curdled
soybean milk. And I don’t have that kind of energy.

I’d rather not be part of the precariously metaphorical
wedding of modern physics and the ancient Eastern mysteries.
But still: whoever stashed the tofu in my Frigidaire
had better come back for it soon. I’m not Einstein
but I’m smart enough to know a bad idea when I see it
taking up space, biding its time.
Like so much that demands our imperfect attention
amid the particle roar of the world: going nowhere, fast.

HelloGoodBye again

I am in love with Forrest Kline.

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Concert by Lisel Mueller

The harpist believes there is music
in the skeletons of fish

The French horn player believes
in enormous golden snails

The piano believes in nothing
and grins from ear to ear

Strings are scratching their bellies
openly, enjoying it

Flutes and oboes complain
in dialects of the same tongue

Drumsticks rattle a calfskin
from the sleep of another life

because the supernatural crow
on the podium flaps his wings
and death is no excuse


Thursday, January 18, 2007

my first publication

Awhile ago I sent off a few of my poems to a literary magazine at my school. I did not question whether or not they would be published but sent them as a first step into the wondrous world of rejection. On the day I sent them off I sat down and proceeded to write a letter to Denny, my best friend in high school who passed away when we were 16. As I was collecting the poems to be sent off I threw in the letter as an afterthought. Oddly enough the letter has been selected for publication in the magazine. Because it is officially copyrighted now I am going to post it on my blog.

A letter to Denny 12/05/85-04/24/02

It has been four years since you’ve passed.
I live in the city now.
It is always bright here.
Lights are always shining in my eyes.

It was raining the week before you passed and the roads to your house flooded.
You had two strokes or you would have seen the rain too.
Maybe you did.
My mother and I had to walk a few miles to reach your mother.
She was alone. Her house was filled with strangers but the room where your mother sat was empty. I walked over to her and put my arms around her and touched her hair the way you would have.
She smelled bitter and the ashes from her cigarettes speckled her face and hair.
I could hear surrender in her breathing.
Her spark never returned. It caught fire and ravaged her bones.
She died a year after you.
The doctors said it was bone cancer but I knew better.
The grief metastasized and ate her up.
After she passed your sister and brother moved away.
They are orphans. I no longer know them.
Before they moved someone set fire to your house.
Your prom dress was in there.

I learned to drive and my grandfather bought me a brand new car.
I drove to the top of your hill and waited for you.
You never came.
I graduated high school. When they called the names I kept waiting to hear yours.
It was never called.
I went on my first date after starting college. He picked me up in his beat up car and took me out to dinner.
At the end of the night he kissed me. My first kiss.
I raced up the stairs to my apartment and picked up my phone to call you.
I must have dialed the wrong number because it was disconnected.
It didn’t matter though. I made popcorn and talked out loud while I ate.
Did you hear me?

My grandfather is gone now. The last word I heard him say was, “help” but it was too late.
The house I grew up in is gone. The trees are gone too. Hermit’s Holler has been raped and its bosom still leaks milk.
The whippoorwills will cry,
“give me room, give me room”, until there isn’t any space left.
It’s someone else’s private property now.
I’m not allowed to kick the rocks and touch the ground I touched for 18 years.

When I hear other girls whisper and giggle it takes every particle of my strength not to dissolve.
I am jealous. Their laughter and words should be ours.

I will be graduating in two years. I will buy two hats to toss in the air.
I will throw yours first.
I wrote my first concrete poem and it startled me.
The words took the shape of you.
I have grown smaller since you saw me last. I lost the weight of my depression and now wear the lip gloss you put down when your lips turned cold.

I take walks with my dog and fiancée and tell them stories about the years you and I were blessed with.
When I have kids I will tell them these stories too. They will know who you are.
Your pictures will never be taken down and put away.

It is hard to move on.
I have been moving on for four years.
I am moving past your death.
I take you with me.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

o is for obnoxious

Appetizer: What comes to mind when you see the color orange?
Before Guatemala I always thought of that orange soap men like to keep in their garages. Now I also think of Sunsets that can be heard, seen and tasted.

Soup: Did you ever get in trouble while you were in school? If so, what was it for?
In high school I did. I could not walk in a straight line or talk without moving my hands and feet. I used those same hands and feet to run from the straight line one day and never came back.

Salad: Which topping(s) make up your perfect pizza?
zucchini, pineapple, spinach, avocados and LOADS OF PARMESON BABY!

Main Course: Do you believe in UFOs/aliens/etc.? Why or why not?
of course. I know that humans are aliens to others.

Dessert: What color is your bedspread/comforter/quilt?
I have a few. The first is a childhood quilt that is used for aesthetic purposes only. I also have a light green quilt, a dark green comforter, and an outrageously ugly plaid overthrow that is simultaneously flashy and quiet.

Here and There by Stephen Dunn

Here and there nightfall
without fanfare
presses down, utterly
expected, not an omen in sight.
Here and there a husband
at the usual time
goes to bed with his wife
and doesn’t dream of other women.
Occasionally a terrible sigh
is heard, the kind that is
theatrical, to be ignored.
Or a car backfires
and reminds us of a car
backfiring, not of a gunshot.
Here and there a man says
what he means and people hear him
and are not confused.
Here and there a missing teenage girl
comes home unscarred.
Sometimes dawn just brings another
day, full of minor
pleasures and small complaints.
And when the newspaper arrives
with the world,
people make kindling of it
and sit together while it burns.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

I am an angry masculine chocolate wood sun with creative morning space in summer not spring god not spring and I will active your yang baby

You Are More Yang


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

what a way to start the year

I had a very peaceful first day of the year. Robert and I stopped at one of our favorite Chinese places with Rose and Peppy in tow. After lunch we drove them out to the doggy park. It was Rose’s first time. We jumped out of the truck with a pup on each leash and proceeded to slide down the muddiest hill I have ever seen. To make matters worse other dogs were coming and going and Peppy had to exchange sniffs with each and every one of them. He kept trying to get Rose involved but she was just too darn interested in the people. She licked, wiggled and jumped her way into the hearts of every single person out there. When I took her leash off she threw me a surprised look that said, “really”? and instead of shooting off like Peppy she lingered with Robert and I for a few moments. She could not resist greeting every single person though. Peppy started what Robert and I fondly call the “drool factor”. The “drool factor” is a rapid increase in the production of saliva that eventually hangs to the ground because Peppy gets too excited to swallow. He can go for several minutes without dropping the long string of drool. It usually gets caught on a rock or if he is running extremely fast long pieces will pull against the wind and streak his upper face. He becomes this black whir of slobber and spit that can outrun and out-drool anything on the face of this earth. A few select people ooh and ah over the sheer beauty and grossness of it. Most just pull their dogs away and start heading in the other direction. Kids almost always understand his long strings of drool. They linger between shouts of “cool” and “ewww”. Halfway through our walk Rose came running up to us and we were shocked to see long sticky trails of drool all over her head. Apparently she got underneath his chin and soaked up his most massive drool string yet.
It was a very exciting walk. Rose was attacked during the beginning by two unknown pups who were thrilled to see another pup. At first she kept trying to get away from them, but it didn’t take long for her to start playing with them. She rarely interacted with the other dogs though. She did, however, do her best to go home with every person there. She would stop directly in front of a person and roll onto her back. Nobody could resist scratching her tummy. Many commented on how soft she was, but after she became a giant drool ball many chose to comment on how large her head was. She looks like a golden retriever/giraffe mix with a head that belongs on a Saint Bernard. She grows every day but it’s in bits and pieces so she always looks off balance. I have hope that someday the rest of her body will catch up with her head.
After we took a walk we all took a nap, Peppy excluded. He was trying to show off how tough he was because apparently he zonked out at bedtime last night. We ended the day with Robert’s special spaghetti and The Blue Collar Comedy Tour. It was a very peaceful day.