Midnight Saturday morning
Oh man, week’s end at last
sitting here at table’s head
wine in hand, still focusing,
following through I guess
ready for weekend’s reprieve.
On and on these weeks go
as I default to daily oblivion
to join yours and theirs —
I am with you, so not so alone.
So what? So what are we
anyway? Question marks are the
best punctuation these days.
she waves to me
behind a car windowpane
& i blow her a kiss
as one day
you may read
the exact same scene in the past tense
& from a different point of view in another poet’s poem
translated by Gary Gach and Hamed Kashani
At our smallish first night seder last Monday we had guests from at least five different religious/philosophical backgrounds. One guest brought this poem to read–it’s stayed with me and seems hauntingly appropriate for today.
Testimony – Stephen Dunn
The Lord woke me in the middle of the night,
and there stood Jesus with a huge tray,
and the tray was heaped with cookies,
and He said, Stephen, have a cookie,
and that’s when I knew for sure the Lord
is the real deal, the Man of all men,
because at that very moment
I was thinking of cookies, Vanilla Wafers
to be exact, and there were two
Vanilla Wafers in among the chocolate
chips and the lemon ices, and one
had a big S on it, and I knew it was for me,
and Jesus took it off the tray and put it
in my mouth, as if He were give me
communication, or whatever they call it.
Then He said, Have another,
and I tell you I thought a long time before I
refused, because I knew it was a test
to see if I was a Christian, which means
a man like Christ, and not a big ole hog.
I came upon this on an old blog post. It was part of a project with Joan Logghe for the Hispanic Cultural Center using poems on an apron. I posted photos, but not the text itself. It wasn’t too private to hang in the wind but too personal to post while my mom was alive. Have you ever had a similar experience?
my intellectual mother
never wore an apron
but feared what it covered
particularly on her daughters
chased me around with a scissors
to cut my hippie underarm hair
blades shaped like a bird’s beak
and in flight I took wing.
A war of raccoons
with armadillo clashes;
shoots into old palm forest
canopy— stars for the dark.
This Does Not Feel like a Sustainable Operation
I am running out of fingernails and cuticles
to mangle. Toes too. Scabs picked clean.
I am sick and tired. I have had it with naming
the scars. Mr. Biggie on my right upper arm,
et al.. I am deprived. Little sleep. No dreams.
Karla Linn Merrifield, a nine-time Pushcart-Prize nominee and National Park Artist-in-Residence, has 12 books to her credit, the newest of which is Bunchberries, More Poems of Canada, a sequel to Godwit: Poems of Canada (FootHills), which received the Eiseman Award for Poetry. She is assistant editor and poetry book reviewer for The Centrifugal Eye, a member of the board of directors of Just Poets (Rochester, NY), and a member of the Florida State Poetry Society, and The Author’s Guild. Visit her at http://karlalinn.blogspot.com.
Gail Rieke’s photograph of Brancusi’s sculptures just seemed to need some poetry! Modernist Mina Loy opens her poem “Brancusi’s Golden Bird” like this:
became the aesthetic archetype
some patient peasant God
had rubbed and rubbed
the Alpha and Omega
into a lump of metal
A naked orientation
—the ultimate rhythm
has lopped the extremities
the nucleus of flight
You can find the complete poem here—https://www.wwnorton.com/college/english/nael/20century/topic_2_05/brancusi_golden_bird_05.pdf
The White Corduroy Bathing Suit
after Sarah Atlee’s Subversive Stitchery
The sound of a metal foot clacking down upon the fabric,
white small-whale corduroy, the whir of cotton thread
basting a wide stitch first for the fitting
then saddle tight for the final seam. White Corduroy.
She’s adapting a tap dance costume to make a prize
bathing suit. Simplicity had no swim wear patterns.
Truthfully, it’s a little beauty contest.
The suit has three simple pieces plus a zipper
unlike April’s Easter dress with fourteen
sequenced blocks, strips, smocked
bodice and lazy-daisy stitches on the belt.
I sit cross legged under the cutting table
writing my stories
held together by feather stitch, chain, keyhole, eyelet.
Once there was a girl
who cared not for contests.
Beauty was a zig zag thread.
Days were made for stitching sentences.