melting & burning


Freedom – Bukowski
January 20, 2014, 7:45 pm
Filed under: poem | Tags: , ,

he drank wine all night of the
28th, and he kept thinking of her:
the way she walked and talked and loved
the way she told him things that seemed true
but were not, and he knew the color of each
of her dresses
and her shoes-he knew the stock and curve of
each heel
as well as the leg shaped by it.

and she was out again and when he came home,and
she’d come back with that special stink again,
and she did
she came in at 3 a.m in the morning
filthy like a dung eating swine
and
he took out a butchers knife
and she screamed
backing into the rooming house wall
still pretty somehow
in spite of love’s reek
and he finished the glass of wine.

that yellow dress
his favorite
and she screamed again.

and he took up the knife
and unhooked his belt
and tore away the cloth before her
and cut off his balls.

and carried them in his hands
like apricots
and flushed them down the
toilet bowl
and she kept screaming
as the room became red

GOD O GOD!
WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?

and he sat there holding 3 towels
between his legs
no caring now whether she left or
stayed
wore yellow or green or
anything at all.

and one hand holding and one hand
lifting he poured
another wine
Charles Bukowski



“Kindness” – Naomi Shihab Nye
November 29, 2013, 7:39 pm
Filed under: poem | Tags: , ,

Before you know what kindness really is you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved, all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken will stare out the window forever.
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness, you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside, you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing. You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread, only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you every where
like a shadow or a friend



“Publication Date” – Franz Wright
April 23, 2012, 4:58 pm
Filed under: poem | Tags: ,

One of the few pleasures of writing
is the thought of one’s book in the hands of a kindhearted
intelligent person somewhere. I can’t remember what the others
are right now.
I just noticed that it is my own private

National I Hate Myself and Want to Die Day
(which means the next day I will love my life
and want to live forever). The forecast calls
for a cold night in Boston all morning

and all afternoon. They say
tomorrow will be just like today,
only different. I’m in the cemetery now
at the edge of town, how did I get here?

A sparrow limps past on its little bone crutch saying
I am Federico García Lorca
risen from the dead —
literature will lose, sunlight will win, don’t worry.



“Go to the Limits of Your Longing” – Rilke
April 22, 2012, 6:59 pm
Filed under: poem | Tags: , ,

God speaks to each of us as he makes us,

then walks with us silently out of the night.

These are the words we dimly hear:

You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Embody me.

Flare up like a flame
and make big shadows I can move in.

Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.

Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.

Give me your hand.

(translation by Joanna Macy and Anita Barrows)

 

Gott spricht zu jedem nur, eh er ihn macht,
dann geht er schweigend mit ihm aus der Nacht.
Aber die Worte, eh jeder beginnt,
diese wolkigen Worte, sind:

Von deinen Sinnen hinausgesandt,
geh bis an deiner Sehnsucht Rand;
gieb mir Gewand.
Hinter den Dingen wachse als Brand,
dass ihre Schatten, ausgespannt,
immer mich ganz bedecken.

Lass dir Alles geschehn: Schönheit und Schrecken.
Man muss nur gehn: Kein Gefühl ist das fernste.
Lass dich von mir nicht trennen.
Nah ist das Land,
das sie das Leben nennen.

Du wirst es erkennen
an seinem Ernste.

Gieb mir die Hand.