Friday, October 22, 2004

Let it Enfold You - Charles Bukowski

either peace or happiness,
let it enfold you

when i was a young man
I felt these things were
dumb,unsophisticated.
I had bad blood,a twisted
mind, a pecarious
upbringing.

I was hard as granite,I
leered at the
sun.
I trusted no man and
especially no
woman.

I was living a hell in
small rooms, I broke
things, smashed things,
walked through glass,
cursed.
I challenged everything,
was continually being
evicted,jailed,in and
out of fights,in and aout
of my mind.
women were something
to screw and rail
at,i had no male
freinds,

I changed jobs and
cities,I hated holidays,
babies,history,
newspapers, museums,
grandmothers,
marriage, movies,
spiders, garbagemen,
english accents,spain,
france,italy,walnuts and
the color
orange.
algebra angred me,
opera sickened me,
charlie chaplin was a
fake
and flowers were for
pansies.

peace an happiness to me
were signs of
inferiority,
tenants of the weak
an
addled
mind.

but as I went on with
my alley fights,
my suicidal years,
my passage through
any number of
women-it gradually
began to occur to
me
that I wasn't diffrent

from the
others, I was the same,

they were all fulsome
with hatred,
glossed over with petty
greivances,
the men I fought in
alleys had hearts of stone.
everybody was nudging,
inching, cheating for
some insignificant
advantage,
the lie was the
weapon and the
plot was
emptey,
darkness was the
dictator.

cautiously, I allowed
myself to feel good
at times.
I found moments of
peace in cheap
rooms
just staring at the
knobs of some
dresser
or listening to the
rain in the
dark.
the less i needed
the better i
felt.

maybe the other life had worn me
down.
I no longer found
glamour
in topping somebody
in conversation.
or in mounting the
body of some poor
drunken female
whose life had
slipped away into
sorrow.

I could never accept
life as it was,
i could never gobble
down all its
poisons
but there were parts,
tenous magic parts
open for the
asking.

I re formulated
I don't know when,
date,time,all
that
but the change
occured.
something in me
relaxed, smoothed
out.
i no longer had to
prove that i was a
man,

I didn't have to prove
anything.

...

Thursday, October 07, 2004

She Had Some Horses - Joy Harjo ~1983


She had some horses.

She had horses who were bodies of sand.
She had horses who were maps drawn of blood.
She had horses who were skins of ocean water.
She had horses who were the blue air of sky.
She had horses who were fur and teeth.
She had horses who were clay and would break.
She had horses who were splintered red cliff.

She had some horses.

She had horses with long, pointed breasts.
She had horses with full, brown thighs.
She had horses who laughed too much.
She had horses who threw rocks at glass houses.
She had horses who licked razor blades.

She had some horses.

She had horses who danced in their mothers' arms.
She had horses who thought they were the sun and their bodies shone and burned like stars.
She had horses who waltzed nightly on the moon.
She had horses who were much too shy, and kept quiet in stalls of their own making.

She had some horses.

She had horses who liked Creek Stomp Dance songs.
She had horses who cried in their beer.
She had horses who spit at male queens who made them afraid of themselves.
She had horses who said they weren't afraid.
She had horses who lied.
She had horses who told the truth, who were stripped bare of their tongues.

She had some horses.

She had horses who called themselves, "horse."
She had horses who called themselves, "spirit." and kept their voices secret and to themselves.
She had horses who had no names.
She had horses who had books of names.

She had some horses.

She had horses who whispered in the dark, who were afraid to speak.
She had horses who screamed out of fear of the silence, who carried knives to protect themselves from ghosts.
She had horses who waited for destruction.
She had horses who waited for resurrection.

She had some horses.

She had horses who got down on their knees for any savior.
She had horses who thought their high price had saved them.
She had horses who tried to save her, who climbed in her bed at night and prayed as they raped her.

She had some horses.

She had some horses she loved.
She had some horses she hated.

These were the same horses.

她有幾匹馬

她有幾匹馬


她有幾匹馬是浩瀚的沙漠
她有幾匹馬是用血畫的地圖
她有幾匹馬是裝滿海水的?
她有幾匹馬是藍天的空氣
她有幾匹馬是皮和牙齒
她有幾匹馬是陶瓷作的,易脆

她有幾匹馬

-----

她有幾只馬在他們母親的懷抱裏中跳舞
她有幾只馬是,以爲自己是太陽,身體像天上的星星發亮,燃燒
她有幾只馬是,每晚在月亮上waltz

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Touch - Nikki Giovanni ~1972

and if ever I touched a life I hope
that life knows that I know that touching was and still is and will always
be the true
revolution

I Ask My Mother To Sing - Li-Young Lee

She begins, and my grandmother joins her.
Mother and daughter sing like young girls.
If my father were alive, he would play
his accordion and sway like a boat.

I've never been in Peking, or the Summer Palace,
nor stood on the great Stone Boat to watch
the rain begin on Kuen Ming Lake, the picnickers
running away in the grass.

But I love to hear it sung;
how the waterlilies fill with rain until
they overturn, spilling water into water,
then rock back, and fill with more,

Both women have begun to cry.
But neither stops her song.

From On Being Fired Again - Erin Belieu ~2001

I've known the pleasures of being

fired at least eleven times-

most notably by Larry who found my snood
unsuitable, another time by Jack,
whom I was sleeping with. Poor attitude,
tardiness, a contagious lack
of team spirit; I have been unmotivated

squirting perfume onto little cards,
while stocking salad bars, when stripping
covers from romance novels, their heroines
slaving on the chain gang of obsessive love-

and always the same hard candy
of shame dissolving in my throat;

handing in my apron, returning the cash-
register key. And yet, how fine it feels,
the perversity of freedom which never signs
a rent check or explains anything to one's family...

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Philadelphia Child - Ursula Rucker ~2001

Philadelphia Child

Philadelphia Child
wild, mild
mind all filled with city
fresh city, foul city
fiery city, frigid city

Philadelphia child
mild, wild
wildflower
watered with child power
growing from cracks... in cement sidewalks
and school yards...
and playgrounds
singular and lovely
common and ugly

Philadelphia child
piled high... with visions of his-story
rhythms of ghetto's glory
Richard Allen, 52 story buildings
Elfreths Alley, liberty-bell rings,
sewer smells and belly swells

class trips to Independance Hall
evoke questions like...
"Where do I fit in all -- of this?"
four ghetto girls and barrio boys
taught lessons in the voice
of the founding forefathers
but those same four
sill ain't found their fathers

Philadelphia child
at the mercy of the public school system
at the mercy of existence
of human allegiance and government finance
dance with the element of chance
the chance to grow
the chance to fly
the chance to know
the chance to die
In body
In spirit, mind or soul
the chance to be gold... or fool
the chance to be gold... or fool

Philadelphia child
olympic hopeful
won gold medals in mattress flipping and subway sprinting
well versed in the Yo! lingo
pretzel and cheesesteak fed
Philly born and bred
Tastykake sweet or hard of head
tread and trampled on
same ground Ben Franklin and the boyz walked upon

Drill teams have replaced the
not-ready-for-integration-Declaration of Interdependence players
White-booted
Philly attituded
zooted... up... on Schuykill Punch
They shout above drum and street-stomp
saying

We are here
We are here
We are here
We are here
We are, we live, we matter
We are, we live, we matter

The Winter of Listening - David Whyte

No one but me by the fire,
my hands burning
red in the palms while
the night wind carries
everything away outside.

All this petty worry
while the great cloak
of the sky grows dark
and intense
round every living thing.

What is precious
inside us does not
care to be known
by the mind
in ways that diminish
its presence.

What we strive for
in perfection
is not what turns us
into the lit angel
we desire,

what disturbs
and then nourishes
has everything
we need.

What we hate
in ourselves
is what we cannot know
in ourselves but

what is true to the pattern
does not need
to be explained.

Inside everyone
is a great shout of joy
waiting to be born.

Even with the summer
so far off
I feel it grown in me
now and ready
to arrive in the world.

All those years
listening to those
who had
nothing to say.

All those years
forgetting
how everything
has its own voice
to make
itself heard.

All those years
forgetting
how easily
you can belong
to everything
simply by listening.

And the slow
difficulty
of remembering
how everything
is born from
an opposite
and miraculous
otherness.

Silence and winter
has led me to that
otherness.

So let this winter
of listening
be enough
for the new life
I must call my own.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Chicago - Carl Sandburg

HOG Butcher for the World,
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of the Big Shoulders:

They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I
have seen your painted women under the gas lamps
luring the farm boys.
And they tell me you are crooked and I answer: Yes, it
is true I have seen the gunman kill and go free to
kill again.
And they tell me you are brutal and my reply is: On the
faces of women and children I have seen the marks
of wanton hunger.
And having answered so I turn once more to those who
sneer at this my city, and I give them back the sneer
and say to them:
Come and show me another city with lifted head singing
so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.
Flinging magnetic curses amid the toil of piling job on
job, here is a tall bold slugger set vivid against the
little soft cities;

Fierce as a dog with tongue lapping for action, cunning
as a savage pitted against the wilderness,
Bareheaded,
Shoveling,
Wrecking,
Planning,
Building, breaking, rebuilding,
Under the smoke, dust all over his mouth, laughing with
white teeth,
Under the terrible burden of destiny laughing as a young
man laughs,
Laughing even as an ignorant fighter laughs who has
never lost a battle,
Bragging and laughing that under his wrist is the pulse.
and under his ribs the heart of the people,
Laughing!
Laughing the stormy, husky, brawling laughter of
Youth, half-naked, sweating, proud to be Hog
Butcher, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with
Railroads and Freight Handler to the Nation.