How quickly can a little nation die?
As quickly as she can let down her hair.
It isn’t right; but then, life isn’t fair,
And someone else’s nonsense isn’t mine.
I’ll keep to me, and you to thee and thine.
And if you fancy, in those sandy lands,
That Ghani should have bloodied his own hands,
Perhaps you’re right—but, you must know, no one
Has a monopoly, when all is done,
On what is really right or really wrong.
We meet at last.
I heard your name for decades but never took you seriously. I thought of you as a minor artist who had a bunch of famous poets for friends.
Oh to be a minor artist with famous poets for friends!
I’ve spent lots of time reading poems by Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery, and Kenneth Koch, but I never met them for lunch. I get a buzz picturing it.
Ron Padgett, Ted Berrigan, and you each came from Tulsa to NYC. You were […]
Two suns like art you rose again In the daylight of tangerines
Beneath the binaries of mandarins I brought you rocks and flowers
Each month ripe and heavy No matter how often
On the branch, irrefutably You wore the jackets I left
Painting your […]
Mary Ellen Talley
I have never been satisfied with my own pieces
See how rough and thick the saucers are
I see my script embellishes your jacket
gloves pants cap mask frosted gray hair
and hiking boots.
Be my guest
lay your clay bowls
Set cups vases plates
on the soon hot shelf
Yours will be better–come step inside
Slide your fingers along the dry heat walls
of spinning clay
Claim the brash flash
blue glaze earthen cup
It will not crumble
for I remembered
to raise the
I bequeath this kiln to you
built brick by brick
by brick hard thick […]
Haley L. Johannesen
the birds from yesterday
the ones living in the skull
beaks up, fuzz all over their spring bodies,
they must have learned how to fly
they pronounced her
salt hay and clay
whale and wooden wharf
apartment block and city
a place in the obscure books
by the ocean
the speaker begins
casting aloe and sunburn
in the years
they pronounced her
refined rock and persimmon
arm socks and summer linen
drying on the line
Ruti began with a reed in each hand.
She wove strands up and down
around and around,
Her mother was glad
to see Ruti give up her daydreaming
“we always need another basket,
Ruti’s circles grew larger and larger
until she could only hold the edge
and turn her work as she wove,
Her brother, in passing,
admired her work,
“A fine grass mat
for our cold floor.”
Did you hear
about the sphinx
in the high school basement?
She says she’s been
collecting dust among gym mats
and second place tennis trophies for
the past three millennia.
That might be why she’s kind
of a bitch.
It must suck to eat rats
and listen to high schoolers
whine and wane
My father used to warn me
those addicted to breaking
precious things. He said
they are sometimes unaware
but sometimes all-knowing.
They’ll bury anyone in their path.
I remember, so young,
one coming, a tornado
from the east, screaming
higher-pitched than the sirens.
My mother took me down
to the basement, and we listened,
my bladder full as it approached,
but I knew not to move until
we heard dishes breaking, a […]