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Showing posts from November, 2006

FRISCO-CITY

by Blaise Cendrars

It is an antique carcass eaten up by rust The engine repaired twenty times does not make
more than 7 to 8 knots Besides to save expenses cinders and coal waste
are its only fuel Makeshift sails are hoisted whenever there is
a fair wind With his ruddy face his bushy eyebrows his pimply nose
Master Hopkins is a true sailor Small silver rings hang from his pierced ears The ship’s cargo is exclusively coffins of Chinese
who died in America and wished to be buried
in their homeland Oblong boxes painted red and light blue or covered
with golden characters Just the type of merchandise it is illegal to ship
from the French by Monique Chefdor

THE JESUIT

by Srinivas Rayaprol
Today I am packing my library in preparation to wander unknown paths. I came across a book that I found long ago in Berkeley, Selected Poems by Srinivas Rayaprol. A poet who received a M.S. in civil engineering from Stanford. Here is what an anonymous Indian critic said: “And there are a handful of ‘lost poets, the ones we forgot about’: Gopal Honnalgere, Srinivas Rayaprol, Lawrence Bantelman. ..” Now for a taste of curry, THE JESUIT. When I read it, I laughed so hard I fell in love. I can’t toss it away.I also posted a poem dedicated to Rayaprol by Hosang Merchant.
THE JESUIT
was an able casuist. After a discourse (on various religions) he suggested intercourse.

For Srinivas Rayaprol

by Hoshang Merchant


We spoke to the same Master
-- Pound and Williams
And with their masterplans
You built your house of poems
Elegant as bridges / cunning engineer
Of mystic arches, subtle chemistry
Your fathers fixed the grammars
Of your tongues
You soared with the flight of words
Those to come after you
Had the blueprint of birdflight
But they build you a mausoleum
Brick by brick
So that your poems can sleep
In dusty library
As our women do in uneasy beds
Out of breath...
A poet too can run out of breath
But never out of words
To do so would indeed be death
And cunning geometry! Poets also only dwell on earth.

And They Obey

by Carl Sandburg
Smash down the cities.
Knock the walls to pieces.
Break the factories and cathedrals, warehouses
and homes
Into loose piles of stone and lumber and black
burnt wood:
You are the soldiers and we command you.

Build up the cities.
Set up the walls again.
Put together once more the factories and cathedrals,
warehouses and homes
Into buildings for life and labor:
You are workmen and citizens all: We
command you.

AT THE TOP OF THE FOOD CHAIN

BUT THE BOTTOM OF THE LINE

by Judith Pordon

I am an American.
I rush to be before the bullet,
as I push air out of my way.
I snap commands, advice
without request, involuntarily.
I wait only briefly for anything.
I comb my hair without looking,
as fast as possible, then
cant understand why my
strands are haphazard.
I brush past, my goal in sight,
but you, who are you?

I am an averter.
My eyes have never touched
anyone. I will rush to my grave
and even in the tomb
will be pissed, for everything
I didnt get to finish.

I am an American. I pledge allegiance
to the clock, to productivity, to the bottom line.

Posted on Election Day, 7 November 2006

God's Grandeur

by Gerard Manley Hopkins

The world is charged with the grandeur of God. It will flame out, like shining from shook foil; It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod? Generations have trod, have trod, have trod; And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil; And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod. And for all this, nature is never spent; There lives the dearest freshness deep down things; And though the last lights off the black West went Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs— Because the Holy Ghost over the bent World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.



More poems by GM Hopkins, S.J.