Dear Joanne

by Lew Welch Dear Joanne, Last night Magda dreamed that she, you, Jack, and I were driving around Italy . We parked in Florence and left our dog to guard the car. She was worried because he doesn't understand Italian.


by William Shakespeare The expense of spirit in a waste of shame Is lust in action; and till action, lust Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame, Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust, Enjoy'd no sooner but despised straight, Past reason hunted, and no sooner had Past reason hated, as a swallow'd bait On purpose laid to make the taker mad; Mad in pursuit and in possession so; Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme; A bliss in proof, and proved, a very woe; Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream. All this the world well knows; yet none knows well To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.


by Philip Whalen I praise those ancient Chinamen Who left me a few words, Usually a pointless joke or a silly question A line of poetry drunkenly scrawled on the margin of a quick Splashed picture ­– bug, leaf, Caricature of Teacher on paper held together now by little more than ink & their own strength brushed momentarily over it Their world & several others since Gone to hell in a handbasket, they knew it – Cheered as it whizzed by – & conked out among the busted spring rain cherryblossom winejars Happy to have saved us all.

Safe Sex

by Donald Hall If he and she do not know each other, and feel confident they will not meet again; if he avoids affectionate words; if she has grown insensible skin under skin; if they desire only the tribute of another's cry; if they employ each other as revenge on old lovers or families of entitlement and steel— then there will be no betrayals, no letters returned unread, no frenzy, no hurled words of permanent humiliation, no trembling days, no vomit at midnight, no repeated apparition of a body floating face-down at the pond's edge


by Allen Ginsberg Everybody loves the first glimpse of naked love Everybody’s story is the most thrilling in the world Everybody tells their best friend their tale of the raw behind First time they discovered an open heart with their pants down

I Hate Incense

by Ikkyu A master's handiwork cannot be measured But still priests wag their tongues explaining the "Way" and babbling about "Zen." This old monk has never cared for false piety And my nose wrinkles at the dark smell of incense before the Buddha.

“Moment of Perfection"

by Timothy Liu The earth has moved forward, in a sense, or does it merely turn against itself? The trees have moved forward, putting forth leaves, shade. But I have not moved forward though I was surely moved. At the St. Regis Hotel , the butlers change fresh roses that need no changing, butlers who are paid to notice the most infinitesimal, the almost unseen, the earth turning towards its own demise, too far off to be seen, myself all along hoping for a longer winter to burrow in for just a few more months instead of turning forty here in this world that you have left me but the weather asks us to emerge, face the present conditions we'd never have imagined, not to the dream of love returned but of love withheld and its unsettling tensions as the earth turns, no matter where we turn, the tension in the simultaneous seasons moving across the face of the earth, in all the leaves that will lose their shimmer, given time, while I wait inside the unseen decay of a hotel