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Photograph from September 11

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BY WISŁAWA SZYMBORSKA They jumped from the burning floors— one, two, a few more, higher, lower. The photograph halted them in life, and now keeps them   above the earth toward the earth. Each is still complete, with a particular face and blood well hidden. There’s enough time for hair to come loose, for keys and coins to fall from pockets. They’re still within the air’s reach, within the compass of places that have just now opened. I can do only two things for them— describe this flight and not add a last line. TRANSLATED BY CLARE CAVANAGH

A Color of the Sky

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BY  TONY HOAGLAND Windy today and I feel less than brilliant, driving over the hills from work. There are the dark parts on the road                      when you pass through clumps of wood    and the bright spots where you have a view of the ocean,    but that doesn’t make the road an allegory. I should call Marie and apologize for being so boring at dinner last night, but can I really promise not to be that way again?    And anyway, I’d rather watch the trees, tossing    in what certainly looks like sexual arousal. Otherwise it’s spring, and everything looks frail; the sky is baby blue, and the just-unfurling leaves are full of infant chlorophyll,    the very tint of inexperience. Last summer’s song is making a comeback on the radio,    and on the highway overpass, the only metaphysical vandal in America has written    MEMORY LOVES TIME in big black spraypaint letters, which makes us wonder if Time loves Memory back. Last night I dreamed of X again. She’s like a stain on my subconsc

Tell all the truth but tell it slant

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Tell all the truth but tell it slant — Success in Circuit lies Too bright for our infirm Delight The Truth’s superb surprise As Lightning to the Children eased With explanation kind The Truth must dazzle gradually Or every man be blind — Emily Dickinson or:

A Supermarket in California

         What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whitman, for I walked down the sidestreets under the trees with a headache self-conscious looking at the full moon.         In my hungry fatigue, and shopping for images, I went into the neon fruit supermarket, dreaming of your enumerations!         What peaches and what penumbras!  Whole families shopping at night!  Aisles full of husbands!  Wives in the avocados, babies in the tomatoes!--and you, Garcia Lorca, what were you doing down by the watermelons?         I saw you, Walt Whitman, childless, lonely old grubber, poking among the meats in the refrigerator and eyeing the grocery boys.         I heard you asking questions of each: Who killed the pork chops?  What price bananas?  Are you my Angel?         I wandered in and out of the brilliant stacks of cans following you, and followed in my imagination by the store detective.         We strode down the open corridors together in our solitary fancy tasting artichokes, poss

Homework

by Allen Ginsberg Homage Kenneth Koch If I were doing my Laundry I'd wash my dirty Iran I'd throw in my United States, and pour on the Ivory Soap, scrub up Africa, put all the birds and elephants back in the jungle, I'd wash the Amazon river and clean the oily Carib & Gulf of Mexico, Rub that smog off the North Pole, wipe up all the pipelines in Alaska, Rub a dub dub for Rocky Flats and Los Alamos, Flush that sparkly Cesium out of Love Canal Rinse down the Acid Rain over the Parthenon & Sphinx, Drain the Sludge out of the Mediterranean basin & make it azure again, Put some blueing back into the sky over the Rhine, bleach the little Clouds so snow return white as snow, Cleanse the Hudson Thames & Neckar, Drain the Suds out of Lake Erie Then I'd throw big Asia in one giant Load & wash out the blood & Agent Orange, Dump the whole mess of Russia and China in the wringer, squeeze out the tattletail Gray of U.S. Centra

A Riff on “The Impossible Dream”

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by Ken Ireland For A.G. first published St Ignatius Day, 2010 revised December 17th, 2010 I don’t know if it’s possible but I’ll continue to dream it, juggling obscure or fine points when I have to to lend it a kind of reality. I’m just a guy trying to be real, glimpsing at men walking down the sidewalk and wondering. You showed me where you fit that flight of stairs with the return into a tight corner. Now you—anyone really—can climb up under the rafters and look out from where you opened the roof to the sun. I knew that hope wasn’t dead forever, even though I tried to murder it. But some kinds of hope are just virtuous dreaming. The carpenter hasn’t hammered the last nail— I heard his banging for the first time in many years when I thought he too had vanished. I’m just a guy dreaming back to last night, glimpsing at the men walking down the sidewalk, wondering what they dream of. What was it that disappeared before we noticed something missing? Was

...That sinking feeling in the bottom of your stomach

Regret, that sinking feeling in the bottom of your stomach. We’ve all been there, wishing we could have another chance. But, it is in this very feeling in which our return to the One happens. The Divine Essence is always seeking our return to Him, waiting for us to seek reconciliation with Him and wash away the mistake. And we give ourselves plenty of opportunity for returning. Darkness wants you to keep mistakes hidden but once you bring the Light in, the experience fades and leaves the lesson. Turn back to the Essence of the One and rejoice that the mistake opened the door for reconnection. Rumi