dreamcatchings: (misc: april poetry)
Crow Testament by Sherman Alexie


1
Cain lifts Crow, that heavy black bird
and strikes down Abel.

Damn, says Crow, I guess
this is just the beginning.

2
The white man, disguised
as a falcon, swoops in
and yet again steals a salmon
from Crow's talons.

Damn, says Crow, if I could swim
I would have fled this country years ago.

3
The Crow God as depicted
in all of the reliable Crow bibles
looks exactly like a Crow.

Damn, says Crow, this makes it
so much easier to worship myself.

4
Among the ashes of Jericho,
Crow sacrifices his firstborn son.

Damn, says Crow, a million nests
are soaked with blood.

5
When Crows fight Crows
the sky fills with beaks and talons.

Damn, says Crow, it's raining feathers.

6
Crow flies around the reservation
and collects empty beer bottles

but they are so heavy
he can only carry one at a time.

So, one by one, he returns them
but gets only five cents a bottle.

Damn, says Crow, redemption
is not easy.

7
Crow rides a pale horse
into a crowded powwow
but none of the Indian panic.

Damn, says Crow, I guess
they already live near the end of the world.
dreamcatchings: (misc: april poetry)
Crow Testament by Sherman Alexie


1
Cain lifts Crow, that heavy black bird
and strikes down Abel.

Damn, says Crow, I guess
this is just the beginning.

2
The white man, disguised
as a falcon, swoops in
and yet again steals a salmon
from Crow's talons.

Damn, says Crow, if I could swim
I would have fled this country years ago.

3
The Crow God as depicted
in all of the reliable Crow bibles
looks exactly like a Crow.

Damn, says Crow, this makes it
so much easier to worship myself.

4
Among the ashes of Jericho,
Crow sacrifices his firstborn son.

Damn, says Crow, a million nests
are soaked with blood.

5
When Crows fight Crows
the sky fills with beaks and talons.

Damn, says Crow, it's raining feathers.

6
Crow flies around the reservation
and collects empty beer bottles

but they are so heavy
he can only carry one at a time.

So, one by one, he returns them
but gets only five cents a bottle.

Damn, says Crow, redemption
is not easy.

7
Crow rides a pale horse
into a crowded powwow
but none of the Indian panic.

Damn, says Crow, I guess
they already live near the end of the world.
dreamcatchings: (misc: april poetry)
Clenched Soul by Pablo Neruda

We have lost even this twilight.
No one saw us this evening hand in hand
while the blue night dropped on the world.

I have seen from my window
the fiesta of sunset in the distant mountain tops.

Sometimes a piece of sun
burned like a coin in my hand.

I remembered you with my soul clenched
in that sadness of mine that you know.

Where were you then?
Who else was there?
Saying what?
Why will the whole of love come on me suddenly
when I am sad and feel you are far away?

The book fell that always closed at twilight
and my blue sweater rolled like a hurt dog at my feet.

Always, always you recede through the evenings
toward the twilight erasing statues.
dreamcatchings: (misc: april poetry)
Clenched Soul by Pablo Neruda

We have lost even this twilight.
No one saw us this evening hand in hand
while the blue night dropped on the world.

I have seen from my window
the fiesta of sunset in the distant mountain tops.

Sometimes a piece of sun
burned like a coin in my hand.

I remembered you with my soul clenched
in that sadness of mine that you know.

Where were you then?
Who else was there?
Saying what?
Why will the whole of love come on me suddenly
when I am sad and feel you are far away?

The book fell that always closed at twilight
and my blue sweater rolled like a hurt dog at my feet.

Always, always you recede through the evenings
toward the twilight erasing statues.
dreamcatchings: (Default)
Dichotomy
by me

Some days I could go on forever
With no sleep and wide eyes,
My hands in my hair all night
Long, tugging and twisting,
Braiding strands of red, once
Brown, once purple, once blue,
Once orange, once blond
Hair around my fingers while I
Watch you and hear you, your
Words like sirens in the gloom
Keeping me up and entranced.
Your eyes like signal towers flashing
The way to safety: land here,
Rest here. Everything is ok.

Then there are mornings, sunny
And bright with birds and breeze
Even, perfectly splendid mornings,
When I cannot face anything.
Not even you. That's when your
Voice is an alarm, a condemnation,
And your eyes are spotlights
Shining on everything I've done
Wrong. They offer no comfort.
They do not even see me. Instead
They linger on the failure, the bore,
The one who is never ok.
dreamcatchings: (Default)
Dichotomy
by me

Some days I could go on forever
With no sleep and wide eyes,
My hands in my hair all night
Long, tugging and twisting,
Braiding strands of red, once
Brown, once purple, once blue,
Once orange, once blond
Hair around my fingers while I
Watch you and hear you, your
Words like sirens in the gloom
Keeping me up and entranced.
Your eyes like signal towers flashing
The way to safety: land here,
Rest here. Everything is ok.

Then there are mornings, sunny
And bright with birds and breeze
Even, perfectly splendid mornings,
When I cannot face anything.
Not even you. That's when your
Voice is an alarm, a condemnation,
And your eyes are spotlights
Shining on everything I've done
Wrong. They offer no comfort.
They do not even see me. Instead
They linger on the failure, the bore,
The one who is never ok.
dreamcatchings: (misc: april poetry)
I am a Beggar Always by E.E. Cummings


i am a beggar always
who begs in your mind

(slightly smiling, patient, unspeaking
with a sign on his
chest
BLIND)yes i

am this person of whom somehow
you are never wholly rid(and who

does not ask for more than
just enough dreams to
live on)
after all, kid

you might as well
toss him a few thoughts

a little love preferably,
anything which you can't
pass off on other people: for
instance a
plugged promise-

the he will maybe (hearing something
fall into his hat)go wandering
after it with fingers;till having

found
what was thrown away
himself
taptaptaps out of your brain, hopes, life
to(carefully turning a
corner)never bother you any more
dreamcatchings: (misc: april poetry)
I am a Beggar Always by E.E. Cummings


i am a beggar always
who begs in your mind

(slightly smiling, patient, unspeaking
with a sign on his
chest
BLIND)yes i

am this person of whom somehow
you are never wholly rid(and who

does not ask for more than
just enough dreams to
live on)
after all, kid

you might as well
toss him a few thoughts

a little love preferably,
anything which you can't
pass off on other people: for
instance a
plugged promise-

the he will maybe (hearing something
fall into his hat)go wandering
after it with fingers;till having

found
what was thrown away
himself
taptaptaps out of your brain, hopes, life
to(carefully turning a
corner)never bother you any more
dreamcatchings: (misc: april poetry)
Ode on Melancholy by John Keats

No, no, go not to Lethe, neither twist
Wolf's-bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine;
Nor suffer thy pale forehead to be kiss'd
By nightshade, ruby grape of Proserpine;
Make not your rosary of yew-berries,
Nor let the beetle, nor the death-moth be
Your mournful Psyche, nor the downy owl
A partner in your sorrow's mysteries;
For shade to shade will come too drowsily,
And drown the wakeful anguish of the soul.

But when the melancholy fit shall fall
Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud,
That fosters the droop-headed flowers all,
And hides the green hill in an April shroud;
Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose,
Or on the rainbow of the salt sand-wave,
Or on the wealth of globed peonies;
Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows,
Emprison her soft hand, and let her rave,
And feed deep, deep upon her peerless eyes.

She dwells with Beauty - Beauty that must die;
And Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips
Bidding adieu; and aching Pleasure nigh,
Turning to poison while the bee-mouth sips:
Ay, in the very temple of Delight
Veil'd Melancholy has her sovran shrine,
Though seen of none save him whose strenuous tongue
Can burst Joy's grape against his palate fine;
His soul shall taste the sadness of her might,
And be among her cloudy trophies hung.
dreamcatchings: (misc: april poetry)
Ode on Melancholy by John Keats

No, no, go not to Lethe, neither twist
Wolf's-bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine;
Nor suffer thy pale forehead to be kiss'd
By nightshade, ruby grape of Proserpine;
Make not your rosary of yew-berries,
Nor let the beetle, nor the death-moth be
Your mournful Psyche, nor the downy owl
A partner in your sorrow's mysteries;
For shade to shade will come too drowsily,
And drown the wakeful anguish of the soul.

But when the melancholy fit shall fall
Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud,
That fosters the droop-headed flowers all,
And hides the green hill in an April shroud;
Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose,
Or on the rainbow of the salt sand-wave,
Or on the wealth of globed peonies;
Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows,
Emprison her soft hand, and let her rave,
And feed deep, deep upon her peerless eyes.

She dwells with Beauty - Beauty that must die;
And Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips
Bidding adieu; and aching Pleasure nigh,
Turning to poison while the bee-mouth sips:
Ay, in the very temple of Delight
Veil'd Melancholy has her sovran shrine,
Though seen of none save him whose strenuous tongue
Can burst Joy's grape against his palate fine;
His soul shall taste the sadness of her might,
And be among her cloudy trophies hung.
dreamcatchings: (misc: april poetry)
Never give all the heart
by W. B. Yeats

Never give all the heart, for love
Will hardly seem worth thinking of
To passionate women if it seem
Certain, and they never dream
That it fades out from kiss to kiss;
For everything that's lovely is
But a brief, dreamy, kind delight.
O never give the heart outright,
For they, for all smooth lips can say,
Have given their hearts up to the play.
And who could play it well enough
If deaf and dumb and blind with love?
He that made this knows all the cost,
For he gave all his heart and lost.
dreamcatchings: (misc: april poetry)
Never give all the heart
by W. B. Yeats

Never give all the heart, for love
Will hardly seem worth thinking of
To passionate women if it seem
Certain, and they never dream
That it fades out from kiss to kiss;
For everything that's lovely is
But a brief, dreamy, kind delight.
O never give the heart outright,
For they, for all smooth lips can say,
Have given their hearts up to the play.
And who could play it well enough
If deaf and dumb and blind with love?
He that made this knows all the cost,
For he gave all his heart and lost.
dreamcatchings: (misc: april poetry)
The Uncaptured Orchestra by Derrick Brown

The chubby girl is struggling speed on roller skates.

She is alone.
She is in that crazed eye.
She imagines the neighborhood friends.

Most of the poets I know are fat girls on roller skates.

Few of them are in love,
but many know how to sing
the notes of the uncaptured orchestra.

I think the composer Randy Newman is like that.
I don’t think he loves L.A.
I don’t think he loves.
I don’t think I really have a friend in him.

The friends I know
who are in love
are doing something.

Love is busy magic.

Love must be magic
‘cause when my friends fall in it
they disappear.

I drove with a woman
across the mosquito creeks of Arkansas
to figure out why that was.

Looking at each other like surgeons,
daring the other to go first
I finally asked how long
she thought it would last.

She said she it didn’t matter how long,
it just mattered that it was.

I changed the subject,
told her about the lone roller skater.
I asked if she thought she had ever been kissed.
She didn’t think so.

We held still, then

a sky flush with moon
opened up like a ballroom
and her kiss broke the spine of the night
paralyzing the moment
into our skulls,
forever.
dreamcatchings: (misc: april poetry)
The Uncaptured Orchestra by Derrick Brown

The chubby girl is struggling speed on roller skates.

She is alone.
She is in that crazed eye.
She imagines the neighborhood friends.

Most of the poets I know are fat girls on roller skates.

Few of them are in love,
but many know how to sing
the notes of the uncaptured orchestra.

I think the composer Randy Newman is like that.
I don’t think he loves L.A.
I don’t think he loves.
I don’t think I really have a friend in him.

The friends I know
who are in love
are doing something.

Love is busy magic.

Love must be magic
‘cause when my friends fall in it
they disappear.

I drove with a woman
across the mosquito creeks of Arkansas
to figure out why that was.

Looking at each other like surgeons,
daring the other to go first
I finally asked how long
she thought it would last.

She said she it didn’t matter how long,
it just mattered that it was.

I changed the subject,
told her about the lone roller skater.
I asked if she thought she had ever been kissed.
She didn’t think so.

We held still, then

a sky flush with moon
opened up like a ballroom
and her kiss broke the spine of the night
paralyzing the moment
into our skulls,
forever.
dreamcatchings: (misc: april poetry)
Song by Allen Ginsberg

The weight of the world
is love.
Under the burden
of solitude,
under the burden
of dissatisfaction

the weight,
the weight we carry
is love.

Who can deny?
In dreams
it touches
the body,
in thought
constructs
a miracle,
in imagination
anguishes
till born
in human--
looks out of the heart
burning with purity--
for the burden of life
is love,

but we carry the weight
wearily,
and so must rest
in the arms of love
at last,
must rest in the arms
of love.

No rest
without love,
no sleep
without dreams
of love--
be mad or chill
obsessed with angels
or machines,
the final wish
is love
--cannot be bitter,
cannot deny,
cannot withhold
if denied:

the weight is too heavy

--must give
for no return
as thought
is given
in solitude
in all the excellence
of its excess.

The warm bodies
shine together
in the darkness,
the hand moves
to the center
of the flesh,
the skin trembles
in happiness
and the soul comes
joyful to the eye--

yes, yes,
that's what
I wanted,
I always wanted,
I always wanted,
to return
to the body
where I was born.
dreamcatchings: (Default)
Song by Allen Ginsberg

The weight of the world
is love.
Under the burden
of solitude,
under the burden
of dissatisfaction

the weight,
the weight we carry
is love.

Who can deny?
In dreams
it touches
the body,
in thought
constructs
a miracle,
in imagination
anguishes
till born
in human--
looks out of the heart
burning with purity--
for the burden of life
is love,

but we carry the weight
wearily,
and so must rest
in the arms of love
at last,
must rest in the arms
of love.

No rest
without love,
no sleep
without dreams
of love--
be mad or chill
obsessed with angels
or machines,
the final wish
is love
--cannot be bitter,
cannot deny,
cannot withhold
if denied:

the weight is too heavy

--must give
for no return
as thought
is given
in solitude
in all the excellence
of its excess.

The warm bodies
shine together
in the darkness,
the hand moves
to the center
of the flesh,
the skin trembles
in happiness
and the soul comes
joyful to the eye--

yes, yes,
that's what
I wanted,
I always wanted,
I always wanted,
to return
to the body
where I was born.
dreamcatchings: (misc: april poetry)
Labyrinth
by Eric Gamalinda

My life, this is all you are. This narrow space
between the enormous past and the inchoate
future. This minute, which has already
passed, this word, which is already null,
this body, which dies incessantly
with each word. I may have found solace
in language or memory, an alley in Paris
or in Prague, in Kafka or in Proust.
Mirror of the senses, they will disappear
with me, as with all time, space, and death,
these enchanted vectors of the soul.
I move in the world with all of my body,
through the labyrinth made of one
straight line. The inconceivable
infinities no longer bother me. This moment
is all I believe in, October and the dry leaves
blowing where I'm heading, a storm
rushing to presage me. At the crucial junctures
someone will already know my name.
The earth will again unfold its heart
of sulfur, and I will be born
into the recurring terror, inescapable
being, to which I eternally return.
May these small tokens prove that I tried
my best, though human cruelty made no sense
to me, though love was inexplicable, more
phantom than reality. If forgiveness be true,
I want to be annihilated completely,
I want reciprocal forgetting,
I want the angels not to recognize me.
dreamcatchings: (Default)
Labyrinth
by Eric Gamalinda

My life, this is all you are. This narrow space
between the enormous past and the inchoate
future. This minute, which has already
passed, this word, which is already null,
this body, which dies incessantly
with each word. I may have found solace
in language or memory, an alley in Paris
or in Prague, in Kafka or in Proust.
Mirror of the senses, they will disappear
with me, as with all time, space, and death,
these enchanted vectors of the soul.
I move in the world with all of my body,
through the labyrinth made of one
straight line. The inconceivable
infinities no longer bother me. This moment
is all I believe in, October and the dry leaves
blowing where I'm heading, a storm
rushing to presage me. At the crucial junctures
someone will already know my name.
The earth will again unfold its heart
of sulfur, and I will be born
into the recurring terror, inescapable
being, to which I eternally return.
May these small tokens prove that I tried
my best, though human cruelty made no sense
to me, though love was inexplicable, more
phantom than reality. If forgiveness be true,
I want to be annihilated completely,
I want reciprocal forgetting,
I want the angels not to recognize me.
dreamcatchings: (misc: april poetry)
In Memory of Sigmund Freud
by W. H. Auden

When there are so many we shall have to mourn,
when grief has been made so public, and exposed
to the critique of a whole epoch
the frailty of our conscience and anguish,

of whom shall we speak? For every day they die
among us, those who were doing us some good,
who knew it was never enough but
hoped to improve a little by living.

Such was this doctor: still at eighty he wished
to think of our life from whose unruliness
so many plausible young futures
with threats or flattery ask obedience,

but his wish was denied him: he closed his eyes
upon that last picture, common to us all,
of problems like relatives gathered
puzzled and jealous about our dying.

For about him till the very end were still
those he had studied, the fauna of the night,
and shades that still waited to enter
the bright circle of his recognition

turned elsewhere with their disappointment as he
was taken away from his life interest
to go back to the earth in London,
an important Jew who died in exile.

Only Hate was happy, hoping to augment
his practice now, and his dingy clientele
who think they can be cured by killing
and covering the garden with ashes.

They are still alive, but in a world he changed
simply by looking back with no false regrets;
all he did was to remember
like the old and be honest like children.

He wasn't clever at all: he merely told
the unhappy Present to recite the Past
like a poetry lesson till sooner
or later it faltered at the line where

long ago the accusations had begun,
and suddenly knew by whom it had been judged,
how rich life had been and how silly,
and was life-forgiven and more humble,

able to approach the Future as a friend
without a wardrobe of excuses, without
a set mask of rectitude or an
embarrassing over-familiar gesture.

No wonder the ancient cultures of conceit
in his technique of unsettlement foresaw
the fall of princes, the collapse of
their lucrative patterns of frustration:

if he succeeded, why, the Generalised Life
would become impossible, the monolith
of State be broken and prevented
the co-operation of avengers.

Of course they called on God, but he went his way
down among the lost people like Dante, down
to the stinking fosse where the injured
lead the ugly life of the rejected,

and showed us what evil is, not, as we thought,
deeds that must be punished, but our lack of faith,
our dishonest mood of denial,
the concupiscence of the oppressor.

If some traces of the autocratic pose,
the paternal strictness he distrusted, still
clung to his utterance and features,
it was a protective coloration

for one who'd lived among enemies so long:
if often he was wrong and, at times, absurd,
to us he is no more a person
now but a whole climate of opinion

under whom we conduct our different lives:
Like weather he can only hinder or help,
the proud can still be proud but find it
a little harder, the tyrant tries to

make do with him but doesn't care for him much:
he quietly surrounds all our habits of growth
and extends, till the tired in even
the remotest miserable duchy

have felt the change in their bones and are cheered
till the child, unlucky in his little State,
some hearth where freedom is excluded,
a hive whose honey is fear and worry,

feels calmer now and somehow assured of escape,
while, as they lie in the grass of our neglect,
so many long-forgotten objects
revealed by his undiscouraged shining

are returned to us and made precious again;
games we had thought we must drop as we grew up,
little noises we dared not laugh at,
faces we made when no one was looking.

But he wishes us more than this. To be free
is often to be lonely. He would unite
the unequal moieties fractured
by our own well-meaning sense of justice,

would restore to the larger the wit and will
the smaller possesses but can only use
for arid disputes, would give back to
the son the mother's richness of feeling:

but he would have us remember most of all
to be enthusiastic over the night,
not only for the sense of wonder
it alone has to offer, but also

because it needs our love. With large sad eyes
its delectable creatures look up and beg
us dumbly to ask them to follow:
they are exiles who long for the future

that lives in our power, they too would rejoice
if allowed to serve enlightenment like him,
even to bear our cry of 'Judas',
as he did and all must bear who serve it.

One rational voice is dumb. Over his grave
the household of Impulse mourns one dearly loved:
sad is Eros, builder of cities,
and weeping anarchic Aphrodite.
dreamcatchings: (Default)
In Memory of Sigmund Freud
by W. H. Auden

When there are so many we shall have to mourn,
when grief has been made so public, and exposed
to the critique of a whole epoch
the frailty of our conscience and anguish,

of whom shall we speak? For every day they die
among us, those who were doing us some good,
who knew it was never enough but
hoped to improve a little by living.

Such was this doctor: still at eighty he wished
to think of our life from whose unruliness
so many plausible young futures
with threats or flattery ask obedience,

but his wish was denied him: he closed his eyes
upon that last picture, common to us all,
of problems like relatives gathered
puzzled and jealous about our dying.

For about him till the very end were still
those he had studied, the fauna of the night,
and shades that still waited to enter
the bright circle of his recognition

turned elsewhere with their disappointment as he
was taken away from his life interest
to go back to the earth in London,
an important Jew who died in exile.

Only Hate was happy, hoping to augment
his practice now, and his dingy clientele
who think they can be cured by killing
and covering the garden with ashes.

They are still alive, but in a world he changed
simply by looking back with no false regrets;
all he did was to remember
like the old and be honest like children.

He wasn't clever at all: he merely told
the unhappy Present to recite the Past
like a poetry lesson till sooner
or later it faltered at the line where

long ago the accusations had begun,
and suddenly knew by whom it had been judged,
how rich life had been and how silly,
and was life-forgiven and more humble,

able to approach the Future as a friend
without a wardrobe of excuses, without
a set mask of rectitude or an
embarrassing over-familiar gesture.

No wonder the ancient cultures of conceit
in his technique of unsettlement foresaw
the fall of princes, the collapse of
their lucrative patterns of frustration:

if he succeeded, why, the Generalised Life
would become impossible, the monolith
of State be broken and prevented
the co-operation of avengers.

Of course they called on God, but he went his way
down among the lost people like Dante, down
to the stinking fosse where the injured
lead the ugly life of the rejected,

and showed us what evil is, not, as we thought,
deeds that must be punished, but our lack of faith,
our dishonest mood of denial,
the concupiscence of the oppressor.

If some traces of the autocratic pose,
the paternal strictness he distrusted, still
clung to his utterance and features,
it was a protective coloration

for one who'd lived among enemies so long:
if often he was wrong and, at times, absurd,
to us he is no more a person
now but a whole climate of opinion

under whom we conduct our different lives:
Like weather he can only hinder or help,
the proud can still be proud but find it
a little harder, the tyrant tries to

make do with him but doesn't care for him much:
he quietly surrounds all our habits of growth
and extends, till the tired in even
the remotest miserable duchy

have felt the change in their bones and are cheered
till the child, unlucky in his little State,
some hearth where freedom is excluded,
a hive whose honey is fear and worry,

feels calmer now and somehow assured of escape,
while, as they lie in the grass of our neglect,
so many long-forgotten objects
revealed by his undiscouraged shining

are returned to us and made precious again;
games we had thought we must drop as we grew up,
little noises we dared not laugh at,
faces we made when no one was looking.

But he wishes us more than this. To be free
is often to be lonely. He would unite
the unequal moieties fractured
by our own well-meaning sense of justice,

would restore to the larger the wit and will
the smaller possesses but can only use
for arid disputes, would give back to
the son the mother's richness of feeling:

but he would have us remember most of all
to be enthusiastic over the night,
not only for the sense of wonder
it alone has to offer, but also

because it needs our love. With large sad eyes
its delectable creatures look up and beg
us dumbly to ask them to follow:
they are exiles who long for the future

that lives in our power, they too would rejoice
if allowed to serve enlightenment like him,
even to bear our cry of 'Judas',
as he did and all must bear who serve it.

One rational voice is dumb. Over his grave
the household of Impulse mourns one dearly loved:
sad is Eros, builder of cities,
and weeping anarchic Aphrodite.

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dreamcatchings: (Default)
Sara

July 2012

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