From Scrambled Eggs & Whiskey: Poems, 1991-1995 (Copper Canyon Press)
No one disputes that sex
is a condition in the world of the couple:
from there, tenderness and its wild branches.
No one disputes that sex
is a domestic condition:
from there, kids,
nights in common
and days divided
(he, looking for bread in the street,
in offices or factories;
she, in the rear guard of domestic functions,
in the strategy and tactic of the kitchen
that allows survival in a common struggle
at least to the end of the month). [Read more…]
From Charles Bukowski’s just released collection of rare and never-before-seen material — poems from obscure, hard-to-find magazines, as well as from libraries and private collections all over the country — Storm for the Living and the Dead.
if we can’t make literature out of our
what are we going to do with
beg in the streets?
I like my minor comforts
just like any other
son of a
Each word dies as you read it
and floats behind in a wooden canoe
that covers itself with itself
to make a coffin. A white, historical plane
knits above the dead word to shroud
and replace it. The poem before (this) point
is streaming and invisible. The rivulets
on which the coffin boats float
move backward forever. That last word (word)
and then (last) (that) (forever) (backward)
(move)—you killed those words. [Read more…]
is coming up
and it isn’t going to be pretty,
as well it shouldn’t be.
Beauty, as a rugged force,
as thorny swaths of dream-thistles,
blooms through night-fasting,
and respiring enclosures of dark.
marks the hidden faith
of the smallest hours,
and nocturnes tolled. [Read more…]
A new day comes
like something you cannot name.
And perhaps because once again,
you must bend yourself
to the task of living
you begin to hack your way
through the mute glyphs
and weird print of your own thinking.
Searching among the splayed alphabet
of time and space
for the word’s cordite shape. [Read more…]
Figures of our mind
Bereaved and contorted with guilty awareness,
Witnessed through the keyhole of truth.
Illumined by the soul of a warrior of thought,
Illustrated with the voice of a true sage.
Caught in shameless acts of belligerence and conceit,
An homage to our world of damage and decay. [Read more…]
I………..I have seen
the Little Emperor—
mischievous, unabashed, baiting
in borrowed skin
dong tolling through the marketplace
offering his services for a nominal fee.
He leads, without words,
through smile and eyes alone
flesh blood bone advertisement
robed in dust baked brown
in the sun’s unremitting violence
hands nursing thin air
into something mesmeric. [Read more…]
by David Lehman
.....Wandering in the forest I was naked as the dawn that has never before seen herself naked. But no bell tolled and no cock crowed. .....Between the waterfall and the wall stood the incautious girls of my village, which I left when I reached my fifteenth birthday, fed up with the bitches picked up in cafés who would have me own what I preferred to possess by short-term lease. [Read more...]
by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Again last night as we slept,
were falling from the sky.
So many of them–
eyes wide as darkness,
glowing lifeless palms. [Read more…]
When he opens her chest, separates the flat skin
of one breast from the other, breaks the hinge of her ribs,
and begins, slowly, to evacuate her organs, she is silent.
He hollows her like a gourd, places her heart
below her lungs, scrapes the ribs clean of fat
and gristle with his thick fingers. He says, Now you are ready, [Read more…]