Posts tagged poetry.
I want you to tell me about every person you’ve ever been in love with. Tell me why you loved them, then tell me why they loved you. Tell me about a day in your life you didn’t think you’d live through. Tell me what the word “home” means to you and tell me in a way that I’ll know your mothers name just by the way you describe your bed room when you were 8. See, I wanna know the first time you felt the weight of hate and if that day still trembles beneath your bones. Do you prefer to play in puddles of rain or bounce in the bellies of snow? And if you were to build a snowman, would you rip two branches from a tree to build your snowman arms? Or would you leave the snowman armless for the sake of being harmless to the tree? And if you would, would you notice how that tree weeps for you because your snowman has no arms to hug you every time you kiss him on the cheek? Do you kiss your friends on the cheek? Do you sleep beside them when they’re sad, even if it makes your lover mad? Do you think that anger is a sincere emotion or just the timid motion of a fragile heart trying to beat away its pain? See, I wanna know what you think of your first name. And if you often lie awake at night and imagine your mothers joy when she spoke it for the very first time. I want you tell me all the ways you’ve been unkind. Tell me all the ways you’ve been cruel.
Here’s what our parents never taught us:
You will stay up on your rooftop until sunlight peels away the husk of the moon,
chainsmoking cigarettes and reading Baudelaire, and
you will learn that you only ever want to fall in love with someone
who will stay up to watch the sun rise with you.
You will fall in love with train rides, and sooner or later you will
realize that nowhere seems like home anymore.
A woman will kiss you and you’ll think her lips are two petals
rubbing against your mouth.
You will not tell anyone that you liked it.
It is beautiful to love humans in a world where love is a metaphor for lust.
You can leave if you want, with only your skin as a carry-on.
All you need is a twenty in your pocket and a bus ticket.
All you need is someone on the other end of the map, thinking about the supple
curves of your body, to guide you to a home that stretches out for miles
and miles on end.
You will lie to everyone you love.
They will love you anyways.
One day you’ll wake up and realize that you are too big for your own skin.
Don’t be afraid.
Your body is a house where the shutters blow in and out
against the windowpane.
You are a hurricane-prone area.
The glass will break through often.
But it’s okay. I promise.
a stranger once told you that the breeze
here is something worth writing poems about.
Do you remember when we met
in Gomorrah? When you were still beardless,
and I would oil my hair in the lamp light before seeing
you, when we were young, and blushed with youth
like bruised fruit. Did we care then
what our neighbors did
in the dark?
When our first daughter was born
on the River Jordan, when our second
cracked her pink head from my body
like a promise, did we worry
what our friends might be
doing with their tongues?
What new crevices they found
to lick love into or strange flesh
to push pleasure from, when we
called them Sodomites then,
all we meant by it
When the angels told us to run
from the city, I went with you,
but even the angels knew
that women always look back.
Let me describe for you, Lot,
what your city looked like burning
since you never turned around to see it.
Sulfur ran its sticky fingers over the skin
of our countrymen. It smelled like burning hair
and rancid eggs. I watched as our friends pulled
chunks of brimstone from their faces. Is any form
of loving this indecent?
Cover your eyes tight,
husband, until you see stars, convince
yourself you are looking at Heaven.
Because any man weak enough to hide his eyes while his neighbors
are punished for the way they love deserves a vengeful god.
I would say these things to you now, Lot,
but an ocean has dried itself on my tongue.
So instead I will stand here, while my body blows itself
grain by grain back over the Land of Canaan.
I will stand here
and I will watch you
So on the seventh day
The serpent rested,
God came up to him.
“I’ve invented a new game,” he said.
The serpent stared in surprise
At this interloper.
But God said: “You see this apple?”
I squeeze it and look-cider.”
The serpent had a good drink
And curled up into a question mark.
Adam drank and said: “Be my god.”
Eve drank and opened her legs
And called to the cockeyed serpent
And gave him a wild time.
God ran and told Adam
Who in drunken rage tried to hang himself in the orchard.
The serpent tried to explain, crying “Stop”
But drink was splitting his syllable.
And Eve started screeching: “Rape! Rape!”
And stamping on his head.
Now whenever the snake appears she screeches
“Here it comes again! Help! O Help!”
Then Adam smashes a chair on his head,
And God says: “I am well pleased”
And everything goes to hell.
all women were bigger and stronger than you
And thought they were smarter
women were the ones who started wars
too many of your friends had been raped by women wielding giant dildos
and no K-Y Jelly
the state trooper
who pulled you over on the New Jersey Turnpike
was a woman
and carried a gun
the ability to menstruate
was the prerequisite for most high-paying jobs
your attractiveness to women depended
on the size of your penis
every time women saw you
they’d hoot and make jerking motions with their hands
women were always making jokes
about how ugly penises are
and how bad sperm tastes
you had to explain what’s wrong with your car
to big sweaty women with greasy hands
who stared at your crotch
In a garage where you are surrounded
by posters of naked men with hard-ons
men’s magazines featured cover photos
of 14-year-old boys
tucked into the front of their jeans
and articles like:
“How to tell if your wife is unfaithful”
“What your doctor won’t tell you about your prostate”
“The truth about impotence”
the doctor who examined your prostate
was a woman
and called you “Honey”
You had to inhale your boss’s stale cigar breath
as she insisted that sleeping with her
was part of the job
You couldn’t get away because
the company dress code required
you wear shoes
designed to keep you from running
And what if
after all that
women still wanted you
to love them.
- Carol Diehl
It’s midnight now and somewhere in a November
that still exists tonight, we’re kissing each other’s knuckles
for the first time.
I’ve swallowed hearts like apricots
and I’ve watched as the juice of being in love
dripped down my chin and spread like watercolors
across my skin.
— I’ve seen what shades I feel in
when I feel in shades of
I’ve lived through seven seas of heartbreak
but I wouldn’t take any of it back
because on each shoreline I found another reason
to let someone lead me into the waves
with my eyes closed.
Do you remember how raw the night seemed
when we cracked the moon over our teeth and let its
yolk run down our throat?
Salmonella or not,
I loved you then.
It’s April now,
and there are showers, like they promised.
Driving around in the rain today,
someone told me that May would be
But fuck it. I don’t want May flowers.
I only want
in the rain-
darkness, the sunset
being sheathed i sit and
think of you
city which is your face
your little cheeks the streets
your eyes half-
half-angel and your drowsy
lips where float flowers of kiss
there is the sweet shy pirouette
a single star is
Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
We slowly drove, he knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labor, and my leisure too,
For his civility.
We passed the school, where children strove
At recess, in the ring;
We passed the fields of gazing grain,
We passed the setting sun.
Or rather, he passed us;
The dews grew quivering and chill,
For only gossamer my gown,
My tippet only tulle.
We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarcely visible,
The cornice but a mound.
Since then ‘tis centuries, and yet each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses’ heads
Were toward eternity.
Saw this guy just after we ate- people would walk up to him, hand over some change and spit out some words, and his fingers would begin to fly. I was too intimidated to ask him for a poem, but Sarah bought two, for $3 each- “Indecision” and “Age”. Indecision was for me, and read as follows:
“Perhaps she’ll love the green of Portland
Flowing off into the hills
Where again I learned to feel
Or maybe the crowded hive of New York
Buzzing into the seam of morning and night
Or the path not yet displayed
and I am lost in so many ways
Like Carolyn’s smile in Ireland
I can contemplate again and again
But knowing is just a thought back to when.
July 1, 2012”
You could drown in those eyes, I said, so it’s summer, so it’s suicide, so we’re helpless in sleep and struggling at the bottom of the pool.
I want to write a sad poem but I’m not sad.
I am less than sad. Negative sad. I am looped
television laughter. I move through the trail
cloaked in bath water & the water never gets cold.
I shouldn’t be sad or sleep all day, I should lie
under the floorboards of our wagon, tell the spiders
to mind their distance, just swallow the poison.
i want to wrestle the bear that haunts your dreams
& eats our children. They are beautiful children,
in their hiking boots, climbing hills like they’ve
done this before, like they know why we sleep
on top of each other, so preious all of us humming
last spring. I want to lust for lust & your tongue
over my shoulder blades, but all I can think about
is building a snowman with your face on its white
frame. Your teeth look the best when you’re naked.
I close my eyes, count to ten thousand. I close my
eyes & forget why I closed my eyes. On the trail
everything smells green. You tell me I always want
to smell naked. A thief comes in the middle of the night,
leaves wild fruit, a note that says he found God
in a Wal-Mart parking lot. When we’re older I’ll lock
the front door of our house so tight the calcium
in our bones won’t be able to get out.
If I never see you again
I will always carry you
on my fingertips
and at brain edges
and in centers
of what I am of
- Charles Bukowski