Physics says: go to sleep. Of course
you’re tired. Every atom in you
has been dancing the shimmy in silver shoes
nonstop from mitosis to now.
Quit tapping your feet. They’ll dance
inside themselves without you. Go to sleep.
Geology says: it will be all right. Slow inch
by inch America is giving itself
to the ocean. Go to sleep. Let darkness
lap at your sides. Give darkness an inch.
You aren’t alone. All of the continents used to be
one body. You aren’t alone. Go to sleep.
Astronomy says: the sun will rise tomorrow,
Zoology says: on rainbow-fish and lithe gazelle,
Psychology says: but first it has to be night, so
Biology says: the body-clocks are stopped all over town
History says: here are the blankets, layer on layer, down and down.
Albert Goldbarth, “The Sciences Sing a Lullaby”
Poems read by Tom Hiddleston. [listen]
may i feel said he - e.e cummings | He wishes for the cloths of heaven - w.b yeats | as i walked out one evening - auden | from the princess - alfred lord tennyson | sonnet 18 - william shakespeare | love and friendship - emily bronte | bright star - john keats | she walks in beauty - lord byron | dover beach - matthew arnold | there is a lady sweet and kind - anonymous | if music be the food of love - william shakespeare | when you are old - w.b. yeats | us two - a.a. milne | sigh no more - william shakespeare | down by the sally gardens - w.b. yeats | desiderata - max ehrmann | we’ll go no more a roving - lord byron | to his coy mistress - andrew marvell | sonnet 130 - william shakespeare |
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.
“Here’s What Our Parents Never Taught Us,” Shinji Moon (via commovente
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.
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
“Thinking About The Way You Hold Your Hands Over Flowerbeds,” Shinji Moon (via loveyourchaos
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”