Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday Poetry: Michael Ondaatje

Michael Ondaatje

Griffin calls to come and kiss him goodnight
I yell ok. Finish something I'm doing,
then something else, walk slowly round
the corner to my son's room.
He is standing arms outstretched
waiting fir a bearhug. Grinning.

Why do I give my emotion an animal's name,
give it that dark squeeze of death?
This is the hug which collects
all his small bones and his warm neck against me.
The thin tough body under the pyjamas
locks me like a magnet of blood.

How long was he standing there
like that, before I came?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

University of Sharkago

Connor, Jess and I have spent the evening making a list. Below are its contents. Please join us in this form of entertainment.

By the way, they all live together in the Sharking Shack.

Names for Sharks

Charlie Sharker
Sharker Posey
Peter Sharker
Sharklotte Brontë
MC Hammerhead
Shark Jackson
Sharky Shark and the Donkey Bunch
Sharka Khan
James Whale Shark
Leopold Sharkovsky
Charles Graner Shark
Sharklize Theron
Jonathan Sharker and Sharkula
Sharkleberry Fin
Clarice Sharkling
Neville Bottomfeeder
George Sharkenopoulos
Mako Malfoy
Tiger Shark Woods
Jordin Sharks
Ellen Sharkin
Sharkolomew Cubbins
William Sharkspeare
Anton Sharkov
Rebecca Nurse Shark
Stingray Charles
Arnold Sharkskinegger
Nicolas Sharkozy

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A Survey


Please fill in the blank as you see fit and leave it in the comments. Bearing in mind that "bread" is already taken. My current list contains "honesty" and "talent," and I would like to expand it.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Saturday Poetry: Sarah Arvio

And then she got too overwhelmed yesterday to post. But at least she admits it.

Sarah Arvio

I saw some shadows moving on the wall
and heard a shuffle, as of wings or thoughts.
I rolled back the sheets and looked at the day,

a raw, blown day, white papers in the street.
Sheets were flapping in the sky of my mind,
I smelled the wet sheets, I tasted a day

in sheets hanging in the damp of a day.
White pages flapping: my life had been so new
when I didn't yet know how old it was.

I couldn't see the vistas on those sheets,
the dreamscapes sleeping deeply in those sheets;
I hadn't yet seen my shadow vita

or learned which host would trick me or treat me,
which of my hosts would give me something sweet,
some good counsel and a soft place to sleep,

or what was the name of my ghostwriter.
Who ghosted my life, whose dream would I ghost,
who wrote my name and date across these sheets,

and which sheets would be the wings of my thoughts,
and which would hold the words of my angels.
A host, and did I know I’d have a host;

no, a line of sheets is never a bed,
a gaggle of hosts is never a love,
a host is never as good as a home,

a ghost as good as a dog or a god.
But I had my heart, always had my heart
for god and a home as much as it hurt.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

And Still, There Is Loss.

The seventeen-year-old younger brother of one of my students was shot and killed this Tuesday night.

I don't know what to say. Or think. I wish I did. Or I might know too many things to think, but not which ones are genuinely helpful or useful.

I guess maybe I should be glad that I'm not so jaded yet that I can't be horrified by this. Especially by the fact that in the city of Chicago, the cougar has gotten a great deal more media attention. Because the shooting death of a wandering cougar is far more unusual, far more of a hook, and somehow thereby more newsworthy, than the shooting death of an African American teenager.

My thoughts are with my student and his family. Please, send thoughts, or prayers, or whatever immaterial thing you choose to send.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Friday Poetry: Julia Hartwig

Sorry, I hate doing two Friday Poetry posts in a row, with nothing in between. But this week was biz-zay. And right now I'm in Memphis, having a weekend writing retreat with my writing partner, and taking a quick break from the script for Sense and Sensibility, the musical.

This one is, again from the National Poetry Month emails. They knows their stuff.

Julia Hartwig
Tell Me Why This Hurry

The lindens are blossoming the lindens have lost their blossoms
and this flowery procession moves without any restraint
Where are you hurrying lilies of the valley jasmines
petunias lilacs irises roses and peonies
Mondays and Tuesdays Wednesdays and Fridays
nasturtiums and gladioli zinnias and lobelias
yarrow dill goldenrod and grasses
flowery Mays and Junes and Julys and Augusts
lakes of flowers seas of flowers meadows
holy fires of fern one-day grails
Tell me why this hurry where are you rushing
in a cherry blizzard a deluge of greenness
all with the wind racing in one direction only
crowns proud yesterday today fallen into sand
eternal desires passions mistresses of destruction

Friday, April 04, 2008

Friday Poetry: Franz Wright

It's National Poetry Month! Happy National Poetry Month! During National Poetry Month, I get Emails every day that have poems in them! Here's one of those poems!

(And p.s., I've been home all day with a cold and didn't post until now, when Friday's just this side of over. What are you gonna do.)

Franz Wright
Publication Date

One of the few pleasures of writing
is the thought of one's book in the hands of a kindhearted
intelligent person somewhere. I can't remember what the others are right now.
I just noticed that it is my own private

National I Hate Myself and Want to Die Day
(which means the next day I will love my life
and want to live forever). The forecast calls
for a cold night in Boston all morning

and all afternoon. They say
tomorrow will be just like today,
only different. I'm in the cemetery now
at the edge of town, how did I get here?

A sparrow limps past on its little bone crutch saying
I am Federico García Lorca
risen from the dead—
literature will lose, sunlight will win, don't worry.