Tuesday, December 26, 2017

One Unearthed Wallet

from The Summer A Tribe Called Quest Broke Up
By Hanif Abdurraqib

all them black
boys in the 'hood
had they wallets
unearthed in cities
they ain’t never
seen before & they
was all empty
'cept for maybe the bones
of the last woman
to hold them in her arms &
call them by the
name they blessed the
earth with


Tuesday, August 08, 2017

One Stolen Dance

from The United States Welcomes You
By Tracy K. Smith

Why and by whose power were you sent?
What do you see that you may wish to steal?
Why all this dancing? Why do your dark bodies
Drink up the light? What are you demanding
That we feel? Have you stolen something? Then
What is that leaping in your chest?

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

One Worthwhile War

When the war is over 
By W.S. Merwin

When the war is over
We will be proud of course the air will be
Good for breathing at last
The water will have been improved the salmon
And the silence of heaven will migrate more perfectly
The dead will think the living are worth it we will know
Who we are
And we will all enlist again

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

One Troubling Treasure

Crying, my little one, footsore and weary?
Fall asleep, pretty one, warm on my shoulder:
I must tramp on through the winter night dreary,
While the snow falls on me colder and colder.

You are my one, and I have not another;
Sleep soft, my darling, my trouble and treasure;
Sleep warm and soft in the arms of your mother,
Dreaming of pretty things, dreaming of pleasure.

--By Christina Rossetti

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

One Concernless No

A Clock stopped—
Not the Mantel’s—
Geneva’s farthest skill
Can’t put the puppet bowing
That just now dangled still—

An Awe came on the trinket!
The Figures hunched with pain—
Then quivered out of Decimals
Into Degreeless Noon—

It will not stir for doctors—
This Pendulum of snow—
The Shopman importunes it—
While cool—concernless No

Nods from the gilded pointers—
Nods from the seconds slim—
Decades of Arrogance between
The Dial life—
And Him—

By Emily Dickinson

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

One Full Mouth

from Thanks
By W.S. Merwin

with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings
we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you
we are standing by the water thanking it
smiling by the windows looking out
in our directions

back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging
after funerals we are saying thank you
after the news of the dead
whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you

with the animals dying around us
our lost feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you
with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us
we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you
we are saying thank you and waving
dark though it is


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

One Gutted Sonnet

To Eros
By Alfonsina Storni

Here at the edge of the sea, I captured you
by the scruff of your neck while you were readying
the arrows in your quiver to strike me down.
I saw your floral crown, set on the sand.

I gutted out your belly like a doll's
and took a close look at your phony gears;
and picking through your mess of golden pulleys,
I found a secret trapdoor that said 'sex'.

I held you, sad and tattered on the beach,
and showed the sun, exposer of your exploits.
A ring of panic-stricken sirens watched.

The moon, your patroness of trickery,
began to climb her white way through the sky,
and I threw you to the wide mouth of the waves.

 ~Translated by Nicholas Friedman

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

One Tasteful Nemesis

Good taste is the enemy of creativity.

 --Pablo Picasso