Killing Fliesby Michael Dickman I sit down for dinnerwith my dead brotheragainThis is the last dream I ever want to havePassing the forks around the table, passing the knivesThere’s nothing to worry aboutOne thing I want to know is who’s in the kitchen right now if it isn’t meIt isn’t meThe kitchen is full of flies, flies are doing all the workThey light on the edgeof the roasted chickenThe bone chinaThat’s what they doLight*I will look more and more like himuntil I’m olderthan he isThen he’ll look more like meif I was lostThe flies need to be killed as soon as we’re done eating this delicious meal they madeThey serve us anything we want in toxic green tuxedosand shit wingsMy brother and I wipe our mouthsscrape our chairs back from the tableand stand upThese are the last things we’ll do together:Eat dinnerKill flies*You have to lie downnext to the bodies, shining all in a rowlike black sequinsstitching up the kitchen floorIt’s hard to do but you have to do itQuietly lay down and not sleepWe were killing them with butcher knives but moved on to spatulas to save time and energySticking their eyes onto our earlobes and wristslike EgyptianjewelryMy brother and I work hard all nightHe is my emergency exitI am hisdinner date

Killing Flies
by 
Michael Dickman 

I sit down for dinner
with my dead brother
again

This is the last dream I ever want to have

Passing the forks 
around the table, passing 
the knives

There’s nothing to worry about

One thing I want to know is who’s in the kitchen right now if it isn’t me

It isn’t me

The kitchen is full of flies, flies are doing all the work

They light on the edge
of the roasted chicken
The bone china

That’s what they do

Light


*


I will look 
more and more like him
until I’m older
than he is

Then he’ll look more like me

if I was 
lost

The flies need to be killed as soon as we’re done eating this delicious meal they made

They serve us anything we want 
in toxic green tuxedos
and 

shit wings

My brother and I wipe our mouths
scrape our chairs back from the table
and stand up

These are the last things we’ll do together:

Eat dinner

Kill flies


*

You have to lie down
next to the bodies, shining 
all in a row
like black sequins
stitching up 
the kitchen floor

It’s hard to do but you have to do it

Quietly lay down 
and not sleep

We were killing them with butcher knives but moved on to spatulas to save time and energy

Sticking their eyes 
onto our earlobes and wrists
like Egyptian
jewelry

My brother and I work hard all night

He is my emergency exit

I am 
his

dinner date

Tags: Poetry

I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair. Silent and  starving, I prowl through the streets. Bread does not nourish me, dawn  disrupts me, all day I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps. I  hunger for your sleek laugh, your hands the color of a savage harvest,  hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails, I want to eat your skin  like a whole almond. I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely  body, the sovereign nose of your arrogant face, I want to eat the  fleeting shade of your lashes, and I pace around hungry, sniffing the  twilight, hunting for you, for your hot heart, like a puma in the  barrens of Quitratue. 

— Pablo Neruda
(via congressman)

I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair. Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets. Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps. I hunger for your sleek laugh, your hands the color of a savage harvest, hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails, I want to eat your skin like a whole almond. I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body, the sovereign nose of your arrogant face, I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes, and I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight, hunting for you, for your hot heart, like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue.

— Pablo Neruda

(via congressman)

This Deepening Takes Place Againby Emily Kendal Frey    What if everything were revealed: where I waslast night. You, etc. The rainis coming down like salad.My sister’s hairreminds me of my sisterso much I can’t stop looking. Who am Ito have arms? On the planeone short dream:a baby so smallit wasn’t even human,just a bouquet of light with wisecellular eyes. If losing meis the worst thing to happen,your life is still a good life

This Deepening Takes Place Again
by Emily Kendal Frey   

What if everything
were revealed: where I was
last night. You, etc. The rain
is coming down like salad.
My sister’s hair
reminds me of my sister
so much I can’t
stop looking. Who am I
to have arms? On the plane
one short dream:
a baby so small
it wasn’t even human,
just a bouquet
of light with wise
cellular eyes. If losing me
is the worst thing to happen,
your life is still a good life

Tags: Poetry

"I love you. I love you, but I’m turning to my verses and my heart is closing like a fist.”
— Frank O’Hara (pictured above with W.H. Auden), from “Mayakovsky” 
(via zoenoelle)

"I love you. I love you,
but I’m turning to my verses
and my heart is closing
like a fist.”

— Frank O’Hara (pictured above with W.H. Auden), from “Mayakovsky” 

(via zoenoelle)

My Sister’s Funeralby Gerald Stern
Since there was no mother for the peach tree we did it all alone, which made the two of us closerthough closeness brought its loneliness, and it wouldhave been better I think sometimes to be sterilefrom the start just to avoid the pain which in my life this far has lasted seventyyears for I am in love with a skeletonon whose small bones a dress hung for a while,on whose small skull a bit of curly hairwas strung, and what is dust I still don’t knowsince there was no mother to turn to then and askwhat else was she wearing, did she have on shoes,and were the two trees from Georgia, and was ittrue somebody said the other peachshould have died instead of her; and I could imagine the nose going first though forty years laterthe trees were still there and not as big as you’d think;and it was my cousin Red with the flabby lipswho said it, he had red eyes, a red monstrosity,a flabby body, half the house was filled with male cousins, they were born in rooms a short distance from the rats, I can’t rememberwhich ones had the accents nor what hisHebrew name was, nor his English.
(via)

My Sister’s Funeral
by Gerald Stern

Since there was no mother for the peach tree we did it
all alone, which made the two of us closer
though closeness brought its loneliness, and it would
have been better I think sometimes to be sterile
from the start just to avoid the pain
which in my life this far has lasted seventy
years for I am in love with a skeleton
on whose small bones a dress hung for a while,
on whose small skull a bit of curly hair
was strung, and what is dust I still don’t know
since there was no mother to turn to then and ask
what else was she wearing, did she have on shoes,
and were the two trees from Georgia, and was it
true somebody said the other peach
should have died instead of her; and I could
imagine the nose going first though forty years later
the trees were still there and not as big as you’d think;
and it was my cousin Red with the flabby lips
who said it, he had red eyes, a red monstrosity,
a flabby body, half the house was filled with
male cousins, they were born in rooms a
short distance from the rats, I can’t remember
which ones had the accents nor what his
Hebrew name was, nor his English.

(via)

"A scarecrow dances away with my shadow. Between loves I could stand all day at a window watching honeysuckle open as I make love to the ghosts smuggled inside my head.”
— Yusef Komunyakaa, “The Heart’s Graveyard Shift”
(via underthechinaberrytree)

"A scarecrow dances away with my shadow.
Between loves I could stand all day
at a window watching honeysuckle open
as I make love to the ghosts
smuggled inside my head.

— Yusef Komunyakaa, “The Heart’s Graveyard Shift”

(via underthechinaberrytree)

Tags: Poetry

Babi Yarby Yevgeny Yevtushenko

No monument stands over Babi Yar. A drop sheer as a crude gravestone. I am afraid.      Today I am as old in years  as all the Jewish people. Now I seem to be     a Jew.  Here I plod through ancient Egypt.  Here I perish crucified, on the cross, and to this day I bear the scars of nails. I seem to be     Dreyfus. The Philistine      is both informer and judge.  I am behind bars.     Beset on every side. Hounded,      spat on,         slandered. Squealing, dainty ladies in flounced Brussels lace stick their parasols into my face. I seem to be then     a young boy in Byelostok.  Blood runs, spilling over the floors.  The barroom rabble-rousers  give off a stench of vodka and onion. A boot kicks me aside, helpless.  In vain I plead with these pogrom bullies. While they jeer and shout,     “Beat the Yids. Save Russia!” some grain-marketeer beats up my mother.  0 my Russian people!     I know          you  are international to the core.  But those with unclean hands  have often made a jingle of your purest name. I know the goodness of my land.  How vile these anti-Semites-      without a qualm they pompously called themselves  the Union of the Russian People!  I seem to be     Anne Frank transparent      as a branch in April. And I love.      And have no need of phrases.  My need       is that we gaze into each other.  How little we can see      or smell!  We are denied the leaves,       we are denied the sky. Yet we can do so much —     tenderly  embrace each other in a darkened room.  They’re coming here?      Be not afraid. Those are the booming sounds of spring:     spring is coming here.  Come then to me.      Quick, give me your lips. Are they smashing down the door?      No, it’s the ice breaking … The wild grasses rustle over Babi Yar.  The trees look ominous,      like judges. Here all things scream silently,       and, baring my head, slowly I feel myself        turning gray. And I myself       am one massive, soundless scream above the thousand thousand buried here.  I am       each old man           here shot dead. I am       every child           here shot dead. Nothing in me      shall ever forget! The “Internationale,” let it       thunder when the last anti-Semite on earth  is buried forever.  In my blood there is no Jewish blood. In their callous rage, all anti-Semites  must hate me now as a Jew.  For that reason      I am a true Russian!
(via i12bent)

Babi Yar
by Yevgeny Yevtushenko

No monument stands over Babi Yar.
A drop sheer as a crude gravestone.
I am afraid.
      Today I am as old in years
as all the Jewish people.
Now I seem to be
     a Jew.
Here I plod through ancient Egypt.
Here I perish crucified, on the cross,
and to this day I bear the scars of nails.
I seem to be
     Dreyfus.
The Philistine
     is both informer and judge.
I am behind bars.
     Beset on every side.
Hounded,
     spat on,
         slandered.
Squealing, dainty ladies in flounced Brussels lace
stick their parasols into my face.
I seem to be then
     a young boy in Byelostok.
Blood runs, spilling over the floors.
The barroom rabble-rousers
give off a stench of vodka and onion.
A boot kicks me aside, helpless.
In vain I plead with these pogrom bullies.
While they jeer and shout,
     “Beat the Yids. Save Russia!”
some grain-marketeer beats up my mother.
0 my Russian people!
     I know
         you
are international to the core.
But those with unclean hands
have often made a jingle of your purest name.
I know the goodness of my land.
How vile these anti-Semites-
      without a qualm
they pompously called themselves
the Union of the Russian People!
I seem to be
     Anne Frank
transparent
     as a branch in April.
And I love.
      And have no need of phrases.
My need
      is that we gaze into each other.
How little we can see
      or smell!
We are denied the leaves,
      we are denied the sky.
Yet we can do so much —
     tenderly
embrace each other in a darkened room.
They’re coming here?
      Be not afraid. Those are the booming
sounds of spring:
     spring is coming here.
Come then to me.
      Quick, give me your lips.
Are they smashing down the door?
      No, it’s the ice breaking …
The wild grasses rustle over Babi Yar.
The trees look ominous,
     like judges.
Here all things scream silently,
      and, baring my head,
slowly I feel myself
       turning gray.
And I myself
      am one massive, soundless scream
above the thousand thousand buried here.
I am
      each old man
           here shot dead.
I am
      every child
           here shot dead.
Nothing in me
      shall ever forget!
The “Internationale,” let it
      thunder
when the last anti-Semite on earth
is buried forever.
In my blood there is no Jewish blood.
In their callous rage, all anti-Semites
must hate me now as a Jew.
For that reason
      I am a true Russian!

(via i12bent)

Tags: Poetry


The Commendation by Dean Young
We had no choice but to livein a time of abrupt flowers.Oppenheimer drove a serpentine sports car.Marilyn Monroe vaporized.Our breath destroyed the old masters.Some of us wore opaque glasses to hidefrom the press but we’d read about ourselvesthe next day. Terrible things: heistsgone bloody wrong; charitable fundsmissing; lip-syncing; blabby, offendedmasseuses. So we’d make a statement:our fathers were mean, we could neverdetermine both location and momentum,sometimes we were so frightened we turned into chalk.Then we stopped eating unsustainable fish,took a six-week crash-course in standing up straightwhich involved mostly writhing on the floor.If we skipped comprehension, the lessonssped by. We wrote a novel about a bunnyin a spaceship, it felt like healingthen a letter came saying we never stoppedbelieving in you and it makes us feellike a mythical beast, an angel orone with the body of a lion and a headlike a windowbox of chervil and dillor one of those rain forest cloudsspiders and worms live in.
(via crashinglybeautiful)

The Commendation 
by Dean Young

We had no choice but to live
in a time of abrupt flowers.
Oppenheimer drove a serpentine sports car.
Marilyn Monroe vaporized.
Our breath destroyed the old masters.
Some of us wore opaque glasses to hide
from the press but we’d read about ourselves
the next day. Terrible things: heists
gone bloody wrong; charitable funds
missing; lip-syncing; blabby, offended
masseuses. So we’d make a statement:
our fathers were mean, we could never
determine both location and momentum,
sometimes we were so frightened we turned into chalk.
Then we stopped eating unsustainable fish,
took a six-week crash-course in standing up straight
which involved mostly writhing on the floor.
If we skipped comprehension, the lessons
sped by. We wrote a novel about a bunny
in a spaceship, it felt like healing
then a letter came saying we never stopped
believing in you and it makes us feel
like a mythical beast, an angel or
one with the body of a lion and a head
like a windowbox of chervil and dill
or one of those rain forest clouds
spiders and worms live in.

(via crashinglybeautiful)

Tags: Poetry

Proclamationby Stuart Dischell The governor will giveHomeless people sleeping bags,Let them stay the nightOn windswept porticosOutside his buildingsInstead of your doorstep.I am talking to myselfWith empty roomsI cannot bear to live in.

Proclamation
by Stuart Dischell

The governor will give
Homeless people sleeping bags,
Let them stay the night

On windswept porticos
Outside his buildings
Instead of your doorstep.

I am talking to myself
With empty rooms
I cannot bear to live in.

Tags: Poetry

The Bottomby Denise Duhamel, 2011

I stopped drinking on my way down the hillto the liquor store when two guys pulled upand tried to drag me into their pickup. I crossed the streetthen ran in the opposite direction, puffingagainst the incline. The stranger thrust into reverse and, when I wouldn’t talk to him,threw a bag of McDonald’s trash at me,Stuck up bitch. I stopped drinkingwhen I realized I was fighting for the vodka at the bottom of the hillmore than I was fighting against the terriblethings that could have happened to meinside the cab of that rusty Chevy. I stopped drinkingbefore cell phones. I stopped drinkingafter Days of Wine and Roses. I stopped drinkingeven as I kept walking to El Prado Spiritsand the guy behind the counter who recognized measked if I was alright. I didn’t tell himwhat had happened because he might have calledthe police and then I would have had to waitfor them to arrive to fill out a report, delaying my Smirnoff. I stopped drinking even before I had that last sip,as I back ran up the hill squeezing a bottle by its neck.  

The Bottom
by Denise Duhamel, 2011

I stopped drinking on my way down the hill
to the liquor store when two guys pulled up
and tried to drag me into their pickup. I crossed the street
then ran in the opposite direction, puffing
against the incline. The stranger thrust into reverse 
and, when I wouldn’t talk to him,
threw a bag of McDonald’s trash at me,
Stuck up bitch. I stopped drinking
when I realized I was fighting 
for the vodka at the bottom of the hill
more than I was fighting against the terrible
things that could have happened to me
inside the cab of that rusty Chevy. I stopped drinking
before cell phones. I stopped drinking
after Days of Wine and Roses. I stopped drinking
even as I kept walking to El Prado Spirits
and the guy behind the counter who recognized me
asked if I was alright. I didn’t tell him
what had happened because he might have called
the police and then I would have had to wait
for them to arrive to fill out a report, delaying my Smirnoff. 
I stopped drinking even before I had that last sip,
as I back ran up the hill squeezing a bottle by its neck.  

Tags: Poetry

Let go and feel your nakednessby Harold Norse
Let go and feel your nakedness, tits ache to be bitten and suckedLet go with pong of armpit and crotch, let go with hole a-tingleLet go with tongue lapping hairy cunt, lick feet, kiss ass, suck cock and ballsLet the whole body go, let love come through, let freedom ringLet go with moans and erogenous zones, let go with heart and soulLet go the dead meat of convention, wake up the live meat of loveLet go with senses, pull out the stops, forget false teachings and liesLet go of inherited belief, let go of shame and blame, in briefLet go of forbidden energies, choked back in muscle and nervesLet go of rigid rules and roles, let go of uptight posesLet go of your puppet self, let go and renew yourself and be freeLet go the dead meat of convention, wake up the live meat of loveLet go this moment, the hour, this day, tomorrow will be too lateLet go of guilt and frustration, let liberation and tolerance flowLet go of phantom worries and fears, let go of hours and days and yearsLet go of hate and rage and grief, let walls against ecstasy fall for reliefLet go of pride and greed, let go of missiles and might and creedLet go the dead meat of convention, wake up the live meat of love
Photo of Norse, ca. 1950s

(via i12bent)

Let go and feel your nakedness
by Harold Norse

Let go and feel your nakedness, tits ache to be bitten and sucked
Let go with pong of armpit and crotch, let go with hole a-tingle
Let go with tongue lapping hairy cunt, lick feet, kiss ass, suck cock and balls
Let the whole body go, let love come through, let freedom ring
Let go with moans and erogenous zones, let go with heart and soul
Let go the dead meat of convention, wake up the live meat of love

Let go with senses, pull out the stops, forget false teachings and lies
Let go of inherited belief, let go of shame and blame, in brief
Let go of forbidden energies, choked back in muscle and nerves
Let go of rigid rules and roles, let go of uptight poses
Let go of your puppet self, let go and renew yourself and be free
Let go the dead meat of convention, wake up the live meat of love

Let go this moment, the hour, this day, tomorrow will be too late
Let go of guilt and frustration, let liberation and tolerance flow
Let go of phantom worries and fears, let go of hours and days and years
Let go of hate and rage and grief, let walls against ecstasy fall for relief
Let go of pride and greed, let go of missiles and might and creed
Let go the dead meat of convention, wake up the live meat of love

Photo of Norse, ca. 1950s

(via i12bent)

The image of myself which I try to create in my own mind in order that I may love myself is very different from the image which I try to create in the minds of others in order that they may love me.
— W. H. Auden, Hic et Ille, 1956.
(via chelseyalexandra)

The image of myself which I try to create in my own mind in order that I may love myself is very different from the image which I try to create in the minds of others in order that they may love me.

— W. H. Auden, Hic et Ille, 1956.

(via chelseyalexandra)

(Source: madefromchemicals)

Sonnet XVII by Pablo Neruda
I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz, or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off. I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul. I love you as the plant that never blooms but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers; thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance, risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body. I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride; so I love you because I know no other way than this:  where I does not exist, nor you, so close that your hand on my chest is my hand, so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.
(via i12bent)

Sonnet XVII 
by Pablo Neruda

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way than this:

where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

(via i12bent)

Tags: Poetry

Please Understand (A Bachelor’s Valentine)by Stephen Dunn

When, next day, I found one of your earrings,slightly chipped, on the steps leading up tobut also away from my house,
I couldn’t decide if I should return it to youor keep it for myself in this copper box.Then I remembered there’s always another choice
and pushed it with my foot into the begonias.If you’re the kind who desires fragile mementosof these perilous journeys we take,
that’s where you’ll find it. But don’t knockon my door. I’ll probably be sucking the pitout of an apricot, or speaking long distance
to myself. Best we can hope for on days like thisis that the thunder and dark clouds will veer elsewhere,and the unsolicited sun will break through
just before it sets, a beautiful dullness to it.Please understand. I’ve never been able to tellwhat’s worth more—what I want or what I have.

(text via avania)

Please Understand (A Bachelor’s Valentine)
by Stephen Dunn

When, next day, I found one of your earrings,
slightly chipped, on the steps leading up to
but also away from my house,

I couldn’t decide if I should return it to you
or keep it for myself in this copper box.
Then I remembered there’s always another choice

and pushed it with my foot into the begonias.
If you’re the kind who desires fragile mementos
of these perilous journeys we take,

that’s where you’ll find it. But don’t knock
on my door. I’ll probably be sucking the pit
out of an apricot, or speaking long distance

to myself. Best we can hope for on days like this
is that the thunder and dark clouds will veer elsewhere,
and the unsolicited sun will break through

just before it sets, a beautiful dullness to it.
Please understand. I’ve never been able to tell
what’s worth more—what I want or what I have.

(text via avania)

Provisionalby Catherine Bowman	When he procured her, she purveyedhim. When he rationed her out, she made him provisional. On beingprovisional, he made her his trough.On being a trough, she made him her silo. At once a silo, he made her his cut. On being a cut,she made him her utensil. On beinga utensil, he turned her downhill. So beingdownhill, she made him her skis. When she was his stethoscope,he was her steady beat. From beatshe was dog, from dog he was fetch,from fetch she was jab, from jabhe was fake. When he was her complexequation, she was his simple math. So she turned him into strong evidence,accessory after the fact. So he turned her eyes private, made her his manon the lam. So he became her psalm, so she became his scrubby tract. When hebecame an aesthete, she became hisclaw-foot bath. So she made him a rudimentaryfault line; so he made her a volcanic rim.So she made him her unruly quorum;so he made her his party whip.That’s when they both becamemirror, and then both became lips.From lips she was trumpet, from trumpethe was mute. Then he made her his marginof error. Then she made him stet.

Provisional
by Catherine Bowman

When he procured her, she purveyed
him. When he rationed her out, 
she made him provisional. On being

provisional, he made her his trough.
On being a trough, she made him her silo. 
At once a silo, he made her his cut. On being a cut,

she made him her utensil. On being
a utensil, he turned her downhill. So being
downhill, she made him her skis. 

When she was his stethoscope,
he was her steady beat. From beat
she was dog, from dog he was fetch,

from fetch she was jab, from jab
he was fake. When he was her complex
equation, she was his simple math. 

So she turned him into strong evidence,
accessory after the fact. So he turned 
her eyes private, made her his man

on the lam. So he became her psalm, 
so she became his scrubby tract. When he
became an aesthete, she became his

claw-foot bath. So she made him a rudimentary
fault line; so he made her a volcanic rim.
So she made him her unruly quorum;

so he made her his party whip.
That’s when they both became
mirror, and then both became lips.

From lips she was trumpet, from trumpet
he was mute. Then he made her his margin
of error. Then she made him stet.