10.03.2017

Good Bones BY MAGGIE SMITH

Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.

9.19.2017

A Poem For My Mother When She Doesn’t Feel Beautiful

Don’t worry about your body.
It isn’t as small as it once was,
but honestly, the world
needs more of you.
You look in the mirror
like you’ve done something wrong,
but you are perfect.
Anyone who says otherwise
is telling a lie
to make you feel weak.
And you know better.
You have survived every single day
for as long as
you’ve been alive.
You could spit fire
if you wanted. 
Clementine von Radics 

9.13.2016

Ill Advised Love Poem, by John Yau

Come live with me
And we will sit

Upon the rocks
By shallow rivers

Come live with me
And we will plant acorns

In each other's mouth
It would be our way

Of greeting the earth
Before it shoves us

Back into the snow
Our interior cavities

Brimming with
Disagreeable substances

Come live with me
Before winter stops

To use the only pillow
The sky ever sleeps on

Our interior cavities
Brimming with snow

Come live with me
Before spring

Swallows the air
And birds sing

1.16.2015

When Death Comes, Mary Oliver (of course it was her)

 
When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it's over, I want to say all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it's over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.

I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.

12.12.2014

Poem for a Daughter by Anne Stevenson

'I think I'm going to have it,'
I said, joking between pains.
The midwife rolled competent
sleeves over corpulent milky arms.
'Dear, you never have it,
we deliver it.'
A judgement the years proved true.
Certainly I've never had you
as you still have me, Caroline.
Why does a mother need a daughter?
Heart's needle, hostage to fortune,
freedom's end. Yet nothing's more perfect
than that bleating, razor-shaped cry
that delivers a mother to her baby.
The bloodcord snaps that held
their sphere together. The child,
tiny and alone, creates the mother.
A woman's life is her own
until it is taken away
by a first, particular cry.
Then she is not alone
but a part of the premises
of everything there is:
a time, a tribe, a war.
When we belong to the world
we become what we are.

4.26.2013

The Low Road

Marge Piercy

from The Moon is Always Female (1980)




What can they do to you? Whatever they want.

They can set you up, they can

bust you, they can break

your fingers, they can

burn your brain with electricity,

blur you with drugs till you

can’t walk, can’t remember, they can

take your child, wall up

your lover. They can do anything

you can’t stop them

from doing. Alone, you can fight,

you can refuse, you can

take revenge you can

But they roll over you.



But two people fighting

back to back can cut through

a mob, a snake-dancing file

can break a cordon, an army

can meet an army.



Two people can keep each other

sane, can give support, conviction,

love, massage, hope, sex.

Three people are a delegation,

a committee, a wedge. With four

you can play bridge and start

an organization. With six

you can rent a whole house,

eat pie for dinner with no

seconds, and hold a fund raising party.

A dozen makes a demonstration.

A hundred fill a hall.

A thousand have solidarity and your own newsletter;

ten thousand, power and your own paper;

a hundred thousand, your own media;

ten million, your own country.


It goes on one at a time,

it starts when you care

to act, it starts when you do

it again after they said no,

it starts when you say We

and know who you mean, and each

day you mean one more.