saunteringfiend: (fedora)
[personal profile] saunteringfiend posting in [community profile] poetry
When the bass drops on Bill Withers’
Better Off Dead, it’s like 7 a.m.
and I confess I’m looking
over my shoulder once or twice
just to make sure no one in Brooklyn
is peeking into my third-floor window
to see me in pajamas I haven’t washed
for three weeks before I slide
from sink to stove in one long groove
left foot first then back to the window side
with my chin up and both fists clenched
like two small sacks of stolen nickels
and I can almost hear the silver
hit the floor by the dozens
when I let loose and sway a little back
and just like that I’m a lizard grown
two new good legs on a breeze
-bent limb. I’m a grown-ass man
with a three-day wish and two days to live.
And just like that everyone knows
my heart’s broke and no one is home.
Just like that, I’m water.
Just like that, I’m the boat.
Just like that, I’m both things in the whole world
rocking. Sometimes sadness is just
what comes between the dancing. And bam!,
my mother’s dead and, bam!, my brother’s
children are laughing. Just like—ok, it’s true
I can’t pop up from my knees so quick these days
and no one ever said I could sing but
tell me my body ain’t good enough
for this. I’ll count the aches another time,
one in each ankle, the sharp spike in my back,
this mud-muscle throbbing in my going bones,
I’m missing the six biggest screws
to hold this blessed mess together. I’m wind-
rattled. The wood’s splitting. The hinges are
falling off. When the first bridge ends,
just like that, I’m a flung open door.

dust | dorianne laux

Jan. 30th, 2015 10:35 am
carthaginians: ([comics] stars at elbow and foot)
[personal profile] carthaginians posting in [community profile] poetry
Someone spoke to me last night,
told me the truth. Just a few words,
but I recognized it.
I knew I should make myself get up,
write it down, but it was late,
and I was exhausted from working
all day in the garden, moving rocks.
Now, I remember only the flavor —
not like food, sweet or sharp.
More like a fine powder, like dust.
And I wasn’t elated or frightened,
but simply rapt, aware.
That’s how it is sometimes —
God comes to your window,
all bright light and black wings,
and you’re just too tired to open it.

I Love The Hour Just Before

Jan. 30th, 2015 12:05 am
saunteringfiend: (cogs)
[personal profile] saunteringfiend posting in [community profile] poetry
I love the hour just before
a party. Everybody
at home getting
ready. Pulling
on boots, fixing
their hair, planning
what to say if
she's there, picking
a pluckier lipstick,
rehearsing a joke
with a stickpin
in it, doing
the last minute
fumbling one does
before leaving for
the night like
tying up the dog or
turning on the yard
light. I like to think
of them driving,
finding their way
in the dark, taking
this left, that right,
while I light candles,
start the music softly
seething. Everything
waiting. Even
the wine barely
breathing.
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic posting in [community profile] poetry
Here's an easy game to play.
Here's an easy thing to say:

If a packet hits a pocket on a socket on a port,
And the bus is interrupted as a very last resort,
And the address of the memory makes your floppy disk abort,
Then the socket packet pocket has an error to report!

If your cursor finds a menu item followed by a dash,
And the double-clicking icon puts your window in the trash,
And your data is corrupted 'cause the index doesn't hash,
Then your situation's hopeless, and your system's gonna crash!

You can't say this?
What a shame sir!
We'll find you
Another game sir.

If the label on the cable on the table at your house,
Says the network is connected to the button on your mouse,
But your packets want to tunnel on another protocol,
That's repeatedly rejected by the printer down the hall,

And your screen is all distorted by the side effects of gauss
So your icons in the window are as wavy as a souse,
Then you may as well reboot and go out with a bang,
'Cause as sure as I'm a poet, the sucker's gonna hang!

When the copy of your floppy's getting sloppy on the disk,
And the microcode instructions cause unnecessary risc,
Then you have to flash your memory and you'll want to RAM your ROM.
Quickly turn off the computer and be sure to tell your mom!

STILL SICK.

Jan. 29th, 2015 01:58 pm
marina: (meh)
[personal profile] marina
I am so outraged by this. WHY. WHY AM I STILL SICK. With this useless fucking cold! I don't have a fever, just a haze over everything including my brain and my energy levels, ugh it's the worst :/

In other news - I continue to enjoy the fuck out of Empire.

no brain for meta, but spoilers ahead )
saunteringfiend: (PA)
[personal profile] saunteringfiend posting in [community profile] poetry
Without this knowledge, you’ll never make it:
it’s one part fashion advice and two parts survivalist.
Learn to talk to people so they think you’re honest
but never be honest. Cooking eggs may save your life,
so crack them, neat and firm, pour into the skillet,
stir gently. Forget about your shoes; people will judge
you by your shine, the imminent light you offer them.
Be a lamppost in wilderness, be the elephant
in the showroom. If you steal the idol, make sure
to carry a weighted bag of sand. No surprises: we’ve lied
about having it all. It’s either the piano or the pit viper.
Cinderella’s shoe came off at midnight because it hurt,
and Red Riding Hood’s real story involves cannibalism and a striptease.
Don’t wear red lipstick, don’t you kiss your mother with that mouth?
Long bangs hide a multitude of sins. Ask your grandmother
about the herbs she used to swallow while pregnant.
The butterflies here didn’t start out black, they were white
as onion skin—and the forest was more ominous
before the smokestacks. Well, here’s your little basket
and coat, sweetheart, sweetmeat, smile like you mean it,
shake what you’ve got while you’ve got it,
go out into the world and knock them dead.

(no subject)

Jan. 27th, 2015 11:34 pm
bossymarmalade: blue eye with lashes of red flower petals (Default)
[personal profile] bossymarmalade
I was gonna make some sort of post about what's going on in my life right now, but then I got distracted reading all the comments in this old post of mine about people's strangest occupational hazards. People were wandering in off the network to leave comments, heh. I guess we all just need somewhere to vent about what work makes us endure.

Hey there, everybody. :)

a new language | casandra lopez

Jan. 28th, 2015 01:15 pm
carthaginians: ([art] we are given wings)
[personal profile] carthaginians posting in [community profile] poetry
My words are always
collapsing

upon themselves, they feel too tight
in my mouth. I want a new
language. One with at least
50 words for grief

and 50 words for love, so I can offer
them to the living
who mourn the dead. I want

a language that understands
sister-pain and heart-hurt. So
when I tell you Brother

is my hook of heart, you will see

the needle threading me to
the others, numbered
men, women and children
of our grit spit city.

I want a language to tell you
about 2010's
37th homicide. The unsolved,
all I know about a man,

my city turned to number,
always sparking memory,

back to longer days when:
Ocean is the mouth
of summer. Our shell fingers
drive into sand, searching–we find

tiny silver sand crabs we scoop
and scoop till we bore and go
in search of tangy seaweed.

We are salted sun. How we brown

to earth. Our warm flesh flowering,
reminding us of our desert and canyon

blood. In this new language our bones say
sun and sea, reminding us of an old
language our mouths have forgotten, but our
marrow remembers.

Cho and Feldman win Crawford Award

Jan. 28th, 2015 12:28 am
qian: Tiny pink head of a Katamari character (Default)
[personal profile] qian

z-amazoncover-updatedIMG_20140613_084549

I’ve stolen the headline of the Locus piece for this post because it makes me feel so weird and official. I am the Cho that has won the Crawford Award! It’s for Spirits Abroad, tied with Stephanie Feldman for her novel The Angel of Losses. (Which sounds super cool, and I can think of several people on my friends list who might be interested in it. If they haven’t already read it!)

I’m unbelievably chuffed to be in a list of winners including Karen Lord, Sofia Samatar and Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. And Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels trilogy! Imagine Spirits Abroad being on the same list as the Black Jewels books. What more is there to say!

Mirrored from Zen Cho.

How to Stay in Bed, Cathy Barber

Jan. 26th, 2015 03:03 pm
saunteringfiend: (dreamsheep)
[personal profile] saunteringfiend posting in [community profile] poetry
Start the night before. Don’t set the alarm.
Consider setting it, perhaps, but decide against.
Shut the blinds before you lie down at night.
Turn the plastic rod so the blinds are tight.
When the inevitable light forms in lines
and brightens your room anyway, turn away.
Close your eyes again and see if that helps.
When closing your eyes doesn’t help,
pull the covers over your head. Grab them
in a way that you can tighten them all around.
Like, as a child who believed in witches,
you blocked their prying searches for you.
Get comfortable again. Adjust your under-the-covers
pillows. Wiggle your shoulders into new,
less scrunched positions. Let your arms rest
where they will.
Think lovely thoughts. Really. Go all Mary Poppins,
or if you prefer, Mr. Rogers.
Put on a metaphorical cardigan and slippers.
Enter the world of make believe.
There is no car here, no highway,
no bumper-to-bumper, no boss,
no deadlines, no failures,
just sleep and sleep and dreams.

sick :/

Jan. 26th, 2015 11:39 am
marina: (Atia sad)
[personal profile] marina
I was so happy that I'd never been sick this year! But last night I apparently caught a cold. Was going to watch the NHL All Star Game with [personal profile] roga but started falling asleep like 20 minutes into it (which NEVER HAPPENS I have to be near catatonic under normal circumstances to fall asleep when I'm actively trying to stay awake) and that probably should have been my first clue that I was sick, I guess.

I don't have a fever (or at least didn't in the morning, now I'm not so sure anymore), so I went to work (UGH. I have a 12 hour workday coming up this week and I am dreading EVERYTHING about it.), dressed in two sweaters and my warmest coat (and a scarf, and earmuffs) while it's 17c outside. Obviously didn't sleep well. Ugh, I had shit I needed to do today.

:/ :/ :/

In order to not be totally useless, have a rec for an original fic series I really enjoyed recently: The Boston Verse.

The first fic in the series is Hookup. Please note the tags, they serve as content notes.

The author has also written three original novels, all posted on her LJ, although I didn't like them as much as this series of shorts (they're well written but the plot/kinks didn't work for me).

In other news, yesterday [livejournal.com profile] toxic_hedgehog reminded me that I really need to read Olga Onoiko's Sphere 17 already. It's an original m/m novel by a Russian fic writer that I've seen recced around a lot. It's described as a story about a human colony on the edges of known space (in the far future, obviously) with revolution and spying and oppressive regimes and you know, an m/m plot. Seeing as I absolutely adored the last original m/m SFF novel I read by a Russian fic author, I am looking forward to this! Now if only I weren't too sick for reading new stuff right now :/

(I would also like to point out the bitter irony of Sphere 17 getting published in hardcover in 2014 (marketed as Social Scifi and not as a LGBT book specifically, as is typical in the Russian scifi scene), probably right before Putin's new laws came into effect. You can still buy it online in Russia, but I'm sure the new laws have had an impact on the willingness of physical bookstores to stock it.)

War Is Kind by Stephen Crane

Jan. 25th, 2015 04:06 pm
yodepalma: (Default)
[personal profile] yodepalma posting in [community profile] poetry
War Is Kind
Stephen Crane

Do not weep, maiden, for war is kind,
Because your lover threw wild hands toward the sky
And the affrighted steed ran on alone,
Do not weep.
War is kind.

Hoarse, booming drums of the regiment,
Little souls who thirst for fight,
These men were born to drill and die.
The unexplained glory flies above them.
Great is the battle-god, great, and his kingdom--
A field where a thousand corpses lie.

Do not weep, babe, for war is kind.
Because your father tumbles in the yellow trenches,
Raged at his breast, gulped and died,
Do not weep.
War is kind.

Swift blazing flag of the regiment,
Eagle with crest of red and gold,
These men were born to drill and die.
Point for them the virtue of slaughter,
Make plain to them the excellence of killing
And a field where a thousand corpses lie.

Mother whose heart hung humble as a button
On the bright splendid shroud of your son,
Do not weep.
War is kind!

The Puritan's Ballad by Elinor Wylie

Jan. 24th, 2015 02:59 pm
yodepalma: (Default)
[personal profile] yodepalma posting in [community profile] poetry
The Puritan's Ballad
Elinor Morton Wylie

My love came up from Barnegat,
The sea was in his eyes;
He trod as softly as a cat
And told me terrible lies.

His hair was yellow as new-cut pine
In shavings curled and feathered;
I thought how silver it would shine
By cruel winters weathered.

But he was in his twentieth year,
Ths time I'm speaking of;
We were head over heels in love with fear
And half a-feared of love.

My hair was piled in a copper crown --
A devilish living thing --
And the tortise-shell pins fell down, fell down,
When that snake uncoiled to spring. Read more... )

let me speak to you in gifsets

Jan. 24th, 2015 07:49 pm
marina: (Default)
[personal profile] marina
Well, not actual gifsets, metaphorical gifsets.

The show that wins the prize for containing the greatest amount of things I love while ALSO containing the highest amount of things I hate is Strange Empire. A Canadian western that describes itself as "feminist" and... is sadly not as feminist as I'd like. But I mean it does have 3 female leads? And one of them is an autistic doctor, and another is a Native gunslinger and the last is the mixed-race wife of a wealthy white man. And they all have fascinating stories, which are written in the most boring, frustrating way imaginable. In 11 episodes, this show has averaged about two graphic rapes or attempted rapes per episode, I think. That's without counting the scenes of straight up, non-sexual violence against women.

It really is a unique show.

spoilers )

Tatar Songs by Anonymous

Jan. 23rd, 2015 01:19 pm
yodepalma: (Default)
[personal profile] yodepalma posting in [community profile] poetry
I'm honestly not certain if this is all one poem or not. I copied it as I found it in the book East Window, which is a collection of East Asian poetry translated by W. S. Merwin. Merwin didn't speak any Asian languages himself, though, so he worked with someone else on the translations; unfortunately, I failed to copy down the other person's name so I don't know who else to credit for this translation.

Tatar Songs
Anonymous

I
The sun rises going the rounds
as though it were tied to the apple tree.
One day if we live we will be back
making the rounds like the sun.

II
Little finger painted with henna, little copper fingernail, dice of gold,
is it possible to leave a lover in this world?

Because of the orchard the sun does not pass my window.
As for me I have turned yellow, shriveled by love.

Do not whiten the rooftree of the low house.
I am alone, I am unhappy, do not be cruel to me.

Why do you look out the door all the time?
I would give my life for the darkness of your eyes.

The child of the bai drinks water from a golden cup.
Under the moon a cloud, the moon’s child.
And I, I have turned yellow, withered by love.

III
My beloved, the face is covered with blood.
The falcon’s face, covered with blood.
The wind blew, a curl of hair came loose.
A wick took it, and the face covered with blood.

I built a house and it was a mirage.
But it was a shelter for my whole life.
the point of my stick was not solid
and our night had its danger.

I am dying because I always watched the road.
I looked to right and to left.
Neither you nor I will ever be done
watching the road, watching the road.

The seas turn into horses
and cupbearers.
I drank to quiet my sorrow
but it grew wilder all the time.
yodepalma: (Default)
[personal profile] yodepalma posting in [community profile] poetry
not an elegy for Mike Brown
Danez Smith

I am sick of writing this poem
but bring the boy. his new name
his same old body. ordinary, black
dead thing. bring him & we will mourn
until we forget what we are mourning
& isn’t that what being black is about?
not the joy of it, but the feeling
you get when you are looking
at your child, turn your head,
then, poof, no more child.
that feeling. that’s black.
\
think: once, a white girl
was kidnapped & that’s the Trojan war.
later, up the block, Troy got shot
& that was Tuesday. are we not worthy
of a city of ash? of 1000 ships
launched because we are missed?
always, something deserves to be burned.
it’s never the right thing now a days.
I demand a war to bring the dead boy back
no matter what his name is this time.
I at least demand a song. a song will do just fine.
\
look at what the lord has made.
above Missouri, sweet smoke.”

Edited for video )

Love Song by Rainer Maria Rilke

Jan. 21st, 2015 11:21 am
yodepalma: (Default)
[personal profile] yodepalma posting in [community profile] poetry
Love Song
Rainer Maria Rilke

How shall I hold on to my soul, so that
it does not touch yours? How shall I lift
it gently up over you on to other things?
I would so very much like to tuck it away
among long lost objects in the dark
in some quiet unknown place, somewhere
which remains motionless when your depths resound.
And yet everything which touches us, you and me,
takes us together like a single bow,
drawing out from two strings but one voice.
On which instrument are we strung?
And which violinist holds us in the hand?
O sweet song.

Fog-Horn by W. S. Merwin

Jan. 20th, 2015 02:50 pm
yodepalma: (Default)
[personal profile] yodepalma posting in [community profile] poetry
Fog-Horn
W. S. Merwin

Surely that moan is not the thing
That men thought they were making, when they
Put it there, for their own necessities.
That throat does not call to anything human
But to something men had forgotten,
That stirs under fog. Who wounded that beast
Incurably, or from whose pasture
Was it lost, full grown, and time closed round it
With no way back? Who tethered its tongue
So that its voice could never come
To speak out in the light of clear day,
But only when the shifting blindness
Descends and is acknowledged among us,
As though from under a floor it is heard,
Or as though from behind a wall, always
Nearer than we had remembered? If it
Was we that gave tongue to this cry
What does it bespeak in us, repeating
And repeating, insisting on something
That we never meant? We only put it there
To give warning of something we dare not
Ignore, lest we should come upon it
Too suddenly, recognize it too late,
As our cries were swallowed up and all hands lost.

After the Drowning by Lucille Clifton

Jan. 19th, 2015 06:49 pm
yodepalma: (Default)
[personal profile] yodepalma posting in [community profile] poetry
After the Drowning
Lucille Clifton

After the drowning
the calming waters come
closing a whole that never
opened
Why not take the Champagne flute
dip it in the salty cold
water
and drink a toast
to all
that never was

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