Tennessee Williams

The Wine-Drinkers

The wine-drinkers sit on the porte cochère in the sun.
Their lack of success in love has made them torpid.
They move their fans with a motion that stirs no feather,
the glare of the sun has darkened their complexions.

Let us commend them on their conversations.
One says “oh” and the other says “indeed.”

The afternoon must be prolonged forever, because the night
will be impossible for them.
They know that the bright and very delicate needles
inserted beneath the surfaces of their skins
will work after dark–at present are drugged, are dormant.

Nobody dares to make any sudden disturbance.

One says “no,” the other one murmurs “why?”
The cousins pause: tumescent.
What do they dream of? Murder?
They dream of lust and they long for violent action
but none occurs.
Their quarrels perpetually die from a lack of momentum
The light is empty: the sun forestalls reflection.

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Walt Whitman

“Your Very Flesh Shall Be A Great Poem”

This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.

Walt Whitman

L. K. Thayer’s Foto Fetish

© 2011

“Pagan Moon” by Nick Owen

 

I try to catch the sunlight
You’re drawing down the moon
You know
That some small flying thing
Will be here soon

I’m casting into cyberspace
The tendrils of my web
A hungry, unknown artist
Not
Another dull celeb

The beauty of my photograph
Will catch you if it can
Spinning world illusions
All for unsuspecting men

I ask you
For a little while
To stick with me
Immersed in poem-pictures
Life suspended
On the cyber-tree

The web of granma spider
Will drain you of your blood
While
Cocoons of poem-pictures
Can transform your mood

If you think you are a caterpillar
Climbing up a leaf
I bring a transformation
And a solace for your grief

Unlike the hairy spider
I am not a creeping thief
From your dreary daily burdens
I bring relief

If looking into beauty
You fear that you will die
I offer you a rebirth
See
A butterfly

Poem & Photo by Nick Owen

U.K.

All Rights Reserved

© 2010

“MEN LIKE ME” by Bill Duke

 

MEN LIKE ME
WERE BORN UPSTATE NEW YORK
RAISED ON HARD TIMES GOSPEL SHOUTS AND PORK
WHEN GRANDPA DIED IT PLANTED ALL MY FEAR
THAT ANYTHING YOU LOVE WILL DISAPPEAR
SO WE DON’T LET LOVE COME TOO CLOSE TO ME
THUS MY FEELINGS MELT TO MYSTERY
MEN LIKE ME
WERE RAPED AS BABY BOYS
BY WOMEN BABY SITTERS OUR PARENTS TRUSTED WITH THEIR TRUST
AND OUR TOYS
THEY GENTLY UNZIPPED OUR PANTS
WITH PUKE WORDS FILLED WITH PERFUME SNOT
LUST AND ANTS
MADE US FEEL THERE WAS SOMETHING WRONG WITH US
WITH OUR FEELINGS OUR CONFUSION OUR FEELINGS OUR FEARS OUR DISGHUST
MEN LIKE ME
SAW MOMAS HEAD SLICED OPEN WITH A LIGHT BULB
CLUCHED IN DADDYS BLOOD STAINED HAND CALLED MARRIAGE
WE FELT MOMAS RAZOR WORDS CUT THE HEART FROM DADDYS CHEST
AND SOMEWHERE DEEP INSIDE WE HIDE THE REST
OF THE SWEET SWEET CHILDHOOD MEMORIES
OF THOSE EVER PRESENT SUMMERTIMES

THAT SOMEHOW HOLD THE KEYS

TO ALL WE CANNOT RHYME

MEN LIKE ME
WAKE UP HOPING
FOR CHECKS IN THE MAIL
WAKING UP WITH CATHY CLARA OR GAIL
OR ALL THREE LIKE EATING TRAIL MIX STALE
BALANCING MADNESS ANGER RAGE AND BLAME
BALANCING HOPE REJECTION PAIN
TOO LAZY NUMB AND DUMB TO FACE THE SHADOWS FOG AND RAIN
OF ANOTHER COLD UNWELCOMED DAY
PROGRAMED FOR THE JAILTIME STAY
ARE YOU FEELIN ME BRO
NO
LET ME FURTHER EXPLAIN
MEN LIKE ME
CARRY SIGNS ON CORNERS
BEGGING FOR CHANGE TO COME
OR DRESS IN SUITS THAT NEVER FIT
IN THE EYES OF THOSE WHO WONDER
THIS FOOL MUST REALLY THINK WERE DUMB
WHERES THAT NIGGER REALLY COMIN FROM
AND WE FEEL IT
BUT ZIP OUR LIPS WITH NOTHING TO SAY
CAUSE WE HAVE MOUNTAINS AND MOUNTAINS OF BILLS TO PAY
FILLED WITH HATE THAT YOU TAKE OUT ON YOU
AND EVERYTHING THAT LOVES YOU TOO
LIKE MY MY MY WHAT AM I GONNA DO
YO MY MAN AM I GETTING THRU
MEN LIKE ME
WERE BORN UPSTATE NEW YORK
RAISED ON HARD TIMES GOSPEL SHOUTS AND PORK
WHEN GRANDPA DIED IT PLANTED ALL MY FEARS
THAT ANYTHING YOU LOVE WILL DISAPPEAR
MEN LIKE ME
LOVE WOMEN WEVE BETRAYED
DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO TRUST THEM IF THEY STAYED
THAT’S WHAT DADDY DID
NO HES NOT MY BLAME
BUT
HE HID
LIKE ME
ALL THE SAME
BECAUSE HE WAS AFRAID TO LET ANYONE SEE
OR TOUCH THE HEART OF FEAR
WE HIDE BEHIND THE CHISSELED BODIES MASK OF MASCULINITY
WE HIDE FROM EYES THAT SEE WE ARE NOT FREE
RUN FROM ONE WHO MIGHT PROVOKE A TEAR
RUN FROM THE TOUCH THAT BRINGS US NEAR
RUN FROM LOVE FROM FEELINGS CLEAR
ROLLING IN THE MUD OF SELF DESTRUCT
AND ALL THE MINDS DECAY THAT WOULD CONFUSE
ALL THE GIFTS WERE GIVEN WE MISUSE
AND ALL HER SCENTED KISSES WE ABUSE
MEN LIKE ME
ARE KNOWN TO DESTROY LIFE
WITH THE KNIFE
OF NON COMMIT
OF WANTING TO BE FREE
OF CHILDREN WE BRING HERE OR YES THE WIFE
RUNNING FROM RESPONSIBILITY
RUN RUN RUN AND BLAME THE MAN
YOUR KIDS ARE HUNGRY
FEEED THEM SPAM
YOUR KIDS ARE HUNGRY FOR SOMETHING TO THINK
OH I THINK I NEED ME ANOTHER DRINK
I THINK I NEEDS ME MORE ROCK TO SMOKE
YOUR CHILDREN ARE LOOKING FOR A HELPING HAND
DON’T LOOK AT ME YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND
DON’T YOU SEE MY FEET STUCK HERE IN THE SAND
WHO AM I GODDAM SUPERMAN
YOUR CHILDREN ARE SCREAMING PAIN AND RAGE
WELL PUT THEM IN A GODDAM CAGE
THEY’LL UNDERSTAND WITH A LITTLE AGE
MY DADDY DID AND I DID TOO
EXCUSE ME BUT I HAVE TO GO ON STAGE
OF ALL THAT I AM TOLD TO DO
PLEASE BRO NO DISRESPECT TO YOU
BUT I GOTS TO DISAPPEAR
YO YO WOULD SOMEONE PASS ME ANOTHER BEER
MEN LIKE ME
ARE REALLY NOT THAT DEEP
WE SLEEP
ON CITY STREETS OR IN YOUR PARKS
OR
WERE RICH AND FAMOUS
BUT SUFFER IN THE DARK
OR WE POSE AS PIMPS WITH NO EXPRESSED DESIRE
AFRAID OF WHATEVER WE CANT CONTROL
WILL TURN INTO FIRE
THAT WILL BURN THE MASKS WE HAVE BECOME
YO YO BRO YOU KNOW WHERE IM COMIN FROM
MEN LIKE ME
WERE BORN UPSTATE NEW YORK
RAISED ON HARD TIMES GOSPEL SHOUTS AND PORK
WHEN GRANDPA DIED IT PLANTED ALL MY FEARS
THAT ANYTHING YOU LOVE JUST DISSAPEARS
SO WE DON’T LET LOVE COME TOO CLOSE TO ME
THUS MY FEELINGS MELT TO MYSTERY
MEN LIKE ME

BILL DUKE

(other poems by Bill Duke)

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

© 2009

 

“Ars Poetica” by Archibald MacLeish

 

A poem should be palpable and mute
As a globed fruit

Dumb
As old medallions to the thumb

Silent as the sleeve-worn stone
Of casement ledges where the moss has grown –

A poem should be wordless
As the flight of birds

A poem should be motionless in time
As the moon climbs

Leaving, as the moon releases
Twig by twig the night-entangled trees,

Leaving, as the moon behind the winter leaves,
Memory by memory the mind –

A poem should be motionless in time
As the moon climbs

A poem should be equal to:
Not true

For all the history of grief
An empty doorway and a maple leaf

For love
The leaning grasses and two lights above the sea –

A poem should not mean
But be

Archibald MacLeish

“Punch Line” by Yvonne de la Vega

Bailar y ritmo

bailar y ritmo

San Fransisco:  cuttin’ some tracks

with another producer dreamin’ ’bout

himself being the one  to take

poetry out of the Underground

once and for all. He was sure I was the one

“The Poetess”  haha he gave me  a hip hop

name – that fit the bill perfectly for his vision. It’s

weird being the only one in a room with an LA mind.

People talk, I always think they’re joking.    I gotta get outta

that habit, stop smiling, waiting for some punch line.   When

you leave LA no one out there’s got a punch line. Whatever, I love to travel

bailar y ritmo

bailar y ritmo

I’d been through that before

poetry poetry poetry beats

poetry beats beats beats

bailar y ritmo

bailar y ritmo

but afterward,

chuggin’ rum in Martin Luther King Park

drunk and making out. I heard King’s voice.

right when I noticed how beautifully blue

my producer’s eyes were. I was seeing double

but Martin Luther King’s voice was ringing clear.

…eyes that kind of blue were too innocent to ever know

the poets belong in the subversive will always be Underground

they’ll never enter pop there is no message for the dancers. I started

with a whisper as I rose up in Martin Luther King  Park, out of my mouth

came the voice of that slain leader. I whispered, “I want you to think with me this

morning from the subject Rediscovering Lost Values

… R e d i s c o v e r i n g   L o s t   V a l u e s . ”

I   got up and he watched me swing my hips back and forth some extra Betty

Boop, singing loud and drunk

BAILAR Y RRRRRiTMO!!

YAYAYA! I AM

LEAVING ON A

JETPLANE!!!

BYE

He was wasted, his blues eyes glassy,

WHERE YOU GOING?

I was still swinging  my hips

“BAILAR Y RITMO BAILAR!

I’m going back to LA babe!

There is no message for dancers “

He’s still talking even though I ‘m near the street,

DO YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO HAVE A MESSAGE? he yells.

“NOT REALLY, NOT RIGHT NOW, BUT…”

“BUT

I DO NEED…

I NEED  A PUNCH LINE baby!

“AND IT’S IN LA !”

bye- bye!

-yvonne de la vega

Photo by Desiree Barnes

© 2010