Presentation 760

Touching an oak leaf in my old age I bring to bear on it the pain of Chinese philosophy. I am letting the oak leaf fall down into my old age like a leaf that will fall down into a meadow well or brooklet to be still on the face of the water and to fulfill the touching of the oak leaf to the old man in me, the old man that was once in my heart, no man more severe. The oak leaf will fall still more silently. It is an old man’s oak leaf that will still fall.

Presentation 430, Ancient Explosions are Destroying My Sleep

Your music, Doctor Rose, springs like chokecherries to the lips of the soprano all April. April may, or it may not. Last April, it was music, stars rushing their beautiful manners and bleak mannerisms, the sea-battles of September, your cold red High Church. Ancient explosions are destroying my sleep. There are too many angry tulips streaked with blood, too many stars with blood in their hair. Show me the blasted steel column where they hung Doctor Rose, his heart hammered with a burning television and a red clock, black star leaf in a planet, sword-sorcery, crushed midnight diamonds.

Presentation 1987, A Poem Ending With Dead Thunder

A castle shuddering with C-sharp major: a lake’s silent, unexplored colors. This little world of a cloister with its churchyards under a diamond-spinning heaven near a forest and a town is identified by a moon-wheel, ready for Christmas snow. Here we can half-rest until one hundred rainstorms of brilliant gold spill onto smoked glass and towns fall into the sun. Such features, part of an ordinary flower, figure in ordinary sonatas, the ones in which Schubert proves his Egyptian roots. Hard to believe her clarinet: It’s getting harder to believe that dream-work should unfold dead thunder.

Presentation 580, Jenny Perkins

In my mind, I profile a night, using my dark ink, a night of antlers and wild deer, and cherries that grew beside black walnuts. In my mind I have arranged these drawings on a wall for you, Jenny, and shall add some more drawings of brilliant galaxies done in India ink, and shall place there also a drawing called “Childhood Among Wild Cherries.” In my mind I profile a night drawn out of childhood, and I wanted your portrait there, beautiful and pure as the beginning of the first love poem. Ideally, this is what my poem must be.

Presentation 484, Lament for Marwood

It is raining now, in quiet little drops, and Marwood, the hangman of England, is dead. Is it nothing new for you to have raindrops on your fingers in the solitary dark crying of the night? Marwood, the hangman of England, is dead. There is no reach to this moon-touched universe beyond the hero’s star; eagles drift through crimson foreign ports; and Marwood, the hangman of England, is dead. Marwood’s black box is sunk in a grave, his skeleton of ebony and ash is ancient earth. Marwood, hear the gulls cry out Marwood, the hangman of England is dead.

Presentation 337, The Lemony, Frilly Poem

When she saw and in her I because that she because I because, when she, she that is, she, when she, for I knew, I felt, she knew of my rich heart before it purled in waterfalls melodiously. The temerity there, to try a night heartfall, there together, a deeper heart and deeper heartfall, singing heard through the golden strings. Dresden, Germany never knew a more beautiful ceramic cup to be made and decorated that is more beautiful to me than her lordly shining. She dashed with silver the dark orchards of the evening. Lemony, frilly love. My new darling.

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