poetry readings have to be some of the saddest damned things ever, the gathering of the clansmen and clanladies, week after week, month after month, year
after year, getting old together, reading on to tiny gatherings, still hoping their genius will be discovered, making tapes together, discs together, sweating for applause they read basically to and for each other, they can’t find a New York publisher or one within miles, but they read on and on in the poetry holes of America, never daunted, never considering the possibility that their talent might be thin, almost invisible, they read on and on before their mothers, their sisters, their husbands, their wives, their friends, the other poets and the handful of idiots who have wandered in from nowhere.
I am ashamed for them, I am ashamed that they have to bolster each other, I am ashamed for their lisping egos, their lack of guts.
if these are our creators, please, please give me something else:
a drunken plumber at a bowling alley, a prelim boy in a four rounder, a jock guiding his horse through along the rail, a bartender on last call, a waitress pouring me a coffee, a drunk sleeping in a deserted doorway, a dog munching a dry bone, an elephant’s fart in a circus tent, a 6 p.m. freeway crush, the mailman telling a dirty joke
The day is cold, and dark, and dreary; It rains, and the wind is never weary; The vine still clings to the mouldering wall, But at every gust the dead leaves fall, And the day is dark and dreary.
My life is cold, and dark, and dreary; It rains, and the wind is never weary; My thoughts still cling to the mouldering Past, But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast, And the days are dark and dreary.
Be still, sad heart! and cease repining; Behind the clouds is the sun still shining; Thy fate is the common fate of all, Into each life some rain must fall, Some days must be dark and dreary.
Spring Storm; William Carlos Williams
The sky has given over its bitterness. Out of the dark change all day long rain falls and falls as if it would never end. Still the snow keeps its hold on the ground. But water, water from a thousand runnels! It collects swiftly, dappled with black cuts a way for itself through green ice in the gutters. Drop after drop it falls from the withered grass-stems of the overhanging embankment.
We sat down and wept by the waters Of Babel, and thought of the day When our foe, in the hue of his slaughters, Made Salem’s high places his prey; And ye, oh her desolate daughters! Were scattered all weeping away.
While sadly we gazed on the river Which rolled on in freedom below, They demanded the song; but, oh never That triumph the stranger shall know! May this right hand be withered for ever, Ere it string our high harp for the foe!
On the willow that harp is suspended, Oh Salem! Its sound should be free; And the hour when thy glories were ended But left me that token of thee: And ne’er shall its soft tones be blended With the voice of the spoiler by me!
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love for your dream for the adventure of being alive.
It doesnt interest me what planets are squaring your moon… I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.
I want to know if you can sit with pain mine or your own without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy mine or your own if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful to be realistic to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure yours and mine and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes.”
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
On the sheep-cropped summit, under hot sun, The mouse crouched, staring out the chance It dared not take. Time and a world Too old to alter, the five mile prospect— Woods, villages, farms hummed its heat-heavy Stupor of life. Whether to two Feet or four, how are prayers contracted! Whether in God’s eye or the eye of a cat.
Short and poignant. Be blessed all my precious avids 👧💖