Thursday, November 29, 2007

Steve Roberts

Evil Fuckface

I'm a human radio station, got it?
Swallowing the mortals, vomit as discourse--
I'm Vincent Price no I'm Charlton Heston--
at current elevation I'm neither of those,
my bachelor life proceeds with canned products.
See you in the valley, you'll be dead, a movie
about vampires proceeds with an orgy of neck ripping--
long story, writer disappointed, standing in light
smoke from teeth filling the image, discourse
as discourse--bad actor explaining the political cause.
Cigarettes unpleasant, bees fucking locusts
become topic of discussion, economics effected
by some guy talking, population control, let's
us kill ourselves a human, tribunal against justice,
taste in mouth found to be garbage, homeless envy--
reasoning hampered by cybernetics, here's the book
you're going to write while in the theater.

Damaged Soul Document

Big hand on the keyboard, diagonal
striped glove, difficult to remember past
christmases, the blur of memory, several
coffee cup stains, row of imperfect circles.

Moron wanted to be the life of parties
unknown. The woods, several years ago.
Annual rememberance of empty box.
I don't want to use the word 'you' anymore.

New and selected strands of hair, mix
myself a poison, call it a potion, endless
nights on the couch, party with wine,
restless clothesline begins to flap.

My glow is not alive. Someone
has spread blankets over ourselves,
morning is sneaking up. Car won't start.
Parties are the in-between, these moments.

Steve Roberts
is a Texan living in Brooklyn. He has an MFA from the New School, and his poetry has been published in the Tiny, Big Tex[t] and Red China Magazine. He also is music editor for LVHRD magazine. His first book,VS., will be coming out in Spring 2008 with Black Maze Books.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sharon Dolin

With Roses (6:30 a.m.)

I'm empty. Quench me with song.
I'm guarded. Open me as the undine.
I'm sleepy. Awaken me to strum. 
I'm clipped and shorn of night. With each note brighten me.

Let the eight-stringed harp hallow Your name.
I'm thirsty with praise. Let this golden net manna me in Your Majesty.

The leaves of the sycamore wave their shade through my window 
      in my underwater sun they dapple my page.
Through me the voice of the sparrow.
Through my song the dying heave of the hooked bluefish
      its ribboned gills—the color of bleeding roses.
In its last gasps in the punishing air—so like its birth—it praises You. 

What hook have You placed in my lip?

I seek You in the syllable sighs of the sycamore that sings Seek more.
I hear You in the mimosa that murmurs My Moses.
I have sought Your face in the faces of strangers who jostle me at the market. 
I have glimpsed You in my son's squint and in my husband's ironic grin.
I have sought You in the late-blooming rose of Sharon.
I have found You in the spider that makes its web in my kitchen corner.
I have seen You in the inchworm caught in its web and in the one scaling my arm. 

O the world is filled with those who bait the hook and those who are caught
      and You alone know which one we will become
      and when You will catch us up in Your celestial net.

And all at the moment of birth and at the moment of bloom 
      and still all at the scissored instant of death

When the good are trampled upon
      and it is difficult to muster my faith into song

When I waver I pray
      You will set me on the highest rock 
For even my doubt is holy and drum-taps Your praise.

Green Laddered Thanksgiving (11 a.m.)

At forest-green                 at rungs as trees

      at shore-rim            of shadow-green 

(on one high step        on mixing bowl » dish towel


     to archway)               to Japanese maple » ample

       leaves climbing               I am climbing

           to read     Nature's book in this nook

      in this 21st century kitchen light » at chin height

        And all I can do is give thanks » thanks

         for the bull frog                     by my door 

  give thanks                      for the cicada's » dada

    its persistent IS         for these limbs » that limn

that I can still swim » on a whim

      in the green pond exceeding     thanks » for seeding me » 

       ceding me Samuel                   my son

                whose name means You heard

             prophet  anointer of kings » rejoicer in all things

     who believes in You

        (How else could the whole world

              have been created)

More thanks for                       Sono (know who is)

   the red Griffon »                  fond I am fond of

       his beard-face to look       upon is to laugh » bark against bark

   whose patience          is devotion » won't shun

                 risks              drowning              swimming out     to me 

Abundant gratitude in every latitude

for my marry »      my helpmate

(not made like me)      in his stoic calm

as the morning page         of the pond » (my im » ponderable)

                 Thank You for fashioning me as I am 

a woman (no woe-man—                    not wombed man)

morning-slow (mourning, low)            who kneels »

                 making patterns                quickening with words »

                                   (consorts with orts) 

                           May all these lines praise You

                              rays                     raise You

                               thanks                  give

                                   for each day's          eleventh hour return 

                                          (my sojourn)

                            the gathering        bright haze.

Blackberry City and Sundial Talk (4 p.m.): Time

takes all but memories  in the end 
       (takes time) takes even those

of our tailboned ancestors       this
the purplest late-fall sun      of my lover's ways (of my own)

of the buildings torn down to make way  of those ghosting my dreams 
of the bridges packed with smeared people walking away

of other bridge walks to hear
"Crossing Brooklyn Ferry"               the ceremony

of marriage     even of the brightest
blood birth at the sunset hour of 4:59 

when I pushed and strained
forth a child           of his immediate gaze

and suckle      of stinging milk-breast urge    its taste
of my blackberry blood

of that first Brooklyn day outside after 
many child-feverish days             of racing

down the exhilarating alleyway
into the spangled street        of sweating in the City of

Fountains (of drinking at one           dipping
my feet in another)             of each ecstatic 

swim            when I once fell in      got snow up my nose
of the first time I picked blackberries

in Ithaca and bit in    of lavender smell           of the last time
I kissed his sleepy face

or held her grasp:      Is forgetting
the soul dying          finally with the body?

O Blessed One
                may it never be so.

Sharon Dolin is the author of three books of poems: Realm of the Possible (Four Way Books, 2004), Serious Pink (Marsh Hawk Press, 2003), and Heart Work (The Sheep Meadow Press, 1995), as well as five poetry chapbooks. Her latest book, Burn and Dodge, is the winner of the Donald Hall Prize in Poetry and forthcoming from the University of Pittsburgh Press. Dolin is Poet-in-Residence at Eugene Lang College, The New School for Liberal Arts. She directs The Center for Book Arts Annual Letterpress Poetry Chapbook Competition and is a Curator for their Broadsides Reading Series, and teaches at the 92 Street Y in NYC.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Josh Hanson


For a poem like a city, like a man:
gone light at the extremity,
thinned in sprawl—the river was once
a highway, a heart-sluice of speech—
ribs of bridges arcing, shoulder to shoulder,
you see: a poem of hemispheres,
lolling, too large for its frame, for a frame,
some form lacking locus, some lie
and our knowing, for our unknowing,
for all of these, I am and have become.

New Harmony, Indiana

Between the new
                             and the new world 
                                                            is ranged
a sea so wide to warp the pure idea:

that is to say, 
                     the movement is downward:
below the whiskey still,
                                       the unconscious,
down to the ground, 
where we hear our blood:
                                          the knocking of the rails.
The English
                    couple on the train 
thought the Sierras 

There’s no part of England
not tramped over twice a day: 


We were children, would make our loaves of dust,
so we thought: 
                      Throw your possessions away!
or let the railroad line do it for you:
in the city, 
                 our things outlasted us
                                                        as they do.
And today, the English ran,
smoke and ash up from the tunnels:
spanning every sea:
                                Father’s Day,
great hawk above the hill, 
                                                         yellow and calm, 
and the ravens came down
battering it, tearing its wing, crying,
and the hawk, now hurt, still circled: 
                                                              the cries
no allegory, I saw it happen: 
the hawks have all fled: 
                                        sing crow-caw, crow-caw
and the leaders answer in turn: 

But ours was but the madness of the young,
California to Chicago and on
                                                New York, 
that last leg where the trains aged 
                                                         a decade, 
the lines snaking on dark:
                                          a tunneled world 

                           (the movement is downward).

A hundred journeys later, pushing 
the West’s end, the wide plains of Washington,
dry grasses and dune, 
                                   swatches of green land
where irrigated, and then sudden miles
of farmed poplar planted less than eight feet
between and extending back from the road
                   to the driver’s eye
                                                    screen upon 
moving screen: 
                                         and a ways beyond, 
fields of powerlines,
                                 wires glistening white 
beautiful in their way, 
                                     stretching toward the horizon:
the natural image:
                               beyond the natural.

No, not that exactly, but a nature
that knows the human, more than landscape
or its undoing.
                          Dominion, perhaps—
Listen to the old man talk tomatoes—
it is not an art—what will grow will grow,
but taste the fruit…
                                The parallelogram
of Owen; 
              little more than the raised beds
of the gardener, though extrapolated
metaphor: we all are the fruits,
meant for more temperate climes, but hearty,
well, hearty enough, if lacking insight:
we set out, the whole human race,
moving ever-downward,
                                           ever in love.

Josh Hanson lives in Sheridan, WY with his family. He edits the online journal Eucalyptus: a Journal of the Broken Narrative as well as End & Shelf, which presents free online chapbooks.