Dear Poets—

Wikipedia Poem, No. 870

saskatchewan, i have—by a mile—the heat of whirlwind
this whirlwind of what i know… after-time

gotta study and get on with all the whirlwind heat
this whirlwind of preparing for the heat of the best poems

published in saskatchewan o well and study video games
i have—by a meteor mile—the heat of this to do list: quit my hand

i briefly felt like a wonderful person
i really should be studying and felt wonderful

now that will hold my hand and
live in reputable american journals

i really fucked my to-do: quit my poet
i am a very secretly a fearful person

i am very more tame
when i stopped drinking i published

you know… no time gotta study it
i really should study for the heavy escape

no time gotta study for the best poet
i am very secretly fucked

my illusion felt wonderful
i really fucked me: quit my poet

i really should study for law school
i’m so scared — salty poet

i don’t want to step out of this
whirlwind of preparing and feel wonderful

now that i know i need to escape myself —
this radical being — in smoke

‘The geezer alcoholics in the corner?’

Wikipedia Poem, No. 867

safe.jpg

     break into 
air 
       leather man
break into air 
     
breathe 
      into  
   leather man
          breathe into air 
   leather jacket
   licked back 
      hair
and 
steal 
another 
      man
        break 
into 
leather 
     man
don't break
don't break man
     don't break   
       
look leather 
man
       break it or lose it 
     leather 
man
break the air 
man
      pomegranate flower
hoplite bannister  

leather man
      slip into 
        the air 
like a man
          breaks in his  
      leather 
man
breaks into 
          the hairy air 
       leather rip
    jacket rip
licked backseat 
          nothing
man sniffling 
a diagram
then sentenceless i don't exist rip
        lick leather men sniffing 
about arson
one might hang 
  about 
arson around
  one night about 
     like smoke
one might 
   break the air 
          smoke around
       one just might smoke leather man

“Ballad of the Savage Tiger” by Li He

grown.jpeg

No one attacks it with a long lance,
No one plies a strong cross-bow.
Suckling its grandsons, rearing its cubs,
It trains them into savagery.
Its reared head becomes a wall
Its waving tail becomes a banner.
Even Huang from the Eastern Sea,¹
Dreaded to see it after dark,
A righteous tiger, met on the road,²
Was quite enough to upset Niu Ai.
What good is it for that short sword
To hang on the wall, growling like thunder?
When from the foot of Tai mountain
Comes the sound of a woman weeping,
Government regulations forbid
Any official to dare to listen.³

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Notes from The Collected Poems of Li He:

A satire on oppressive government, of which the tiger was the symbol. Caught between the Central Government and the warlords, the people are harassed as though by tigers.

  1. Huang, of Dong-hai, had magical powers which enabled him to control snakes and tigers. Unfortunately for him, he lost these powers through drinking to excess and was eventually killed by a tiger.
  2. The zhou-yu was a white tiger with black markings which appeared only when a state was perfectly governed. It would not tread on grain nor eat living things. Niu Ai was a duke turned were-tiger, who ate his own elder brother. He is pointing out that some tigers are worse than others.
  3. Confucius found a woman weeping at the foot of Mount Tai. Though her whole family had been killed by tigers she refused to leave the district, because there was no oppressive government there. This caused Confucius to remark that an oppressive government was more savage than any tiger.

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More about Li He from The New York Review of Books:

Li He is the bad-boy poet of the late Tang dynasty. He began writing at the age of seven and died at twenty-six from alcoholism or, according to a later commentator, “sexual dissipation,” or both. An obscure and unsuccessful relative of the imperial family, he would set out at dawn on horseback, pause, write a poem, and toss the paper away. A servant boy followed him to collect these scraps in a tapestry bag.

Long considered far too extravagant and weird for Chinese taste, Li He was virtually excluded from the poetic canon until the mid-twentieth century. Today, as the translator and scholar Anne M. Birrell, writes, “Of all the Tang poets, even of all Chinese poets, he best speaks for our disconcerting times.” Modern critics have compared him to Rimbaud, Baudelaire, Keats, and Trakl.

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Source: Li He, Ballad of the Savage Tiger. “The Collected Poems of Li He.” Translated by J.D. Frodsham, New York Review Books, 2016.

 

Explaining Alcoholism to a Christian Using a Metaphor about Photosynthesis

Wikipedia Poem, No. 787

circus-of-the-sun-sm

disaster hammers
choice

diving into memory’s wreck
reveals god an addict

produce and improve
think and civil war

come you groundbreaker
annual depending flashes of green tumble

the fruiting lift of its time
prisms individual residents

hole up at the corymb mall
the follow-up between younger pews

saint george slays
a spray of arboreal math

saint matt jolts his subjects
this isn’t the god damned lottery

This is America

Wikipedia Poem, No. 783

w783-sm

charms revive glass
god one quits

plague of glass or question
alternative: crashing

diamonds or questions
serenity prayer for IEDs

collect the alternative
crashing strikes itchy neighbor

very-real hand serendipitous charms
down into the glass prayer

for the alternative crashing diamonds
or question weather in the jar

full of god question
safety one can hold

one can hold god
or an imaginary boxcutter

neighbors very-real hand
serendipitous charms

question these over
diamonds lightning fine silk

Digesting the One Perfect Cherry Blossom (Ōtomo no Tabito’s Problem Drinking)

Wikipedia Poem, No. 782

w782

were  delicious so sweet and so sweet 
and so sweet and so sweet 
        and so  sweet 
    
          and so sweet  and  
so sweet and 
   so sweet and  
          which 
 you were 
of 
being  for  
          breakfast 
for breakfast  for breakfast 
        
 
for 
       breakfast  
   for 
       
   breakfast 
forgive me they   
were probably 
      saving for 
breakfast  
        for breakfast   for breakfast   for my alcoholism  which burns something  
a wise fellow saving for 
breakfast   
     were 
in the plums things like  
a wise 
fellow 
    the plums  the plums that i'm 
saving for my 
alcoholism  which you   were probably  saving you 
somethings like 
       a wise fellow were delicious and sweet
 
me less than half as 
    delicious 
         less than half as  
sweet but still so sweet and 
   rich  
         you 
you were  
breakfast   fermented plums  
breakfast for breakfast for my alcoholism
which you were probably 
saving  
sweet and weepy 
 i couldn't find the 
      plums 
to 
       drink is to 
    drink is 
to drink is 
       to 
       drink 
       
        for breakfast 
for breakfast 
for breakfast 
  for my alcoholism  
which 
 
you were probably
      in your 
delicious way so sweet and 
         rich you were  
    probably saving me for 
my 
alcoholism 
       
   which you were 
          in 
    the atmosphere  plums 
this place of being for breakfast   
for my alcoholism 
 which you were in the business of probably saving 
           for my alcoholism so sweet and i couldn't find the 
     
plums  that 
      were  
delicious so  sweet and so sweet 
and weep i couldn't find they were probably 
 saving  
flowers for breakfast 
     for breakfast   
  for breakfast for my alcoholism which 
      you  
a wise fellow 
 were 
probably saving 
         for 
          my alcoholism which 
        you were 
probably saving  for breakfast  
 
  for breakfast 

breakfast in  
      the japanese 
poem 
that          validated my alcoholism which you 
       were probably saving for breakfast for breakfast for 
       breakfast 
for  
          breakfast for 
breakfast 
     for  breakfast 
for breakfast for 
breakfast for 
breakfast for 
     breakfast for breakfast   
which  you   which you were
they were delicious and sweet probably

Map of the World

Wikipedia Poem, No. 746

shypint8

shy piñata

horizon of mascara slurps
a burst expectant cross
mangles the black one
purple swoosh at eye-level

burst piñata

down-filled custom spilt dirty swinging watcher
black one purpled shoulders slap
black one purple air of fire

blink mascara
burst piñata

the poets’ key
falls into air-fire

down across simile
like the face with no face
elsewhere is here
it licks for candied fontanelle

or glides or imagines
the black one’s purple mage
who cannot know:

and slurps
the poets’ knot
groks their shy
pint at eye-level

Please let me sleep

“The bike I was thinking of buying belonged to a friend. Before I could buy it, I crashed on it, riding as a passenger behind my friend, with a beautiful girl squeezed in between us, three on a bike, a Triumph, going far too fast, all of us drunk, around Place de la Concorde, and slipping out of control on the wet cobbles at 4:00 a.m. Pardner, don’t get on a motorcycle with drink in you.” Frederick Seidel

Monadnock

Wikipedia Poem, No, 691

w691-final-small

      in some countries hair 
pilcrow blossom falls 
  
     she is you remember that
a good husband avoids 
     a cross 
 
time bothers neither alluvial husband nor empire 
husband nor backwoods 
husband 

nor line them up on my own thread
      across 
      time 

      i return to my 
collapsing honey-clings to my 
    life my wife that white refusee there and not 

      the first time staring beautiful you said a fistful 
of memories    you covetously       
          having 

         never 
been inside 
my mind 

    9.4% alc/vol my lips do not behave 
like the good husband nor the quiet car 
away from the 

        aerosol 
kudzu 
that honey-pillow goddess pun

Day Tradition Shade Bridge

Wikipedia Poem, No. 683

colors-and-flesh2-sm

baume du doge
moira egan
mark strand
venice
aperitivo
orange
one
drinks
vitamins
truth
conversations
grand canal
cinnamon
cardamom
spice trade
shade
sky
day
saffron
poetry
language
tradition
san marco
carillon
gusts
myrrh
frankincense
city
elegance
silk
velvet
benzoin
vetiver
night
permanence
day
saffron
poetry
language
trade
shade
shade
shade
shade
shade
shade
shade
shade
shade
shade
shade
sky
day
saffron
poetry
language
traditions
grand
venice
aperitivo
orange
one
drinks
vitamins
truth
conversations
grand
venice
aperitivo
orange
one
drinks
vitamins
truth
conversations
grand canal
cinnamon
cardamom
spice tradition
san marco
carillon
gusts
myrrh
frankincense
city
elegance
silk
velvet
benzoin
vetiver
night
permanencese
city
elegance
silk
velvet
benzoin
vetiver
night
permanencese
city
elegance
silk
velvet
benzoin
vetiver
night
permanencese
city
elegance
silk
velvet
benzoin
vetiver
night
permanencese
city
elegance
silk
velvet
benzoin
vetiver
night
permanencese
city
elegance
silk
velvet
benzoin
vetiver
night
permanence
city
elegance
silk
velvet
benzoin
vetiver
night
permanencese
city
elegan
mark strand
venice
aperitivo
orange
one
drinks
vitamins
truth
conversation
san marco
cardamom
spice trade
shade
shade
shade
shade
shade
shade
shade
shade
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shade
shade
shade
shade
sky

day

saffron
poetry
language

tradition

grand
venice
aperitivo
orange
one
drinks
vitamins
truth
conversations
grand
venice
aperitivo
orange
one
drinks
vitamins
truth
conversation
san marco
cardamom
spice
trade
shade
shade
shade
shade
shade
shade
shade
shade
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shade
shade
shade
sky
day
saffron
poetry
language
trade
shade
shade
shade
shade
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Source: Egan, Moira. “Baume du Doge.” The New Criterion, Dec. 2017, www.newcriterion.com/issues/2017/12/baume-du-doge.