Mary Ruefle

think like that
no like that

sniff around a burrow
don’t hunt birds

think like this
no like this

raccoons yes groundhogs
yes opossum definitely yes

think for yourself
no not like that

not the robin though
nor the house sparrow

here give me the controller
let me have a go at it

nor the half dozen finches
gathered near the volkswagen

put your hands up
don’t move a muscle.

“Stray Beast” by Sarah Jean Grimm

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I cannot recommend highly enough Sarah Jean Grimm‘s “Soft Focus” from Metatron out of Montreal. The poem above grabbed me by the throat. I still have the finger marks from last night’s reading. Buy the book (might I suggest the entire Spring 2017 catalog?) and support great, living poets.

Poetess

poetess-sm

if one would iridesce greed one
two three patterns emerge
one skin of ochre
two blood like blood
three one can do nothing to
embrace one’s poetess
hang a snare one two three
from the nose of a fox one two three
what awaits one there one
spiked leather collar two
three a black vinyl dress
one’s beard dewless skin
covered in iridian mess

The Roar of the Slain Protect

Wikipedia Poem, No. 413

wiki413-sm

“But they know how to pull / Arms in, a reflex of being dressed, / And also, a child’s faith. The mass of stuff / That makes the Sunday frocks collapses / In my hands and finds its shape, only because / They understand the drape of it— / These skinny keys to intricate locks.” Mark Jarman

For Bill

the roar of the slain protect the caretaker’s hut
that red clay pot portends tracks for the hunt
everything in the red clay pot belongs to the animals
though it is also fed on flour that
as a practice
belongs to those among us who do not touch bone
members of that slain ceremony
light as human gods
travel into prologues great and sprinkled with medicine
the ceremony involves deposited arrowheads emblematic
of horses and sheep and the enemy
eats our history
unlike the traditions of the keeper
the careful hunters of the ocean
traveling chosen

paculum-spec2-sm

Sources:

Logic Study

Wikipedia Poem, No. 409

wiki409

“I am always tying up / and then deciding to depart.” Frank O’Hara

 

a trap set with
electric tongues
mouse in-
advertently cleft
itemized by tongues
transport terms arranged
into two recursively
out bloody breast bones
you have something
observer some sheet of
margins imagine it the
sense intelligence simmering
both your final form
and the sound beneath
some shared irreverence
ends in the itemized bits
which sit on the trap
of your mouth
in the tv room
under warm blankets
covering a trap
set with
tongues

Wikipedia Poem, No. 380

wiki380

“I cannot understand the subtle words / it speaks to the sad heart that makes it speak.” Dante Alighieri

catol la ma scamia stola ri lapri l'mia sato
       liber bustio anism l'ri la libemia sia scralis
aplibera        andalismm libcatolia scia scola
 aprla mii la apri a miari lapri li          la  why quireism
 sca miatola          achme scatla apatola la mlie
          scatla ap mia scato libehe io       libeberalola
aprapri ola aliberla apscatoatolaola a apripri
la miho    una scaola aia sclism        i la
sscato la ma mia apri libepri la scam saipri
itola pri lcatol mia catolri lala           milie
uallyla aps an sm lilism scatola       apalismcatolscatoa

all the notes from tonight

kmart

 

The thing in the sky
All of a sudden is a cartoon bird
Then it’s an actual hungry shark

But it’s a puddle of draino now
I’m sad I said sad to see polygons
Again the lizard ten years old

Then chemo
Is a seahorse
Then it’s a chicken

It’s not a chicken per se
I’m nervous and driving
Afraid of death depth stillness it looks like

A chicken but then suddenly
It’s pregnant something else still born
It’s the ocean but not drowned

A seahorse hot
A shark it’s not a
Chicken it’s a rotten cartoon it’s

Six o’clock somewhere I suppose a carcass now a newt
It’s 6 ounces of what sky is what
I wanted to say am saying have said.

Wikipedia Poem, No. 281

wiki281

“Poetry comes out of nothing. … Read the nothing.” Renee Gladman, extemporaneously

 

cured in florida salt
the marsh vole
is classified as endanged

yet bites further
into the united states
than the colonial itself

year-round burrows
where it stores food
for the winter and

females give birth
to the breeding cant
what breeding it can

cause damage to
fruit trees gardens
shrubbery and comm-

ercial grain crops
through the winter
it is aggressive

year-round usually
at night and dig to
north-central nebraska

and central nebraska
and south from central
utah it is excluded only

from northeastern and
eastern georgia known
as extreme polar regions

a disjunct subset of wyoming and
south through tennessee the missouri
river is excluded only from its libido

paculum-spec2-sm

Source: Gladman, Renee. “I Began The Day.” Harper’s, Sept. 2016, p. 11.

Wikipedia Poem, No. 248

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“I lie out / dragging myself forward with bear-knives in my fists.” Galway Kinnell

 

      i begin to the next 
groan

i spend climb 
the old snow on the thigh and 
fall— 
      fall one day i begin 
to keep up 

at 
        night 
reappear 
   
       blows 
     of 
        bear-transcendence   
     the fairway i 
  begin to hunt him down as i knew 
   i would   
        and which i lurch

the word "hunt" appears precisely
no time in Gallway Kinnell's
poem
 
no 
     mattering wonder old snow the bear him 
and digest of the wind 
      
       at 
the 
      flyway 
      
in her ravine 
in 
the bear's 
blood the world 

at 
dismayal
   i awaken 
i 
          tottering wonder 
old snow the dismayed 

   i awaken a third 
i 
       begin toward winter and 
    gnash it up
splash on think 
      must rise 
come to the trail behind 
        me 
and down 
          my nostrils 
    
          flared  
           

and which 
       way to 
   begin the seventh day

paculum-spec2-sm

Source: Kinnell, Galway. “The Bear.” Poetry Foundation. n.d. Web. 6 July 2016.

Wikipedia Poem, No. 186

MOTION

“The night is a sentinel. / Much of your time has been occupied by creative games / Until now, but we have all-inclusive plans for you. / We had thought, for instance, of sending you to the middle of the desert,” John Ashbery

 

or one in the wild
as an old draft horse
into this foal odor

caused behavior
response of wood
finds his body wild

modern languishes
domestic coyotes live
in recycling of unknown birth

with one of wood
and one of behavior
equus ferus carrion

like an unbuilt russian roller coaster
mountained and developed to term
to sense thoroughbred markings

atomic breed shortly
follows the track
from anatomy to decay

coyotes komodo dragons
verticulated months endanger
dead flesh breeds bacteria

 


Source:  Riedel, Charlie. Kentucky Derby. 5 May 2016. 
      Photograph. Associated Press. 5 May 2016.