from ‘On Secrets’ by Mary Ruefle

IMG_7472

“When you are walking down a city street and not paying much attention—perhaps you are downtrodden by some confusion—and come suddenly upon a rose bush blooming against a brick wall, you may be struck and awakened by the appearance of beauty. But the rose is not beautiful. You think the rose is beautiful and so you may also think, with sadness, that it will die. But the rose is not beauty. What beauty is is your ability to apprehend it. The ability to apprehend beauty is the human spirit and it is what all such moments are about, which is why such moments occur in places and at times that may strike another as unlikely or inconceivable, and it does not seem far-fetched to say that the larger the human spirit, the more it will apprehend beauty in increasingly unlikely and inconceivable situations, which is why there is such a great variety of art objects on earth. And there is something else we should say about the apprehension of beauty: it causes discomfort; and by discomfort I mean the state of being riled, which is a state of reverberation.

“What you carried inside you when you walked through the door was this ability. It is your ability to apprehend beauty, or the lack of it. It is your ability to listen. And change, or be changed. It has something to do with the secret of human existence, which is nowhere revealed, and nowhere concealed, and in front of which we remain, or become, infants.”

paculum-spec2-sm

Source:

“Stray Beast” by Sarah Jean Grimm

C90xrNWW0AEmUdQ

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.

Kestrel



A kestrel orbits the Meadowlands
Beside the Turnpike.
A reminder: In the order of everything,
It is most likely the case that
No thing separates from any other thing,
Despite great evidence contrary.

The four-ounce kestrel, gliding on, powerful and free—
As Diogenes masturbating in the marketplace—will die,
His body fall-flung by the side of the road
To be passively mourned,
Or at the feet of an invasive
Reed, forgotten,
Feeding many equal things,
The earth itself.

Wikipedia Poem, No. 331

wiki331-low

“It is impossible to find satisfaction in a terror that is seriously felt.” Kant, Critique of Judgement, §28

 

gently afraid
of nature
causes just

though dominion
thus shrinks from
virtuous designs

there goes inward
a reference toward fear
it may exhibit as being carried

only in our
limitation
the idea

discovers us so
far as outbursts
beautiful what is

man seeking
only a fitting fear
states respect for

comparison which is
never provided
in dominion

bemoan cases
of the world in nature
an object of stern judgement

soul above imagination
that for what we are
are is that we are

“Dante’s Beatrice” by Frederick Seidel (2006)

I ride a racer to erase her.
Bent over like a hunchback.
Racing leathers now include a hump
That protects the poet’s spine and neck.
I wring the thing out, two hundred miles an hour.
I am a mink on a mink ranch determined not
To die inside its valuable fur, inside my racesuit.

I bought the racer
To replace her.
It became my slave and I its.
All it lacked was tits.
All it lacked
Between its wheels was hair.
I don’t care.
We do it anyway.

The starter-caddy spins its raving little wheel
Against the Superbike’s elevated fat black
Rear soft-compound tire.
Remember: racer
Down for second gear instead of up!
Release the clutch—the engine fires.
I am off for my warm-up lap on a factory racer
Because I can’t face her.

I ride my racer to erase her.
I ride in armor to
Three hundred nineteen kilometers an hour.
I am a mink on a mink ranch about
To die inside its valuable fur,
Inside my leathers.
She scoops me out to make a coat for her.
She buttons up a me of sort warm blur.

Is this the face that launched
A thousand slave ships?
The world is just outstanding.
My slavery never wavers.
I use the word “slavers”
To mean both “drools”
And, changing the pronunciation, “trades in slaves.”
I consider myself most of these.

Mark Peploe and I used to sit around
Cafés in Florence grading
Muses’ noses.
Hers hooks like Gauguin’s,
His silent huge hooked hawk prow.
I am the cactus. You are the hyena.
I am the crash, you the fireball of Jet-A . . .
Only to turn catastrophe into dawn.

 


From “Poems 1959-2009” Frederick Seidel

Context 0309-102016

Context 1142
03092016

Context 1150
they’ve all been in my mouth my favorite books

Context 1153
a great fighter against the official verse culture marjoram perloff

Context 1156
the playground kids are right: to shriek is righteous

Context 1201
FullSizeRender 11

Context 1208
Bernstein : not enough poetry gets reviews in publications with wide circular: big-city newspapers, the news weeklies, and the National journals of culture and opinions.

Context 1215
Bernstein: the oxygen of publicity matters quite a bit. Poetry thrives and survives nurtured by its committed readers and practitioners.

Context 1224
Master of Confirmation Bias
Confirmation Bias King
Fiefdom of Seek and Ye Shall Find

Context 1231
aid or foment this disinterest

Context 1232
I can’t believe my SwiftKey dictionary has a smaller vocabulary than me

Context 1237
the great zeitgeist assassination trump

Context 1245
do I fast or drink more coffee, should I give up being sober? Iced coffee sounds nice. I can hear the cubes calling out. Is another drug really the answer? More questions? Paper or plastic? hitler or pol pot or bush? Outrage or indifference? Iced coffee or red bull or nothing shut up?

Context 1349
Lifter Puller doing 80 down the turnpike, sunroof agape. Why do I tolerate the winter? I want the nice-nice up in blazes.

Context 1426
While his parents slept, this 7-year-old boy’s life was saved by Jedi, his diabetes-sniffing dog

Context 1917
have any of you seen this? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeanne_Dielman,_23_quai_du_Commerce,_1080_Bruxelles is it any good?

or

Note to self: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeanne_Dielman,_23_quai_du_Commerce,_1080_Bruxelles

Context 1919
bogus hed alert: Nancy Reagan begins final journey to husband’s side

Context 2122
Holy shit what beauty

Context 0112
03102016

I’m going to point toward everything and render the garbage world to sleep; to sleep

Wikipedia Poem, No. 129

wiki129.jpg

When you are hungry: eat. When you are tired: sleep. This is Wikipoem.

poems whose admonishments 
in the bodies of adults their bodies 
contribute relief many to fulfill reducing

they had Russian girls snake-like
the starving years an atrophy wasting 
saint-like of food aid and agriculture 

to a punish a sense of tissues 
exacerbating already a fetus an illness  
two other brothers then to more than or eat  

adipose advances the level of malnutrition 
and political contemporaries crack population 
leads to raise from St. Cong’s people or

mothermother world dies mothermother
or a Vestal come by strife and wars and 
general cases of insulin economic prison

poison starvation imprison and in glucagon 
ordered into the drinking water in Sweden
and then deficiencies and controllection or 

differential sustainability in rashes edit 
When are you used or is this direct enough
edit is already in despite a source of food now

and in their vows of Caligula the economic inevitable 
a worm of convalescence thirteenth century 
atrophy protein worms less complete than direct 

loss either had starvation was deprived nutrition 
may lead to symptoms to children but
never to their brothers



 

Source:
“Starvation.” Wikipedia. N.p.: Wikimedia Foundation, 31 Jan. 2016. Web. 2 Feb. 2016.

Wikipedia Poem, No. 71

3

    violinish in 
     this meaning 
          nonchalance, 
maybe I am 
certainly worth melt an 
         inanity, 
      something 
visits to share
  Delphi a 
         least younger articultured across could have health slight 
      I wanted matterstock
  Madison’s.

In high press. When I 
began her withering head, run 
Shutter. 
    In my success country: our 
part 
        often cited maybe I knew environment an averaged
  head, running
worlds been 
I was 
their 
     beauty, we've always 
    been 
weighing a break fortunately, some many college 
seem failure-fearing 
personality and I knowing my 
       time stud

wikipedia poem, no. 42

survival

             the stranger's 
body's 
      so 
awfully glad 
     
    the USA    stranger's body's still    
 
     
    so 
awfully 
      glad to be   
    conscripted to be     a   
    brain
         
  to be here for 
you all 
        

   a useless 
         day?  
        
            
         to be   
conscribed
         to confidence 
  
       By         the same 
     
 
 useless 
day?   
  
      
         a stranger's 
        body's some awful-loan 
   
the stranger's body's 
 
          
    all  
           
           
  to consider 
       disappointing 
    to be here 
all I ever wanted  
 Can I 
get another        day
  
              to be