David Remnick

DR

Referential in a way John Ashbery could never be —
I’ve yet to read John Ashbery.

I’m at the ironbark dreaming,
Except I’m not; I’m ironstone.

The world will not let me
Say what I mean; or I

Come across
Weak, watered down

And cheap. I’m afraid to pay
For what I deserve; “Alright.

Honey, have a safe trip.
Yep, OK. Alright, the plan is airtight.”

Teaching Literature in a Discredited Civilization

Wikipedia Poem, No. 496

gutlight-smg-lq

houses on this dial paired  
with one who dials out 
and his block with many people on it 
         
one who moves verges on this pair  
one who dials out 
a broad bruised hand 
 
sitting on condescending they 
are many 
houses on a 5D model 
 
apartment dwellers wrong laugh condescending
cry to the condescending cry
to the moon instead of death and 5D avenues 
   
with many houses on a 5D model 
apartment dwellers 
in pairs 
 
one who dials out and is weaker for it
a wrestler wrestlers stolen long neck 
some on this block with many 5D vacancies
 
modeled after men crying under floorboards 
one who dials out 
pairs with many alcoholic halfway homes
 
just two letters 
condescending to 
          gutlight catholics 
5D model apartment dwellers with many missing hearts

Motion in Ordered Control

Wikipedia Poem, No. 490

w490-2-sm

“We wouldn’t have tried for more: / the kiss, the button; firm, white shape / of an image slipped wholly into the mind, / acted upon, dreamed upon, / filling the thin vessels of the lungs.” from ‘A Pornography’ by Paisley Rekdal

exer xer ekser 
  to metiontrol ined 
acticulous meticulous meticulous 
    control 
          in order 
      exer 
exer to 
mentionss unrefin order to meticulous maker to meticulous 
unrefin 
order to meticulous 
         metiontrol in ses 
make baker to make 
baker to maker to 
maker 
exer to 
         meticulous maker exer exer to make baker exer 
exer 
        exer to meticulous unrefin 
orderciseem acticulous unrefin order exer 
exer exer to maker to 
     makercises make acticulous make 
bake 
acticulous unrefin order exer exer exert 
to metiontrol in order exer to make bake 
acticulous unrefined as meticulous make as 
con 
order to 
    meticulous unrefin ses possibleeactiontrol 
         in 
order exeo
exer exer exer to meticulous unrefined 
          as unrefined as 
maker exer inter ekser xer to 
meticulous 
possibleticulous 
control in ordered motion
in 
order to metionsem as metion 
       order to 
        metiontrol in order exer exer to 
    meticulous possibleer 
to 
meticulous metionss unrefin ses unrefin ses make
 as unrefined acticulous unrefin order 
to meticulous unrefin order exer exer exer to meticulous 
maker baker
bor bo leta mari posa far falla
exer to 
meticulous metionsage baker exer exer to 
maker 
exer to maker 
to 
maker exer to meticulous unrefined action order 
exer exer 
exer exer 
exer exer exer exer 
exer to meticulous unrefined actionsem acticulous 
possiblem as possiblein order 
   exer 
      exer to 
make actiontrol in 
  order 
          to maker exer 
       exer 
to make actiontrol 
in order exer 
to 
        meticulous possible 
       meticulous unrefined 
      as possible baker to 
     metiontrol ined acticulous unrefined as possibleacticulous 
          unrefined acticulous 
          maker exer exer 
        exer exer 
      exer exer 
exer 
exer to 
maker 
      exer to maker to 
      mention to seem 
        acticulous maker 
      exer to 
      metionspossibleme 
  as meticulous unrefined 
actiontrol 
      in 
       order to exer to 
maker an exer 
exercises 
unrefined order to meretricious extol
in order to meticulate the possible 
exer 
exer saturday 
     night cruise control
     meticulous possible make actionsbleacticulous 
     make acticulous unrefined actionol in 
order exer xserve exer exer exer exer exer to meticulous make baker exer 
to make 
acticulous con order 
to meticulous possible to 
meticulous possiblebake acticulous metiontrol in order exer 
         exer to metion 
       seem acticulous 
unrefined 
        acticulous meticulous unrefin order to meticulous unrefined acticulous 
possibleacticulous possiblebaker to 
metionsbleion ses meticulous meticulous unrefin order 
exeunt
  exter
         exercises 
control in order 
        to 
         metiontrol in 
        order exer exec to make exert 
        excer 
      to mark a marker 
to make a maker

Handheld Halo (Drinks with Mitch)

Wikipedia Poem, No. 475

Mitch

“The Dark One threw me a glance like a dagger today. / Since that moment, I am insane; I can’t find my body.” Mirabai (trans. Robert Bly)

          drunking 
          out 
          pretty 
      along 
      the hand 

      scratching 

        out 
  pretty along the baptist?
    no is it 
krishna then?
is 
it 
mirabai 
or the baptist?
    no it is mirabai or 
the 
       untouchable one
  the 
     invisible breezer
       perfect again not 
nearly impossible
      
is it 
  it is
        mirabai her not-slender wrist 
  scratching 
out pretty 
along the baptist?
        no it 
is 
      mirabai and the 
   baptist
no it is mirabai or the 
         untouchable 
one
     and then the baptist their divine 
energies 
      drunking into 
place
        the wrist 
scratching it 
   into place
     their divine energies drunking 
it is 
mirabai or 
the invisible 
      one
     the 
baptist?
no it is krishna
is 
it blue-faced like st. john the baptised 
no is it placed
      into this divine energy
safely

 

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.

‘Lightning Bugs’ by August Kleinzahler

IMG_7487

A cruel word at eventide
and night zips up
like a spider's retreat.

Go back to your febrile
needlework.
                  We shall not
be chasing lightning bugs
in the tall grass tonight.

Put the whiskey on the shelf
and let us speak calmly
of money.

spacer1

Source: Kleinzahler, August. Live from the Hong Kong Nile Club: Poems : 1975-1990. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003. Print. Page 34.

Wikipedia Poem, No. 399

bird-bath

What else are poets for?



impressionner
من 
باید به شما 
        تحت تاثیر قرار دادن
          debo impresionarte
     باید به 
      شما تحت تاثیر قرار 
          دادن
debo impresionare
   je dois vous impresionarte
 
          dois 
vous impresionner
      من باید به شما تحت تاثیر قرار دادن
      debo impresionarte
o 
      impress 
         you 
       
      devo impresionare
je 
    dois vous impresionarte
o impress you 
devo impresionarte
o impresionner
من باید به شما تحت 
تاثیر قرار 
        دادن
  debo 
         impresionarte
   o impressionare
          je dois vous 
   impresionarte
باید به شما تحت 
   تاثیر قرار 
دادن
  debo impress 
you 
     devo impresionarte
o impress 
you 
      
       devo impresionarte
       dois vous impress you 
devo 
      impresionarte
       
         dois vous impress you 
          devo impress you 
devo 
impressionarte
o impresionarte
          باید به 
شما تحت تاثیر قرار 
دادن
     debo impress you 

       devo 
impresionarte
    o 
      impresionarte
         باید 
      به شما تحت تاثیر قرار دادن
  debo impresionner
من باید به شما تحت تاثیر قرار دادن
       debo 
          impresionare
je 
dois vous 
    impresionarte
 dois vous impress you 
     
devo impressionarte
o impress you 
      
       devo impress you 
        devo impress you 

     devo 
      impress 
  you 
          devo impresionarte
باید به شما تحت 
تاثیر 
     قرار دادن
       debo impressionner
       من باید به شما تحت تاثیر قرار دادن
debo 
    impresionarte
 dois vous 
impress 
you 
devo impresionner
من باید به شما تحت تاثیر قرار دادن
debo impress 
         you 
         devo impresionare
     je dois vous 
  impresionarte
    dois vous impresionner
          من باید به 
شما تحت تاثیر قرار دادن
         debo 
   impressionarte
          dois vous impress you 
devo 
impress you 
devo 
          impress 
      you 
          devo impressionarte
          
dois vous impresionarte
          dois 
vous 
     impresionare
je 
        dois vous 
    impresionare
    je dois vous impresionarte
      باید به شما تحت تاثیر قرار دادن
debo impresionarte
باید به شما تحت 
تاثیر 
         قرار دادن
debo impress you 
devo impress you 
         
devo impresionare
         je dois vous impresionare
     je dois 
       vous impressionare
je dois 
      vous 
impresionarte
o 
impress you 
       
devo 
       impressionare
je dois vous 
      impressionarte
       o impresionare
je 
dois 
        vous 
impresionarte
باید به 
شما تحت تاثیر قرار 
دادن
    debo 
impresionarte
o impress 
you 
      devo impress 
      you 
  devo impress you 
devo 
     impresionner
      من 
   باید 
به شما 
        تحت تاثیر 
قرار 
          دادن
  debo impresionarte
    dois 
vous impresionarte
       باید به شما تحت 
تاثیر قرار دادن
   debo impresionare
je 
         dois vous impresionner
        من باید به شما 
  تحت تاثیر قرار 
   دادن
      debo impressionarte
 dois 
    vous impress 
you 
    devo impresionare
         je dois vous impresionarte
ionare
je dois vous impressionarte
باید به شما تحت 
          تاثیر 
         قرار دادن
        debo impressionarte

Wikipedia Poem, No. 393

jmg_8180

“Everyone while singing is beautiful. / Even the gloomiest music / requires utter happiness to sing: / eyes, nostrils, mouth must delight each other in quintal harmony / to sing Joy or Death well.” Galway Kinnell

at the feels theater today model
back in the slimsame way
its man be but arson who built
the shift in opera mysterious
quilted beasts see arson need
by children’t though earth
craft they’re unfortunate
buildings burned us for
in a manipular troupe 
shift involves shore choice
he regrets the coal by choice
once productions rose artists
are chicagoing hunger shot but all
america'd rose art fills fillingness

Wikipedia Poem, No. 353

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“It didn’t matter to honor the dead / What he said. / It doesn’t matter. / The meaning has no meaning. / Such adorable rhetoric. / So soothing to the palate and the public.” Frederick Seidel

 

begins the news
tossing

a protected son of
silver tightly packed aluminum dancing self-doubt
of nations and distretched before

you were
you were
you were

so few
are joking self-doubt
of
nations
and
hasn’t heard
the water
fraught
with
isness
and
someone’s buen estudiante
with
a high pain threshold
or pierces its red
velvet
tongue

like
an eel
wretched
before

you were
you were

so
few are
joking under his tongue
like an eel trap
her body caught with
a high pain threshold
or perhaps

the sliver
of
choice you
were

you were
you
were

now so few
are
joking self-doubt
of
nations

“Urban life is dense and fast and requires flexible structures that can incorporate speed and information.”

KLEINZAHLER

When I’m in Texas or Iowa I’m aware of the railroads and superhighways, and here [in New Jersey] there’s the city and the George Washington Bridge filled with its perpetual stream, the planes coming overhead, the cars moving along, the tremendous energy of the place, and its concentration of people. Nothing is still here. It’s very dynamic. I think a lot of poets are allergic to movement, and they like to turn their backs on it and create still lifes. They try to locate some sort of quasi-pastoral motif as a background for the poem, some jury-rigged construct of suburban garden as sylvan glade.

Urban life and movement present real technical difficulties and challenge poetic conventions. Urban life is dense and fast and requires flexible structures that can incorporate speed and information. It’s tough to come up with a coherent, interesting structure. Most simply avoid the problem or take refuge in some rote “avant-garde” gesture like fridge-magnet indeterminism, i.e. spilling the language all over the floor and stomping on it like a three-year-old child.

August Kleinzahler, The Art of Poetry No. 93, The Paris Review, Fall 2007