In Defense of Dreams

Wikipedia Poem, No. 589

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“What’s funny is you think I can stop praying. / That you think I take existence — blown dandelion / across a philtrum — lightly, as irresponsible / birdsong.” Marcus Wicker

before he begins phasing out its program that     shields young
undocument before he begins phasing congress to the obama-era 
protection  calling it an end to the era that shields young 
undocument before      he       begins phasing out its protection            
calling it an         “amnesty-first     approach” and urging          it an 
“amnesty-first approach” and urging         it an “amnesty-first approach”       
and urging       its end    the era      shield our young       
undocumented immigrants from deportations in six           months ailing it 
an end to pass a replacement before          he      begins phasing out its 
protections in six   months 

young adults brought to remain without fear of           the country and 
gives them the united states     illegally e   five-year-old policy allows     
them          to work legally  the   800,000 young adults brought   to them 
removal from the country and gives the country and gives the country and 
gives the          country and gives them         to work legally e five-year-olds 
policy allows them to work legally e five-year-old policy allows them       
the country and gives the united         states illegally old policy allows 
them to the united states illegally as children who qualify for them to 
remain without fear of       immediate r

americans usurping down        wages anti-activists       
arguing their jobs and pushing that those in their       jobs and pushing   
that the country illegally are lawbreakers who hurt native-born americans 
by usurping the change at the aggrieved language of anti- 
activists  arguing that the country illegally are     lawbreakers who 
announced the country illegally are lawbreakers who hurt native-born 
americans by           usurping         the     country       illegally are         
lawbreakers who      hurt native-born americans by usurping that       their 
jobs and pushing           our-change at those       in change at those in 
our       country

New Jersey Poem

Wikipedia Poem, No. 529

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“Penelope knows by now … / the earth isn’t flat / and men sometimes get lost” Chloe Koutsoumbeli (trans. A.E. Stallings)

decade
playing
again
i must
love
this liquid game be
cause i’m playing again
stomach i remember

my
body hello i
am
down here
on vacation
chaos
result

its my baby
to
ruin
those perfect teeth
ignored bull you
wouldn’t
want to

ruin
those
perfect teeth
you
wouldn’t want to
put
the  baby to ruin

you wouldn’t want to sleep
so
i can party
sweet
soluble carbohydrates
a handmade moser crystal
old-fashioned glass

the baby
at ruin
those perfect teeth
ignored
bull
you wouldn’t want
that

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

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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

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“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.

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