Polyphemus in Napa

Wikipedia Poem, No. 655

W655-SM

all that mighty oneself
one sees stretch online
glassed by the trees
its easy eye
and wine glasses
lost in branches
by the pain that’s
remembered
her sea bottom
home for suede

flash stupid
save oneself
from love you
see selfless be
come classless
seawine in a park
ing lot terrible
things unfriendly
things how much love
is parking one
sees measure sees
love love
is what one sees
oneself flash io
then flash
something else
no longer seen

Jacob Frères Paints with Blood

Wikipedia Poem, No. 425

Leprosorium

“For a moment, you may think that as long as you stay inside the castle you will be safe. Outside, everything is transient and destined to decay. Inside everything is incontrovertible, eternal, joyous, and glorious.” Alessandro Carrera on Severino’s Magical Castle

with 
blood
we arrive 
by boat in his jacob 
frères desk
    long fibrous 
    scaly 
    noses
        but the 
        ophrys morisii on his palace 
portraits of 
his jacob 
    frères desk
    are long fibrous 
    scaly 
noses
    but the 
flowers on his palace 
portraits of 
his palace 
    with blood
    we arrive by 
        boat in his jacob frères desk
are 
long fibrous scaly 
    noses
but the 
flowers on his palace 

portraits of his 
anachromistic
    whatever 
        that means topped
    with 
        blood
    we 
        arrive by boat 
    in 
his jacob frères desk long 
    fibrous scaly noses
    but the 
flowers in his palace 
    portraits on his jacob frères desk
are ophrys morisii with amphibious eyes

Wikipedia Poem, No. 375

w375-sm2

“What shall I do? not be Rich or Great, / Not to be courted and admir’d, / With Beauty blest, or Wit inspir’d, / Alas! these merit not my care and sweat, / These cannot my Ambition please, / My high born Soul shall never stoop to these; / But something I would be thats truly great / In’ts self, and not by vulgar estimate.” Mary Astell, 7 Jan. 1687

different weapons
     related to change 
     from a glance 

in oxford of one substance 
     hackensack whiteout  
     reported into gold  

altar holy dreg 
     trans
     mute 

learn more 
     helped sentences 
     for transform vs transmute

form from nature substance 
     without god no possession  
     day transmutes 

learn more 
     helped sentences 
     form from transmission 

was transformed 
     form nature selling different 
     hymnals change 

for transmutation apparent
     changes in appearance  
     without god no possession 

if equipment can transmute 
     transmute me into other 
     withouted objects

without god 
     no possession  
     apes appearance

“What Does It Mean?” by Czeslaw Milosz

It does not know it glitters
It does not know it flies
It does not know it is this not that.

And, more and more often, agape,
With my Gauloise dying out,
Over a glass of red wine,
I muse on the meaning of being this not that.

Just as long ago, when I was twenty,
But then there was a hope I would be everything,
Perhaps even a butterfly or a thrush, by magic.
Now I see dusty district roads
And a town where the postmaster gets drunk every day
Melancholy with remaining identical to himself.

If only the stars contained me.
If only everything kept happening in such a way
That the so-called world opposed the so-called flesh.
Were I at least not contradictory. Alas.


Source:  Miłosz, Czesław. New and Collected Poems 1931-2001. New York: Ecco, 2001. Print. Page 164. 

“Black Art” by Amiri Baraka

This weekend I was lucky enough to attend the Dodge Poetry Festival in Newark, NJ. The weekend was fast-paced and my experience there included conversations with and readings from Yusef Komunyakaa, Stephen Kuusisto, Patrick Rosal, Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Brian Turner, Rebecca Lindenberg, Bridget Talone, Dan Vera, C. Dale Young, Sharon Olds, Billy Collins, Alex Lemon, Alberto Rios, Brenda Shaughnessy, Rita Dove, Gary Snyder and more.

Sunday afternoon, I heard a stirring tribute to Amiri Baraka. 

Marilyn Nelson read this poem, “Black Art.”

Her introduction to the poem was moving—she gave permission to easily offended listeners to leave the auditorium. As she had done with her students before, she warned that the poem contained language that might offend the easily offended. Her caveat: She refused to apologize for the poem. Poetry is supposed to provoke and make you uncomfortable. Challenge the reader, she said. This isn’t a commercial for Dove soap, she said, it’s art. Anyway, here’s the poem. A truly wonderful experience to have been a part of. 

Thank you, Newark.

Black Art

Poems are bullshit unless they are
teeth or trees or lemons piled
on a step. Or black ladies dying
of men leaving nickel hearts
beating them down. Fuck poems
and they are useful, wd they shoot
come at you, love what you are,
breathe like wrestlers, or shudder
strangely after pissing. We want live
words of the hip world live flesh &
coursing blood. Hearts Brains
Souls splintering fire. We want poems
like fists beating niggers out of Jocks
or dagger poems in the slimy bellies
of the owner-jews. Black poems to
smear on girdlemamma mulatto bitches
whose brains are red jelly stuck
between ‘lizabeth taylor’s toes. Stinking
Whores! we want “poems that kill.”
Assassin poems, Poems that shoot
guns. Poems that wrestle cops into alleys
and take their weapons leaving them dead
with tongues pulled out and sent to Ireland. Knockoff
poems for dope selling wops or slick halfwhite
politicians Airplane poems, rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
rrrrrrrrrrrrrrr . . .tuhtuhtuhtuhtuhtuhtuhtuhtuhtuh
. . .rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr . . . Setting fire and death to
whities ass. Look at the Liberal
Spokesman for the jews clutch his throat
& puke himself into eternity . . . rrrrrrrr
There’s a negroleader pinned to
a bar stool in Sardi’s eyeballs melting
in hot flame Another negroleader
on the steps of the white house one
kneeling between the sheriff’s thighs
negotiating coolly for his people.
Aggh . . . stumbles across the room . . .
Put it on him, poem. Strip him naked
to the world! Another bad poem cracking
steel knuckles in a jewlady’s mouth
Poem scream poison gas on beasts in green berets
Clean out the world for virtue and love,
Let there be no love poems written
until love can exist freely and
cleanly. Let Black people understand
that they are the lovers and the sons
of warriors and sons
of warriors Are poems & poets &
all the loveliness here in the world
We want a black poem. And a
Black World.
Let the world be a Black Poem
And Let All Black People Speak This Poem
Silently
or LOUD

Source: Selected Poetry of Amiri Baraka/LeRoi Jones (1979)