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Thread: Burn Lake

  1. #21
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    Re: Burn Lake

    Dearly

    The still small voice cleaves
    like thin smoke from a bed
    deep in arcadia; there is
    an arrow true and straight
    to her, not to be spoken
    as though the jaws gobbling
    up my life have had their
    fill at last; as though
    my own fast is broken
    upon this note, my mother's
    song a falling scale of bone.

    Sinking so far into herself
    she's no one, yet I hear it borne
    upon the wind, ancient voices
    of the child she was, marking
    time to save herself from moaning.

    She chews grapes, spits them.
    They have landed on my skin
    and turn it green, it is
    green fire speaking upon me
    a burn too fierce to see.

    That was the bed, the island;
    hands stray like crabs
    to find the shoreline; there is
    an expedition in this visit
    though the nurse won't catch it.

    I hold the receiver tight
    use a lover's words to
    fold her loose and too-wide
    wish her back unto its own,
    take out my hard-won stone
    and sharpen up love's knife;
    late now for feeble gestures
    send my heart hot down the line
    for chewing on, knowing it lands
    but no geography, nothing of that
    boundless offering left to see.

    Too far out she is for any
    contemplation; there are laws
    it seems, beyond cognition, too
    vast and tremulous not to obey her
    nor submit this moment's grace to
    things undone.
    .






    In a perfect world, our dreams will be fulfilled. There would be no hard work or planning ahead, because everything you want would be given to you. In the real world, where we all live, rewards must be earned. The problem most people have is in the day-to-day details of accomplishment. Accomplishment takes a lot of time, sacrifice and effort, and that’s the real rub for a lot of people. But, as Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

  2. #22
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    Re: Burn Lake

    Twin Tree

    A tree divided. It grew like that—
    Its slender trunk suddenly forking,

    Lifting up from the crux in two Shiva arms—
    As if it had come to a crossroads and split

    The way twins unpeel from one another
    In the womb. Two from one, it reached up

    And flourished this way—it topped thirty feet
    As its thick dark glossy leaves, half-folded like

    Paper boats, kept the nubs of coming pears
    Hidden then dangling. Avocado, avocado.

    I held you in my hand as a big wrinkled pit,
    Propped you (as I'd been taught once by a lover

    Who was trouble) with four toothpicks over a glass
    Filled with water—till the tiny white filament inside

    Your worried seed slowly let itself down into the
    Clear transparency, while sprouting above into a

    Green feasible stem. I transplanted those floating roots,
    The top-heavy shoot after weeks—then waited till it

    Reached out at last—growing fast in both directions,
    Down into dirt, up into the sky over the backyard. When

    It twinned, climbing upward, I stopped my husband,
    Standing hard by with shears, from pruning it back

    Into one: The only way it would survive he said. But
    It doubled skyward into the single tree at the top—

    A hermaphrodite—as it had to be to make fruit. So
    Many alligator pears, summer after L.A. summer! We

    Filled baskets with the abundance of the you
    And you: the fruit of two separate flowerings

    From one quick hesitation. Till days after David died,
    When clumsy workmen, digging a trench, severed your

    Taproot. I saw the white exposed arteries they'd chopped clean
    With their spades. I stood beside you weeping, trying to hold

    Your heart together with my hands at the fork where you'd
    Leaned apart, then towered. You were my love, conflict tree,—

    Tough-skinned, the rich light-green flesh beneath. Avocado,
    They killed you. When we sold the house, you were a cut stump.
    .






    In a perfect world, our dreams will be fulfilled. There would be no hard work or planning ahead, because everything you want would be given to you. In the real world, where we all live, rewards must be earned. The problem most people have is in the day-to-day details of accomplishment. Accomplishment takes a lot of time, sacrifice and effort, and that’s the real rub for a lot of people. But, as Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

  3. #23
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    Re: Burn Lake

    Two in the Afternoon

    The minister's gray spitz
    at the sacristy door.
    Sparrows' wings scuffle in the dirt
    in front of his sightless eyes.

    Like memories to him:
    the twine tying the brace of pheasants
    that appeared as a crack in the cemetery wall;
    the shaking of the gravestones
    when the crippled caterpillar wriggles;
    the discoloration of the bricks
    in the scream of the dying mole.

    Calmly he acknowledges
    the report from the woods
    that the gates of paradise are to be thrown open.

    (Text of the poem in the original German)
    .






    In a perfect world, our dreams will be fulfilled. There would be no hard work or planning ahead, because everything you want would be given to you. In the real world, where we all live, rewards must be earned. The problem most people have is in the day-to-day details of accomplishment. Accomplishment takes a lot of time, sacrifice and effort, and that’s the real rub for a lot of people. But, as Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

  4. #24
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    Re: Burn Lake

    And

    Fog fog fog,
    hair
    in my ears, a
    noncommittal
    friendliness
    and
    and
    and Raissa's sweet laugh.

    Experience tells
    what belongs with what,
    what belongs with and,
    only with and,
    no rationale.

    It will last
    so long as the and doesn't
    slip my mind like the other words.
    It's enough, thanks, it's plenty.

    (Text of the poem in the original German)
    .






    In a perfect world, our dreams will be fulfilled. There would be no hard work or planning ahead, because everything you want would be given to you. In the real world, where we all live, rewards must be earned. The problem most people have is in the day-to-day details of accomplishment. Accomplishment takes a lot of time, sacrifice and effort, and that’s the real rub for a lot of people. But, as Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

  5. #25
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    Re: Burn Lake

    Darts, 1965

    Summer spent exploring
    Yeats’s noble canon,
    His heroes’ sprezzatura,
    But now, an overnight
    Stay en route to Shannon

    In Bally-something-or-other
    With its castle that beguiles
    The traveler not to notice
    The grimy factory
    Where men are making tiles—

    Tiles and tourists, these
    The only two ways here
    To turn a shilling.
    My brimming mug of beer
    Is drawn by a colleen,

    Mere child, maybe thirteen.
    Her Dad is publican.
    I’m the only tourist,
    Hard at their game of darts
    The tile-workers, boy and man,

    Play for sixpence a game.
    They ask, Will I play with them?
    I’ve been shooting all summer
    But these lads—Darts
    Is a way of life with them!

    First, from eight and a half feet
    You must hit the outer rim
    Of the targe, only half an inch wide
    Before your score begins to count.
    Was I a drag on our side!

    The others were well on their way
    To a perfect 601
    When my scoring had barely begun.
    They played with confident grace
    And concentration,

    Keeping well out of mind
    The dingy hovels they lived in,
    Raw fires in the kilns of clay,
    The long, long years of their bleak
    Labor, their mingy pay.

    The next morning I turn aside
    From the movie on TWA.
    I close my eyes, am with friends
    At the dartboard again as we play,
    Keeping well out of mind

    As they did, that they
    Would be toiling at tiles again
    While I’m flying home.
    For their ale, for the fun of our game,
    They’d not let me pay.
    .






    In a perfect world, our dreams will be fulfilled. There would be no hard work or planning ahead, because everything you want would be given to you. In the real world, where we all live, rewards must be earned. The problem most people have is in the day-to-day details of accomplishment. Accomplishment takes a lot of time, sacrifice and effort, and that’s the real rub for a lot of people. But, as Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

  6. #26
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    Re: Burn Lake

    On Pouring a Good Stout

    Time is the main ingredient. A thirst cannot truly be quenched without it. For stout, the measure is in the pour. There's no rush, but slowness is by and large misunderstood, and so rushing remains the norm. For instance, right now I'm at one of those blood drives which constitute the extent of my service impulse these days. I am watching my blood seep into a sterilized plastic bag while my daughter—our daughter—reads King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry (illustrated by Wesley Dennis, Rand McNally & Co., Chicago, ©1948) with such intensity she can't hear me call out to her to stop twirling her hair. Your own blood in quantity is darker than you think it should be, and the color and stealth with which it accumulates remind me of pouring a stout, which ends up dark, but which foams from the tap into the glass a rich, wild tan, like "a clear bay—whose coat is touched with gold. When he flees under the sun he is the wind" (p. 53). That's the first color: steed-tan. And active, with tiny bubbles parading up and down in columns, particles swirling and tossing their manes, hooves tearing at silky hide. I fill the pint glass a third of the way and let it sit for a good five minutes, until all the animals have settled down, the bay has floated to the top and thickened, leaving the blood brooding below. And I pour another third, and the horses start and whinny. And I wait, patient, wise, silent, wiry, like my brewmaster love ("The only 'uman bein' what can 'andle 'im is a spindlin' boy," p. 107) until all is calm again. And I pour the last third, and the thick head rises up, up past the rim of the pint, but it doesn't spill because I have been patient and slow and wise. It stays put, my prayer, my possession, not quite broken, reading in her chair.
    .






    In a perfect world, our dreams will be fulfilled. There would be no hard work or planning ahead, because everything you want would be given to you. In the real world, where we all live, rewards must be earned. The problem most people have is in the day-to-day details of accomplishment. Accomplishment takes a lot of time, sacrifice and effort, and that’s the real rub for a lot of people. But, as Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

  7. #27
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    Re: Burn Lake

    Absinthe

    O sacré bleu
    Those were some crazy temps
    Poets walking pet lobsters on leashes
    and everybody drinking away
    les heures bleues as if
    there would always be more of them
    Always another trickle of gaslight
    to spill

    Here is a thread
    of spun lightning and here
    a grass green cloud abloom
    in a glass Yes they had elements
    then Trams aglide beneath
    their cables and absinthe
    tipple so bitter it was délicieux
    like dark memory or gnarled
    heart

    And now of course
    almost none of it remains
    Mesdames Monsieurs Don't
    need a poet to tell you that
    When was the last time you heard
    the merry click of claws
    on a city sidewalk? I stumbled
    on an arc of old track embedded
    in the street, a forgotten
    rib

    As for absinthe,
    they outlawed it years ago.
    Seems after two, or four, or twelve,
    a man would lose his head.
    Only l'heure bleue, that hour
    dusk leaks over the rooftops, the sole
    survivor
    .






    In a perfect world, our dreams will be fulfilled. There would be no hard work or planning ahead, because everything you want would be given to you. In the real world, where we all live, rewards must be earned. The problem most people have is in the day-to-day details of accomplishment. Accomplishment takes a lot of time, sacrifice and effort, and that’s the real rub for a lot of people. But, as Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

  8. #28
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    Re: Burn Lake

    Love Song (Lame)

    This is a little like high school
    he said, when I wouldn't take off my clothes.
    It was true, although in high school
    I would've come over to torture him deliberately
    and now the torture was an unfortunate side effect
    of my sadness, and had nothing to do with him at all.
    Sleeping with you would be like
    a drowning woman grabbing an anvil,
    I explained. A burning man guzzling gasoline.
    Lame analogies, but I was trying to make a point.
    When he got up for a drink, I missed him
    but that feeling disappeared once he came back.
    I sat there and tried to feel sad,
    tracking my blue mute form
    as it sank to a furrowed ocean floor.
    .






    In a perfect world, our dreams will be fulfilled. There would be no hard work or planning ahead, because everything you want would be given to you. In the real world, where we all live, rewards must be earned. The problem most people have is in the day-to-day details of accomplishment. Accomplishment takes a lot of time, sacrifice and effort, and that’s the real rub for a lot of people. But, as Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

  9. #29
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    Re: Burn Lake

    Poussin

    clouds solid
    as columns
    the satyrs lounge
    among lunge
    for the feel
    of the seventeenth
    century tufts
    of historical lust
    .






    In a perfect world, our dreams will be fulfilled. There would be no hard work or planning ahead, because everything you want would be given to you. In the real world, where we all live, rewards must be earned. The problem most people have is in the day-to-day details of accomplishment. Accomplishment takes a lot of time, sacrifice and effort, and that’s the real rub for a lot of people. But, as Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

  10. #30
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    Re: Burn Lake

    Anthropology

    why am I not preserving
    the yanomami language
    or speakers of same
    or learning a lusty romance tongue
    the smell of the sea
    mediterraneanizing open vocables
    split down the middle
    by dirt?
    o the language game uh huh. I played
    the lion, saw that I won, sd
    hello. He like unto himself
    yawned/roared
    as the case required.
    a daggered paw ripped off my face
    the savanna no longer so peaceful—

    all this was caught by the cameras
    the intrepid documentarian brought
    in the jeep.

    bleep bleep went the machine
    begging for love
    thought the anthropomorphizers.

    and right they were: desire slimed
    everything.
    how stupid to forget the objects
    would one day rise up
    .






    In a perfect world, our dreams will be fulfilled. There would be no hard work or planning ahead, because everything you want would be given to you. In the real world, where we all live, rewards must be earned. The problem most people have is in the day-to-day details of accomplishment. Accomplishment takes a lot of time, sacrifice and effort, and that’s the real rub for a lot of people. But, as Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

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