love, the world suddenly turns, turns color
theme
"

Love’s the boy stood on the burning deck
trying to recite “The boy stood on
the burning deck.” Love’s the son
stood stammering elocution
while the poor ship in flames went down.


Love’s the obstinate boy, the ship,
even the swimming sailors, who
would like a schoolroom platform, too,
or an excuse to stay
on deck. And love’s the burning boy.

"
Casabianca - Elizabeth Bishop (via sebastianmoran)
Posted 1 month ago
4

Mad Girl’s Love Song by Sylvia Plath (read by sebastianmoran)

"I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

God topples from the sky, hell’s fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan’s men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I fancied you’d return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)”

City That Does Not Sleep by Federico García Lorca

In the sky there is nobody asleep. Nobody, nobody.
Nobody is asleep.
The creatures of the moon sniff and prowl about their cabins.
The living iguanas will come and bite the men who do not dream,
and the man who rushes out with his spirit broken will meet on the 
street corner
the unbelievable alligator quiet beneath the tender protest of the
stars.

Nobody is asleep on earth. Nobody, nobody.
Nobody is asleep.
In a graveyard far off there is a corpse
who has moaned for three years
because of a dry countryside on his knee;
and that boy they buried this morning cried so much
it was necessary to call out the dogs to keep him quiet.

Life is not a dream. Careful! Careful! Careful!
We fall down the stairs in order to eat the moist earth
or we climb to the knife edge of the snow with the voices of the dead
dahlias.
But forgetfulness does not exist, dreams do not exist;
flesh exists. Kisses tie our mouths
in a thicket of new veins,
and whoever his pain pains will feel that pain forever
and whoever is afraid of death will carry it on his shoulders.

One day 
the horses will live in the saloons
and the enraged ants
will throw themselves on the yellow skies that take refuge in the
eyes of cows.

Another day
we will watch the preserved butterflies rise from the dead
and still walking through a country of gray sponges and silent boats
we will watch our ring flash and roses spring from our tongue.
Careful! Be careful! Be careful!
The men who still have marks of the claw and the thunderstorm,
and that boy who cries because he has never heard of the invention 
of the bridge,
or that dead man who possesses now only his head and a shoe,
we must carry them to the wall where the iguanas and the snakes
are waiting,
where the bear’s teeth are waiting,
where the mummified hand of the boy is waiting,
and the hair of the camel stands on end with a violent blue shudder.

Nobody is sleeping in the sky. Nobody, nobody.
Nobody is sleeping.
If someone does close his eyes,
a whip, boys, a whip!
Let there be a landscape of open eyes
and bitter wounds on fire.
No one is sleeping in this world. No one, no one.
I have said it before.

No one is sleeping.
But if someone grows too much moss on his temples during the
night,
open the stage trapdoors so he can see in the moonlight
the lying goblets, and the poison, and the skull of the theaters.

Education For Leisure by Carol Ann Duffy

Today I am going to kill something. Anything.
I have had enough of being ignored and today
I am going to play God. It is an ordinary day,
a sort of grey with boredom stirring in the streets.

I squash a fly against the window with my thumb.
We did that at school. Shakespeare. It was in
another language and now the fly is in another language.
I breathe out talent on the glass to write my name.

I am a genius. I could be anything at all, with half
the chance. But today I am going to change the world.
Something’s world. The cat avoids me. The cat
knows I am a genius, and has hidden itself.

I pour the goldfish down the bog. I pull the chain.
I see that it is good. The budgie is panicking.
Once a fortnight, I walk the two miles into town
for signing on. They don’t appreciate my autograph.

There is nothing left to kill. I dial the radio
and tell the man he’s talking to a superstar.
He cuts me off. I get our bread-knife and go out.
The pavements glitter suddenly. I touch your arm.

Death comes to me again, a girl by Dorianne Laux

Death comes to me again, a girl
in a cotton slip, barefoot, giggling.
It’s not so terrible she tells me,
not like you think, all darkness
and silence. There are windchimes
and the smell of lemons, some days
it rains, but more often the air is dry
and sweet. I sit beneath the staircase
built from hair and bone and listen
to the voices of the living. I like it,
she says, shaking the dust from her hair,
especially when they fight, and when they sing.

Training Manual for the Juvenile Mermaid by Melissa Newman-Evans

It is best to get used to the taste of the anchor early. You may begin the practice with a finger, or some innocuous trash. Put it inside of your mouth and leave it there for as long as it takes to rust your lips red.

You must steal your first song wherever you can. It will take longer than you had ever imagined to attract a ship with it, and even then, the light shattered across the water’s surface may only give you wondering faces, your own cold blood swimming furious laps inside you, and nothing you can hold on to but anchors and their chains. Scream as it passes. Consider throwing yourself on the surf. Consider following an anchor, or finding a net to take you to them if they will not come to you. Do none of these.

When your mother is sleeping, trace the line of the scars on her face. Each one has a name that she will not tell you. One of them was your father’s. When some voice in the dark asks you if you want a name of your own, say no. When they ask you if you want legs, laugh. When they ask you to spit fishhook language and walk and want, remember your claws and teeth are more than are promised any human girl. Remember the field of the drowned sailors and your father, somewhere among them, floating bloated and blind and nameless at the bottom of your ocean.

He will come to you one night when you’ve all but given up. Overboard, like he thought he could fly. Let him touch you. Hold him in your arms like you have promised in. Let him grope at your hips like you would walk on dry land just for him. Let him call you darling and clutch at your hair. He will give you everything you have wanted. His drunken fervent whispers, his scream and prayer, his belief that you will spare him with a kiss. All belongs to you now.

You have thought for so long that the anchor was him, but it was you. It has been you all along. Take him under. Give him the drowning he wants. Suck the last of the breath from his lungs.

Eurydice by Carol Anne Duffy

Girls, I was dead and down
in the Underworld, a shade,
a shadow of my former self, nowhen.
It was a place where language stopped,
a black full stop, a black hole
Where the words had to come to an end.
And end they did there,
last words,
famous or not.
It suited me down to the ground.

So imagine me there,
unavailable,
out of this world,
then picture my face in that place
of Eternal Repose,
in the one place you’d think a girl would be safe
from the kind of a man
who follows her round
writing poems,
hovers about
while she reads them,
calls her His Muse,
and once sulked for a night and a day
because she remarked on his weakness for abstract nouns.
Just picture my face
when I heard-
Ye Gods-
a familiar knock-knock at Death’s door.

Him. Big O.
Larger than life.
With his lyre
and a poem to pitch, with me as the prize.

Things were different back then.
For the men, verse-wise,
Big O was the boy. Legendary.
The blurb on the back of his books claimed
that animals,
aardvark to zebra,
flocked to his side when he sang,
fish leapt in their shoals
at the sound of his voice,
even the mute, sullen stones at his feet
wept wee, silver tears.

Bollocks. (I’d done all the typing myself,
I should know.)
And given my time all over again,
rest assured that I’d rather speak for myself
than be Dearest, Beloved, Dark Lady, White Goddess etc.,
etc.

In fact girls, I’d rather be dead.

But the Gods are like publishers,
usually male,
and what you doubtless know of my tale
is the deal.

Orpheus strutted his stuff.

The bloodless ghosts were in tears.
Sisyphus sat on his rock for the first time in years.
Tantalus was permitted a couple of beers.
The woman in question could scarcely believe her ears.

Like it or not,
I must follow him back to our life-
Eurydice, Orpheus’ wife-
to be trapped in his images, metaphors, similes,
octaves and sextets, quatrains and couplets,
elegies, linericks, vilanelles,
histories, myths…

He’d been told that he mustn’t look back
or turn round,
but walk steadily upwards,
myself right behind him,
out of the Underworld
into the upper air that for me was the past.
He’d been warned
that one look would lose me
for ever and ever.

So we walked, we walked.
Nobody talked.

Girls, forget what you’ve read.
It happened like this-
I did everything in my power
to make him look back.
What did I have to do, I said,
to make him see we were through?
I was dead. Deceased.
I was Resting in Peace. Passe. Late.
Past my sell-by date…
I stretched out my hand
to touch him once
on the back of the neck.
Please let me stay.
But already the light had saddened from purple to grey.

It was an uphill schlep
from death to life
and with every step
I willed him to turn.
I was thinking of filching the poem
out of his cloak,
when inspiration finally struck.
I stopped, thrilled.
He was a yard in front.
My voice shook when I spoke-
Orpheus, your poem’s a masterpiece.
I’d love to hear it again…

He was smiling modestly,
when he turned,
when he turned and he looked at me.

What else?
I noticed he hadn’t shaved.
I waved once and was gone.

The dead are so talented.
The living walk by the edge of a vast lake
near, the wise, drowned silence of the dead.

Twice Shy by Seamus Heaney

Her scarf a la Bardot, 
In suede flats for the walk, 
She came with me one evening
For air and friendly talk.
We crossed the quiet river, 
Took the embankment walk.

Traffic holding its breath, 
Sky a tense diaphragm: 
Dusk hung like a backcloth
That shook where a swan swam, 
Tremulous as a hawk
Hanging deadly, calm.

A vacuum of need
Collapsed each hunting heart
But tremulously we held
As hawk and prey apart, 
Preserved classic decorum, 
Deployed our talk with art.

Our Juvenilia
Had taught us both to wait, 
Not to publish feeling
And regret it all too late -
Mushroom loves already
Had puffed and burst in hate.

So, chary and excited, 
As a thrush linked on a hawk, 
We thrilled to the March twilight
With nervous childish talk: 
Still waters running deep
Along the embankment walk. 

The Pest by John Cooper Clarke

the pest pulled up, propped his pushbike at a pillar box, pulled his ‘peen, paused at a post and pissed.

'piss in the proper place' pronounced a perturbed pedestrian, and presently, this particular part of the planet was plunged into a panorama of public pressure and pleasure through pain.

the pandemonium prompted the police, who patrolled the precinct in pandacars, to pull up and peruse the problem, while pickpockets picked pockets in pairs.

'arrest the pest who so pointedly pissed in that public place' pleaded the peeved people, practically palpitating.

the powerful police picked up the pest: pronounced him a poof, a pansy, a punk rocker, a pinko, a poodle poker. they picked him up, pummeled his pelvis, punctured his pipes, played ping-pong with his pubic parts, and packed him in a place of penal putrifaction.

the period in prison prooved pitiless. the pendulous pressure of a painless personality purge prompted the pest to ponder upon progessive politics… and a workable prognosis.

he put pen to paper and provatively and persuasively propogated his personal political premise — pity: a police provacateur put poison pellets in the pest’s porridge. the police provacateur was promoted, and the pest was presented with the pulitzer peace prize… posthumously.

Posted 8 months ago
2

'Mountain Dew Commercial Disguised as a Love Poem' by Matthew Olzmann

bon-bon:

Here’s what I’ve got, the reasons why our marriage
might work: Because you wear pink but write poems
about bullets and gravestones. Because you yell
at your keys when you lose them, and laugh,
loudly, at your own jokes. Because you can hold a pistol,
gut a pig. Because you memorize songs, even commercials
from thirty years back and sing them when vacuuming.
You have soft hands. Because when we moved, the contents
of what you packed were written inside the boxes.
Because you think swans are overrated.
Because you drove me to the train station. You drove me
to Minneapolis. You drove me to Providence.
Because you underline everything you read, and circle
the things you think are important, and put stars next
to the things you think I should think are important,
and write notes in the margins about all the people
you’re mad at and my name almost never appears there.
Because you make that pork recipe you found
in the Frida Khalo Cookbook. Because when you read
that essay about Rilke, you underlined the whole thing
except the part where Rilke says love means to deny the self
and to be consumed in flames. Because when the lights
are off, the curtains drawn, and an additional sheet is nailed
over the windows, you still believe someone outside
can see you. And one day five summers ago,
when you couldn’t put gas in your car, when your fridge
was so empty—not even leftovers or condiments—
there was a single twenty-ounce bottle of Mountain Dew,
which you paid for with your last damn dime
because you once overheard me say that I liked it.

Posted 8 months ago
106