Monday, November 30, 2009

A shout out to Major Jackson

If I want anyone to like my poems, I should probably stop juxtaposing them with such incredible poems by established poets... But, call me evangelical, I like sharing poetry that inspires me! This one, by Major Jackson, is touching and sexy:


Me and my cousin
would pretend watchtower
on the third floor

of my grandfather's
house Saturdays after
a rainstorm and wait

for white flashes hushed
in a charcoal sky. Crowded
with rooftops, the tiniest

twinkle sent our fingers
off jabbing the air--
Hot icicles! Flying juice!

Zig-zag bolts! Actually,
seen at the margins
of vision, they were less

jagged, oval-shaped
much like Electric eels,
smoother around the edges.

For hours, we pointed
then named the sparks,
depending on a rumble

to announce their coming,
auguring like ancient
prophets. My cousin once

compared the many silvery flares
to God's wounds healed
upon human sight. I followed

likening the meteoric openings
to glowing keyholes into
an alien world. Years later,

I would go down on a woman
and discover again jewelry
shimmering in the dark.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Originally Posted 11/2 in "Dwell in Possibility"

Pablo Neruda's poetry is voluptuous and remarkably pure at the same time--it's an inspiration to me as a poet. People who perhaps "do not like poetry" may find their minds changed by reading Neruda... I wanted to share this poem (translated by Stephen Mitchell) because I love it so much:

Love Sonnet XII

Full woman, fleshy apple, hot moon,
thick smell of seaweed, crushed mud and light,
what obscure brilliance opens between your columns?
What ancient night does a man touch with his senses?

Loving is a journey with water and stars,
with smothered air and abrupt storms of flour:
loving is a clash of lightning-bolts
and two bodies defeated by a single drop of honey.

Kiss by kiss I move across your small infinity,
your borders, your rivers, your tiny villages,
and the genital fire transformed into delight

runs through the narrow pathways of the blood
until it plunges down, like a dark carnation,
until it is and is no more than a flash in the night.

Originally Posted 10/27 in "Dwell in Possibility"

I'm in a graduate workshop at the University of Missouri. This is my most recent word play for that class.

Drink, Dance.

You the loose-limbed, smooth
as finest liquor--
is not a well for redemption
a thing of sheer beauty?

My body imprints
the evanescent moment,
petty crime behind
the mask of divinity.

Your impeccable eye reveals
hero, pretender--myth
born from stillness. How can you
claim you do not see

God? If you have yet to experience
the remarkably sensuous,
warm your hands by my parable.

I am a shot of rum
on the table, a sonata
playing to an empty room.