Search This Blog

Sunday, July 6, 2014


Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.” — Franz Kafka

Anagrammer    by Peter Pereira

If you believe in the magic of language,
then Elvis really Lives
and Princess Diana foretold I end as car spin.

If you believe the letters themselves
contain a power within them,
then you understand
what makes outside tedious,
how desperation becomes a rope ends it.

The circular logic that allows senator to become treason,
and treason to become atoners.

That eleven plus two is twelve plus one,
and an admirer is also married.

That if you could just rearrange things the right way
you’d find your true life,
the right path, the answer to your questions:
you’d understand how the Titanic
turns into that ice tin,
and debit card becomes bad credit.

How listen is the same as silent,
and not one letter separates stained from sainted.


A poem is special because its logic is emotional and aesthetic and resists the traditional ways logic seeks to jail itself. Dorothea Lasky, in "What Is Color in Poetry Or Is It the Wild Wind in the Space of the Word" 


Girder                                                 Nan Cohen
The simplest of bridges, a promise
that you will go forward,

that you can come back.
So you cross over.

It says you can come back.
So you go forward,

But even if you come back
then you must go forward.

I am always either going back
or coming forward. There is always

something I have to carry,
something I leave behind.

I am a figure in a logic problem,
standing on one shore

with the things I cannot leave,
looking across at what I cannot have.

The poet's emotional signature is retained in the poem. Aristotle, in his bipartite model of the soul, places the emotions under the obedient, illogical part, reason with command and logic. Yet both parts are cognitive and partake in the logos. Thought is the efficient cause of emotion. This is why a poem's intelligence is more moving than its heart.  from Jennifer Moxley's Fragments of a Broken Poetics, Chicago Review, Spring 2010

Vanitas Mundi                   Robin Ekiss

To make perfume from an iris,
      you have to mash the roots
but leave the petals intact,

as in vanitas mundi, skeletons
      are made of fruit and flowers,
not the dour bones.

It's this way with any form
      of pleading: please begins
with plea — linguistic insurgency

driven by a sense of urgency,
      not the sort of error in logic
a "war on terror" implies.

Hidden inside: the ornamental
      edge of understanding,
returned to us through language—

moving, but rootless,
      like spent blood
circling the veins.

The consolation of physics
      is art: scoliotic curve
of the earth, cello

that was Adam's
      first knowledge
of women's pinched waists,

gland of a mussel that dyes
      the emperor's robes
imperial purple. Like hell

or hello, homonym
      or homophone, who prey
on each other's predicate,

what can we know
      of the world
but every measure of regret

carried in a word
      with the gravity of air:
begot, beget, begin

A mind all logic is like a knife all blade. It makes the hand bleed that uses it.
-- Sir Rabindranath "Tagore" Thakur

Three's Brainchild Is                                         Lesley Jenike
Made from hope's detritus, the stuff of wisdom but wider,
wide enough for a hand to slide through. There's a cut,
after-all, in this baby's skull. I can reach in and pulse
the mind manually: No thought except the one I give you.

Made from the mechanics of a subway train or dormer;
the fever that once flushed your cheeks I held like chicks
at some farm I can't remember, where rills in the land ran
down to woods rumored to transform the ringlet to risk.

Made from a river. I nearly drowned and so had a near-
death experience in which you reached from the future
a hand down to extract me like a tooth from the mouth
of my own loneliness. I like you. Likewise, you replied.

Made from a chessboard's warp and woof. I can't play
but I adorn the bishops, the queens. They are history but
sometimes marble, sometimes plastic, so easy to move
over the hoard that's your body where war is good.

Made from cheval glass so I may tilt myself to look in
at you behind my face. This fact remains: chiaroscuro
is also called claire-obscure and so night's imprecision
casts its shade across me to make someone new: you.

Made from the city's clarion call that is a clasp knife,
spring-loaded, released in my pocket as I stride beside
danger. Fear can put a mother's mind at ease and power
can transfer, like money, from one account to another.

Made from the click beetle or the skipjack depending
on the lexicon I give you. You did Dada back when
Dada was only a scatological dream. With your honest
palms you made love to sculpture. I chose the medium.

Made of megillah. You're an Old Testament heroine,
depression never stopping you from doing god's will
and I'm your god, though young and sadly subject to
Imagination's singing mesmerism: look deep into-

Made of my womb's long-playing record. Listen to
its big black forest. Even the crickets are desperate.
So rest instead in my brain's bower. Crown yourself
with blossoms growing according to size and color.

Made of the Lord of Misrule's mantle, seersucker
and so impossible to wrinkle. My logic is many-
valued. True or false is negotiable. Over dinner we'll
discuss nuance, then after, much later, I'll cradle you.

Made Of maraschino cherry, with only a tongue I can
put a knot in your stem and that's sexy, very un-
motherly. But his is a world in which the marcel may
appear on any head anywhere though it's not 1920.

Made of thanatos. That's why I bore you initially,
so I'd recognize, on-screen, me in you, performing
the original sin which is the manipulation of time
and space. Incase you're reading this after I'm dead:

we're made of the enzootic. We're all best left
in our exact jungle or specific neighborhood
stumbling erratum stuck in the revolving door
of this life. Script doctor daughter, make it better.

Made of scullion or scupper, whatever is dreck or
close to the water, you're the kid I hoped for: quiet
till I say go. Then you row our golden barge across
the Nile. On Cleopatra's Needle I prick my finger.


No Encores. No Autographs.                         J. Gallagher
When I was little, and could float,
I made up my mind to touch everything
on the way. Here I go and

Yes into the red leaves, the winter logic.
Waving seemed so sad
when I was mild, and could hear

the sounds of the house
growing into the hill. The eternal workings
of the going to be,

while out to the left
there's a hole in the overcast. A little hole.
It may be growing,

it may be shrinking. Hard to tell.
Either way, it comes back now
without meaning.

It comes back as people I knew once,
fading in and out of buildings and trees
in a north wind,

while, full of spider webs, the porch
glistens in dew and first light.
A foggy translucence covers the world.

You can go out and read the argument
in the grass.
Just take off your shoes.

You can call yourself a pilgrim,
noting the texture of matter.
You can go from here to here. 

No comments: