Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Beautiful without Money

Flowers in the yard before the winds came and beheaded them all.

Another poem from Poetry Daily, as N.P.M. winds down. I have to brag about some scores made at the book store in the public library. I found The Oxford Book of American Poetry for three bucks and a signed copy of T.C. Boyle's Drop City (endorsed to Ed). Although an unsigned Boyle might be a rarer find in this town.

Beautiful without Money

Suddenly fatigued among French
women in the Roman

Empire rooms of the museum,
I fall out of circulation

on a bench. Bronze
heads, helms, a Byzantine

spoon, sixth century, engraved,
attributed to Virgil: O handsome

youth, do not believe too much
in beauty; you cannot be

beautiful without money ... women fall,
tucking skirts, onto my bench,

being suddenly flesh and scent,
and do not speak to me.

T. Zachary Cotler

The Paris Review
Spring 2009

Sunday, April 19, 2009

“Do You Have Any Advice For Those of Us Just Starting Out?"

Give up sitting dutifully at your desk. Leave
your house or apartment. Go out into the world.

It's all right to carry a notebook but a cheap
one is best, with pages the color of weak tea
and on the front a kitten or a space ship.

Avoid any enclosed space where more than
three people are wearing turtlenecks. Beware
any snow-covered chalet with deer tracks
across the muffled tennis courts.

Not surprisingly, libraries are a good place to write.
And the perfect place in a library is near an aisle
where a child a year or two old is playing as his
mother browses the ranks of the dead.

Often he will pull books from the bottom shelf.
The title, the author's name, the brooding photo
on the flap mean nothing. Red book on black, gray
book on brown, he builds a tower. And the higher
it gets, the wider he grins.

You who asked for advice, listen: When the tower
falls, be like that child. Laugh so loud everybody
in the world frowns and says, "Shhhh."

Then start again.

Ron Koertge
from Fever, 2006
Red Hen Press

This is from the Poetry 180 website hosted by The Library of Congress started by Billy Collins while he was Poet Laureate.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Hold Steady Live

Since I missed the show here in town I will have to settle for this new live album.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

"This is a collection that seeks to mark how women poets made a poetry that, in two decades, altered the face of American poetry forever.... A new language began—not a language that was linguistically new (although there are scholars who make that argument), but a language new to them. New to us, I should say, because in the process of speaking what was hidden, we began to identify with one another as women, to become a 'we.'"—Honor Moore

This is the latest volume that I received from the Library of America's American Poets Project. Poetry Daily is highlighting this volume by reprinting the entire introduction by Honor Moore on its website as a weekly prose feature as part of its National Poetry Month celebration.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Goldfish Are Ordinary

At the pet store on Court Street,
I search for the perfect fish.
The black moor, the blue damsel,
cichlids and neons. Something
to distract your sadness, something
you don't need to love you back.
Maybe a goldfish, the flaring tail,
orange, red-capped, pearled body,
the darting translucence? Goldfish
are ordinary, the boy selling fish
says to me. I turn back to the tank,
all of this grace and brilliance,
such simplicity the self could fail
to see. In three months I'll leave
this city. Today, a chill in the air,
you're reading Beckett fifty blocks
away, I'm looking at the orphaned
bodies of fish, undulant and gold fervor.
Do you want to see aggression?
the boy asks, holding a purple beta fish
to the light while dropping handfuls
of minnows into the bowl. He says,
I know you're a girl and all
but sometimes it's good to see.
Outside, in the rain, we love
with our hands tied,
while things tear away at us.

by Stacie Cassarino

From the Poets.org website celebrating National Poetry Month. I am little behind in reading them. An email delivery option is also available. Not be confused with Poetry Daily which has its own thing going on.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are

I really dig the Arcade Fire tune too.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

"Sit, Ubu, Sit"

A toy that S. bought for her nephew. The cats were wary at first but since it did not chase theme around the house and try to eat them like the last dog that they saw did they ignored it.