Unable to say yes or no.
Then a stretcher will come from grace
To gather us up.
We are too dull-eyed to see that beauty
If we say we can, we’re lying.
If we say No, we don’t see it,
That No will behead us
And shut tight our window onto spirit.
So let us rather not be sure of anything,
Besides ourselves, and only that, so
Miraculous beings come running to help.
Crazed, lying in a zero circle, mute,
We shall be saying finally,
With tremendous eloquence, Lead us.
When we have totally surrendered to that beauty,
We shall be a mighty kindness.
just a tiny reminder. apart from always listening to your own body.
for sure unless I look it up,
but sometimes I can figure
things out if I write them
down. So it’s up and down
all day long. It’s a good life.
Better than back and forth
or in and out which I find
constraining. I have up
and down in balance and
with my mother’s death
have discovered the true
meaning of before and after.
“Up and Down” by Beverly Rollwagen, from Flying. © Nodin Press, 2009.
from The Writer’s Almanac
it’s been 8 years. wow.
The tulips at that perfect place
crane their necks with liquid grace
like swans who circling, collide
within the lake this vase provides.
They stood like soldiers, stiff, before
as if they had been called to war.
In two days more, when petals fall,
I will entomb them in the hall
with trash; the morning’s coffee grinds,
old newspapers, and lemon rinds.
It’s bitter that such loveliness
should come to this,
could come to this.
But now their purpleness ignites
the room with incandescent lights.
Their stamens reach their yellow tongues
to lick the air into their lungs
through stems attached to whitish manes.
The pistil stains.
And even though there are no bees
about the room for them to please,
I take them in like honey dew-
and buzzing now,
I think of you…
I think of you who bought me these,
I wish you had,
as that might ease the ache
of passing hours.
A love is dying, like these flowers.
“The Tulips” by Ricky Ian Gordon.
the rhyme just heightens the melodrama. this is for larry. for some reason.
God Bless the Experimental Writers
“One beginning and one ending for a book was a
thing I did not agree with.”
Flann O’Brien from At Swim-Two-Birds
God bless the experimental writers.
The ones whose work is a little
difficult, built of tinkertoys
and dada, or portmanteau and
Reich. God help them as they
type away, knowing their readers
are few, only those who love to toil
over an intricate boil of language,
who think books are secret codes.
These writers will never see their names
in Publisher’s Weekly. They will
never be on the talk shows. Yet,
every day they disappear into their
rooms atop their mother’s houses,
or their guest houses behind some
lawyer’s estate. Every day they
tack improbable word onto im-
probable word, out of love, children,
out of a desire to emend the world.
“God Bless the Experimental Writers” by Corey Mesler, from Some Identity Problems.
was wrong with me. I got looks on my face
she had not seen on any child
in the family, or the extended family,
or the neighborhood. My mother took me in
to the pediatrician with the kind hands,
a doctor with a name like a suit size for a wheel:
Hub Long. My mom did not tell him
what she thought in truth, that I was Possessed.
It was just these strange looks on my face—
he held me, and conversed with me,
chatting as one does with a baby, and my mother
said, She’s doing it now! Look!
She’s doing it now! and the doctor said,
What your daughter has
is called a sense
of humor. Ohhh, she said, and took me
back to the house where that sense would be tested
and found to be incurable.