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apoemaday · 21 hours ago
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Anxiety I
by Tove Ditlevsen
Anxiety is old it reeks of childhood it has no object is awakened by glances, words and  sudden noise                          lives in recurring dreams where the one you love shows the deadly hatred he hides by day.
People’s eyes are yellow they are too close together and they have no lashes over them their menacing eyebrows run endlessly together the corners of their mouths dislocate and twist, watercolor-wet do not look at them slip away from any dangerous and keen attention.                 
Wrap yourself in rhythms and rhymes from the old bygone songs hide with the troll and the dragon the pure evil          shy away from all affection even from the child who plays with and caresses the cat shy away from his expectation his memories his blocked future.                 
Seek the company of those who peacefully turned away want nothing from you libraries waiting rooms railway stations people with suitcases in hand have firm contours unknown goals in a world that is not yours.
All the others are transformed under your stare as if under windswept waves they know that you see their secrets and innermost thoughts hate your lurking and waiting you do not know the day of the catastrophe approaching by the hour.
Anxiety is old your father and your mother are safety and danger staring through your lover’s eyes and are not dead. Do not watch them. Lay flowers on the grave light candles at night fold your hands and hum in devotional horror the old forgotten songs.
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apoemaday · a day ago
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I Want to Write
by Margaret Walker
I want to write. I want to write the songs of my people. I want to hear them singing melodies in the dark. I want to catch the last floating strains from their sob-torn throats. I want to frame their dreams into words; their souls into notes. I want to catch their sunshine laughter in a bowl; fling dark hands to a darker sky and fill them full of stars then crush and mix such lights till they become a mirrored pool of brilliance in the dawn.
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apoemaday · 2 days ago
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“Oh, little moth of clarity”
by Spencer Clark French
Oh, little moth of clarity, why do you now hide? In the past I knew you well— devouring every disguise, gnawing my closet to shambles, exposing the bones inside:
every truth I feared fully clarified.
I should tout your truancy or revel your retreat. Yet, for some reason, I’ve set out lamp tonight. Little probing, perforating brother, please, please,
                         take flight.
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apoemaday · 3 days ago
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Grown-Up
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Was it for this I uttered prayers, And sobbed and cursed and kicked the stairs, That now, domestic as a plate, I should retire at half-past eight?
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apoemaday · 5 days ago
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Most Days I Want to Live
by Gabrielle Calvocoressi
Not all days. But most days I do. Most days the garden’s almost enough: little pink flowers on the sage, even though the man said we couldn’t eat it. Not this kind. And I said, Then, gosh. What’s the point? The flowers themselves, I suppose. The rain came and then the hail came and my love brought them in. Even tipped over they look optimistic. I know it’s too late to envy the flowers. That century’s over and done. And hope? That’s a jinx. But I did set them right. I patted them a little. And prayed for myself, which is embarrassing to admit in this day and age. But I did it. Because no one was looking or listening anyway.
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apoemaday · 5 days ago
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I’m Explaining a Few Things
by Pablo Neruda
You are going to ask: and where are the lilacs? and the poppy-petaled metaphysics? and the rain repeatedly spattering its words and drilling them full of apertures and birds? I’ll tell you all the news. I lived in a suburb, a suburb of Madrid, with bells, and clocks and trees. From there you could look out Over Castille’s dry face:               a leather ocean.                           My house was called the house of flowers, because in every cranny geraniums burst: it was a good-looking house with its dogs and children. Remember, Raúl? Eh, Rafael? Federico, do you remember from under the ground where the light of June drowned flowers in your mouth? Brother, my brother! Everything loud with big voices, the salt of merchandises, pile-ups of palpitating bread, the stalls of my suburb of Argüelles with its statue Like a drained inkwell in a swirl of hake: oil flowed into spoons, a deep baying of feet and hands swelled in the streets, metres, litres, the sharp measure of life, stacked-up fish, the texture of roofs with a cold sun in which the weather vane falters, the fine, frenzied ivory of potatoes, wave on wave of tomatoes rolling down to the sea. And one morning all that was burning, one morning the bonfires leapt out of the earth devouring human beings-- and from then on fire, gunpowder from then on, and from then on blood. Bandits with planes and Moors, Bandits with finger-rings and duchesses, Bandits with black friars spattering blessings came through the sky to kill children and the blood of children ran through the streets without fuss, like children's blood. Jackals that the jackals would despise, stones that the dry thistle would bite on and spit out, vipers that the vipers would abominate! Face to face with you I have seen the blood of Spain tower like a tide to drown you in one wave of pride and knives! Treacherous generals: see my dead house, look at broken Spain: from every house burning metal flows instead of flowers, from every socket of Spain Spain emerges and from every dead child a rifle with eyes, and from every crime bullets are bom which will one day find the bull's eye of your hearts. And you will ask: why doesn’t his poetry speak of dreams and leaves and the great volcanoes of his native land? Come and see the blood in the streets. Come and see the blood in the streets. Come and see the blood in the streets!
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apoemaday · 6 days ago
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A Likeness
by W.S. Merwin
Almost to your birthday and as I am getting dressed alone in the house a button comes off and once I find a needle with an eye big enough for me to thread it and at last have sewed the button on I open an old picture of you who always did such things by magic one photograph found after you died of you at twenty beautiful in a way I would never see for that was nine years before I was born but the picture has faded suddenly spots have marred maybe it is past repair I have only what I remember
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apoemaday · 7 days ago
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“The Brain-- is wider than the Sky--”
by Emily Dickinson
The Brain—is wider than the Sky— For—put them side by side— The one the other will contain With ease—and you—beside—
The Brain is deeper than the sea— For—hold them—Blue to Blue— The one the other will absorb— As sponges—Buckets—do—
The Brain is just the weight of God— For—Heft them—Pound for Pound— And they will differ—if they do— As Syllable from Sound—
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apoemaday · 9 days ago
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Buried Life
by James Longenbach
Imagine cities you’ve Inhabited, streets Paved in lava stone. You never intended to pray
In the temples, had Nothing to sell. Now imagine yourself
Returning to those same cities. Hunt for people you knew, Knock on their doors. Ask yourself
Where are the vases, animals Etched in gold? Where are the wines
From distant places, Banquets ferreted From the bowels of the earth? While you were missing
Other people wore Your garments, Slept in your bed.
How frightening The man who said In his affliction
Wood has hope. Cut down It will flourish.
If the root grows old And the trunk withers In dust, at the scent of water It will germinate.
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apoemaday · 9 days ago
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Many Loves
by Allen Ginsberg
Resolved to sing no songs henceforth but those of manly attachment                                                                        –Walt Whitman
Neal Cassady was my animal: he brought me to my knees and taught me the love of his cock and the secrets of his mind And we met and conversed, went walking in the evening by the park Up to Harlem, recollecting Denver, and Dan Budd, a hero And we made shift to sack out in Harlem, after a long evening, Jack and host in a large double bed, I volunteered for the cot, and Neal Volunteered for the cot with me, we stripped and lay down. I wore my underwear, my shorts, and he his briefs– lights out on the narrow bed I turned to my side, with my back to his Irish boy’s torso, and huddled and balanced on the edge, and kept distance– and hung my head over and kept my arm over the side, withdrawn And he seeing my fear stretched out his arm, and put it around my breast Saying “Draw near me” and gathered me upon him: I lay there trembling, and felt his great arm like a king’s And his breasts, his heart slow thudding against my back, and his middle torso, narrow and made of iron, soft at my back, his fiery firm belly warming me while I trembled– His belly of fists and starvation, his belly a thousand girls kissed in Colorado his belly of rocks thrown over Denver roofs, prowess of jumping and fists, his stomach of solitudes, His belly burning iron and jails affectionate to my side: I began to tremble, he pulled me in closer with his arm, and hugged me long and close my soul melted, secrecy departed, I became Thenceforth open to his nature as a flower in the shining sun. And below his belly, in white underwear, tight between my buttocks, His own loins against me soft, nestling in comradeship, put forth & pressed into me, open to my awareness, slowly began to grow, signal me further and deeper affection, sexual tenderness. So gentle the man, so sweet the moment, so kind the thighs that nuzzled against me smooth-skinned powerful, warm by my legs That my body shudders and trembles with happiness, remembering– His hand opened up on my belly, his palms and fingers flat against my skin I fell to him, and turned, shifting, put my face on his arm resting, my chest against his, he helped me to turn, and held me closer his arm at my back beneath my head, and arm at my buttocks tender holding me in, our bellies together nestling, loins touched together, pressing and knowledgeable each other’s hardness, and mine stuck out of my underwear. Then I pressed in closer and drew my leg up between his, and he lay half on me with his thighs and bedded me down close, caressing and moved together pressing his cock to my thigh and mine to his slowly, and slowly began a love match that continues in my imagination to this day a full decade. Thus I met Neal & thus we felt each other’s flesh and owned each other bodies and souls. So then as I lay on his breast with my arms clasped around his beck and his cheek against mine, I put my hand down to feel his great back for the first time, jaws and pectorals of steel at my fingers, closer and stiller, down the silken iron back to his waist, the whole of his torso now open my hand at his waist trembling, waited delaying and under the elastic of his briefs, I first touched the smooth mount of his rock buttocks, silken in power, rounded in animal fucking and bodily nights over nurses and school-girls, O ass of long solitudes in stolen cars, and solitudes on curbs, musing first in cheek, Ass of a thousand farewells, ass of youth, youth’s lovers, Ass of a thousand lonely craps in gas stations ass of great painful secrecies of the years O ass of mystery and night! ass of gymnasiums and muscular pants ass of high schools and masturbation ass of lone delight, ass of mankind, so beautiful and hollow, dowry of Mind and Angels, Ass of hero, Neal Cassady, I had at my hand: my fingers traced the curve to the bottom of his thighs. I raised my thighs and stripped down my shorts to my knees, and bent to push them off and he raised me up from his chest, and pulled down his pants the same, humble and meek and obedient to his mood our silence, and naked at long last with angel & greek & athlete & hero and brother and boy of my dreams I lay with my hair intermixed with his, he asking me “What shall we do now?” –And confessed, years later, he thinking I was not a queer at first to please me & serve me, to blow me and make me come, maybe or if I were queer, that’s what I’d likely want of a dumb bastard like him. But I made my first mistake, and made him then and there my master, and bowed my head, and holding his buttock Took his hard-on and held it, feeling it throb and pressing my own at his knee & breathing showed him I needed him, cock, for my dreams of insatiety & lone love. –And I lie here naked in the dark, dreaming
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apoemaday · 11 days ago
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Mid-Term Break
by Seamus Heaney
I sat all morning in the college sick bay Counting bells knelling classes to a close. At two o'clock our neighbours drove me home. In the porch I met my father crying— He had always taken funerals in his stride— And Big Jim Evans saying it was a hard blow. The baby cooed and laughed and rocked the pram When I came in, and I was embarrassed By old men standing up to shake my hand And tell me they were 'sorry for my trouble'. Whispers informed strangers I was the eldest, Away at school, as my mother held my hand In hers and coughed out angry tearless sighs. At ten o'clock the ambulance arrived With the corpse, stanched and bandaged by the nurses. Next morning I went up into the room. Snowdrops And candles soothed the bedside; I saw him For the first time in six weeks. Paler now, Wearing a poppy bruise on his left temple, He lay in the four-foot box as in his cot. No gaudy scars, the bumper knocked him clear. A four-foot box, a foot for every year.
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apoemaday · 12 days ago
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Love Poem
by Richard Brautigan
It’s so nice to wake up in the morning all alone and not have to tell somebody you love them when you don’t love them anymore.
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apoemaday · 12 days ago
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What If You Knew
by Ellen Bass
What if you knew you'd be the last to touch someone? If you were taking tickets, for example, at the theater, tearing them, giving back the ragged stubs, you might take care to touch that palm, brush your fingertips along the life line's crease.
When a man pulls his wheeled suitcase too slowly through the airport, when the car in front of me doesn't signal, when the clerk at the pharmacy won't say Thank you, I don't remember they're going to die.
A friend told me she'd been with her aunt. They'd just had lunch and the waiter, a young gay man with plum black eyes, joked as he served the coffee, kissed her aunt's powdered cheek when they left. Then they walked half a block and her aunt dropped dead on the sidewalk.
How close does the dragon's spume have to come? How wide does the crack in heaven have to split? What would people look like if we could see them as they are, soaked in honey, stung and swollen, reckless, pinned against time?
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apoemaday · 14 days ago
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Never Give All the Heart
by W.B. Yeats
Never give all the heart, for love Will hardly seem worth thinking of To passionate women if it seem Certain, and they never dream That it fades out from kiss to kiss; For everything that’s lovely is But a brief, dreamy, kind delight. O never give the heart outright, For they, for all smooth lips can say, Have given their hearts up to the play. And who could play it well enough If deaf and dumb and blind with love? He that made this knows all the cost, For he gave all his heart and lost.
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apoemaday · 14 days ago
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In Time of Silver Rain
by Langston Hughes
In time of silver rain The earth puts forth new life again, Green grasses grow And flowers lift their heads, And over all the plain The wonder spreads Of life, Of life, Of life! In time of silver rain The butterflies Lift silken wings To catch a rainbow cry, And trees put forth New leaves to sing In joy beneath the sky As down the roadway Passing boys and girls Go singing, too, In time of silver rain When spring And life Are new.
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apoemaday · 15 days ago
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Postcard
by Margaret Atwood
I’m thinking of you. What else can I say? The palm trees on the reverse are a delusion; so is the pink sand. What we have are the usual fractured coke bottles and the smell of backed-up drains, too sweet, like a mango on the verge of rot, which we have also. The air clear sweat, mosquitos & their tracks; birds, blue & elusive.
Time comes in waves here, a sickness, one day after the other rolling on; I move up, its called awake, then down into the uneasy nights but never forward. The roosters crow for hours before dawn, and a prodded child howls & howls on the pocked road to school. In the hold with the baggage there are two prisoners, their heads shaved by bayonets, & ten crates of queasy chicks. Each spring there’s a race of cripples, from the store to the church. This is the sort of junk I carry with me; and a clipping about democracy from the local paper. Outside the window they’re building the damn hotel, nail by nail, someone’s crumbling dream. A universe that includes you can’t be all bad, but does it? At this distance you’re a mirage, a glossy image fixed in the posture of the last time i saw you. Turn you over, there’s the place for the address. Wish you were here. Love comes in waves like the ocean, a sickness which goes on & on, a hollow cave in the head, filling and pounding, a kicked ear.
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apoemaday · 19 days ago
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In a Dream
by Anna Akhmatova
The dark and solid separation I’m carrying equally with you.
Why are you crying? Come Give me your hand instead-- Promise again To come in dreams.
You and I Are like grief and the mountain-- We will not meet In this world. But sometimes Will you send across the stars A sign?
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