Sunday, June 29, 2008

Billy Collins - Bugs


Bugs - The Wall Street Journal

There he leans:
cracking wise,
biting his bright orange carrot
bugging the world
speed demon
ventriloquist
and master of disguise
he is everywhere at once
buck-toothed
and spectacularly eared
he is armed with dynamite
he is the only one
who really knows what's up.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Frank O'Hara


Poem (Lana Turner has collapsed!)
Frank O'Hara

Lana Turner has collapsed!
I was trotting along and suddenly
it started raining and snowing
and you said it was hailing
but hailing hits you on the head
hard so it was really snowing and
raining and I was in such a hurry
to meet you but the traffic
was acting exactly like the sky
and suddenly I see a headline
LANA TURNER HAS COLLAPSED!
there is no snow in Hollywood
there is no rain in California
I have been to lots of parties
and acted perfectly disgraceful
but I never actually collapsed
oh Lana Turner we love you get up

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sunday Evening - June 1985

Stillness in the leaves,
And fireflies flicker
On the shadowed lawns.

Children call.
The last bird answers
Softly from the oak.

We lie on porch swings
To catch the feeble breeze,
Our bodies resting now, and heavy.

Here, for a time,
Suspended in the golden dusk of summer,
We float in languid peace.

Mary Murphy

As girls they were...

As girls they were awkward and peculiar,
wept in church or refused to go at all.
their mothers saw right away,
no man would marry them.
So they must live at the sufferance of others,
timid and queer, as governesses out of Chekhov,
malnourished on theology,
boiled eggs and tea,
but given to outbursts of cries
that embarrass everyone.

After the final quarrel,
the grand renunciation,
they retire upstairs to the attic,
or to the small room in the cheap off-season hotel,
and write, "Today I burned all your letters," or
"I dreamed the magnolia blazed like an avenging angel,
and when I woke, I knew I was in Hell."

No one is surprised when they die young,
having left their savings to a wastrel nephew,
to be remembered for a handful of minor but perfect lyrics,
a passion for jam or charades,
and a letter still preserved in the family archives:
"I send you here with the papers of your aunt,
who died last Tuesday in the odor of sanctity,
although a little troubled in her mind
by her habit, much disapproved of by the ignorant,
of writing down the secrets of her heart." - Katha Pollitt

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Adlestrop

Adlestrop - Edward Thomas

Yes. I remember Adlestrop
The name, because one afternoon
Of heat the express-train drew up there
Unwontedly. It was late June.

The steam hiss’d. Some one clear’d his throat.
No one left and no one came
On the bare platform. What I saw
Was Adlestrop—only the name

And willows, willow-herb, and grass,
And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry,
No whit less still and lonely fair
Than the high cloudlets in the sky.

And for that minute a blackbird sang
Close by, and round him, mistier,
Farther and farther, all the birds
Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.
Baseball as Etiquette by Josephine Jacobsen

Baseball is etiquette made beautiful.
A quality pitch is fact, not rumor;
style is high. Do they say to the dangerous batter
who has walked, "Joe, take first?" Never, never.
The catcher, tall as fate, looms over,
his mammoth hand held high,
and the ball thunks his glove in perfect logic,
before the batter tosses his bat.
And when a batter trots back to triumphant home,
does he get his high-fives only from those
with whom he has a beer?
His worst enemy, if he has one,
is perfect in ritual; even in home glory
the pattern holds until the park
is emptied of the ball.
The famous three-movement, velocity, location—
are sacred and do not bow.
When the dark takes the diamond
and the unforgiving brown circle of loneliness,
a covenant has been confirmed.