Tear It Down
by Jack Gilbert We find out the heart only by dismantling what the heart knows. By redefining the morning, we find a morning that comes just after darkness. We can break through marriage into marriage. By insisting on love we spoil it, get beyond affection and wade mouth-deep into love. We must unlearn the constellations to see the stars. But going back toward childhood will not help. The...
the Incognito Lounge by Denis Johnson
Letter to a Poet by Robert Hass
By Tomas TranströmerOne Comment translated by Robin Robertson I was nearly killed here, one night in February. My car shivered, and slewed sideways on the ice, right across into the other lane. The slur of traffic came at me with their lights. My name, my girls, my job, all slipped free and were left behind, smaller and smaller, further and further away. I was a nobody: a boy in a playground,...
Very Little Evil
By Ryan Scott Nance I never was taught the fact of elevation, that at the core of every mountain, a translucent lozenge of inert star-matter is. The uncanny throat & lift of express elevators; the long hill up; innocent shiny steel; the angles of my feet on edges of big things, or the felt distance from the magma heart of earth as switchable, as nervous, as a barometer. The terraces of the...
Of Mere Being
by Wallace Stevens The palm at the end of the mind, Beyond the last thought, rises In the bronze distance. A gold-feathered bird Sings in the palm, without human meaning, Without human feeling, a foreign song. You know then that it is not the reason That makes us happy or unhappy. The bird sings. Its feathers shine. The palm stands on the edge of space. The wind moves slowly in the...
The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.– ~ Albert Einstein (via rafimama)
The Lake Isle of Innisfree by W.B. Yeats
Meditation At Lagunitas by Robert Hass
By Ryan Scott Nance The leaves on this tree are enraged. We choose our mates by the shapes of their heads. The leaves on that tree need no longer glow green. We select our lovers by the markings behind their ears. The leaves on this tree are becoming saints, leisurely, in the appropriate way—— Buddhas, Sebastians, Eriks the Red, Salmon. Thank you, wheat, for your...
by Stanley Kunitz I have walked through many lives, some of them my own, and I am not who I was, though some principle of being abides, from which I struggle not to stray. When I look behind, as I am compelled to look before I can gather strength to proceed on my journey, I see the milestones dwindling toward the horizon and the slow fires trailing from the abandoned camp-sites, ...
Archaic Torso of Apollo
by Rainer Maria Rilke Translated by Stephen Mitchell We cannot know his legendary head with eyes like ripening fruit. And yet his torso is still suffused with brilliance from inside, like a lamp, in which his gaze, now turned to low, gleams in all its power. Otherwise the curved breast could not dazzle you so, nor could a smile run through the placid hips and thighs to that dark center where...
The Idea of Order at Key West
By Wallace Stevens She sang beyond the genius of the sea. The water never formed to mind or voice, Like a body wholly body, fluttering Its empty sleeves; and yet its mimic motion Made constant cry, caused constantly a cry, That was not ours although we understood, Inhuman, of the veritable ocean. The sea was not a mask. No more was she. The song and water were not medleyed sound Even if what she...
Fabulous Species and Landscapes
by Ryan Scott Nance That piled-up melon, bright with waxen chill, the wide avenues of choice tamp down breath into vacuum-packed bricks. You can stack together a week’s worth. Felt-covered mittens are offered at the swinging doors on the verge of the walk-in freezer. Your own coat though, whichever kind is yours, your neck swaddled or not, will most likely suffice. That isn’t to say shopping...