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Year of Poems - Week 4

(Reading a poem a day for a week and reporting back. See the full listing here.) The prize for best title this week has to go to Small Insects and Their Place Among Main Sequence Stars, by Juanjo Baz├ín. Which appears in the online speculative fiction magazine, Strange Horizons. Also of note, a poem by very well-known fantasy writer who was not particularly well known for his poetry. That's Tolkien, whose Goblin Feet is of interest more as a curiosity than anything else. Speaking of writers not primarily known for their poetry, there's James Joyce, whom I have mixed feelings about. Finnegan's Wake is a fine piece of work that I don’t even pretend to understand and which is best taken in very small doses. Much of Ulysses is deadly dull, if I dare say so, but also contains some of the greatest passages ever written, so go and figure that one out. Nightpiece doesn’t quite rise to those heights but it's one of the better works I've read since starting this project. …
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yielding intimations of mothlikeness

to the windward he hies, hearkening, wingining
flittering wings glistening whitelike, tanlike, paperwhite
like gleaming flecks of winglike whitish-tannish paper
hies yon and anon to the outer bounds
of the wailing and the aching and the yielding
floating, o so mothish upon the azure breeze of eternity

you wouldn't inhale the drapes

a whistle blows and azure light returns
disgusting noises come out of ernest borgnine
i no longer know how to stand up
i'll turn your topsoil till the cows come home
exploring the deep dark droopy saggy
big and frizzy (that's a metaphor dorothy) everybody grab a gun and run to the basement
you're a pig in a cheap suit!
do you want it fast or do you want it good?

Year of Poems - Week 3

(Reading a poem a day for a week and reporting back. See the full listing here.) Who is the worst poet ever? I'm sure there's plenty of competition for that title and who's to say, after all? There are those who would say that it's Scottish poet, William Topaz McGonagall, who has a very in-depth web site devoted to his glorious works. See the link below for a sample of his poetic goodness. Then there's O Donald! Ye Are Just the Man, by eighteenth century poet Susaanna Blamire, which had a nice ring to it. Don't ask me why. The favorites this week included Lunar Baedeker, by Mina Loy, a poet I hadn't heard of before, and a snippet from War is Kind, by a poet I had heard of before and rather like - Stephen Crane. Also of note, I Cannot Give the Reasons, by Mervyn Peake. He's best known for his Gormenghast books but apparently was also a nonsense poet of some renown. 03/11
I Cannot Give the Reasons
Mervyn Peake
?? …

the day we kicked a puppet

we stood there upon the shore of a vast mud puddle
enraptured by the rustling of each other's genomes
but it all felt perfunctory
like the underside of a badger you reached out a hand to me and it fell off
plopped into the mud
and a flying mud squirrel
swooped down and made off with it so now we are tidal locked
by the gravitas of our latent potentialities
our skulls laden with moldering whispers from the back of an azure eternity
and so we must stipulate new parameters

don't do embraces with my pig

i am a strong singers
the most annoyings obnoxiouses self-centereds creature
you are i've met
i am alove
and we're falling in loves with fur i grabs hims fur with my feets
easies on the furs you crew members
easies on the furs you havent
there's somethings you should knows
dont do embraces with my pig

i pray i never see this place again

marooned dark shades river
stygian rain in a bottomless sea under the sea
souls wash into unreality
black styx sad roaring styx from whence rapture flows
dreams passing forth in sad weary stygian waters lamenting lost pleasures
harried by fallen angels in fathomless realms
plagued by weird armies litanies do not harm them
skies black as ink the dying show dizzying
night within night never sleep leaving
never safe from ruin

Year of Poems - Week 2

(Reading a poem a day for a week and reporting back. See the full listing here.) A number of curiosities this week. A poem by Don Van Vliet (Captain Beefheart) that diverges somewhat from the loopy style he often used for his song lyrics. Clark Ashton Smith takes a crack at surrealism and a poem by Ina Rosseau about the Garden of Eden. Also, not one, but two poems about hippopotamuses (hippopotami?), one of them a rather mystifying work by none other than T.S. Eliot. 03/04/2017
The Beep Seal
Don Van Vliet
c. 1970 03/05/2017
Anacreon in Heaven
Ralph Tomlinson
c. 1782 03/06/217
The Sleep of the Condor
Leconte de Lisle
?? 03/07/217
Surrealist Sonnet
Clark Ashton Smith
1951 03/08/217
Ina Roussea…

they kill god of heaven

monster action girls
the loverliest of all
a short drop off
to the drip drop
look up they're thrilling
look down they're deep
look out they're back in action
there has never not
been nothing like it
the happiest people in the world
the crowd explodes in cheers
the man with
a disembodied head
suddenly goes
a little more wilder
not that it matters much
but most of it all is all true

Year of Poems - Week 1

A while back I decided it might be interesting to read through the massive Norton Anthology of Poetry, nearly 2,200 pages worth. I didn't come close to completing that task and it was interesting, but only to a point. It's still one of my favorite books but it's not the kind of tome that one wants to read straight through. I prefer to jump around and pick out stuff that looks interesting rather than being stuck on a linear path. So I've ditched that project for now. With the Year of Poems project, the game plan is to do something similar, with a goal of reading a poem a day for one year. While it's probably not quite accurate to say that a 2200-page anthology of poetry is not diverse, the goal this time around to cast the net even wider than the esteemed Norton editors did. Thus, while the first week's entry includes a Norton-friendly piece by a DWEM (Dead White European Male), there also one by a DWEF from the century before, as well as one from ancient Gree…

the world of dreams shrinks in size

passionate words whip the ground like serpents for every six pounds of transgression
we must assume the existence of the foul thing that is reality daredevils iron small thread large pearls fearsome
silvery animals float past glittering clouds gnawing the bodies of dervishes

a man in black hell

blank outer dark
noise of millenia
guttural grumblings
like silence supreme
rambles and stares
at a radiant girl
with butterfly wings
in thick shadows
she sits and sings
dark matter swirls
through silvery air
ascends to heaven
plummets to earth

the mother shall be a man

poetry of landing squibs
deformities of the face
what is the proper way to wash a church hypergolic (self-igniting when mixed) propellants
entirely separated from the body
may be drained counterfeit parts of inferior quality
are like a two-legged stool
this is common knowledge botanical nomenclature
things really destroyed
by snipers, gang cats and looters

the wine-dark sea

i must go down to the seas again
i have heard the mermaids singing
have you built your ship of death?
we will not wander more
and sweep through the deep
the boundless deep
ding dong bell
god save
sails dropt
a soft sea
that silent sea
the sea took pity
ho! ho! the breakers roared
of his bones are coral made
the boy stood on the burning deck
looking out over the wine-dark sea a cento is a poetical work wholly composed of verses or passages taken from other authors, disposed in a new form or order.

how to become beautiful and true and authentic and explain dreams

wild adventures
electric air
letters to ladies pigeons and rabbits
if we only live long enough
these small things are useless
what it mean of the of the air
of the of the clouds
through the clouds
kindly turn the handle ghost dancers under the skin
there surreal touches to be found
a clearing of space for voices
sting like a gooseberry
this is not generally done
it do very little harm you can tell by a glance
the fatal mistake
the keep birds

affirmations of a bear

listen, men
gentlemens of the city
i am energized
i am a large dopey bear
i feel joy and contentment i have a pungent aroma
i smile at life
i have a life plan
i like salmon pretty well
i choose happiness i aspire to be a disney bear
i am worthy of love
i fart copiously
in full-throated ease
i create daily opportunities i dream of being a circus performer
fed at a heavenly table
i debauch many berries
how far a bear can go to
there are no limits

that place taboo

unspeakable secrets
restore the head
from the deepest hollows
let us leave evil behind
this world dead to us now
the presence of star light can decolorize
the white lights still and moving and twinkling
we have been transformed into shapes of different kinds
in the north, the east, the south and the west

stealing from the ruins

a chicken and a pig
do their death scene
a flash of sunlight
the universe makes sense one who supplicates is
a man of action
a young man of cement
turned into a white bird can you keep a secret?
the most powerful
seek to make the
game less palatable

a cento on disney movies

poison them, drown them, bash them on the head
how many times do i have to kill you?
get back in there before i break your other leg
this place is like a graveyard
dead and meaty and red they tied me in a big sack
they chopped me into firewood
i'll take you apart and put you back together
don't care how you kill the little beasts
forgive me a cruel chuckle got any chloroform?
take a big drag, like this
give me that gun
you can take him out and beat him
drown them, for all i care a cento is a poetical work wholly composed of verses or passages taken from other authors, disposed in a new form or order.