Peter De Potter
most young kings get their heads cut off
This is how
I want to die:
into that rushing beast of the night,
sucked up by that great dragon, to split
from my life with no flag,
— Anne Sexton, from “The Starry Night”
paul simon - graceland
From AV Club’s “State Songs”, Balmorhea covers Robert Earl Keen live at the Waco Mammoth Site. If you don’t watch this you are an idiot.
When Anne Carson was a child, she read Lives of the Saints and adored it so much she tried to eat its pages. The Canadian classicist and poet has never lost this desire to merge with the text; if anything, she’s created forms that allow her to eat as many pages as she possibly can.
whether you save me
whether you savage me
want my last look to be the moon in your eyes
want my heart to break if it must break in your jaws
want you to lick my blood off your paws
Once or twice in his life, a man
is peeled like apples.
What’s left is a voice
that splits his being
down to the center.
We see: obscenity, fright, mud
but there is joy of shape, there is
more than one silence.
— between here and Nevski Prospect,
the years, birdlike, stretch, —
Pray for this man
who lived on bread and tomatoes
while dogs recited his poetry
in each street.
Yes, count “march,” “july”
weave them together with a thread –
it’s time, Lord,
press these words against your silence.
— the story is told of a man who escapes
and is captured
into the prose of evenings:
after making love, he sits up
on a kitchen floor, eyes wide open,
speaks of the Lord’s emptiness
in whose image we are made.
–he is out of work– among silverware
and dirt he is kissing
his wife’s neck so the skin of her belly tightens.
One would think of a boy laying
syllables with his tongue
onto a woman’s skin: those are lines
sewn entirely of silence.
from “Musica Humana” by Ilya Kaminsky
I was born in the city named after Odysseus
and I praise no nation
but the provinces of human longing:
to the rhythm of snow
an immigrant’s clumsy phrase
falls into speech.
But you asked
for a story with a happy ending. Your loneliness
played its lyre. I sat
on the floor, watching your lips.
Love, a one legged bird
I bought for forty cents as a child, and released;
is coming back, my soul in reckless feathers.
O the language of birds
with no word for complaint! -
the balconies, the wind.
This is how, while darkness
drew my profile with its little finger,
I have learned to see past as Montale saw it,
the obscure thoughts of God descending
among a child’s drum beats,
over you, over me, over the lemon trees
from “Praise” Ilya Kaminsky
[Pope Francis’ sister] María Elena said after she learned her brother had ended up second last time around, “I prayed he wouldn’t be chosen.”
“By the grace of God, I had the opportunity to travel and meet Pope John Paul II. When it was my turn to kneel and kiss his ring, I lifted my head to look at him and found a gaze so full of love and so full of loneliness, the two things at the same time,” she said.