I know there are poisons like these we have to feed each other

Started 2016 off with a towering stack of contemporary poetry, at the top of which is Boy with Thorn, a gorgeous and gut-wrenching collection by Rickey Laurentiis (1989-). I strongly recommend adding this book to your pile of reading material, too.



“A Southern Wind”

Quiet as a seed, and as guarded,
our walking took the shape of two people
uneasy together. I had the feeling
that on the anxious incline of that hill we gave the hill
a reason to be. What loneliness, what
privacy was in that? Hey, I said. Race me to the top?
Then is when I nearly tripped on the sly earth,
an earth shaping to itself again. A stone?
But, no, picking it up, bringing the wormed-through
black flesh of it to my height, I knew it for
an apple and gnashed and let the juices freak and down
my face. Don’t ask me why I did it. I know.
I know there are poisons like these we have
to feed each other, promises we try to hold–
though how can they be contained? I wanted to give you
what I could of me. To be personal, without
confession. I wanted to believe in the constancy of that hill.
Daylight was tiring. The air, secret, alone.
I won, you said. You did, I said. So we stood there.


We have so little time to learn

“Poetry is a necessity of life… It is a function of poetry to locate those zones inside us that would be free, and declare them so.” –C.D. Wright

A startling farewell to the great C.D. Wright (1949-2016), who gave us so much to learn.


“Everything Good Between Men and Women”

has been written in mud and butter
and barbecue sauce. The walls and
the floors used to be gorgeous.
The socks off-white and a near match.
The quince with fire blight
but we get two pints of jelly
in the end. Long walks strengthen
the back. You with a fever blister
and myself with a sty. Eyes
have we and we are forever prey
to each other’s teeth. The torrents
go over us. Thunder has not harmed
anyone we know. The river coursing
through us is dirty and deep. The left
hand protects the rhythm. Watch
your head. No fires should be
unattended. Especially when wind. Each
receives a free swiss army knife.
The first few tongues are clearly
preparatory. The impression
made by yours I carry to my grave. It is
just so sad so creepy so beautiful.
Bless it. We have so little time
to learn, so much… The river
courses dirty and deep. Cover the lettuce.
Call it a night. O soul. Flow on. Instead.