Poems Favoured.

Poems I enjoy, relate to, stir a spark in me, whatever.
Hope you enjoy too.


Sylvia Plath

I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
Whatever I see, I swallow immediately.
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike
I am not cruel, only truthful –
The eye of a little god, four-cornered.
Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.
It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long
I think it is a part of my heart. But it flickers.
Faces and darkness separate us over and over.

Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me.
Searching my reaches for what she really is.
Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.
I see her back, and reflect it faithfully
She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.
I am important to her. She comes and goes.
Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.
In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman
Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish.


On Raglan Road
Patrick Kavanagh

On Raglan Road on an autumn day I met her first and knew
That her dark hair would weave a snare that I might one day rue;
I saw the danger, yet I walked along the enchanted way,
And I said, let grief be a fallen leaf at the dawning of the day.

On Grafton Street in November we tripped lightly along the ledge
Of the deep ravine where can be seen the worth of passion’s pledge,
The Queen of Hearts still making tarts and I not making hay –
O I loved too much and by such and such is happiness thrown away.

I gave her gifts of the mind I gave her the secret sign that’s known
To the artists who have known the true gods of sound and stone
And word and tint. I did not stint for I gave her poems to say.
With her own name there and her own dark hair like clouds over fields of May

On a quiet street where old ghosts meet I see her walking now
Away from me so hurriedly my reason must allow
That I had wooed not as I should a creature made of clay –
When the angel woos the clay he’d lose his wings at the dawn of day.


get those eyes out of the clouds
Sarah Meise

you saw those eyes in the dark
placed these glass boxes here
so intricately
so peculiar
to speak face to face would stop the clumsiness
but you wont trip,eh?
for you placed them heres
down the cluttered hallway
when you do cast these archaic boxes
you can’t use glue to paste them together
it must be forgiven
thoughs yer gran will come and find out they were actual boxes
thoughs yer mum will come and cry out her weak heart
and you stupidly forgot to wear your shoes
you’ve lost alot of blood
bandages bandages
“we’ve got no bandaids for you for the millionth time”
there was/is no way of shutting it off completely
your sanguine nature can’t be helped with these depressing tunes
and these warm jackets wont protect you the way you wish


I Go Back To May 1937
Sharon Olds

I see them standing at the formal gates of their colleges,
I see my father strolling out
under the ochre sandstone arch, the
red tiles glinting like bent
plates of blood behind his head, I
see my mother with a few light books at her hip
standing at the pillar make of tiny bricks with the
wrought-iron gate still open behind her, its
sword-tips back in the May air,
they are about to graduate, they are about to get married,
they are kids, they are dumb, all they know is they are
innocent, they would never hurt anybody.
I want to go up to them and say Stop,
don’t do it – she’s the wrong woman,
he’s the wrong man, you are going to do things
you cannot imagine you would ever do,
you are going to do bad things to children,
you are going to suffer in ways you never heard of,
you are going to die. I want to go
up to them there in the at May sunlight and say it,
her hungry pretty blank face turning to me,
her pitiful beautiful untouched body,
his arrogant handsome blind face turning to me,
his pitiful beautiful untouched body,
but I don’t do it. I want to live. I
take them up like male and female
paper dolls and bang then together
at the hips like chips of flint as if to
strike sparks from them, I say
Do what you are going to do, and I will tell about it.


What Lips My Lips Have Kissed
Edna St. Vincent Millay

What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply;
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.
Thus in the winter stands a lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet know its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone;
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more.


The Saddest Poem
Pablo Neruda

I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.

Write, for instance: “The night is full of stars,
and the stars, blue, shiver in the distance.”

The night wind whirls in the sky and sings.

I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

On nights like this, I held her in my arms.
I kissed her so many times under the infinite sky.

She loved me, sometimes I loved her.
How could I not have loved her large, still eyes?

I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.
To think I don’t have her. To feel that I’ve lost her.

To hear the immense night, more immense without her.
And the poem falls to the soul as dew to grass.

What does it matter that my love couldn’t keep her.
The night is full of stars and she is not with me.

That’s all. Far away, someone sings. Far away.
My soul is lost without her.

As if to bring her near, my eyes search for her.
My heart searches for her and she is not with me.

The same night that whitens the same trees.
We, we who were, we are the same no longer.

I no longer love her, true, but how much I loved her.
My voice searched the wind to touch her ear.

Someone else’s. She will be someone else’s. As she once
belonged to my kisses.
Her voice, her light body. Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, true, but perhaps I love her.
Love is so short and oblivion so long.

Because on nights like this I held her in my arms,
my soul is lost without her.

Although this may be the last pain she causes me,
and this may be the last poem I write for her.


Your Bruise
Miss Representation

You left a bruise on my breast last week
and I’ve been watching it fade—
purple blue brown tan
soon it’ll be just another piece of skin
forgetting your touch.


Sarah Meise

not again
he said as he ignored the rest
and she smiled at him
through the tinted window
the moonlight cascading on her face
a swirl of lights…mostly red
a breath of fresh air and nods
she kept on singing
the song


Chris Jacob
(a blogger I know only as) slynne

A notch of his ear is missing.
a rat ate it while he slept as a baby,
that’s what he told me. He
lies all the time. I wake

to a note: I took your cigarettes
and purple lighter, find me
when you need them.
He’s left his dirty socks.

Getting angry with him
is smacking the hand
of a four year old
reaching to be held,

so I smile and try to keep
my eye from twitching
when he tells me
I’m beautiful at a party.


Wedding Day
Seamus Heaney

I am afraid.
Sound has stopped in the day
And the images reel over
And over. Why all those tears,
The wild grief on his face
Outside the taxi? The sap
Of mourning rises
In our waving guests.

You sing behind the tall cake
Like a deserted bride
Who persists, demented,
And goes through the ritual.

When I went to the gents
There was a skewered heart
And a legend of love. Let me
Sleep on your breast to the airport.


(a blogger I know only as) krkbaker

In the morning, I got up
and removed the remainder of my clothes;
which was merely an attempt to detach myself
from the static cling of you,
otherwise known as last night’s tumble.

Then, I danced for you in the snow.
You told me I was an angel,
and I spent the rest of the afternoon
looking for my wings.
©2007 KR


Morning Song
Sylvia Plath

Love set you going like a fat gold watch.
The midwife slapped your footsoles, and your bald cry
Took its place among the elements.

Our voices echo, magnifying your arrival. New statue.
In a drafty museum, your nakedness
Shadows our safety. We stand round blankly as walls.

I’m no more your mother
Than the cloud that distills a mirror to reflect its own slow
Effacement at the wind’s hand.

All night your moth-breath
Flickers among the flat pink roses. I wake to listen:
A far sea moves in my ear.

One cry, and I stumble from bed, cow-heavy and floral
In my Victorian nightgown.
Your mouth opens clean as a cat’s. The window square

Whitens and swallows its dull stars. And now you try
Your handful of notes;
The clear vowels rise like balloons.


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Allen Ginsberg

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Find me here in New York alone with the Alone
going to lady psychiatrist who says Make time in your life
for someone you can call darling, honey, who holds you dear
can get excited & lay his head on your heart in peace.


Allen Ginsberg

It is the moon that disappears
It is the stars that hide not I
It is the city that vanishes, I stay
with my forgotten shoes,
my invisible stocking
It is the call of a bell.


Walking Across the Atlantic
Billy Collins

I wait for the holiday crowd to clear the beach
before stepping onto the first wave.

Soon I am walking across the Atlantic
thinking about Spain,
checking for whales, waterspouts.
I feel the water holding up my shifting weight.
Tonight I will sleep on its rocking surface.

But for now I try to imagine what
this must look like to the fish below,
the bottoms of my feet appearing, disappearing.


Billy Collins

You know the parlor trick.
Wrap your arms around your own body
and from the back it looks like
someone is embracing you,
her hands grasping your shirt,
her fingernails teasing your neck.
From the front it is another story.
You never looked so alone,
your crossed elbows and screwy grin.
You could be waiting for a tailor
to fit you with a straight jacket,
one that would hold you really tight.


Pull my daisy
Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac & Neal Cassady

Pull my daisy
tip my cup
all my doors are open
Cut my thoughts
for coconuts
all my eggs are broken
Jack my Arden
gate my shades
woe my road is spoken
Silk my garden
rose my days
now my prayers awaken
Bone my shadow
dove my dream
start my halo bleeding
Milk my mind &
make me cream
drink me when you’re ready
Hop my heart on
harp my height
seraphs hold me steady
Hip my angel
hype my light
lay it on the needy

Heal the raindrop
sow the eye
bust my dust again
Woe the worm
work the wise
dig my spade the same
Stop the hoax
whats the hex
where’s the wake
how’s the hicks
take my golden beam

Rob my locker
lick my rocks
leap my cock in school
Rack my lacks
lark my looks
jump right up my hole
Whore my door
beat my door
eat my snake of fool
Craze my hair
bare my poor
asshole shorn of wool

say my oops
ope my shell
Bite my naked nut
Roll my bones
ring my bell
call my worm to sup
Pope my parts
pop my pot
raise my daisy up
Poke my pap
pit my plum
let my gap be shut


Pretending Not To Sleep
Ian Hamilton

The waiting rooms are full of ‘characters’
pretending not to sleep.
Your eyes are open
but you’re far away,
at home, am Rhein, with mother and the cats.
Your hair grazes my wrist.
My cold hand surprises you.

The porters yawn against the slot-machines
and watch contentedly; they know i’ve lost.
The last train
is simmering outside, and overhead
steam flowers in the station rafters.
Soft flecks of soot begin to settle
on your suddenly outstretched palms.
Your mouth is dry, excited, going home;

the velvet curtains,
father dead, the road up to the village,
your hands tightening in the thick fur
of your mother’s Persian, your dreams
Moving through Belgium now, full of your trip.


(a blogger I know only as) spasmicallyperfect

Branches of trees
Sighing with pleasure
as cool summer rain drops
land on their finger tips.
The park’s canopy
Like Eden on it’s first day
Freshly painted
In lush greens.
Will you let me
Breathe with you
The clean air
Only steaming tears can bring?


they warned me not to buy on the first visit
– (a blogger i know only as) howard

in your softness,
your warm compartment,
i find the warmth unfound
in decades of wandering.

oh, the first time
you took me in;
that sweet acceptance,
that unspoken trust.

years of selling
to those who never buy
rinsed away by this
solitary kiss.


Love After Love
Derek Walcott

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.


Eyes Fastened With Pins
Charles Simic

How much death works,
No one knows what a long
Day he puts in. The little
Wife always alone
Ironing death’s laundry.
The beautiful daughters
Setting death’s supper table.
The neighbors playing
Pinochle in the backyard
Or just sitting on the steps
Drinking beer. Death,
Meanwhile, in a strange
Part of town looking for
Someone with a bad cough,
But the address somehow wrong,
Even death can’t figure it out
Among all the locked doors…
And the rain beginning to fall.
Long windy night ahead.
Death with not even a newspaper
To cover his head, not even
A dime to call the one pining away,
Undressing slowly, sleepily,
And stretching naked

Nose Bleed

blood comes quickly,
hitting the porcelain white of the
wash basin with brilliant splashes of
scarlet. Not my basin, I struggle to
staunch it with cottony wads of paper:
lilies turned poppies in
alchemistic hands

It suprises me
at first, but then the shock
changes colour into oddly pleasant
satisfaction, for a body still capable of
grand gestures, for the startling language,
of protest, the crimson letters of
twisted self.

Panic comes later,
when running like water
blood is still pouring onto borrowed tiles,
falling into long lines of shapeless ribbon,
dissolving into water, bleeding out, I can taste it
in my throat. It tastes like metal.
Smells of salt.


Ben Ziman-Bright

Sat in the cheap seats
Of Symphony Hall, squinting
As the instruments tuned up
I could pick out only you:
Fourth row back and clutching
Your viola, bright hair spilt
Across the strings. You were
Deep in a flurry of pages
With bitten lip, too
Intent on forcing that
Melody right to the cheap seats
To notice me up there, ears straining
To block out any sound but yours.


Her Form
(a blogger I know only as) Kalliope Amorphous

the damp, soft weight
of a baby bird fallen from the nest
resting limp in an upturned palm,
is the way you sit in my heart
and i will carry you until you dissolve
into my hand,
your bones one with
my own skin.

this is the best i can do
it is the only way.


Your Name
(a blogger I know only as) SecretAgentArtist
Heard your name today.
Came from nowhere like a
sharpened pencil,
red and shiny,
coring through my gut.
The corer, she didn’t know.
Didn’t mean to startle.
She launched it
on an outward breath,
slipped it in
to a list of
other names,
soft and grey,
just another set of
surnames looped around the
more names
always more to know
columns grown and never
noticed, then with
yours in;
your name,
that once I pressed between my lips,
once I said to others
like the corer without blame
is saying now to me;
your name.
Did you know
the one you live with,
tell to callers on the phone
write on forms, sign on emails-
did you know –
to me it’s like elastic
wrapped around a wrist


The Lover
Ben Ziman Bright

Moans that are not mine
escape gruff lips
in an unfamiliar tone,
kissing contours I know too well.

Your curtains drawn, lights off
like some seedy back-room parlour,
I linger outside
daring to breathe
waiting for whispers:
the scent of it,
the quickening gasp, sound
of your body over the sheets
writhing for him.

This room was where we loved.
Does it not smell of me? Do your fingers
never rebel when run through
hair of different shade and cut?
And do you close your eyes?

Your pleasure sounds the same, at least,
through the thinness of the walls.
These notes that harmonise with yours
are foreign, without love, but know you
like I knew you:
climactic, ecstatic,
a furious crescendo
of moans that are not mine.


Poem for a Man with No Sense of Smell
Kate Clanchy

This is simply to inform you:

that the thickest line in the kink of my hand
smells like the feel of an old school desk,
the deep carved names worn sleek with sweat;

that beneath the spray of my expensive scent
my armpits sound a bass note strong
as the boom of a palm on a kettle drum;

that the wet flush of my fear is sharp
as the taste of an iron pipe, midwinter,
on a child’s hot tongue; and that sometimes,

in a breeze, the delicate hairs on the nape
of my neck, just where you might bend
your head, might hesitate and brush your lips,

hold a scent frail and precise as a fleet
of tiny origami ships, just setting out to sea.


God Is Free

You don’t have to get cleansed
cleared or confirmed

You don’t have to pay tribute

God is as free as your next breath
your next smile


Elizabeth Bishop

September rain falls on the house.
In the failing light, the old grandmother
sits in the kitchen with the child
beside the Little Marvel Stove,
reading the jokes from the almanac,
laughing and talking to hide her tears.

She thinks that her equinoctial tears
and the rain that beats on the roof of the house
were both foretold by the almanac,
but only known to a grandmother.
The iron kettle sings on the stove.
She cuts some bread and says to the child,

It’s time for tea now; but the child
is watching the teakettle’s small hard tears
dance like mad on the hot black stove,
the way the rain must dance on the house.
Tidying up, the old grandmother
hangs up the clever almanac

on its string. Birdlike, the almanac
hovers half open above the child,
hovers above the old grandmother
and her teacup full of dark brown tears.
She shivers and says she thinks the house
feels chilly, and puts more wood in the stove.

It was to be, says the Marvel Stove.
I know what I know, says the almanac.
With crayons the child draws a rigid house
and a winding pathway. Then the child
puts in a man with buttons like tears
and shows it proudly to the grandmother.

But secretly, while the grandmother
busies herself about the stove,
the little moons fall down like tears
from between the pages of the almanac
into the flower bed the child
has carefully placed in the front of the house.

Time to plant tears, says the almanac.
The grandmother sings to the marvelous stove
and the child draws another inscrutable house.


Too Many, Not Enough and One

There are too many old, wooden benches
Empty, unused, just waiting for romance
Someone’s first kiss behind hidden fences
Someone giving lost love a second chance
There are too many I love you’s wasted
On moments and people who don’t understand
What I’d give to be someone you placed as
The one to accept your trembling hand
There are not enough sighs in the morning
Breathless from years of inhaling too much
Hope for the end to my constant yearning
To wake you up everyday with my touch
There is one perfect sonnet or poem
Waiting to be written to bring you home


Provide, Provide
Robert Frost

The witch that came (the withered hag)
To wash the steps with pail and rag,
Was once the beauty Abishag,

The picture pride of Hollywood.
Too many fall from great and good
For you to doubt the likelihood.

Die early and avoid the fate.
Or if predestined to die late,
Make up your mind to die in state.

Make the whole stock exchange your own!
If need be occupy a throne,
Where nobody can call you crone.

Some have relied on what they knew;
Others on simply being true.
What worked for them might work for you.

No memory of having starred
Atones for later disregard,
Or keeps the end from being hard.

Better to go down dignified
With boughten friendship at your side
Than none at all. Provide, provide!


Billy Collins

The boy at the far end of the train car
kept looking behind him
as if he were afraid or expecting someone

and then she appeared in the glass door
of the forward car and he rose
and opened the door and let her in

and she entered the car carrying
a large black case
in the unmistakable shape of a cello.

She looked like an angel with a high forehead
and somber eyes and her hair
was tied up behind her neck with a black bow.

And because of all that,
he seemed a little awkward
in his happiness to see her,

whereas she was simply there,
perfectly existing as a creature
with a soft face who played the cello.

And the reason I am writing this
on the back of a manila envelope
now that they have left the train together

is to tell you that when she turned
to lift the large, delicate cello
onto the overhead rack,

I saw him looking up at her
and what she was doing
the way the eyes of saints are painted

when they are looking up at God
when he is doing something remarkable,
something that identifies him as God.


pull a string, a puppet moves…
Charles Bukowski

each man must realize
that it can all disappear very
the cat, the woman, the job,
the front tire,
the bed, the walls, the
room; all our necessities
including love,
rest on foundations of sand –
and any given cause,
no matter how unrelated:
the death of a boy in Hong Kong
or a blizzard in Omaha …
can serve as your undoing.
all your chinaware crashing to the
kitchen floor, your girl will enter
and you’ll be standing, drunk,
in the center of it and she’ll ask:
my god, what’s the matter?
and you’ll answer: I don’t know,
I don’t know …


Keep your eyes open when you kiss
John Berryman

Keep your eyes open when you kiss: do: when
You kiss. All silly time else, close them to;
Unsleeping, I implore you (dear) pursue
In darkness me, as I do you again
Instantly we part .. only me both then
And when your fingers fall, let there be two
Only, ‘in that dream-kingdom’: I would have you
Me alone recognize your citizen.

Before who wanted eyes, making love, so?
I do now. However we are driven and hide,
What state we keep all other states condemn,
We see ourselves, we watch the solemn glow
Of empty courts we kiss in .. Open wide!
You do, you do, and I look into them.


a Year in the weird

You’re like a kid with a joke that he knows
is funny
You repeat it over and over until I smile
Because you think it sounds so good.
I’m not sure it’s that you don’t tell me things
Or if you never did to begin with.
You seemed so intent on being a mystery
That I held on tight
As I’m holding on
So tight
Because your eyes are so empty
I don’t know if they always were
or if I’m only noticing it
and I’m hurtling into that silence
And your escape is so very very near
And It scares me
that I’m not sure how I feel
If this is the emptiness of devastation
Or if I truly am not able to care anymore
And I can’t figure out which is worse


Blackberry Eating
Galway Kinnell

I love to go out in late September
among the fat, overripe, icy, black blackberries
to eat blackberries for breakfast,
the stalks very prickly, a penalty
they earn for knowing the black art
of blackberry making; and as I stand among them
lifting the stalks to my mouth, the ripest berries
fall almost unbidden to m tongue,
as words sometimes do, certain peculiar words
like strengths or squinched or broughamed,
man-lettered, one-syllabled lumps,
which I squeeze, squinch open, and splurge well
in the silent, startled, icy, black language
of blackberry eating in late September.


i carry your heart with me
e.e. cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)


Frederick Seidel

This jungle poem is going to be my last.
This space walk is.
Racing in a cab through springtime Central Park,
I kept my nose outside the window like a dog.
The stars above my bed at night are vast.
I think it is uncool to call young women Ms.
My darling is a platform I see stars from in the dark,
And all the dogs begin to bark.
My grunting gun brings down her charging warthog,
And she is frying on white water, clinging to a log,
And all the foam and fevers shiver.
And drink has made chopped liver of my liver!
Between my legs it’s Baudelaire.
He wrote about her Central Park of hair.

I look for the minuterie as if I were in France,
In darkness, in the downstairs entrance, looking for the light.
I’m on a timer that will give me time
To see the way and up the stairs before the lights go out.
The so delicious Busby Berkeley dancers dance
A movie musical extravaganza on the staircase with me every night.
Such fun! We dance. We climb. We slip in slime.
We’re squirting squeezes like a wedge of lime!
It’s like a shout.
It’s what minuterie is all about.
Just getting to the landing through the dark
That has been interrupted for a minute is a lark.
And she’s so happy. It is grand!
I put my mobile in her ampersand.

The fireworks are a fleeting puff of sadness.
The flowers when they reach the stars are tears.
I don’t remember poems I write.
I turn around and they are gone.
I do remember poor King Richard Nixon’s madness.
Pierre Leval, we loved those years!
We knocked back shots of single malt all night.
Beer chasers gave dos caballeros double vision, second sight—
Twin putti pissing out the hotel window on the Scottish dawn.
A crocodile has fallen for a fawn.
I live flap copy for a children’s book.
He wants to lick. He wants to look.
A tiny goldfinch is his Cupid.
Love of cuntry makes men stupid.

It makes men miss Saddam Hussein!
Democracy in Baghdad makes men think
Monstrosity was not so bad.
I followed Gandhi barefoot to
Remind me there is something else till it began to rain.
The hurricane undressing of democracy in Baghdad starts to sink
The shrunken page size of the New York Times, and yet we had
A newspaper that mattered once, and that is sad,
But that was when it mattered. Do
I matter? That is true.
I don’t matter but I do. I lust for fame,
And after never finding it I never was the same.
I roared into the heavens and I soared,
And landed where I started on a flexing diving board.

I knew a beauty named Dawn Green.
I used to wake at the crack of Dawn.
I wish I were about to land on Plymouth Rock,
And had a chance to do it all again but do it right.
It was green dawn in pre-America. I mean
Great scented forests all along the shore, which now are gone.
I’ve had advantages in life and I pronounce Iraq “Irrock.”
The right schools taught me how to tock.
I’m tocking Turkey to the Kurds but with no end in sight.
These peace tocks are my last. Goodbye, Iran. Iran, good night.
They burned the undergrowth so they could see the game they hunt.
That made the forest a cathedral clear as crystal like a cunt.
Their arrows entered red meat in the glory
Streaming down from the clerestory.

Carine Rueff, I was obsessed—I was possessed! I liked your name.
I liked the fact Marie Christine Carine Rue F was Jewish.
It emphasized your elegance in Paris and in Florence.
You were so blond in Rue de l’Université!
The dazzling daughter of de Gaulle’s adviser Jacques Rueff was game
For anything. I’m lolling here in Mayfair under bluish
Clouds above a bench in Mount Street Gardens, thinking torrents.
Purdey used to make a gun for shooting elephants.
One cannot be the way one was back then today.
It went away.
I go from Claridge’s to Brands Hatch racing circuit and come back
To Claridge’s, and out and eat and drink and bed, and fade to black.
The elephants were old enough to die but were aghast.
The stars above this jungle poem are vast.

To Ninety-second Street and Broadway I have come.
Outside the windows is New York.
I came here from St. Louis in a covered wagon overland
Behind the matchless prancing pair of Eliot and Ezra Pound.
And countless moist oases took me in along the way, and some
I still remember when I lift my knife and fork.
The Earth keeps turning, night and day, spit-roasting all the tanned
Tired icebergs and the polar bears, which makes white almost contraband.
The biosphere on a rotisserie emits a certain sound
That tells the stars that Earth was moaning pleasure while it drowned.
The amorous white icebergs flash their brown teeth, hissing.
They’re watching old porn videos of melting icebergs pissing.
The icebergs still in panty hose are lesbians and kissing.
The rotting ocean swallows the bombed airliner that’s missing.


little tree
e.e. cummings

little tree
little silent Christmas tree
you are so little
you are more like a flower

who found you in the green forest
and were you very sorry to come away?
see i will comfort you
because you smell so sweetly

i will kiss your cool bark
and hug you safe and tight
just as your mother would,
only don’t be afraid

look the spangles
that sleep all the year in a dark box
dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,
the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,

put up your little arms
and i’ll give them all to you to hold
every finger shall have its ring
and there won’t a single place dark or unhappy

then when you’re quite dressed
you’ll stand in the window for everyone to see
and how they’ll stare!
oh but you’ll be very proud

and my little sister and i will take hands
and looking up at our beautiful tree
we’ll dance and sing
“Noel Noel”



On your back, I traced the words I was too scared
to say. You followed the path of my fingers, though,
and were disappointed by my fear. When you asked
me to give voice to that sentiment, I thought you
could be my new home. I am obsessed with a house

two blocks south of my apartmet. A two story brick
house across the street from a bar I never go to.
My house has had a for sale sign for months,
since long before I thought you could be the place

to which I long to return. I know now, you are no place.
You are a person. You will move, you will shift, you will change
your mind. Like me, you disappear. I carry home on my back.

I carry it when I take the dog to the park. I carry it when
I go to my parent’s house. Maybe this is what the homeless
woman who sat in the middle of the sidewalk this afternoon knew,
that her home was wherever she was. She yelled at me to say
she was not afraid of my dog. If we were young together, I would

take her to my home, I would undress her, I would trace words
on her back that I longed to say. I used to lie in bed and stare
at you and think, I will never love you as much as you love me.

My great love started with the thought that I would never love her.
What a fool, to think that. My great love ended with new scars
on my skin and flailing and job loss. No matter what, I can always say
I went the farthest. I am trying something new these days, I am letting
everything slide. I am walking past that house, my longed for home, daily.

Today, I heard they are closing my favorite dive bar. I thought
of the time you took me there, how we got drunk, how you wrote
my name in sharpie on the bathroom wall. I would like to somehow
take that part of the wall, to have a memorial of our home. You came

back once, but my bed distubed you, the thought of someone new
in it. My next home will have a porch. It will have wood floors,
and a yard for my dog. There will be a light in the kitchen, too.
I will make breakfast there. I will take the dog out. I will clean
the bathroom and decorate the foyer. I will hang my paintings there.


fudged flummery

I met her on a Tuesday
and you didn’t even know.
we coffeed and chatted,
we smile and lied.
her eyes looked just like mine,
her hair a mockery.
I took a sip,
she took 2.
I ordered black
and she tried blacker.
I laughed when she left,
smoothing her rumpled feathers.
I saw my reflection
in her shadow,
you settled, you tried
you believed in her strength,
cause we’ve been
apart for so long.
but I’m acidic in an
innocent rainfall,
I’m destructive
in your perfect china life.
I’m your bull,
and she’s your pattern.


Inside Out
Diane Wakoski

I walk the purple carpet into your eye
carrying the silver butter server
but a truck rumbles by,
leaving its black tire prints on my foot
and old images the sound of banging screen doors on hot
afternoons and a fly buzzing over the Kool-Aid spilled on
the sink
flicker, as reflections on the metal surface.

Come in, you said,
inside your paintings, inside the blood factory, inside the
old songs that line your hands, inside
eyes that change like a snowflake every second,
inside spinach leaves holding that one piece of gravel,
inside the whiskers of a cat,
inside your old hat, and most of all inside your mouth where you
grind the pigments with your teeth, painting
with a broken bottle on the floor, and painting
with an ostrich feather on the moon that rolls out of my mouth.

You cannot let me walk inside you too long inside
the veins where my small feet touch
You must reach inside and pull me
like a silver bullet
from your arm.



Remember where the poets are,
for we’re a dying breed,
with our hands in our empty pockets,
let down,
let down.


Zurich Lake
Lydia (secretagentartist)

On the pleasure boat,
I ask my uncle – whose dark eyes
are contemplating hills – the german word for lake.
He writes it for me, absent minded:

“Zurichsee –
the see as z.“

‘The Zurich-zee is tooled glass,
it’s printed cellophane.
The Zurich-zee is silver fish,
slashed brail, misted zinc.’

My uncle sees a gliding gull, small castle,
at Richterschill – a blue and yellow tram.

‘The Zurich-zee is silver milk,
sleek bands of graying hair.
The Zurich-zee is spilt yellow,
watercoloured pale.’

My uncle makes the sounds
for places as we pass:


I chew the pen and mark them down.
Like the ink is made of lake.
My uncle, words.



From a window above,
on an ordinary day,
where the ordinary people go
to make memories,
a voice floats over the courtyard
into the restaurant where you sit
eating anything and everything organic-

a girl sings love, love with a ukulele,
Cupid’s arrows, our plastic forks,
souvenirs we carry home-

three guys scramble, hacky sac,
two men play chess on the corner,
the girl sings love, love done me wrong-

little doggie naps at feet,
his owner on a bench,
cigarette in lip, straw hat on head-

traffic slows,
the old men chuckle at their game,
or the girl, or at love…

from the street below,
on an ordinary day,
belly full, you cross the courtyard-

the tune of the ukulele girl in your step,
and on your shoulder
a backpack,
filled with your own
stolen handful of plastic forks.


Young Man Picking Flowers
W. S. Merwin

All at once he is no longer
young with his handful of flowers
in the bright morning their fragrance
rising from them as though they were
still on the stalk where they opened
only this morning to the light
in which somewhere unseen the thrush
goes on singing its perfect song
into the day of the flowers
and while he stands there holding them
the cool dew runs from them onto
his hand at this hour of their lives
is it the hand of the young man
who found them only this morning


Death of a Poem

10 years on the blood trail
Of a gut shot poem
Sleeping by tainted indentions in leaves and grass
Dreams of its death – oh to put this thing out of my misery
No compassion for the beast
As it confounds me in red maple leaves
Camouflaging on the ground and
Swirling around my head in scarlet confusion

So thankful for the broom straw
Red tipped broom straw waving me on to victory
To the smell of death
Juxtaposed with
The pungent aroma of the taxidermist’s tight rubber gloves
Dreams of long talks, smoke rising, interest increasing

A widow maker falls beside me and brings me back to reality
My left hand rusted solid to the lantern
My back permanently stooped
The trail leads down now
They always die by the water
Hopeful and wanting
Soon the leaves will fall again
Death by the water? Victory by the water?

A decade has passed when I find the beast
It falls two steps from the stream
It’s warm breath clouding
Rising into the red maple leaves


Consummation Of Grief
Charles Bukowski
I even hear the mountains

the way they laugh

up and down their blue sides

and down in the water

the fish cry

and the water 
is their tears.

I listen to the water

on nights I drink away

and the sadness becomes so great

I hear it in my clock

it becomes knobs upon my dresser

it becomes paper on the floor

it becomes a shoehorn

a laundry ticket

it becomes

cigarette smoke

climbing a chapel of dark vines. . .

it matters little

very little love is not so bad

or very little life

what counts

is waiting on walls

I was born for this

I was born to hustle roses down the avenues of the dead.


As The Sparrow
Charles Bukowski

To give life you must take life,

and as our grief falls flat and hollow

upon the billion-blooded sea

I pass upon serious inward-breaking shoals rimmed

with white-legged, white-bellied rotting creatures

lengthily dead and rioting against surrounding scenes.

Dear child, I only did to you what the sparrow

did to you; I am old when it is fashionable to be

young; I cry when it is fashionable to laugh.

I hated you when it would have taken less courage

to love.


Charles Bukowski

there’s a bluebird in my heart that

wants to get out

but I’m too tough for him,

I say, stay in there, I’m not going

to let anybody see


there’s a bluebird in my heart that

wants to get out

but I pur whiskey on him and inhale

cigarette smoke

and the whores and the bartenders

and the grocery clerks

never know that


in there.

there’s a bluebird in my heart that

wants to get out

but I’m too tough for him,

I say,

stay down, do you want to mess

me up?

you want to screw up the


you want to blow my book sales in


there’s a bluebird in my heart that

wants to get out
but I’m too clever, I only let him out

at night sometimes

when everybody’s asleep.

I say, I know that you’re there,

so don’t be


then I put him back,

but he’s singing a little

in there, I haven’t quite let him


and we sleep together like


with our

secret pact

and it’s nice enough to

make a man

weep, but I don’t
weep, do



I am on a poetry kick

“Every shooting star that is seen
from Earth is an angel who has just
received his wings”
Popular Folk Myth

When surrounded by vast
a black sky
that is nothing
but a
cosmic wasteland
illuminated by light
from starry nightlights

Do astronauts
really pass
dead souls
on their way
to the moon?


Valentine for Ernest Mann
– Naomi Shihab Nye

You can’t order a poem like you order a taco.
Walk up to the counter, say, “I’ll take two”
and expect it to be handed back to you
on a shiny plate.

Still, I like your spirit.
Anyone who says, “Here’s my address,
write me a poem,” deserves something in reply.
So I’ll tell you a secret instead:
poems hide. In the bottoms of our shoes,
they are sleeping. They are the shadows
drifting across our ceilings the moment
before we wake up. What we have to do
is live in a way that lets us find them.

Once I knew a man who gave his wife
two skunks for a valentine.
He couldn’t understand why she was crying.
“I thought they had such beautiful eyes.”
And he was serious. He was a serious man
who lived in a serious way. Nothing was ugly
just because the world said so. He really
liked those skunks. So, he reinvented them
as valentines and they became beautiful.
At least, to him. And the poems that had been hiding
in the eyes of the skunks for centuries
crawled out and curled up at his feet.

Maybe if we reinvent whatever our lives give us
we find poems. Check your garage, the odd sock
in your drawer, the person you almost like, but not quite.
And let me know.



  1. slynne · January 10, 2007

    Have you ever red the WS Merwin translation of that Neruda? It is wonderful. He titles it tonight I can write the saddest lines.

  2. zaphodfreek · January 10, 2007

    but I’d love to.
    Tomorrow I will search.

  3. krkbaker · January 18, 2007

    Where is Wings? 🙂 I’m kidding.

  4. zaphodfreek · January 18, 2007

    I forgot to post it.
    I can’t believe that.
    I appologise and will IMMEDIATELY rectify.
    I love ‘Wings’

  5. michaelm · January 30, 2007

    ‘Mirror’ by Plath has always blown me away.
    I dissected it in an English Lit class and discovered how incredibly complex (and troubled) Plath really was. Some amazing stuff here.
    I’m also with you on ‘Wings’.
    KRKBaker has that ‘something’.


  6. slynne · January 31, 2007

    Morning Song is my favorite Plath poem

  7. zaphodfreek · February 1, 2007

    It’s so uplifting for one of her poems.
    I love.

  8. krkbaker · February 7, 2007

    Hey, I like Billy too. I really liked “Embrace”; I’ll check him out further. Cheers.

  9. zaphodfreek · February 7, 2007

    And “Taking Off Emily Dickinson’s Clothes”
    I honestly love.
    I’ll put it up here soon.

    He writes poetry the way I’d like to.

  10. qaojz · April 9, 2007

    Good site!!!

  11. zaphodfreek · April 9, 2007

    Thanks qaojz.
    Happy you think so.

  12. Sarah · April 24, 2007

    the waiting rooms are full of ‘characters’
    pretending not to sleep.
    your eyes are open
    but you’re far away,
    at home, am Rhein, with mother and the cats.
    your hand grazes my wrist.
    my cold hand surprises you.

    the porters yawn against the slot-machines
    and watch contentedly; they know i’ve lost.
    the last train
    is simmering outside, and overhead
    steam flowers in the station rafters.
    soft flecks of soot begin to settle
    on your suddenly outstretched palms.
    your mouth is dry, excited, going home;

    the velvet curtains,
    father dead, the road up to the village,
    your hands tightening in the thick fur
    of your mother’s Persian, your dreams
    Moving through Belgium now, full of your trip.

    ian hamilton(pretending not to sleep)

    • elly garcia · November 25, 2010

      has this site gone dead??
      as in.. death of a poet?

      • zaphodfreek · November 25, 2010

        I should hope not?
        I wonder if I did die,
        would I end up haunting this site, putting up poems from a ghost’s perspective.

        You would never know.

  13. zaphodfreek · April 24, 2007

    ’tis added.

  14. Sarah · April 25, 2007

    ah right ..
    em however i made an error.. i merely typed it from my memory..
    it is “your hair grazes my wrist”
    “your hand grazes my wrist”

  15. zaphodfreek · April 25, 2007

    ’tis corrected.

  16. spasmicallyperfect · July 17, 2007

    Thank you so much….. to be mentioned on the same page as the greats of Neruda and Kim – just to mention two – is an honour.

  17. zaphodfreek · July 17, 2007

    It’s a right that you have very much earned.
    Gosh, that makes me sound awfully pompous.
    But the intention was good.

  18. zaphodfreek · August 21, 2007

    I apologise about these first poems being all messed up.
    The writing thing keeps making it go like this.
    I’ll fix it soon.

  19. rens · September 1, 2007

    INCREDIBLE this whole story..sorry poem

  20. rens · September 1, 2007

    hi every1 this may not be about these poems but i found a BEAUTIFULL movie its about elmo and Andrea Bocelli maybee a litle childish but realy beautifull u shoud watch it i just found out you guys might already know it..

  21. qazse · June 28, 2008

    zfreek – thank you for the honor. I am pleased the poem speaks to you in a significant way. It is what I believe.


  22. deanjbaker · August 27, 2008

    wonderful to see all these

  23. anna · January 30, 2009

    Ben Ziman-Bright is incredible!! i LOVE his poems!

  24. mimz · March 11, 2009

    Just stumbbled across this site while I was in search of ‘Rhapsody’ by Ben Ziman-Bright! But I am so glad I did! Utterly breathtaking poems! I am all but in tears! Thank You!

  25. zaphodfreek · March 12, 2009

    Very happy to have you mimz.

  26. bzbright · March 20, 2009

    And now I’m blushing. Great website, Ben – I should really update mine at some point!

    Keep up the good work.

  27. zaphodfreek · March 20, 2009


  28. susan · July 30, 2010

    Thank you for including my poem in with all these awesome poets. I always thought i would have to be long gone to be a published poet! I am so glad that isn’t true! Thanks!

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