“All the Missing” Continued

Some are blonde. Some are brunette. Some are redheads.

Some have braces. A few have freckles.

The parents stand on street corners. They organize search teams. They implore complete strangers:  Please, please.

Self wrote “All the Missing” before she discovered Galway Kinnell’s 9/11 poem, When the Towers Fell (just this year) but it’s almost uncanny, the similarities between her scene and Kinnell’s. No, this does not mean she’s putting herself on the same level as Kinnell. But it does mean that sometimes writers in different parts of the world stumble on the same cultural pulse, working off pure intuition! Pay close attention, dear blog readers: you will see this happening over and over again.

In Kinnell’s poem (which is one of his longest), people stand on New York City street corners, holding up pictures of their loved ones, asking “Have you seen _____ my child/my husband/my wife/my brother/ my sister/ my friend?” And people can’t look them in the face. Passersby sweep past them, muttering,  “Sorry, sorry.”

And here’s a site that references poets who’ve written about 9/11.

“All the Missing” appeared in Phoebe 41.1 (Spring 2012)

Stay tuned.

Simeon Dumdum, Jr: “Cattle Egret”

Excerpt From CATTLE EGRET

— by Simeon Dumdum, Jr.

You’re riding on a carabao
(Oh, what a day and what a life)
As birds would settle on a bough

Light cuts the sky with a long knife
And morning drops its load of dew
(Oh, what a day and what a life)

— from the collection If I Write You This Poem, Will You Make It Fly (Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2010)

Simeon Dumdum, Jr. is a judge in the central Philippine island of Cebu. His other poetry collections are The Gift of Sleep, Third World Opera, and Poems: Selected and New (1982 – 1997)

The white Cattle Egret is found throughout the Philippines. It perches on grazing cattle and rids them of lice. Its native name is: talabong, tabong, tagak kalabaw.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Miguel Hernandez: Been So Long

A creature must grow
From the seedbed of nothing
and more than one turns up
under the design of an angry star,
under a troubled and bad moon.

an excerpt from “Bloody Fate” (in the collection Miguel Hernandez, NYRB/Poets) translated by Don Share

Poem For 9/11 (Tin House, 2002)

12/19/02

by

David Lehman

It seemed nothing would ever be the same
This feeling lasted for months
Not a day passed without a dozen mentions
of the devastation and the grief
Then life came back
it returned like sap to the tree
shooting new life into the veins
of parched leaves turning them green
and the old irritations came back,
they were life, too,
crowds pushing, taxis honking, the envies, the anger,
the woman who could not escape her misery
as she stood between two mirrored walls
couldn’t sleep, took a pill, heard the noises of neighbors
the dogs barking, the pigeons in the alley yipping weirdly
and the phone that rang at eight twenty with the news
of Lucy’s overdose we just saw her last Friday evening
at Jay’s on Jane Street she’d been dead for a day or so
when they found her and there was no note
the autopsy’s today the wake day after tomorrow
and then I knew that life had resumed, ordinary bitching life
had come back

News Overload: More Poetry Needed

It is possible that everything self knows about language came from Alice in Wonderland. She can recite the first verse of Jabberwocky by heart:

Twas brillig and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe
All mimsy were the borogroves
And the mome raths outgrabe.

If Alice in Wonderland were to be published in the present, would it be considered “speculative fiction”?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Savour Again

Is it spelled “savor” or “savour”? Self isn’t sure.

Self’s day consisted of watching television (news) and reading poetry.

Specifically, poetry by Galway Kinnell and Kate Miller.

She has Miller’s The Observances, a first poetry collection.

Miller’s poem “Promise” begins thus:

The earth is scanty over London
clay, sour with runoff, a swollen underpass
of beige.

So beautiful.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Galway Kinnell: “When the Towers Fell”

Some died while calling home to say they were OK.
Some called the telephone operators and were told to
stay put.
Some died after over an hour spent learning they would die.
Some died so abruptly they may have seen death from inside it.
Some burned, their faces caught fire.
Some were asphyxiated.
Some broke windows and leaned into the sunny day.
Some were pushed out from behind by others in flames.
Some let themselves fall, begging gravity to speed them to
the ground.
Some leapt hand in hand that their fall down the night sky might
happen more lightly.

— excerpt from “When the Towers Fell,” in the Galway Kinnell collection Strong Is Your Hold

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, San Francisco 1958

I am waiting for my case to come up
and I am waiting
for a rebirth of wonder
and I am waiting for someone
to really discover America
and wail
and I am waiting
for the discovery
of a new symbolic western frontier
and I am waiting
for the American Eagle
to really spread its wings
and straighten up and fly right
and I am waiting
for the Age of Anxiety
to drop dead
and I am waiting
for the war to be fought
which will make the world safe
for anarchy
and I am waiting
for the final withering away
of all governments
and I am perpetually awaiting
a rebirth of wonder

— from I am Waiting, by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

The rest of the poem can be found on the Poetry Foundation website.

Can we all agree that 1958 sounds a lot like 2016.

Stay tuned.

Poetry Monday: Agnes Marton’s “Being an Iguana”

Self loves poetry. Because she doesn’t have a fixed abode, it helps that poetry collections are easier to carry around than fiction collections or novels or memoirs (But who is self kidding? At this moment, she is in Wexford, Ireland, and half her suitcase is made up of books. Really heavy books. She may have dislocated a shoulder)

Agnes Marton, a poet self met at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig, loves animals. Here’s a poem from her collection, Captain Fly’s Bucket List. It’s not the whole poem, because self is worried about infringing copyright violations. But hopefully this excerpt will give readers a good idea of the wry wit of Agnes’s poetry:

BEING AN IGUANA

Too bored to eat, I’m getting thin.
I feel peeled
like cheap potatoes for a stew.

My owner asks the Agony Aunt
if his new pet hates him.

Once I tried to escape
and fetch the fire from the Sun.

While captive, I’m a dragon.
I build mountains for me to climb.

I crawl clockwise.
Look at my teeth, my tattered claws,
my parched tail.

Agnes Marton is a Hungarian-born poet, editor, linguist, and visual artist.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Quote of the Day: Helen Ivory

I have always suspected but now
I know for a fact that I am not a human being.
As children, my sister and I were cats.

— from The Double Life of Clocks, by Helen Ivory (Bloodaxe Books, Ltd.)

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