14 February 2019

18 poems about love

Geoffrey Philp
Eve and Adam II
Rethabile Masilo
Carol Ann Duffy
A lover from Palestine
Mahmood Darwish
You, therefore
Reginald Shepherd
Feeling fucked up
Etherdge Knight
Love after love
Derek Walcott
I carry your heart with me
E. E. Cummings
The mornings
Phil Rice
Nikki Giovanni
For Virginia Chavez
Lorna D. Cervantes
The profile on the pillow
Dudley Randall
Pamela Mordecai
Video blues
Mary Jo Salter
Heart to heart
Rita Dove
All the Whiskey in Heaven
Charles Bernstein
Love song
William Carlos Williams
I love you
Ella W. Wilcox

13 February 2019

Poet's lament, a poem by Rethabile Masilo

The words a poem gives
are restless things that never live
at the same time for the same aim.
It is for the poet to give them comfort in his house.
When a line breaks into a thought,
who blesses the hand that grips
a pen, dragging it like oxen pull a plough
through soil? O lord of woman, lord of man—
words came to the middle of my night
and they showed me a dream, every lexicon
standing like hairs on the back of a neck.

But in the end they always wave goodbye
to every life they've ever had, and leave.

9 February 2019

Upon reading ‘facts about the moon’

When I started writing this, as a confession,
a solstice was circling the world, Stonehenge
was rife with worshipers, my wife was drinking
mojitos and rutting. I sat on the edge of our bed
and heard whales calling from the coast below.
Sometimes when the mood sets in I’ll fling dishes
to the sky (manhole covers are too heavy for this),
or resort to a frisbee in the park at night, see it wane,
then yield to a death its circle finds in words
and is captured by them. Big-arse plate for near moon,
tea saucer for far, bulb-in-the-sky little moon—
now when I look at it straightlaced I only see zits
on the face of the man there, among fields of craters
in the stillness of time where Michael Jackson
would have loved to walk, alone in Laux's poem.
My heart sits in the heaviest atmosphere of itself.
Silence is the only thing about this that is true,
a perigee-syzygy rendezvous with sun and earth,
hinting that in the end death is unlikely to be fair.

Dorianne Laux's 'Facts about the moon': http://goo.gl/emqfzl

The Onslaught Press

Telephone Conversation, a poem by Wole Soyinka

The price seemed reasonable, location
Indifferent. The landlady swore she lived
Off premises. Nothing remained
But self-confession. "Madame," I warned,
"I hate a wasted journey—I am African."
Silence. Silenced transmission of
Pressurized good breeding. Voice, when it came,
Lipstick coated, long gold-rolled
Cigarette-holder pipped. Caught I was, foully.
"HOW DARK?"... I had not misheard... "ARE YOU LIGHT
OR VERY DARK?" Button B. Button A. Stench
Of rancid breath of public hide-and-speak.
Red booth. Red pillar box. Red double-tiered
Omnibus squelching tar. It was real! Shamed
By ill-mannered silence, surrender
Pushed dumbfoundment to beg simplification.
Considerate she was, varying the emphasis —
"ARE YOU DARK? OR VERY LIGHT?" Revelation came.
"You mean — like plain or milk chocolate?"
Her assent was clinical, crushing in its light
Impersonality. Rapidly, wave-length adjusted,
I chose. "West African Sepia" — and as afterthought,
"Down in my passport." Silence for spectroscopic
Flight of fancy, till truthfulness clanged her accent
Hard on the mouthpiece. "WHAT’S THAT?" conceding
"DON’T KNOW WHAT THAT IS." "Like brunette."
"THAT’S DARK, ISN'T IT?" "Not altogether.
Facially, I am brunette, but madam, you should see
The rest of me. Palm of my hand, soles of my feet
Are a peroxide blonde. Friction, caused —
Foolishly madam — by sitting down, has turned
My bottom raven black — One moment madam!" — sensing
Her receiver rearing on the thunderclap
About my ears — "Madam," I pleaded, "wouldn’t you rather
See for yourself?"

Wole Soyinka

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