Posts tagged as:

poetry

The Hazel-Atlas Glass Factory

September 8, 2009

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
THE HAZEL-ATLAS GLASS FACTORY
 
For years his father had made fruit jars, ink bottles, jam and pickle jars, Vaseline jars,
blue glass pitchers with the opaque profile of Shirley Temple smiling, forever, bright as tourmaline.
He would come home, sometimes, his boots trailing river mud, his hat bearing the weight of a heaven
so low it felt like the [...]

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The Michelin Inspector

September 6, 2009

 
THE MICHELIN INSPECTOR

Eats alone in the ten abandoned rooms

of the provincial hotel, the paper stars
 

in his guide cut out and pasted to the tenuous wallpaper

like games his children might play if he could still remember them.
 

The notes in his anonymous book are exact,

coded, hieroglyphs for broken sauces, overdone halibut,
 

ways to escape his life filed [...]

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Burning the Library

September 6, 2009

BURNING THE LIBRARY

Obedient to the Caliph’s orders
Amrou walked the length of Alexandria
in a wash of salt
and set about his sad task of destruction.

Book by book he unstacked the library
while the birds went mad overnight
and Amrou’s feet burned tracks of ash
on the holy ground.  A thousand meteors fell

down around him as the ancient world
was fed in [...]

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How Atlantis Disappeared

August 16, 2009

HOW ATLANTIS DISAPPEARED

Under Socrates’ quiet direction
they took down the street signs and the house numbers.
One by one
the city councilmen dissolved

the ink on all the deeds and licenses,
while the mayor personally
destroyed the negatives
of every picture of the town.

Then, citizens, dutifully checking off a list,
erased the floor plan
of every house on every block.
In a single day

the city [...]

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Rhubarb tarts on a doily, or not

April 15, 2009

When you’re testing recipes for a cookbook, you generate a lot of food.  For the last weeks and months, the assembly line of breads and cookies and pies and muffins coming out of my kitchen has been astonishing, like an unlicensed bakery that sporadically opens to manic over-production.  So this past weekend, after I pulled [...]

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The Kite Flying Upper Atmosphere Station #12

April 14, 2009

THE KITE FLYING UPPER ATMOSPHERE STATION #12
For three years Wittgenstein studied aeronautics at the University of Manchester.  It was before the war.  He studied kites.  How they moved outside the world’s prisons.  It was, he came to think, about games.  How the kites played.  With the barbarians and with the clocks and with the systems [...]

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Ariadne at the end of the line

April 5, 2009

 

 
ARIADNE AT THE END OF THE LINE
She starts out from the west and starts
rolling: the string she winds around her hands
a deepening maze of cuts, each one
a thread that binds her back to the center
of the labyrinth she remembers.  Only bread and milk
and the way her mother cried [...]

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The Secret Life of Mary Poppins

April 1, 2009

THE SECRET LIFE OF MARY POPPINS
The children finally asleep, door locked,
the chimneysweep bound and gagged
in a hall closet, she pours the acrylic colors
of her costume down the bathroom sink,
flushes the cartoon penguins down the toilet.
On the narrow bed she unlocks
her lacquered hair and wipes the happy paint
off her face, [...]

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