Category Archives: verse and worse

Midlife

Facebook26 Twitter1Total27The young speak to say something, to make a name.The old repeat to hold themselves the same. Midlife is for any age, a state of mind.It’s saying what you think you’d better say,Like it or not, because the words, … Continue reading

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for Irina

Facebook16 Twitter1Total17Little Irina Antonovna, six,Took it upon herself to write to her aunt,Laboriously addressing it to:”Region of Petrograd, Max Heltz factory.”Why did she write this letter? Well, her father:Ten years in the camps for being a scholar,Dead by now. Her … Continue reading

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translations from Kuruntokai

Facebook7 Twitter1Total8Kuruntokai (The Short Collection) is an anthology of classical Tamil verse collected by Pooriko Nachinarkiniyar in the sixth or the seventh century CE. The poems are lyrics of love and longing. Apparently they offer layers of religious symbolism. Here … Continue reading

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Google Translate is not good at classical Greek

Facebook4 Twitter1Total5Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound, lines 19-35, in my amateur translation: Prometheus, you will always suffer under One tyrant or another, uncomforted: That’s the price of befriending people. A god, you didn’t fear the rage of gods When you gave mortals … Continue reading

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More Temperate

Facebook20 Twitter1Total21Most trees have leafed out for two or three days.Each leaf unfolding in place to fill its space, green;But the trees that flowered are wilting now,Bold blooms shrinking to leave more space between,Dwindling to stipples along each bough.Superimposed: a … Continue reading

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tangled beauty

Facebook23 Twitter1Total24Let us be glad for tangled things–   For soiled fingers raking thick-stemmed grass;     For matted fur on long, warm ears; Or child’s hair idly twisted in rings.   A thatch of ganglia fires in the brain’s wet mass:    … Continue reading

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when the lotus bloomed

Facebook26 Twitter1Total27I was so distracted, tense, and busy That I missed the lotus bloom. Though preoccupied and hasty I sensed something in the room— Caught that subtle scent of longing, That mute yearning to be still— But I hadn’t yet … Continue reading

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anxieties of influence

Facebook16 Twitter0Total16Emerson, Lowell, cummings, and Plath, Stevens, Roethke, Frost, MacLeish, and Hall, Ashbery, Bishop, Eliot and Rich– I write them down in verse, shuffling their names To fill my lines, making them my material, They who took all the words … Continue reading

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self help: a short story

Facebook7 Twitter0Total7Political prisoner K. was sentenced to solitary, with only cement walls, a cot, a stinking bucket, and a food slot for company. One day, on his way back from interrogation, he saw a tattered paperback on the floor. The … Continue reading

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The Anachronist in the Florida Review

Facebook26 Twitter0Total26(Korcula, Croatia) I am in Europe for a mixture of work–in Ukraine and Germany–and vacation. Meanwhile, the Florida Review has published The Anachronist as a multimedia feature. It begins: The Argument A woman is bound to the stake to be burned: … Continue reading

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