Archive for September, 2008

Our New Windmills

Have you seen the windmills recently
Don Quixote?
They have grown,
Giants now if they ever were.
I suppose that is the way of things.
No longer just one in the fields,
Looking to pick a fight.
They have banded together. Dozens. Hundreds.
Sleek and hard-bodied.
They stand, unmoving, in rank and file
Across our wide open spaces,
Never sleeping.
Their red blinking eyes watching us
And arms that never stop swinging
Through the entire night.
How are you supposed to fight something like that?

Daniel Gilmore

The New Yorker Incident

Muhammad Rahmans Kwik Meal #1 in Manhattan

Muhammad Rahman's Kwik Meal #1 in Manhattan

For anyone who missed it, which is most of you, an interesting anecdote appeared in the New Yorker’s Book Bench blog recently. It is a modest tale about a struggling young poet in Manhattan and an ambitious midtown falafel chef. Some of you who read this site regularly (we know you’re out there somewhere) might recognize a warped name or two in all of this.

Shouts go out to Macy Halford, our favorite moonlighting blogger!

Of pleasures gastronomical I sing
Incomparable treasures; everything
Cooked to perfection by the expert hands
Striving to meet
read more!

The Invisible Fiancee

Like the woman couldn’t have just said ‘yes’
to save the dude the humiliation and then told
him the next day she changed her mind or
—Brett Edwards

He had the words, “Will you marry me?” in lights across
the screen of the JumboTron and everything! He even waited
until halftime as if the thousands of undistracted eyes
would ease her into the right direction. My first thought was,
“How crazy is a man who would empty his bank account
on a proposal?” But as the frightened girl shook her head and ran
out of the arena, she made me wonder, “How crazy is a man
who would empty his bank account on a proposal only
to be rejected on national television?” I mean, what exactly did he
expect to happen? Now I realize the known unknowns
for what they are and I can’t help but look through the pictures
I keep in a box to protect our past. When I stare at old
photographs, I see how translucent the space separating our faces is
and my memories return to that night. I can practically see him leaving
the game and sitting alone on the steps outside the arena; thoughts
collecting like vapor in storm clouds. I can see him riding
in the empty limo, his hands caressing a champagne bottle that
he’ll keep locked away forever. And then, there’s the reservation
that he waited months to acquire. He sits single at a table
for two with too much pride to cry and still not enough strength to bear
back heavy tears. The box is a constant reminder sheltered in his hands
beneath the table as he whispers, “Will you marry me?” over and over
and over with pauses between to hear rejection. How crazy
is the man who dines with himself? I too have sat alone and imagined
you sitting near me. Yesterday, I whispered into nothingness hoping
to hear you answer and for a brief moment
I thought you did.

Julian Easterly

Contrasting Views

"Literalism is a feature of boorish translators." Cicero "The clumsiest literal translation is a thousand times more useful than the prettiest paraphrase." Nabokov

The Faerie Queene

"John Ashbery said reading the Faerie Queene was like reading an endless beautiful comic strip." Kenneth Koch

Sigmund Freud

"Everywhere I go, I find a poet has been there before me."


September 2008
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