Archive for October, 2008

Heaven, Or Notes on a Cemetery in Hong Kong

In one area of this neighborhood cemetery
are the Japanese.  Loved ones
bring sticks of incense, which smoke
throughout the day.
Some leave cups of sake,
bottles of beer.
 
One woman burns paper money,
for her husband’s love
of gambling. 
 
I imagine my former lovers
leaning from heaven’s windows, shouting
my name, inviting me up.
 
But here in the Christian area of the cemetery
a sad resignation reigns.
Most relatives have moved long ago,
found jobs in other cities,
 
left behind their flower vases
like mailboxes in front
of abandoned houses,   
 

empty.

Bob Bradshaw

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Pirates

Nothing but eyes. Eyes wrapped tight
In black cloth. Painful eyes
Hard to look at.

Do they make reports
To a pantheon of gods
As we watch from binoculars?

Surely it is some strange call.
They pass the cell phone
And hold minute debates.

Soon they will steal to low decks
And scatter among the freight,
Brandishing kaiser blades.

But for now they are waiting,
Bobbing in their skinny wooden dowels
That rock in the mint tones.

Steven Blythe

Haceta Head Beach

Our stark shadows at the waters edge
wavering on the sand
following maybe leading us
the candor of the ocean at our feet
rushing over an arch
engulfing an ankle
a lifetime, an afternoon.
 
I walk behind you
an old man’s hat on your head
brim cocked towards the sky
your hair braided down your back
pantaloons tucked in
high woolen socks
a woman from the Andes—

Janice D. Rubin


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."

a

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