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I never thought Michiko would come back
after she died. But if she did, I knew
it would be as a lady in a long white dress.
It is strange that she has returned
as somebody's dalmatian. I meet
Thin are the night-skirts left behind
By daybreak hours that onward creep,
And thin, alas! the shred of sleep
You charm’d me not with that fair face
Though it was all divine:
To be another’s is the grace,
It takes eight matches, a burnt thumb, and a quick Google search
to light the sweetgrass braid Mom scored for me from an elder
at work. Always use matches, she said. Spirit likes matches.
I’m a gecko on a wall
that simulates a cliff
with rainbow grips
I’ll touch any colour
that’ll have me
midway is high enough
wary of emotional
I don’t mean home-
Let Us Be Fireflies
All day we
practice morse code signals
diaspora babies, we
are born of pregnant pauses/spilled
from unwanted wombs/squalling invisible-ink poems/written in the margins
of a map of a place
called No Homeland
It is like an exquisite spider web, this world, but I
don't get trapped.
I have ceased to tie the strings of one shoe to
another in the morning,
so now I don't trip over my wants. This leaves me
I'd like to close the distance between us:
where you end, where I begin,
but your skin stops me,
I can't find my way in.
If I could, I'd press every bit of me
Unknown to you, I walk the cheerless shore.
The cutting blast, the hurl of biting brine
May freeze, and still, and bind the waves at war,
Ere you will ever know, O! Heart of mine,
I've dreamt of you so often that you become unreal.
Is there still time to reach this living body and to kiss on its mouth the birth of
the voice so dear to me?
The sun gave our shoulder blades ulu-shaped burns, and the sun gives nothing to our sort
I sleep now, and furiously
Clouds excreted shadows on the shoreline, and there were no clouds
once i left turtle island and i
rejoined la and doubleU and see
to savai‘i on a hunting trip
on the fairy from upolu
la picked up a day trick
blew him during lunch
the spirit of
your flowers is
my favourite shelter
we were in love is
A single flow’r he sent me, since we met.
All tenderly his messenger he chose;
Deep-hearted, pure, with scented dew still wet—
somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which…
before i start i want to say you shouldn’t blame yourself
there’s no point in beating around the bush
there’s something we need to talk about
this is the most difficult thing i’ve ever had to tell anyone
anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
Come when the nights are bright with stars
Or when the moon is mellow;
Come when the sun his golden bars
Drops on the hay-field yellow.
Come in the twilight soft and gray,
Let the world’s sharpness, like a clasping knife,
Shut in upon itself and do no harm
In this close hand of Love, now soft and warm,
And let us hear no sound of human strife
Blousy guitar I don’t want to count the beats Hey Hey
My pen I have bed hair in the best way Daughter
of sunlight and air and I’m glad you were born
on this day or put another way: that you were
During two hours on the train
I rerun the film of my life
Two minutes per year on average
Half an hour for childhood
Another half-hour for prison
Love, books, wandering
take up the rest
The place, the question, the question.
The place, the interest, the question.
There is the place.
There is what you do in the place.
There is your belief.
In the empty classroom, at sunrise, a girl
sits on the floor, staring at a glockenspiel.
She’s shredding the cuticles on her left hand
K was supposed to come with the key, I was
to wait outside the gate. I arrived on time,
the time we had agreed on and waited, as agreed,
Tune: Rory Dall’s Port
First printed in Johnson’s S.M.M., Vol. 4, 13th August 1792.
Ae fond kiss, and then we sever; one
an urban image from the eighties
when we hung out at Chez Madame Arthur
The rain set early in to-night,
The sullen wind was soon awake,
It tore the elm-tops down for spite,
A thousand martyrs I have made,
All sacrific’d to my desire;
A thousand beauties have betray’d,
He totaled his blue truck —
slowly spun out on an icy bridge,
rammed it into a guard rail.
I told her, in plain language, how I felt.
And by that I mean I mumbled a poorly
paraphrased and already…
Queen and King, they rule side by side
in golden thrones above the clouds.
Her giggle and wide eyes remind him
Once one gets what one wants
one no longer wants it.
One no longer wants what?
To Kristin Lems
We miss something now
as we think about it
Wild Nights — Wild Nights!
Were I with thee
Wild Nights should be
Sweet sweet sweet sweet sweet tea.
The air smells of rhubarb, occasional
Roses, or first birth of blossoms, a fresh,
Undulant hurt, so body snaps and curls
When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
They flee from me that sometime did me seek
With naked foot, stalking in my chamber.
I have seen them gentle, tame, and meek,
Go, lovely rose!
Tell her that wastes her time and me,
That now she knows,
Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white;
Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk;
Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font.
Oh, Hope! thou soother sweet of human woes!
How shall I lure thee to my haunts forlorn!
For me wilt thou renew the withered rose,
When daisies pied and violets blue
And lady-smocks all silver-white
And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue
When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
Not marble nor the gilded monuments
Of princes shall outlive this powerful rhyme,
But you shall shine more bright in these contents
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
After Li Po
While my hair was still cut straight across my forehead
I played about the front gate, pulling flowers.
No, no! Go from me. I have left her lately.
I will not spoil my sheath with lesser brightness,
For my surrounding air hath a new lightness;
Helen, thy beauty is to me
Like those Nicéan barks of yore,
That gently, o’er a perfumed sea,