Why Trust This World

May 8, 2018

after Catherine Barnett

this one here with the shit-smeared sidewalks
and the bottle of cheap white emptied
and the migraine’s blooming
and the lack of overage protection
and the inclement weather affecting my commute
and the losses already suffered, the more I just can’t handle
and the two cats chasing tails
and every green thing in the fridge going, gone, the body only wanting
what I cannot ask for
and the body sexless as a Sunday
and the elevator broken
and the hope in a higher dosage
and the tulips tossed
and the rain that traps me, the trains that trap me
and the night smacked into, the question, lack of evidence
and the too casual kill-yourself joke like eggs floating the way they do
and the pushing past what I am capable of
and the mouth mouthing purpose
and the forgetting, the whatever of it
and the body by the bridge or the implied erasure of the body
like when they say just stay alive
and the prayers I’m kept or not kept in
and the worsening, the visiting hours
and the board games with the missing pieces
and the missing
and the light caught, the thick drapes
and the vital signs taken
and the three square meals
and the applesauce, the weak coffee
and the pellet shits
and the names for feelings, names for pills,
lack of hooks and hangers, the brown paper bags –

Anna Meister

Attending the Party

May 8, 2018

How lucky I am
to be missed
by those who have run out
of ways to hold me?
& isn’t that what I always wanted?
To keep something perfect
long enough for everyone to notice
when I’m gone.

Hieu Minh Nguyen

A summer view

He stood there staring at the empty field, remembering the things that had happened in the summer. He remembered the pedestal table and the apples and the way the sun had browned her arms and face. He remembered the blue dress and the way she had looked without it and the movements of her body as she brushed her hair in the lamplight at nighttime. He remembered how she had painted the house and how honest she was and how he had trusted her.

He stood there for a long time. Once he turned as if to go back, and then changed his mind. His eyes were short-focused and full of trouble. The yard was dark with big evening shadows and the little farm seemed to have shrunk in the evening sun.

H E Bates
The Little Farm


He was an elderly man and he had queued up with the people who were waiting for me to sign their books. When his turn came, he announced unapologetically, “I don’t read poetry. I write it. I’ve brought you a copy of my book.”

If he had been younger, I might not have been so polite. I smiled, took the book and thanked him. Later on a quick glance through the self-published volume confirmed what I already knew: the poems were no good. People who never read poetry don’t write poems that are worth reading.

It’s a free country, of course, and anyone can write whatever they like. However, if you are interested in writing well, in working at being a better poet, then the most important piece of advice that anyone can give you is that you have to read both recent poetry and the poetry of past centuries. That’s how you learn.

Wendy Cope
How to write poetry
The Guardian, 21st September 2008