The Encounter

May 31, 2020

You came to the side of the bed
and sat staring at me.
Then you kissed me – I felt
hot wax on my forehead.
I wanted it to leave a mark:
that’s how I knew I loved you.
Because I wanted to be burned, stamped,
to have something in the end –
I drew the gown over my head;
a red flush covered my face and shoulders.
It will run its course, the course of fire,
setting a cold coin on the forehead, between the eyes.
You lay beside me; your hand moved over my face
as though you had felt it also –
you must have known, then, how I wanted you.
We will always know that, you and I.
The proof will be my body.

Louise Gluck

task of a poet

May 31, 2020

A writer lives. The task of being a poet is not completed at a fixed schedule. No one is a poet from eight to twelve and from two to six. Whoever is a poet is one always, and continually assaulted by poetry.

Jorge Luis Borges
Blindness – Seven Nights
trans. Eliot Weinberger


May 31, 2020

What I found with fantasy was a way of saying something about being human. And, of course, that’s the dæmon. But I hadn’t been a reader of fantasy. Like everybody else in the sixties, I read “The Lord of the Rings” and was temporarily impressed, but I didn’t read any other fantasy.

Philip Pullman
Interview in The New Yorker, 29th September 2019


May 31, 2020

Some requests appear imperative, especially when responding to them can be so exquisite...


May 31, 2020

Memory is simply another name for ghosts.

I collect these signs

May 31, 2020

After she’s gone, I cherish all of the signs she was here. I press my face to the pillow and inhale what’s left of her scent. I wear the necklace she gave me, I hold the pendant in my palm while I think of her. My pubic bone aches from grinding against her. I press my fingertips into the small purple bruises on my thighs, she leaves them with her teeth. I run my fingers through my long mess of hair searching for the section she cut, late at night while I sat at her feet and we planned an epic art piece using both of our hair. I love that there’s a short little patch in my mane now, hidden underneath, a sign she has been here with me. I collect these signs like seashells so I can press them to my ear and hear the ocean.

Her Dirty Little Heart

The Milkman

May 30, 2020

The door was bolted and the windows of my porch
Were screened to keep invaders out, the mesh of rust-
Proof wire sieved the elements. Did my throat parch
Then I sat at my table and ate with lust
Most chaste, the raw red apples: juice, flesh, rind and core.

One still and summer noon while dining in the sun
I was poulticing my thirst with apples, slaking care,
When suddenly I felt a whir of dread. Soon, soon,
Stiff as a bone I listened for the Milkman’s tread.
I heard him softly bang the door of the huge truck
And then his boots besieged my private yard. I tried
To keep my eyes speared to the table, but the suck
Of apprehension milked my force. At last he mounted
My backstairs, climbed to the top, and there he stood still
Outside the bolted door. The sun’s colour fainted.
I felt the horror of his quiet melt me, steal
Into my sockets, and seduce me to him from
My dinner. His hand clung round the latch like rubber.
I felt him ooze against the screen and shake the frame.
I had to slide the bolt; and thus I was the robber
Of my porch. Breathing smiling shape of fright,
The Milkman made his entrance; insistent donor,
He held in leprous hands the bottled sterile fruit,
And gave me this fatal, this apostate dinner.
Now in winter I have retreated from the porch
Into the house and the once-red apples rot where
I left them on the table. Now if my throat parch
For fruit the Milkman brings a quart for my despair.

Isabella Gardner

Oh, how much innuendo can one poem provide? This dedicated to milkmen all around the world –

I’ve been fucking your brother for the last year. Odds are, our son is actually his.

Before that, I was fucking your best friend – and his wife, and still do on occasion.

I have never been faithful to you, even before we got married. You are a good man and a decent father and provider, but you simply have no idea what to do in bed. I would rather masturbate with a cheese grater than have sex with you.


an outlaw

May 30, 2020

The wolf is a conventional symbol of marginality in Greek poetry. The wolf is an outlaw. He lives beyond the boundary of usefully cultivated and inhabited space marked off as the polis, in that blank no man’s land called to apeiron (“the unbounded”). Women, in the ancient view, share this territory spiritually and metaphorically –

Anne Carson
The Gender of Sound: in Glass, Irony and God