For all of you out there –

November 11, 2019

Smoke

November 11, 2019

Take a deep breath and watch her –
the witch of old leaves
burning
in the allotments –
how she sticks out her grey gnarly fingers
that wrap around you
and throw you back
to the land of campfires and songs

and there you are –
your dreamy purple orchid self
sitting on a half rotten log,
uncomfortable as hell,
your face burning and your back freezing,
your feet sore from walking.

Yet all you feel
(because you’re seventeen)
is that your badly tuned guitar and the unpredictable universe
sing in harmony,

pure beauty.
You’ll sleep under the sky tonight,
the wolves will stay away,
and tomorrow when you get home
your clothes will smell of
smoke.

Renata Connors

Dark Tunnel

November 11, 2019

my other rule

November 11, 2019

Though my rule for this poem
is honesty, my other rule is Fuck You.

Alice Notley
Disobedience

if the Kaiser had said No

November 11, 2019

“But what I would like to know,” says Albert, “is whether there would not have been a war if the Kaiser had said No.”

“I’m sure there would,” I interject, “he was against it from the first.”

“Well, if not him alone, then perhaps if twenty or thirty people in the world had said No.”

“That’s probable,” I agree, “but they damned well said Yes.”

“It’s queer, when one thinks about it,” goes on Kropp, “we are here to protect our fatherland. And the French are over there to protect their fatherland. Now who’s in the right?”

“Perhaps both,” say I without believing it.

“Yes, well now,” pursues Albert, and I see that he means to drive me into a corner, “but our professors and parsons and newspapers say that we are the only ones that are right, and let’s hope so; – but the French professors and parsons and newspapers say that the right is on their side, now what about that?”

“That I don’t know,” I say, “but whichever way it is there’s war all the same and every month more countries coming in.”

Tjaden reappears. He is still quite excited and again joins the conversation, wondering just how a war gets started.

“Mostly by one country badly offending another,” answers Albert with a slight air of superiority.

Then Tjaden pretends to be obtuse. “A country? I don’t follow. A mountain in Germany cannot offend a mountain in France. Or a river, or a wood, or a field of wheat.”

“Are you really as stupid as that, or are you just pulling my leg?” growls Kropp, “I don’t mean that at all. One people offends the other – “

“Then I haven’t any business here at all,” replies Tjaden, “I don’t feel myself offended.”

“Well, let me tell you,” says Albert sourly, “it doesn’t apply to tramps like you.”

“Then I can be going home right away,” retorts Tjaden, and we all laugh, “Ach, man! he means the people as a whole, the State – ” exclaims Mller.

“State, State” -Tjaden snaps his fingers contemptuously, “Gendarmes, police, taxes, that’s your State; – if that’s what you are talking about, no, thank you.”

“That’s right,” says Kat, “you’ve said something for once, Tjaden. State and home-country, there’s a big difference.”

“But they go together,” insists Kropp, “without the State there wouldn’t be any home-country.”

“True, but just you consider, almost all of us are simple folk. And in France, too, the majority of men are labourers, workmen, or poor clerks. Now just why would a French blacksmith or a French shoemaker want to attack us? No, it is merely the rulers. I had never seen a Frenchman before I came here, and it will be just the same with the majority of Frenchmen as regards us. They weren’t asked about it anymore than we were.”

“Then what exactly is the war for?” asks Tjaden.

Kat shrugs his shoulders. “There must be some people to whom the war is useful.”

“Well, I’m not one of them,” grins Tjaden.

“Not you, nor anybody else here.”

“Who are they then?” persists Tjaden.

“It isn’t any use to the Kaiser either. He has everything he can want already.”

“I’m not so sure about that,” contradicts Kat, “he has not had a war up till now. And every full-grown emperor requires at least one war, otherwise he would not become famous. You look in your school books.”

“And generals too,” adds Detering, “they become famous through war.”

“Even more famous than emperors,” adds Kat.

“There are other people back behind there who profit by the war, that’s
certain,” growls Detering.

“I think it is more of a kind of fever,” says Albert. “No one in particular wants it, and then all at once there it is. We didn’t want the war, the others say the same thing – and yet half the world is in it all the same.”

Erich Maria Remarque
All Quiet on the Western Front

the friction of skin

November 11, 2019

Desire
vibrates
in the friction of skin,
the throbbing rhythm
of joined bodies,
relentlessly
clinging.

Dee

Daily Dreaming

November 11, 2019

I don’t want to give too much away
but the sun doesn’t rise in this one.
Instead, I light a matchstick on your spine
and our slept-over sweat doesn’t burn
and the bathtub quakes with lavender and grime.
These days, we sleep in shifts
and watch for shadows, crawling about
like things that don’t live here, like things
that don’t live anywhere.
I’m hoping that, in every scenario,
you still love me more in the end.
Outside, the hydrangeas are sagging
with rain and inside you are looking me over.
I don’t want to give too much away
but, in this one, the night is both wasted and spent well.

Kara Goughnour

The Flower

November 10, 2019

I think I grow tensions
like flowers
in a wood where
nobody goes.
Each wound is perfect,
encloses itself in a tiny
imperceptible blossom,
making pain.
Pain is a flower like that one,
like this one,
like that one,
like this one.

Robert Creeley

SUMMER DEVILRY

November 10, 2019

The sky is very near to me to-night:
It breathes, as from a throat of molten lead,
A damnèd effluence about my head,
An effluence of hell, a fœtid blight:
Dark visions break on my distorted sight
Of bloody lust and cruelty and dread,
Devils unnamed in their own likeness tread
The ways of earth, and are not put to flight.
In rifts of voiceless lightning, such as breaks
This goitrous firmament, have stood revealed
Over the dead in some old battlefield
The ghastly dogs of death, and bloated snakes
Dripping the slime of Acherontian lakes
On some dead sovereign’s blood-emblazoned shield.

L. GIELGUD

Need

November 10, 2019

I need you
YOU
with me: inside me
penetrating my soul
not with romantic or melancholic airs
but with your cock and fingers
suffocating the cold
with your bodily heat
healing my anxiety –
I want to have you anywhere
and everywhere:
a lift
a park
the office
an alleyway
touching my breasts
your cock stiffening
guided by our wildest desires
touching paradise
despite our cloak of sin –
I need you
YOU

Dee