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

my other rule

November 11, 2019

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

Alice Notley
Disobedience

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

Perhaps when our bodies throb and rub
against each other, they produce a sound
inaudible to us but heard up there, in the clouds and higher,
by those who can no longer hear common sounds . . .
Or, maybe, this is how He wants to check by ear: are we still intact?
No cracks in mortal vessels? And to this end He bangs
men against women?

Vera Pavlova
Trans. Steven Seymour

Let Birds

November 7, 2019

Eight deer on the slope
in the summer morning mist.
The night sky blue.
Me like a mare let out to pasture.
The Tao does not console me.
I was given the Way
in the milk of childhood.
Breathing it waking and sleeping.
But now there is no amazing smell
of sperm on my thighs,
no spreading it on my stomach
to show pleasure.
I will never give up longing.
I will let my hair stay long.
The rain proclaims these trees,
the trees tell of the sun.
Let birds, let birds.
Let leaf be passion.
Let jaw, let teeth, let tongue be
between us. Let joy.
Let entering. Let rage and calm join.
Let quail come.
Let winter impress you. Let spring.
Allow the ocean to wake in you.
Let the mare in the field
in the summer morning mist
make you whinny. Make you come
to the fence and whinny. Let birds.

Linda Gregg

Coal

November 5, 2019

I
Is the total black, being spoken
From the earth’s inside.
There are many kinds of open.
How a diamond comes into a knot of flame
How a sound comes into a word, coloured
By who pays what for speaking.

Some words are open
Like a diamond on glass windows
Singing out within the crash of passing sun
Then there are words like stapled wagers
In a perforated book — buy and sign and tear apart —
And come whatever wills all chances
The stub remains
An ill-pulled tooth with a ragged edge.
Some words live in my throat
Breeding like adders. Others know sun
Seeking like gypsies over my tongue
To explode through my lips
Like young sparrows bursting from shell.
Some words
Bedevil me.

Love is a word another kind of open —
As a diamond comes into a knot of flame
I am black because I come from the earth’s inside
Take my word for jewel in your open light.

Audre Lorde