Awkward Foal

Ilya Kaminsky, “Author’s Prayer”


If I speak for the dead, I must
leave this animal of my body,

I must write the same poem over and over
for the empty page is a white flag of their surrender.

If I speak of them, I must walk
on the edge of myself, I must live as a blind man

who runs through the rooms without
touching the furniture.

Yes, I live. I can cross the streets asking “What year is it?” 
I can dance in my sleep and laugh

in front of the mirror.
Even sleep is a prayer, Lord,

I will praise your madness, and
in a language not mine, speak

of music that wakes us, music
in which we move. For whatever I say

is a kind of petition and the darkest days
must I praise.


The op-art textile works of Samantha Bittman 

Kerrin McCadden, “How to Miss a Man”


Breathing is just a rhythm. Tell yourself this so that the breathing
becomes a song. Sing this song all day while you shop in the hardware
store for things you do not need. Sing it again while you cook supper

for yourself. Cook supper for yourself, even if you don’t want to.
Go for a walk, even if you don’t want to. Put your shoes on
and get the leash and even bring the dog. She will be so pleased

you might start to forget. Also, breathe. It is a rhythm. Walk
around the block, and even farther, if you have a mind to.
You might. Your feet will take you. They can. If you listen,

they are a rhythm also. Like drums. Hand drums. Swing your hands
while you walk. Tell yourself they are kind of like wings,
that the bird’s wing has a hand inside it. It does.

Come home and make tea. Every time you dip the teabag,
hold your breath like you are underwater. Hold. Breathe.
Hold. Breathe. Like that, like you are swimming across

Lake Pleiades, under water like a fish, above water like a bird
until you are stitching lake and sky. You are a needle just then,
darning holes in things, a weave of stitches across and down, like a graph.

You need to be a graph. A grid. Numbers are perfect. You can draw
two lines on a graph that can never touch. This is what you are building.

Tony Hoagland, “Personal”


Don’t take it personal, they said;
but I did, I took it all quite personal—

the breeze and the river and the color of the fields;
the price of grapefruit and stamps,

the wet hair of women in the rain—
And I cursed what hurt me

and I praised what gave me joy,
the most simple-minded of possible responses.

The government reminded me of my father,
with its deafness and its laws,

and the weather reminded me of my mom,
with her tropical squalls.

Enjoy it while you can, they said of Happiness
Think first, they said of Talk

Get over it, they said
at the School of Broken Hearts

but I couldn’t and I didn’t and I don’t
believe in the clean break;

I believe in the compound fracture
served with a sauce of dirty regret,

I believe in saying it all
and taking it all back

and saying it again for good measure
while the air fills up with I’m-Sorries

like wheeling birds
and the trees look seasick in the wind.

Oh life! Can you blame me
for making a scene?

You were that yellow caboose, the moon
disappearing over a ridge of cloud.

I was the dog, chained in some fool’s backyard;
barking and barking:

trying to convince everything else
to take it personal too.


teuvo pakkala


teuvo pakkala


Here’s today’s Daily GIF!


Here’s today’s Daily GIF!

Sandra Simonds, “Ode to Country Music”


If I wasn’t such a deadbeat, I’d learn Greek.
    I wouldn’t write sonnets; I’d write epics
and odes. I’d love a man who was
    acceptable and conformed to every code.
I’d put together my desk and write my epic or ode
    at sunset over my suburb. How I would love my shrubs!
But all I do is listen to country (and the occasional Joni)
    and smoke. Judge me judge me
judge me. Oh I’ve been through the shallows.
    I shallow. I hope. I hole. I know
I wrote you the most brutal love poem that knows.

Jenny Molberg, “Narrative”


Because there is no principle of love,
you and I ride horses to a curve in the lake.
Because we are ever-expanding cosmic bodies,
but do not understand physics,
my horse will be named Dakota, and yours
Chip, and when he bends his head to drink,
the forces of memory and dark energy
erupt from the water like cattails. When we say love,
we only know how for a few moments.
And keep insisting on different versions
of the same story. Chaos, or better,
the original emptiness, is always a constant.
One horse bellows and the other answers
with a clip of her shoe
on a nearby stone. Because suffering
is difficult to define, the lake is this blue
only once. The horses toss the reins from their necks.
They have been here a long time,
and know only the old ways.
When we return home, we keep trying different ways
to feel the same. And the old sun sets on the stables.
The stable man lies down beside his wife.
They hear hooves that kick against stable doors.
And she cannot sleep without that sound.


David Bowie as Tilda Swinton, with Tilda Swinton as David Bowie


David Bowie as Tilda Swinton, with Tilda Swinton as David Bowie