Nov 192010

What lively lad most pleasured me
Of all that with me lay?
I answer that I gave my soul
And loved in misery,
But had great pleasure with a lad
That I loved bodily.

Flinging from his arms I laughed
To think his passion such
He fancied that I gave a soul
Did but our bodies touch,
And laughed upon his breast to think
Beast gave beast as much.

I gave what other women gave
That stepped out of their clothes.
But when this soul, its body off,
Naked to naked goes,
He it has found shall find therein
What none other knows,

And give his own and take his own
And rule in his own right;
And though it loved in misery
Close and cling so tight,
There’s not a bird of day that dare
Extinguish that delight.

 Comments Off on William Butler Yeats – A Last Confession
Nov 192010

He says he doesn’t feel like working today.
It’s just as well. Here in the shade
Behind the house, protected from street noises,
One can go over all kinds of old feeling,
Throw some away, keep others.
The wordplay
Between us gets very intense when there are
Fewer feelings around to confuse things.
Another go-round? No, but the last things
You always find to say are charming, and rescue me
Before the night does. We are afloat
On our dreams as on a barge made of ice,
Shot through with questions and fissures of starlight
That keep us awake, thinking about the dreams
As they are happening. Some occurrence. You said it.

I said it but I can hide it. But I choose not to.
Thank you. You are a very pleasant person.
Thank you. You are too.

 Comments Off on John Ashbery – My Erotic Double
Nov 192010

Did you too see it, drifting, all night, on the black river?
Did you see it in the morning, rising into the silvery air –
An armful of white blossoms,
A perfect commotion of silk and linen as it leaned
into the bondage of its wings; a snowbank, a bank of lilies,
Biting the air with its black beak?
Did you hear it, fluting and whistling
A shrill dark music – like the rain pelting the trees – like a waterfall
Knifing down the black ledges?
And did you see it, finally, just under the clouds –
A white cross Streaming across the sky, its feet
Like black leaves, its wings Like the stretching light of the river?
And did you feel it, in your heart, how it pertained to everything?
And have you too finally figured out what beauty is for?
And have you changed your life?

 Comments Off on Mary Oliver – The Swan
Nov 192010

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart )i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

 Comments Off on e.e. cummings – i carry your heart with me
Nov 192010

The Hedgehog in His Element

Miserable, bullying, armed to the teeth,
like a Sherman tank forced out of the brush
or St Sebastian bristlng with his arrows.

Spring in Odd Weather

Not the dampness of opportunity, perhaps;
nor an irritating jumble of stimuli, choreographed

by some renegade Balanchine; nor
the particular razory liaison of May rain,

enough to muzzle the tits in the greening hedge;
nor the lofty bloat of ruined cloud

stalking the placid rape fields, which still
awaited an eighteenth-century painter

who had failed to show; no, these, not even
these could account for the whicker of spring chill,

the Commerce that muzzled her admirers in Art,
though above the fens, on the raw silhouette

of a hill – tentative, protracted, new-risen with weeds
like Iron Age spears – you stood your watch,

staring out in something like astonishment,
a porcelain doll blank in its own immortal gaze.

 Comments Off on William Logan – 2 poems