Poem Chicago The Were-Age

'My age, my beast!' - Osip Mandelstam

On the lips a taste of tolling we are blind
The light drifts like dust over faces
We wear masks on our genitals
You've heard of lighting cigarettes with banknotes we used to light ours with Jews
History is made of bricks you can't go through it
And bricks are made of bones and blood and
Bones and blood are made of little tiny circles that nothing can go through Except a piano with rabies
Blood gushes into, not from, our wounds
Vietnamese Cuban African bloods


DesireThreadbareDesires

-to S.

The light lay in shreds across the bed,
only your waking could make it whole;
resuming its costume of day, its role
which seems to overnight get ragged—

Fate latent as weights in theater
curtainhems, what soul is sewn here
to be rung down at last, divested
of these disguises. But if we are

bared by such cloth as cries in this
lament for the sun's fragility,
would I dare now to shake you astir—

to drape over you my shadow, whose
myth-ex-machina remains all mine,


none

There lies a vale in Ida, lovelier
Than all the valleys of Ionian hills.
The swimming vapour slopes athwart the glen,
Puts forth an arm, and creeps from pine to pine,
And loiters, slowly drawn. On either hand
The lawns and meadow-ledges midway down
Hang rich in flowers, and far below them roars
The long brook falling thro' the clov'n ravine
In cataract after cataract to the sea.
Behind the valley topmost Gargarus
Stands up and takes the morning: but in front


The Old Maid

I saw her in a Broadway car,
The woman I might grow to be;
I felt my lover look at her
And then turn suddenly to me.
Her hair was dull and drew no light,
And yet its color was as mine;
Her eyes were strangely like my eyes,
Tho' love had never made them shine.

Her body was a thing grown thin,
Hungry for love that never came;
Her soul was frozen in the dark,
Unwarmed forever by love's flame.

I felt my lover look at her
And then turn suddenly to me –


It Is Not a Word

It is not a word spoken,
Few words are said;
Nor even a look of the eyes
Nor a bend of the head,

But only a hush of the heart
That has too much to keep,
Only memories waking
That sleep so light a sleep.


I Am Not Yours

I am not yours, not lost in you,
Not lost, although I long to be
Lost as a candle lit at noon,
Lost as a snowflake in the sea.

You love me, and I find you still
A spirit beautiful and bright,
Yet I am I, who long to be
Lost as a light is lost in light.

Oh plunge me deep in love -- put out
My senses, leave me deaf and blind,
Swept by the tempest of your love,
A taper in a rushing wind.


Star Light, Star Bright--

Star, that gives a gracious dole,
What am I to choose?
Oh, will it be a shriven soul,
Or little buckled shoes?

Shall I wish a wedding-ring,
Bright and thin and round,
Or plead you send me covering-
A newly spaded mound?

Gentle beam, shall I implore
Gold, or sailing-ships,
Or beg I hate forevermore
A pair of lying lips?

Swing you low or high away,
Burn you hot or dim;
My only wish I dare not say-
Lest you should grant me him.


Me thinks this heart...

Me thinks this heart should rest awhile
So stilly round the evening falls
The veiled sun sheds no parting smile
Nor mirth nor music wakes my Halls

I have sat lonely all the day
Watching the drizzly mist descend
And first conceal the hills in grey
And then along the valleys wend

And I have sat and watched the trees
And the sad flowers how drear they blow
Those flowers were formed to feel the breeze
Wave their light leaves in summer's glow

Yet their lives passed in gloomy woe


Frost To-Night

Apple-green west and an orange bar,
And the crystal eye of a lone, one star . . .
And, "Child, take the shears and cut what you will,
Frost to-night -- so clear and dead-still."

Then, I sally forth, half sad, half proud,
And I come to the velvet, imperial crowd,
The wine-red, the gold, the crimson, the pied, --
The dahlias that reign by the garden-side.

The dahlias I might not touch till to-night!
A gleam of the shears in the fading light,
And I gathered them all, -- the splendid throng,


A little while, a little while...

A little while, a little while,
The weary task is put away,
And I can sing and I can smile,
Alike, while I have holiday.

Why wilt thou go, my harassed heart,
What thought, what scene invites thee now?
What spot, or near or far,
Has rest for thee, my weary brow?

There is a spot, mid barren hills,
Where winter howls, and driving rain;
But if the dreary tempest chills,
There is a light that warms again.

The house is old, the trees are bare,
Moonless above bends twilight's dome;


Pages

Subscribe to RSS - light