what / should I fly

453px-Ernst_Ludwig_Kirchner_-_Maskentanz_-_1929

what

should I fly
unto
my senses

delight
with
crowns and rich apparel

dance and then depart

show
what magic can perform

and do
a thousand
deeds?

I
shall

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The tree grew up overnight

crow pastiche

The tree grew up overnight, the first anyone knew
Was sunrise and passengers tumbling from cars gawking
At that tree, its lower branches wreathed in fog,
Its upper branches gathering the fog into
Towering clouds. Crow winged out of the sun, squawking,
And drove the dogs away from the tree,
And we danced, we danced down the sun and the fog,
We danced the concrete into dust, the dust into the sea.

 

 
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Sonnet: Against Sonnets

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God’s sake, don’t write a sonnet! What’s the point?
That boy you like will still be fully dressed,
And other poets still be unimpressed
(In fact, their noses may go out of joint).

Feeling is first! Form’s just an afterthought,
And rhyming’s unforgiving work at best,
When every single line feels like a test.
So, should you write a sonnet? You should not.

Oh, Petrarch, Shakespeare, had their vogue, it’s true,
But really, fourteen lines is awfully long.
Best get in — cut the middle — finish strong.
Who wants a sonnet? You should write haiku.

Trust me, I’ve thought this through and through: put down the pen.
The sonnet’s day is gone, and will not come again.

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From this height one sees everything

(after Li Po)
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A younger me would have stood on his head
To prove the earth and sky are of a size
Then seeing beneath his feet the sunlit clouds
Have strode off on that opalescent path.

These days the sun has turned her face from me.
The autumn wind flings tiny knives of frost.
Far down below, the slow east river flows
Beset with whitecaps, fishing boats, and gulls.

Yes, younger, I’d have turned things upside-down:
The sparrows and the swallows at their nests,
The small birds perched among the date tree’s thorns,
All would have stopped, and quirked their heads to see!

But these days I’m no gymnast, me.
Sundown, I’ll sling my sword upon my back;
I’ll set my feet upon the dusty road
And head off down the mountain, muttering of home.

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I gazed into my wine cup

(After Li Po)

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I gazed into my wine cup
Till after darkness fell.

Out of that dark pool
The vines grew up
Twining me around
And the wine was in me
And I was the wine.

Then I dreamed I stood,
Lost in the wine’s dreaming,
And the moon was there
Beneath my feet, there
Where I walked, midstream.

Somewhere an owl hooted

But nobody was there
To wake me.

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