“You must be ready to burn yourself in your own flame. How could you rise anew if you have not first become ashes?” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Isaac Levitan Lakeshore
“Lakeshore” (nd, unknown medium)
by Isaac Levitan


Two for Tuesday: The poet and the words

“There is no curtain for the heart
In a room full of poets. Each face maps
Its suffering, its lust with lines
As subtle as mountain ranges.” ~ Kate Horowitz, section 1 of “6pm Reading, St. Anthony Hall”


The Ascension of Words

Thus, like the skin
of a shorn ewe, the day rises.It is difficult to skin the self from a stone.
It is difficult to skin memory from a Greek.

But why should we talk about these!
After all,
light too has a skin,
light too can be skinned…
light too is guilty of being.

A gust of fresh air
comes with the millennium.
We are beautiful;
why should we not be beautiful?

We eat one another
only from hunger,
from adoration,
from structure,
from love.
It doesn’t matter.
We are what we are,
that is, beautiful.

I carry my ever still blood
in my heart.
I carry my ever salt tear
in my eye.

I carry the angel in the middle of heaven.

~ Nichita Stanescu


Picture 041
“Flying Geese Against the Aurora” (nd, oil on canvas)
by Sir Peter Markham Scott


How to Live

Poets show us how to live ~ Matthew Arnold

They show us more often
than not how to die
at the same time and in more ways
of doing both, of taking the first
out of the heart of the other
and spreading it around
and making it up, making it over
in legendary examples
in the sand after falling
into the bad company
of themselves, too early
and too late, and too soon
they forget how to live
through it and still be able
to follow in strange tracks
on paper. Their embarrassing lives
make schoolteachers labor
hard to explain why
they dared to take so much
that was harmful into their mouths
and swallow it, to neglect
(not trying to recollect)
their debts to others , to forget
to do what they were meant to
before giving away
or ignoring their last chances
with a half-conscious flourish
with one hand waving or still holding
someone’s hand while the other
keeps scribbling something
or other, keeps on trying
with the equivalent of a feather
to put everything down.

~ David Wagoner


Music by Green River Ordinance, “Uncertainly Certain”