April is Poetry Month: Poem a Day #14

Taken from the Knopf site; direct link below.


Edward Hirsch lost his son twenty-two-year-old son, Gabriel, in 2011. His most recent book is the frank elegy of a father who wants to see his son’s death clearly but also to narrate his life, in all its vivid and vexing detail, before it is rubbed dim by memory. Gabriel is one long poem, but the ten tercets on each page also make for individual shorter poems, allowing pauses for breath as the page turns or an image stops time for a moment. In this section, Hirsch ponders the difficulty of telling the story at all, given the “Lord of Misadventure” that was Gabriel.


From the storybook of bluster
And bad judgment
From the annals of loneliness

From the history of kids he met
On the street in special programs
It was dangerous to stay in Amherst

Lord of Misadventure
I’m scared of rounding him up
And turning him into a story

God of Scribbles and Erasures
I hope he shines through
Like a Giacometti portrait

I keep scraping the canvas
And painting him over again
But he keeps slipping away

He was like a spider
Preyed on by other spiders
And older insects

Sweet venom
His arrivals were swift
And his departures sudden

I couldn’t understand how
He lifted the shower door
Right off its hinges

When Gabriel cooked
The flames rose too high
And the fire alarm sounded

When the fire alarm sounded
He tore it off the wall
And left the wires dangling

~ Edward Hirsch

April is Poetry Month: Poem a Day #13

Taken from the Knopf site; direct link below.


D. Nurkse is a poet of childhood’s existential moments — which inform adult understanding, if we can still hear that music, or recall, as the poet does, the sway of those long-ago thoughts.

Under the Porch

Lucky peeled the wings
from a fly
and gave them to me,
as Father once trusted me
with the tiny screws
when he fixed his glasses.
But in my cupped hands
they disappeared.
It was a miracle.
We looked everywhere.
The fly buzzed —
how could it still buzz? —
much louder than before.
At last we reconciled ourselves
and knelt with great compassion
and watched as it moved
in an almost line,
then an almost circle,
there in the crawl space
under the huge brushes
rigid with shellac:
and we were rapt
as if we’d found
the way out of loneliness.

~ Dennis Nurkse

April is Poetry Month: Poem a Day #9

Backpost. I know that I published this particular poem-a-day, as well as a few others, but they seem to have disappeared . . . At least, I think that I know . . .

Taken from the Knopf site; direct link below.


Lucie Brock-Broido is no stranger to darkness, particularly darkness of the interior variety; but in her recent collection Stay, Illusion she often reveals the struggle to embrace what is exterior — the “visible world” she pulls toward in this poem, with her characteristic playfulness in the face of sorrow, and wry self-understanding.


Dear Shadows,

If it gets any darker in here no one will ever be able to see again, like cats

With their eyes sewn shut at birth.

I could barely stand to write what I just wrote just now.

On the heavy walnut table — numbles for roasting on a truss of fire,

The loin, a spit, an iron moving in a fit of blood.

Here, sit in the lap of me and purr.

Once in the imagination’s feckless luck, in the excelsior of living wild, I wore a pinafore

Of linsey-woolsey cloth — knowing he was too shy to unbutton it in back.

Miss Stein would never, not in this life, appear unto my vex of work.

What is not ever said you can’t take back.

Goats slaughtered young would have made the softest gloves for him, his hands.

Pronouns are not to be trifled with, possessive ones or otherwise.

(Mine is a gazelle, of course.)

I am of a fine mind to worship the visible world, the woo and pitch and sign of it.

And all that would be buried in the drama of my going on.

~ Lucie Brock-Broido