Thursday, November 20, 2014

"The Rhythms Pronounce Themselves Then Vanish" by Dean Young

After they told me the CT showed
there was nothing wrong with my stomach
but my heart was falling, I plunked
one of those weird 2 dollar tea balls
I bought in Chinatown and it bobbed
and bloomed like a sea monster and tasted
like feet and I had at this huge
chocolate bar I bought at Trader Joe's
and didn't answer the door even though
I could see it was UPS and I thought
of that picture Patti took of me
in an oval frame. Sweat itself
is odorless, composed of water,
sodium chloride, potassium salts,
and lactic acid, it's bacteria growing
on dead skin cells that provides the stink.
The average lifespan of a human taste bud
is 7 to 10 days. Nerve pulses
can travel up to 170 miles per hour.
All information is useless.
The typical lightning bolt
is one inch wide and five miles long.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

"Basic Poem in a Basic Tongue" by Lucie Brock-Broido

Here is the maudlin petty bourgeoisie of ruin.

A sullen pity-craft before the fallows of Allhallowmas.

The aristocracy in one green cortege at the registry of Vehicle
     and Animus.

A muster of pale stars stationed like gazelles just looking up,

                                              Before the rustle of the coming kill.

At home, the hoi polloi keep tendering the books of lob's
    despond, in Braille.

The girl at open half-door in her early Netherlandish light of

So many brooding swans like floating inkstains on a lake of
    slender wakefulness.


One feels that the poeticlanguage rejoices in its own flamboyance; it is an art of theatrical performance, with only a glance toward subject matter. Sound is as important to this aesthitic style as reference, even if reference is not left entirely behind. Moreover, the poem is still emotionally readable: a responsive reader will intuit the general atmosphere of narcotic, languorous mourning, and bathe in it. - Tony Hoagland