Recent Posts

30 September 2013

American Portraits

Arrested by the Seattle police
for shooting a car’s tires.
Enlisted in the Navy Reserve.
Spent two days in jail
after a bar fight in Georgia.
Investigated for shooting a gun through his ceiling.
Honorably discharged,
despite “pattern of misbehavior.”
Contractor security clearance re-approved.
Told the Rhode Island police
he was hearing voices.
Twice went to Veterans Affairs hospitals
seeking treatment for insomnia.
Killed 12 people at Washington Navy Yard.

One morning she flew
to an early analyst meeting
and realized too late
that she had left
her dress shoes on the plane.
So she eyed women
in the baggage claim area,
spotted a suitable pair
worn by one of them —
and approached
with a $120 cash offer
for the emergency footwear.
The stranger said no
but offered a second pair
from her suitcase. Done.

The tail fin of a sockeye salmon
caught in a net in Bristol Bay, Alaska.

Matthew Sullivan releasing a gull
that crash-landed on the deck of the Rollo.

New buoys sit aboard a crab vessel.

Billie Delaney, a fisherwoman, holds
a dead seabird at Graveyard Point.

Stanza 1 is taken from the New York Times article, "A Troubled Past”, 19th September 2013. Stanza 2 is taken from a Forbes article, "A Real Amazon", about a woman who died on 19th September 2013. Stanza 3 is taken from“Eat, Fish, Sleep, Click”, 21st January 2013. Submitted by Howie Good.

27 September 2013

Educating Yorkshire Three

It is said that most men live lives of quiet desperation.
The same could be said of most schools too;
by far the majority of your day,
like an atom,
is space.
Not free time, but routine;
a metronome of the anodyne and the commonplace, punctuated by the tattoo of the lesson bell.

From Educating Yorkshire 3: bad boys, bad boys- what ya gonna do? by Tom Bennett, TES Connect, 20 September 2013. Submitted by Rachel.

25 September 2013

We make, methinks, a mistake

we do not enough
with our affairs, and
pretend to
duct t
n appertains to us

From a section of Montaigne's essay On Physiognomy. The finished layout comes via the freeware text-generation program JanusNode. It was set to 'eecummingsfy'. Submitted by Chris Westbury.

23 September 2013

This dress checks your movements

with that wasp waist,
your lungs, stomach, liver, and other organs
squeezed down out of place,
into one half their natural size,
with that long trail dragging on the ground,
how can any man of sense,
who knows that life is made up of use, of service, of work;

how can he take such partner?

He must be desperate to unite himself for life with such a deformed,
fettered, half-breathing ornament.

If I were in the matrimonial market, I might marry
a woman that had but one arm, or one eye,
or no eyes at all,
if she suited me otherwise; but
so long as God permitted me to retain my senses,
I could never join my fortunes with those of a woman
with a small waist.

A small waist!

I am a physiologist, and know what
a small waist

Taken from the 1871 book Our girls by Dio Lewis. Submitted by John Rodzvilla.

16 September 2013

Delineated Invitation

You may come whenever the library is open.
No prior contact is needed.

You may use any open computer in the library.
No log-in is required.

You may use your own laptop, if it has a wireless card.
However, you will have to go to the Plaza level

to register for walk-in permissions.
A login window may pop up.

Please log in as GUEST.
A guest has access to all resources.

Monday through Friday, between 7 AM and 5 PM,
you must use visitor parking.

After 5 PM, and on weekends,
you may park in any non-restricted lot.

Instructions for library usage provided on the website of librarian and educator Susanna Cowan, September 2008. Submitted by Dawn Corrigan.

13 September 2013


You, hear me! Give this
fire to that old man. Pull the
black worm off the bark
and give it to the mother.
No spitting in the ashes.

Ancient words, according to Linguists identify 15,000-year-old ‘ultraconserved words’, The Washington Post, 16 May 2013. 'And' removed from last line to satisfy tanka form. Submitted by Gabriel Smy.

11 September 2013

The Empty Bell

No spring this evening
It is indeed autumn that returns
Face diluted in water

The lights are all out
Nothing stays anymore
Not a footprint
Nothing but blue spots in the corner of a sheet
The color which night decomposes

Rise up carcass and walk

Index of first lines in Pierre Reverdy: Selected Poems, translated by Kenneth Rexroth (New Directions, 1969). Submitted by Howie Good.

09 September 2013

They’re not grateful any more

It used to be a very unique and
blessed experience to be able to
experience theatre and to go to
see it and only the most highest-class
people in Shakespearean times would be
let into the theatre and everyone
else would have to watch it in the square.
Nobody feels that way any more. It’s
so easily accessible on the
Internet it’s treated like McDonald’s,
it’s treated like trash...

I’m not a French fry,
I’m foie gras.

Taken from the transcription of an interview with Lady Gaga posted on How Upsetting, 2nd September 2013. Submitted by Marika.

06 September 2013

I, Emily Dickinson

I am afraid to own a body
I am alive I guess
I am ashamed, I hide
I asked no other thing

I bet with every wind that blew
I breathed enough to take the trick
I bring an unaccustomed wine
I came to buy a smile today

I can wade grief
I cannot be ashamed
I cannot buy it, ‘tis not sold
I cannot dance upon my toes

I cannot live with you
I cannot meet the spring unmoved
I cannot see my soul but know ‘tis there
I cannot want it more

I can’t tell you but you feel it
I cautious scanned my little life
I could bring you jewels had I a mind to
I could die to know

I could not drink it, sweet
I could not prove the years had feet
I could suffice for him, I knew
I counted till they danced so

I cried at pity, not at pain
I cross till I am weary
I did not reach thee
I died for beauty, but was scarce

I dreaded that first robin so
I dwell in possibility
I envy seas whereon he rides
I fear a man of frugal speech

I felt a cleaving in my mind
I felt a funeral in my brain
I felt my life with both my hands
I fit for them

I found the words to every thought
I gained it so
I gave myself to him
I got so I could take his name

I groped for him before I knew
I had a daily bliss
I had a guinea gold
I had been hungry all the years

I had no cause to be awake
I had no time to hate
I had not minded walls
I had some things that I called mine

I had the glory – that will do
I have a bird in spring
I have a king who does not speak
I have never seen “Volcanoes”

I have no like but this
I haven’t told my garden yet
I heard a fly buzz when I died
I heard as if I had no ear

I held a jewel in my fingers
I hide myself within my flower
I keep my pledge
I knew that I had gained

I know a place where summer strives
I know lives, I could miss
I know of people in the grave
I know some lonely houses off the road

I know suspense – it steps so terse
I know that he exists
I know where wells grow, droughtless wells
I learned at least what home could be

I like a look of agony
I like to see it lap the miles
I live with him, I see his face
I lived on dread

I lost the world the other day
I made slow riches but my gain
I make his crescent fill or lack
I many times thought peace had come

I meant to find her when I came
I meant to have but modest needs
I measure every grief I meet
I met a king this afternoon

I never felt at home below
I never hear that one is dead
I never hear the word “escape”
I never lost as much but twice

I never saw a moor
I never told the buried gold
I noticed people disappeared
I often passed the village

I pay in satin cash
I play at riches to appease
I prayed at first a little girl
I read my sentence steadily

I reason earth is short
I reckon when I count at all
I robbed the woods
I rose because he sank

I saw no way – the heavens were stitched
I saw that the flake was on it
I saw the wind within her
I see thee better in the dark

I see thee clearer for the grave
I send two sunsets
I send you a decrepit flower
I shall keep singing

I shall know why, when time is over
I shall not murmur if at last
I should have been too glad, I see
I should not dare to be so sad

I should not dare to leave my friend
I showed her heights she never saw
I sing to use the waiting
I sometimes drop it, for a quick

I started early, took my dog
I stepped from plank to plank
I stole them from a bee
I sued the news, yet feared the news

I suppose the time will come
I taste a liquor never brewed
I tend my flowers for thee
I think I was enchanted

I think just how my shape will rise
I think that the root of the wind is water
I think the hemlock likes to stand
I think the longest hour of all

I think to live may be a bliss
I thought that nature was enough
I thought the train would never come
I tie my hat, I crease my shawl

I took my power in my hand
I took one draught of life
I tried to think a lonelier thing
“I want” – it pleaded all its life

I was a phoebe, nothing more
I was the slightest in the house
I watched her face to see which way
I watched the moon around the house

I went to heaven
I went to thank her
I worked for chaff and earning wheat
I would distil a cup

I would not paint a picture
I years had been from home

All the lines beginning with the first person pronoun 'I' from the Index of First Lines, The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson, Edited by Thomas H. Johnson (Little, Brown and Company, 1960). Submitted by J.R. Solonche.

02 September 2013

Fall in love, or be asphyxiated

At certain points, reading
the work can even be said
to resemble the act of
making love to a
three-hundred-pound woman.
Once she gets on top,
it’s all over.

Fall in love, or
be asphyxiated.

Taken from Norman Mailer's 1998 New York Review of Books review of Tom Wolfe's A Man in Full, posted on Futility Closet. Submitted by Marika.