Wednesday, March 28, 2012

POEM OF THE DAY BY TONY HOAGLAND

A Color of the Sky



Windy today and I feel less than brilliant,
driving over the hills from work.
There are the dark parts on the road
when you pass through clumps of wood
and the bright spots where you have a view of the ocean,
but that doesn’t make the road an allegory.

I should call Marie and apologize
for being so boring at dinner last night,
but can I really promise not to be that way again?
And anyway, I’d rather watch the trees, tossing
in what certainly looks like sexual arousal.

Otherwise it’s spring, and everything looks frail;
the sky is baby blue, and the just-unfurling leaves
are full of infant chlorophyll,
the very tint of inexperience.

Last summer’s song is making a comeback on the radio,
and on the highway overpass,
the only metaphysical vandal in America has written
MEMORY LOVES TIME
in big black spraypaint letters,

which makes us wonder if Time loves Memory back.

Last night I dreamed of X again.
She’s like a stain on my subconscious sheets.
Years ago she penetrated me
but though I scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed,
I never got her out,
but now I’m glad.

What I thought was an end turned out to be a middle.
What I thought was a brick wall turned out to be a tunnel.
What I thought was an injustice
turned out to be a color of the sky.

Outside the youth center, between the liquor store
and the police station,
a little dogwood tree is losing its mind;

overflowing with blossomfoam,
like a sudsy mug of beer;
like a bride ripping off her clothes,

dropping snow white petals to the ground in clouds,

so Nature’s wastefulness seems quietly obscene.
It’s been doing that all week:
making beauty,
and throwing it away,
and making more.


-Tony Hoagland

Monday, March 19, 2012

POEM OF THE DAY BY BARBARA HAMBY

Mambo Cadillac


Drive me to the edge in your Mambo Cadillac,
turn left at the graveyard and gas that baby, the black
night ringing with its holy roller scream. I’ll clock
you on the highway at three a.m., amen, brother, smack
the road as hard as we can, because I’m gonna crack
the world in two, make a hoodoo soup with chicken necks,
a gumbo with a plutonium roux, a little snack
before the dirt and jalapeƒo stew that will shuck
the skin right off your slinky hips, Mr. I’m-not-stuck
in-a-middle-class-prison-with-someone-I-hate sack
of blues. Put on your highwire shoes, Mr. Right, and stick
with me, ‘cause I’m going nowhere fast, the burlesque
queen of this dim scene, I want to feel the wind, the Glock
in my mouth, going south, down-by-the-riverside shock
of the view. Take me to Shingles Fried Chicken Shack
in your Mambo Cadillac. I was gone, but I’m back
for good this time. I’ve taken a shine to daylight. Crank
up that radio, baby, put on some dance music
and shake your moneymaker, sweetheart, rev it up to mach
two. I’m talking to you, Mr. Magoo. Sit up, check
out that blonde with the leopard print tattoo. O she’ll lick
the sugar right off your doughnut and bill you, too, speak
French while she do the do. Parlez-vous francais? Okay, pick
me up tonight at ten in your Mambo Cadillac
‘cause we got a date with the devil, so fill the tank
with high-octane rhythm and blues, sugar cane, and shark
bait, too. We got some miles to cover, me and you, think
Chile, Argentina, Peru. Take some time off work,
‘cause we’re gonna be gone a lot longer than a week
or two. Is this D-day or Waterloo? White or black—
it’s up to you. We’ll be in Mexico tonight. Pack
a razor, pack some glue. Things fall apart off the track,
and that’s where we’ll be, baby, in your Mambo Cadillac,
‘cause you’re looking for love, but I’m looking for a wreck.


-BARBARA HAMBY
 
 

Monday, March 5, 2012

POEM OF THE DAY BY WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS

Spring Storm


The sky has given over
its bitterness.
Out of the dark change
all day long
rain falls and falls
as if it would never end.
Still the snow keeps
its hold on the ground.
But water, water
from a thousand runnels!
It collects swiftly,
dappled with black
cuts a way for itself
through green ice in the gutters.
Drop after drop it falls
from the withered grass-stems
of the overhanging embankment.


-William Carlos Williams