my birthday present

my birthday present
My awesome birthday present 1/26/11 (see story under my first post)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Why poetry?

This from the poet whose poem Live Oaks appeared  a few months ago.I like the idea that some people are just meant to be poets and that's just how it is. It's sometimes nice to think life is just that simplistic and predictable. I have enjoyed her book

The Poetry Birds
Jennifer Maier

When a friend asks why I am not a novelist,
I lean back in mg chair and watch the sky,
wondering how to tell him that although
I have combed the Gulf Coast towns
of my childhood, seeking the snowy egrets
of great short fiction, it is only the poetry birds
who land on me.

            And although I have sat in the dust
of Midwest highways, setting out all the carrion
of my life, I cannot lure the great turkey vulture
that roosts in the hair of novelists and whispers
in his sleep a tale that is spellbinding, a tour de force,
and based on a true story.

            The poetry birds are another thing.
One morning I look out and see them,
a dark alphabet against the sky.  Then
I anoint my arms with suet, tie cherries
in my hair, and stand, very still,
in the back yard.

            Confusion of wings and yellow feet!

            They flock down and I wear them,
a ravenous black veil,
and when they have picked me clean,
they fly off one by one,
until I am just a woman standing alone
in the backyard, and they, a line
in the gathering blue.

from Dark Alphabet 2006

Sunday, May 13, 2012


The tao of touch

by Marge Piercy

What magic does touch create
that we crave it so. That babies
do not thrive without it. That
the nurse who cuts tough nails
and sands calluses on the elderly
tells me sometimes men weep
as she rubs lotion on their feet.

Yet the touch of a stranger
the bumping or predatory thrust
in the subway is like a slap.
We long for the familiar, the open
palm of love, its tender fingers.
It is our hands that tamed cats
into pets, not our food.

The widow looks in the mirror
thinking, no one will ever touch
me again, never. Not hold me.
Not caress the softness of my
breasts, my inner thighs, the swell
of my belly. Do I still live
if no one knows my body?

We touch each other so many
ways, in curiosity, in anger,
to command attention, to soothe,
to quiet, to rouse, to cure.
Touch is our first language
and often, our last as the breath
ebbs and a hand closes our eyes. 

"The tao of touch" by Marge Piercy, 
from The Hunger Moon: New & Selected Poems,