Eating Poetry

Eating Poetry (XLIV) – “After Experience Taught Me …”

February 3, 2013

. Offered without comment because all the words belong to Snodgrass. “After Experience Taught Me …” W. D. Snograss After experience taught me that all the ordinary Surroundings of social life are futile and vain; I’m going to show you something very Ugly: someday, it might save your life. Seeing that none of the things […]

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Eating Poetry (XLII) – Sunder

December 15, 2012

. I just turned in my “Poetic License” column for the upcoming spring issue of West. It’s topic is poetic voice. An extraordinary poetic voice is that of Atsuro Riley, featured here once before, just a short while ago. One is instantly aware of the the uniqueness of his voice. It diminishes that uniqueness not at all […]

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Eating Poetry (XLI) – After Thanksgiving

November 25, 2012

. by Sandra M. Gilbert Related articles Writing Paradise

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Eating Poetry (XL) – As from a Quiver of Arrows

August 4, 2012

. A poem about loss, or the end of things, if there is an end to things, or transformation, or it maybe being the nature in things to be lost, and remembered, so how remembered? Or maybe it is forgetting we want, and where is that, and if we do forget, what was it? To […]

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Eating Poetry (XXXIX) – “From back when it was Nam time I tell you what”

July 21, 2012

. Here is the vernacular as the purest verbal music, singing the culture from which it is pulled, clots of earth still clinging. You may find it hard to separate the units of meaning on first read. It will be easier on second, and if you listen here to the poet reading it, you will […]

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Eating Poetry (XXXVIII) – To the One Who is Reading Me

July 13, 2012

. To the One Who is Reading Me by JORGE LUIS BORGES Translated from the Spanish by Tony Barnstone You are invulnerable. Didn’t they deliver (those forces that control your destiny) the certainty of dust? Couldn’t it be your irreversible time is that river in whose bright mirror Heraclitus read his brevity? A marble slab is […]

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Eating Poetry (XXXVII) – The New Physics

July 6, 2012

THE NEW PHYSICS Al Zolynas for Fritjof Capra And so, the closer he looks at things, the farther away they seem. At dinner, after a hard day at the universe, he finds himself slipping through his food.  His own hands wave at him from beyond a mountain of peas.  Stars and planets dance with molecules […]

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Eating Poetry (XXXVI) – San Zeno

June 30, 2012

. Zen time. Zen place. by Zach Finch Related articles “The Don Draper of Existentialism” ( Language Is So Unstable, You Don’t Even Know What I’m Talking About (Do You) ( How We Lived On It (51) – Route 66: The American Road (

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Eating Poetry (XXXV) – Gay Chaps At The Bar

May 26, 2012

. The earlier meaning of the word, and so poignant here. From her first collection of poetry, A Street in Bronzeville, 1945 – originally published in Poetry, November 1944 –  and its closing sequence of twelve off-rhyme sonnets. Gay Chaps At The Bar by Gwendolyn Brooks …and guys I knew in the States, young officers, return from […]

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Eating Poetry (XXXIV) – Time Is the Fire

April 28, 2012

. There are few poems that move me as much.  In its avid desire to reclaim from the fire all of particularity, “the smallest color of the smallest day,” it simply burns. Calmly We Walk through This April’s Day BY DELMORE SCHWARTZ Calmly we walk through this April’s day, Metropolitan poetry here and there, In the […]

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Eating Poetry (XXXIII) – Left Behind

April 1, 2012

. An Elegy: December, 1970 Edgar Bowers Almost four years, and, though I merely guess What happened, I can feel the minutes’ rush Settle like snow upon the breathless bed— And we who loved you, elsewhere, ignorant. From my deck, in the sun, I watch boys ride Complexities of wind and wet and wave: Pale […]

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Eating Poetry (XXXII) – The Ecstasy of Unreasoning Happiness

March 11, 2012

. Patricia Hampl’s fine essay in the spring The American Scholar,  F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Essays From the Edge, surveys the background to Fitzgerald‘s “The Crack Up” essays, published  in Esquire in 1936. She finds in the controversial product of Fitzgerald’s attempt to write himself back from personal and authorial oblivion a meeting point in consciousness between poetry and […]

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Eating Poetry (XXXI) – “Poem #1”

March 4, 2012

. Tirui Getekian is a student at West Los Angeles College. From the spring 2012 issue of West. Poem #1 Sex is Eating cheese While jump-roping Love is Quickly square-dancing While breathing ammonia You are The butterfly that accidentally flew under my step one summer afternoon when I was young I am A wind-up doll […]

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Eating Poetry (XXX) – “Every telling has a tailing”

February 11, 2012

. In 1929, James Joyce recorded this rendition of “Anna Livia Plurabelle,” from Finnegans Wake. It is one of only two recordings of Joyce reading from his work, after a a much more sonically primitive 1924 reading of an excerpt from Ulysses. This wonderful animation by savagecabbage offers subtitles to aide in deciphering Joyce’s luccious vocalization of an […]

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Eating Poetry (XXVIII) – “I Depart from Materials”

November 6, 2011

  “Camerado! This is no book; Who touches this touches a man.” When Walt Whitman‘s Leaves of Grass was published in its first edition in 1855, it was admired by some, such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, and not so by others. Wrote Thomas Wentworth Higginson, ” It is no discredit to Walt Whitman that he wrote ‘Leaves […]

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Eating Poetry (XXVII) – Postcard

October 15, 2011

. from somewhere… Postcard Margaret Atwood I’m thinking about you.  What else can I say? The palm trees on the reverse are a delusion; so is the pink sand. What we have are the usual fractured coke bottles and the smell of backed-up drains, too sweet, like a mango on the verge of rot, which […]

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Eating Poetry (XXVI) – “Whole”

June 6, 2011

Does serendipity tell us anything about the world? I suppose that question matters if one is seeking, like a physicist, to understand the world as something separate and independent of those who live in it. In that case we can make various claims, including that serendipity is only the happier among coincidences. If what concerns […]

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Eating Poetry (XXV) – Some of the Words Are Theirs

May 6, 2011

The close of The Great Gatsby is probably the most famous and referenced ending of any American novel. Lyricized in a lushly romantic invocation of American promise, somehow gone wrong in the stinking, rich like of Tom and Daisy Buchanan, and in the aftermath of Jay Gatsby’s failed striving, with such foolish and criminal élan, […]

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Eating Poetry (XXIV) – The Zen of Alice

April 2, 2011

LIFE IS BUT A DREAM Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) A boat, beneath a sunny sky Lingering onward dreamily In an evening of July– Children three that nestle near, Eager eye and willing ear, Pleased a simple tale to hear– Long has paled that sunny sky; Echoes fade and memories die; Autumn frosts have slain July. Still […]

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Eating Poetry (XXXIII) – Everybody Who Is Dead

March 19, 2011

A poem that is so lean and so direct, digging deep, radiating out. Simply, profoundly perfection. Everybody Who is Dead Frank Stanford When a man knows another man Is looking for him He doesn’t hide. He doesn’t wait To spend another night With his wife Or put his children to sleep. He puts on a […]

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Eating Poetry (XXXII) – The Colonel

February 19, 2011

At Voice Alpha, they’re concerned with the art of reading poetry aloud for an audience (h/t Writing Without Paper). A little while back the discussion centered around the choice between reading or reciting one’s poetry. I offered the following thought about my own choice. I don’t write my poetry to be performed, but to be […]

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