Jan. 13th, 2017 05:58 pm
nightdog_barks: (Fish in a Blue Sea)
This was Rabih Alameddine's poem of the day today.

Gathering at the River

Is it
crossing over Jordan
to a city of light, archangels
ceaselessly trumpeting over
the heavenly choirs: perpetual Vivaldi,
jasper and endless topaz and amethyst,
the Sistine ceiling seven days a week,
the everlasting smirk
of perfection?

Is it
the river Styx,
darkness made visible, fire
that never stops: endless murder
too merciless to kill,
massacres on an endless loop,
the same old victims always
coming back for more?

Or is it the silky muck
of Wabash and Maumee, the skirr
and skim of blackbirds,
fields of Queen Anne’s lace
and bumblebees? Well,
go out once more, and feel
the crumble of dry loam,
fingers and soil slowly becoming
the same truth: there in the hand
is our kinship with oak, our bloodline
to cattle. Imagine,
not eons of boredom or pain,
but honest earth-to-earth;
and when our bodies rise again,
they will be wildflowers, then rabbits,
then wolves, singing a perfect love
to the beautiful, meaningless moon.

~ Philip Appleman
nightdog_barks: (Jalapenos)
Had to turn the a/c on AGAIN because ffs it is almost 90 outside. >:-[

Finished the new biography of Shirley Jackson (by Ruth Franklin) and really enjoyed it. Was sad to realize that she died at such a young age (48) in 1965 -- she could've lived well into the 1970s and '80s and even the 1990s, and written so much more. Am now reading Entry Island by Peter May, which I am liking although I think the narrator/protagonist is a bit of a Gary Stu. :D

Also have been watching Westworld on HBO and Timeless on NBC. The former has exactly the kind of gritty, dark story that pulls me in; the latter is ... not that. *g* Timeless is a goofy series about three time travelers in pursuit of the bad guy, trying to keep him from changing the past. There are so many plot holes you could drive multiple trucks through them, but it is an endearingly silly show and the actors are giving it all they've got, so I keep tuning in.

That's it, but here's a poem by Philip Larkin ...  )
nightdog_barks: (Sun)
Ah, we are well into summer now. :-P

Have been reading Nathan Ballingrud's collection of short stories, North American Lake Monsters, and holy shit. If you like Stephen King, Clive Barker, Shirley Jackson, Joe Hill, or other horror fic-writers I can't think of, you will love this volume. Oh my god. And these are not nice horror stories. Bad things happen -- really bad things, but these tales are so well written and so deeply layered, they are a pleasure to read even as these terrible, terrible things are taking place. So. Want some full-body chills? Read this book.

AND A POEM. I saw this poem making the rounds yesterday on Twitter, and today I learned it had taken on a life of its own. So here it is.

Read more... )
nightdog_barks: (The Girl)
The writer Jim Harrison passed away yesterday, at the age of 78. This has always been one of my favorite poems.


The moon comes up.
The moon goes down.
This is to inform you
that I didn’t die young.
Age swept past me
but I caught up.
Spring has begun here and each day
brings new birds up from Mexico.
Yesterday I got a call from the outside
world but I said no in thunder.
I was a dog on a short chain
and now there’s no chain.

~ Jim Harrison, 1937 - 2016
From Poetry, September 2008
nightdog_barks: Illustration of a young girl wearing a cat mask bandit-style (Mask Girl)
Have not been sleeping well, so omg so blah. :-P

The [livejournal.com profile] sick_wilson folks are sponsoring a three-sentence story challenge, which people should read because there are some great entries! This was my contribution ...  )

So. I think it could be expanded a bit beyond those three lines, so we'll see. :-)

Also, here is a poem from the July 20th issue of The New Yorker that I really liked -- I Have a Time Machine, by Brenda Shaughnessy.
nightdog_barks: (Forest Piano)
And it's actually from the new New Yorker again. :D


That crazy drunken night I
maneuvered you out into a field outside of

Coachella -- I'd never seen a sky
so full of stars, as if the dirt of our lives

still were sprinkled with glistening
white shells from the ancient seabed

beneath us that receded long ago.
Parallel. We lay in parallel furrows.

Read more... )


Oct. 28th, 2014 05:08 pm
nightdog_barks: (Thumbelina)
New issue of The New Yorker came today, so here's a poem from it.

How I Didn't Get Myself To A Nunnery

That girl they found ensconced in mud and loam,
she wasn't me. Small wonder, though, they jumped.
To a conclusion. Water puffs you up,
and we pale Slavic girls looked much alike --
back then. Deprivation smooths you out.
Yes, that was the season of self-drowned maids,
heart-to-hearts with skulls, great minds overthrown.
And minds that could be great if they could just
come up for air. Not in that town. Something stank.

Read more... )


Aug. 20th, 2014 01:12 pm
nightdog_barks: An open mouth in the lower left-hand corner, with a cartoon balloon saying "words words words" floating above it (Words Words Words)
New issue of The New Yorker came yesterday, so here's a poem by the Irish writer Eavan Boland.

The Lost Art of Letter Writing

The ratio of daylight to handwriting
Was the same as lacemaking to eyesight.
The paper was so thin it skinned air.

The hand was fire and the page tinder.
Everything burned away except the one
Place they singled out between fingers

Held over a letter pad they set aside
For the long evenings of their leave-takings,
Always asking after what they kept losing,

Read more... )


Aug. 11th, 2014 11:41 pm
nightdog_barks: (Mountains)
Creation of Éa

Only in silence the word,
Only in dark the light,
Only in dying life:
Bright the hawk’s flight
On the empty sky.

- Ursula K. LeGuin, from A Wizard of Earthsea

Someone posted this somewhere else tonight. I read A Wizard of Earthsea when I was about ten years old, in 1968, and it was among the number of books that I can count on one hand that I remember from that era (Walter M. Miller, Jr.'s A Canticle for Leibowitz is another).

And ... that's it.
nightdog_barks: (Ladder to Knowledge)
New issue of Poetry came today, so here is a poem.


An open door says, "Come in."
A shut door says, "Who are you?"
Shadows and ghosts go through shut doors.
If a door is shut and you want it shut,
   why open it?
If a door is open and you want it open,
   why shut it?
Doors forget but only doors know what it is
   doors forget.

~ Carl Sandburg
Poetry, September 2013
nightdog_barks: In the morning mist, a huge oak tree rises in a field (Field Oak)
New issue of The New Yorker came today, so here's a poem from it.

Almost February

Timbuktu is no longer a faraway place from childhood.
Nor is Mongolia, where people steal dinosaur bones from the ground.
It's not possible to stay intact forever.

Read more... )
nightdog_barks: (Heart Picard)
The last poem for Poetry Month (an even dozen!) comes from an Irish writer named Eavan Boland, and is about love and loss. Thanks to everyone who read along -- let's do this again next year. ♥

Read more... )
nightdog_barks: (Ladder to Knowledge)
From American writer Joel Brouwer, a poem about problems, possibly mental, possibly not, and how perhaps things are not always as they seem.

Read more... )
nightdog_barks: (Sleeping Angel)
Helpful tips, from Jennifer K. Sweeney!

Read more... )
nightdog_barks: (Star Dog)
Today's poem is from one of my favorite writers, Bob Hicok, and yep, it's about riding the bus.

Read more... )
nightdog_barks: (Mountains)
Huh, I didn't realize there was a limit on subject line length. The complete title of this poem is Upon Discovering My Entire Solution to the Attainment of Immortality Erased from the Blackboard Except the Word 'Save', and it's from a writer named Dobby Gibson.

Read more... )
nightdog_barks: (Star Dog)
Here's a poem from the American writer David Baker, with an absolutely awesome last line.

Read more... )
nightdog_barks: (Red Tailed Hawk)
What it says on the tin, from Tony Hoagland. Watch out for the boiling Jacuzzis full of ball-peen hammers. :D

Read more... )
nightdog_barks: In the morning mist, a huge oak tree rises in a field (Field Oak)
Last poem for the week is from Tony Hoagland and is about the recursive power of memory.

Read more... )
nightdog_barks: (Angel Bruno)
In light of today's news, it seems proper that today's poem should be about a movie. From the American writer B.H. Fairchild, here is a small meditation on a night at the cinema.

Read more... )


nightdog_barks: (Default)

September 2017

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What I'm Reading Now

The Magician King, by Lev Grossman

Alligator Candy: A Memoir, by David Kushner

Jerusalem: The Biography, by Simon Sebag Montefiore

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