poem posting

post good poems here, or post about poems, others’ or your own.


samuel beckett - “neither,” 1976 (this is technically categorized as a prose work)

to and fro in shadow from inner to outershadow

from impenetrable self to impenetrable unself by way of neither

as between two lit refuges whose doors once neared gently close, once turned away from gently part again

beckoned back and forth and turned away

heedless of the way, intent on the one gleam or the other

unheard footfalls only sound

till at last halt for good, absent for good from self and other

then no sound

then gently light unfading on that unheeded neither

unspeakable home


three haiku by ozaki hōsai, 1924-1925

I wake up from a nap, only the shadows of tired things

Blood spurts out, I have no troubling thoughts

I’ve become completely alone and the evening sky


bernadette mayer - “amatory epigram (to aristotle or ignatius loyola),” 1990

I’d have to be drunk to fuck around with you
And sober to live
Therefore I am dying


i read some anthology of japanese literature recently and my fav part was a bunch of 1000 year old poems the authors of which were unknown. The best one was

Can this world
From of old
Have always been so sad,
Or did it become so for the sake
Of me alone?



My favourite:

Some say music lurks in the lyre;
Why then closed in its case is it dumb?
Some say the sound comes from the fingers of the player;
Why then on yours do we hear none?

-Su Dongpo


some of my favourite Bunny rogers poems:

Are u pr6ud

Men who can see right through me
Tell that I’m just scared fuck you
Give me one example of a man using
his sensitivity for Good

Sister h

Its Melt down month
Crying out rocks and minerals
Rocks and minerals

my tree, my girl, my room
I had to look away sometimes
I had to look away

unusuble chaire

unusual chair
sits in the corner

between two walls
someone sits on her
someone close to her

How 2 convince urself of what has been established

He is allowed to look at me like that because
Things happened and Something was established
But he looks so dumb and creepy I feel nothing
When he looks at me like that it means
Things happened and something was established

Army and Risotto

I dont feel bad for wanting to fuck my cousin
because that is very common
I am pretty sure.
either way it seems like delicate information
so I don’t talk about it.
I would have done well with a brother.
I only want one brother and one dad
That’s how it should be.
but right now I have two dads,
and at least two brothers.
My sisters definitely arent my sisters
and Brigid wont have me.

Lincoln lust

what else is there to care about when you don’t get carded anymore
when u can do whatever u want
what people consider important- defragging, debugging
what people consider important- diamonds
wearing black at my wedding
Dont push me im “doing my best”


Li-Young Lee, Folding a five-cornered star so the corners meet (2016)


barbara guest, “eating chocolate ice cream: reading mayakovsky,” 2001

Since I’ve decided to revolutionize my life









How early it is! It is eight o’clock in the morning.

Well, the pigeons were up earlier

Did you eat all your egg?

Now we shall go for a long walk.

Now? There is too much winter.

I am going to admire the snow on your coat.

Time for hot soup, already?

You have worked for three solid hours.

I have written forty-eight, no forty-nine,

no fifty-one poems.

How many states are there?

I cannot remember what is uniting America.

It is then time for your nap.

What a lovely, pleasant dream I just had.

But I like waking up better.

I do admire reality like snow on my coat.

Would you take cream or lemon in your tea?

No sugar?

And no cigarettes.

Daytime is good, but evening is better.

I do like our evening discussions.

Yesterday we talked about Kant.

Today let’s think about Hegel.

In another week we shall have reached Marx.


Life is a joy if one has industrious hands.

Supper? Stew and well-cooked. Delicious.

Well, perhaps just one more glass of milk.

Nine o’clock! Bath time!

Soap and a clean rough towel.


The Red Army is marching tonight.

They shall march through my dreams

in their new shiny leather boots,

their freshly laundered shirts.

All those ugly stains of caviar and champagne

and kisses

have been rubbed away.

They are going to the barracks.

They are answering hundreds of pink

and yellow and blue and white telephones.

How happy and contented and well-fed they look

lounging on their fur divans,

chanting, “Russia how kind you are to us.

How kind you are to everybody.

We want to live forever.”

Before I wake up they will throw away

their pistols, and magically

factories will spring up where once

there was rifle fire, a roulette factory,

where once a body fell from an open window.

Hurry dear dream

I am waiting for you

under the eiderdown.

And tomorrow will be more real, perhaps,

than yesterday.


William Sharp - On a Nightingale in April

The yellow moon is a dancing phantom
Down secret ways of the flowing shade;
And the waveless stream has a murmuring whisper
Where the alders wave.

Not a breath, not a sigh, save the slow stream’s whisper:
Only the moon is a dancing blade
That leads a host of the Crescent warriors
To a phantom raid.

Out of the Lands of Faerie a summons,
A long, strange cry that thrills through the glade: -
The gray-green glooms of the elm are stirring,
Newly afraid.

Last heard, white music, under the olives
Where once Theocritus sang and played -
Thy Thracian song is the old new wonder,
O moon-white maid!


A.E. Housman, “The night is freezing fast”

The night is freezing fast,
To-morrow comes December;
And winterfalls of old
Are with me from the past;
And chiefly I remember
How Dick would hate the cold.

Fall, winter, fall; for he,
Prompt hand and headpiece clever,
Has woven a winter robe,
And made of earth and sea
His overcoat for ever,
And wears the turning globe.


Wilfred Owen, “The Unreturning”

Suddenly night crushed out the day and hurled
Her remnants over cloud-peaks, thunder-walled.
Then fell a stillness such as harks appalled
When far-gone dead return upon the world.

There watched I for the Dead; but no ghost woke.
Each one whom Life exiled I named and called.
But they were all too far, or dumbed, or thralled,
And never one fared back to me or spoke.

Then peered the indefinite unshapen dawn
With vacant gloaming, sad as half-lit minds,
The weak-limned hour when sick men’s sighs are drained.
And while I wondered on their being withdrawn,
Gagged by the smothering Wing which none unbinds,
I dreaded even a heaven with doors so chained.


Randall Jarrell, " The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner"

From my mother’s sleep I fell into the State,
And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life,
I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.
When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.


a poem written by 50 something years old miyamoto musashi


When the flush of a newborn sun fell first on Eden’s green and gold,
Our father Adam sat under the Tree and scratched with a stick in the mold;
And the first rude sketch that the world had seen was joy to his mighty heart,
Till the Devil whispered behind the leaves: “It’s pretty, but is it Art?”

Wherefore he called to his wife and fled to fashion his work anew—
The first of his race who cared a fig for the first, most dread review;
And he left his lore to the use of his sons—and that was a glorious gain
When the Devil chuckled: “Is it Art?” in the ear of the branded Cain.

They builded a tower to shiver the sky and wrench the stars apart,
Till the Devil grunted behind the bricks: “It’s striking, but is it Art?”
The stone was dropped by the quarry-side, and the idle derrick swung,
While each man talked of the aims of art, and each in an alien tongue.

They fought and they talked in the north and the south, they talked and they fought in the west,
Till the waters rose on the jabbering land, and the poor Red Clay had rest—
Had rest till the dank blank-canvas dawn when the dove was preened to start,
And the Devil bubbled below the keel: “It’s human, but is it Art?”

The tale is old as the Eden Tree—as new as the new-cut tooth—
For each man knows ere his lip-thatch grows he is master of Art and Truth;
And each man hears as the twilight nears, to the beat of his dying heart,
The Devil drum on the darkened pane: “You did it, but was it Art?”

We have learned to whittle the Eden Tree to the shape of a surplice-peg,
We have learned to bottle our parents twain in the yolk of an addled egg,
We know that the tail must wag the dog, as the horse is drawn by the cart;
But the Devil whoops, as he whooped of old: “It’s clever, but is it Art?”

When the flicker of London’s sun falls faint on the club-room’s green and gold,
The sons of Adam sit them down and scratch with their pens in the mold—
They scratch with their pens in the mold of their graves, and the ink and the anguish start
When the Devil mutters behind the leaves: “It’s pretty, but is it art?”

Now, if we could win to the Eden Tree where the four great rivers flow,
And the wreath of Eve is red on the turf as she left it long ago,
And if we could come when the sentry slept, and softly scurry through,
By the favor of God we might know as much—as our father Adam knew.

Rudyard Kipling


fernando pessoa, “epigram,” 1906

“I love my dreams,” I said, a winter morn,
To the practical man, and he, in scorn
Replied: “I am no slave of the Ideal,
But, as all men of sense, I love the Real.”
Poor fool, mistaking all that is and seems!
I love the real when I love my dreams.

louis aragon - “counter-melody,” 1963

In vain your image comes to meet me
And does not enter me where I am who only shows it
You turning yourself toward me you could find
At the wall of my gaze only your dreamt-of shadow

I am this unhappy one comparable to mirrors
Who can reflect but cannot see
Like them my eye is empty and like them inhabited
By your absence which makes it blind.

bernadette mayer, 1990 translation of catullus 6 #48

I’d kiss your eyes three hundred thousand times
If you would let me, Juventius, kiss them
All the time, your darling eyes, eyes of honey
And even if the formal field of kissing
Had more kisses than there’s corn in August’s fields
I still wouldn’t have had enough of you

louis zukofsky and celia zukofksy, 1958-67 translation of catullus 8

Miss her, Catullus? don’t be so inept to rail
at what you see perish when perished is the case.
Full, sure once, candid the sunny days glowed, solace,
when you went about it as your girl would have it,
you loved her as no one else shall ever be loved.
Billowed in tumultuous joys and affianced,
why you would but will it and your girl would have it.
Full, sure, very candid the sun’s rays glowed solace.
Now she won’t love you: you, too, don’t be weak, tense, null,
squirming after she runs off to miss her for life.
Said as if you meant it: obstinate, obdurate.
Vale! puling girl. I’m Catullus, obdurate,
I don’t require it and don’t beg uninvited:
won’t you be doleful when no one, no one! begs you,
scalded, every night. Why do you want to live now?
Now who will be with you? Who’ll see that you’re lovely?
Whom will be with you? Who’ll see that you’re lovely?
Whom will you love now and who will say that you’re his?
Whom will you kiss? Whose morsel of lips will you bite?
But you, Catullus, your destiny’s obdurate.

louis zukofsky, “anew 21,” 1946

Can a mote of sunlight defeat its purpose
When thought shows it to be deep and dark?

See sun, and think shadow.

ted berrigan, “sonnet ii,” 1964

Dear Margie, hello. It is 5:15 a.m.
dear Berrigan. He died
Back to books. I read
It’s 8:30 p.m. in New York and I’ve been running around all day
old come-all-ye’s streel into the streets. Yes, it is now,
How Much Longer Shall I Be Able To Inhabit The Divine
and the day is bright gray turning green
feminine marvelous and tough
watching the sun come up over the Navy Yard
to write scotch-tape body in a notebook
had 17 and 1/2 milligrams
Dear Margie, hello. It is 5:15 a.m.
fucked til 7 now she’s late to work and I’m
18 so why are my hands shaking I should know better


I’m a sucker for mirror metaphors and this is sticks strongly in my mind. Not sure if this is true of the original translated text but I really like the plural usage for some reason.

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the plural in the translation is accurate. for reference, here’s the untranslated original:


Vainement ton image arrive à ma rencontre
Et ne m’entre où je suis qui seulement la montre
Toi te tournant vers moi tu ne saurais trouver
Au mur de mon regard que ton ombre rêvée

Je suis ce malheureux comparable aux miroirs
Qui peuvent réfléchir mais ne peuvent pas voir
Comme eux mon oeil est vide et comme eux habité
De l’absence de toi qui fait sa cécité.

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walt whitman, section 17 from “song of myself” (1855)

These are really the thoughts of all men in all ages and lands, they are not original with me,
If they are not yours as much as mine they are nothing, or next to nothing,
If they are not the riddle and the untying of the riddle they are nothing,
If they are not just as close as they are distant they are nothing.

This is the grass that grows wherever the land is and the water is,
This the common air that bathes the globe.


frank o’hara, “wind” (1957)

Who’d have thought
that snow falls
it always circled whirling
like a thought
in the glass ball
around me and my bear

Then it seemed beautiful
snow whirled
nothing ever fell
nor my little bear
bad thoughts
imprisoned in crystal

beauty has replaced itself with evil

And the snow whirls only
in fatal winds
then falls

it always loathed containment
I love evil


Alice Oswald, Memorial: A Version of Homer’s Iliad, 2011 (excerpt)

Like leaves who could write a history of leaves
The wind blows their ghosts to the ground
And the spring breathes new leaf into the woods
Thousands of names thousands of leaves
When you remember them remember this
Dead bodies are their lineage
Which matter no more than the leaves

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