poetry – night light


Good Bones 
by Maggie Smith

Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.

❖ ── ✦ ── 『✙』── ✦ ── ❖

The Sound  

  Marc says the suffering that we don't see  
  still makes a sort of sound -- a subtle, soft  
  noise, nothing like the cries of screams that we  
  might think of -- more the slight scrape of a hat doffed  
  by a quiet man, ignored as he stands back  
  to let a lovely woman pass, her dress  
  just brushing his coat. Or else it's like a crack  
  in an old foundation, slowly widening, the stress  
  and slippage going on unnoticed by  
  the family upstairs, the daughter leaving  
  for a date, her mother's resigned sigh  
  when she sees her. It's like the heaving  
  of a stone into a lake, before it drops.  
  It's shy, it's barely there. It never stops.  

          Kim Addonizio 
        - from The Philosopher's Club (BOA Editions, 1994)  

❖ ── ✦ ── 『✙』── ✦ ── ❖

This Be the Verse  

  They fuck you up, your mum and dad.  
  They may not mean to, but they do.  
  They fill you with the faults they had  
  And add some extra, just for you.  
  But they were fucked up in their turn  
  By fools in old-style hats and coats,  
  Who half the time were soppy-stern  
  And half at one another's throats.  

  Man hands on misery to man.  
  It deepens like a coastal shelf.  
  Get out as early as you can,  
  And don't have any kids yourself.  

    Philip Larkin

❖ ── ✦ ── 『✙』── ✦ ── ❖


I work all day, and get half-drunk at night.
Waking at four to soundless dark, I stare.
In time the curtain-edges will grow light.
Till then I see what's really always there:
Unresting death, a whole day nearer now,
Making all thought impossible but how
And where and when I shall myself die.
Arid interrogation: yet the dread
Of dying, and being dead,
Flashes afresh to hold and horrify.

The mind blanks at the glare. Not in remorse
- The good not done, the love not given, time
Torn off unused - nor wretchedly because
An only life can take so long to climb
Clear of its wrong beginnings, and may never;
But at the total emptiness for ever,
The sure extinction that we travel to
And shall be lost in always. Not to be here,
Not to be anywhere,
And soon; nothing more terrible, nothing more true.

This is a special way of being afraid
No trick dispels. Religion used to try,
That vast, moth-eaten musical brocade
Created to pretend we never die,
And specious stuff that says No rational being
Can fear a thing it will not feel, not seeing
That this is what we fear - no sight, no sound,
No touch or taste or smell, nothing to think with,
Nothing to love or link with,
The anaesthetic from which none come round.

And so it stays just on the edge of vision,
A small, unfocused blur, a standing chill
That slows each impulse down to indecision.
Most things may never happen: this one will,
And realisation of it rages out
In furnace-fear when we are caught without
People or drink. Courage is no good:
It means not scaring others. Being brave
Lets no one off the grave.
Death is no different whined at than withstood.

Slowly light strengthens, and the room takes shape.
It stands plain as a wardrobe, what we know,
Have always known, know that we can't escape,
Yet can't accept. One side will have to go.
Meanwhile telephones crouch, getting ready to ring
In locked-up offices, and all the uncaring
Intricate rented world begins to rouse.
The sky is white as clay, with no sun.
Work has to be done.
Postmen like doctors go from house to house.

  Philip Larkin

❖ ── ✦ ── 『✙』── ✦ ── ❖

The Second Coming 
   William Butler Yeats

Turning and turning in the widening gyre   
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere   
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst   
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.   
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out   
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert   
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,   
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,   
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it   
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.   
The darkness drops again; but now I know   
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,   
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,   
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

❖ ── ✦ ── 『✙』── ✦ ── ❖

a poem by Eva H.D.

[transcribed from its appearance in the film I’m Thinking of Ending Things (w/d Charlie Kaufman, 2020)]


Coming home is terrible
whether the dogs lick your face or not;
whether you have a wife
or just a wife-shaped loneliness waiting for you.
Coming home is terribly lonely,
so that you think
of the oppressive barometric pressure
back where you have just come from
with fondness,
because everything’s worse
once you’re home.

You think of the vermin
clinging to the grass stalks,
long hours on the road,
roadside assistance and ice creams,
and the peculiar shapes of
certain clouds and silences
with longing because you did not want to return.
Coming home is
just awful.

And the home-style silences and clouds
contribute to nothing
but the general malaise.
Clouds, such as they are,
are in fact suspect,
and made from a different material
than those you left behind.
You yourself were cut
from a different cloudy cloth,
ill-met by moonlight,
unhappy to be back,
slack in all the wrong spots,
seamy suit of clothes
dishrag-ratty, worn.

You return home
moon-landed, foreign;
the Earth’s gravitational pull
an effort now redoubled,
dragging your shoelaces loose
and your shoulders
etching deeper the stanza
of worry on your forehead.
You return home deepened,
a parched well linked to tomorrow
by a frail strand of…


You sigh into the onslaught of identical days.
One might as well, at a time…

You’re back.

The sun goes up and down
like a tired whore,
the weather immobile
like a broken limb
while you just keep getting older.
Nothing moves but
the shifting tides of salt in your body.
Your vision blears.
You carry your weather with you,
the big blue whale,
a skeletal darkness.

You come back
with X-ray vision.
Your eyes have become a hunger.
You come home with your mutant gifts
to a house of bone.
Everything you see now,
all of it:

❖ ── ✦ ── 『✙』── ✦ ── ❖

  The soul, secure in her existence,  
  smiles at the drawn dagger and defies its point.  
  The stars shall fade away,  
  the sun himself grow dim with age  
  and nature sink in years,  
  but thou shalt flourish in immortal youth,  
  unhurt amid the wars of elements,  
  the wreck of matter,  
  and the crush of worlds.  
                                            Joseph Addison

❖ ── ✦ ── 『✙』── ✦ ── ❖

Love is so short, forgetting is so long.
  Pablo Neruda

❖ ── ✦ ── 『✙』── ✦ ── ❖

i loved my friend.
he went away from me.
there's nothing more to say.  
the poem ends,  
soft as it began -  
i loved my friend.  

  langston hughes

❖ ── ✦ ── 『✙』── ✦ ── ❖

  To define is to kill. To suggest is to create.  

                                   Stephane Mallarme

❖ ── ✦ ── 『✙』── ✦ ── ❖

  It's not just about who you're with.  

  It's about who you get to be when you're with them.    
❖ ── ✦ ── 『✙』── ✦ ── ❖

            - How Much Happens in a Day -  

  In the course of a day we shall meet one another.  

  But, in one day, things spring to life -  
  they sell grapes in the street,  
  tomatoes change their skin,  
  the young girl you wanted  
  never came back to the office.  

  They changed the postman suddenly.  
  The letters now are not the same.  
  A few golden leaves and it's different;  
  this tree is now well off.  

  Who would have said that the earth  
  with its ancient skin would change so much?  
  It has more volcanoes than yesterday,  
  the sky has brand-new clouds,  
  the rivers are flowing differently.  
  Besides, so much has come into being!  
  I have inaugurated hundreds  
  of highways and buildings,  
  delicate, clean bridges  
  like ships or violins.  

  And so, when I greet you  
  and kiss your flowering mouth,  
  our kisses are other kisses,  
  our mouths are other mouths.  

  Joy, my love, joy in all things,  
  in what falls and what flourishes.  

  Joy in today and yesterday,  
  the day before and tomorrow.  

  Joy in bread and stone,  
  joy in fire and rain.  

  In what changes, is born, grows,  
  consumes itself, and becomes a kiss again.  
    Pablo Neruda

❖ ── ✦ ── 『✙』── ✦ ── ❖

  Daydream, delusion, limousine, eyelash  
  Oh baby with your pretty face  
  Drop a tear in my wineglass  
  Look at those big eyes  
  See what you mean to me  
  Sweet-cakes and milkshakes  
  I'm delusion angel  
  I'm fantasy parade  
  I want you to know what I think  
  Don't want you to guess anymore  
  You have no idea where I came from  
  We have no idea where we're going  
  Latched in life  
  Like branches in a river  
  Flowing downstream  
  Caught in the current  
  I'll carry you  
  You'll carry me  
  That's how it could be  
  Don't you know me?  
  Don't you know me by now?  

                 Street Poet

❖ ── ✦ ── 『✙』── ✦ ── ❖

look in thy glass and tell the face thou viewest
now is the time that face should form another;
whose fresh repair if now thou not renewest,
thou dost beguile the world, unbless some mother.
for where is she so fair whose unear'd womb
disdains the tillage of thy husbandry?
or who is he so fond will be the tomb
of his self-love, to stop posterity?
thou art thy mother's glass and she in thee
calls back the lovely April of her prime;
so thou through windows of thine age shalt see,
despite of wrinkles this thy golden time.
but if thou live, remember'd not to be,
die single and thine image dies with thee.

❖ ── ✦ ── 『✙』── ✦ ── ❖

			vjeruj da ljubav ne umire kad najdraze odlaze jer sunce ne nestane,
samo se skrije, nema te sile ni sudbina da srca razdvoje

❖ ── ✦ ── 『✙』── ✦ ── ❖

T. S. Eliot (1925)


We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats' feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom
Remember us -- if at all -- not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.


Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death's dream kingdom
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind's singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.

Let me be no nearer
In death's dream kingdom
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
No nearer --

Not that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom


This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man's hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

Is it like this
In death's other kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.


The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river

Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Multifoliate rose
Of death's twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men.


Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o'clock in the morning.

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow

For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow

Life is very long

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

❖ ── ✦ ── 『✙』── ✦ ── ❖

The secret to creativity is in hiding your sources.
                           - Einstein
Good Artists Borrow, Great Artists Steal
                           - Picasso

❖ ── ✦ ── 『✙』── ✦ ── ❖

Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
 - Dr. Seuss

❖ ── ✦ ── 『✙』── ✦ ── ❖

Jai Bhagwan/Namaste
Definition: A hindi version of the an ancient Sanskrit greeting "Namaste" 
which is still in everyday use in India and Nepal Himalaya. Translated 
roughly, it means "I bow to the God within you", or "The Spirit within 
me salutes the Spirit in you" - a knowing that we are all made from the 
same One Divine Consciousness.///An ancient Sanskrit greeting still in 
everyday use in India and especially on the trail in the Nepal Himalaya. 
Translated roughly, it means "I bow to the God within you", or "The Spirit 
within me salutes the Spirit in you" - a knowing that we are all made from 
the same One Divine Consciousness.

❖ ── ✦ ── 『✙』── ✦ ── ❖

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

      -- Dylan Thomas

❖ ── ✦ ── 『✙』── ✦ ── ❖

This Was the Vision
Katherine Kennedy

  Suddenly there was music:
I listened; I heard
Beneath the cadence something blurred,
Something desperate and far and fierce and sweet
Something close to the core of Life:

I saw Life in mosaic, in motif like roses
Thrown note by note into a Face...
Under the chords,
Thrusting at me through the notes
Was something pulsing, something relevant
  to wings and spaces,
Something sweeping and light,
And sure of pattern.

❖ ── ✦ ── 『✙』── ✦ ── ❖

When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits,
I dreamed of changing the world.
As I grew older and wiser I discovered the world would not change - 
So I shortened my sights somewhat and decided to change only my country,
But it too seemed immovable.

As I grew into my twilight years, 
In one last desperate attempt,
I settled for changing only my family, 
Those closest to me,
But alas, they would have none of it.

And now I realize as I lie on my deathbed, 
If I had only changed myself first,
Then by example I might have changed my family,
From their inspiration and encouragement 
I would then have been able to better my country,
And who knows, I might have even changed the world.

From the tombstone of an Anglican bishop in Westminster Abbey

❖ ── ✦ ── 『✙』── ✦ ── ❖

abcdefg ijklmnopqrstuvwxyz

Things are good, nothing much for me to say
Feeling happier everyday
Things are good, I've got a simple mind
It seems like everything is going fine
Fine and good
Everything is fine and good
Everything is running smooth this week
I don't even really feel the need to speak
But things are good, didn't mean to make you mad
People seem to like when things are bad
Things are good
Everything is fine and good
Is that too much to ask to be this way?
I don't think I'm asking to much
Is that too much to ask to be this way?
I really can't stress it enough
There you are, everything is fine and good
There you are, everything is fine and good
It's fine and good
Everything is fine and good
Is that too much to ask to be this way?
I don't think I'm asking too much
Is that too much to ask to be this way?
Or do you think I'm asking too much?
Is that too much to ask to be this way?
I don't think I'm asking too much
Don't confuse the issue
Or take contention when you are
I really can't stress it enough
There you are, everything is fine and good
Its fine and good
             - local h
❖ ── ✦ ── 『✙』── ✦ ── ❖

the handshake at mass is the only good part

❖ ── ✦ ── 『✙』── ✦ ── ❖

❖ ── ✦ ── 『✙』── ✦ ── ❖

lullabies to be sung

❖ ── ✦ ── 『✙』── ✦ ── ❖

ode to me

  savannah riddle

❖ ── ✦ ── 『✙』── ✦ ── ❖

Even though the world goes on for eons and eons,
you are here for a fraction of a fraction of a second.
Most of your time is spent being dead or not yet born.
But while alive, you wait in vain, wasting years,
for a phone call or a letter or a look from someone or something to make it all right.
And it never comes or it seems to but doesn’t really.
And so you spend your time in vague regret or vaguer hope for something good to come along.
Something to make you feel connected, to make you feel whole, to make you feel loved.
And the truth is I’m so angry and the truth is I’m so fucking sad,
and the truth is I’ve been so fucking hurt for so fucking long
and for just as long have been pretending I’m OK,
just to get along, just for, I don’t know why,
maybe because no one wants to hear about my misery,
because they have their own,
and their own is too overwhelming to allow them to listen to or care about mine.

Well, fuck everybody. Amen.

- Synecdoche, New York

❖ ── ✦ ── 『✙』── ✦ ── ❖

I wanted so badly to lie down next to her on the couch,
to wrap my arms around her and sleep.
Not fuck, like in those movies. Not even have sex.
Just sleep together, in the most innocent sense of the phrase.
But I lacked the courage and she had a boyfriend
and I was gawky and she was gorgeous
and I was hopelessly boring and she was endlessly fascinating.
So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk,
 thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was hurricane.

- John Green
❖ ── ✦ ── 『✙』── ✦ ── ❖ do you know my poetry? every night & every morn some to misery are born every morn & every night some are born to sweet delight some are born to sweet delight some are born to endless night william blake
If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber'd here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
if you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,

And Robin shall restore amends.

sun, sun, sun, sun, sun, sun

rose, rose, will i ever see thee wed? i will marry at thy will, sire, at thy will

i realized the moment i fell into the fissure that the book would not be destroyed as i had planned. it continued falling into that starry expanse, of which i had only a fleeting glimpse. i have tried to speculate where it might have landed, but i must admit that such conjecture is futile. still, questions about whose hands might one day hold my myst book are unsettling to me. i know my apprehensions might never be allayed, and so i close, realizing that, perhaps, the ending is not yet written

now i understand. endings and beginings are within the fissure, that riven cleft of stars . . .

not like this

not like this

It's a vicious circle.
Yep. Just keeps going around and around.
Never stops.
That's what makes it vicious.
And a circle.

honesty for pixley

when the sunshine don't work,

the good lord bring the rain in

"Let the Snow Fall Softly"
Of what use are you to me, Time,
With your ticks, tocks, bells, and chimes?
You incessantly taunt me with my mortality,
Endlessly consuming my fleeting longevity.

Racing against no one, yet going so fast,
Never were one to look back on the past.
Flying by with uttermost indifference,
Forever rapt in the present time hence.

Your cloak of infinity deceives many a heart,
That will have to bid adieu and eternally depart,
But might you, when this illusion comes for me,
Be so gentle as to let the snow fall softly?

❖ ── ✦ ── 『✙』── ✦ ── ❖

good questions to ask yourself:
  what were you doing at age 11? (i was taking apart things)
  what words would you want other people to describe you as? (as bright and curious)
  what was your favorite concert? (sleater-kinney, august 12th 2006, the final show 
   - the Eels is a close tie, during the Souljacker tour - the opening act was a mime and they had 4 encores! literally!)
They say that the world rests on the backs of 36 living saints - 36 unselfish men and women.
Because of them the world continues to exist. They are the secret kings and queens of this world.  -Neil Gaiman