Tag Archives: poems

infinite anthology: day 221

“The Man”

There’s a reason Marcy tells me
It’s me she wants to get love from
There are some things she understands
I’m the man who’s really got some

She’s really at #3
2 ahead of her
I’ve got her a steady job
Oh, jeez, I’ll watch out for her

Here comes Mr. D
He’s a Dr in the city
They had to tie him off to a chair
And beat the living shit out of him
And beat the living shit out of him
That’s $50 for a half hour show
Call us anytime if you will, for the kids, it’s a thrill
For the kids, for the kids, kiss
It can kill

Ah, here’s a famous folk singer
He likes to have razors scrape down his back
He’s got this old Jewish thing
’bout Negroes
So we give him Matilda
She rather be called Tuesday
So I call her Tuesday
Matilda time, huh?
Well here’s a nother limp dick

Matilda tie him up
Take a razor to his back
Slowly, slowly man
Seems enough,
Two little lines
Two on his back
He’s a Jewish
A folk singer
He ain’t thought about by a minister
He’s your penthouse apartment pentent

And a thrill to his choice
Andy Warhol says he wants
A doorman or a doorwoman
Don’t matter
To me either, either one of which
Says the fastest, cost the leastest

My last
Hey Thursday’s fastest
But Tuesday we have Fanny and
Georgie, hey man, he
. . . Folk

Lou Reed

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infinite anthology: day 179

“Me and the Otters”

Love makes you feel alive
Johnny my animal you have no idea
How beautiful you are to me in the morning
When it is 5 a.m. and I am lonely
Everyone is dying around me
I eat spinach bread to keep my sanity, I am
Like Lisa in the mental unit with my father
I am Muriel who throws tables
I play blackjack with the clowns
Oh yes I do all that for a salad
Your black hair is better than a piece of fate
I find in the sky when I am looking
45,000 miles above the earth
For things that make it all worthwhile
I do this for you but you will never know
How dear you are to me
You chop leaves in your house in New York City
Dream of glamorous women and even too they are great
No one will ever love you like I do that is certain
Because I know the inside of your face
Is a solid block of coal and then it too
Something that is warm like warm snow
I hold the insides of you in my palm
And they are warm snow, melting even
With the flurries glutted out of the morning
When I get on the plane the stewardess tells me to let loose
My heart, the man next to me was the same man as last week
Whoever those postmodernists are that say
There is no universal have never spent any time with an animal
I have played tennis with so many animals
I can’t count the times I have let them win
Their snouts that were wet with health
Dripping in the sun, then we went and took a swim
Just me and the otters, I held them so close
I felt the bump of ghosts as I held them.
There is no poem that will bring back the dead
There is no poem that I could ever say that will
Arise the dead in their slumber, their faces gone
There is no poem or song I could sing to you
That would make me seem more beautiful
If there were such songs I would sing them
O they would hear me singing from here until dawn

— Dorothea Lasky

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infinite anthology: day 178

“Home is so Sad”

Home is so sad. It stays as it was left,
Shaped to the comfort of the last to go
As if to win them back. Instead, bereft
Of anyone to please, it withers so,
Having no heart to put aside the theft

And turn again to what it started as,
A joyous shot at how things ought to be,
Long fallen wide. You can see how it was:
Look at the pictures and the cutlery.
The music in the piano stool. That vase.

— Philip Larkin

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infinite anthology: day 177

“Untitled [Mother and Dad are up]”

Mother and Dad are up with the light. As in most marriages, one walks
slightly ahead, and with their two sets of eyes they enter the outside
world, drive to the mall, and find racks of clothing on sale. Dad
admires a pair of lightweight outdoor shoes. Mother puts them back,
saying that he can have them when it’s warmer. She buys me a bathrobe
the color of moss. Vigilant, a couple patrols its territory.

In the afternoon, Dad comes downstairs and says, “Katherine, there are
no clothes in my closet.”  Mother goes up to the bedroom, and, sure
enough, only two or three things dangle on hangers. She searches high
and low and finally finds his clothes in the eaves. In an unremembered
moment, he had opened the Alice in Wonderland door and draped them in
there. What was going through his head? He loves his clothes so much,
he returns to them many times each day. Perhaps he thought they were in
danger, and, like a mother cat, moved them to a safer spot.

— Nancy Lagomarsino

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infinite anthology: day 176

“What Do I Care”

What do I care, in the dreams and the languor of spring,
That my songs do not show me at all?
For they are a fragrance, and I am a flint and a fire,
I am an answer, they are only a call.

But what do I care, for love will be over so soon,
Let my heart have its say and my mind stand idly by,
For my mind is proud and strong enough to be silent,
It is my heart that makes my songs, not I.

— Sara Teasdale

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infinite anthology: day 175

“The List of Famous Hats”

Napoleon’s hat is an obvious choice I guess to list as a famous hat, but that’s not the hat I have in mind. That was his hat for show. I am thinking of his private bathing cap, which in all honesty wasn’t much different than the one any jerk might buy at a corner drugstore now, except for two minor eccentricities. The first one isn’t even funny: Simply it was a white rubber bathing cap, but too small. Napoleon led such a hectic life ever since his childhood, even farther back than that, that he never had a chance to buy a new bathing cap and still as a grown-up–well, he didn’t really grow that much, but his head did: He was a pinhead at birth, and he used, until his death really, the same little tiny bathing cap that he was born in, and this meant that later it was very painful to him and gave him many headaches, as if he needed more. So, he had to vaseline his skull like crazy to even get the thing on. The second eccentricity was that it was a tricorn bathing cap. Scholars like to make a lot out of this, and it would be easy to do. My theory is simple-minded to be sure: that beneath his public head there was another head and it was a pyramid or something.

— James Tate

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infinite anthology, day 174

“NINE, 40”

Take a good look, she says about her inventory.

Palatially housed, her inflammatory and multifaceted

set of selves.

Old brain inside the new brain, inside the skull.

The exact velocity of quantum particles cannot be known.

Like wave equations in the space of certain dimensions.

I never thought that things would go this far.

Angular momentum of closely-knit and sexually

adventurous people.

Any piece of matter, when heated, starts to glow.

It’s that kind of relationship that’s built on friction.

— Anne Tardos

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infinite anthology: day 173

“9773 Comanche Ave.”

In color photographs, my childhood house looks
fresh as an uncut sheet cake—
pale yellow buttercream, ribbons of white trim

squeezed from the grooved tip of a pastry tube.
Whose dream was this confection?
This suburb of identical, pillow-mint homes?

The sky, too, is pastel. Children roller skate
down the new sidewalk. Fathers stake young trees.
Mothers plan baby showers and Tupperware parties.
The Avon Lady treks door to door.

Six or seven years old, I stand on the front porch,
hand on the decorative cast-iron trellis that frames it,
squinting in California sunlight,
striped short-sleeved shirt buttoned at the neck.

I sit in the backyard (this picture’s black-and-white),
my Flintstones playset spread out on the grass.
I arrange each plastic character, each dinosaur,
each palm tree and round “granite” house.

Half a century later, I barely recognize it
when I search the address on Google Maps
and, via “Street view,” find myself face to face—

foliage overgrown, facade remodeled and painted
a drab brown. I click to zoom: light hits
one of the windows. I can almost see what’s inside.

— David Trinidad
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infinite anthology: day 172

“Your Catfish Friend”

If I were to live my life
in catfish forms
in scaffolds of skin and whiskers
at the bottom of a pond
and you were to come by
one evening
when the moon was shining
down into my dark home
and stand there at the edge
of my affection
and think, “It’s beautiful
here by this pond.  I wish
somebody loved me,”
I’d love you and be your catfish
friend and drive such lonely
thoughts from your mind
and suddenly you would be
at peace,
and ask yourself, “I wonder
if there are any catfish
in this pond?  It seems like
a perfect place for them.”

— Richard Brautigan
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infinite anthology: day 171

“The One God is Mysterious”

The king and his queen are feasting.
They recline, sumptuously, on long divans
and are attended by naked servants. They
can have anything they want, this much is
clear, and I believe they have been having
sex with one another and with the servants.
Why wouldn’t they? Who among the servants
would not be honored to help? And it’s Babylon
after all, and doesn’t Babylon exist in your
memory? Isn’t Babylon the clear rumbling
of your heart at ease with its every craving–
not the way it is now, fenced off with spiked wire
and old pipes, with signs telling the pedestrians
to beware:  the litter, the old cans rusting. No,
this is my own memory of excess and extravagance,
of abandonment to the weight of everything
that pulls me down to ruin, those same ticks
and voices that lift me up and fill me with breath.
And don’t you want to drink the breath of your
beloved? And his beloved? And her beloved?
You see how it goes. The One God is mysterious
and He has made me crazy. Maybe I am the king
or the queen. Or one of those sculpted figures
that bend so sweetly toward them, so graceful,
so finely formed and desirable in every way.
I remember being desired like that, and desiring
like that also. And I remember my heart in its deep
voice, commanding. Now that my common neighborhood
is tucked in for the night, the cars parked in the driveways,
the blinds drawn and everyone’s drapes closed and the garage
doors locked, I can breathe easier. Now, in Babylon,
you see what is possible. The queen and her king are
dining, forever, in a gray frieze, but even so, they make
a fire in us, they free the ache from my shoulders,
they make every dark wish lie down with every bright wish,
they bring a great comfort to the harried in this land.

— Frank X. Gaspar
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