Friday, April 22, 2011

Poetry Fridays: Volume 3

Four “Addresses”

by Peter Davis


This poem can turn invisible and it can beat up bad guys! When people read this poem it is like a laser shooting bad guys right in the stomach! This poem knocks bad guys on their bottoms! And if you need a force field you can get one from Dr. Defense who lives in this poem and makes a number of bad-guy-fighting tools and weapons. Sometimes giant robot bad guys try to kill this poem by bopping it on the head, but this poem doesn’t allow that and sends ninjas and wizards out to reverse time and destroy the robots. Dr. Defense jumps up and kicks everyone in the face and he, like, flies through a window and then, like, this poem explodes!


These things can wait. This is a very good poem and you’d be very myopic to lose sight of this beauty simply because some of your baser needs are asserting themselves. I’ll keep this short, but you should exercise some control, okay? Stay with me here. Allow this poem to carry you beyond yourself, transcending your mortal flesh as you wed yourself with the potentially infinite.




How this found you I don’t know, but this is a good event, a good omen. Not because it’s mystical or mysterious, but because you’re actually reading this poem and I have actually written it. I know that this poem is a sort of prison too, but it’s a much, much more beautiful one.


The Darker Sooner

by Catherine Wing

Then came the darker sooner,
came the later lower.
We were no longer a sweeter-here
happily-ever after. We were after ever.
We were farther and further.
More was the word we used for harder.
Lost was our standard-bearer.
Our gods were fallen faster,
and fallen larger.
The day was duller, duller
was disaster. Our charge was error.
Instead of leader we had louder,
instead of lover, never. And over this river
broke the winter’s black weather.


Lime Light Blues

by Kevin Young

I have been known
to wear white shoes
beyond Labor Day
I can see through
doors & walls
made of glass.
I'm in an anger
encouragement class.
When I walk
over the water
of parking lots
car doors lock-
When I wander
or enter the elevator
women snap
their pocketbooks
shut, clutch
their handbags close.
cops follow me in stores
asking me to holler
if I need any help.
I can get a rise-
am able to cause
patrolmen to stop
& second look-
Any drugs in the trunk?
Civilian teens
beg me for green,
where to score
around here.
When I dance,
which is often,
the moon above me
wheels its disco lights-
until there's a fight.
Crowds gather
& wonder how
the spotlight sounds-
like a body
being born, like the blare
of car horns
as I cross
the street unlooking,
slow. I know all
a movie needs
is me
shouting at the screen
from the balcony. From such
heights I watch
the darkness gather.
What pressure
my blood is under.


The Contrariness of the Mad Farmer

by Wendell Berry

I am done with apologies. If contrariness is my
inheritance and destiny, so be it. If it is my mission
to go in at exits and come out at entrances, so be it.
I have planted by the stars in defiance of the experts,
and tilled somewhat by incantation and by singing,
and reaped, as I knew, by luck and Heaven’s favor,
in spite of the best advice. If I have been caught
so often laughing at funerals, that was because
I knew the dead were already slipping away,
preparing a comeback, and can I help it?
And if at weddings I have gritted and gnashed
my teeth, it was because I knew where the bridegroom
had sunk his manhood, and knew it would not
be resurrected by a piece of cake. “Dance” they told me,
and I stood still, and while they stood
quiet in line at the gate of the Kingdom, I danced.
“Pray” they said, and I laughed, covering myself
in the earth’s brightnesses, and then stole off gray
into the midst of a revel, and prayed like an orphan.
When they said “I know that my Redeemer liveth,”
I told them “He’s dead.” And when they told me
“God is dead,” I answered “He goes fishing every day
in the Kentucky River. I see Him often.”
When they asked me would I like to contribute
I said no, and when they had collected
more than they needed, I gave them as much as I had.
When they asked me to join them I wouldn’t,
and then went off by myself and did more
than they would have asked. “Well, then” they said
“go and organize the International Brotherhood
of Contraries,” and I said “Did you finish killing
everybody who was against peace?” So be it.
Going against men, I have heard at times a deep harmony
thrumming in the mixture, and when they ask me what
I say I don’t know. It is not the only or the easiest
way to come to the truth. It is one way.


Joker_SATX said...

OK, so the Contrariness of the Mad Farmer brought a tear to my eye....

Wine and Words said...

Well I love this: "I'm in an anger
encouragement class." I want it on a T-shirt. And love love LOVED the contrary farmer poem. Gonna print it out and fold it as a hat to wear on Easter.

Marion said...

Wow! Just wow! These are all awesome poems, Phoenix. Great choices for poetry Friday.

I hope you have a wonderful Easter. xoxo

Love & Blessings,

"The poetry of the earth is never dead." ~John Keats

Gwen said...

I love the Poem Addressing Boys. So wonderful! Thank you for sharing!! Have a great weekend.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Well, this is a feast of words, of musings deep and wide.

"our gods were fallen faster" oh, yes

and, oh, to be done with apologies...

JJ said...

Phoenix: These poems are terrific. I am teaching poetry this semester. Can I show this blog post in my classroom? I will not reproduce them in any way, but I would like my students to read them. Let me know. Thanks.

Jo said...

wow...i can almost see the person 'speaking' in "light bluesby".

Anthony Duce said...

Thank you. I enjoyed. These are all great, especially: Four “Addresses” And: The Contrariness of the Mad Farmer.

Terresa said...

Wendell Berry! Poetry! National Poetry Month!

Loved this post, every poetic word.

Dionne said...

Wow, I love poetry, I love how it is such a beautiful expression of creativity. Thanks for sharing these!

Ida Nielsen said...


Eric W. Trant said...

I really like the boy poem. I'll have to show my son and daughter!

Where are some of your poems?

- Eric

Lydia K said...

I just love how that Kevin Young poem starts! I loved these, thanks Phoenix!

ed pilolla said...

these were really good. the dark sooner was haunting for me. very nice.

Ren- Lady Of The Arts said...

I love stopping by and reading poetry- feels so refreshing.

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