Monday, December 27, 2010

In Search of Lost Times (The New Yorker)

In Search of Lost Times

She lay with her eyes closed,
Head back against the edge.
She sang in an errant, unidentifiable tune.
Lifting her arms one by one,
Cleaning between her breasts and her legs.

She was crying
As if silence trumped pain.

“Beautiful girl,
Are you mad?”

She was always tempered by disappointment.
She’d just stand,
Hands on hips, facing the emptiness.
Her dirty, pretty smell still hung in the air.

She looked pretty lying there,
Lying asleep,
Like the illustration of Sleeping Beauty.

Her mind wandered.
In that peaceful oblivion,
Divorced from the feelings that usually plagued her,
Unworried about what she looked like in her homemade clothing
Or what others thought of the girl with invisible wounds.

You can see her counting the minutes
Until she can get the hell out of there.

It’s not easy to see something destroyed.

She disappeared.
She was torn from her dreams.

Women in Danger (The New Yorker & Glamour Magazine)

Women in Danger

Now that her husband has gone on to his glory
The Waiting Woman wears a long dark skirt.
She befits her role as a female living in America,
The sound of silence, of loneliness, that pervades her house.

We are so attached to our identities as independent women,
We rarely show men our weaknesses.

I wanted to show him
I could handle myself.

I know you can do it.
He said,
But today, I’m going to do it for you.

The Dashing Man will not go away,
His continuing presence is a testament to her charm.

“Ode to the Man Who Kneels”
He lays his heavy head on her lap
Whenever he gets tired of the violence in his life.
She’s too frightened to explore.

These are the essential learning moments
Every woman needs.
You really do get smarter
By going where you shouldn’t in love.

Drunk and swept away
Big strong girl,
Let him help you…

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The King's Riots (The New Yorker)

The King's Riots

Sitting on the back porch,
Drinking tea, listening to crickets, and talking.
Talking with people who've pulled a trigger.
They were considered terrorists.

Local landmarks
A grassy area nearby.
The main body drop
Up to eleven bodies a week
Most were brutally mutilated.

We've already taken our revenge.
American bombing.
We're the ones who've made them crawl.
American patrols ambushed.
They had death squads.
Now we're the ones to pick them up.

They were killing too many people.
They never killed anyone who was innocent.
Neighbors celebrate
When some were killed.
Victims really are all "bad guys"

"Please don't kill me,"

Hunt a bad guy
Kill a bad guy
Get out of there alive.

The people realized they had let something in that they couldn't control.

they don't train you for this.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Among Reason and Plants (The New Yorker)

Among Reason and Plants

The forest was like a crowded city.
The trees and grass
stop thinking altogether and just droop.
They lived in this land as best they could.

The hunter was like his father
caressing flowers and trees
with trembling pleasure,
waging war on the birds and beasts
as if they were ferocious enemies.
And then returning home
a kind, sensitive family man
Longing to be back in nature.

His day would be taken over by bushes and soil.
I'll carry on living in darkness.
He disappeared into the forest,
putting aside his recent grief
for the sake of future life.

While at home, a choir of young girls
Were singing far away,
but the sense of their music remained clear:
People should live in bliss,
Not in need and torment.

The gloom of nature
The loveliness of the world
His own heart's joy.

Listen to the voices of fate.

Fallen Idols (The New Yorker)

Fallen Idols

In bed by nine-thirty
out of bed by 6 A.M.

For the past few years,
His wife has been dreaming
More and more in French.

These conversations are oddly soothing.
Nothing could be more natural
than the cadences of
one language summoning the other.

We had finished dinner
Were sitting in the living room.
Cocktails are at six-thirty.
Why must you find trauma
Where there is none?

When the shells began to fall,
The visits gradually ceased.
Soon came the names of the dead.
Their brief descriptions
scribbles on three-by-five inch index cards.
The war shattered the world
Visibly destroyed that nursery of living culture.

Someone starts speaking in French.

The boy became depressed
hinting at suicide.
He brews coffee
and head down the hall to his study.
White brick walls
Black-and-white tiled floor.

Conceal the losses.

He dips into the manuscripts and books that
people send him
seeking a moment
when all the world spoke French.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Critics (The New Yorker)

The Critics

There was young couple.

He was a likable man
A talented, cunning suitor
Desirable and independent
with all the subtlety of a supernova.

She was likely to be awake.
A believer in strong voices,
She had taught The Boy
how to speak like a poem.

He lives here with his cat
and occasionally his wife.
The wedding was a mourning song
without death.

Their youth is apparent
with the ticking of clocks.

They lost focus,
Lacked vigor.
Generations passed
It grew harder to act.
And, in the end, could not resist themselves.

She did not want to be disturbed
He will change his view.
They fell apart.
It's not the space one has,
It's the time.

There is no end.
They will come to life again
after a good rain.

Music Under Attack (Rolling Stone)

Music Under Attack

Support the art,
and the truth that is music.

Explicit lyrics
explicit language
"nigga" "bitch" and "ho."
You can't improve anything
if you ban three words.

Increased regulation of obscenities
Opposition to censorship.
One man's vulgarity
is another's lyric
His fundamental right to express
To change people's lives.

People don't sing happy songs
if they're broke.

Fix our communities,
We'll fix our lyrics.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Jolting Innovation (New York Times)

Jolting Innovation

Declined outlook
weighed down
shouted down
by the misjudging weak.

Keep going
tighten the reins.


Making big cuts to everything.
Cutting waste, fraud, abuse
Cutting signs of weakness
that could slow and crimp the recovery.

We won't bring the down the curtain
don't fall out from the fight.
Set off investigations
Grab the headlines.
We're not at the end
We're at the beginning.

Think a bit about how
this world
should be changed.
We need a mind like his
to push, to be precise,
to glow.

The torch has been passed
Congratulations, have fun.

City Born Unpeopled (New York Times)

City Born Unpeopled

The tomorrowland version
built from scratch
is all but deserted.

Weeds are beginning to sprout.
Broad boulevards are unimpeded.
Office buildings stand vacant.
Pedestrians are in short supply.
"It's pretty lonely here."

I just wanted to reach across
the airwaves and the years
I would love for you to consider
an apology
relatively small
not fully understood.

People say it's an empty city
but I don't find any inconveniences living by myself.

One day you will understand
why you did what you did.

Justice Asks for an Apology (New York Times)

Justice Asks for an Apology

The deadly attack into
the deadliest day
"don't ask, don't tell."

Three weeks before
he stood among
a litany of breakdowns.
A suicide at the base.

Help us.
Pray about this.
Seven killed
secretly leaving their sanctuaries.

Guerrilla factions fighting
the boarded and border bound
where they are believed to
enjoy at least protection
at least hope.

That will end of my watch.
"don't ask, don't tell."

Handwritten Murder (New York Times)

Handwritten Murder

He was not in the courtroom
to tell his tangled story
to avoid a death sentence.
For nearly three hours
the hushed courtroom
heard his life and crimes
slipped into, spattered across
prison writings He wrote.

My dark shadow was let loose
Self-serving, suicidal and grandiose.
He beat the sleeping father
with a baseball bat.
A calculated, cold blooded predator
passed through their fear
into the calm waters of abject terror.

He claimed that he had not
raped the younger child.
He praised the bravery of
her sister
who tried to escape.
Their mother had been
a coward.

I am no angel.
He used words like darkness
demons and depravity.
He said he had
been trying to kill himself.
The scars on my
soul have forever defined me.

he had never healed.

Spiritual Tourists (New York Times)

Spiritual Tourists

There is negative energy in the air here
emanating from the earth
keeping people away.

We're sitting on a graveyard
The tragedy, the woes
Shattering the tranquillity.
Questions about who did what to whom.

It's been a long process.

She is optimistic though.
This is about learning harmony
and appreciating life.
It will come back, in its own time
expanding our understanding
of life and death.

We are spiritual visitors.
He's so wildly imaginative
she suffers for lack of imagination.

She didn't want to come back at first
because of how long it's taken
to get to this level.

Art came from the depths
of his imagination.

All one needs is infinite patience
and an entire afternoon.

Powerful transition
could happen