February 6, 2018

A poem on the underground wall

Posted in City life, Uncategorized tagged , , at 11:32 am by chavisory

let america be america again 59th st

[Image is part of Langston Hughes’s “Let America Be America Again,” printed on a black sticker in orange text, stuck on vertical beam on the 59th St. subway platform, that reads:

O, let America be America again-
The land that never has been yet-
And yet must be-
Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain-
And make America again!

Langston Hughes]

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November 1, 2014

When I hear you say

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 8:00 am by chavisory

When I hear you say that we have no language,
it’s as strange and sad to me as if you had said
There are no stars, because you’ve never
been out in the country at night. Never lain out
in predawn dark in a frozen roadside field
to see the Leonid showers.

That the pulsing lights of fireflies
are meaningless chemical blips,
not love songs in Morse code.

It makes me think you’ve never known
the easy comfort of reading together,
sharing a porch filled with morning sunlight.

Not known the thrill of the first time
you realize you’re sharing a thought
without even a glance.

Never spent a Friday night looking up
radio interviews for the pleasure
of hearing your own accent,
your own native dialect of metaphor,
spoken for just a few minutes.

It’s like hearing you insist that the feeling of walking
barefoot through soft grass can’t exist
because you’ve never done it.

That you’ve never gotten a letter in the mail, only catalogues and bills.

You’ve never read poetry; your school library had only textbooks.
There are no fairy tales in Icelandic, because you don’t speak it.

Never heard the soft fractal murmur of breeze
in oak and elm and walnut boughs in August,
the heartbeat drone of cicadas.

It’s always been winter.

May 19, 2014

Miranda

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 12:28 am by chavisory

Is the Neapolitan night too quiet for her now,

Does she lie awake listening still
in vain for the melancholy thing’s watchful singing
in her cowslip bed

Watch her young husband’s slumber untroubled by memory
of ocean winds in the reeds,
squalls across the wild sand.

Will she ever be able to sleep not sensing
the gaze of a thousand feral and delicate voices.

Her feet are growing soft.
Her ladies dress her in the gray morning.
At breakfast she is learning
the weight of porcelain, silver,
brocade and whalebone, and ceremony.

Is the very silence of their desertion like freedom
to the spirit, she wonders, like peace?

Or does Ariel also not know
what to do with her own hands anymore?

***

(You ever suffer that experience when looking through old writing, when you cringe and go “I can’t believe I wrote that?”  I just had the opposite experience finding this.  I wrote it a few years ago.  I was working on a production of The Tempest at the time.  I found it while looking through old writing for various submissions, and loved it so much all over again I couldn’t believe I wrote it.)

March 25, 2014

Unintentional spam-trap poetry

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 7:58 pm by chavisory

As I skim through my WordPress spam trap every couple weeks and delete dozens and dozens of obviously spambot-generated ads to make sure that a genuine comment hasn’t been accidentally excluded, occasionally–very occasionally–I’ll find that one of the spambots has generated something unintentionally profound.  For your amusement I thought I’d share a few of the more poetic efforts of the Louis Vuitton knockoff-selling robots…

For added enjoyment, I recommend reading in your head in the voice of either Carl Kasell, William Shatner, or Sarah Palin.

***

you cogitate roughly feat it in the many group can be a bit
writer roughly trend. Fashions are constantly
on the offbeat take. nigrify is a bless that it’s author of who
you are mistreatment the size is stolen. If you wish to get

all in one place. Michael Kors Handbags in lengthy touch with the body
structure. ball is one of a electronic computer to sales outlet, be doomed to talk
over wearable size charts to help the runners
by informing them when you favor the bottles upside kill, you will upgrade this financial gain for you.

Many online purchases purchasescarefully. Do not

***

When some one searches for his necessary thing,
therefore he/she wants to be available that in detail,
thus that thing is maintained over here.

***

I feel you’re aware methods to create
people hear that which you must state,
especially with an matter that is so essential

January 23, 2013

Danny Zuko, poetry fan

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 7:15 pm by chavisory

Speaking of characters who everyone gets wrong…

It’s always made me a little sad how few people appreciate that Danny Zuko is a great big poetry nerd.  Specifically, that he’s a huge fan of e.e. cummings…but that, for instance (as far as we know), his English teacher never seemed to notice this, or harness it into keeping him more engaged with his academics.

Don’t believe me?

she being Brand

-new;and you
know consequently a
little stiff i was
careful of her and(having

thoroughly oiled the universal
joint tested my gas felt of
her radiator made sure her springs were O.

K.)i went right to it flooded-the-carburetor cranked her

up,slipped the
clutch(and then somehow got into reverse she
kicked what
the hell)next
minute i was back in neutral tried and

again slo-wly;bare,ly nudg. ing(my

lev-er Right-
oh and her gears being in
A 1 shape passed
from low through
second-in-to-high like
greasedlightning)just as we turned the corner of Divinity

avenue i touched the accelerator and give

her the juice,good

(it

was the first ride and believe i we was
happy to see how nice she acted right up to
the last minute coming back down by the Public
Gardens i slammed on

the
internalexpanding
&
externalcontracting
brakes Bothatonce and

brought allofher tremB
-ling
to a:dead.

stand-
;Still)

–e.e. cummings

April 13, 2012

Survival Skills

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 1:24 am by chavisory

Keep a list
See what needs doing

Build a fire
Do my own taxes
Walk a long way

Stage manage a dance, a play
Read a map
Spring at a chance
Swim—well enough

Wait
Watch and learn
Listen hard
Endure
Make it up along the way

Write a poem, a letter, a research paper
Eat with chopsticks
Hold a grudge
Carry a torch
Carve a pumpkin

Type 80 words a minute
Fold a paper airplane
Love a broken thing
Travel by bus and train

Give first aid
Hide in plain sight
Take note
Pack light

Play “Blackbird” on the guitar
Brew coffee
Shelve books
Patch a shirt

Recite “The Fairy Reel”
Grow a window box of herbs
Cook comfort food
Wear out a pair of shoes

Draw
Use a scale rule
Rock a baby to sleep
Befriend a stray cat, a wary goose

Braid hair into pigtail buns
Knot a clover chain
Climb a magnolia tree
Look again

Read stage directions
Trust to intuition
Curse like a sailor
Name the phases of the moon
Find my own way home

Recognize edible wild things
Onions, wild carrots, crabapples, dandelion greens
And the calls of a mourning dove, robin, owl, chickadee

Keep warm
Sleep deeply
Kiss lightly
Dream little