Old 02-06-2017, 08:58 PM   #1
Tzara
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In Memoriam

For remembrances--of poets, friends, rock stars, what- or whomever.
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Old 02-06-2017, 09:02 PM   #2
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Thomas Lux (1946-2017): Poet and long-time professor at Sarah Lawrence College and Georgia Tech.

Three of his poems:
Cucumber Fields Crossed by High Tension Wires

The high-tension spires spike the sky
beneath which boys bend
to pick from prickly vines
the deep-sopped fruit, the rind’s green
a green sunk
in green. They part the plants’ leaves,
reach into the nest,
and pull out mother, father, fat Uncle Phil.
The smaller yellow-green children stay,
for now. The fruit goes
in baskets by the side of the row,
every thirty feet or so. By these bushels
the boys get paid, in cash,
at day’s end, this summer
of the last days of the empire
that will become known as
the past, adios, then,
the ragged-edged beautiful blink.

Source: The Street of Clocks (2001)



A Little Tooth

Your baby grows a tooth, then two,
and four, and five, then she wants some meat
directly from the bone. It’s all

over: she’ll learn some words, she’ll fall
in love with cretins, dolts, a sweet
talker on his way to jail. And you,

your wife, get old, flyblown, and rue
nothing. You did, you loved, your feet
are sore. It’s dusk. Your daughter’s tall.

Source: The Drowned River (1990)



"I Love You Sweatheart"

A man risked his life to write the words.
A man hung upside down (an idiot friend
holding his legs?) with spray paint
to write the words on a girder fifty feet above
a highway. And his beloved,
the next morning driving to work . . . ?
His words are not (meant to be) so unique.
Does she recognize his handwriting?
Did he hint to her at her doorstep the night before
of "something special, darling, tomorrow"?
And did he call her at work
expecting her to faint with delight
at his celebration of her, his passion, his risk?
She will know I love her now,
the world will know my love for her!
A man risked his life to write the words.
Love is like this at the bone, we hope, love
is like this, Sweetheart, all sore and dumb
and dangerous, ignited, blessed - always,
regardless, no exceptions,
always in blazing matters like these: blessed.

Source: Split Horizon (1994)
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Old 02-07-2017, 09:16 AM   #3
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thankyou for posting these, Tzara, as i've never read them. my favourite is the second, on the surface so simplistic but tapping in to much wider realms.

the final lines of both one and two strike me, make me ring like a bell.
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Old 02-07-2017, 06:55 PM   #4
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I read a poem of his on that social media site yesterday but, being in my usual fog, didn't realize he had died. I did some reading today. I hadn't known he edited Bill Knott's poems.

I love this poem. It really does feel like New England to me (besides being a wonderful poem).

RIP Thomas Lux

It's the Little Towns I Like

It’s the little towns I like
with their little mills making ratchets
and stanchions, elastic web,
spindles, you
name it. I like them in New England,
America, particularly-providing
bad jobs good enough to live on, to live in
families even: kindergarten,
church suppers, beach umbrellas ... The towns
are real, so fragile in their loneliness
a flood could come along
(and floods have) and cut them in two,
in half. There is no mayor,
the town council’s not prepared
for this, three of the four policemen
are stranded on their roofs ... and it doesn’t stop
raining. The mountain
is so thick with water parts of it just slide
down on the heifers—soggy, suicidal—
in the pastures below. It rains, it rains
in these towns and, because
there’s no other way, your father gets in a rowboat
so he can go to work.
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Old 04-09-2017, 07:56 PM   #5
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Elegía a Ramón Sijé (El rayo que no cesa, 1936) - Miguel Hernández

Elegy to Ramon Sijé (Eng. Translation by Michael Shade)
Unceasing lightning

(In Orihuela, his town and mine, death has taken from me,
as if struck by lightning, Ramón Sijé, with whom I shared so much love.)

I want to be, crying, the peasant
that works the earth you occupy and fertilise,
companion of my soul, so soon.

My grief without instrument feeds
the rains, makes horns and organs sound,
and to the dispirited poppies

I will give your heart as food.
So much pain gathers in my side,
that it even pains me to breathe.

A hard slap, a frozen blow,
an invisible and murderous stroke of the axe,
a brutal shove has brought you down.

There is nothing longer than my wound,
I weep for all my misfortunes
and I feel more for your death than for my own life.

I walk on the stubble of the dead,
and with warmth from no-one and unconsolable,
I make my way from my heart to my daily business.

So soon death has risen up in flight,
so soon dawn has dawned,
so soon you are rolling on the ground.

I cannot forgive that lover, death,
I cannot forgive thoughtless life,
I cannot forgive the earth, nor the void.

In my hands I raise a storm
of strident stones, bolts of lightning and axes,
thirsting and hungering for catastrophes.

I want to scrape at the earth with my teeth,
I want to split the earth apart bit by bit
with dry, hot bites.

I want to mine into the earth until I find you
and kiss your noble skull
and take your shroud from you and bring you back.

You will come back to my garden and my fig tree:
among the high flowery trellises
your soul will flit like a bee in its hive

sewn with the wax of angels.
You will come back to the murmuring
of farm-workers at their beloveds’ windows.

You will cheer up the shadow over my eyebrows,
and from either side your beloved and the bees
will argue over your blood.

Your heart, now wrinkled velvet,
calls my greedy lovers’ voice
to a field of foaming almonds.

I want to be with you under the winged souls
of the roses of the cream-coloured almond tree,
for we have many things to talk of,
companion of my soul, my companion.

10 January 1936
The original poem and the source of the translation can be found here:
https://sites.google.com/site/nighti...a-a-ramon-sije

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Old 04-13-2017, 11:13 AM   #6
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The first poem resonates with me personally.
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Old 05-27-2017, 05:30 PM   #7
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Denis Johnson (1949-2017), poet, playwright, novelist and short story writer. He won the National Book Award for his novel Tree of Smoke, but is probably best known for his story collection Jesus' Son. If you've never read it, read it. Now.

Though not prolific as a poet, he was widely admired as one. Here are two of his poems:
Working Outside at Night

The moon swells
and its yellow darkens
nearer the horizon
and soon all
the aluminum rooftops

shall appear, orange
and distinct beside
the orange sun,
while the diamond
flares in its vacuum

within. It is simple
to be with the shovel,
thoughtless, inhabited
by this divorce,
it is good

the luminous
machinery, silenced,
waits, nice
that the conveyor
belts choked with sand

convey nothing.
When I return home to
coffee at
7:45 the lithe
young girls will be going
to high school, pulling

to their mouths stark
cigarettes through
Arizona’s sunlight.
These last few months
have been awful, and when

around five the roosters
alone on neighboring
small farms begin
to scream like humans
my heart just lies down,
a stone.



Looking Out the Window Poem

The sounds of traffic
die over the back lawn
to occur again in the low
distance.

The voices, risen, of
the neighborhood cannot
maintain that pitch
and fail briefly, start
up again.

Similarly my breathing rises
and falls while I look out
the window of apartment
number three in this slum,
hoping for rage, or sorrow.

They don’t come to me
anymore. How can I lament
anything? It is all
so proper, so much
as it should be, now

the nearing cumulus
clouds, ominous,
shift, they are like the
curtains, billowy,
veering at the apex
of their intrusion on the room.
If I am alive now,
it is only

to be in all this
making all possible.
I am glad to be
finally a part
of such machinery. I was
after all not so fond
of living, and there comes
into me, when I see
how little I liked
being a man, a great joy.

Look out our astounding
clear windows before evening.
It is almost as if
the world were blue
with some lubricant,
it shines so.


Source: The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations Millennium General Assembly: Poems Collected and New
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Old 05-27-2017, 10:20 PM   #8
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A song I love from a great rock icon. RIP Gregg Allman. Sigh.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pwbowi-8Yoo
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Old 06-10-2017, 01:56 PM   #9
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For Adam West (1928-2017), here's a clip of The Batusi.
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Old 06-10-2017, 02:24 PM   #10
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For Sam Ponopoulos the inventor of the Hawaiian pizza. Strangely he was Canadian, a long way from pineapple fields
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Old 06-10-2017, 07:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tzara View Post
For Adam West (1928-2017), here's a clip of The Batusi.
The best Batman ever imho. RIP. (He sure wasn't much of a dancer though.)

I loved that show. The ultimate in camp and everyone in it was great!
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Old 06-11-2017, 12:42 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angeline View Post
The best Batman ever imho. RIP. (He sure wasn't much of a dancer though.)

I loved that show. The ultimate in camp and everyone in it was great!
I'm sorry. I have to post one more clip featuring the incomparable Adam West in dialgogue with the equally incomparable Julie Newmar, who burned her sensational figure into my fourteen-year-old consciousness with that (what was it made of, sealskin?) catsuit: Yow!
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Old 06-11-2017, 03:06 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tzara View Post
I'm sorry. I have to post one more clip featuring the incomparable Adam West in dialgogue with the equally incomparable Julie Newmar, who burned her sensational figure into my fourteen-year-old consciousness with that (what was it made of, sealskin?) catsuit: Yow!
I also remember her as Stupifyin' Jones in the musical Lil Abner. I knew she was gorgeous, but never really saw her the way a young man would until I looked at your clip just now. Yeah the catsuit, especially when she turned around. Very kitten with a whip!
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Old 06-11-2017, 10:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angeline View Post
I also remember her as Stupifyin' Jones in the musical Lil Abner. I knew she was gorgeous, but never really saw her the way a young man would until I looked at your clip just now. Yeah the catsuit, especially when she turned around. Very kitten with a whip!
I, shamelessly, would correct that to kitten with great hips.
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Old 06-12-2017, 02:55 PM   #15
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American poet Edith Shiffert died in Tokyo aged 101 NY Times

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Old 06-13-2017, 01:49 PM   #16
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Salute by oggbashan© (Posted Sept 15)

Salute

He's gone to join his ancient comrades,
Without ceremony or martial parades.
He slipped quietly away without a fuss
But left his painful memories for us.

Seventy years ago he watched his men die.
Now together with them he'll forever lie.
He landed alone, bereft, on Omaha Beach
His men drowning, out of his clutching reach.

He lived with the memory of those he had lost,
Never forgetting that peace has a bloody cost.
He lived and remembered to tell those at home
Always painfully remembering being there, alone.

Salute the brave warriors who lived and died
For our freedoms. Remember. Give thanks with pride.

(My friend was a tank commander at Omaha Beach on D-Day. His tank sank offshore taking his crew down with it. He made it to the beach alone.)
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It's like [oggbashan] is writing for the third puffin over there by the sixth rock, when everyone else is an emperor penguin in the Antarctic, where there's tens of thousands of the bastards.

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Old 09-03-2017, 01:40 PM   #17
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Walter Becker (1950-2017), record producer, songwriter, and one of the two principals in Steely Dan:
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Old 09-03-2017, 08:33 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Walter Becker (1950-2017), record producer, songwriter, and one of the two principals in Steely Dan:
This one is a heartbreaker for me as I am, you know, a great fan of the Dan. We also today lost John Ashbery, one of our greatest modern poets. I'm just sad. I'm tired of hearing about people I love dying, so tired.
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Old 09-03-2017, 09:33 PM   #19
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Quote:
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This one is a heartbreaker for me as I am, you know, a great fan of the Dan. We also today lost John Ashbery, one of our greatest modern poets. I'm just sad. I'm tired of hearing about people I love dying, so tired.
It's a consequence of our age, Angie. Not that that is a comfort.

I hadn't heard about Ashbery. That is a another great loss, but given that he was 90, not as surprising as Walter Becker's passing, as he was only three years older than I am. (Which likely says more about my personal anxieties than any other comment I can make.)

I guess I would say that we lose people, we mourn them, but then we move on and on until we are the one being mourned. I actually find some degree of solace in that--that I am human and part of what that means is that I will die, however personally depressing that is. It helps me feel connected to others, a feeling I sometimes have trouble with.

But, enough gloominess. Let me celebrate Ashbery with a poem I was saving for my (planned and future) thread on the sestina:
Farm Implements and Rutabagas in a Landscape

The first of the undecoded messages read: “Popeye sits in thunder,
Unthought of. From that shoebox of an apartment,
From livid curtain’s hue, a tangram emerges: a country.”
Meanwhile the Sea Hag was relaxing on a green couch: “How pleasant
To spend one’s vacation en la casa de Popeye,” she scratched
Her cleft chin’s solitary hair. She remembered spinach

And was going to ask Wimpy if he had bought any spinach.
“M’love,” he intercepted, “the plains are decked out in thunder
Today, and it shall be as you wish.” He scratched
The part of his head under his hat. The apartment
Seemed to grow smaller. “But what if no pleasant
Inspiration plunge us now to the stars? For this is my country.”

Suddenly they remembered how it was cheaper in the country.
Wimpy was thoughtfully cutting open a number 2 can of spinach
When the door opened and Swee’pea crept in. “How pleasant!”
But Swee’pea looked morose. A note was pinned to his bib. “Thunder
And tears are unavailing,” it read. “Henceforth shall Popeye’s apartment
Be but remembered space, toxic or salubrious, whole or scratched.”

Olive came hurtling through the window; its geraniums scratched
Her long thigh. “I have news!” she gasped. “Popeye, forced as you know to flee the country
One musty gusty evening, by the schemes of his wizened, duplicate father, jealous of the apartment
And all that it contains, myself and spinach
In particular, heaves bolts of loving thunder
At his own astonished becoming, rupturing the pleasant

Arpeggio of our years. No more shall pleasant
Rays of the sun refresh your sense of growing old, nor the scratched
Tree-trunks and mossy foliage, only immaculate darkness and thunder.”
She grabbed Swee’pea. “I’m taking the brat to the country.”
“But you can’t do that—he hasn’t even finished his spinach,”
Urged the Sea Hag, looking fearfully around at the apartment.

But Olive was already out of earshot. Now the apartment
Succumbed to a strange new hush. “Actually it’s quite pleasant
Here,” thought the Sea Hag. “If this is all we need fear from spinach
Then I don’t mind so much. Perhaps we could invite Alice the Goon over”—she scratched
One dug pensively—“but Wimpy is such a country
Bumpkin, always burping like that.” Minute at first, the thunder

Soon filled the apartment. It was domestic thunder,
The color of spinach. Popeye chuckled and scratched
His balls: it sure was pleasant to spend a day in the country.


Source: The Double Dream of Spring
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Old 09-03-2017, 10:20 PM   #20
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I'll get to where you are on mourning T-Zed, the letting go and appreciation for what was. In the past two weeks I've lost an aunt (the last surviving relative of my parents' generation and my favorite of them) and one of my oldest and dearest friends. So I'm not in a great head space at the moment, but I'll get there if for no other reason than that my kids will browbeat me back to my normal chill, silly self.

Here is an early John Ashbery poem, written when he was only 21!

Some Trees
John Ashbery

These are amazing: each
Joining a neighbor, as though speech
Were a still performance.
Arranging by chance

To meet as far this morning
From the world as agreeing
With it, you and I
Are suddenly what the trees try

To tell us we are:
That their merely being there
Means something; that soon
We may touch, love, explain.

And glad not to have invented
Such comeliness, we are surrounded:
A silence already filled with noises,
A canvas on which emerges

A chorus of smiles, a winter morning.
Placed in a puzzling light, and moving,
Our days put on such reticence
These accents seem their own defense.


(ETA: Did I see you say "sestina thread"? *Runs away as fast as I can*)
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Old 09-15-2017, 10:32 PM   #21
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Harry Dean Stanton (1926-2017), character actor extraordinaire, of whom the great film critic Roger Ebert once said, "No movie featuring either Harry Dean Stanton or M. Emmet Walsh in a supporting role can be altogether bad."

Here's an alternate take from Avengers: Age of Ultron with the incomparable Mr. Stanton.





RIP, HD. Repo man's always intense.
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Old 10-16-2017, 10:09 PM   #22
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Richard Wilbur (1921-2017), great poet, fabulous translator. Two Pulitzers, a National Book Award, and the Bollingen Prize, among others.

I really like this poem:
Thyme Flowering among Rocks

This, if Japanese,
Would represent grey boulders
Walloped by rough seas

So that, here or there,
The balked water tossed its froth
Straight into the air.

Here, where things are what
They are, it is thyme blooming,
Rocks, and nothing but–

Having, nonetheless,
Many small leaves implicit,
A green countlessness.

Crouching down, peering
Into perplexed recesses,
You find a clearing

Occupied by sun
Where, along prone, rachitic
Branches, one by one,

Pale stems arise, squared
In the manner of Mentha,
The oblong leaves paired.

One branch, in ending,
Lifts a little and begets
A straight-ascending

Spike, whorled with fine blue
Or purple trumpets, banked in
The leaf axils. You

Are lost now in dense
Fact, fact which one might have thought
Hidden from the sense,

Blinking at the detail
Peppery as this fragrance,
Lost to proper scale

As, in the motion
Of striped fins, a bathysphere
Forgets the ocean.

It makes the craned head
Spin. Unfathomed thyme! The world's
A dream, Basho said,

Not because that dream's
A falsehood, but because it's
Truer than it seems.

Source: Collected Poems 1943-2004
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Old 10-18-2017, 01:16 PM   #23
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For Gord Downie musician and lyricist

http://www.theloop.ca/the-19-most-ca..****-hip-lyrics/

Bobcaygeon (Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip)

I left your house this morning,
'Bout a quarter after nine.
Coulda been the Willie Nelson,
Coulda been the wine

When I left your house this morning,
It was a little after nine
It was in Bobcaygeon, I saw the constellations
Reveal themselves, one star at time

Drove back to town this morning,
With working on my mind
I thought of maybe quittin',
Thought of leavin' it behind

Went back to bed this morning
And as I'm pullin' down the blind,
Yeah, the sky was dull and hypothetical
And fallin' one cloud at a time

That night in Toronto,
With its checkerboard floors
Riding on horseback,
And keeping order restored,
Til The Men They Couldn't Hang,
Stepped to the mic and sang,
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Old 10-20-2017, 01:36 PM   #24
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More Gord Downie

Poets

Gord was our unofficial poet laureate. We were at a play in Stratford the night of their last concert in Kingston but everyone was talking Gord and the Hip. We turned the concert (which was broadcast live across Canada) up loud on our radio for the drive home and still come back to it.

Sorry for the front end ad - but it had to be this version.

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http://www.theloop.ca/the-19-most-ca..****-hip-lyrics/

Bobcaygeon (Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip)
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Old 11-18-2017, 10:00 PM   #25
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Malcolm Young (1953-2017), rhythm guitarist for AC/DC. I particularly identify with this loss, as Malcolm was exactly one month older than me and played rhythm guitar (though I did it very badly in a garage band over forty years ago and he was, well, both rich and famous). As a rhythm guitarist and backup vocalist, Malcom is of course in the background of these videos:
  • Thunderstruck: The first time I heard this song, I was driving a rented Ford Probe from the Portland airport north into Washington state to visit a customer. I cranked the volume to 11 (well, maybe 13) and got the car up to about 90 mph before I realized what I was doing and slowed down.
  • Back in Black: Malcolm is the guy in the background playing what looks like a Gretsch White Falcon guitar that appears to be taller (and perhaps heavier) than he is.
  • Hell's Bells: In the background again, as expected, playing in front of a truly awesome wall of Marshall amplification.
You rocked, bud. Rest in peace.
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There is never a question of what to paint but only how to paint.
The how of painting has always been the image's end-product.

—Robert Ryman
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