Thursday, November 10, 2011

For Fear

For fear I want
to make myself again
under the thumb
of old love, old time

and pain, bent
into a nail that will
not come out.

Why, love, does it
make such a difference
not to be heard
in spite of self

or what we may feel,
one for the other,
but as a hammer
to drive again

bent nail
into old hurt?

Robert Creeley

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

I'll Be Here

There is a lake of clear water.
There are forms of things despite us.

Pope said, "A little learning,"
and, and, and, and—the same.

Why don't you go home and sleep
and come back and talk some more.

Robert Creeley

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

A Reason

Each gesture
is a common one, a
black dog, crying, a
man, crying.

All alike, people
or things grow
fixed with what
happens to them.

I throw a stone.
It hits the wall,
it hits a dog,
it hits a child--

my sentimental
names for years
and years ago, from
something I've not become.

If I look
in the mirror,
the wall, I
see myself.

If I try
to do better
and better, I
do the same thing.

Let me hit you.
Will it hurt.
Your face is hurt
all the same.

Robert Creeley

Monday, November 07, 2011

A Prayer

something small
but infinite
and quiet.

There are senses
make an object
in their simple
feeling for one.

Robert Creeley

Sunday, November 06, 2011

The Door (I)

Thump. Thump. The door
which never is knocked upon but cries,
for who sings, dies,
what goes, will go on.

Robert Creeley

Saturday, November 05, 2011


He wants to be
a brutal old man,
an aggressive old man,
as dull, as brutal
as the emptiness around him,

He doesn’t want compromise,
nor to be ever nice
to anyone. Just mean,
and final in his brutal,
his total, rejection of it all.

He tried the sweet,
the gentle, the “oh,
let’s hold hands together”
and it was awful,
dull, brutally inconsequential.

Now he’ll stand on
his own dwindling legs.
His arms, his skin,
shrink daily. And
he loves, but hates equally.

Robert Creeley

Friday, November 04, 2011

The Songs of Maximus: Song 2

            And I am asked—ask myself (I, too, covered
with the gurry of it) where
shall we go from here, what can we do
when even the public conveyances
            how can we go anywhere,
even cross-town
                        how get out of anywhere (the bodies
all buried
in shallow graves?

Thursday, November 03, 2011

One Art

The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

--Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

Elizabeth Bishop

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Le Pont Mirabeau

Sous le pont Mirabeau coule la Seine
Et nos amours
Faut-il qu’il m’en souvienne
La joie venait toujours après la peine

Vienne la nuit sonne l’heure
Les jours s’en vont je demeure

Les mains dans les mains restons face à face
Tandis que sous
Le pont de nos bras passe
Des éternels regards l’onde si lasse

Vienne la nuit sonne l’heure
Les jours s’en vont je demeure

L’amour s’en va comme cette eau courante
L’amour s’en va
Comme la vie est lente
Et comme l’Espérance est violente

Vienne la nuit sonne l’heure
Les jours s’en vont je demeure

Passent les jours et passent les semaines
Ni temps passé
Ni les amours reviennent
Sous le pont Mirabeau coule la Seine

Vienne la nuit sonne l’heure
Les jours s’en vont je demeure

Guillaume Apollinaire