30 Apr 2009

Singular Gratification.

Written by sally @ 11:04 am — Section: Uncategorized


For years it was in sex and I thought
This was the most of it
so brief
a moment
or two of transport out of oneself
in music which lasted longer and filled me
with the exquisite wrenching agony
of the blues
and now it is equally
transitory and obscure as I sit in my broken
chair that cats have shredded
by the stove on a winter night with wind and snow
howling outside and I imagine
the whole world at peace
at peace
and everyone comfortable and warm
the great pain assuaged
a moment
of the most shining and singular gratification.

–Hayden Carruth

29 Apr 2009

I Think I Have Low Blood Sugar Today.

Written by sally @ 8:01 am — Section: Uncategorized

A few weeks ago I was reading “Procrustes and the Culture Wars,” an essay from the excellent At Large and At Small by Anne Fadiman. I thought I was fairly decent when it came to Greek mythology, but I’m pretty sure I never heard about Procrustes before. (Surely I would’ve at least remembered that awesome name.) Apparently he would snatch passing travelers and put them on a bed. If they were too tall for it, he’d saw off their limbs. Too short, he’d stretch them. Seriously. I would’ve remembered this.

Anyway, I read this, then the next day this was a word over on Word Journal.

All of this is to say that the more you learn, the bigger the world is. Or something. Anyway, Fadiman refers to this poem in her essay, which is actually not about Procrustes at all.

(Isn’t this enlightening? This blog post pretends to be about something, but is actually about nothing at all.)

28 Apr 2009


Written by sally @ 1:25 pm — Section: Uncategorized

I took a poetry class once with a mean girl whose poems always had grackles in them. I should’ve made “Grackles” her nickname, but RD was talking about her once and said, as if he were the Choctaw Indian from whom the girl was asking for a casino job, “You’re going to be sweeping the floor, skinny ugly white lady.” That’s a better moniker than Grackles, I think.

Anyway, I digress. You should read this poem aloud. There are grackles in it.

Autumn Refrain

The skreak and skritter of evening gone
And grackles gone and sorrows of the sun,
The sorrows of sun, too, gone. . . the moon and moon,
The yellow moon of words about the nightingale
In measureless measures, not a bird for me
But the name of a bird and the name of a nameless air
I have never — shall never hear. And yet beneath
The stillness of everything gone, and being still,
Being and sitting still, something resides,
Some skreaking and skrittering residuum,
And grates these evasions of the nightingale
Though I have never — shall never hear that bird.
And the stillness is in the key, all of it is,
The stillness is all in the key of that desolate sound.

–Wallace Stevens

Seriously. Space.

Written by sally @ 1:18 pm — Section: Uncategorized

Hey there! I kind of forgot to post a poem for several days in a row. I have a really good excuse, though: I was eaten by wild dogs. “Eaten by wild dogs” is just hipster slang for having a baby’s birthday party with ill-behaved relatives. Next year we are having Spike’s party IN SPACE.

So, to recap, I am sick of the following:
–Spike’s grandparents
–last weekend
–swine flu

However, I did buy some cute capris on Sunday so the whole weekend wasn’t a wash.

24 Apr 2009

Dear Spike (At One).

Written by sally @ 8:45 am — Section: Uncategorized

Gorjus wrote this for the occasion of Spike’s birthday. All I have to say is, best godfather ever.

Dear Spike (At One)

Before you were born, your momma
used to drink buckets of beer and quote Smiths lyrics,
used to make grown men blush and stammer. (more…)

23 Apr 2009

Happy Spike Day!

Written by sally @ 2:40 pm — Section: Uncategorized

I’m just going to refer you to this already-posted poem for today’s poem, since it’s Spike’s first birthday and this is pretty much the only poem about motherhood that I can stomach.

So: a year ago today at this time I was in a world of hurt, but my doctor was about to come in and save the day by giving me a damn c-section and getting this baby out of me. Man, the year has flown by. Those first three weeks were like molasses, gruelling, tear-stained, sleep-deprived molasses, but the rest of the weeks and months went quickly. If this is what the rest of my life is going to be like, I’m pretty much going to go to bed tonight and wake up 90.

In honor of Spike’s first birthday — seriously, is it possible that he’s a year old? — I have made a list of the things I love about him.

I love the way he tries to pants me in the morning when he crawls up and yanks on my pajamas; I love the way he tries to comb my hair but really just pounds on my head with his comb; I love that I can read his mind by the way he’s laughing; I love that he can locate each errant particle of dirt, dust, crunched up leaf, dog hair, or choking hazard on the floor and that he points at said items and looks up at me like I am the maid; I love that he is completely silent and lost in thought when we go for walks; I love that older black ladies have a particular fondness for him and that going to the grocery store is a flirtfest; I love that he loves looking at his books and turning the pages, even though he doesn’t really like for me to read them to him; I love the way his baby toes smell; I love that even though he doesn’t look like me, every once in awhile I catch a glimpse of myself in the way his hands move; I love that he loves the cats, even though the cats are stupid and hate his guts; and I love that having him around colors my perception of everything, even episodes of Law and Order where there are creepy duos of mother-and-son killers.

So to sum up: Spike is awesome.

22 Apr 2009

Dream No More.

Written by sally @ 10:46 am — Section: sally


I have had my dream — like others–
and it has come to nothing, so that
I remain now carelessly
with feet planted on the ground
and look up at the sky —
feeling my clothes about me,
the weight of my body in my shoes,
the rim of my hat, air passing in and out
at my nose — and decide to dream no more.

–William Carlos Williams

Little known fact: after he wrote this poem, William Carlos Williams wrote this song.

20 Apr 2009

Overheard at the Wendy’s in Forest, MS.

Written by sally @ 1:25 pm — Section: sally

Wendy’s employee: Ohh, your baby is so cute!
Teenager with Incredibly Short Shorts and Chunky Highlights: Thank yew.
Wendy’s employee: How old is she?
Teenager with Incredibly Short Shorts and Chunky Highlights: Tew months.
Wendy’s employee: Oh, that why she have her ears pierced already! I try to get my baby ears pierced but they tell me she have to be two months cause she have to have her shots.
Teenager with Incredibly Short Shorts and Chunky Highlights She just got her shots last Tuesday. I got her ears pierced when she was six weeks old!
Wendy’s employee (kind of mad): Where you go.
Teenager with Incredibly Short Shorts and Chunky Highlights: The Wal-Mart in Flowood.
Wendy’s employee: Cause I go to the Wal-Mart in Pearl and they tell me no.
Grandmother with Large Fairy Tattoo on Calf: And it’s open seven days uh week!
Wendy’s employee: 24 hours?
Trashy Grandmother with Large Fairy Tattoo on Calf: (with pride) Uh-huh!

Sloam with the Hoolriffs.

Written by sally @ 1:23 pm — Section: Uncategorized

Yesterday I posted an Archibald MacLeish poem. Today, I give you this by Carl Sandburg.

On a Flimmering Floom You Shall Ride

Summary and footnote of and on the testimony of the poet MacLeish under appointment as Assistant Secretary of State, under oath before a Congressional examining committee pressing him to divulge the portents and meanings of his poems.

Nobody noogers the shaff of a sloo.
Nobody slimbers a wench with a winch
Nor higgles armed each with a niggle
And each the flimdrat of a smee,
Each the inbiddy hum of a smoo.

Then slong me dorst with flagdarsh.
Then creep me deep with the crawbright.
Let idle winds ploodaddle the dorshes.
And you in the gold of the gloaming
You shall be sloam with the hoolriffs.

On a flimmering floom you shall ride.
They shall tell you bedish and desist.
On a flimmering floom you shall ride.

More about this here.

19 Apr 2009

Palpable and Mute.

Written by sally @ 1:15 pm — Section: Uncategorized

Ars Poetica

A poem should be palpable and mute
As a globed fruit

As old medallions to the thumb

Silent as the sleeve-worn stone
Of casement ledges where the moss has grown —

A poem should be wordless
As the flight of birds

* * *

A poem should be motionless in time
As the moon climbs

Leaving, as the moon releases
Twig by twig the night entangled trees,

Leaving, as the moon behind the winter leaves,
Memory by memory the mind —

A poem should be motionless in time
As the moon climbs

* * *
A poem should be equal to:
Not true

For all the history of grief
An empty doorway and a maple leaf

For love
The leaning grasses and two lights above the sea —

A poem should not mean
But be

–Archibald MacLeish

17 Apr 2009

What the Hell, Kid?

Written by sally @ 1:52 pm — Section: Uncategorized

Go read these awesome and funny poems written for the author’s 14 month old son. You will laugh. (My favorite, I think, is the one that starts Oh my god!)

16 Apr 2009

Tell Me We’ll Never Get Used To It.

Written by sally @ 8:39 am — Section: Uncategorized


Tell me about the dream where we pull the bodies out of the lake
and dress them in warm clothes again.
How it was late, and no one could sleep, the horses running
until they forget that they are horses.
It’s not like a tree where the roots have to end somewhere.
it’s more like a song on a policeman’s radio,
how we rolled up the carpet so we could dance, and the days
were bright red, and every time we kissed there was another apple
to slice into pieces.
Look at the light through the windowpane. That means it’s noon, that means
we’re inconsolable.
Tell me how all this, and love too, will ruin us.
These, our bodies, possessed by light.
Tell me we’ll never get used to it.
–Richard Siken

from Crush, Yale University Press, 2005.

15 Apr 2009

Ode to a Menu.

Written by sally @ 8:35 am — Section: Uncategorized

For today’s poem, go read the Shopsin’s menu. Seriously. Explore every option, including breakfast.

14 Apr 2009

Note to Potential Killers.

Written by sally @ 2:41 pm — Section: Uncategorized

I just spent the last 10 minutes jamming tiny pretzels covered in chocolate and sprinkles down my throat. Then I thought, Wait. Where did these come from? They just appeared under my desk. No note, and no one’s said anything about leaving me a present.

I would be the easiest person to poison ever.

A Tent Pole Holding Up Your Bones.

Written by sally @ 2:38 pm — Section: Uncategorized

Ode on My Mother’s Handwriting

Her a’s are like small rolls warm from the oven, yeasty,
fragrant, one identical to the other, molded
by a master baker, serious about her craft, but comical, too,
smudge of flour on her sharp nose, laughing
with her workers, urging them to eat, eat, eat, but demanding
the most gorgeous cakes in Christendom. (more…)

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