Kierkegaard, Potter, Keillor, and Frost

‘Let Him Not Lose What He So Dear Hath Bought.’

From Cell 25 of the Convent of San Marco, by Blessed John of Fiesole, OP (Fra Angelico), 15th Century

Think on the very làmentable pain,

Think on the piteous cross of woeful Christ,

Think on His blood beat out at every vein,

Think on His precious heart carvèd in twain,

Think how for thy redemption all was wrought:

Let Him not lose what He so dear hath bought.

–Pico della Mirandola (translated by St Thomas More)

Inauguration Day

God is in Your Typewriter

God is in Your Typewriter

From the introduction to Anne Sexton, The Complete Poems

Short Story: A Poem

“For my pleasure I had as soon write free verse as play tennis with the net down.”
—Robert Frost

*
I. The Boxer Rebellion

Your turn of that page
has opened a drawer.
My home. I am his underwear.

He’ll always show you
the contents of his drawers
but never what he’s wearing.

He’s that kind of fellow.
But I’ll give you a clue:
I am his only pair of boxers.

To put it briefly,
he suffers a shortage.
Why only one of me?

Why only one day
of freedom per week
when he could have seven?

That is the question
I once heard
his girlfriend ask.

He replied like Robert Frost
that a little freedom
is almost too much

and went home and
put on briefs.
Short changed.

*
II. A Brief History of the Work Week

Briefs #1 (Sunday)
Freedom’s just another word for lost
In funhouse laundromats where dreams are tossed.

Briefs #2 (Monday)
You’ve got to work to make a living wage,
You’ve got to button up your daily rage.

Briefs #3 (Tuesday)
You’ve got to count your syllables and keep
Your cock and scrotum snug and fast asleep.

Briefs #4 (Wednesday)
You’ve got to keep your humpday hopes pressed down,
It makes no difference if you smile or frown.

Briefs #5 (Thursday)
You might love her, she might love you, but then
Your Adam’s apple bulges up again.

Briefs #6 (Friday)
Thank God? Well, maybe in the morning light,
But Eden’s underwear gets torn at night.

Briefs Chorus (all together)
Like Frost said, don’t play tennis without net.
Don’t let your balls fly free from match to set.

*
III. The Girl Who Was Saturday

I like it when my man is frisky
But when he drinks too much he gets so frisky
Like a shooting star on a Saturday night
He shines so bright but then he passes out.

I like it when he takes me out dancing,
I like it when he cuts loose a little bit, you know,
On a Saturday night after a long week of work,
When he takes off that tie, loosens up his collar, and swings like a birch tree.

I like it when my man gets frisky
And I like to drink and have a good time
But if he drinks too much too fast he passes out too soon
And when I’m ready for the fun to continue on, he’s gone.

He’s lying there in his boxer shorts. I love those boxers,
The ones with the palm trees and the Christmas lights,
He looks so peaceful sleeping there, like an angel, like a fallen soldier, like a child,
But I want my man to wake up and take me to the promised land.

I like it when my man is frisky, when he’s had just a little whisky.
But when I see him on a Wednesday or a Thursday,
He never has those boxers on, he’s wound up tight and white,
But I love my man when he gets frisky on a Saturday night.

*
IV. The Naked Poet Speaks

O boxers, I hear the siren call
Of your easy-open fly
And your free and airy ways.

O briefs, you’ve
held me close and kept me
Safe since childhood.

O Adam, O Eve, O Fruit
Of the Loom, what have you wrought?
Who told you you were naked?

Since childhood, I’ve been
Burdened and blessed with the words
For the days of the week.

I’ve been clothed
With the fabric of toil and dread,
Of yesterday and tomorrow.

But now I stand undressed
Before the dresser of my shame,
I stare into the abyss of my drawers.

In this present moment
I ask of you, O Robert Frost: speak
Your will and testament to me.

*
V. The Shorts Not Worn
(with apologies to Robert Frost and his underwear)

Two shorts submerged in a yellow drawer
And sorry I could not model both
And be one wearer, long I wore
The tighter briefs till I was sore
And then I bent and scratched my undergrowth.

Then took the boxers, just as fair
And having no doubt the looser fit
They were the ones I wanted to wear;
So easy to whip it out and piss anywhere,
The opening truly being made for it.

And both that morning equally lay
In my drawer with shirtsers and socksers.
Oh, I kept the briefs for another day!
Yet knowing how freedom has to have its way
I doubted if I should ever change from boxers.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
On Korrektiv.org ages and ages hence.
Two pairs of shorts in a drawer, and I—
I wore the ones more loose to thigh
And that has made all the difference.

*
VI. Whose Woods These Are

We hope you’ve enjoyed our brief exposé.
The frost is coming, so bundle up, okay?
Be it brief or boxer, boxer or brief,
Relax, unwind, get some relief.

*
VII. Epilogue

The page has turned, the drawer
is closed. The leaves are
falling from the trees.

One brisk fall morn, in the middle of the week,
whistling a carefree tune, he put me on,
slipped on some pants, a shirt, socks and loafers.

I said, Man are you puttin’ me on?
He said: Well,
I’m taking the day off.

And we went shopping
over at that dress-for-less place
and bought a bunch more of me.

Two packs of three, to be exact,
and that’s enough to form a tribe,
for seven days of freedom every goddam week.

The woodchucks and squirrels
are squirreling away their nuts
in the backyard as daylight declines.

But his are hanging loose now
as he kneels and asks his girl
if she’ll tie the knot with him next summer.

So it seems that just when he found
his freedom, he gives it up.
I’m not surprised. He’s that kind of fellow.

*
*
*
THE END

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Redound thee unto mine own personage…

all-shakespeare-tragedies-ranked

Dappled Things took the bait… Heh.

With apologies to Dino

“…to the last syllable of recorded time.”

copyHeath Ledger’s Joker performs Macbeth’s “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow…” for a captive and humiliated Batman at the most recent iteration of Cherie Peacock’s Shakespeare Party, held at the La Mesa home of Tim and Roisin O’Neill.

Uncle Walt Wrote a Novel!

005
Who knew the multitudinous poet had it in him?

Apparently a grad student named Turpin did.

And apparently everyone does…now.

As noted in the New York Times, Whitman once wrote in 1882, “My serious wish were to have all those crude and boyish pieces quietly dropp’d in oblivion.” Later, when he heard someone was interested in publishing his past fiction, he said, “I should almost be tempted to shoot him if I had an opportunity.”

Clearly, Whitman hadn’t expected Turpin…

Sylvia

They blame the weather, they blame your sex,
They blame the fox, the hawk, the panther on the stairs,

The demons in your box, the angels that rushed ashore;
They blame whatever black and white they read

And I blame you – not for dying but for the remnant love
You left upon the table. Selfish. I knew one like you

And she too could love, she too, eyes aware, would look
Beyond her abilities although her abilities were

Enough to keep her grounded in fame and excellence.
Your lips curled at such words. Hers softened

Into a heart, fleshy, wanting kissing, wanting words.
I see her picture as I see yours, her sun-reddened skin

Like peppermint candy as she sits in her bathing suit
And soaks up an open field amid the mountains,

The naked light pouring down and trying too hard
To match beauty for beauty, each blade of grass a lash

From her eyes as wild flowers flush the press of her breasts….
Those were yours, too, the pictures I saw, the words

I heard you say. I wasn’t afraid of your darkened light.
I would love to carry on a love affair with you

But you are dead; pushed away from your mother,
Your children, a whiff of gas escaping through

The cracks in the linoleum. The zoo could not hold you,
The forest knew you but not your spirit. The yew

Alone is no forest and yes, I know, the forest fell
In winter, the wind cracked in winter, the spring

Divorced the worst winter ever – and you are dead.
I blame the weather; I blame the sex we never had.

And a table top candle holding proud its teardrop flame.

KORREKTIV 2017 POETRY CONTEST: “Pop Sonnet 2017” (or, “Iamb in the Place Where You Are!”)

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I found this somewhere online and thought it would be a great idea for a Korrektiv Poetry Contest. We haven’t had one of those in a while, so why not? Winners (1st, 2nd, 3rd and two Honorable Mentions) will be announced on Shakespeare Day 2017 (April 23). Each will receive – well, something Shakespearey, I suppose.

Rules:

  1. Each participant may submit up to three (3) sonnets each.
  2. Each submission must be a Shakespearean sonnet (Shakespearean in form and in style: archaic Elizabethan language and all (see Gaynor example above)—the more clever the better chance the submission has of winning).
  3. Each submission must retain the title and composer of the original pop song (again, see above).
  4. Each submission must be a reworking of a recognizable pop love song (not something your sister’s best friend wrote and composed on a kazoo)—with a theme of either love desired (e.g. “I Want Your Sex”), love gained (e.g. “You Light Up My Life”), or, like Ms. Gaynor’s immortal work, love lost.
  5. All poems must appear in the comment box for this post for consideration.
  6. Winners will be notified in advance of the official announcement here at the Korrektiv.
  7. And, yes, the contest is decidedly open to all members of the Korrektiv Kollektiv.
  8. DEADLINE: April 1, 2017

Any questions?

Then get scribbling!

Out for a Larkin

crucifix-santa-croce-florence-italy

Walk into a Catholic church, and tell me what you see
A dead man, pierced and naked, hanging from a tree
A God you’re told to worship, though he looks like you and me
A dead man, pierced and naked, hanging from a tree
An ad that sells you sorrow, with some pain thrown in for free
A dead man, whipped and bloody, hanging from a tree
And you wonder how, with such a pitch, it ever came to be
A dead man, whipped and bloody, hanging from a tree
Since no one’s seen a dead man rise since AD 33
A dead man, sent to save us, hanging from a tree

Shucks! – I guess the 2017 litterachur Nobel is going to go to Bono

g1379449475124148714-jpg

But I’m energized – Big League – at least it’s going to someone who actually understands the difference between sovereignty and totalitarianism…

Well, shit, if you think I’m wrong about it – the laddy said it right here. I quote unquote quote:

“Edited clips of Trump replied: “I will build a great, great wall on our southern border and I will have Mexico pay for that well.”
“A wall? Like the Berlin Wall? Like the Great Wall of China?” Bono, a donor to the Clinton Global Initiative, shot back to the video screen.”

Well, let me uncling mesself from thissere gun, religion and God type-a-thing before I continue. [Sipping at a cold one now, hold on…]

Well, shit, what I mean to say is, hell and hard nuts, America is so tired of thissere electionation process… Oh, hell, let’s just all go home and hope that we have jobs come Monday… I’ll buy the keg (Quinn, can I borrow 40 bucks? The Hamms is on sale…)

Well, as I look out at this wonderful U Ass of A we gots usself here, I can’t help but thinks about that what which Bono’s countryman and fellow string-strummer once said, “That’tare ain’t no country for old menfolk…”

Well, Cormac, I guess you can be fixin your Nobel year to be—

Hell now, look at that, Mr. Tweedy, you made me spill my Blatz.

No, excuse me – EXCUSE ME, Mr. Tweedy, but we happen to got womenfolk in the audience just now, so you just you shut your jaw the fuck up, now you hear. I realize you got a grimace like a hound dog trying to pass a peach pit. But just heel now, y’hear? You’ll have your chance at the carcass after Cormac gets a gnaw!

Well, I guess that’s about alls I got to say – ummagonna end the conversation righ-chere.

Love and peace and I’m all with Her and all.

JOB

“Low prestige meant constant forward motion.”

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Why Bob Dylan Deserves His Nobel Prize

This is the best thing I’ve read so far about Dylan getting the Nobel, and the best justification: he’s the Shakespeare of our era.

Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote

Chaucer_ellesmere1

The Official Poet of the Year of Mercy

Caesar

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Caesar was too old, it seems to me, to set about amusing himself with conquering the world. Such sport was good for Augustus or Alexander. They were still young men, and thus difficult to restrain. But Caesar should have been more mature.
                                                                          – Pascal, Pensees, 132

From emperor to god, distinction’s blade
Has cut me loose from earthly care and set
My star within a diadem that made

My shade regret its bloody ways (forget
The fact that I refused the crown with three
Dismissive waves). So three were keen to set

Upon me – brute ambition, envy’s glee,
And tilting pride – my own to think success
A measure tallied by eternity….

I wept at Alexander’s feats no less
Than now I laugh at what Augustus wants –
To valuate the empire’s populace

A victory subtracting weal from chance
In one decisive sweep of columned sums.
I told the pirates I’d be back to dance

Before their crucifixions; Pompey’s drums
Resolved my mettle. “Let Catullus sing
Of plows and flowers,” I said, “Caesar comes

From Gaul and India with arms to bring
About hic novus ordo.” This head
Is wizened, iron-willed, the only thing

That raises me above them all. Include
Among them, by the way, my wretched son
Who counts his greatest triumph as a god

A forced retreat of numbers back to one.

Desire and Deceit

girard

For Rene Girard, 1923-2015

Not again, the old men with beautiful manners.
– Ezra Pound

The old men of our age are young against
The violent, suffering such sacred cries…
We live as if the times were free and cleansed
Of envy, but we know from these
Embarking ferries what cruel death would say:
The fire rises every dawn to mystery –
Familiar as desire, lost as memory.
So truth is night that verges every day
Which hates itself, yet knows itself as day.

We try to capture every moment’s breath
With flesh, but lose the soul of argument
Because the body knows that only death
Provides the wound – unless the sentiment
Of beauty heals the foreign element –
The other – those – the sin that takes the step
In which we place the body deep, deep, deep…
I wish that nothing were the case – but take
It life will some day give what death will take

And knew no French but heard you anyway
By age and time. By youth and wonder’s books
I sat and heard you lecture, heard you say
That creatures live and imitation speaks
The grammar grace’s tender mercy brooks
Between the prepositions of and in.
I loved a woman of the world – taboo
And token sin – and urge and instinct knew
That beauty suffered what my conscience knew.

Remember, man, that dust remembers man –
Recalls the day angelic beasts renewed
Our call to human living. Manners can
Propose a mystery: the stage construed
With shadows, fictions made with words and breath;
But understand by holocaust of faith
That noon escapes, confirmed by midnight’s dark,
And night corrals the stars, each a splintered spark,
You ancient man, that hates and loves the dark.

“Am I Hamlet or Don Quixote?”

paul vi

“The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune…” – Hamlet

“Truly I was born to be an example of misfortune, and a target at which the arrows of adversary are aimed.” – Don Quixote

With ermine cuffs I sharpen up each gem
That studs this crown…No, Papa was not king
Despite this barber’s bowl. And Mama’s hymns
Remain in mind but there’s no will to sing.
Milan, more French than Roman, sings instead
Inside my veins – the fluted lace, the neat
And crimson fashions – coy frissons of the dead
Which resurrects a joy, now made complete
Confusion.
                  Oh, Papa! Oh, Mama! Since
I chose this road of sorrow, I confess
To neither left nor right. For Denmark’s prince
Well knew that failure proves its own success
And windmills creak and tilt upon the breeze
Canticles to a world I could not please.

One Short Poem about Two Lions of 20th Century English Literature

A Lark
That was a quite a conquest,
the poor author of that aubade
about waking in the dark,
believing he’d go to prison.
And did not. That’s not so bad.