Check out the animated show Bat out of Hell on YouTube!

If I Could Fly on TWA

Burn and Break: An Insomniac’s Anti-Aubade



The three pre-dinner martinis
Compete with the two strong coffees
That brought a cheesecake to its knees;

Eating away at emotion,
My Dead Sea, a bitter ocean,
Nauseates at the mere notion

Or romantic coincidence
(Discount the eclipsed resplendence
Of shared bed space as indolence

And our dawn walks in Radio Park,
Dead signals in a channeled dark —
Like a coronary infarct.)

Now the heart’s a hopped up toad;
The blood flows, arteries corrode,
And the night’s black caffeine cathode

Twitches the clock and tricks the brain
To confess the blunted edge of pain
That bleeds through dark a darker stain.

This vigil’s tortured entropy
Breaks the stars’ monopoly
And burns a private astrology

Of headlights that loom, flash, and crawl
Slow tracers down the bedroom wall
To speed the car of Ezekiel.

In fading hiss of passing wheels,
The Doppler hum of engines feels
Like time reversed in movie reels.

These hours are hounds that found and treed
That possum called sleep — and the need
To meet her fangs becomes a creed

In a molten heat each bitch moans —
And this magma liturgy groans
Tenets my inner ear intones.

Too easily, antacid quit
And its pink liquid conduit
Chalks my tongue on a turning spit:

So are Cupid’s barbs chemical?
Is Venus a blocked ventricle?
(Maybe Mars is too clinical.)

But the bedroom’s uneasy poise
Snags my conscience — just so much noise
Light may know but the dark enjoys.

My fingers range across the quilt
That you had stitched against my guilt —
The flowered pattern in constant wilt.

Then monotony blinks an eye:
The lampstand yanks alive to try
Fabricating my alibi.

With ceiling’s conclusions foregone,
I lie and write this poem on
My heart as upon volcanic stone

Tied with pups in a sack and cast
In a sullen lake, deep and vast
Enough to sink the shotgun blast

Square in my chest which, burning, breaks
With too much love, too many cakes,
And whatever in hell it takes

To leave me waked by dawn. Forget
Reasoned search for scorched regret —
I’ve made my bed. I’ll sleep in debt.

Tulips Sans Chimneys

Tulips for Elsie cover image

Mr. Potter’s given us a bold adventurous book with plenty of sharp turns at high speed, with some gestures toward Neruda and Merwin but also “Sk8,” a gr8 skateboarding poem, and sonnets, and brave ventures into rhymed verse, poems for friends and relatives, “Stopping by Blogs on a Frosty Evening,” and poems of passionate love with angels looking down from above. Plus tulips and Elsie. —Garrison Keillor

I have enjoyed the company of Jonathan Potter’s poetry for years and rejoice at the arrival of this new collection with its unabashed delight, authentic intimacy, and emotionally convincing, often playful music. Potter is at turns a graceful, organic monologist and a wry, deft formalist. These are poems of generous mythmaking, self-deprecating humor, passion, and the glories of fatherhood. They inhabit a Seattle of historical icons and the poet’s own skateboarding youth, a London of “tidy grime” and love, and the derelict and divine streets and poetry community and waterfall of Spokane, this poet’s answer to Williams’ Paterson. By the time Potter wishes he could “become myself with vengeance / and take you with me,” he has done both. —Jonathan Johnson

In an era of poetry that plumbs humanity’s darker depths, it is a pleasant respite to read Jonathan Potter’s Tulips for Elsie, a collection that wears its pathos and its prosody lightly as it confronts life’s familiar concerns—love, sex, family life, and his beloved native place (Spokane, Washington)— with full-bodied affection and gentle irony. Many poems here are sonnets—not just Petrarchan or Shakespearean but also Onegin stanzas!—yet Potter makes rhyming in these conversationally-toned fourteeners look effortless. Particularly engaging are the portrait sonnets featuring poets and writers associated with Spokane (Alexie, Howell, Walter among them), the longer poems about the poet’s lively and accomplished daughters, and the poetic palimpsests replying to or parodying well-known classics. By the time we finish reading, we may feel ourselves, with the poet, to have “co-authored  . . . a beautiful book of longing.” —Carolyne Wright

When I Was Broke

GK Reads JP

https://www.garrisonkeillor.com/radio/twa-the-writers-almanac-for-march-30-2021/

Coming in April

A reading of Sherman Alexie’s “That Place Where Ghosts of Salmon Jump”

Tulips for Elsie

Source: The Writer’s Almanac, 2/1/21

See Also: Dappled Things, Pentecost 2012

Words of the Day: Doggerel

A new book by Brian Jobe we sort of forgot to mention last year.

Sample here

“Self-Portrait with Wife” on YouTube

The Keillor Treatment

Inauguration Day

Reruns

Rerun of a poem from House of Words and Mary Karrs birthday featured today on the rehabilitated Writer’s Almanac.

The Writer’s Almanac for Saturday, January 16, 2021

becoming myself
could actually happen
i believe it could

on a rainy day
as leaves fall and paste themselves
to pavements and feet

walking familiar
paths to places known too well
shod in shoes worn out

if i were a rich man
counting money like syllables
then maybe i could rest

in increasing luxury
like a poem forming line by line
instead of worrying time

but i am more like
a haiku stanza falling
into line with you

and wishing i could
become myself with vengeance
and take you with me

https://korrektivpress.com/2020/11/32001/

Sonnet from London

Behind the double decker bus of pain
Above the underground belief in motion
Within walled gardens of the blooms’ delight
There may be clues that lead to 40B
Near Paddington Station and Little Venice’s
Canals grown derelict in elegance
Where I would like to travel in my dreams.
When science falters at its many schemes
The days grow weary where they pitch their tents
The night falls from what daily darkness does
Then I would like to be and not to be
While sitting in the brightness of your bright
Unvanishing and pleasant resting notion
Of eating chips and drinking bright champagne

My dad gave me

My dad gave me
The history
Of future things
That he could see

And when I saw
The fatal flaw
He showed how mercy
Breaks the law

My mom and I

My mom and I
Flew through the sky
Towards the sun
On wings of why

We circled high
And in her eye
Some kindness answered
To my cry

Untitled

My oldest daughter’s moon reflects my sun.
My youngest daughter’s sun collects my moon.
The woven strands of stars undone
Within my mind begin to weave a tune
That sings around me in a tunic form
With threads of gravity and mystery
To shield my soul against the wind and warm
The wintry past with future history.