Archive for poems
The Hospital Window
I have just come down from my father.
Higher and higher he lies
Above me in a blue light
Shed by a tinted window.
I drop through six white floors
And then step out onto pavement.
Still feeling my father ascend,
I start to cross the firm street,
My shoulder blades shining with all
The glass the huge building can raise.
Now I must turn round and face it,
And know his one pane from the others.
Each window possesses the sun
As though it burned there on a wick.
I wave, like a man catching fire.
All the deep-dyed windowpanes flash,
And, behind them, all the white rooms
They turn to the color of Heaven.
Ceremoniously, gravely, and weakly,
Dozens of pale hands are waving
Back, from inside their flames.
Yet one pure pane among these
Is the bright, erased blankness of nothing.
I know that my father is there,
In the shape of his death still living.
The traffic increases around me
Like a madness called down on my head.
The horns blast at me like shotguns,
And drivers lean out, driven crazy—
But now my propped-up father
Lifts his arm out of stillness at last.
The light from the window strikes me
And I turn as blue as a soul,
As the moment when I was born.
I am not afraid for my father—
Look! He is grinning; he is not
Afraid for my life, either,
As the wild engines stand at my knees
Shredding their gears and roaring,
And I hold each car in its place
For miles, inciting its horn
To blow down the walls of the world
That the dying may float without fear
In the bold blue gaze of my father.
Slowly I move to the sidewalk
With my pin-tingling hand half dead
At the end of my bloodless arm.
I carry it off in amazement,
High, still higher, still waving,
My recognized face fully mortal,
Yet not; not at all, in the pale,
Drained, otherworldly, stricken,
Created hue of stained glass.
I have just come down from my father.
Do with it what you will. It’s Walt Whitman’s birthday today. Had he failed to die, he’d be 194 years old.
Full of Life, Now
Full of life, now, compact, visible,
I, forty years old the Eighty-third Year of The States,
To one a century hence, or any number of centuries hence,
To you, yet unborn, these, seeking you.
When you read these, I, that was visible, am become invisible;
Now it is you, compact, visible, realizing my poems, seeking me;
Fancying how happy you were, if I could be with you, and become your
Be it as if I were with you. (Be not too certain but I am now with
Dana Levin is the author of three books with Copper Canyon Press: In the Surgical Theatre, Wedding Day, and Sky Burial, which was noted for 2011 year-end honors by The New Yorker, the San Francisco Chronicle, Library Journal and Coldfront Magazine. A recipient of fellowships from the Rona Jaffe, Whiting and Guggenheim Foundations, Levin chairs the Creative Writing and Literature Department at Santa Fe University of Art and Design.
- Further Reading (poems)
- Dana Levin, An Adventure in Reading… (Essay)
- Who Is Who: Pronouns, Gender, and Merging Selves (Essay)
Questions From the Audience: Read More→
‘Tis the season and all that crap. Hopefully you’ve been partaking in the great consumerist holiday that is Christmas by buying stuff for the sake of buying stuff, or perhaps you feel guilty about not spending enough time with that (not so?) loved one so you’ve attempted to make up for it by purchasing a waffle iron. I don’t know what you people do in your spare time, so I won’t venture any more guesses. To the point!
Here’s some random stuff to read/discuss/ignore (after the break):
I Am But a Traveler in This Land & Know Little of Its Ways
BY DEAN YOUNG
Is everything a field of energy caused
by human projection? From the crib bars
hang the teething tools. Above the finger-drummed
desk, a bit lip. The cyclone fence of buts
Eight years ago this blog began. Thanks, everyone, for helping to make it a place that’s fun, informative, relevant, irreverent, and homey.
With the Filing Deadline having finally passed like a jagged kidney stone through a scabbed urethra, we here at Scrutiny Hooligans (and by we I mean me) thought we’d resurrect this little dilly. Fun fun fun!
Whenever someone gets around to it (hey Ascend — I’m looking at you) we’ll provide a complete list of candidates running for local office and links to their websites so you can learn more about them.
Jesus got up one day a little later than usual. He had been dreaming so deep there was nothing left in his head. What was it? A nightmare, dead bodies walking all around him, eyes rolled back, skin falling off. But he wasn’t afraid of that. It was a beautiful day. How ’bout some coffee? Don’t mind if I do. Take a little ride on my donkey, I love that donkey. Hell, I love everybody.
SONNET IN SEARCH OF AN AUTHOR
W. C. Williams
Nude bodies like peeled logs
sometimes give off a sweetest
odor, man and woman
under the trees in full excess
matching the cushion of
aromatic pine-drift fallen
threaded with trailing woodbine
a sonnet might be made of it
Might be made of it! odor of excess
odor of pine needles, odor of
peeled logs, odor of no odor
other than trailing woodbine that
has no odor, odor of a nude woman
sometimes, odor of a man.