Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Pablo Neruda / Love

by Pablo Neruda
English Translation by Thayne Tuason 

Pablo Neruda / Amor

Mujer, yo hubiera sido tu hijo, por beberte
Woman, I would have been your son, by drink
la leche de los senos como de un manantial,
the milk of the breasts as from a spring,
por mirarte y sentirte a mi lado y tenerte
by looking at you and feeling you next to me and having you
en la risa de oro y la voz de cristal.
in laughter of gold and voice of crystal.
Por sentirte en mis venas como Dios en los ríos
To feel you in my veins like God in the rivers
y adorarte en los tristes huesos de polvo y cal,
and to adore you in the sad bones of dust and lime,
porque tu ser pasara sin pena al lado mío
because you passed without pain at my side
y saliera en la estrofa -limpio de todo mal-.
and left in the stanza- clean from all evil.

Cómo sabría amarte, mujer, cómo sabría
How to know love, woman, I know how
amarte, amarte como nadie supo jamás!
love you, love you like no one ever knew!
Morir y todavía
Die and still
amarte más.
loving you more.

Y todavía
And still
amarte más
loving you more
y más.
and more.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Poet of the New York School / Kenneth Kock

Kenneth Koch

Kenneth Koch

(1925 - 2002)

Poet of the New York School with a zest for life and love

Friday 6 September 2002 01.54 BST

American poet Kenneth Koch, who has died aged 77 of leukaemia, was a member of the New York School of writers and painters, alongside poets such as John Ashbery, Frank O'Hara and James Schuyler. Koch, a boundlessly inventive and joyful writer, went to New York to sit at Ashbery's feet in the early 1950s. While he remained the junior partner, the early Koch was a poet of great ease and voluptuousness with a teasing, laidback manner.
Although his prolific output included formal rhyming verse, his principal style throughout his career was a loose digressive lope that tried to pack everything in and somehow be as zingy as he felt life was. Most poets would never get away with saying, as Koch did in Desire For Spring, from his first major collection, Thank You (1962): "I want spring, I want to turn like a mobile/ In a new fresh air!"
The painters Larry Rivers and Jane Freilicher were essential members of the New York School. As Koch put it in A Time Zone: "I am inspired by these painters/ They make me want to paint myself on an amateur basis/ Without losing my poetic status." This was late 1950s and early 1960s New York - post-beat. It was the time of bop jazz's apogee with Davis, Coltrane, Blakey and Mingus, and of abstract expressionism and pop art.
Koch was born in Cincin nati, Ohio, the son of a furniture store owner. Like John Betjeman, young Kenneth was never going to enter the family business. He went to Harvard University and then Columbia University for his PhD.
Before he could come into his own as a poet, the war started. He served in the Philippines and wrote about it with detachment: "...Well, I was in you./ All you cared about was existing and being won./ You died of a bomb blast in Nagasaki, and then there were parades."
The word "mock" (not in the cruel sense) was important to Koch. He wrote mock odes and epics, mock plays, pretty well everything he wrote was mock something. It can be a very productive poetic strategy, and it certainly went a long way with Koch. New York was a "Disgusting rectangular garbage dump/ Sending its fumes up to suffocate the city", which was just his way of saying he loved it.

An exuberant and happy heterosexuality runs through Koch's poems of all periods, reaching its peak in the long The Art of Love (1975): "Happy is the man who has two breasts to crush against his bosom,/ A tongue to suck on, a lip to bite, and in fact an entire girl! He knows a success/ Not known by any Mount Aetna or Vesuvius or by any other major volcano of the world!"
Koch's Selected Poems and the 1997 collection One Train are published in the UK by Carcanet. Two posthumous collections are on the way. New Addresses ( unavailable in Britain) must be one of the finest books written by a poet who knew he was facing the end. One poem, To My Heart At The Close Of Day, is now on my message board:
At dusk light you come out to bat
As George Trakl might put it. How are you doing
Aside from that, aside from the fact
That you are at bat? What balls are you going to hit
Into the outfield, what runs will you score,
And do you think you will ever, eventually,
Bat one out of the park?...
You warm up, then you take a great step
Forward as the ball comes smashing toward you, home
Plate. And suddenly it is evening.
· Kenneth Jay Koch, poet, born February 27 1925; died July 6 2002. He is survived by his wife, daughter and a grandson.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Denise Levertov / Love Poem


by Denise Levertov

What you give me is

the extraordinary sun
splashing its light
                             into astonished trees.

A branch
of berries, swaying

under the feet of a bird.

I know
other joys-they taste
bitter, distilled as they are
from roots, yet I thirst for them.

But you-
you give me

the flash of golden daylight
in the body's
warmth of the fall noonday
between the sheets in the dark.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Linnea Ogden / Three Poems

Jenna Westra. Zero Intermediary, 2015, gelatin silver fiber print.

Three Poems

by Linnea Ogden

The Way We Did It Was
“Going through something”
As though a spaceship made of marsh gas
Hovered overhead
The work of a moment mildewed
Along the edge
The press bed’s relenting skin
Sick at throat with hibiscus
Or rose hips
Our digressions
Black houses on a black street, hanging
Over dog-pawed ground
 Edward Wilson (2)
There is distance down. A sounding. As the anchor falls. There is distance from
the last landmark. New Zealand or Cape Town. The defunct hut of last year’s party.
To the man next to me. From the edges of my sleeping bag. There is longitude.
Temperature and ice crystals. But whatever else to measure and notate
there’s God and may he be pleased. With me and my body. So fit and full of cocoa.
Spent forenoon drawing dolphins. The afternoon in skiing. The Owner and I
hiked up to the point. Discussed how we must not lose the men. Or ponies.
The dog I found. Covered in seal blood. Three months later. Bad for the seals.
And from the moon. Much closer in the winter. Which is to say summer for all you
dear people. Back home whose light makes a cross. Is a pattern of expanding.
Circles which make way for the Aurora. Usually lemon yellow. A kind of sun
replacement. Though seal fat for breakfast makes us shine bright enough.

Ways of Looking at My Gender
Like a toad describing warts there are things
I can’t quite reach
My bride is a fetish and also a friend
More excited about a parking spot and a ripe banana
than a richly theoretical text
I still underline like I’m qualified to offer advice to people of color
Imagine a blue window in the middle of your forehead
Mine shows a cold beer in a wide-mouth Mason jar
blinking like a broken neon sign
I don’t feel sorry for myself
but I do wish some authors
would write more trilogies
The sun just makes me tired
The position of the average human
is a shadow territory where they ought to be
Surrounded by the rung metal of roadworks
In early morning filthy calm I gather too-small paper clips
to clip unwieldy stacks of essays
What a rush to be near your phone when I leave messages
Self-pity is a window into real space and
flesh is weaker than the flesh
but given a chance light catches on the least pen stroke
I push someone on the bus until the bus moves forward into the rain
carries speech with our sticky thighs

Linnea Ogden lives in San Francisco. Her work has appeared in Conduit, Boston Review,DIAGRAM, and typo.