About the site: This blog started as a place to house poems, favorites and original poems. Towards the end of ModPo 1, I added a blogroll of blogs showcasing poetic works by ModPo students and friends. Now, at the end of ModPo 2, we continue this tradition. We hope it provides a useful place for repose, reflection and reading. Hope you enjoy your visit here and look forward to seeing you again. New poems, links and blogs are constantly being added and updated.
after reading the first poem
my head went numb–
have I answered your question?
how do I get started?
a quick rough sketch, warts and all
I think you’re going to enjoy THIS–
when they were good they were incredible.
Most of us don’t sleep,
I’m pretty sure Al doesn’t.
Most of these poets would have been sent
to the Ministry of Love and vaporized,
making sense is overrated.
What do you make of her use of windows and doors?
What else could she have meant by Paradise?
I hadn’t the slightest idea.
You’re only disqualified from the group
if you forget your towel. Don’t panic.
How would one avoid the “splinter”
that shunts the brain out of its groove?
What do you see?
Isn’t any creative work bullshit
if you look at it in a certain way?
What I assume you shall assume–
she leads her alien invasion
as Williams dances like a lunatic
and Kathleen and the baby sleeps downstairs.
I’m not a lit guy, so I don’t know.
It’s always a conversation between you and the poet
Experiment, see what works for you.
Let’s go dance in front of the mirror
but make sure you have at least
one post per week
in the poem-specific subforums.
Goodbye but not farewell.
We will continue our conversations
and social media chats –
with new friends,
with old friends.
And we will continue writing poems:
together in small groups,
and at home, alone,
in the midnight hour that is not
midnight, but that
floats between isha and fajr -
the darkest part of night -
when passions die,
and distractions fall to the side.
The songwriting teacher said all I needed
was a thesaurus and a rhyming dictionary –
but it hasn’t proven sufficient –
and there are no final words, anyway,
no bridge, no chorus, no refrain,
just a tight hug, a soft sigh, a tender kiss,
and a throw-away “see-you-tomorrow,”
maybe, if you’re lucky. And all my
countrymen are poets, and sailors.
No, goodbye is not farewell.
There is SloPo on Facebook,
and sudden spoon is resurrecting,
and the Breakfast Club opera is on track,
and KWH is always open,
and there are Sunday get-togethers in DC
whenever you are passing through.
And all our blogs and our websites are up,
and NaPoWriMo comes in April,
and Postcard Poetry Fest comes in August,
and before you know it, ModPo14!
Modern & Contemporary American Poetry
MODPO MODPOPENN MODPOLIVE
We are the grass
Mending the Wall
Cut up into pieces
and scattered on the floor
on the Page
In my hand
13 Ways to connect with Toronto, Ecuador, Hawaii, Sydney,
Israel, San Fran, South Carolina, Connecticut, Philadelphia-
etc etc etc etc Etc etc
In wild room dancing to 12 tones
and in this moment
this is the moment
To lift Kelly's cup
and sip together-to another year of
And Let the Splinter
From the beautiful mountains of North Carolina,
Love and Many Blessings,
I'll see you in the forums
and again next year. Until we re-open the present....
And I die
The Giants I hold up the umbrella
and turn the square axle
my dark sky
clouds and storms that befit me
the regalia of my Opera
where no glittered stars.
So wild a den I
to complain in my hair disease incurable.
My syllables in its leghold trap.
Here's the Hunter
It was spring, a day!
Rich, flashy, puffy-faced,
Hebrew and Anglo-Saxon,
The overlords sprawl here with their glittering darlings.
The smoke curls thick, in the dimmed light
Surreptitiously, deaf-mute waiters
Flatter the grandees,
Going easily over the rich carpets,
Wary lest they kick over the bottles
Under the tables.
The jazzband unleashes its frenzy.
To it, Roger; that's a nice doggie,
Show your tricks to the gentlemen.
The trombone belches, and the saxophone
Wails curdlingly, the cymbals clash,
The drummer twitches in an epileptic fit
Round my feet
The chorus sways in.
The 'Creole Beauties from New Orleans'
(By way of Atlanta, Louisville, Washington, Yonkers,
With stop-overs they've used nearly all their lives)
Their creamy skin flushing rose warm,
O, le bal des belles quarterounes! *
Their shapely bodies naked save
For tattered pink silk bodices, short velvet tights,
And shining silver-buckled boots;
Red bandannas on their sleek and close-clipped hair;
To bring to mind (aided by the bottles under the tables)
Life upon the river--
Muddy water, river sweet
(Lafitte the pirate, instead,
And his doughty diggers of gold)
There's peace and happiness there
Poor half-naked fools, tagged with identification numbers,
Worn out upon the levees,
Are carted back to the serfdom
They had never left before
And may never leave again)
The girls wiggle and twist
Oh you too,
Proud high-stepping beauties,
Show your paces to the gentlemen.
A prime filly, seh.
What am I offered, gentlemen, gentlemen. . . .
I've been away a year today
To wander and roam
I don't care if it's muddy there
(Now that the floods recede,
What is there left the miserable folk?
Oh time in abundance to count their losses,
There is so little else to count.)
Still it's my home, sweet home
From the lovely throats
Moans and deep cries for home:
Nashville, Toledo, Spout Springs, Boston,
Creoles from Germantown;--
The bodies twist and rock;
The glasses are filled up again. . . .
The black folk huddle, mute, uncomprehending,
Wondering 'how come the good Lord
Could treat them this a way')
Down in the Delta
Along the Yazoo
The buzzards fly over, over, low,
Glutted, but with their scrawny necks stretching,
I've got my toes turned Dixie ways
Round that Delta let me laze
The band goes mad, the drummer throws his sticks
At the moon, a papier-mache moon,
The chorus leaps into weird posturings,
The firm-fleshed arms plucking at grapes to stain
Bending, writhing, turning
My heart cries out for
M U D D Y W A T E R
(Down in the valleys
The stench of the drying mud
Is a bitter reminder of death.)
my swing is more mellow
these days: not the hardbop drive
i used to roll but more of a cool
foxtrot. my eyes still close
when the rhythm locks; i’ve learned
to boogie with my feet on the floor
i’m still movin’, still groovin’
still fallin’ in love
i bop to the bass line now. the trap set
paradiddles ratamacues & flams
that used to spin me in place still set me
off, but i bop to the bass line now
i enter the tune from the bottom up
& let trumpet & sax wheel above me
so don’t look for me in the treble
don’t look for me in the fly
staccato splatter of the hot young horn
no, you’ll find me in the nuance
hanging out in inflection & slur
i’m the one executing the half-bent
dip in the slow slowdrag
with the smug little smile
& the really cool shades