Poem of the week, Light Shining Out Of Darkness, William Cowper


God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill,
He treasures up his bright designs,
And works his sov’reign will.
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.
His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding ev’ry hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flow’r.
Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan his work in vain;
God is his own interpreter,

Light Shining Out Of Darkness

William Cowper


Poem of the Week – Blousy Guitar, Hoa Nguyen


Blousy guitar I don’t want to count the beats Hey Hey
My pen I have bed hair in the best way Daughter
of sunlight and air and I’m glad you were born
on this day or put another way: that you were

born Let’s be superstars Let’s call each other “suckas”
Turn everything into writing Lord of my Love
and eat new raw oysters with many condiments
to lord & love to be generally great

The flopping flowers that die in a poem
Summer solstice smacks me in the face ridiculous
and I dream the different like a naked sonnet
Your raw throaty laugh submerged under hot noodles

I wrote “valley” when I meant “longing”
Your laugh a river A trout kind of green

Hoa Nguyen

Poem Of The Week: The Expiration, John Donne

So, so, break off this last lamenting kiss,
    Which sucks two souls, and vapours both away;
Turn, thou ghost, that way, and let me turn this,
    And let ourselves benight our happiest day.
We ask none leave to love; nor will we owe
    Any so cheap a death as saying, “Go.”
Go; and if that word have not quite killed thee,
    Ease me with death, by bidding me go too.
Or, if it have, let my word work on me,
    And a just office on a murderer do.
Except it be too late, to kill me so,
    Being double dead, going, and bidding, “Go.”

Poem of the Week: Death Is Nothing At All, Henry Scott-Holland


Death is nothing at all.
It does not count.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
Nothing has happened.

Everything remains exactly as it was.
I am I, and you are you,
and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged.
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.

Call me by the old familiar name.
Speak of me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was.
There is absolute and unbroken continuity.
What is this death but a negligible accident?

Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval,
somewhere very near,
just round the corner.

All is well.
Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost.
One brief moment and all will be as it was before.
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!

Death Is Nothing At All

Poem Of The Week: Had Death Not Had Me In Tears, Kofi Awoonor

Had death not had me in tears
I would have seen the barges
on life’s stream sail.
I would have heard sorrow songs
in groves where the road was lost
where men foot prints mix with other men foot prints
By the road I wait
“death is better, death is better”
came the song
I am by the roadside
looking for the road
death is better, death is much better
Had death not had me in tears
I would have seen the barges
I would have found the road
and heard the sorrow songs.
The land wreathes in rhythm
with your soul, caressed by history
and cruel geography
landscape ineffable yet screaming
eloquent resonant like the drums
of after harvests.
We pile rocks on terracing love
Carry the pithy cloth
to cover the hearths of our mother.
Come now, you lucky ones
come to the festival of corn and lamb
to the finest feast of this land
come, now,
your lovers have unfurled
their cloths
their thighs glistening like golden knives
ready for the plunging,
for the plentiful loving time.
To whom shall I turn
to what shall I tell my woes ?
My kinsmen, the desert tree
denied us sustenance
long before the drought.
To whom shall I turn
to whom shall I tell my woes?
Some say tell the mother goat
she too is my kinswoman
elemental sister of your clan
But I cannot tell the mother goat
for she is not here.

Poem of the Week: José Dominguez, the First Latino in Outer Space, Dan Vera

In that very first episode
the transmission is received on the starship Enterprise
that Space Commander Dominguez urgently needs his supplies.
Kirk tells Uhura to assure him
that the peppers are “prime Mexican reds
but he won’t die if he goes a few more days without ’em.”
Calm down Mexican.
You can wait a few more days to get your chile peppers.
In the corner of my eye I see Uhura’s back hand twitch
and though I never see him on the screen
I image José giving Kirk a soplamoco to the face.
But this is the year 2266 and there are Latinos in Outer Space!
We never see them, but they’ve survived with their surnames
and their desire, deep in the farthest interplanetary reaches,
for a little heat to warm the bland food on the starbase at Corinth 4.
As it is on earth so it shall be in heaven.
Ricardo Montalbán will show up 21 episodes later
to play a crazy mutant Indio,
superhuman and supersmart
who survived two centuries
to slap Kirk around and take over his ship.

José Dominguez, the First Latino in Outer Space

Poem of the Week: Maybe I’m Amazed, Jim Carroll

Just because there is music
piped into the most false of revolutions
it cannot clean these senses
of slow wireless death crawling
from a slick mirror
1/8th it’s normal size . . .
Marty was found dead by the man literally
blue 12 hours after falling out
at the foot of the Cloisters
with its millions in rare tapestry
and its clear view of the Hudson
and even testing your blue pills
over and over to reverse
my slow situations
I wind up stretched across the couch
still nodding with Sherlock Holmes
examining our crushed veins
Richard Brautigan,
I don’t care who you are fucking
in your clean California air
I just don’t care
though mine are more beautiful anyway
               (though more complex perhaps)
and we have white flowers too
right over our window on 10th St.
like hands that mark tiny x’s
across infinity day by day
but even this crumb of life
I eventually surface toward
continues to nod as if I see you all
through a carefully inverted piece
of tainted glass
shattered in heaven
and found on these streets