poetryrepairs 15,02:024


for your reading pleasure, verse
from new and established poets
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Souls that lurk in bonfires built By oyster lovers on beaches along The Apalachee coast send their heat Toward the night stars over the Gulf Keys hanging in the dark South beyond Sight. Some return with smuggler's Dreams or wild pirate tales of skiffs Caught near the Everglades and captains Whose wives and children worry alone. Souls gathered in that moment light Share tales and dreams while laughing At ghost stories told by beached Oystermen to someday sailors cuddled In their mothers' arms. When talk No longer seems a bargain traded for Lost sleep, oyster lovers wrap in warm Blanket and Grandma quilt while children And souls that lurk in bond fires listen To the crackle of the blazing wood. Such were the damp cool nights I spent Outside Carabelle along Ochlockonee inlet Waiting for the Least Tern and Anhinga Who would fly on morning's breeze Along the line of first sun rays rising In the East. They would cry for the lost Captains and their wives of oyster lovers, But never for the souls caught up in flames That died only to awake again someday. "Perish the thought," my mother said, "That you'll spend your days searching Along the waters of the Gulf. There's No pearl in that gruesome shell, none What you can take to the grave. Only Sadness on the sea," she said. "Only Sadness on the sea." Full against my mother's hope, I left; filled With smuggler's dreams I'd somehow caught Near the warmth of bonfires built on beaches Along the Apalachee coast, I searched inlets She had not suspected could be found: Miami Riptides and Dog Key whirlpools, Key West bars And shoals near Tampa Bay. I am a sailor's son And only sadness on the sea can bring me back. Or listen to the souls on beaches along the coast - I will be there.

Previously published in Dekalb Literary Arts Journal
poetryrepairs #209 15,02:024


Overhead, four little legs pumping, a dog in harness to an aerborne blimp: how pretty the graceful blue lines, so like DaVinci’s sketches, here, enacted, the dog, eager, tongue out to wind, paddles and pants, runs a little treadmill, brings all to settle neatly on cogs in the spring park. No one takes note but I.

poetryrepairs #209 15,02:024

Buster Keaton

"Sympathy For The Devil" resuscitates our adrenalin strongbox. The trailer park's strip lights twink as we fish up the lift-thumbing Beat by the painted milepost at The Far Side Of Reality. And snatchin' at the blinker-signal dodge-dust up Thunder Road onto the cloverleaf freeway interchange and open the throttle for a chuckle at the drive-in movies.

poetryrepairs #209 15,02:024

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Jeff Friedman and DZVINIA ORLOWSKY announce the publication of a co-translation from Polish of Memorials: A Selection. Mieczyslaw Jastrun is regarded among the most respected Polish poets of the 20th century, and it is 'our great privilege to introduce in English a selection of strongest and most haunting lyric poems'. If you have a moment, please check out http://www.lavenderink.org/content/diag/294-memorials. Praise for Mieczyslaw Jastrun and Memorials

There is great sorrow in these later poems of the remarkable Polish poet Mieczyslaw Jastrun whose great mastery of form and metaphysical thought are apparent throughout. The beauty of these spare lines and images both surprise and deepen the mystery of his complete engagement with experience: “Chrysanthemums, purple/ with anger, almost disappeared in shadow,” “the cup extinguishes the drinker,” “Ancient deaths/linger/in vineyard branches./Are these not stony gorges?/Is nature dead?/Don’t eat the bread/and the water isn’t for drinking.” Experience for Jastrun was a matter of faith as well as intimate revelation, not to mention survival. These are truly extraordinary poems. Hats off to their translators, who have somehow managed to bring forth both his “cold fire” and “tree of sorrow/ rooted deep in my heart.”  —Philip Schultz

Quintilian in Institutio Oratoria writes, “For I do not want translation to be mere paraphrase, but a struggle and rivalry over the same meanings.” In a similar vein, ORLOWSKY and Friedman render Mieczyslaw Jastrun into a new idiom to convey the inexplicable. As in the theological definition of translation as an act of miraculous displacement, these translations transform and enthrall the originals. Through these transformations, Jastrun’s poems return as dybbuks to fulfill their mission, to ask crucial questions: “Can we ever fully comprehend mist, arctic lichen, hoary young planets?” “Has the word become flesh?” The mullein and broom, birches and poplars and other “paragraphs of greenery” will lead us through Jastrun’s incantations. Memorials is a prayer of outcasts and exiled kings. A prayer which redeems the omnipresent trees into crosses where “every sound is a form of silence”; “where the shade of poplar mutes us like a finger held to the lips.” In these wild, extravagant lines, I feel humanity, I feel faith.
—Ewa Chrusciel