Monday

Mar. 30, 2009

When Somebody Calls after Ten P.M

by Bruce Dethlefsen

Suicide Aside

by Bruce Dethlefsen

When Somebody Calls after Ten P.M.

when somebody calls after ten p.m.
and you live in wisconsin
and you're snug in your bed

then all's I can tell you
somebody better be missing
somebody better had a baby
or somebody better be dead

Suicide Aside

suicide aside
try watching birds
regard them as they fly like salt to bread
spice up this crusty world

a giant spider web
their lines of flight
tie up and bind the world

they fly
birds jump up in the air and stay
you try it
flap your arms for all you're worth
no way      you're stuck
they’re free to leave the world

the colors
lemon zest and lime and berry
sugar coffee cream
and all the rest
sublime delicious flavors how
our eyes drink in the world

and listen to them sing
the wind becomes a thing alive
with music whistles squawks and chirps
a melody of world

so tell me why you thought you'd rather die
check out      pluck all the feathers
close the lights

alright don't tell me
but please me
stick around a while
with me to watch the birds
see how they swirl and turn the world

'When Somebody Calls after Ten P.M." and "Suicide Aside" by Bruce Dethlefsen, from Breather. © Fireweed Press, 2009. Reprinted with permission

It's the birthday of playwright Sean O'Casey, (books by this author) born John Casey in the slums on the north side of Dublin (1880). His father died when he was six years old, and the family had no money. O'Casey had a chronic eye disease and only went to school for three years. But he taught himself to read by the time he was 13, and a few years later, he went to work on the railways. He wrote many plays, including The Shadow of a Gunman (1923), Juno and the Paycock (1924), and The Plough and the Stars (1926).

He said, "Laughter is wine for the soul — laugh soft, or loud and deep, tinged through with seriousness. Comedy and tragedy step through life together, arm in arm. ... Once we can laugh, we can live."

And, "All the world's a stage, and most of us are desperately unrehearsed."

And, "I think we ought to have as great a regard for religion as we can, so as to keep it out of as many things as possible."

It's the birthday of poet Paul Verlaine, (books by this author) born in Metz, France (1844). He began writing poetry when he was young. He married a woman named Mathilde, and they had a son together, but Verlaine was abusive to both his wife and his son. Shortly into the marriage, he received his first letter from an admiring poet, 17-year-old Arthur Rimbaud. Rimbaud moved in with Verlaine and his wife, and the two men began a passionate affair. Verlaine's marriage to Mathilde soon ended, and he and Rimbaud moved to London, and then Brussels. Verlaine was an alcoholic, and one afternoon, in a drunken rage, Verlaine shot the young Rimbaud, and hit him in the wrist. Rimbaud wasn't seriously injured, but Verlaine was imprisoned. He continued to write poetry for the rest of his life.

He wrote:

The long sobs of
The violins
Of autumn
Lay waste my heart
With monotones
Of boredom.

And,

You must let your poems ride their luck
On the back of the sharp morning air
Touched with the fragrance of mint and thyme ...
And everything else is Literature.

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®

 









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