Saturday, October 29, 2011

Ten-Second Books

Ten-Second Books
(first and last)

Mark Strand, Selected Poems

Unmoved by what the wind does,
The windows
dying little by little into the distance,
wounded me, as this does now.

Mary Ruefle, Selected Poems

All day I have done nothing.
To admonish me a few aspen
quiets me down to the point
I am able to sleep at all.

The Selected Poems and Prose of Paul Celan

The stars whipped at his gaze:
have thorns entered his ways
Here am I.

Marjorie Welish, Word Group

The dress
The other dress
through who goes furthest in mention against the glass to accrue subentries (F’s rival, etc.). If names retire,
name the criteria once frequenting the index. A kind of forensics of situations is under way.

Bernadette Mayer, Poetry State Forest

when my children were growing up
we never had candy at home but
who still tends to titles as if all of us
are reading a new book called The New Life.

John Tranter, Urban Myths

When I was a young man, a drink
often rescued me from the factory floor
I’ll die, just like that, for her sake. For my sake.
Say goodbye. Never leave me.

Frank O’Hara, Selected Poems

When I was a child
I played by myself in a
improving your soul’s expansion
in the night and developing our own salt-like praise

Cole Swensen, Try

Throughout the history of painting
Risen until caught in rising. Arrested.
physical intimacy, so one day she said, there’s something I think I should tell
you; I have no left hand.

John Ashbery, Planisphere

Is it possible that spring could be
once again approaching? We forget each time
Life had been forgotten.
Love me anyway, he said.

The Selected Poems of Max Jacob

Doesn’t lightning look the same to a foreigner? Some-
one who was at my parent’s home was commenting
light, for the house to be built again and the ochre hill-
side covered with flowers.

Rosmarie Waldrop, Love, Like Pronouns

A swallow cuts an arc along the roofs, cuts it again, as if to
move the horizon inward. Light spills through my chest,
To draw a black line. Was my intention.
The page is otherwise dark.

Mark Bibbins, The Dance of No Hard Feelings

In Antwerp this afternoon the Museum of Anaesthesia,
the reason one goes to Antwerp, is closed. A way
Hell is coming.
Hell is here.

David Kirby, The Temple Gate Called Beautiful

Sometimes I see my dead parents: at the end of the street,
say, or just ahead of me in the ticket line. At times
the first button I touch, and somewhere
in the building there are feet on the stairs, and a door opens.

Randall Mann, Breakfast with Thom Gunn

The moon, once full, is snow.
The line of transplanted trees,
by the dead, a florist—what else? I’ll tell you.
But soft, the story starts anew.

Rae Armantrout, Next Life

For lack of which
we put ourselves
Be twice as far
and halfway back

Paul Otremba, The Currency

is a horse hung from the ceiling, the dumb
hoisted weight and the weight of the harness,
because with a click it’s a throttled Isaac
staring out, ignoring both knife and canvas.

Jorie Graham, The Dream of the Unified Field

The Way Things Work
is by admitting
I say iridescent and I look down.
The leaves very still as they are carried.

Matthew Zapruder, Come On All You Ghosts

Erstwhile means long time gone.
A harbinger is sent before to help,
anyone with a mind
who cares can enter.

Tomas Tranströmer, The Great Enigma

Waking up is a parachute jump from dreams.
Free of the suffocating turbulence the traveler
The apple trees in blossom.
The great enigma.

Dana Levin, In the Surgical Theatre

The assistants lift him gently,
gently. For a moment, the one lifting under his arms
it is the work, Sophia, wisdom, jewel,
it is the work.

Martha Ronk, In a Landscape of Having to Repeat

In a landscape of having to repeat.
Noticing that she does, that he does and so on.
First an elbow, finally a fact.
Forgetting, the hardest part.


At 10/29/2011 2:34 PM, Blogger David Grove said...


One enters as one enters
Corset & chord. What simmers quietly
to determine if the falling
Clouds rally like cattle along the horizon.

(Made of first lines from Spencer Short's Tremolo. The title is the word verification I'm looking at.)

At 10/31/2011 8:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

(by Rachel Levitsky)

City built in frames framed by these
lines that signal generally good stingy
I have failed
to replace them.

(by Joseph Lease)

Try saying wren.
It's midnight
you're lying in a pool of blood
I hear that everywhere I go

(by David Lau)

Farewell drained fen--the judge, fielded
from a cautionary atmosphere's ruling body,
So we were telling. It hadn't happened yet.
As the shore sounded.

At 10/31/2011 8:32 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...


Nice. Mine were more straight math. The first two lines of the first poem and the last two lines of the last poem in a book. It's fascinating how they usually make a rather persuasive whole.



At 10/31/2011 9:06 AM, Blogger David Grove said...

Some straight math here.

Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell:

Rintrah roars and shakes his fires in the burdened air,
Hungry clouds swag on the deep.
Nor pale religious lechery call that virginity that wishes, but acts not!
For everything that lives is holy.

AC/DC, Highway to Hell:

Livin easy
Lovin free
There ain't nothin you can do
Shazbot Nanu Nanu

At 10/31/2011 10:23 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

David! I like that.

I tried a few songs and mostly they don't waork as well for me, as they continue to repeat the last lines often.

But here's one anyway. R.E.M., of course.

That's great, it starts with an earthquake, birds and snakes, an aeroplane,
Lenny Bruce is not afraid. Eye of a hurricane, listen to yourself churn.
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.
(It's time I had some time alone)

At 11/02/2011 10:14 PM, Blogger Jason Bradford said...

What Narcissism Means to Me by Tony Hoagland

That one night in the middle of the summer
when people move their chairs outside
We just want to give time many homemade gifts,
covered with fingerprints and kisses.


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