3060 Chapters
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Medium 9781574414479

Oakland Work Crew

Gibson Fay-LeBlanc University of North Texas Press PDF

Oakland Work Crew

Dan said, My life is a nine with the hammer cocked, chuckled, told of standing on a brown lawn naked, three hundred pounds of pure Mick-Spic: shooting at a Chevelle, tire marks on concrete.

Told how, inside, you heat a sharpened Bic and a guy carves DannyBoy or Norteaño on your neck.

Prince pictured faint patterns on ceiling tiles in his dreams and a pot with a ten in it when he finds where color begins. He brought a picture: he’s thirteen,

Liberia, wide smile, fatigues, kalishnikov hugging his shoulder. Told of barefoot soccer, running on bricks, the grace of a clean pass.

I’m worth more than someone I meet, Rich said, then described his daughter, his girl, and ladies here, there. He explained what it means to be a baldhead, why, if he sees a Sudeaño on Third, he can’t be held responsible what’ll happen.

Told us which old school Cutlass’ is hella tight.

Larry kept saying, High as an Oaktown sky, that’s all he said, aside from claiming vines or brush or poison oak we cut and pulled were a J with a hit so big he’d vanish. Never told us what we knew: clapboard house, cracked talk, brothers to keep in shoes.

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Medium 9781847770684

The Need to Praise

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

The Need to Praise

What do you say when Summer returns overnight,

When the world is painted in deep, rich gold? You want

New words for sudden Summer.

After cold nights and icy mornings, we were

Bathed in sunshine and felt lighter wherever

We went and however long

We stayed. I am a Summer child whose birthday

Is in July but here was Summer all over

Again, all over the late grass of our meadows

And the half-dome of the sky was a radiant blue.

I wanted to praise, I needed a new Book of Hours

Painted by unseen holy ones, enchanted

By God as man and creator of the world.

O it is sweet to be

Suddenly warm in October in suddenly green

Fields and ubiquitous trees.

Oxford, Heatwave, Tourists

Lift up your eyes, I say,

Above the upper windows of tall houses,

Above the horror of high-rise grey, stone flats,

Above the dirty air and all the pallid pollutions.

Lift up your eyes

A foot or a yard or so.

Because in this city tight-packed, angry with tourists

The dwellers here feel cast out,

Yes, I feel cast out,

In this attention to a pleasure of helpful breeze

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Medium 9781574412420


Richard Carr University of North Texas Press PDF
Medium 9781847770684

The Dandy

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

Listens and waits for the far-off hum, the drowning,

The sliding and suck of shingle

As if an echo were lifted off the surface

Of water, as if the sea, withdrawn for long,

Left only the sound of itself and this he hears

Dim in the corridors of the twisted shell;

For him now, more than the real sea, this is

Promise and expectation of worlds where he

Might possibly sail. The shell,

Sleeping in its own silence, admits all seas.

And the child, still in the mood for every promise

Rewarding him, listens to great commotions,

To storms abating, to men dragging on driftwood,

And does not know that never will sea so sound,

That shores which wait for his footprints now will never

So slip like a shadow beneath

His mind, as this shell now in perfect silence

Steeps his whole being in seas now forever nameless.

The Dandy

The elegance you wore was more than grace,

I watched the way you lifted up your hand,

No casual gesture, each limb knew its place,

And every pause in speech was carefully planned.

Also the shifting surface of your face

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Medium 9781847772671


Medium 9781847770974

11 nearly nearly near Hira

Gallas, John Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF
Medium 9781847770684

Any Poet’s Epitaph

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF
Medium 9781847770684

A Kind of Catalogue

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

A Kind of Catalogue

Item, a cloud, and how it changes shape,

Now a pink balloon, then a white shift

From a Victorian doll. The forms won’t keep

One pattern long. Item, a flow of wind

Carrying dust and paper, gathering up

Rose petals. Item, a command of sun

Subtly presented on a lifted face,

A shaft of light on leaves, darkness undone

And packed away. Item, limbs moved with grace,

Turning the air aside. Item, my own

Observations, now Lot This, Lot That

Ready for an unseen auctioneer.

The bidders are half-conscious choices met

To haggle. Signs are made, sometimes I hear

My whisper bidding for Lot This, Lot That.


The hallowed, the special flyer, I mean the sparrow,

A flash of feathers and tiny body, a quick

Nerve, a spirit of speed and certainly one

To copy when you are tempted to turn from the sun.

Sparrow of ‘special providence’ teach to us

Your joy, your gladness, your success, for you

Live in accord with that power which moves

You fast and far. Your flights and pauses bring

Delight to us. We are not surprised you were chosen

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Medium 9781847771322

Certain Windows

Burt, Dan Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

Certain Windows

We trail no clouds of glory when we come. We trail blood, a cord that must be cut and post-partum mess that mix with places, people, and stories to frame the house of childhood. We dwell in that house forever.

In time there will be others, bigger, smaller, better, worse; but how we see the world, how much shelter, warmth, food we think we need, whether the outer dark appears benign or deadly depend on what we saw from certain windows in that house. We may burn, rebuild, repaint or raze it, but its memories fade the least; as dementia settles in the first things are the last to go.

Despite the enduring brightness of childhood’s colors we may touch them up, sometimes garishly, to infuse the humdrum with romance as we grow old. Testosterone wanes, breasts sag, but in some, perhaps secretly in most, the adolescent hunger to allure and seduce, swagger and swash-buckle remains.

The inherent dishonesty and danger of romantic reconstruction are reasons enough to try to record as accurately as possible what we saw, if we record at all. Vanity’s subversions are another; respect for acquaintances, editor and the few readers interested in context or what appears unusual a third. Last, there is the flicker rekindling the past throws on why someone picks up pen, or brush or camera.

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Medium 9781847770684

Against the Dark

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

Against the Dark

I have lived in a time of opulent grief,

In a place also of powers

Where self-indulgence can break your purchase on life

But now I inhabit hours

Of careful joy and rousing gratitude.

My spirit has learnt to play

And I have willed away the darker mood

And now I want to say

That verse is hostile to shadows and casts you out

When you have mourned too long.

Images always rise from the root of light

And I must make my song

Truthful, yes, obstinate too and yet

Open to love that takes

Language by the hand and ignores regret

And also our heart-breaks.

Words use me. Time is a metronome

I must keep in mind always.

Nobody really knows where poems come from

But I believe they must praise

Even when grief is threatening, even when hope

Seems as far as the furthest star.

Poetry uses me, I am its willing scope

And proud practitioner.

The Sea as Metaphor

You can always use the sea

As an emblem of almost anything but, of course,

You must take the rough, the overriding white horses,

The mountains of snow tipping over and lengthening, spreading

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Medium 9781847770998

Marie de France

John Gallas Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

F is for France

Marie de France was probably born around 1150. Writing in AngloNorman, she produced lays, saints’ lives and a version of Aesop’s Fables.

Denis Pyramus, a critical monk, pronounced that though her lays were

‘not at all true’, they were read and loved by many.


Hello, here we go, the Tale of Goatleaf just how it happened, my pleasure, honestly, truly, cross my heart, all the whys, wherefores, whats and howses got from Several Serious Spoken Sources and a book.

’Tis all about Tristram and the Queen and their lovely pure Love that made them miserable and miserabler and then they died on the same day exactly.

King Mark gets mad about it, their Love, he is sad and angry at Tristram Nephew and banishes him to Beyond because he loves the Queen and he Tristram goes to South Wales where he was born and lives there for a Whole Year without seeing her oh dear, so then he is ready to Risk It All,

Death and Destruction, but not a surprise surely because a True Loyal Lover has a terrible time, gets depressed when he can’t get what he wants, that is the Queen.

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Medium 9781847770998

Evening Time

John Gallas Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF
Medium 9781885635136

Economy of Winter

Rob Schlegel The Center for Literary Publishing ePub

Sun peels paint from one side of the vacant house
and the fields turn fallow in the absence of tractors.

A sudden wind disquiets the chimes
and the half-dead cottonwood pays dearly

from its empty pockets; its heavy branches
nod bluntly, threatening nothing but the public road.

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Medium 9781847770684

The Bats’ Plea

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

I would sympathise with you were I not so busy

But bend down over me, you who are not yet tall

And be proud of all you contain in a body so small.

The Frogs’ History

You caught and carried us, pleased with yourselves.

We were only blobs of black in jars.

You knew what we’d become, were glad to wait.

How hectically we swam in that glass cage!

And there was never hope of an escape.

You put us on a shelf with more care than

You generally move. We were a hope,

A something-to-look-forward to, a change,

Almost a conjuring trick. Some sleight of nature

Would, given time, change us to your possessions.

We would be green and glossy, wet to touch.

‘Take them away,’ squeamish grown-ups would

Call out. Not you. You longed to hold us in

Your dry palms with surprising gentleness

And with a sense of unexpected justice

Would let us go, wanted to see us leap

And watch our eyes which never seem to sleep,

Hear our hideous but lively croak.

We know as well as you we are a joke.

The Bats’ Plea

Ignore the stories which say

We shall fly to and tangle your hair,

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Medium 9781847770684

Poem in Winter

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

Only I have changed while he

With neither epilogue nor prologue

Has time in his net caught

As the mind holds a thought.

Children in the Square

I play now with the thought of being a child

As children in the square below me play

Soldiers or emperors, play at being me.

Almost we reach each other and convey

Ourselves almost into the other’s world.

Theirs is the large and the complete success

Since wholly built by them. But I because

I have been in the square indeed like them

Must build from facts, must take my present theme

Not from imagination but from time.

They make a future from suggestions, hints,

While I must reconstruct my innocence.

Children are still in the square and I am here:

It is not I but they who have the power

To offer back a childhood to share.

Passive I let them play at being me.

And slip into their country by that way.

Poem in Winter

Today the children begin to hope for snow

And look in the sky for auguries of it.

It is not for such omens that we wait,

Our world may not be settled by the slow

Falling of flakes to lie across our thought.

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