Daily Postings
Literature : Word Choice


Harutaka Matsumoto, Water, 2012, digital c-print, 16.5 × 22 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

Love Song
January 10, 1985


Like a punch in the face
planetary lights and stars,
do I see Spring.
The ground is frozen.
Dawn like the colors of an old fire
illuminates the south-east.
The ground is frozen solid,
yet not to permafrost,
yet not to this inner core
which glows like coals for you.
Overcast comes, overcast goes
the ground is frozen but not the core,
but not your eyes
which glow like coals
but not to permafrost.

 

Sonnet
October 1984


In the middle of Autumn
early when the skies
show the dawn
still hovering in trees
and the geese, a series
of arrows break form
for another unknown bird
that catches our eyes,
I can’t return.
While overhead one storm
in the bird’s neck feathers carries
the dampness of the journey


soaked with our laughs and whispers
in the subterfuge of happiness

 

 

 

Street Wise Romantic
December 7, 1984


The streets are empty and still,
between the red time,
then start again.
Trucks bouncing by,
cars to work, work.
The farms are disappearing as I noticed
years ago along this old route.
Now the farms lie beneath
hotels, office complexes whose beauty
is beyond the senses
in some economic realm fortified
by the delusions of power and inequity.
But the farms are lying beneath
and large poisonous plants
fusing the electrical circuits beneath.
No there’s no death to evil,
it rises again, now in war, now in bucks
now in land, now in power,
it rises up forever until the end,
when the light may intercede and remain.
Seek refuge from the fantasy
into one other fantasy.
We see violence done on subways on streets
but we don’t see violence done
in a new class system or economic twist.
Does it murder just as well?
Nothing can be done.
It will go on and on
until the intercessions of the sun.
Everything else has failed, and will,
but the innocence of youth
and the momentum of dawn.

 

 

 

Morning Touched
January 22, 1986


This morning Walt Whitman
walked past me
Ed Poe sat next to me with a coffee
Emmy Dickinson watched
TV with me in amazement
in detachment
Hart Crane waved to me
from a boat as I hung over a bridge,
Waldo Emerson sat meditating,
pen in hand. Bill Williams was
looking out the window
everything dripping wet
as I passed.
Hank Thoreau rested in
the fog of a huge wetland.
Wally Stevens, notebook under arm
sad eyes, moved under the cloudy brightness.
H.D. and Gertrude walked
toward me from the railing
of the departing ship,
Langston Hughes sang weeping.
This morning Walt Whitman
walked past me.

 

 

 

Autumn Torches
September 10, 1984


Monday morning in the Americas
cloudy bright, cloudy bright,
cloudy bright, clouds to bright.
The earth people going to work.
So this is what it’s like
to be in a trance awakened by the fires
and silence in the cold
with soft voices disappearing.
The day coming on like an intoxication
with no control on the watery shore
of struggle in autumn.
Monday morning
the screech of my eyes
opening into dawn
My eyes speeding to the woman
standing over me;
In my ear
a mother and father returning
for an instant, the bread and coffee
on the hot stones
in the next room dream.
I have turned in my sleep.
Do I enter the deep?


Monday morning creation ascending
to celestial paradigm
in the conflagration
of dumped computers
and magnetic erasure of world data.
The coffee staining
the arms straining,
a ladle pouring
ingots in the noise.
The strength returning
to the center of the crossed body
Another kiss another sigh
Monday morning:
in the sky
a bird’s cry.

Joseph Ceravolo (1934-1988) was a poet and civil engineer who was born in Astoria, Queens, and lived in New Jersey. He was the author of six published books of poetry, and won the first Frank O’Hara Award. In 2013, Wesleyan University Press published his Collected Poems.

For more art by Harutaka Matsumoto, visit his website.

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Poetry
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