Alayna, 26, Philadelphia.

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It’s September: I’ve moved into town,
into the attic of an old barn—a big open room I reach
by climbing a ladder that rises through a hole in the floor.
The room is long and high, with windows at each end,
a row of skylights that leak rain, and shake
and chatter in the northeast winds. I sleep beneath
the roof’s steep pitch, my mattress flat on the boards,
looking up at the high ceiling, where morning
diffuses downward in grains of bright dust.

This was the old painter’s studio.
The light in those famous canvases is still here
—he couldn’t carry it away with him—
though his paintings took away everything else,
opening space with a stroke of blue or yellow.
I think of his violent loves, the stories
they still tell about him here.
But how quiet and alive his paintings were,
how they quiver with the life not yet realized.

Cynthia Huntington, from “The Attic,” The Radiant (Four Ways Books, 2003)

(Source: apoetreflects)


12:28 am     95 notes
September 19 2014
Post tags: #poetry  #september 

The Gift

motherground:

To pull the metal splinter from my palm
my father recited a story in a low voice.
I watched his lovely face and not the blade.
Before the story ended, he’d removed
the iron sliver I thought I’d die from.

I can’t remember the tale,
but hear his voice still, a well
of dark water, a prayer.
And I recall his hands,
two measures of tenderness
he laid against my face,
the flames of discipline
he raised above my head.

Had you entered that afternoon
you would have thought you saw a man
planting something in a boy’s palm,
a silver tear, a tiny flame.
Had you followed that boy
you would have arrived here,
where I bend over my wife’s right hand.

Look how I shave her thumbnail down
so carefully she feels no pain.
Watch as I lift the splinter out.
I was seven when my father
took my hand like this,
and I did not hold that shard
between my fingers and think,
Metal that will bury me,
christen it Little Assassin,
Ore Going Deep for My Heart.
And I did not lift up my wound and cry,
Death visited here!
I did what a child does
when he’s given something to keep.
I kissed my father.

— li-young lee


9:29 am     15 notes
June 21 2014
Post tags: #poetry  #DADS 

And see how the flesh grows back
across a wound, with a great vehemence,
more strong
than the simple, untested surface before.
There’s a name for it on horses,
when it comes back darker and raised: proud flesh,

For What Binds Us, Jane Hirshfield

(Source: oncealoyallover)


11:37 pm     252 notes
May 20 2014
Post tags: #poetry 

Memory in the Wine

motherground:

After Terrance Hayes

This trip. This seat. This wine. This bottle. This wine.
This sleep. This empty heart. This love, quickly crawling,
light floating outside the window of the plane. This silence.
This glass. This trembling. That is where I lie on the bed
by the wall, next to a window in the light of dawn. How
soon, how well, should a man and a woman make love?
How soon, how well, have I loved? On the bed, on the couch,
on the couch, on the bed. Love, like a train wreck, love, like
a cold bath. Love, like a brimming purse and a brimming
purse heavy and overpowering. This trip. This seat. This wine,
this torture. This book. This poem in a book. This wine
on the tongue. This memory in the wine.

— hope maxwell snyder


9:51 pm     11 notes
April 2 2014
Post tags: #poetry 

Don’t Hesitate

motherground:

If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy,
don’t hesitate. Give in to it. There are plenty
of lives and whole towns destroyed or about
to be. We are not wise, and not very often
kind. And much can never be redeemed.
Still, life has some possibility left. Perhaps this
is its way of fighting back, that sometimes
something happens better than all the riches
or power in the world. It could be anything,
but very likely you notice it in the instant
when love begins. Anyway, that’s often the
case. Anyway, whatever it is, don’t be afraid
of its plenty. Joy is not made to be a crumb.

— mary oliver


8:08 pm     215 notes
March 7 2014
Post tags: #mary oliver  #poetry 

Tim Riggins Speaks of Waterfalls

iknowyouwillbehappyhere:

You want to know what it was like?
It was like my whole life had a fever.
Whole acres of me were on fire.
The sun talked dirty in my ear all night.
I couldn’t drive past a wheatfield without doing it violence.
I couldn’t even look at a bridge.
I used to go out in the brush sometimes,
So far out there no one could hear me,
And just burn.
I felt all right then.
I couldn’t hurt anyone else.
I was just a pillar of fire.
It wasn’t the burning so much as the loneliness.
It wasn’t the loneliness so much as the fear of being alone.
Christ look at you pouring from the rocks.
You’re so cold you’re boiling over.
You’ve got stars in your hair.
I don’t want to be around you.
I don’t want to drink you in.
I want to walk into the heart of you
And never walk back out.

— Nico Alvarado


12:28 pm     41 notes
February 23 2014
Post tags: #poetry  #tim riggins  #LISTEN  #I CAN'T GET OVER THIS  #fnl 

You want to know what it was like?
It was like my whole life had a fever.
Whole acres of me were on fire.
The sun talked dirty in my ear all night.
I couldn’t drive past a wheatfield without doing it violence.
I couldn’t even look at a bridge.
I used to go out in the brush sometimes,
So far out there no one could hear me,
And just burn.
I felt all right then.
I couldn’t hurt anyone else.
I was just a pillar of fire.
It wasn’t the burning so much as the loneliness.
It wasn’t the loneliness so much as the fear of being alone.
Christ look at you pouring from the rocks.
You’re so cold you’re boiling over.
You’ve got stars in your hair.
I don’t want to be around you.
I don’t want to drink you in.
I want to walk into the heart of you
And never walk back out.

— Nico Alvarado
Tim Riggins Speaks of Waterfalls”  (via underwaternow)

(Source: typicrobots, via underwaternow)


11:17 pm     2,182 notes
February 20 2014
Post tags: #poetry  #this is the most important  #tim riggins  #fnl  #favorite 

millionsmillions:

“I used to go out in the brush sometimes,/So far out there no one could hear me,/And just burn.” In the new issue of Gulf Coast, Nico Alvarado writes poems from the perspective of Friday Night Lights’s Tim Riggins including “Tim Riggins Speaks of Waterfalls” and “Tim Riggins Invents a New Number.”

millionsmillions:

“I used to go out in the brush sometimes,/So far out there no one could hear me,/And just burn.” In the new issue of Gulf Coast, Nico Alvarado writes poems from the perspective of Friday Night Lights’s Tim Riggins including “Tim Riggins Speaks of Waterfalls” and “Tim Riggins Invents a New Number.”

(via petitchou)


9:10 pm      263 notes
February 20 2014
Post tags: #WHAT  #POETRY  #TIM RIGGINS  #FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS 

April 2: Louis McKee, “That Goddamn Moon”

apiarymagazine:

That Goddamn Moon

—for Maria Muldaur

Tonight the moon is like a tambourine,
like the one a woman played in a jug band
I saw once and fell in love with,
it must be thirty years ago now,
but I did that kind of thing back then, fell
in love as easily as that, and I still remember,
it had skin bruised brown from the serious heel of her hand,
and you could see she was serious, the way she laughed
and pranced back and forth across the crowded stage,
the moon shimmering in the hand over her head,
and with the heel of her other one ringing out a song,
while a bunch of her friends, all guys, stood around
or sat spooking at the mouths of fat clay jugs
and running clacking spoons along the length of their thighs,
even pulling at some kind of strings that ran from the bridge
of a old mop and over the belly of a big wash tub.
Maybe you had to be there, to see and hear
the magic of the music, the madness of the moon, but tonight…
I mean, would you look at that goddamn moon.

   —Louis McKee. Mad Poets Review. Volume 23, 2009.  

(via muscovite)


7:45 pm     36 notes
January 13 2014
Post tags: #poetry 

On Being Left

motherground:

There’s a woman in me who drinks poison
like water, thinks it’s what she needs
to stay alive. I wish she’d learn to savor
water’s plain taste, enjoy quench and calm.

But give her hurricane and drowned
peony blooms and she smiles, raises
her face to the rain and says, Hit me.

I can’t stand feeling wind on my skin
because it’s not your hands.

I don’t know how not to hand you
the match, how not to let you strike it
and light this house on fire, how not
to relish disappearing into ash,
my bones crumbled, an exploded
plum all that’s left of my heart.

The ground that is not true
ground but spindled grief.

After you’ve swum in the ocean, felt
the current, wave-crash, and depth
that goes deeper, deeper, and darker,
to choose a lake, with its smooth
and silt, no matter how fresh the water,

how relieved the skin to be rid of
the salt’s sting, is to ignore the hunger
of the man brave enough to love the sea.

— marie-elizabeth mali


12:36 pm     52 notes
January 7 2014
Post tags: #poetry 

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