July 28, 2014
Balanced on the tip of the tongue

The Names by Billy Collins

Yesterday, I lay awake in the palm of the night.

A soft rain stole in, unhelped by any breeze,

And when I saw the silver glaze on the windows,

I started with A, with Ackerman, as it happened,

Then Baxter and Calabro,

Davis and Eberling, names falling into place

As droplets fell through the dark.

Names printed on the ceiling of the night.

Names slipping around a watery bend.

Twenty-six willows on the banks of a stream.

In the morning, I walked out barefoot

Among thousands of flowers

Heavy with dew like the eyes of tears,

And each had a name –

Fiori inscribed on a yellow petal

Then Gonzalez and Han, Ishikawa and Jenkins.

Names written in the air

And stitched into the cloth of the day.

A name under a photograph taped to a mailbox.

Monogram on a torn shirt,

I see you spelled out on storefront windows

And on the bright unfurled awnings of this city.

I say the syllables as I turn a corner –

Kelly and Lee,

Medina, Nardella, and O’Connor.

When I peer into the woods,

I see a thick tangle where letters are hidden

As in a puzzle concocted for children.

Parker and Quigley in the twigs of an ash,

Rizzo, Schubert, Torres, and Upton,

Secrets in the boughs of an ancient maple.

Names written in the pale sky.

Names rising in the updraft amid buildings.

Names silent in stone

Or cried out behind a door.

Names blown over the earth and out to sea.

In the evening — weakening light, the last swallows.

A boy on a lake lifts his oars.

A woman by a window puts a match to a candle,

And the names are outlined on the rose clouds –

Vanacore and Wallace,

(let X stand, if it can, for the ones unfound)

Then Young and Ziminsky, the final jolt of Z.

Names etched on the head of a pin.

One name spanning a bridge, another undergoing a tunnel.

A blue name needled into the skin.

Names of citizens, workers, mothers and fathers,

The bright-eyed daughter, the quick son.

Alphabet of names in a green field.

Names in the small tracks of birds.

Names lifted from a hat

Or balanced on the tip of the tongue.

Names wheeled into the dim warehouse of memory.

So many names, there is barely room on the walls of the heart.

July 23, 2014

the only TED talk worth its salt

wnyc:

This is somehow both an exquisite takedown and the total perfection of the Ted Talk format, at the same time.

-Jody, BL Show-

May 22, 2014
You can’t trust/ weather and I looked like rain

Let Me Explain by Dora Malech

Spring, and the tulips urged me
stick to schedule, flower furiously.
I asked for mountains but settled
for some flood-buckled linoleum.
Air was the only sure thing
and even she put up a fight.
I called my eyes near-sighted,
my hands near misses, my arms
close calls, my face old hat,
my head a bluff and raised
my body, a wishing machine.
Stars, thanked. Days, numbered.
I wore a coat because you can’t trust
weather and I looked like rain.

April 4, 2014
The Mayor of the Block

newyorker:

image

Bliss Broyard remembers Gilbert Kelley, the homeless man who had lived on her Clinton Hill block: http://nyr.kr/1dU56Iq

“Fall came, and Kelley swept up all the fallen leaves from the many trees on our street. He did this whether or not people paid him. Many people did. We paid him five…

(Source: newyorker.com)

February 23, 2014

(via heyfunniest)

February 12, 2014
The undisputed king of New York

The undisputed king of New York

February 12, 2014

Combing the desert.

(Source: kellymagovern, via heyfunniest)

February 4, 2014
http://peelsofpoetry.tumblr.com/post/75632137301/how-can-the-heart-live-by-james-fenton-how-can

peelsofpoetry:

How Can The Heart Live?
by James Fenton

How can the heart live that loved once so well?
The body that knew love without deceit?
For I remember now I was not mad
Loving my bright unblemished luck
And finding a simple joy in what I had.

And I remember now I was not deceived.
The tongue…

January 21, 2014
ifitwags:

Brothers.

ifitwags:

Brothers.

(via witanddelight)

January 12, 2014
Nothing to do but move

This Inwardness, This Ice by Christian Wiman
This inwardness, this ice,
this wide boreal whiteness
into which he’s come
with a crawling sort of care
for the sky’s severer blue,
the edge on the air,
trusting his own lightness
and the feel as feeling goes;
this discipline, this glaze,
this cold opacity of days
begins to crack.
No marks, not one scar,
no sign of where they are,
these weaknesses rumoring through,
growing loud if he stays,
louder if he turns back.
Nothing to do but move.
Nowhere to go but on,
to creep, and breathe, and learn
a blue beyond belief,
an air too sharp to pause,
this distance, this burn,
this element of flaws
that winces as it gives.
Nothing to do but live.
Nowhere to be but gone.

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