You believe not in words but in words in / lines

A poetry tumblr run by former roommates likeitalics and kantmonkey.

Jan 10


I pine. There is an obstacle to our love.

Every time I hear the post man, I think: At last, the letter!
He has overcome the obstacle—

(It is a large obstacle, an actual alp, with a tree line and sheer rock face
streaked with snow even in July)

for love of me! For three years, nine decades, and one century or so, there
has been no letter. I still wait for the letter.

But lately I wonder if my predicament is outside the human,
neither noble nor farcical; if my heart courts pain

because it aims for immortality, something grander
than I can imagine. Most of what I imagine,

what I want, is small: Hands with mine in the sink, washing dishes,
the smell of wool, feet tangling with mine in bed. I know

the gods punish the proud, but I do not yet know
why they punish the humble. Although after all

it is not humble to ask, every minute or so, for happiness.

April Bernard, “Romance”

From Romanticism

Jan 9


Zeus always introduces himself
As one who needs stitching
Back together with kisses.
Like a rock star in leather

& sapphires—conflagration
& a trick of silk falling
Between lost chances & never
Again. His disguises are almost

Mathematical, as Io & Europa
Pass from their dreams into his.
This lord of storm clouds
Is also a sun god crooning desire

& dalliance in a garden of nymphs.
Some days, he loves gloxinia,
& others, craves garlic blooms—
Hera, Aegina, & Callisto in the same song.

Yusef Komunyakaa, “Infidelity”

Dec 21
Personal Helicon
for Michael Longley

As a child, they could not keep me from wells
And old pumps with buckets and windlasses.
I loved the dark drop, the trapped sky, the smells
Of waterweed, fungus and dank moss.

One, in a brickyard, with a rotted board top.
I savoured the rich crash when a bucket
Plummeted down at the end of a rope.
So deep you saw no reflection in it.

A shallow one under a dry stone ditch
Fructified like any aquarium.
When you dragged out long roots from the soft mulch
A white face hovered over the bottom.

Others had echoes, gave back your own call
With a clean new music in it. And one
Was scaresome, for there, out of ferns and tall
Foxgloves, a rat slapped across my reflection.

Now, to pry into roots, to finger slime,
To stare, big-eyed Narcissus, into some spring
Is beneath all adult dignity. I rhyme
To see myself, to set the darkness echoing.”
Personal Helicon, by Seamus Heaney

Dec 20
No Swan So Fine

“No water so still as the
     dead fountains of Versailles.” No swan,
with swart blind look askance
and gondoliering legs, so fine
     as the chintz china one with fawn-
brown eyes and toothed gold
collar on to show whose bird it was.

Lodged in the Louis Fifteenth
     candelabrum-tree of cockscomb- tinted buttons, dahlias,
sea-urchins, and everlastings,
     it perches on the branching foam of polished sculptured
flowers—at ease and tall. The king is dead.”
"No Swan So Fine" by Marianne Moore

Dec 19
"Songs: III" by Glenn Ward Dresbach

"Songs: III" by Glenn Ward Dresbach

Dec 18

Top W-I-L Poems of 2013

Here are our top 10 reblogged/liked poems of the year! Enjoy.

1. Walking Around an Albuquerque Airport Terminal by Naomi Shihab Nye

2. The Glass Essay by Anne Carson

3. Card 19: The Sun by Brenda Shaughnessy

4. Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe

5. Don’t Let me be Lonely by Claudia Rankine

Runner up:

6. The Machine by Ted Hughes

Dec 17
from Ill-Advised Love Poem

Come live with me
And we will sit

Upon the rocks
By shallow rivers

Come live with me
And we will plant acorns

In each other’s mouth
It would be our way

Of greeting the earth
Before it shoves us

Back into the snow…”

from “Ill-Advised Love Poem” by John Yau.

Read the rest here.

Dec 16

I’m in the house.
It’s nice out: warm
sun on cold snow.
First day of   spring
or last of   winter.
My legs run down
the stairs and out
the door, my top
half   here typing
by Ron Padgett

Dec 15
The Snow Man

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.”
by Wallace Stevens

Dec 14
Kronos: Father of the Year

my mouth a cunt in reverse and my guts, nuts.
I nose the dark nursery, belly for my dick spurting ink at shit.

Fire. Arrow.
Water. Shadow.
you know no kid’s name a word, but some shit-to-do.
no kid ain’t shit but a map to its folk
traced by its folk to where they buried their folk.

took that shit that made me to make me make myself myself,
rolled in on papa’s red nuts like they a fucking chariot.

these days my guts stay aching. my head an empty crib.

I sit to my work on me to work on. life is its own hunger for itself.
I want only one to feed.”
by Douglas Kearney

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