tabby

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Mortification of the Soul
T. Carmi
Yom Kippur on the Sabbath:
instead of shofar blows,
a gray tomcat shoves his horn
into a black tabby;
her complaint goes up to heaven–
the tremulous wails of chastised infants;
his teeth fasten until she bleeds,
the army of his sperm
roars in her womb.

And the parched neighbor
who no longer remembers
when old age overtook her
stands in the window, shrieking:
Enough! Enough! Enough!

 

“Mend my life!”

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The Journey
Mary Oliver
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice —
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voice behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do —
determined to save
the only life that you could save.

frosting on the cake of imagination

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When Our Enemies Fall Asleep
Ewa Lipska
Screen Shot 2017-11-07 at 17.15.49

Photo by Alex Loup on Unsplash

good from the stupid

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Cafe Ennui
Sharon Mesmer
Are we the result of some bizarre narration
of the pleasure principle?
Are we versions of desire, but not desire itself?
Do you often find yourself awash in these vague ideas?
Then nip it in a budding grove.
You should be able by now to discern the good from the stupid.
If not, what you really need is vodka. Vodka. Polish vodka,
& the 99 sacred and profane versions of “louie, louie.”
As for me, what I don’t understand I will loathe,
and what I loathe I will fuck.

Photo (c) 2008 Nico used under Creative Commons license.

new love is faithfulness to the old

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Wait
Galway Kinnell

Wait, for now.
Distrust everything if you have to.
But trust the hours. Haven’t they
carried you everywhere, up to now?
Personal events will become interesting again.
Hair will become interesting.
Pain will become interesting.
Buds that open out of season will become interesting.
Second-hand gloves will become lovely again;
their memories are what give them
the need for other hands. The desolation
of lovers is the same: that enormous emptiness
carved out of such tiny beings as we are
asks to be filled; the need
for the new love is faithfulness to the old.

Wait.
Don’t go too early.
You’re tired. But everyone’s tired.
But no one is tired enough.
Only wait a little and listen:
music of hair,
music of pain,
music of looms weaving our loves again.
Be there to hear it, it will be the only time,
most of all to hear your whole existence,
rehearsed by the sorrows, play itself into total exhaustion.