months – january

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January
Charles Simic

Children’s fingerprints
On a frozen window

Of a small schoolhouse.
An empire, I read somewhere,

Maintains itself through
The cruelty of its prisons.

mystery to himself

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In the Snow
Charles Simic
Tracks of someone lost,
Bleakly preoccupied,
Meandering blindly
In these here woods,

Licking his wounds
And crunching the snow,
As he trudges on,
Bereft and baffled,

In mounting terror
With no way out,
Jinxed at every turn,
A mystery to himself.

you covered with feathers

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Like the twist of a knife, the shaft penetrates – first a naked man wandering freely through city streets, covered in feathers and erect. Then suddenly, the twist – a different man, a broken disaster of a man, “quarrelsome and desperate”. These who populate.

About the Knife
Novica Tadić

Screen Shot 2018-08-19 at 10.23.53

calling a spade a spade

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Spade
Novica Tadić
To live without any news
in the boonies
like any wretched, luckless person.

Go to town and buy a spade
as if intending to turn over a garden.

Instead, find your humble place
in the village graveyard,
swing high and dig yourself a grave.

Set it up, decorate it, write on it.

Find your humble place
in a world gone mad.

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

tell her

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The Message
Charles Simic
Take a message, crow, as the day breaks.
And find the one I hold dear,
Tell her the trees are almost bare
And the nights here are dark and cold.

Learn if she lights the stove already,
Goes to bed naked or fully dressed,
Sips hot tea in the morning, watching
Neighbors’ children wait for a school bus.

Tell her nothing fills me with more sorrow,
Than the memory of seeing her
Covering her face with her hands
When she thought she was alone.

Help me, bird, flapping from tree to tree
And calling in a voice full of distress,
To some fond companion of yours
You’d like to see flying by your side.