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Posts Tagged ‘villanelle’

The ad says “you’ll ski faster” in your two-piece racing suit

with underarm venting and elastic waistband—

and it’s fully sublimated, whatever that means.

It’s enough to make a woman want to pay three hundred bucks

for the front-zip top and the drawstring cord,

because a woman will ski faster in her two-piece racing suit.

Never mind that she’s been eating Barbara’s cheese puffs for breakfast.

Never mind she’s drinking Pepsi and sneaking her son’s grape Nerds.

The suit is fully sublimated, whatever that means,

and surely that’s enough to make up for the fact

that she hasn’t even walked more than a block or two all fall.

The ad says she’ll ski faster in her two-piece racing suit,

and she chooses to believe it. Why would they lie?

It will stretch (great!) and moves with her for maximum performance,

and it’s fully sublimated, whatever that means.

Yeah, she’ll be winning all the races this year for sure

in her breathable blue fabric (with mesh panels where she needs it most).

You bet she’s laying down the bucks for her two-piece racing suit—

you know, it’s fully sublimated, whatever that means.

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Make that case for darkness.
—Cameron Scott

All day the sun is lavish with its gold—
it touches every surface that it finds,
but there is nothing darkness will not hold.

In morning, all the garden flowers unfold
and midday light encourages the vines—
all day the sun is lavish with its gold.

The jeweled snake emerges from the cold,
receives the sun to warm its cambered spine,
but there is nothing darkness will not hold.

Like sun, it holds the blooms, the vines, the bold,
it also holds the undersides, the hinds.
All day the sun is lavish with its gold,

still there’s so much it cannot touch. Its whole
domain is only surface deep. Confined.
But there is nothing darkness cannot hold—

all forms, all feelings, shadows, spaces, souls.
Dark knows no differences, it draws no lines.
All day the sun is lavish with its gold,
but there is nothing darkness will not hold.

*A NOTE ON TODAY’S FORM … AS EXPLAINED BY POETS.ORG

The highly structured villanelle is a nineteen-line poem with two repeating rhymes and two refrains. The form is made up of five tercets followed by a quatrain. The first and third lines of the opening tercet are repeated alternately in the last lines of the succeeding stanzas; then in the final stanza, the refrain serves as the poem’s two concluding lines. Using capitals for the refrains and lowercase letters for the rhymes, the form could be expressed as: A1 b A2 / a b A1 / a b A2 / a b A1 / a b A2 / a b A1 A2.

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Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.
—Albert Einstein

Am I a woman dreaming she’s a bear?
Or bear who’s dreaming she’s a woman, lost?
I cannot find the answer anywhere.

One thing’s for sure, the bear is not aware
she might be dreaming. She is hungry, cross.
Am I a woman dreaming she’s a bear?

The woman, on the other hand, she cares
if it’s dream. Are these her teeth? Her paws?
She cannot find the answer anywhere.

The she-bear lifts her nostrils to the air
and sniffs. She feels the edge of coming frost.
Am I a woman dreaming she’s a bear?

The woman falls down to her knees and stares,
confused by her wide footprints in the moss.
She cannot find the answer anywhere.

It’s time to sleep? It’s time to wake? I swear
I cannot say. Are these my hands? Or claws?
Am I a woman dreaming she’s a bear?
I cannot find the answer anywhere.

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Contemplating the unattractive nature of the body debilitates sensual lust, the first of the five hindrances … By mentally dissecting the body into its organs, tissues and fluids, we see that “the mark of the beautiful” that fuels sensual desire is merely a subjective projection superimposed on a collection of unappealing parts.
—Bhikkhu Bodhi, “The Four Protective Meditations,” Tricycle, Summer 2012

My dear, the Buddhist monk could not have known
when he suggests my mind dissect your parts
how beautiful your lungs, medulla, bones.

Such gold streams through your bile ducts! I’d clone
your pineal gland. Your thymus is fine art.
My dear, the Buddhist monk could not have known

the curve of your amygdale, how toned
your cerebellum, spleen so red so dark,
how beautiful your pancreas, your bones.

I’d make mosaics of your kidney stones
and build an altar for your muscled heart.
My dear, the Buddhist monk could not have known

how all your parts appeal so. I’ve grown
to love your splanchnopleura, liver marks,
your beautiful esophagus, your bones,

your hypothalamus, untamed hormones.
My favorite? Man, I don’t know where to start.
I’m sure that Buddhist monk could not have known
how beautiful your ganglions, your bones.

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for my father-in-law

I do not know how to remember him—
his bluster, thunder, warmth, his glassy sea.
He was like weather, changing all the time.

Like two words that almost, but do not rhyme,
that’s how we loved. We’d try, but seldom met.
I do not know how to remember him.

I’d hide a bit each time that he’d come in,
unsure if he would snarl or want to please.
He was like weather, changing all the time.

Drought. Flood. The rain with softest hands
that turns to hail. A mist that’s miles deep.
I do not know how to remember him.

White out. And the blue sky after. Wind
that breaks the limbs. And docile morning breeze.
He was like weather, changing all the time.

The memories rearrange like leaves in autumn.
What is this urge to want to rake them neat?
I do not know how to remember him.
He was like weather, changing all the time.

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