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#1466 - Thursday, June 19, 2003

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  • Jerry Katz
    #1466 - Thursday, June 19, 2003 - Editor: Jerry This edition of The Highlights consists of a few poems selected from the following web page:
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 20, 2003
      #1466 - Thursday, June 19, 2003 - Editor: Jerry
      This edition of The Highlights consists of a few poems selected from the following web page:
      First you might want to view some unusual sacred images at http://www.livejournal.com/community/sacredphoto/. I believe you'll need a fast connection.

      Ron Padgett


      It's not that hard to climb up
      on a cross and have nails driven
      into your hands and feet.
      Of course it would hurt, but
      if your mind were strong enough
      you wouldn't notice. You
      would notice how much farther
      you can see up here, how
      there's even a breeze
      that cools your leaking blood.
      The hills with olive groves fold in
      to other hills with roads and huts,
      flocks of sheep on a distant rise.

      Kay Ryan


      Emptiness cannot be
      compressed. Nor can it
      fight abuse. Nor is there
      an endless West hosting
      elk, antelope, and the
      tough cayuse. This is
      true also of the mind:
      it can get used.


      Kay Ryan

      Death by Fruit

      Only the crudest
      of the vanitas set
      ever thought you had to get
      a skull into the picture
      whether you needed
      its tallowy color
      near the grapes or not.
      Others, stopping to consider
      shapes and textures,
      often discovered that
      eggs or aubergines
      went better, or leeks,
      or a plate of string beans.
      A skull is so dominant.
      It takes so much
      bunched up drapery,
      such a ponderous
      display of ornate cutlery,
      just to make it less prominent.
      The greatest masters
      preferred the subtlest vanitas,
      modestly trusting to fruit baskets
      to whisper ashes to ashes,
      relying on the poignant exactness
      of oranges to release
      like a citrus mist
      the always fresh fact
      of how hard we resist
      how briefly we’re pleased.

      Kay Ryan

      Nothing Ventured

      Nothing exists as a block
      and cannot be parceled up.
      So if nothing's ventured
      it's not just talk;
      it's the big wager.
      Don't you wonder
      how people think
      the banks of space
      and time don't matter?
      How they'll drain
      the big tanks down to
      slime and salamanders
      and want thanks?

      ~ ~ ~

      Two Poems by Kay Ryan


      What would the self
      disrobed look like,
      the form undraped?
      There is a flimsy cloth
      we can't take off—
      some last chemise
      we can't escape—
      a hope more intimate
      than paint
      to please.


      That Will to Divest
      Milan Kundera

      Action creates
      a taste
      for itself.
      Meaning once
      you've swept
      the shelves
      of spoons
      and plates
      you kept
      for guests,
      it gets harder
      not to also
      simplify the larder,
      not to dismiss
      rooms, not to
      divest yourself
      of all the chairs
      but one, not
      to test what
      singleness can bear,
      once you've begun.

      Kay Ryan

      Backward Miracle

      Every once in a while
      we need a
      backward miracle
      that will strip language,
      make it hold for
      a minute: just the
      vessel with the
      wine in it —
      a sacramental
      refusal to multiply,
      reclaiming the
      single loaf
      and the single
      fish thereby.

      Matthew Rohrer
      You have already noted the girlish beauty
      of the Morning Glory,
      the delicate lavender panties.
      Looking around you,
      as far as you can see,
      plants are imprisoned.
      Each morning Morning
      Glories open upstairs,
      out of sight.
      Each night the concrete lies
      like a hot compress on the dirt.
      Thank you for your brief attention.
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