Poetry Magazine : December : 2008

“It’s paunch and palimony time” : Roddy Lumsden : The Beautiful and The Damned

Todd Boss : Were I to Wring a Rag

Joan Houlihan : Who kills my history

A quote from Ange Mlinko:

Two flags nuzzle each other in the desultory gust
because they are
fleeing the trees, who are cruel to one another,
shading their neighbors to death
T.S. Eliot hated the word “television” and I’ve always agreed, it’s an ugly word but reading Michael Rutherglen’s “Plasma” I realize we can now use “flatscreen” and convey that word exactly.
Despite using the incorrect plural for “octopus” Caki Wilkinson’s “Lares and Penates” is quite good.
because the clutter drives a need
for more, more room, more hours, food,
more use of the subjunctive mood . . .
tomorrow, yes, we must succeed
in keeping peace and making time
to garden, and to read.
Nicky Beer writes a poem about a Poet and an Octopus (Ad Hominem) it reminds me of one of my favorite poems by Leigh Hunt posted below:

The Fish, the Man, and the Spirit

You strange, astonished-looking, angle-faced,
Dreary-mouthed, gaping wretches of the sea,
Gulping salt-water everlastingly,
Cold-blooded, though with red your blood be graced,
And mute, though dwellers, in the roaring waste;
And you, all shapes beside, that fishy be,—
Some round, some flat, some long, all devilry,
Legless, unloving, infamously chaste:—
O scaly, slippery, wet, swift, staring wights,
What is’t ye do? What life lead? eh, dull goggles?
How do ye vary your vile days and nights?
How pass your Sundays? Are ye still but joggles
In ceaseless wash? Still nought but gapes, and bites,
And drinks, and stares, diversified with boggles?

Amazing monster! that, for aught I know,
With the first sight of thee didst make our race
For ever stare! O flat and shocking face,
Grimly divided from the breast below!
Thou that on dry land horribly dost go
With a split body and most ridiculous pace,
Prong after prong, disgracer of all grace,
Long-useless-finned, haired, upright, unwet, slow!
O breather of unbreathable, sword-sharp air,
How canst exist? How bear thyself, thou dry
And dreary sloth? What particle canst share
Of the only blessed life, the watery?
I sometimes see of ye an actual pair
Go by! linked fin by fin! most odiously.

Indulge thy smiling scorn, if smiling still,
O man! and loathe, but with a sort of love;
For difference must its use by difference prove,
And, in sweet clang, the spheres with music fill.
One of the spirits am I, that at his will
Live in whate’er has life—fish, eagle, dove—
No hate, no pride, beneath nought, nor above,
A visitor of the rounds of God’s sweet skill.
Man’s life is warm, glad, sad, ‘twixt loves and graves,
Boundless in hope, honoured with pangs austere,
Heaven-gazing; and his angel-wings he craves:—
The fish is swift, small-needing, vague yet clear,
A cold, sweet, silver life, wrapped in round waves,
Quickened with touches of transporting fear.