Yahweh my Shepherd : April 2014

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Must Read

Istanbul 1983
In the frozen square, the student asks me if I will
sell him the books from my backpack. He hides them
under his winter coat. Steam rises from the whole
wheat rolls we break open at the breakfast table.
We drink hot apple tea and pronounce the skyline
“charming.” In a jail a man counts the visible bones,
and recounts them in the blaze of morning. To turn
a self to light proves painful — each piece must
be dissected in turn; you pass through every feeling
imaginable, so many you might make a dictionary — 
dread to disgust, delight to degradation. The prisoner
remembers wanting only to read as if in a fever — 
running fingers over pyramids of words as if he might
translate himself from this life to a more vivid existence
in which he cuts open the pages with a knife in
plain sight of everyone like a man eating meat and
potatoes at the dinner table. Not that world; this one
where blue light and sharpened files, where identikit
and stamps on passports, where the book in his back-
pack is a crime, and I have sold him down the river
for ideas I barely value — the volumes flung carelessly
across my hotel room, while he picks mushrooms on
the edge of dread, pallid ghosts of what won’t speak
or be spoken. Or where I remember what it is to
be present in the world, and I turn away, unable to
bear it — so much light and dread, so much in the darkness
growing or simply how hard to ever remain in place.

Laughing the Day Away

A poem of sorts

Unwitting accomplice in the scheme of law   
she thought to violate, man-set as it was,   
and, here, inconsequential as the sun   
at midnight, drought at flood-time—
when she heard a baby in the tall reeds   
at the river’s brink, she was nobody’s   
daughter, subject of no rule
but the one his need for her established   
as she knelt down to quell his crying   
with a little tune just seeing him there   
had taught her how to hum.

                                        Now as then,
it is the same tune, timelessly in time,   
your mother hums as she kneels down   
beside your little barge of foam,
smiling to see you smile when she wrings
out from the sponge a ragged string   
of water over the chest and belly,   
the dimpled loins, the bud so far   
from flowering, and the foot slick
as a fish your hand tries to hold up
till it slips back splashing
with such mild turbulence that she laughs,   
and you laugh to see her laugh.

Here now, as it was then, it is still
so many years before the blood’s smeared   
over doorposts, before the Nile clots   
with the first-born, and the women   
wailing,wailing throughout the city;
here now again is the kingdom of pleasure,   
where they are safe still, mother and child,   
from the chartered rod of the Fathers,   
and where a father can still pray, Lord,   
Jealous Chooser, Devouring Law, keep   
away from them, just keep away.
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Alan Shapiro, “In the Kingdom of Pleasure” from Covenant (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1991). Copyright © 1991 by Alan Shapiro. Reprinted with the permission of the author.

Source: Covenant (The University of Chicago Press, 1991)
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Alan R. Shapiro b. 1952

Monday, April 14, 2014

An Old Trip

"Certainly things happen reoccur in continuous promise all of us have found a safe niche where we can store up riches and speak to our fellows on the same premise of disaster"

Jim Morrison

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

New Blog!


A blog dedicated to Truth, Peace, Joy, and Love. 

I enjoy how the author of this blog looks and perceives the worlds both around us and within us. Check out 
this blog if you are looking for answers for life's more difficult questions, and maybe
some practical insight as to why you are here and what you are here to do, and explore.