9 poems for 9 days of poetry month

9 poems by 9 authors better known for something that isn't poetry

1) James Joyce -- best known as an author of novels, including Ulysses and A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man.

A Flower Given to My Daughter

Frail the white rose and frail are

Her hands that gave

Whose soul is sere and paler

Than time's wan wave.

Rosefrail and fair -- yet frailest

A wonder wild

In gentle eyes thou veilest,

My blueveined child.

2) D. H. Lawrence - best known as the author of novels such as Women in Love and Sons and Lovers.

Self Pity

I never saw a wild thing

sorry for itself.

A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough

without ever having felt sorry for itself.

3) Denis Johnson - best known as the winner of the National Book Award for his novel Tree of Smoke.

Surreptitious Kissing

I want to say that

forgiveness keeps on

dividing, that hope

gives issue to hope,

and more, but of course I

am saying what is

said when in this dark

hallway one encounters

you, and paws and

assaults you—love

affairs, fast lies—and you

say it back and we

blunder deeper, as would

any pair of loosed

marionettess, any couple

of cadavers cut lately

from the scaffold,

in the secluded hallways

of whatever is

holding us up now.

4) Mike Doughty - best known as a singer-songwriter who once was the lead singer of the now defunct band from the nineties, Soul Coughing

From a Gas Station outside of Providence

This kiss, unfinished, lips to receiver in the parking lot,

a pucker shot through a fiber optic wire

to an answering machine

toward switchboards and stations transmitting

in blips to satellites, this kiss

thrown earthward and shooting down

coils, around pipeline and electric power

lumbering underground,

up threads and transistors

and transference points.

This kiss is zeroes and ones jumbled

and tossed into a pneumatic system,

unscrambled at the end and scrawled

onto a tape recorder slowly rolling

at the side of your bed,

then slapping back, reverbed

off the ringer, a tinny phantom

of the smooch like a smack on

an aluminum can, up the same

veins through the belly of the same satellite

and softly to the side of my head;

this kiss is home before the next exhalation leaves.

I'm stooped in the booth,

pounding quarters into the slot;

yellow light droops over the asphalt,

and your ghost, too cool

and elusive with those hands and mouth

sings around me in the smell of gasoline;

whose mouth is this, scratched in static,

some droplet of a sigh, atomized,

and sputtering digitized into my room?

5) Tupac - best known as an excellent West Coast rapper who was mysteriously killed

The Rose that Grew from Concrete

Did you hear about the rose that grew

from a crack in the concrete?

Proving nature's law is wrong it

learned to walk with out having feet.

Funny it seems, but by keeping it's dreams,

it learned to breathe fresh air.

Long live the rose that grew from concrete

when no one else ever cared.

6) Jack Kerouac - best known for his novel On the Road and as one of the main men of the Beat Generation in the fifties.

Bus East

Society has good intentions Bureaucracy is like a friend

5 years ago - other furies other losses -


trying to control the uncontrollable Forest fires, Vice

The essential smile In the essential sleep Of the children Of the essential mind


all thru playing the American

Now I'm going to live a good quiet life


world should be built for foot walkers


rivers Of spiney Nevady


am Jake Cake


Write like Blake


horse is not pleased Sight of his

gorgeous finery

in the dust Its silken


did disgust


arent kind Kiddies anent sweet


in Nevada - Investigating Dismal Cheyenne Where the war parties

In fields

of straw

Aimed over oxen At Indian Chiefs

In wild headdress Pouring thru

the gap

In Wyoming plain

To make the settlers

Eat more dust than dust

was eaten In the States From East at Seacoast Where wagons made up To dreadful


Of clazer vup



Anxious to masturbate The Mongol Sea (I'm too tired in Cheyenne -

No sleep in 4 nights now, & 2 to go)

7) Roald Dahl - best known as a children's author, most famous for books like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda and James and the Giant Peach.

I Had a Little Nut Tree

I had a little nut-tree,

Nothing would it bear.

I searched in all its branches,

But not a nut was there.

'Oh, little tree,' I begged,

'Give me just a few.'

The little tree looked down at me

And whispered, 'Nuts to you.'

8) Ernest Hemingway - best known for his novels such as The Sun Also Rises and For Whom the Bell Tolls.


The only man I ever loved

Said good bye

And went away

He was killed in Picardy

On a sunny day.

9) Roberto Bolano - best known for his novels such as The Savage Detectives and 2666.

Godzilla in Mexico

Listen carefully, my son: bombs were falling

over Mexico City

but no one even noticed.

The air carried poison through

the streets and open windows.

You'd just finished eating and were watching

cartoons on TV.
I was reading in the bedroom next door

when I realized we were going to die.

Despite the dizziness and nausea I dragged myself

to the kitchen and found you on the floor.

We hugged. You asked what was happening

and I didn’t tell you we were on death’s program

but instead that we were going on a journey,

one more, together, and that you shouldn’t be afraid.

When it left, death didn’t even

close our eyes.

What are we? you asked a week or year later,

ants, bees, wrong numbers

in the big rotten soup of chance?

We’re human beings, my son, almost birds,

public heroes and secrets.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Saying Farewell to a Writer and Friend: David Markson

Alice Notley : at Rowan University on Monday, 4/26

2017 Movies: Call Me By Your Name and Get Out