Re: Housman

I to my perils
came not like A.E. Housman
“clad in armor by stars benign”
I swam to them in my PJs
hair kinked, water logged
and trouble was a bonfire.

Trouble was the thing he kept his mind on huh
Trouble was the thing he took to supermarkets
hoping This was the day
right by the spinach
he could be a true and worthy victor
‘cause his mind was in the game.
Did he want to prove himself stronger than us
the mortals who wished for everything sweet

I wished too hard for time to pass
and passing is the great gift and curse of prickly knees.
I tugged myself through marshes by tufts of leg hair
to which I gleamed a shining eye to Hope
I’d not trifle with a fleeting love
or luck money or mock fame.

Turns out every part of me is mortal fool,
and Housman, he’s under the stars
Hands behind his head, grinning
because he left out a stanza.

From the Notebook: King Arthur was a Tragedy

“In the age of romance and chivalry, steam seeped through open hearts now it’s a gas leak up the nose and on fire. Love is now combustible. Love is now the library. Love is now the golden gilded spine of ancient text.

July 1st 2017.”

like: “love is now the library”
dislike: “ancient text”

Here’s the new version. As you can see, I’ve added a title and altered the imagery. This poem did not undergo a heavy edit, and that’s okay. Sometimes, I write a long poem only to keep one or two lines, or images, or ideas. Other times, like in this case, I keep it mostly the same.

King Arthur was a Tragedy
In the age of romance and chivalry
steam seeped through open hearts
now it’s a gas leak.
Up the nose.
On fire.

Love is now combustible.
Love is now the library.
Love is now the golden
gilded spine of mildew books
that bury in your head
songs and hatchets alike.

Eva

A.E. Housman notebook poem

It’s been a while since I wrote here and I’ll tell you why. JOBS. Two of them.

This is newly written, and like my earlier stream of consciousness poem, I took a whole page and threw out some words.

here’s a legible version:

I to my perils
came not like A.E. Housman
clad in armor by stars benign.
I swam to them in my PJs
water logged, hair kinked
and trouble was a bonfire.
I was the mosquito and the jet was my blood meal.
Whoever shaved before 8th grade wished too hard for time to pass
and passing is the great curse and gift of prickly knees.
I dragged myself through marshes by tufts of leg hair
to which I gleamed a shining eye to Hope
I’d not trifle with a fleeting love
or mad money and me, the poet,
the victim of my own desires.
If I was a better friend, the last line
would have been my own design.

College

College

The buttons on my blender told me
Crush. Grind. Pulverize.
I stuck my mind in and pressed all three.

I left the lid off, can you imagine
the kitchen ceiling?
My clothes splattered with essays

Essays splattered with me
My roommates gave me the short straw
and told me to suck it up.

Remember in elementary when health teachers
stuck coffee straws in your lips and said
“that’s what it’s like to be a smoker”?

Then you went to recess for the black lungs
and mourned the loss of their monkey bar callouses.
You hoped they could make it up the stairs.

Then you went to college and wished you were still
the swinging champion of your grade school
but every time you test it, voltage shakes your ankles

When you die they’re gonna put you on a big ole sling shot
They’re gonna pull you back, aim
and shoot your body into quicksand

where you will sink and drown. It will be so shitty
that the lightning buildup in your legs will flip the switch to your brain
You’ll open your eyes (you dummy!) and kick your feet

like a dolphin you’ll shoot straight up from the surface.
Summer air will suck the sand from your nostrils like sugar,
and a classmate will ask for an extra pencil.