National Poetry Month — Day 29

Yesterday I posted a poem by Rick Lupert from his forthcoming collection, Romancing the Blarney Stone. Today I’m featuring another from that collection which I like in particular for its use of very specific imagery to put us into a scene.

 

***

 

Show Yourself Dublin

 

Two days without sleep.
Our feet have quit their jobs.
Potatoes of every kind inside us.
At least three kinds of whiskey.
Dublin is a city like other cities.
They pick up the trash.

They erect their spires.
They move you from one room
to the other if you don’t like the smell.
There are three more days to
come out of your shell, Dublin.
Wake us up. Shine for us.

People have been telling us
not to kiss the stone, but
we’ve come all this way, I feel
we’re going to kiss the stone.
We can no longer see the river
from our hotel window.

 

***

 

Rick Lupert has been involved with L.A. poetry since 1990. He is the recipient of the 2014 Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center Distinguished Service Award and was a co-director of the Valley Contemporary Poets for two years. He created the Poetry Super Highway ( http://poetrysuperhighway.com/ ) and hosted the weekly Cobalt Cafe reading for almost twenty-one years. His first spoken word album, “Rick Lupert Live and Dead” featuring twenty-five studio and live tracks, was released in March, 2016. He’s authored nineteen collections of poetry, includingProfessor Clown on Parade, Romancing the Blarney Stone (both forthcoming from Rothco Press in May, 2016), Making Love to the 50 Foot Woman (Rothco Press, May 2015), The Gettysburg Undress and Nothing in New England is New, and edited the anthologies Ekphrastia Gone Wild, A Poet’s Haggadah and the noir anthology The Night Goes on All Night. He also writes and draws (with Brendan Constantine) the daily web comic Cat and Banana. He is regularly featured at venues throughout Southern California.

 

 

National Poetry Month — Day 28

My friend Rick Lupert, whom I know from the years when I was teaching in Los Angeles in the late ’90s, writes wonderful, accessible, fun poetry which I enjoy so much. He once wrote me a poem, almost twenty years ago, that was so intentionally terrible it made me laugh so hard I cried. I copied it into a tiny journal where I recorded things that made me tremendously happy.

Today’s poem, “Somewhere Over Canada,” is from his forthcoming book Romancing the Blarney Stone, poems written in and on the way to and from Ireland, last summer.

 

***

 

Somewhere Over Canada

 

It is 7:30 in the morning and my eyes are
staging a revolution of closing hours.

I message Brendan to ask if he is awake
with a quick follow up telling him I am not.

They will not hold planes for tired people.
So if you wish to go to a place that is

different from the place you are in
you will need to defer to the schedules

of others. Behind me they discuss
the size of water bottles. This is a topic

I have nothing to add to. They say this
flight is nonstop but I can’t imagine

any other kind.

 

***

 

Rick Lupert has been involved with L.A. poetry since 1990. He is the recipient of the 2014 Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center Distinguished Service Award and was a co-director of the Valley Contemporary Poets for two years. He created the Poetry Super Highway ( http://poetrysuperhighway.com/ ) and hosted the weekly Cobalt Cafe reading for almost twenty-one years. His first spoken word album, “Rick Lupert Live and Dead” featuring twenty-five studio and live tracks, was released in March, 2016. He’s authored nineteen collections of poetry, including Professor Clown on Parade, Romancing the Blarney Stone (both forthcoming from Rothco Press in May, 2016), Making Love to the 50 Foot Woman (Rothco Press, May 2015), The Gettysburg Undress and Nothing in New England is New, and edited the anthologies Ekphrastia Gone Wild, A Poet’s Haggadah and the noir anthology The Night Goes on All Night. He also writes and draws (with Brendan Constantine) the daily web comic Cat and Banana. He is regularly featured at venues throughout Southern California.

 

 

Featured Poet: William Butler Yeats

Okay, so I’ve decided to go with a classic today.  It probably doesn’t need a lot of introduction.

***

Easter, 1916

 

I have met them at close of day
Coming with vivid faces
From counter or desk among grey
Eighteenth-century houses.
I have passed with a nod of the head
Or polite meaningless words,
Or have lingered awhile and said
Polite meaningless words,
And thought before I had done
Of a mocking tale or a gibe
To please a companion
Around the fire at the club,
Being certain that they and I
But lived where motley is worn:
All changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.
.
That woman’s days were spent
In ignorant good-will,
Her nights in argument
Until her voice grew shrill.
What voice more sweet than hers
When, young and beautiful,
She rode to harriers?
This man had kept a school
And rode our wingèd horse;
This other his helper and friend
Was coming into his force;
He might have won fame in the end,
So sensitive his nature seemed,
So daring and sweet his thought.
This other man I had dreamed
A drunken, vainglorious lout.
He had done most bitter wrong
To some who are near my heart,
Yet I number him in the song;
He, too, has resigned his part
In the casual comedy;
He, too, has been changed in his turn,
Transformed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.
.
Hearts with one purpose alone
Through summer and winter seem
Enchanted to a stone
To trouble the living stream.
The horse that comes from the road,
The rider, the birds that range
From cloud to tumbling cloud,
Minute by minute they change;
A shadow of cloud on the stream
Changes minute by minute;
A horse-hoof slides on the brim,
And a horse plashes within it;
The long-legged moor-hens dive,
And hens to moor-cocks call;
Minute by minute they live:
The stone’s in the midst of all.
.
Too long a sacrifice
Can make a stone of the heart.
O when may it suffice?
That is Heaven’s part, our part
To murmur name upon name,
As a mother names her child
When sleep at last has come
On limbs that had run wild.
What is it but nightfall?
No, no, not night but death;
Was it needless death after all?
For England may keep faith
For all that is done and said.
We know their dream; enough
To know they dreamed and are dead;
And what if excess of love
Bewildered them till they died?
I write it out in a verse—
MacDonagh and MacBride
And Connolly and Pearse
Now and in time to be,
Wherever green is worn,
Are changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.