June 26, 2008


Hank was
          a train wreck,
          a mangled form,
          raging, abusing,
          simpering, weeping.
He wrote
          like modern
          beams exposed,
          ugly proving honest.
And for this
          he was
          razor-strapped, acne-pocked,
          drunk pugilist Bukoski
          is too easy.
We are the ones
          who puzzle me.

—Dan Edwards

Posted by dwaber at 12:55 PM

June 25, 2008


It is almost midnight
          when the bright moon
makes its way high enough
          to just peek
through the tops
          of Carolina forest.

You, in your agonies,
          in the fullest sense of agoniea
          – athletic strain –
          – not the agony of defeat;
                    there is no agony in defeat –
          but in the struggle toward consummation.

You, in your agonies,
          are furious, empty, and
                    deliriously grateful.
You have seen
          just enough
          through the tree tops.

—Dan Edwards

Posted by dwaber at 01:04 PM

June 24, 2008


Blessed are those who can read Neruda
          in Spanish or Merwin or Mitchell.
Blessed are they for there are times
          when the heart is too dull
and then those times it is not
          nearly dull enough.

But blessed are you
          when Neruda speaks your very soul;
and almost blessed when he speaks
          your soul remembered
                    almost fondly.

—Dan Edwards

Posted by dwaber at 01:48 PM

June 23, 2008


“Poems came rarely and at a cost.”
                                        Wendy Hirsch writing of Louse Bogan

Like children.
Like love,
          the kind that turns night magic.
Like truth
          that settles to the center and stays

—Dan Edwards

Posted by dwaber at 12:54 PM

June 20, 2008


Allen Ginsberg, small and wizened,
          gray hair of head and face
          flying out in all directions.
Allen Ginsberg, hand organ groaning,
          sang off key,
          “Lay down. Lay down yr. mountain.
          Lay down God.”
Wrote it for Bob Dylan

          on the Rolling Thunder Tour.
Allen Ginsberg, small and wizened
          author of Kadish, Howl, and Mind Breaths,
but whose best poem was being
          Allen Ginsberg, small, wizened,
          gray hair of head and face
          flying out in all directions.

—Dan Edwards

Posted by dwaber at 01:38 PM

June 19, 2008


If I had Mary Oliver’s ducks,
          it would be a different story.
We might be talking
          National Book Award or better.
Mary Oliver’s ducks, or David Whyte’s
          – not to mention Annie Dillard’s –
          make life worth living
          no matter what your people are up to.
They quack and a quiet joi de vivre
          seeps into your soul.

But the ducks in my neighborhood
          are big and ugly,
          the size of geese and just as vicious.
Red, splotchy faces betraying some ancestral liaisons
          with turkey buzzards.
One has a wing that sticks straight out,
          – his badge of honor from a bar room brawl.
The ducks in my neighborhood
          chase the dogs.
          Even the menacing chow turns tail.

Large these ducks, but quick of webbed foot.
They hurry between your car and the porch,
          block your path, demanding bread,
                    then your watch.
You cannot write poems about such ducks.
Even Mark Strand could not
          – they have escaped from his disquiet dreams.

Oh but if I had Mary Oliver’s ducks,
          it would be a different story.

—Dan Edwards

Posted by dwaber at 01:25 PM