October 30, 2007

His Poems

Some lie, pins set, in a field of phlox, a living room, the road to the store; the smallest contact and they explode; hence, the poet’s country is full of the limbless.

Others, read without protection, whiten a watcher’s eyes instantly so he spends the rest of his life in snow.

The poet’s readers understand the risks, yet each book he flings into the crowd lands in
a pair of eager hands.

How can this be? Is it a trick the poet plays? Who are these readers? What can we do
to bring them here?

—Lola Haskins

Posted by dwaber at 03:36 PM

October 29, 2007

Epitaph for a Poet

Here lies Richard.
He tried to improve on silence.

—Lola Haskins

from Desire Lines, New and Selected Poems, BOA Editions, 2004

Posted by dwaber at 05:05 PM

October 28, 2007

Spell for a Poet Getting On

May your hipbones never die.
May you hear the ruckus of mountains
in the Kansas of your age, and when
you go deaf, may you go wildly deaf.

May the neighbors arrive, bringing entire aviaries.
When the last of your hair is gone, may families
lovelier than you can guess colonize
the balds of your head.

May your thumbstick grow leaves,
May the nipples of your breasts drip wine,
And when, leaning into the grass, you watch
The inky sun vanish into the flat page

of the sea, may you join your lawn chair,
each of you content
that nothing is wise forever.

—Lola Haskins
From The Rimbenders, Anhinga 2001

Posted by dwaber at 01:28 PM

October 27, 2007


                San Antonio, Florida

They don't mow on Sundays in San Antonio.
They keep the seventh day for Paz
and Neruda, for Simic angels
whose wings are made of smoke.

And they walk their dogs softly in
the mornings, so they will not miss
the smallest utterance of Whitman
or of John Claire, who pace the parks

early, when a ground fog's rising
and the oranges are lanterns
on their stems. And sometimes
they go to bed changed. And

they'll swear it was not they who
fumbled in their sheets at dawn,
as the poets rose like grass, and
the mowers coughed and were still.

—Lola Haskins
From Desire Lines, New and Selected Poems, BOA Editions, 2004

Posted by dwaber at 01:15 PM

October 26, 2007

Sleep Positions

This is how we sleep:
On our backs, with pillows covering our chests, heavy as dirt
On our sides, like wistful spoons
Clenched, knees in-tucked, arms folded
Wide, like sprawling-rooted lotuses

In Iowa on top of pictures of Hawaii, huge white flowers on blue
In New York on black satin
In China on straw.

This is how our dreams arrive:
As hot yellow taxicabs
As sudden blazing steam, we who have been pots on a stove,
looking only at our own lids
As uninvited insects, all at once on our tongues.

O hairdresser, auditor, hard-knuckled puller of crab traps, you who
think poetry was school, you who believe you never had
a flying thought,
lie down.

—Lola Haskins
From Desire Lines, New and Selected Poems, BOA Editions, 2004

Posted by dwaber at 02:31 PM