Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added)
is the best-kept secret among contemporary American writers.
--John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture

Thursday, January 12, 2012

9 poems in "Mezzo Cammin"

Nine bites from the nine poems up at the brand new issue of Mezzo Cammin, edited by poet Kim Bridgford: lots of good company, too!  The last poem is an excerpt from Thaliad, forthcoming from Phoenicia Publishing in Montreal. The eight preceded are from the manuscript, The Book of the Red King. I'll be sending that one out by the end of the year.

The Desire for the Red King 

Certain people live among our kind,
So strange they might be gold or cinnabar,
So different from us in turn of mind.


"My Poor Fool Is Hanged"

Who knows why the pages strung him up?
For nine hours he was hung at tower-top,
Roped by a foot, one leg crossing the other,



Scholastic Interlude

The college came and begged the Fool to teach;
They gave him bags of silver and a wand
For rapping on the desks of boys and girls. 



All Hallowed Angels Say

A rondel of the Fool

All hallowed angels say, not sing
Their messages and starry praise
Because the aura of bright haze



The Fool's Confession

When the Fool confesses to the Priest,
The world reels on its axis, and a gust
Of blackened leaves and feathers tears the field



The Peacock's Tail

Three days of snow. The blackened world turns white.
The garden urns hoist up their wedding cakes.
An iron table lifts the crystal coffin where



The Fool Tells Children a Story at the Solstice

Once was a particle of dust
Named Hob; and one day a big gust

Of wind whooshed him into the air,



The Red King's Word

When your stepmother shoves you out the door
Barefoot, in a gauzy smock and cobweb cape,
Do not repine. Cry not! Draw from your heart



from Thaliad

I. Luring the Starlit Muse

Year 67 After the Fire
Emma declares what she knows about the time before the fire 

and calls on a starlit muse, the only love she will ever have, 
to tell the hero's saga of The House of Thalia and Thorn.

It was the age beyond the ragged time
When all that matters grew disorderly--
When artworks changed, expressive, narcissist,

6 comments:

  1. Those last three lines are my favourite, leaving me in desire to read more!

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  2. One does hope that little bites entice people to the whole meal...

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  3. I am very impatient INDEED for the whole meal!
    The Red King poetry is so full of life it bursts!

    I am getting annoyingly impatient for them all!

    (It is like hearing that there is a new movement to Stravinsky's, 'Rite of Spring' just around the corner!

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  4. Paul,

    Oh, it may not be too long... I am hoping to send it out by June.

    That's the kind of impatience that writers like!

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  5. It is amazing that so many wonderful poems came pouring out of you, and still you are not empty of poetry, like the fool's sack, perhaps?
    Your use of form is almost like breathing.

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  6. What a nice compliment! Thank you, Robbi--

    ReplyDelete

Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.