Tuesday, August 9, 2016




"‘as you are.’ says the universe.
‘after…’ you answer.
‘as you are.’ says the universe.
‘before…’ you answer.
‘as you are.’ says the universe.
‘when…’ you answer.
‘as you are.’ says the universe.
‘how…’ you answer.
‘as you are.’ says the universe.
‘why…’ you answer.
‘because you are happening now. and your happening
is
beautiful.
the thing that both keeps me alive and brings me to my knees.
you don’t even know how exquisite you are.
as you are.’
says the universe through tears."

— as you are | you are the prayer, nayyirah waheed


Thursday, June 30, 2016

The End of the Pier


The End of the Pier
by Nicole Callihan

I walked to the end of the pier
and threw your name into the sea,
and when you flew back to me—
a silver fish—I devoured you,
cleaned you to the bone. I was through.
But then you came back again:
as sun on water. I reached for you,
skimmed my hands over the light of you.
And when the sky darkened,
again, I thought it was over, but then,
you became water. I closed my eyes
and lay on top of you, swallowed you,
let you swallow me too. And when
you carried my body back to shore—
as I trusted that you would do—
well, then, you became shore too,
and I knew, finally, I would never be through.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Vegas



Vegas
by me

To find it you'll have to walk West
60 feet beyond the remains of the semaphores
of the old P&W decorated in decaying ivy,
beyond the blown out boulders lining the trail
and the yellow forsythia that sticks out between the
squares of chicken wire in the neighbor's yard.
You'll have to walk further down the path with green gardener snakes,
past the boys throwing stones at the falcon on the tree branch, unblinking
past the biker playing Johnny Cash,
"I keep a close watch on this heart of mine,"
past the gurgling brook that bubbles against the grey rocks
"I keep my eyes wide open all the time,"
into the vegas nerve of the forest covered in patches of moss,
several hundred feet beyond the sloping meadow where the lark
stands majestic, puffing his breast and closing his eyes into the sun,
up the hill past the wooden bench where I once carved our names
and into the cul-de-sac of crumbling homes where the ravens - large as laptops - live.
When you think you've found it, turn around to
find the place with the tiniest flower, where the cardinals fly in double helixes
along invisible wavelengths  and the curved marble statue
offers itself to you like an outstretched hand.
Take it. Place your cheek to its surface.
Run your finger along the cracks on its side. And whisper to it,
"because you're mine."

The word "Vegas" means wandering in Latin, and it is an apropos title not only for the poem but for the time in my life when  I wrote it, which was back in March after a particularly strange and difficult time. To cope, I spent a lot of my free time walking on a trail behind my apartment, watching nature as it slipped through the grip of winter into one of the loveliest springs I can ever remember. Each day I watched as buds unfolded, as colors began to change from greys and browns to soft pinks and pale violets and as the natural, animal and human world began to open up to me like the outstretched hand I mention. Really, it is a love poem to myself and almost an internal map to places outside that mirrored places inside - an interior gesture of friendship and recognition that I was able to accept after many hours of being in nature as it returned to its yearly place of ease and undoing. I think there is nothing more powerful than to claim certain parts of yourself that you've either buried or kept hidden from yourself. Much like the transition from winter to spring, the act of shedding light on and removing the covering over our secret selves, is a kind of rebirth and renewal that has its own magic. 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Emma Bovary


by Monica Ferrell

I would have liked then for someone to touch me
So I could know the purpose of this hardship.
Black-eyed and impassive as a canyon,
From the hive of my mind, I looked at their faces 
As I moved between rows of espaliered pears.
I only intended for someone to show
Me, once, an affection like the sun
Shows even the simplest bulb, entering what’s hidden.
Let me show them instead the picture
In a knife’s reflection, take down my hair
Where the gravedigger kneels among new potatoes.
Behind my teeth are headstones, and behind those
Skeletons of cavemen, of dinosaurs,
And under my skin: alphabets, alphabets
In black ink, a legacy of histories tiny and alive
As an ant army marching toward forever.
Understand, please—I, too, have a splendid use,

This world could not get rid of me if it wanted to.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

What Was Told, That

by Jalal al-Din Rumi, 1207 - 1273



What was said to the rose that made it open was said
to me here in my chest.

What was told the cypress that made it strong
and straight, what was

whispered the jasmine so it is what it is, whatever made
sugarcane sweet, whatever

was said to the inhabitants of the town of Chigil in
Turkestan that makes them

so handsome, whatever lets the pomegranate flower blush
like a human face, that is

being said to me now. I blush. Whatever put eloquence in
language, that’s happening here.

The great warehouse doors open; I fill with gratitude,
chewing a piece of sugarcane,

in love with the one to whom every that belongs!