Archive for March, 2008


Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , on March 31, 2008 by Ryan Sanford Smith

When I Died (a poem by Jo Shapcott)

I’m coming back on All Saints’ Day
for your olives, old peanuts and dodgy sherry,
dirty dancing. I’ll cross-dress at last
pirouette and flash, act pissed.
You’ll have to look for me hard:
search for my bones in the crowd.
Or lay a pint and a pie on my grave to tempt me out
and a trail of marigolds back to the flat,
where you’ll leave the door ajar
and the cushions plumped in my old arm chair.


Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , on March 30, 2008 by Ryan Sanford Smith

Proof, no Proof (a poem by Cynie Cory, taken from Shade, an anthology of fiction and poetry, 2004 ed.)

As a hurricane approaches a town
that is hideously bored, I owe you
reasons why I love you. It smells like blown
lust cultivates by absence’s blue
geometries. Here is the honeycomb
answering you, poised like snowfall, done. Huge
silences escape the hollow moon’s home
dissolved into failure. Nature’s abuse
kisses us like stained-glass windows smashing
at our feet. The cathedral’s over or
it never tood a chance like most passion.
I cannot do anything. The cracked roar

Of my heart means I’m blasted to the ground.
You who cannot weep cannot hear a sound.


Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , on March 29, 2008 by Ryan Sanford Smith

Write a fucking poem (a poem by Mike Golden (no bio found))

every fucking time
you don’t know what to do.
You’ll have a body of work
despite yourself.


Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , on March 28, 2008 by Ryan Sanford Smith

They Call You Moody (a poem by Ann Townsend)

Such proneness to sadness, such little fits
of life-grinding-to-a-halt:
today three diet cokes can’t erase
the jack-pine limbs that dance maniacally
outside the window. All the world’s
a pathetic fallacy where willows weep
and the two crows striding across the turf
freeze-frame into death’s heads
with every snap of the camera’s
imaginary shutter. Ha ha ha they caw
and carried on the updraft they soar and dip
against the sky’s umbrella. Oh chemicals rich
in the blood, oh minor turbulent despair,
the sky unfolds, rinsed with bluing,
the crocuses snap open on their crazy
hinges. I hear it all, even through glass,
the loosening, the ticks, the groan.


Posted in Prose with tags , , , , , , , , on March 27, 2008 by Ryan Sanford Smith

Nicholas Was.  .  . (A short ‘story’ of sorts from Neil Gaiman, from his collection Smoke and Mirrors)

older than sin, and his beard could grow no whiter. He wanted to die.

The dwarfish natives of the Arctic caverns did not speak his language, but conversed in their own, twittering tongue, conducted incomprehensibile rituals, when they were not actually working in the factories.

Once every year they forced him, sobbing and protesting, into Endless Night. During the journey he would stand near every child of the world, leave one of the dwarves’ invisible gifts by its bedside. The children slept, frozen in time.

He envied Prometheus and Loki, Sisyphus and Judas. His punishment was harsher.



Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , on March 26, 2008 by Ryan Sanford Smith

Pophap of the New Song (an excerpt from the poem by Norman Dubie)

It is of bread and water that people die.
The will-to-change
Lugs a piano on its back.
And retires, humid
At midnight with a glass of milk. It hits the sack.
This mover of objects down the stairs says there is
Only one piano in its life and it is black.


Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , on March 25, 2008 by Ryan Sanford Smith

The Wasteland (an excerpt from the epic poem by T. S. Eliot)

My friend, blood shaking my heart
The awful daring of a moment’s surrender
Which an age of prudence can never retract
By this, and this only, we have existed
Which is not to be found in our obituaries
Or in memories draped by the beneficent spider
Or under seals broken by the lean solicitor
In our empty rooms


Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , on March 24, 2008 by Ryan Sanford Smith

Lady of Miracles (a poem by Nina Cassian, translated from the Romanian by Laura Schiff)

Since you walked out on me
I’m getting lovelier by the hour.
I glow like a corpse in the dark.
No one sees how round and sharp
my eyes have grown
how my carcass looks like a glass urn,
how I hold up things in the rags of my hands,
the way I can stand though crippled by lust.
No, there’s just your cruelty circling
my head like a bright rotting halo.


Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , on March 23, 2008 by Ryan Sanford Smith

In Your Version of Heaven I Am Younger (an excerpt from the poem by Rachel Zucker)

In your version of heaven I am blond, thinner,
but not so witty. In the movie version of your version
of heaven you fight God to come back to me.
It is a box office hit because you are an unbelievable character.
Nothing is real except the well-timed traffic accident
which costs 226 thousand dollars.

In real life, I am on a small bridge over a small creek.
Then it isn’t a bridge but a stadium. Then a low table.
A sense of knowing the future.
There is no clear location of fear.
I want you to say you will abandon your dissertation.
I want you to ask the man in the green scrubs if I was pregnant.


Posted in Prose with tags , , , , , , , on March 22, 2008 by Ryan Sanford Smith

Anxious Pleasures (an excerpt from the novel by Lance Olsen)

I bring him my pair of shiny black high heels and dark dress with the pretty embroidered chrysanthemums on the collar. I slip the dress over his head, squeeze his feet into the shoes. His body is so limp it seems as if a butcher has removed his bones. I apply Chinese-red lipstick to his lips and rouge to his cheeks and tease his hair and step back to admire my work. He asks, looking past me over my shoulder:

–Are we having an imaginary conversation?

–Yes, I say. We are.

–Because when you are dead you have to stay up all night.

Have you perhaps seen what I’ve done with my hands?