A Poem a Day #7: “Good Bones” by Maggie Smith


Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.

(Waxwing, Issue IX, Summer 2016)

A Poem a Day #8: “There’s a certain slant of light…” by Emily Dickinson


There’s a certain Slant of light,
Winter Afternoons –
That oppresses, like the Heft
Of Cathedral Tunes –

Heavenly Hurt, it gives us –
We can find no scar,
But internal difference –
Where the Meanings, are –

None may teach it – Any –
‘Tis the seal Despair –
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the Air –

When it comes, the Landscape listens –
Shadows – hold their breath –
When it goes, ’tis like the Distance
On the look of Death –

(Poem #320, The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson)

“…and let the century gush.”


American Poet, Wanda Coleman. Photographer unknown. (Pinterest)

“Imagine Jack Micheline, half pint riding the left hip pocket of his holy corduroys, walking sunset, one arm around the sky, the other around the Earth, as he rages against The Clowns who’ve denied The Poet’s Blood—then get a firm grip on your soul, bust the cover of the Outlaw Bible and let the century gush.”*

– Wanda Coleman, poet, activist, author, from Bathwater Wine

About Coleman: http://journals.openedition.org/ideas/1422

*epigraph, The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry, ed. by Alan Kauffman (Basic Books, 1999)