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Author: Devin Becker

The End for now

And so we come to the end of this year’s edition of Vandal Poem of the Day. Thank you very much to our TWO! presses this year:

Canarium Books

and

Flood Editions

We at VPOD were particularly happy with the poems that ended our run this week. Just three excellent poems.

Please Read More Poems, here and elsewhere.

There are now over 800 contemporary poems to explore on Vandal Poem of the Day, and 243 poets exactly (I just counted). Riches for sure.

Take care this summer.

Of What Seems Like My Father

I met him in the candy store.

He turned around and smiled at me—

you get the picture.

Yes, we see.

You get the picture.

If it would all please stop for what seems like forever,

I could walk through spanking dark across

America on car tops.

I could walk through spanking dark among

these pharmacies, canyons, and flags.

It’s not unusual to be loved by anyone.

The moon’s got a fake side tonight, but still—

it’s not unusual to be loved by anyone.

Wanting to hear what I don’t want to hear

is hardly possible. And then? I’ll come

to where what’s said here disappears,

is hardly possible. And then? I’ll come

and from an airplane jump

to open his piss-stained chute.

I am leaping like the pieces of a bomb, do you hear me?

Just to open his piss-stained chute?

I’m precisely the quiet of his blind spot’s eye:

part heartache, part affect; part heartache, part arsenal.

Embroidered with cold—

part heartache, part affect; part heartache, part arsenal—

and to this sudden edge of city not a bird.

A border’s bruised clarity, an ocean an ocean.

Try closing your eyes with your eyes closed.

from Necessary StrangerFind more by Graham Foust at the library

Copyright © 2007 Graham Foust
Used with the permission of Flood Editions.

Story

They loved these things. They loved the trees

the sheep the windows of the sun. They loved the sun

and called the sun the sun. They called the sun the birds

and then the sheep and then it rained and then they ate.

They ate the sheep, the birds, the sun, and then the rain.

The rain came and they loved it and they loved the little

trees. They loved the trees and also ships and little

windows of the sun. They loved the thing called sun, the trees,

the birds, the sheep, the windows of the ship and also rain.

They asked about the sheep and also birds and then the sun.

They told the stories of the birds they knew and then they ate.

They ate the birds in stories that had sheep and ships and birds.

They told the stories of the birds to add it to the birds.

They added to the birds to then subtract it from the little

sheep. They fell asleep, the birds in films that fell asleep and ate.

They asked, as birds, to be the birds, in stories that had trees,

in the windows of the ships that rocked beneath the sun.

They built the ships that were the ships in stories with the rain.

They ate the rain, the birds, the sheep, the ships beneath the rain.

The rain came and they loved it like they loved the little birds.

They looked like birds, the birds they were, of keyholes and the sun,

far from the ships, the rain, the burning sheep, the little

windows of themselves with teeth like tiny trees

that from the trees looked out of rain storms where they ate.

They sat in shadow of the dawn with sheep that ate

the trees with birds that starred in films and stared up at the rain,

collectively and alone, and with the sheep in trees

that were the doorways of the sun, dangerous, unlike the birds,

where the sheep were, having flown away, in little

hearts of song, the song of the sheep which was the doorway of the sun,

and from the doorway of the sun they were all there beneath the sun,

the birds in films, the sheep with trees, the doorways where they ate,

having fallen asleep, beside the sun, up to the sides of the ships, little,

tired, being animals and trees, gesticulating wildly, in the rain

that came inside the film beside the trees, before the birds

arrived as birds, graceful, tired, burned down like the burning little trees

that had always been the trees, that had been there near the sun,

that had harbored all the birds, having eaten what was ate,

inside the rain near little ships with sheep in shadows of the sun.

from Black Dog SongsFind more by Lisa Jarnot at the library

Copyright © 2003 Lisa Jarnot
Used with the permission of Flood Editions.

The Greenhouse

Seeing December’s filicale,

Her nervous woods,

In the red sound of the soil

I plot my trowel,

Looking for round green words.

Plants creep and spire,

Leaves coil and trace

Their potted artifice.

In the red sound of the air

The heart’s forced temperature

Heats the induced flower.

Far from the glass house

Constrained and aphyllous

The leaves have shot their songs

With brown and withered tongues.

And here I plot my trowel

Fearing no less

Such orchid skill,

Such anode emptiness.

from So I Looked Down to CamelotFind more by Rosamund Stanhope at the library

Copyright © 1962 Rosamund Stanhope
Used with the permission of Flood Editions.

“He sits on the floor of the”

He sits on the floor of the

house he grew up in, talking on

the phone to his girl in the

city, telling her when he’ll be back,

that he wants to see her, that

he needs to. Gusts of seed-stuff

rush the window. He wakes, perplexed the

dream has not gone on. Maybe it

does, but this is where it leaves

him. This early morning light. Where it

goes on it is rebuilding his heart.

from To the RiverFind more by Michael O’Brien at the library

Copyright © Michael O’Brien
Used with the permission of Flood Editions.

Waiting for an Absence

something has been here before

and everything waits for it to come again

traces remain round sulky bends

velvet peat pissed rocks

built on echoes

shaped by deserting water

insect silent

a scut of earth

cut up and shut up

hills throw themselves at skies

that open and come down

it’s very simple

everything waits for it to come again

from Hole in the WallFind more by Tom Pickard at the library

Copyright © 2002 Tom Pickard
Used with the permission of Flood Editions.

Lisa Jarnot

When you do grow up

you’ll be able to write

poems and things will be

like they are now,

except there will be

more sardines, and all the

grilled cheese sandwiches

on white bread will move

away and it may still snow

on cold nights when the

dogs bark, wrestling in

the dark, but all the stars

are the same, and you

are the same, still wavering

in the hall light, unbridled

light nor dark.

from Black Dog SongsFind more by Lisa Jarnot at the library

Copyright © 2003 Lisa Jarnot
Used with the permission of Flood Editions.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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