Sunday Afternoon, Denise Levertov #poem #girls #church #wild

One of these poems that are so lovely your heart aches and you want to spend the rest of the day finding every single poem this poet wrote. A sort of poetry feeding frenzy.

Levertov, Denise Levertov: “[I knew] before I was ten that I was an artist-person and I had a destiny.”

I started reading about her life and I have to close the window, because I must read property law first. Who are the Black Mountain Poets?!

Oh! Look at this title: “The Life Around Us: Selected Poems on Nature (1997)” And “White Owl and Blue Mouse.”

I wonder if the afternoon sun lay red on the white dresses or if they actually changed clothes. Maybe it is a Catholic thing.

Sunday Afternoon

After the First Communion
and the banquet of mangoes and
bridal cake, the young daughters
of the coffee merchant lay down
for 1 long siesta, and their white dresses
lay beside them in quietness
and the white veils floated
in their dreams as the flies buzzed.

But as the afternoon
burned to a close they rose
and ran about the neighborhood
among the halfbuilt villas
alive, alive, kicking a basketball, wearing
other new’ dresses, of bloodred velvet.

If you are forever watching dogs or just your own dog, this rhythm in the next poem feels so very familiar… Except in spring when a dog needs to sniff every scent in 30 minutes of pausing for half a block. And except in Winter when it is too cold on the bottom of the paws and the only scents are the neighbours dogs’ yellow snow.

Overland to the Islands

Let’s go—much as that dog goes,
intently haphazard. The
Mexican light on a day that
‘smells like autumn in Connecticut’
makes iris ripples on his
black gleaming fur—and that too
is as one would desire—a radiance
consorting with the dance.
.                                                    Under his feet
rocks and mud, his imagination, sniffing,
engaged in its perceptions—dancing
edgeways, there’s nothing
the dog disdains on his way,
nevertheless he
keeps moving, changing
pace and approach but
not direction—’every step an arrival.’

Denise Levertov (b. 1923)

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#FifteenDogs Dramatis Canes @GillerPrize

.@GDBooks “Dramatis Canes” reads like a poem! Hilarious and interesting. Andre Alexis says: “place is fundamental in fiction.” 

(but wth is up with the eye on top of every i?! odd and bothersome after one sentence. Where is my white-out?).

AGATHA               an old labradoodle

 

ATHENA               a brown teacup Poodle

 

ATTICUS               an imposing Nepolitan Mastiff,
                                       with cascading jowls

 

BELLA                    a Great Dane, Athena’s closest pack mate

 

BENJY                    a resourceful and conniving Beagle

 

BOBBIE                 an unfortunate Duck Toller

 

DOUGIE                a Schnauzer, friend to Benjy

 

FRICK                    a Labrador Retriever

 

FRACK                  a Labrador Retriever, Frick’s litter mate

 

LYDIA                   a Whippet and Weimaraner cross,
                                 tormented and nervous

 

MAJNOUN           a black Poodle, briefly referred to as
                                 ‘Lord Jim’ or simply ‘Jim’

 

MAX                      a mutt who detests poetry

 

PRINCE                a mutt who composes poetry,
                                 also called Russell or Elvis

 

RONALDINHO   a mutt who deplores the condescension
                                 of humans

 

ROSIE                   a German Shephers bitch, close to Atticus
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or from an Indie bookstore here

“Is Spot in Heaven?” David Kirby

1410792_10201773201145672_1092475997_oBest American Poetry 2015 (Sherman Alexie ed) is very disappointing- 5 good poems. 4 women, 1 man. This one is fabulous.
The others: It Was The Animals by Natalie Diaz; Endnotes on Ciudad Juarez by Natalie Scentres-Zapico; Goodness in Mississippi by LaWanda Walters; Dear Black Barbie by Candace G. Wiley.

“Is Spot in Heaven?” David Kirby

In St. Petersburg, Sasha points and says, “they’re restorating
this zoo building because someone is giving the zoo an elephant
and the building is not enough big, so they are restorating it,”

So I say, “Wheres, um, the elephant?” and Sasha says,
“The elephant is waiting somewhere! How should I know!”
When I was six, my dog was Spot, a brindled terrier

with the heart of a lion, though mortal, in the end, like all
of us, and when he died, I said to Father Crifasi, “/is Spot in heaven?” and he laughed and asked me if I were really

that stupid, insinuating that he, holy father of the church,
had the inside track on heaven entry, knew where
the back stairs were, had mastered the secret handshake.

Later we saw a guy with a bear, and I said, “Look a bear!”
and Sasha said, “Ah, the poor bear! Yes, you can have your
picture with this one, if you like,” but by then I didn’t want to.

Who is in heaven? God, of course, Jesus and his mother,
and the more popular saints: Peter, Michael, the various
Johns, Jospehs, and Catherines. But what about the others?

If Barsanuphius, Frideswide, and Jutta of Kulmsee,
why not Spot or the elephant or the bear when it dies?
Even a pig or a mouse has a sense of itself, said Leonard

Wolff, who applied this idea to politics, saying no single
creature is important on a global scale, though a politics that recognizes individual selves is the only one that offers

a hope for a future. Pets are silly, but the only world
worth living in is one that doesn’t think so. As to the world
beyond this one, as Sam Cooke says, I’m tired of living

But afraid to die because I don’t know what’s coming next.
I do know Spot was always glad to see me, turning,
himself inside out with joy when I came home from school,

wears Father Crifasi took no delight at the sight of me
or anyone, the little pleasure that sometimes hovered
about his lips falling out of his face like the spark from

his cigarette when the door to the classroom opened
and we boys filed in as slowly as we could. Those
years are covered as by a mist now, the heads of my parents

and friends breaking through like statues in the square
in a foreign city as the sun comes over my shoulder
and the night creeps down cobblestoned streets toward

The future I can’t see, though across the river, it’s still dark,
but already you can hear the animals stirring:
the first birds, then an elephant, a bear, a little dog.

From The Cincinnati Review

 Buy from an Indie bookstore here