This blog ran for more than two years with no graphics--and it received about 50 page views. I was advised to add graphics; after seeing the huge public that followed blogs dedicated to homoerotic images, I decided to use that kind. The result was a dramatically increased number of monthly page views, and the number has remained fairly steady. Most of the images were found on the internet; although they are assumed to be in the public domain, they are identified as far as possible. They are exhibited under the "Fair Use" protections of United States copyright law: their function is simply to attract readers to the poems--I receive no economic benefit from them or from the blog. Nevertheless, they will be removed if they are copyrighted and the owner so desires.

Sunday, April 8, 2018



An Anthology of French Poetry from Nerval to Valéry, in English Translation. Edited by Ángel Flores. Garden City, N. J.: Doubleday Anchor Books, 1958.

After due consideration,
I tried reading a translation
Of French poets from Nerval to Valéry;

And although the Gallic nation
Holds them all in veneration,
I confess that they are not my cup of tea.

It's as dreadful as the antics
Of the German High Romantics,
And it goes about as farabout as deep

In that dark and bulgy wood
Where the moonlight drips like blood
And the bushes stretch and clutch at you, and creep,

And where flowers that devour
Yawn open by the hour,
And monsters pursue you and weep.

They were all full of spleen,
If you know what I mean,
And if you read the volume you will see

Forty stanzas of angoisse
Ladled out like vichyssoise
As the entrée to a long course of ennui,

And the endless, sad complainte
That the living are all dead
In the head,
And the dead
Really ain't.

And their stories: Jules Laforgue
Ended up inside a morgue—
Couldn't pay for a burial place;

And Stephane Mallarmé
Faded mystically away,
Like his symbols, into some inner space.

Then Gérard dit de Nerval 
suffered from le petit mal, 
And in his seizures entertained the ghost

Of a talking dead geranium
That resided in his cranium,
And he hanged himself beneath a streetlamp post.

Enter Evil: Charles Baudelaire,
Who proclaimed himself the Heir
Of the Devil, after reading Edgar Poe;

Worst of all, Paul Verlaine,
Like Van Gogh, went insane,
And tried to kill his lover, Rimbaud.

(Save for jaunty, debonair
Prince Guillame Apollinaire,
They were really not the sort you'd want to know.)

Now Baudelaire may have been
Quite the specialist in Sin,
And Rimbaud as Rambonctious as could be,

But after reading this anthology,
I can say without apology,
It offered no Illuminations for me.

Author's note:

The reader, like the author, should consider himself free
To side with the Reviewer—or with les poètes maudits.


Tuesday, March 6, 2018



Deepest thanks to HG SANTTOS, who posted it.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018


From the wide meandering drive
you look away, beyond the lines 
of white anonymous markers, 
down to where the barges
are pushing past the piers,
each as slow as the hour hand of a clock, 
while tiny speedboats whine
like mosquitoes as they skip up and down,
skimming the water 
to better their times.

The digital tour guide at Fort Hill 
makes it a point to say 
that the River isn't what you see
—“the River” around here 
always means the Mississippi—
but the Yazoo Diversion Canal, 
an artificial waterway
created by the Army Corps of Engineers
after the River shifted away
and left Vicksburg behind. 

The real Mississippi winds, 
like a snake uncoiling, on the other side 
of the shifting sandbars and temporary islands
that lie in the distance, looking like solid ground
crowded with undergrowth, cypress, willow, and pine.

Several hours farther down, 
at New Roads in the Parish of Pointe Coupée,
the River once twisted itself out this way.
On the Louisiana side
they made the old bed into a resort,
a playground for aquatic sports, 
called False River Lake.
They have sail-boating and water-skiing there,
and trolling and fishing from the shore,
lined now with substantial real estate. 

It all sounds pretty dull and safe,
and perhaps it is.
Perhaps there’s a point to be made
for complacency, though: The Chinese say,
with Mandarin politesse, 
May you live in interesting times,”
when they don’t mean to bless. 

More than once the River has 
struck at a town; 
of that rip-roaring sinful place, 
there isn’t much left now;
and at Grand Gulf,
half an hour south of here,
fifty-six blocks of busy, sleepy people
sloughed off into the water
bit by bit, without a sound. 

Only a few minutes away,
antique and beautiful,
the clock-faced steeples of Port Gibson wait,
set back decorously not-too-near 
the soft slopes of the Little Bayou Pierre,
a minor tributary that every one there 
calls “By a Pier.”
They watch the town’s two bridges—
the skeletal old one, mostly sucked down
in the great storm of  ’Fifty-Four,
and the squat, heavy new one, that brute mass and weight
have held in place so far. 



Tuesday, September 5, 2017


                            Para todos los iberos,

                            siempre en nuestros corazones,

                            siempre en nuestras oraciones.

Sunday, June 25, 2017


Look! Here come the Flower Children,
beads and braids and tie-dyed feathers,
hippie happie demonstrators
marching against the world’s Darth Vaders,
laughing and singing and loving each other,
blithe go-fors for somebody’s alternate kingdom,
marching, dancing, turn up the speakers,
into the rainbow, into the visions,
the sacred weed and the magic mushroom,
Shangri-La, Woodstock, Walden, Eden,
the compound ruled by the loving leader,
the sex and the sweats and the screams of laughter,
and into the night of the trussed pigslaughter,
the barren tears, the begging and pleading,
the belly ripped open, a bloody melon,
wasting, wasting, all fall down
Trust me, trust always, and only, the young.

Photo from http://inspirement.tumblr.com/post19730831916/

Monday, May 15, 2017


            In Memoriam
Richard Dunn, Jack Forrest, Aníbal Figueroa
and all the other victims of the plague 

Now with accelerating force I feel
the world fall back and reel away from me:  

Outside my window ceaselessly
the wind streams by, and every tree
spends itself terminally in leaves
that give themselves into the air
and twist away, fall down the street,
scud, stumble, scurry out of sight
under the culverts, into the night.   

And all night long, beneath my dreams
the world's great, rushing rivers drain
across the continents, down the wide plains,
into the dark, dissolving sea.  

All Nature gives itself away
in perpetual farewell.  

Now while my body’s failing cells
detach themselves and drift away,
you separate yourself from me.
My hands, that once could keep you near,
attempt to follow, tentatively,
and lose themselves in empty air. 
My eyes still seek your face, no longer there; 
my ears strain after you, your voice, your feet
retreating down hospital passageways.  

My heart is gone;
my thoughts no longer belong to me;
my soul has ceased to be my own;
my peace is broken, my pride pulled down.  

Great is the power of Nature’s law,
that every soul and body must obey;
the writ that runs through every thing,
the universal flaw;
that not even Love can stay.                         

Wednesday, April 19, 2017


They met again just as before,
since in Hell nothing changes,
and, as before, she taunted him
with his blindness, mixing her lyrical laments
for the tender maternal victim
of your arrogance
with but being a man,
of course you didn't see
He, in his simplicity,
said only, “I was her child, her baby.  
And she tried to kill me.”

Thursday, March 2, 2017


Una sola rosa roja 
         un florero de cristal 

Una sonata para piano 
         agua de manantial 

Un tesorola luz del sol
        en broches y eslabones de oro

Una fuente callada 
        un patio interior 

Una puerta en la muralla 
        una madreselva en flor 

Nubes sobre la montaña 
        la cantilena del ruiseñor  

Una ráfaga sobre un pozo 
        profundo y oscuro… 
                                 trueno lejano  

Un misterio—y tu ausencia       
        un misterio desolador  

Raudal de vacía blancura 
        silencio torrencial 

Deslumbrante resplandor 
        catarata de soledad 

Una sombra luminosa 
       una silueta en el umbral

Mi huésped de cuerpo y alma 
        una vela en el altar

Monday, January 30, 2017


I look at you,
You look at me—
You with the eyes of an angel, a demon,
What do you see? 

You take my hand
Is it for real?
All of a sudden I’m falling, I’m flying—
What do you feel?  

I say “Hello,”
You sing the refrain
Of a song that says things that I don’t understand—
What does it mean?  

I lie awake all night
Thinking of you,
Go around in a daze all day,
Don’t know what to do.
When will I see you again?
Will it be today?
Sometimes you seem to be
So far away.
Sometimes I think I’ll never know
What you mean to say.