Monday, February 15, 2016

Dorothy Parker / From a letter from Lesbia

by Dorothy Parker

... So, praise the gods, Catullus is away!
And let me tend you this advice, my dear:
Take any lover that you will, or may,
Except a poet. All of them are queer.

It's just the same. — a quarrel or a kiss
Is but a tune to play upon his pipe.
He's always hymning that or wailing this;
Myself, I much prefer the business type.

That thing he wrote, the time the sparrow died —
(Oh, most unpleasant — gloomy, tedious words!)
I called it sweet, and made believe I cried;
The stupid fool! I've always hated birds...

Friday, February 12, 2016

The Poetry of Raymond Carver Makes a Leap to E-Books

Raymond Carver

The Poetry of Raymond Carver Makes a Leap to E-Books

Raymond Carver, the noted author of short stories and poetry, died nearly 27 years ago, long before the digital revolution upended the publishing industry. And until now, his legacy has been confined to print.

That will change this week, when 10 of Mr. Carver’s books will be published digitally for the first time. Vintage Books is publishing e-book editions of the author’s entire backlist, including six collections of short stories and four volumes of poetry, for $9.99 to $11.99.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Raymond Carver / Stupid


By Raymond Carver

 It's what the kids nowadays call weed.
 And it drifts
like clouds from his lips.
 He hopes no one
comes along tonight, or calls to ask for help.

Help is what he's most short on tonight.

A storm thrashes outside.
 Heavy seas
with gale winds from the west.
 The table he sits at
is, say, two cubits long and one wide.

The darkness in the room teems with insight.

Could be he'll write an adventure novel.
 Or else 
a children's story.
 A play for two female characters,
one of whom is blind.
 Cutthroat should be coming
into the river.
 One thing he'll do is learn
to tie his own flies.
 Maybe he should give
more money to each of his surviving
family members.
 The ones who already expect a little
something in the mail first of each month.

Every time they write they tell him
they're coming up short.
 He counts heads on his fingers
and finds they're all survivng.
 So what
if he'd rather be remembered in the dreams of strangers?
He raises his eyes to the skylights where rain
hammers on.
 After a while --
who knows how long? -- his eyes ask
that they be closed.
 And he closes them.

But the rain keeps hammering.
 Is this a cloudburst?
Should he do something? Secure the house
in some way? Uncle Bo stayed married to Aunt Ruby for 47 years.
 Then hanged himself.

He opens his eyes again.
 Nothing adds up.

It all adds up.
 How long will this storm go on?

Friday, February 5, 2016

Raymond Carver / Drinking While Driving

Drinking While Driving
by Raymond Carver

 It's August and I have not 
Read a book in six months 
except something called The Retreat from Moscow
by Caulaincourt 
Nevertheless, I am happy 
Riding in a car with my brother 
and drinking from a pint of Old Crow.
We do not have any place in mind to go, 
we are just driving.
If I closed my eyes for a minute 
I would be lost, yet 
I could gladly lie down and sleep forever 
beside this road 
My brother nudges me.
Any minute now, something will happen.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Raymond Carver / An Afternoon

A Nude Woman doing her Hair before a Mirror
by Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg

An Afternoon

by Raymond Carver

 As he writes, without looking at the sea,
he feels the tip of his pen begin to tremble.

The tide is going out across the shingle.

But it isn't that.
it's because at that moment she chooses
to walk into the room without any clothes on.

Drowsy, not even sure where she is
for a moment.
 She waves the hair from her forehead.

Sits on the toilet with her eyes closed,
head down.
 Legs sprawled.
 He sees her
through the doorway.
she's remembering what happened that morning.

For after a time, she opens one eye and looks at him.

And sweetly smiles.

Raymond Carver / My Crow and other poems
Raymond Carver / Your Dog Dies
Raymond Carver / Happiness
Raymond Carver / All Her Life
Raymond Carver / Fear
Raymond Carver / Poems
Raymond Carver / Late Fragment
Raymond Carver / An Afternoon