Poem of the Week, by Galway Kinnell

St. Francis and the Sow
– Galway Kinnell

The bud
stands for all things,
even those things that don’t flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on its brow
of the flower
and retell it in words and in touch
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing;
as St. Francis
put his hand on the creased forehead
of the sow, and told her in words and in touch
blessings of earth on the sow, and the sow
began remembering all down her thick length,
from the earthen snout all the way
through the fodder and slops to the spiritual curl of
the tail,
from the hard spininess spiked out from the spine
down through the great broken heart
to the blue milken dreaminess spurting and shuddering
from the fourteen teats into the fourteen mouths sucking
and blowing beneath them:
the long, perfect loveliness of sow.

For more information on Galway Kinnell, please click here: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/galway-kinnell

My Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Alison-McGhee/119862491361265?ref=ts

Library appearances this coming week!

Greetings, those of you living in the tropics of southeastern Minnesota! I’ll be speaking at four different libraries this week.

Tuesday, Jan. 21, 3:30 p.m., Blooming Prairie Public Library and 7 pm, Northfield Public Library.

Wednesday, Jan. 22, evening, Plainview Public Library.

And Thursday, Jan. 23, 6:30 p.m., Spring Grove Public Library.

Fear not the coming polar vortex, my friends. Slog on out – I’d love to see you there.

Poem of the Week, by Marianne Kunkel

– Marianne Kunkel

The Nazis? Learned of them in comic books.
Titanic? Heard of it when I mistook
the film for a rom-com on a cruise ship—
glued to my friend’s TV as she skinny-dipped
with a lawn boy, I wondered what the hell
else my parents wouldn’t tell. Six-by-eight cells,
she later said, scrunching her dripping hair,
inside a jail called Gitmo. Then upstairs
in her dad’s office, she skimmed her fingernail
across a world map: Hiroshima, Trail
of Tears, Darfur. No password locking it,
a laptop on the desk showed us portraits
of Katrina—backpacked men wading in streets,
told too late of disaster. Dead last, like me.

For more information on Marianne Kunkel, please click here: http://prairieschooner.unl.edu/?q=blog/around-office-marianne-kunkel

My Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Alison-McGhee/119862491361265?ref=ts

Poem of the Week, by Joshua Mehigan

How Strange, How Sweet
– Joshua Mehigan

This was a butcher. This, a Chinese laundry.
This was a Schrafft’s with 10-cent custard ice creams.
Off toward the park, that was the new St. Saviour.
Then, for five blocks, not much but chain-link fences.
These foolish things, here today, gone today,
yesterday, forty years ago, tomorrow.
Deloreses and Normas not quite gone,
with slippers on, and heads like white carnations,
little, and brittle, and mum, why did the fine
September weather call you out today?
To dangerously bend and touch a cat.
To lean beside your final door and smile.
To go a block and get a thing you need.
What are you hiding, ladies? What do you know?

Micks were from here to there. Down there, the Mob.
And, way down there, the mob the bill let in.
Far west were Puerto Ricans. Farther west,
in Newark, Maplewood, or Pennsylvania,
one canceled choice away, why, there’s nostalgia,
lipstick, and curls, and gum, and pearls on Sunday.
So here’s a platinum arc from someone’s neck chain,
bass through a tinted window, loudest laughter,
the colored fellow with the amber eyes
who doesn’t need to stand just where he is.
Here sits the son of 1941,
a pendulous pink arm across a chair back;
his sister, she of 1943,
her hair the shade of an orangutan.
Food stamps and welfare, Medicaid and Medicare.
Kilroy was here. Here was where to get out of.

Last come the new inevitable whites.
See how the gracious evening sunshine lights
their balconied high-rise’s apricot
contemporary stucco-style finish.
Smell the pink-orange powder as some punk
sandblasts Uneeda Biscuit off the wall.
Flinch at the miter saw and nail gun,
at three-inch nails that yelp as men dismantle
a rooftop pigeon loft. Those special birds
will not fly home to the implicit neighbor,
or fall like tiny Esther Williamses
in glad succession from a wire, to climb
and circle in the white December sky.
Far up, from blocks away, the pale birds seemed,
when they all turned at once, to disappear.
Across the street, the normal pigeons eat.

For more information on Joshua Mehigan, please click here: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/joshua-mehigan

My Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Alison-McGhee/119862491361265?ref=ts

Poem of the Week, by Wallace Stevens

The Snow Man, by Wallace Stevens

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

For more information on Wallace Stevens, please click here:

My blog: alisonmcghee.com/blog

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