A Visitor to the Quarry

Limestone dust scoots across the road
And filters into the already dying June grass.
The peacock appears at the quarry windows,
Not looking in, not looking at the trucks,
Not engaged in any way with human life,
Abiding in its own peacock world
Of green velvet and sweeping coattails,
Gold-tipped cigarette holder and champagne
Glass, muddled fruit of peach and apricot. Continue reading

70 Years Ago Today: She Got a Diary

 On June 12, 1942, Anne Frank received a diary for her thirteenth birthday. One month later, her family went into hiding.

She got a diary.
Red and white checked cover.
It was to hold a thirteen-year-old girl’s life,
Pet peeves, family outings, friends,
Movie stars, her annoying sister,
A flirtation, a hard teacher, the beauty
Of the canal water in the noonday sun. Continue reading

Johnny Depp, Poetry Man

Johnny Depp. Today, June 9, is his birthday. He is 49! I am writing this post to see how many hits I can get by putting his name in it. Johnny Depp. Just tagging that. . . . Well, not really. Here’s Johnny Depp and poetry in America:

Johnny read Jim Morrison’s poetry in the documentary about the Doors When You’re Strange. I haven’t seen it, but it came out in 2012. Have any of you seen it? Continue reading

Dispatching at the Rock Quarry

The trucks are either white or red.
Alliance, the white ones say.
Cowboy, the red ones.
An occasional blue one appears,
All driven by men except one,
whose driver calls in her mission
and adds, Have a nice day.
Pugged aggregate base. Rip rap.
Screenings. Bedding. Crusher run.
The language of rock.
Make a bridge, build a road,
Lay a foundation. It all starts
from a hole in the ground.

–Shaun Perkins



People Talk Too Much

Me in Venice

One of the reasons poetry hooked me at an early age was because I admired its efficiency with words. People talk too much. They write too much, text too much, listen to too many other people talking, watch too much TV with people talking. Talk. Talk. Talk. Words get cheap. Poetry tries to help them keep their value.

My recent European tour reminded me of this. I found, however, that hearing people talk too much in a foreign language was not nearly as irritating as hearing it in English. I could imagine that what was being said was of more import and occasioned by the sublime. I could imagine that, at least. Fact was, the same kind of chatter was probably going on. Continue reading