5 thoughts on “Thinking of Britain: A Poem for Sunday

  1. Voodoo Fire in Haiti … Loederer . First edition . ’38 . Just sold that to Sacco last week .

    Zora Neale Hurston wrote a book on Voodoo in Haiti . It is good . Like her stuff . Read it about ten years ago . She identified the top Hunan , Witch doctor , at the time and some time past on the island . He was a white man born and raised in France , a Frenchman . Found that remarkable . Speaks to the universality of the impulse to appeal to the spirits . O Lord , I am a voodoo child . Jimi Hendrix .

  2. Beat the Dog in the Water

    Iron shirted horsemen loose trotting lackeys.
    Snarling, snapping, curs drive us into the sea.
    The cold depths are our sanctuary.

    Come dogs! Come!

    Swim to us, our throats are bared.
    Visions of the masters’ favor
    lure them into deeper water.

    Come dogs! Come!

    Where we can stand, but, you cannot.
    Strong hands will hold you beneath the waves.

    Angry Templars stand upon the shore.
    Plaintive whistling cannot bring back dead dogs.

    The Believers are an ocean.


    pounding Rhade rhythms knock on many doors
    spirits curl upon the world tree
    open portal, Poteau Mitan
    axis between worlds
    access to the land behind the mirror

    bodies gyrate, caper madly,
    steeds of flesh, wild-eyed and flecked with foam
    absent of self await the riders
    tightened goat hides rumble forbidden prayers
    summoned spirits mount the lucky

    Legba, doorman, admits the few
    stamping beasts
    Ogun, warrior, tests with savage fury
    strong hearts’ courage
    Accompong, judge, gives the verdict
    Who will be blessed?
    Who will be ridden?

    chalices gibber in the black
    lolling tongues
    whitened eyes
    give evidence of favor

    a gift of knowledge from the undead
    people behind the mirror

  3. I was struck by a hit and run wordsmith the
    other night
    whose word slinging left me breathless
    in the sub zero temperatures of grandfather night
    in the hallways of Eaton Mountain

    Several millenia ago I contacted Albie Barden with an eye
    towards doing a documentery about his
    work building Russian – Finnish Masonry heaters.
    A graduate of Brown University with a Masters in Divinity
    from Yale this Episcopal priest sequed to working
    in brick and mortar


    One of the many memorable moments in my relationship
    with Albie was spending a weekend with him in
    NH helping him build a masonry heater for artist,sculptor
    and dowser Marty Cain who holds an MFA from the Boston
    Museum of Fine Arts.
    She is known for her sculptures which she builds on the earth’s
    ley lines.

    She had a recent commission by Radcliffe College to build
    a labyrinth on their campus

    Two nights ago while googling her name I discovered
    a second person named Marty Cain
    now you know a little more of what I know……ugh!

    see link for full poem



    Excerpts from Marty Cain’s poetry manuscript, Kids of the Black Hole, a finalist for the 2015 TS Book Prize.

    this is my confessional poem
    this is my poem which rises from the dead
    this is my poem which eats lesser poems
    this is my poem to exorcise myself, to save myself from myself
    to satiate my hunger for my own flesh
    my poem a mother bird
    my poem who puffs out her body in pouring rain
    my poem with its maw & its cawing babies
    I have spent ample amounts of time trying to cover the young
    my poem pissing on the body of business
    this is my poem turning ink to blood
    this is my poem which is buried alive
    which sings through the holes of light in the soil
    it is swarthy in here, the poem says
    it is swarthy & I feel moisture through my flesh
    my poem a worm halving itself
    my poem informed of the life beneath
    my poem which fell from an elm, was singing unconscious
    with thump in the belly, which sprouteth wings
    which discovered the self through bodily slaughter
    which drains blood from the body hung up by its ankles
    which stands up dizzy watching unhinged planets
    my poem in a horse’s mouth with hilltop thunder
    my poem of shaking panes & electric hunger
    poem of blackness / of the ruptured cranium
    poem like a copperhead eating air
    poem which I saw in the tarn when I saw my face look back from the water
    It’s easier inside, the face sang back
    it sang in the half-hearted thump of iambs
    it sang like the elderly making love
    it sang to lambs surrounding your bed
    this is the poem in which I dip splintered feet
    in which I numb the sleeping sight of myself
    this is my festering ink on endless whiteness
    this is my poem banging its head on the door
    this is my screw being yanked from decades of paint
    this is my poisonous poem which lives in the lead
    this is my poem gracing the ancient headboard
    I dreamed of fucking
    I dreamed of the dead
    I heard the screaming sisters of the sacred well
    I dreamed a child grew inside me
    I woke to teethmarks & vomit in hedges
    I woke with a murmuring woman in my chest
    this is my summerpool poem with musclemen floating
    the storm cloud throbbing like a promise in the dark
    this is my storm beneath my nails
    this is my poem pluckèd of feathers & blood
    this is my last poem
    this is my poem like a festering wall
    this poem is the place where runaways stay
    this poem comes from grass & is piss from the stars
    this poem in the stairwell with buzzing fluorescents
    this poem with the balcony over the plaza
    how you close your eyes
    I imagine your plummet
    your body over seven stories staring down
    your body testing the weight of inertia
    the weight of the tethers that keep you blue
    & in a body, you hear hot wind blow
    you lean in with your ribcage on the railing
    & see your true self escape your mouth
    then the limbs all ragdoll down
    the shoppers in the plaza look over their shoulders
    it happens too fast for thoughts to form
    & none of them see the force that leaves you
    you’re a flurry of bats now whistling out
    you leave your lips & join the air
    in a wrangling sea of strewn-out clouds
    & mosquitoes sucking in light of the moon
    I’m with you in the homestead
    I’m with you in the homestead
    where we were in our sleeping bags
    we were like slugs in the dark
    you showed me hatchmarks on your arm
    & one of us was drunk but it wasn’t me
    I said, You need to see someone
    you said, I already have
    this is my last poem
    you ran your hand along my leg
    I fell asleep
    I woke with you on top
    you were breathing hard
    Hold me, you said
    you pressed my sternum
    you pushed me down in the dirt
    you tried to kiss me & I shoved you off
    this poem is sap from broke branches sighing
    this poem you read sad in the sideview mirror
    when you drove one hundred miles an hour
    for one hundred miles, for you drove to Boston
    for these characters are closer than they’ve ever seemed
    for this poem like ants in the hairline crack
    this poem which sees cities make quilts of light
    & the humming hills of green that are left
    & the livestock whose brains are not yet mush
    with the sheep so sure

    1. Ms. Cain’s poem: too much anger and self-pity and negativity.. .for my blood

      Here’s the poetry I prefer

      I never saw a moor, I never saw the sea
      Yet, know I how a heather looks, and what a wave must be
      I never spoke with God, nor visited in heaven,
      Yet, sure I am of the spot as if the chart were given

      And Joyce Kilmer’s
      Poems are made by fools like me
      But only God can make a tree

      And Yeats or was it Dylan Thomas
      Bird sighs for the air
      Thought for I know not where
      For the womb the seed sighs
      Now sinks the same rest
      On thoughts, on nest, on trembling thighs
      That his Love Song, now next is his Drinking Song (they are indistinguishable)
      Wine comes in at the mouth
      Love come in at the eye
      That’s all we shall know of Truth
      Before we grow old and die
      I raise my cup to my lips
      I look at you and I sigh

      Of course Robert Frost can’t be beat: please read and ponder Nothing Gold Can Stay . . .and While Riding by the Woods on a Snowy Evening

      And lastly . . .they say: Home is the place, that when you go there,they have to let you in.

      Friday Night I saw Boston College’s Theater Arts Department put on Paul Sartre’s play “No Exit”: three freshman; one sophomore: Two young women; two young men . . . .It was an exquisite performance, superbly staged, superbly written (adapted) superbly directed and supremely acted . . .a big standing O

      The song: Give me the simple life: You take the high road, I’ll take the low road, free from storm and strife; sounds corny and breezy, but yes indeedy, give me the simple life . . .

      A man’s grasp should always exceed his reach, for why else is there a heaven

      He chased me down the labyrinthine ways of mine own mind; I hid from Him ‘neath running laughter . . .all who dravest thee; dravest me . . .SOMETHING LIKE THAT . . meaning all that you crave drives you away from that which you really crave . .peace . . .the Prince of Peace . . .the Hound of Heaven . . .

      Now, I’ll stick with Yeats, Keats, Dylan Thomas, Frost, a little bit of Tangerine Man, Cohen, Alcott is it?, Invincible, Unconquerable, head is bloody but unbowed, do good by stealth and blush to find it fame, Milton on his Blindness “God doth not need man nor his works, his kingdom is stately, thousands at his bidding speed and post o’er land and sea with haste (with or without haste, instantaneously) . . .THEY ALSO SERVE WHO ONLY STAND AND WAIT

      Which reminds me of the guards standing still at Buckingham Palace or standing still or pacing slowly before the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier . . . .from Flander’s Fields . . .for every more

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