A marriage poem for abundance (mine).

Abundance

for Scott & Josh

 

There will be days of singing & days of silent throats

There will be days of bouquets & days of empty vases

There will be days of thirst & nights of drinking

There will be raspberry days & days of stale crusts of bread

There will be days of nails in the wall & artless days

There will be harvest days & long nights of winter

There will days to gather & days to await the gathering

May the thin days make the days of fullness all the sweeter

May your fruits be many and your backs be strong

as you launch together

into your days

of abundance

 

July 5, 2014

 

scott and josh first step

(photo of the couple’s first steps toward marriage by Misha M. Johnson)

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Teacher in my mailbox (Ilya Kaminsky).

I went to San Diego State to study with Ilya Kaminsky, and I do not regret it one bit. Yesterday, the Academy of American Poets dropped off a new poem of his in my inbox. It made me glad and it made me miss school and I drank up the poem like a glass of fresh-pressed juice.

***

A Toast

 

To your voice, a mysterious virtue,

to the 53 bones of one foot, the four dimensions of breathing,

 

to pine, redwood, sworn-fern, peppermint,

to hyacinth and bluebell lily,

 

to the train conductor’s donkey on a rope,

to smells of lemons, a boy pissing splendidly against the trees.

 

Bless each thing on earth until it sickens,

until each ungovernable heart admits: “I confused myself

 

and yet I loved–and what I loved

I forgot, what I forgot brought glory to my travels,

 

to you I traveled as close as I dared, Lord.”

 

Poetry Awesomes of the New Year Thus Far (list).

Poetry Awesomes of the New Year Thus Far

a short list from a short poet

1. As I’ve mentioned before, Cassandra Gillig, who I want to be friends with (HELLO CASSANDRA DO YOU WANT TO BE FRIENDS I AM A REALLY GOOD PEN PAL), has smushed hip hop with poets reading their poems, and now you can download her album of these so-called “mash-ups” for FREE, right here. Just enter in the number zero when it asks how much you want to donate. And then you’ll have a file on your computer called “put me in charge of poetry magazine and i will fuck this country up.” Which is awesome.

 

2. womenpoetswearingsweatpants.tumblr.com is a total inspiration. Why? Well, the poems on the site have been submitted, with photos, by the ladypoets themselves. They are then turned into meme-looking things, with that shadowed font that meme-makers always use (who ARE you, meme makers?!). The photos are often selfies, and they often seem to be taken specifically in order to submit to this site (just a guess), and they are often of cozy poetlady feet. I like how comfy everyone is, how unpretty and normal looking. Most poems are probably written while wearing clothes you wouldn’t want your neighbor to see you in, and this blog seems to be a way of announcing that, embracing it, liking it.

I submitted to this blog and had the nearly-instant satisfaction of getting accepted, and of seeing a piece of a poem of mine in the world, in that font, over what is probably one of the least attractive photos taken of me, EVER. I am so glad that I’ve finally found a use for this photo, which has always made me laugh so hard (and Misha too) (he took it). It’s taken on Farnsworth Street in New London, Connecticut, sometime in the fall of 2008. In it, I am being both totally tired, and totally “what what!” It’s my hand that’s doing the “what what” and my body that’s doing the tired.

 

3. Poems on Facebook is happening, at least in my world, and you should get in on it. You post a poem, tell people to “like” it, then you assign each of the “likers” a poet to post on their own pages, with a similar message explaining the whole shebang. I love this because it’s like a chain letter, except 1) it’s not annoying 2) it’s spreading poems in a place where not many poems show up 3) it doesn’t involve me having to write down a recipe or buy stickers to send to someone I have never met. I especially like this because anyone can “like” the post, and therefore anyone, poet or non, can go on to post poems. It’s not exclusive to “poets.” I really really “LIKE” this.

 

4. The Ashbery Home School was just invented, & holy moly, I want to go to there. The coolest part is it’s held at JOHN ASHBERY’S ACTUAL HOME. With all his artstuffs and thingies in it. And it’s in Hudson, NY, the town that shows up somewhere new in my life like, once a week. Unfortunately, this program, a week-long writers’ retreat in August with awesome professors, field trips, movie screenings and workshops, costs money that I can’t spend on something like “retreating.” Especially since I live in what many would call “a retreat place.”

But this concept, of holding school at someone famous’ home, acknowledges the domestic space as pivotal to the artist. Which may not be true for all artists, but is very true for me. If you come to my house you will see treasures lined up in rows on almost all surfaces. I am always ordering things, collecting things, giving them away, altering them, altar-ing them. This is a part of how I am always creating. If I had money to spare I would apply to this brand-new retreat, which costs $1175. If you can afford it, you should go.

 

5. Lists seem to always have five or ten or one hundred things on them, so I’m feeling a little pressure to fill something in here….but I really don’t have any other poemy things to blog about…so please make something else poem-awesome and email it to me at taylormkatz@gmail.com! For the sake of the list!

 

This is the best thing on the internet (POETRY + HIP HOP).

The internet is too big to talk about as a whole, but on the whole I’ll generalize and say that my favorite thing about the internet is….this.

So now that you clicked on that link, click the little play button, and now you’ll be listening to Frank O’Hara (THE MAN MY LEGEND) reading his poem “Ode to Joy” over an instrumental version of Drake’s “The Best I Ever Had.”

I already love Drake because he is a pretty good rapper and once made a video that took place at a bar mitzvah (combining Judaism and hip hop, which rarely happens). I’ve loved Frank O’Hara for always & always will, even though he is very easy to love and everyone seems to. I think I still love him differently. His little lispy-crispy pronunciation. His gap tooth. His neck in a crew neck sweater in the postcard that lives in my truck. I do love him. And now thanks to the internet, (well, thanks to Cassanda Gillig, whom I would like to meet because he seems hilarious and cool and smart and essential), I can have poetry & hip hop fused in just the way I never knew I’d love because I hadn’t fathomed it yet.

And there’s more. There’s Brautigan & Mariah Carey! Even better THERE IS JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE AND ALICE NOTLEY. I am going bonkers right now. You know when you find something that you like so much you can’t handle it? And you think about how good life was before and how now it’s one significant notch better? And you feel like your posture has gotten better and that there’s more space between your toes so you can stand and jump and dance better? Do you guys know what I’m talking about?

 

 

Love & violence & beauty in The New Yorker (poem) (Jericho Brown).

How many amazing poets have you met? How many people have you met that have hypnotized you–literally hypnotized, the world swimming away–by reading one of their poems? Jericho Brown is an amazing poet and a skilled teacher and also an elegant creature. I took some workshops with him, and he came to a birthday party of mine once, and I wrote him a poem about his favorite color, orange, after he came to speak in one of my classes. I hope he liked it. He was in the New Yorker recently, and that, my friends, is a victory. For The New Yorker. And for all of us who know him. And for all of us who get to read The New Yorker because our mothers-in-laws give us their finished issues. The end.

 

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Why not: a birthday collage.

Dear Scott,

I made you this internet collage comprised of (beautiful) images that remind me of you. I really hope you like it.

Love,

Taylor

 

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coffee and whiskey

 

 

 

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Happiest of days to you, friend. I hope your weekend is full of even better things than Ellie giving the sneaky middle finger to you in a photo, though it’s hard to imagine what’s better than that.

 

Favorites list: a somewhat epic & hopefully never-ending poem (mine).

FAVORITES LIST (an ever-accumulating poemlist)

Favorite color: periwinkle

 

Favorite book: “East of Eden” by John Steinbeck

 

Favorite thing I’ve ever written:

Things I Want To Do When I’m 13 

1. Get a boyfriend

2. Have a bat mitzvah”

(written at age ten) (one out of two ain’t bad)

 

Favorite overheard pick-up line: “Your eyes are the color of my Porsche.”

 

Favorite human: Misha

 

Favorite strip club name: Nudie Cuties

 

Favorite finger: pinky

 

Favorite cocktail: “The Hillcrest Gizz”

 

Favorite way someone has misheard my first name over the phone: Kayra

 

Favorite soda: ROOT BEER!

 

Favorite animal: baby animals

 

Favorite thing about being an adult: throwing legal house parties

 

Favorite part about 4th grade: being the tallest girl in my grade

 

Favorite Celine Dionne song: “Because You Loved Me”

 

Favorite term of endearment that I’ve been called: “my little delicatessen”

 

Favorite part about going to the dentist: free tiny toothpaste!

 

Favorite wax: beeswax

 

Favorite way to eat kale: with my friends!

 

Favorite metal: copper

 

Favorite organ: brain

 

Favorite flower: dahlia. no sweetpea. or paperwhites!

 

Favorite rapper: Cam’ron

 

Favorite punctuation mark: colon

 

Favorite geometric shape: cone

 

Favorite fake invention name: The Nipple Fondler 2000

 

Favorite club I’ve created this year: The Poets’ Trampoline Club

 

Favorite pun using way/whey: “Move bitch, get out the whey”

 

Favorite outdoor activity: singing

 

Favorite sister: Sarah Schoenberg Katz

 

Favorite college: Connecticut College

 

Favorite dog: N/A

 

Favorite name of a past dentist: B.J. Mistry (say it out loud) (this is not a joke)

 

Favorite food on the seder plate: charoset!

 

Favorite modern acronym: YOLO

 

Favorite mustard: honey

 

Favorite way to wear a headband: the west coast way

 

Favorite thing to do when lots of people are over at my house: make each of them wear one of my hats

 

Favorite item available at a haberdashery: cufflinks

 

Favorite point at which to eat a banana: when it has a smattering of freckles

 

Favorite laugh: Scott Ballum’s

 

Favorite food that I never used to eat because I loved pigs and was a vegetarian but now eat all the time because pigs taste good and I am a flexitarian farmer: BACON

 

Favorite Woody Allen movie: “Midnight in Paris”

 

Favorite heat source: body heat

 

Favorite adjective: “deluxe”

 

Favorite name of a stop on the Croton-Harmon train line: Spuyten Duyvil

 

Favorite gay Pisces New York School poet: Frank O’Hara

 

Favorite gay Scorpio New York School poet: James Schuyler

 

Favorite bagel: everything with scallion cream cheese, please

 

Favorite basil variety name: Spicy Bush

 

Favorite city: NYC

 

Favorite name of a motel off I-95: The Honeyspot

 

Favorite remedy for when my hair gets greasy: stay home

 

Favorite yoga position: bird of paradise

 

Favorite food that Misha is making right now as I write this: hummus

 

Favorite way to end a poem: with an image that will sear into your mind forever

 

Favorite part about NPR: when they play short music clips in between shows

 

Favorite thing that’s about to happen: baby chicks and ducklings are going to arrive at my doorstep

 

 

The end. For now. The favorites are always accumulating.