On Autumn

Fall Leaves Fall, by Emily Brontë

Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day;
Every leaf speaks bliss to me,
Fluttering from the autumn tree.
I shall smile when wreaths of snow
Blossom where the rose should grow;
I shall sing when night’s decay
Ushers in a drearier day

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On Love and Love Stories

“Stories About Love / Wedding Poem for Ada & Lucas,” by Jason Schneiderman

In one story, the lovers are two halves
split by jealous gods, and in another story,

the lovers are victims of a wicked baby
with a bow and arrow. In one story,

love means never touching, but exchanging
a lot of handkerchiefs, and in another story,

love means a drastic change in brain
chemistry that lasts a year, even though

the after effects are lifelong. In one story,
love is the north star guiding sailors,

and in one story love is a sharp blade,
a body of water, and a trophy all at once.

The truth is that love is nothing but itself,
an axiomatic property of humankind,

like storytelling and explanation giving,
which explains why everyone explains

love in stories, the way I once called it
a form of disappearing, and my favorite

philosopher called it a holiday. Listen,
storytelling animals: today, we say, love

is only love. Put down the crossbow, baby.
Put down the handkerchief, Lancelot.

Put away the easy chair, Babs. Let’s let love
be felt in its touch, and be known by its face.

Let’s let love speak Ada and Lucas,
and then let’s let love be silent.

On the Present

Fatigue Performance, by Noah Falck

Tonight the wind is in your voice.
And the gods are nervous
about the drinking water.
Someone hijacks the background
with three simple dance moves.
Or maybe the clouds
paused on the television
set during a ball game.
The silence inside
the photograph
of you eating alone
in an old yearbook.
This is going to be over
before you know it.
But not before your hands
become small birds
in celebration
of the present snow.
An expressed panic
attack of harmonics.
It’s like listening to your heartbeat
in a club, all the lights off,
all by yourself.

On Summer

Springing, by Marie Ponsot

In a skiff on a sunrisen lake we are watchers.

Swimming aimlessly is luxury just as walking
loudly up a shallow stream is.

As we lean over the deep well, we whisper.

Friends at hearths are drawn to the one warm air;
strangers meet on beaches drawn to the one wet sea.

What wd it be to be water, one body of water
(what water is is another mystery) (We are
water divided.) It wd be a self without walls,
with surface tension, specific gravity a local
exchange between bedrock and cloud of falling and rising,
rising to fall, falling to rise.

(1962)

On Time, Space, and Other Weird Things

Song, by T.S. Eliot

If space and time, as sages say,
Are things which cannot be,
The fly that lives a single day
Has lived as long as we.
But let us live while yet we may,
While love and life are free,
For time is time, and runs away,
Though sages disagree.

The flowers I sent thee when the dew
Was trembling on the vine,
Were withered ere the wild bee flew
To suck the eglantine.
But let us haste to pluck anew
Nor mourn to see them pine,
And though the flowers of love be few
Yet let them be divine.