Musings of a Common Reader

February 15, 2013

February Poem Series: Merlie Alunan’s To Teach a Heart

“Your heart,” he says, planting a needle on a point between her brows, “beats too fast. Too strong. Works too hard.” More needles. Side of her neck, her throat, her shins, her feet, on her back. Immobilized by the needles, she wants to tell him This heart has always chosen its own pace, won’t slow for anyone’s sake, not even its own. Makes its own rules as hearts have done these ages now, maybe till all time.Quite beyond reason,
March 8, 2013
Siargao itinerary and expenses

March Poem Series: Adrienne Rich’s Women

  Adrienne Rich | Women My three sisters are sitting on rocks of black obsidian. For the first time, in this light, I can see who they are. My first sister is sewing her costume for the procession. She is going as the Transparent lady and all her nerves will be visible. My second sister is also sewing, at the seam over her heart which has never healed entirely, 
March 11, 2013

March Poem Series: Ho Xuan Huong

Ho Xuan Huong | The Jackfruit I am like a jackfruit on the tree. To taste you must plug me quick, while fresh: the skin rough, the pulp thick, yes, but oh, I warn you against touching— the rich juice will gush and stain your hands *** Ho Xuan Huong | On Sharing a Husband   Screw the fate that makes you share a man. One cuddles under cotton blankets; the other’s cold. Every now and then, well, maybe or maybe not. Once or twice a month, oh, it’s like nothing. 
March 19, 2013

March Poem Series: Louise Glück

Louise Glück | Penelope’s Song Little soul, little perpetually undressed one, Do now as I bid you, climb The shelf-like branches of the spruce tree; Wait at the top, attentive, like A sentry or look-out. He will be home soon; It behooves you to be Generous. You have not been completely Perfect either; with your troublesome body You have done things you shouldn’t Discuss in poems. Therefore Call out to him over the open water, over the bright Water With your dark song, with your grasping, Unnatural song—passionate, Like Maria Callas. Who Wouldn’t want you? Whose most demonic appetite Could […]