Monday, November 12, 2012

"Real power comes not from hate, but from truth."
~Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Empires - Charles Simic

by Charles Simic

My grandmother prophesied the end
Of your empires, O fools!
She was ironing. The radio was on.
The earth trembled beneath our feet.

One of your heroes was giving a speech.
“Monster,” she called him.
There were cheers and gun salutes for the monster.
“I could kill him with my bare hands,”
She announced to me.

There was no need to. They were all
Going to the devil any day now.
“Don’t go blabbering about this to anyone,”
She warned me.
And pulled my ear to make sure I understood.

-Charles Simic

Sunday, September 23, 2012

"Read them or don't read them, you will regret both."

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Travel (Jack)


We need to take
                Everywhere into                                                                                                              Join

                                The plateau
                in Peru.
Holy Islam,                                                                                                                                          Me,
                Don’t forget
The winds blow trade
                Through infernos.                                                                                                            My
Toppled towers in
                Bologna. Lets
Give Spain a try,
                                Why not London                                                                                              Holy
While we’re there?

Countries I will
                Only know by their
                                Curve on the map.                                                                                          Brothers.
Perfectly flat world.

Pjc jr 92212

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Unconscious Activity

Most of your unconscious
Activity is struggle.
Systems making assertive
Efforts to remain stable.
It's just evolution.
Metabolic cap breached.
Excessive post exercise
Oxygen consumption.
Lag for stabilization.

After car crashes,
Screaming children,
Showdowns with
Power hungry capitalists,
Avoiding cracks for
Six years,
Viewings and binges;
Why would you expect anything
Different from any
Other part of your life?

pjc jr 9812

Thursday, September 6, 2012

On Turning Ten - Billy Collins

On Turning Ten - by Billy Collins

The whole idea of it makes me feel
like I'm coming down with something,
something worse than any stomach ache
or the headaches I get from reading in bad light--
a kind of measles of the spirit,
a mumps of the psyche,
a disfiguring chicken pox of the soul.

You tell me it is too early to be looking back,
but that is because you have forgotten
the perfect simplicity of being one
and the beautiful complexity introduced by two.
But I can lie on my bed and remember every digit.
At four I was an Arabian wizard.
I could make myself invisible
by drinking a glass of milk a certain way.
At seven I was a soldier, at nine a prince.

But now I am mostly at the window
watching the late afternoon light.
Back then it never fell so solemnly
against the side of my tree house,
and my bicycle never leaned against the garage
as it does today,
all the dark blue speed drained out of it.

This is the beginning of sadness, I say to myself,
as I walk through the universe in my sneakers.
It is time to say good-bye to my imaginary friends,
time to turn the first big number.

It seems only yesterday I used to believe
there was nothing under my skin but light.
If you cut me I could shine.
But now when I fall upon the sidewalks of life,
I skin my knees. I bleed.
-Billy Collins

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Spines and Ribs

I'm running out of room on my little bed
It fills from head to foot with books
I don't read them
I sit and stare
Eyeing their spines and ribs

-PJC jr 82812

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Lake Isle - Ezra Pound

O God, O Venus, O Mercury, patron of thieves,
Give me in due time, I beseech you, a little tobacco-shop,
With the little bright boxes
piled up neatly upon the shelves
And the loose fragment cavendish
and the shag,
And the bright Virginia
loose under the bright glass cases,
And a pair of scales
not too greasy,
And the votailles dropping in for a word or two in passing,
For a flip word, and to tidy their hair a bit.

O God, O Venus, O Mercury, patron of thieves,
Lend me a little tobacco-shop,
or install me in any profession
Save this damn'd profession of writing,
where one needs one's brains all the time

-Ezra Pound, The Lake Isle

Friday, July 13, 2012

Walt Whitman Darest Thou Now, O Soul


DAREST thou now, O Soul,
Walk out with me toward the Unknown Region,
Where neither ground is for the feet, nor any path to follow?

No map, there, nor guide,
Nor voice sounding, nor touch of human hand, 5
Nor face with blooming flesh, nor lips, nor eyes, are in that land.

I know it not, O Soul;
Nor dost thou—all is a blank before us;
All waits, undream’d of, in that region—that inaccessible land.

Till, when the ties loosen,
All but the ties eternal, Time and Space,
Nor darkness, gravitation, sense, nor any bounds, bound us.

Then we burst forth—we float,
In Time and Space, O Soul—prepared for them;
Equal, equipt at last—(O joy! O fruit of all!) them to fulfil, O Soul.

Walt Whitman Darest Thou Now, O Soul

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mr. Wurster

What could I say? I hadn't
Thought of him that much,
But at the head of the table
He was an ornament
Or an imposing gothic gray
Winged gargoyle.

A real dark knight poet
Surrounded by panhandlers
And betrayers. Judases
And jackals, and where
Did I fit? The Jester?

A sacrament of flesh around
The table from ear to ear.
It was dusty, the room that is,
His eyes were too,
Or maybe it is only the memory,
But either way he was a beast

Among lambs, a real Lucifer,
So kind.  You know the type,
Charming, intelligent, etc. and
Sophisticated in a blazer and comic-
Book T-shirt. He was Pittsburgh classy
Poet laureate of steel bridges,

He was frozen art. A bloated
Tomato ready to burst,
All pink and red. He brought
Us the news of Li Po and Rumi
A man of the world!

It is almost grotesque to think
About you now.
You were so magnificent then.
You could have worn a cape
And enchanted us all,
Turned us to toads.

But instead you sung to us
Quoting, "who am I born in
Dark times to ask a
Kind turn from fate?"

Pjcjr 62812

Monday, June 25, 2012

Diane DiPrima

Revolutionary Letters


the vortex of creation is the vortex of destruction
the vortex of artistic creation is the vortex of self destruction
the vortex of political creation is the vortex of flesh destruction
flesh is in the fire, it curls and terribly warps
fat is in the fire, it drips and sizzling sings
bones are in the fire
they crack tellingly in
subtle hierglyphs of oracle
charcoal singed
the smell of your burning hair
for every revolutionary must at last will his own destruction
rooted as he is in the past he sets out to destroy

-Diane DiPrima, Revolutionary Letters #12

Thursday, June 14, 2012


I followed a group of Japanese
school children through the fish market
In the middle of Florence
While watching the writhing eels squirm
and the countless jellyfish give
slimy kisses to their neighbor's gray skin.

At the Uffizi I still smelled
the fish perfume on my skin
and felt the lips of the jelly
fish on my cheek. I was behind two groups
of Japanese students in navy
blue jackets ironed kahkis and plaid skirts.
Red Sketchers with untied shoelaces traced
down the floors like eels piled up in
long lines into narrow bottomless bins.

Then there was the primordal long wavy
hair of Venus. Venus born of the sea.
Venus bursting nude from the palm of her
island shell. The students, divided in groups
of boys and girls, shuffled in silent reverence
past the annointed feet of Venus.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012


"It teases eternally, then suddenly fades and dies."

The old motif. The skull king with the laural crown.
The eternal thrill of supplication and ill.
Braun set out to slay his dragon on top his knoll
Abandoned by his fiddlers,
Assaulted by his butler,
Robbed by his cook and heir.

The hunger fields where the jackal lays listening.
The white horse mounted by cancer
And starvation. The globe rolls,
The violins play on, the actors act,
The good thief has come again.

Braun bows low at old god's alter.
Weighs memories on an ivory scale.

A candle and lavender to end his stolid day.


Monday, June 11, 2012

John Berryman, poem 175

Old King Cole was a merry old soul and a merry old soul was Henry
He called for his butts & he called for his bowl
& he called for his fiddlers three
in vain. Blank prose took hold of Henry's soul
considering all the deaths & considering.
There is a little life upstairs

playing her nursery rhymes to be considered
also. And there is a tall life in the car
to be considered.
And there is the life of Henry's characters
to be thought on, established from afar.
Henry has much to do.

Take a deep breath then, sigh, relax, continue.
This world is a solemn place, with room for tennis.
Everybody's mouth
is somewhere else, I know, somebody's anus.
I speak a mystery, only to you.
Here's all my blood in pawn.

-John Berryman, poem 175, The Dream Songs

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

June Metamorphoses

When these pebbles become flesh
When they reach, lust, and bless
The foaming waters at their knees
When these veins with their agony
Become tributes only to a lost story
The height of being ends at heaven
The flute and violin praise our passion
The ears are blocked in pride's fashion
This is to not know the origins of our waters
The man made of marble and straw
Whose face and hands feel time's gnaw
Wades to his waist in blackened seas
His wife in the garden makes paper dolls
To dance and stand in their waiting halls
They will fight for breath in love's trepid channels

Were they denied were they crippled and silent
Did they move with their dry tongues impotent
To the recesses and curves of the shy and strong

I swear by all the rivers
Of deepest Hell my best is done to conquer
Human ill; the best is not enough; taint
Must be cut from flesh as with a cleansing
Knife the body cured. I am protector
Of nymphs, fauns, satyrs, and small gods who wander
The village street, down lanes, up shaded hills;
Since we have found no home for them in heaven,
The lands they live in must be cleared of evil,
Where Lycaon, known for his will against me,
Walks like a beast and hides his traps in forests.

~ Ovid, the Metamorphoses

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Secret Admirer

On Lungarno Acciaioli

I see
A woman sits with both legs dangling
Over the wall, her back
To the street. It is obvious
That she is either more brave or
Has more faith in humanity
Than I do.

I glance up to see her taking
A picture of me with my
Book of Bukowski open

I look back down to the street.
What I had thought earlier
Was a lizard turns out to be
A feather blown by the traffic.

Again, I look up and she is gone
I realize my eyes wont stay open,
and the wine's
Effect is passing.

My vision is lost down the street

P. Conners Jr.
Florence. May 22, 2012

Thursday, May 24, 2012


A woman on the street
In Florence
Taking signatures for
A petition
To help end drugs and aids
Made a pass at me
While telling me how
Famous Pittsburgh is,

And that I do not
Look American.
I guess I did catch some sun
That day.

Anyway, she looked me up
And down.

Accepted her offer to learn
A little Italian,
But remained clueless as to what
        and what it was
That any of this really meant.

After some negotiation we reached our terms.
So naturally,
            gave her a twenty and
Ran straight
Inside San Gaetano
Dodging carelessly down the
Bus lane

-p. Conners Jr.
Florence, May 22, 2012

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


I'm wearing beige Khakis, a maroon T, Red Vans, with an orange Hoody tied around my waist While a woman with Cropped black hair Walks under me In a white T announcing No More Fashion Victims. I wonder where in Florence I have ended up. And how long have I been sitting on This wall? A man rows his thin Boat down the Arno backwards. My back and ass hurt. It's time to find A balcony And more wine. Possibly a taxi?

p. Conners Jr.
Florence, May 22, 2012

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A White Crane

I saw her swooping
In while I sat on the
Ledge on top of the wall
Before the Arno river, sparkling
In midday.
She fell into the water
Soundless and soft
Stayed still for a
Minute then into the
Reeds I lost her.
I returned to Bukowski
He told me
To get used to it.
The crane was seen for
A moment again before
Sailing off under
Arched bridges of
Heavy stone.
I've felt
Shame and accomplishment

-p. Conners Jr, Florence
May, 22 2012

Friday, February 17, 2012

The garage had once more
Been transformed into a butcher’s shop.
Was I fourteen or nine?
A young man or a boy?
Was it a Sunday?
     It was if it adds magnitude.

What happens in a year is forgettable;
What happens in a minute lasts our whole lives.
My father gutting squirrels
Hands me the liquid red knife.
Squeamish, I drop it, and I run.

-Patrick Conners Jr

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Shaving - Charles Simic

Child of sorrow.
Old snotnose.
Stray scrap from the table of the gods.
Toothless monkey.
Wheezing there,
Coughing too.

The trouble with you is,
Your body and soul
Don't get along well together.
Pigsty for a brain,
Stop them from making faces at each other
In the mirror!
Then, remove the silly angel wings
From your gorilla suit.

-Charles Simic, Shaving

Monday, February 6, 2012

Calvino told me that I better get used to reflections;
A reliance on metaphors confirms this.

It is as though we write the same poem endlessly
To ourselves, only we try to cover it up by
Changing our words around.

We weigh nothing. Weight comes from the outside.
They put it on us. They shovel us full of concrete,
Which without we would merely float into the sun.

Calvino, lightness, you know what I'm saying,
Dont you?
The ghost is weightless, except for her anguish.
~pjc jr 2/6/12