It’s been quite a while, but here they are: a new round of 5 favorite poems illustrated by 5 lovely local artists.
Carina Davidoiu, Cristina Frei, Alina Marinescu, Alexandra Mocanu and Biliana Velikova received the poems via e-mail only a few days ago and sent them back to me as wonderful illustrations.
This month’s edition is (yes, predictably) dedicated to love.
Enjoy & pay them forward (the poems, the illustrations, and love):
by Richard Brautigan
Beautiful, sobbing, high-geared fucking
and then to lie silently like deer tracks
in the freshly fallen snow beside the one
you love. That’s all.
Copyright © Richard Brautigan
THE QUIET WORLD
by Jeffrey McDaniel
In an effort to get people to look
into each other’s eyes more,
and also to appease the mutes,
the government has decided
to allot each person exactly one hundred
and sixty-seven words, per day.
When the phone rings, I put it to my ear
without saying hello. In the restaurant
I point at chicken noodle soup.
I am adjusting well to the new way.
Late at night, I call my long distance lover,
proudly say I only used fifty-nine today.
I saved the rest for you.
When she doesn’t respond,
I know she’s used up all her words,
so I slowly whisper I love you
thirty-two and a third times.
After that, we just sit on the line
and listen to each other breathe.
Source: The Forgiveness Parade (Manic D Press, 1998)
Copyright © 1998 by Jeffrey McDaniel
HOW I GO TO THE WOODS
by Mary Oliver
Ordinarily, I go to the woods alone, with not a single
friend, for they are all smilers and talkers and therefore
I don’t really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds
or hugging the old black oak tree. I have my way of
praying, as you no doubt have yours.
Besides, when I am alone I can become invisible. I can sit
on the top of a dune as motionless as an uprise of weeds,
until the foxes run by unconcerned. I can hear the almost
unhearable sound of the roses singing.
If you have ever gone to the woods with me, I must love
you very much.”
Copyright © Mary Oliver
From Swan: Poems and Prose Poems (2012)
THE ANGELS HAVE NO WINGS
by Lucille Clifton
the angels have no wings
they come to you wearing
their own clothes
they have learned to love you
and will keep coming
unless you insist on wings
Copyright © Lucille Clifton (2004)
WEARING THE COLLAR
by Charles Bukowski
I live with a lady and four cats
and some days we all get
some days I have trouble with
one of the
other days I have trouble with
two of the
some days I have trouble with
all four of the
ten eyes looking at me
as if I was a dog.
From “YOU GET SO ALONE AT TIMES THAT IT JUST MAKES SENSE”
Copyright © 1986 by Charles Bukowski
As usual, I am most grateful to these wonderful creatures for jumping in so fast (they only had a few days to squeeze the task in their schedules and send me the illustrations) and I’d be really happy around my belly button if you showed off your love by following their work and sharing this piece with a friend.
I decided to choose 5 poems every month (there is a list, and it’s growing bigger and bigger) and share them with the world. A world that might just come to love them as much as I do. And with a little help from my friends, there will also be yummy custom-made illustrations.
Around each month’s end/beginning, the poems and their fresh illustrations will be revealed on a dedicated Instagram account – @5poems (yes, please, do follow us). All goodies will also be printed and exhibited in our pocket bookshop+gallery (Receptor / Cărturești & Friends). And when it’s time for another round, the previous small prints will settle into the family album – a permanent collection gathering all illustrations and poems featured monthly.
Check out: Volume 1 here. Volume 2 here. Volume 3 here.