Carolyn Kizer

American Beauty – Carolyn Kizer

American Beauty – Carolyn Kizer

For Ann London As you described your mastectomy in calm detail and bared your chest so I might see the puckered scar, “They took a hatchet to your breast!” I said. “What an Amazon you are.” When we were girls we climbed Mt. Tamalpais chewing bay leaves we had plucked along th... »

Cultural Evolution – Carolyn Kizer

Cultural Evolution – Carolyn Kizer

When from his cave, young Mao in his youthful mind A work to renew old China first designed, Then he alone interpreted the law, and from tradtional fountains scorned to draw: But when to examine every part he came, Marx and Confucius turned out much the same. ~ Cultural Evolution – Carolyn Kiz... »

Days of 1986 – Carolyn Kizer

Days of 1986 – Carolyn Kizer

He was believed by his peers to be an important poet, But his erotic obsession, condemned and strictly forbidden, Compromised his standing, and led to his ruin. Over sixty, and a father many times over, The objects of his attention grew younger and younger: He tried to corrupt the sons of his deares... »

Fearful Women – Carolyn Kizer

Fearful Women – Carolyn Kizer

Arms and the girl I sing – O rare arms that are braceleted and white and bare arms that were lovely Helen’s, in whose name Greek slaughtered Trojan. Helen was to blame. Scape-nanny call her; wars for turf and profit don’t sound glamorous enough. Mythologize your women! None escape.... »

Mud Soup – Carolyn Kizer

Mud Soup – Carolyn Kizer

1. Had the ham bone, had the lentils, Got to meat store for the salt pork, Got to grocery for the celery. Had the onions, had the garlic, Borrowed carrots from the neighbor. Had the spices, had the parsley. One big kettle I had not got; Borrowed pot and lid from landlord. 2. Dice the pork and chop t... »

On a Line From Valery (Gulf War) – Carolyn Kizer

On a Line From Valery (Gulf War) – Carolyn Kizer

Tout le ciel vert se meurt Le dernier arbre brûle. The whole green sky is dying. The last tree flares With a great burst of supernatural rose Under a canopy of poisonous airs. Could we imagine our return to prayers To end in time before time’s final throes, The green sky dying as the last tree... »

On a Line from Valéry (The Gulf War) – Carolyn Kizer

On a Line from Valéry (The Gulf War) – Carolyn Kizer

The whole green sky is dying.The last tree flares With a great burst of supernatural rose Under a canopy of poisonous airs. Could we imagine our return to prayers To end in time before time’s final throes, The green sky dying as the last tree flares? But we were young in judgement, old in year... »

Parent’s Pantoum – Carolyn Kizer

Parent’s Pantoum – Carolyn Kizer

for Maxine Kumin Where did these enormous children come from, More ladylike than we have ever been? Some of ours look older than we feel. How did they appear in their long dresses More ladylike than we have ever been? But they moan about their aging more than we do, In their fragile heels and long b... »

Poet’s Household – Carolyn Kizer

Poet’s Household – Carolyn Kizer

1 The stout poet tiptoes On the lawn. Surprisingly limber In his thick sweater Like a middle-age burglar. Is the young robin injured? 2 She bends to feed the geese Revealing the neck’s white curve Below her curled hair. Her husband seems not to watch, But she shimmers in his poem. 3 A hush is on the... »

Reunion – Carolyn Kizer

Reunion – Carolyn Kizer

For more than thirty years we hadn’t met. I remembered the bright query of your face, That single-minded look,intense and stern, Yet most important -how could I forget?- Was what your taught me inadvertantly (tutored by books and parents, even more By my own awe at what was yet to learn): The ... »

The Intruder – Carolyn Kizer

The Intruder – Carolyn Kizer

My mother– preferring the strange to the tame: Dove-note, bone marrow, deer dung, Frog’s belly distended with finny young, Leaf-mould wilderness, hare-bell, toadstool, Odd, small snakes loving through the leaves, Metallic beetles rambling over stones: all Wild and natural -flashed out he... »

The Ungrateful Garden – Carolyn Kizer

The Ungrateful Garden – Carolyn Kizer

Midas watched the golden crust That formed over his steaming sores, Hugged his agues, loved his lust, But damned to hell the out-of-doors Where blazing motes of sun impaled The serrid roses, metal-bright. “Those famous flowers,” Midas wailed, “Have scorched my retina with light.... »

A Song for Muriel – Carolyn Kizer

A Song for Muriel – Carolyn Kizer

No-one explains me because There is nothing to explain. It’s all right here Very clear. O for my reputations sake To be difficult and opaque! No-one explains me because Though myopic, I see plain. I just put it down With a leer and a frown… Why does it make you sweat? Is this the thanks ... »