Here is my poem for Day 21:

I want you to feel the way you do
When you’re with me, even when
We’re apart: beautiful, whole, sexy,
Smart, grounded — a rock star.
You should always feel that way,
Because it is who you are
Not just how I see you.
“Bind me as a seal upon your heart,
A sign upon your arm…” writes Solomon.
That seal and sign,
Should not be a “brand,”
But a celebration of you,
Your beauty, your wholeness,
And how full of love you are.

–Scott Edward Anderson

 

20130421-102320.jpg

zShare1Don Share’s poetry resume reads like something from another era, when men and women of letters were perhaps more common.

Not the tenure-track kind of poet one finds in universities, but the sort that is actively engaged in poetry – as an editor, as a translator, a critic, and as a writer – on a daily basis. He was poetry editor of Harvard Review, the Partisan Review, and a senior editor of Poetry magazine.

He’s published three books of his own poems, translated Seneca and Miguel Hernandez, and compiled two books of verse by the great Basil Bunting, as well as co-editing The Open Door: One Hundred Poems, One Hundred Years of “Poetry” Magazine.

Share’s own poems are pithy, witty, and verbally gymnastic. Occasionally he takes a pun or a rhyme a little too far until it snaps back or more likely turns inside out. He’s fascinated by words and how they transform each other in the music of varying line length and tone.

And he is always aware, as poet Tom Sleigh writes in a blurb for Wishbone, Share’s latest collection, “of how daily life refuses to cohere into a consoling pattern is beautifully mirrored by his conviction that language itself signals a fall from grace and unity and emotional wholeness.”

The title poem, “Wishbone,” Share said in an interview, “is in the voice of a dying cat, and from his perspective, human beings are in charge, making godlike decisions in the face of which he feels powerless, though this is a tough cat and he suffers no loss of nobility or character even at the very end of it all. Needless to say, a cat can’t talk; I wanted to give one language for a short spell so he could speak his piece. A bit of tragicomic relief, you might say.”

Here is Don Share’s poem “Wishbone”:

I have a bone to pick
with whoever runs this joint.
I don’t much like
being stuck out in the rain
just to feed on the occasional
vole or baby rabbit
and these wet weed-salads
confound my intestines.
A cat can’t throw himself
into the Des Plaines River,
not even in the luscious fall.
I get yelled at in human
language every single day
for things I can’t begin
to comprehend, let alone change.
But I go on cleaning myself –
why shouldn’t I? –
and so I think I smell sweet,
even though I suspect otherwise.
I wouldn’t harm a fly normally,
but why doesn’t anybody
take care of me?  How am I
supposed to know that it’s Easter,
that I’m not allowed to die
in my own bed, and that neither prong
of this wishbone is meant for me?

–Don Share

20Here is my poem for Day 20:

 

Nightmares end.

Last night’s surreal

Scenes stopped abruptly

Segued into pages

From “The Song of Songs,”

And my love sleeping

In my arms again.

Morning comes with the hush

Of a spring rain, a chill breeze,

And robins and starlings

Vying for attention.

I pull my love closer.

Her head on my chest,

Her dreams in my heart.

 

–Scott Edward Anderson

 

 

4-19-1775-LexingtonHere is my poem for Day 19.

I wrote it in the midst of all the chaos and reports coming from Boston, trying to keep up my spirits and the challenge made to myself for National Poetry Month. And to prove terror can’t trump poetry.

 

I have no words.

I just stare, listening

To the news and don’t

Even know how to ask

Why?

Where is the poetry

In words like manhunt,

Lockdown, shelter-in-place order?

Where is the poetry

In controlled explosion,

on-going situation

person-of-interest?

Where is the poetry

In a world where terror

Takes hold and bites?

It’s in the eyes of my love

And our hands clasped,

Finally reunited and safe

Together, after too long apart

–Scott Edward Anderson

pocket_logo2Here is my poem for Day 18 of National Poetry Month, which is also “Poem in Your Pocket Day”:

 

Is that a poem in your pocket

Or are you just happy to be

Alive and kicking in the teeth

Of the cruel world just by

Your very existence?

The world needs poetry

If only to make sense

Of the senseless, put words

To what can’t be explained,

And say the unsayable.

Me? I carry my poem

Wherever I go and bring

It out to give it to you.

 

–Scott Edward Anderson

 

BStrongHere is my poem for Day 17:

 

 

It is tough to be strong

In the face of another

Senseless act of violence,

The lives and limbs lost

To someone with evil

In their hearts–

Whether jihadist or jerk-off.

Yet we must, we have to be

In order for decency and love

To triumph.

We think our love

Is only between two people,

But in fact it’s a beacon

For humanity that shines,

“Love conquers all things…”

–Scott Edward Anderson

PoetsHouseHere is my poem for Day 16:

 

I never met your father,

But I feel his presence

In your life, on this day

Every year since we met

At Poets House, the tenth

Anniversary of his passing.

We sat by the river,

Two good friends watching

Our kids chase each other

In the playground.

Moments of silence,

Never awkward;

A few laughs.

I don’t know what you

Were thinking then,

Except I know it meant

A lot that I wanted to be

With you on that day,

To help you through it

With poetry and laughter,

The distraction of kids

Playing and eating lunch.

A man who cared

And understood what

This day means to you.

Who cared enough

To seize the day

And pay attention

To the meaning

Of your heart.

 

–Scott Edward Anderson

 

april_15_calendarHere is my poem for Day 15:

 

We are better together.

But you knew that,

Didn’t you?

Why do the miles

Seem so much longer,

The days much darker,

When we’re apart?

Nights, too, especially

The nights–interminable.

Turning both of us, strong,

Independent in so many ways,

Into lost souls who just want

To get back to our source.

Silly, really; it was just four days.

But it seemed ceaseless

And without end, until

I held you in my arms again.

Like an addict, I need

–no I crave–your touch,

your voice, the way

Your eyes connect with mine.

I need your physical presence

Next to me, around me,

Even if just out of reach

Across the apartment,

Like I’ve never needed anyone.

Absurd, I know, but if I’ve

“Got to have one vice,” as

My grandmother used to say,

I’m glad it is you. So very glad it’s you.

 

–Scott Edward Anderson

si14Here is my poem for Day 14:

 

 

No Aurora in this night sky,

I go bed in the wee hours.

Listen to the sound of cars

Fast on Lincoln Drive below,

Almost a river sound,

If not for the roughness

Of the asphalt.

What chance has anyone

Got, with demons like those

In their rear view?

 

 –Scott Edward Anderson

 

lucky-13Here is my poem for Day 13, written at 1:30 AM, proving I’m not always happy:

 

1:30 AM. Can’t sleep.

I don’t like when we fight,

Especially via text, and

Especially about being apart,

Which neither of us enjoys.

I distract myself with old movies

On TCM, and try to forget

There’s still two days to go.

Even Selznick’s “Since You

Went Away,” can’t take me away.

With its sentiment and sorrow,

And the hint of a sappy ending.

Jennifer Jones, whose affair

With Selznick led to husband

Robert Walker’s breakdown,

Playing a teen (at 25), having

To pretend she’s in love

With her ex-husband, not

Her director. (Ah, back story!)

Joseph Cotten’s Virginia

Gentleman not sinister at all,

Showing his range as well as

Limitations. My limitations

Stare me in the face

From the screen —

And from this empty bottle.

While you steam and fume

And try to sleep,

100 miles north.

 

–Scott Edward Anderson