Here are some passages I liked from poems/short stories I've read recently.
From the collection Life is Precious and God and The Bible :
"Every terrorist has a demand", Kelley Irmen
realize this: you are trapped anywhere you go and routine induces
anxiety but there is routine always
realize this: you will go somewhere new and the stimulus will give you a
few months of relief
realize this: relief has shown it has teeth because once relief recedes --
you are left where you began
I have no beginning because I just relay stories and prose never has a
I have no center because I only relay events and situations (r)evolve --
they are not circles
From "1992", Elizabeth Taddonio
A week after my Monday night ballet classes started up, my CEO told me he was concerned that I was leaving so quickly at the end of the work day to get to my ballet and yoga classes. 8:30 to 5 gave off the wrong perception of my priorities. I cried and muttered about never wanting those things to be taken away from me. I told him the thought of having those classes taken away from me broke my heart. Then I promptly went into the bathroom and splashed my face with cold water. There were no paper towels and I put my face under the hand drier and thought, "This is a bigger moment than I want to admit."
From Jim Behrle's chapbook Succubus Blues :
From "Fugue State Bird"
But how does one coolly remove
The fascinating woman in the
Polka dot top from her long-
Time douchebag beau and still nail
The landing? I like girls
With boyfriends, nuns / I
Like dead girls like Zelda
Fitzgerald / I'm a big fan
Of the crazy and the really
Crazy / so why are relation-
Ships so hard to master?
From the June 2012 issue of Everyday Genius :
From "Pastoral Seasonale", Bryan Beck
Fall again, and all morning
was much too bright to even believe
in such a thing as sadism.
From "Dishonest", Stephanie Barber
Bill didn't snap, he just raised his eyebrows as if to say "well, that is something that you said." Not "something" like "well, that is really something," but "something" like "some thing." Like "you said something," all flat and evident and Icelandic.
From "Hopscotch", Lesley Yalen
Seventy-six across was Dixie Drink. Five letters were needed, fourth letter E. Makela thought not of Dixie nor of Drink. She thought of no words at all, only letters, swirling, hurtling, filling every empty space. She watched them combine and recombine, lay down in squares and peel off. The alphabet narrowed, hollowed, released, was math. To recollect but not remember, to associate but not feel: this was the crossword's light. A light to let go in. To let go of small k's that leapt in king and kite; to let go of people who, when approached, were not themselves. Now, she saw only letters, stripped of sound and use, micro sculptures made of circles, planes, and hooks. They floated around her and she slowly dismissed all but five, and then she laid those five down in their only order, a single line in a network of intersections, in a pattern with no other message than itself. In this way, Makela jot julep, and felt kissed.
From "Some General Instructions", Sampson Starkweather
taking a saltshaker into a tomato patch is never a bad idea,
do not underestimate the gravitas of sandwiches,
one should make a sandwich with great care and love and imagination
sure, you could say that of all things, but it's not true, you don't need much imagination
to take out the trash or love to do the dishes, sandwich-making is on a higher plain
similar to the holiness of jumping, science and experience cannot explain why, for no
apparent reason, humans will jump, however it appears to happen less as one grows
older, my advice is to make it a habit to jump every now and then, imagine what people
will think seeing an adult just jump, imagine the surprise and joy you can enact inside
people merely by a random jump, poetry does this, poetry is constantly jumping, which
is one reason those of us who love it, love it, and probably not one of the reasons
that those who don't love it, don't love it, people who don't love poetry jump less
than people who love poetry, and that's a fact