We Real Cool
The Red Wheelbarrow
Joie de Mourir

_____ Here we see the curginas in their stich-ended form, "decurginated". Click here or on the title at the top of each poem to return to the Curginas page.

We Real Cool
by Gwendolyn Brooks
in bacchic (de-DUM-DUM) monometer.

We real cool.
We left school.

We lurk late.
We strike straight.

We sing sin.
We thin gin.

We jazz June.
We die soon.

The Red Wheelbarrow
by W.C. Williams
in simple accentual trimeter once the intraphrasal breaks are discarded

So much depends upon

a red wheelbarrow

glazed with rain water

beside the white chickens.

in trochaic octometer.

Let us speak of rumours first. The pallid truth can wait till later.
Did she kneel before a rosary of priests behind the chapel?
Lenny says she loved a man too many. Freddy White went further,

saying she would writhe to any occasion; she would consummate her
nightly nuptials, leaving each new orchard after biting every apple.
It will rain champagne before I tell you that I loved her.

aka "Panther That Crouches in Wait" or "Shooting Star"

You, Canadian? The greatest American? You fought to be neither, but nor
were you panther that crouches in wait. You were egret, your feet in the mud
as you stood above weeds. Both your fathers would leave you to war.
Brock would say no more valorous warrior exists. Sure as apple trees bud,

the pleas of a peacemaker can't be imparted
while even your traplines have got to be guarded.

The cities were the bellows of the wind that blew
at Prophetstown, across the rivers, over you.
Gray wolves surround the egret. Foxes slink away,
their coats the colour of your blood. You'd say:

"Sing your death song and then die like a hero returning home."
Yours was the song of that egret, your life like a burning poem.

in anapestic tetrameter.

Once again he has made us accept something better denied:
one more rose on his breast before infinite moments alone,
one more snowfall to face. It is just as old Rex eulogized:
he has gone to his grace, leaving us so much less of our own.

in iambic pentameter.

September came like winter's ailing child
but left us viewing Valparaiso's pride.
Your face was always saddest when you smiled.
You smiled as every doctored moment lied.
You lie with orphans' parents, long reviled.

As close as coppers, yellow beans still line
Mapocho's banks. It leads them to the sea;
entwined on rocks and saplings, each new vine
recalls that dawn in 1973
when every choking, bastard weed grew wild.

Joie de Mourir
in iambic tetrameter.

Beyond this arid pit is life,
lived incognito. Dreams resist
our beckoning. Just coax the one
that's closest: I can see my wife,
a rose corsage adorns her wrist;
her iris catches the voyeur sun.

I see her neckline, hem and slit
unfurl then gather like geese in flight.
At dusk we dance and turn to tell
the termagant wind to end its fit.
Two shadows move at the speed of night
across the shadeless halls of hell.

in iambic pentameter.

This is the time for mercy, time for letting
rage recede. Relent while not forgetting
a small act of grace is how we squint
at God. Embrace this chance with wonderment.


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since June 28th, 2009.