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from [Practicing Vigilance] 

I’m looting the altars of my former forgiveness
like a cacophony of snow blowers
I’m between making dinner plans
and opening a can of sunshine onto the supernal room
standing in a very quiet desert
forcing the mean soliloquies out
with their un-simulated volcanic ash
hardening my exact replica.
I used to put a miniature rosebush
in the ground each year
to counteract my squalor.
Don’t tell me that definition of madness,
doing the same thing over again etcetera.
The definition of madness
is a certain enthusiasm, then there has
to be another person there
to not share in it—who is oppressed by it
who can only stare into it.
Tell it to the bluebird rustling over my head.
Tell it to a satellite orbiting in its delusion of being a moon.
I’m coaxing the black bull out of my mouth
with a red flag and a beer. I’m constructing
out of my faulty genes, my last sentence, my last thing
which addresses the dilemma obliquely:
we shall perceive our own pain in others.
And we shall know if we are capable of loving them.

__________________________________________________________
Bianca Stone is the author of several chapbooks, including Someone Else’s Wedding Vows (Argos Books), and the poetry-comic I Want To Open The Mouth God Gave You Beautiful Mutant (Factory Hollow Press). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Best American Poetry 2011, Conduit, and Tin House. Bianca Stone is also a visual artist and her collaboration with Anne Carson, Antigonick, a new kind of comic book and translation, was published in spring of 2012 by New Directions.

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Ben Pease is the creator and host of Scattered Rhymes, the featured podcast of The The Poetry Blog. His poetry has appeared in MAGGY, Paperbag, and SUPERMACHINE, among others. A selection of his Blockbuster in Verse, Wichman Cometh, is available from Monk Books here. His collages can be found here and as poetry comics with Bianca Stone here and here .

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  • Bobby Parry via Facebook July 13, 2012, 7:55 pm

    these poems are shite?

  • Scribblings of a Scattered Mind ~ Diantra via Facebook July 13, 2012, 8:17 pm

    Personally I loved it, thank you for posting :)

  • Anna Jean Mallinson via Facebook July 13, 2012, 8:33 pm

    Pleased to read this because of my admiration for her grandmother, Ruth Stone.

  • Sampson Starkweather via Facebook July 14, 2012, 2:50 am

    you’re shite bobby parry, who the hell are you anyway to be talking shit, loser.

  • Lisa A. Flowers via Facebook July 14, 2012, 2:16 pm

    If Bobby Parry’s definition of what isn’t ‘shite’ is evinced by his string of comments (or spam, some might say, as they don’t pertain to the article at all) on the below William Carlos Williams/Job thread, I think it’s fair to suggest that disregarding his views might be the way to go. Unless of course his whole persona is a prank (albeit an ineffectual one perilously skirting spam…)

  • Lisa A. Flowers via Facebook July 14, 2012, 2:21 pm

    Also, love this (from the Stone poem):
    “I’m coaxing the black bull out of my mouth
    with a red flag and a beer. I’m constructing
    out of my faulty genes, my last sentence, my last thing
    which addresses the dilemma obliquely:
    we shall perceive our own pain in others.
    And we shall know if we are capable of loving them.”

  • Sweetredsoul July 18, 2012, 8:50 am

    I love this poem!

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