The Bamboo Mat: A poem

the bamboo mat – xuan chen

I cannot bear to put away the bamboo sleeping mat;
The night I brought you home I watched you roll it out.


All Februaries Are The Same

I’m definitely on a poetry high these days. Here is a beautiful poem by the incredibly creative Jaime Derringer.

All Februaries Are The Same

-Jaime Derringer

If ever a bouquet of flowers were to bloom
from my eyes
And pollinate my lips with exquisite spores
of pearls—
I would die before this day.
Pure blood clots my irises
And, my dear, your hand is all I need.
I wish,
that I could touch
touch you
just once before life swallows you.
Why can’t you return to the firmament
from which you came
and be released like the rain on my tongue
some February I wait for?
Yearn for the days of heavy bodies
lying entwined
only the burden of sleep upon our backs.
so close
like a heartbeat in my ear
it passes warmly by me
like your face lightly on mine.
Hours go by
known only to you and me.
Time melts
as we abandon February
and enter the garden of spring.


I interned at a company (actually it is the same one that I am working at now) in Summer 2011 and met this incredibly cool girl named A. She was studying sociology or something of the sort at Columbia and used to come in with all types of literature. She used to send me papers on gender equality. Famous short stories. Poems that made me envious of the authors who penned them. I’m still infatuated with this one. And still mad that I didn’t write it myself.

The Archipelago of Kisses, by Jeffrey McDaniel

We live in a modern society. Husbands and wives don’t
grow on trees, like in the old days. So where
does one find love? When you’re sixteen it’s easy,
like being unleashed with a credit card
in a department store of kisses. There’s the first kiss.
The sloppy kiss. The peck.
The sympathy kiss. The backseat smooch. The we
shouldn’t be doing this kiss. The but your lips
taste so good kiss. The bury me in an avalanche of tingles kiss.
The I wish you’d quit smoking kiss.
The I accept your apology, but you make me really mad
sometimes kiss. The I know
your tongue like the back of my hand kiss. As you get
older, kisses become scarce. You’ll be driving
home and see a damaged kiss on the side of the road,
with its purple thumb out. If you
were younger, you’d pull over, slide open the mouth’s
red door just to see how it fits. Oh where
does one find love? If you rub two glances, you get a smile.
Rub two smiles, you get a warm feeling.
Rub two warm feelings and presto-you have a kiss.
Now what? Don’t invite the kiss over
and answer the door in your underwear. It’ll get suspicious
and stare at your toes. Don’t water the kiss with whiskey.
It’ll turn bright pink and explode into a thousand luscious splinters,
but in the morning it’ll be ashamed and sneak out of
your body without saying good-bye,
and you’ll remember that kiss forever by all the little cuts it left
on the inside of your mouth. You must
nurture the kiss. Turn out the lights. Notice how it
illuminates the room. Hold it to your chest
and wonder if the sand inside hourglasses comes from a
special beach. Place it on the tongue’s pillow,
then look up the first recorded kiss in an encyclopedia: beneath
a Babylonian olive tree in 1200 B.C.
But one kiss levitates above all the others. The
intersection of function and desire. The I do kiss.
The I’ll love you through a brick wall kiss.
Even when I’m dead, I’ll swim through the Earth,
like a mermaid of the soil, just to be next to your bones.

Lines and Love

I just discovered Martha Collins, the poet. Her poems are spellbinding. In her poems she describes scenarios and emotions that I’ve experienced or felt, but could not find the words for, and now that they are transcribed on paper,  I can breathe sighs of relief and feel like all is right with the world again. Do you know what I mean? Well, anyway, here is my new favorite poem.


Martha Collins

Draw a line. Write a line. There.
Stay in line, hold the line, a glance
between the lines is fine but don’t
turn corners, cross, cut in, go over
or out, between two points of no
return’s a line of flight, between
two points of view’s a line of vision.
But a line of thought is rarely
straight, an open line’s no party
line, however fine your point.
A line of fire communicates, but drop
your weapons and drop your line,
consider the shortest distance from x
to y, let x be me, let y be you.