Unspoken Word
July 29, 2020
Face Your Life Like a Cuban Trumpet Player

Face your life
like a Cuban trumpet player
standing his ground
for whatever comes next,
eyes straight ahead,
not a thought in the world
and blowing,
I said blowing his horn
at the peak of his power
so his long gone grandfather,
the man who worked the sugar cane fields
and always had a kind word for strangers,
will hear.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:04 AM | Comments (0)

July 25, 2020
What Is the Difference Between a Grocery List and a Poem?

Poetry is
really nothing more
than a list
of unexpected words and images,
one line following another,
like this one, for example,
and this one,
each adding
a little something extra,
to the flow,
a shade of meaning,
a wink, a hint of perfume,
woman nowhere in sight,
not unlike what follows,
perhaps something you have carried
in your pocket for weeks,
without knowing it,
crumpled.
Bananas (one bunch),
tomatoes (ripe),
three avocados,
hummus, pickles, and feta cheese,
a pint of chocolate ice cream.
Tell me,
what is the difference between
a grocery list and a poem?
Give up?
Good.
(We all have to give up, eventually).
A grocery list gives you things to get,
a poem gets you things to give,
things you will not find in Aisle 3,
but high up in the many selves you are,
especially the one
who measures how long it will take you
to get from the parking lot
to the front door of the supermarket
by how many haikus it can recite
without rushing.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:12 AM | Comments (0)

July 20, 2020
WHERE MY LIFE BEGINS

The space between thoughts
is where my life begins,
God's temple, cathedral, and mosque,
places that do not need to be swept,
already clean as they are,
no incense needs to be lit there,
the perfect perfume of God's air present,
no prayers need to be spoken,
the brief pause between now and whatever comes next -
the perfect invocation.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:55 PM | Comments (0)

Rilke's Late Night Violin Music

3hree_person_God.jpg

Rainer Maria Rilke, the genius German poet
who translated God in ways
no scripture has ever come close to,
once wondered why every time he walked
beneath a high window
(out of which violin music could be heard)
he thought it promised him a future lover.

When I die, I want to meet this man,
standing, as I imagine he will be, just beyond
the gathering of my long gone relatives waiting to greet me.
I don't think he will be saying much of anything,
just looking in my general direction, his dark eyes singing,
his body completely at ease, having just released
a thousand poems he never needed to write,
the lips of his high-windowed lovers still unkissed,
summoned as they were by violins to embrace him
far beyond the body's few pleasures.

Rilke will not be looking up,
remembering as he was, from a few years ago,
a beautiful young couple crossing the street before him,
laughing, talking, holding hands, but not his glance,
always reserved, it seemed, for someone else,
but if you dared to ask "for whom?"
he would fumble for his pen,
reach inside the quiet pocket of his favorite coat,
and find the old notebook he always kept there
for precisely moments
like this.

Rilke's Duino Elegies
Painting: Leslie Dietrich
More of my poetry here

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:06 PM | Comments (0)

July 05, 2020
TAKEN UP

I do not write, I evaporate,
drawn higher by a heat
I do not see, but feel.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:07 AM | Comments (0)

“I have nothing to say, I am saying it, and that is poetry.”
— John Cage

Welcome to my new blog — brief ruminations on what it is that moves me (and maybe YOU, too). If any of my poems inspire you, please forward them to friends. Good muse travels fast. Or could, with your help.

About me.
Contact me.

My Books

© Mitch Ditkoff