John Farley

That Devil’s Music

Satanic jazz artifacts
Dug out of Hell’s Kitchen basements.
A dank and spongy beat,
Endless and incomplete
Thuds out of cold kettle cocktail kit,
Burrows through breast plate and pleura.

At the El Diablo
They clamor for “Gloomy Sunday”
And the turgid trumpet bleat
That hangs heavy on 49th Street
Like a sopping wet rug
Slung over an icy aura.

And the bone man, low and stoned,
Trades fours with Kali Ma
Who bounces on

Walt Whitman

Native Moments

  Native moments—when you come upon me—ah you are here now,
  Give me now libidinous joys only,
  Give me the drench of my passions, give me life coarse and rank,
  To-day I go consort with Nature's darlings, to-night too,
  I am for those who believe in loose delights, I share the midnight
      orgies of young men,
  I dance with the dancers and drink with the drinkers,
  The echoes ring with our indecent calls, I pick out 


Four Haiku


Ill on a journey;
my dreams wander
over a withered moor.


The sea darkens;
the voices of the wild ducks
are faintly white.


Now the swinging bridge
is quieted with creepers
like our tendrilled life.


By the old temple,
peach blossoms;
a man treading rice.

Companion art: “Introverted Circumstances” by Jared C. Balogh Read more >>

John Farley

The Lovers

Thirty feet tall.
Each of them 
A house of love.

Pale pachyderm legs
Hold fast to fickle Earth
While crooked bones rise like prayers
That ache for Heaven.

Flush, ablush,
She cranes to the moon,
And he kisses her neck
Right along the trench
That bubbles with her rising sap.

Companion Art: “The Lovers,” adapted by John Farley. Original image Read more >>


The Daughter of Cyprus

Dreaming I spake with the Daughter of Cyprus,
Heard the languor soft of her voice, the blended
Suave accord of tones interfused with laughter
Low and desireful;

Dreaming saw her dread ineffable beauty,
Saw through texture fine of her clinging tunic
Blush the fire of flesh, the rose of her body,
Radiant, blinding;

Saw through filmy meshes the melting lovely
Flow of line, the exquisite curves, whence piercing
Rapture reached with tangible touch to thrill

Sherwood Anderson

Tales are people who sit on the doorstep of the house of my mind…

Tales are people who sit on the doorstep of the house of my mind.
It is cold outside and they sit waiting.
I look out at a window.

The tales have cold hands,
Their hands are freezing.

A short thickly-built tale arises and threshes his arms about.
His nose is red and he has two gold teeth.

There is an old female tale sitting hunched up in a cloak.

Many tales come to sit for

Richard Aldington


“Plus quam se atque suos amavit omnes,

You were my playmate by the sea.
We swam together.
Your girl’s body had no breasts.

We found prawns among the rocks;
We liked to feel the sun and to do nothing;
In the evening we played games with the others.

It made me glad to be by you.

Sometimes I kissed you,
And you were always glad to kiss me;
But I was afraid—I was

Gertrude Stein



A kind in glass and a cousin, a spectacle and nothing strange a single hurt color and an arrangement in a system to pointing. All this and not ordinary, not unordered in not resembling. The difference is spreading.


Nickel, what is nickel, it is originally rid of a cover.

The change in that is that red weakens an hour. The change has come. There is no Read more >>

Rainer Maria Rilke


They all have tired mouths
And luminous, illimitable souls;
And a longing (as if for sin)
Trembles at times through their dreams.

They all resemble one another,
In God’s garden they are silent
Like many, many intervals
In His mighty melody.

But when they spread their wings
They awaken the winds
That stir as though God
With His far-reaching master hands
Turned the pages of the dark book of Beginning.

Companion Art: “Angels“,

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