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David Moolten's Blog

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Snow has interfered, dealt harshly with all involved, Conquered everything. Two soldiers Trespass the storm’s pure calm to just look, One taller than the other, both androgynous In their heavy coats so that they could be a couple almost As close as a pair of buddies, civilians, A man and woman,...
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  Sundays too my father got up earlyand put his clothes on in the blueblack cold, Thus begins one of my favorite poems, “Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden.  If there is verse that more honestly, more painfully expresses gratitude for love, I don’t know it.  Writing these lines, Hayden...
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  Marilyn Monroe rules the world, at least The part visible in a photograph, standing Above the troops she’s about to bless With a song in her porous sequin dress, her arms Durably outstretched. She hasn’t aged a day In fifty years. The men too appear impossibly Young, mooning boys clotted...
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The Dream
                                             After Chagall A man grips a woman by the shoulders On a bed in the open air, a courtyard With a wall no taller than their knees stopping No one from getting in or seeing them there In the middle of a town blue as the sky, An anxious...
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  I live in Philadelphia, a wonderful city, vibrant and diverse, with a downtown that thrives after dark and on weekends, with residential neighborhoods that are cosmopolitan here and provincial there.  Arts and culture?  We have museums to rival those in D.C. or New York.  We have restaurants...
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Softly cursing in the graveyard on 4th Behind the church, an old man picks up detritus, The Halloween revelers vanished Like the years, overnight. He harvests more Than sticks, cupped leaves that creep along the brick walk Like hands, but wrappers, cans. Let screaming teens Have their carefree...
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  My favorite city in the world is FlorenceAnd not just any Florence but the tiny oneOn a shelf in a photograph from which I laughAt myself seated in a chair at a deskIn an office that lacks FlorenceFor an address, so that people when they comeIn to say hi or with a work-related...
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  …we had better, in order to protect our civilization…wipe these untamed and untameable creatures from the face of the earth. —L. Frank Baum, in an editorial following the Wounded Knee massacre   We watched, waited in terror for the terrible Moment to come so we could peek through...
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  A doctor, a medical doctor, and there I stood, powerless to help my daughter, two, turning three, flailing her arms, and then grabbing me, my daughter, perhaps, however inconceivably, about to die.   A moment before, we were sitting, my wife and I, enjoying our evening meal, our two young...
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  Having played for maybe the third time In twenty years, my wife can only Giggle, flailing as she fails to snap and spin The human paddles, trouncing me like Beatrice, Her heroine in The Postman, that scene Where Mario crawls in search of the ball And she engulfs it with her open mouth. We’ve...
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This past Wednesday was the anniversary of the death of Pablo Neruda, September 23, 1973.  Acknowledging his passing, crowding the streets with countless spontaneous funerals became the first public acts of defiance against the murderous Pinochet regime.  Many of Neruda's friends, including the...
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Priam Pleading with Achilles for the Body of Hector, Gavin Hamilton, 1775
____________________________________________ During that proud, petulant year my father left And I became a punk, nothing could touch me, Certainly not Mr. Chase, fifth period English, Who wore ratty sweaters like my father And even resembled him a bit, ashen Around the...
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        When someone at a foo-foo receptionCuts open my first durian, Far East paradiseFruit, I nearly refuse. I catch a whiffOf brimstone, soiled socks, warehouse #2At Olin Chemical. I smell a girl I didn’t meetIn Saigon, but a bar in Lynn, her accentAll Boston, Irish with a...
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Blackboard, Winslow Homer, 1877
     Unlike much of America, Philadelphia still hasn’t gone back to school. No early soccer practice.  No head-start on the daunting junior-high curriculum. We honor the quaint tradition of waiting until after Labor Day.  So my daughters have wrung one last week out of summer.  Nevertheless it’s a...
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Jose M. Hernandez
        "ASTRONAUT GOES FROM MIGRANT FIELDS TO OUTER SPACE" For José M. Hernández The boy squatting with a wood and wire crate In Salinas has finally risen Above his station, California almost Beautiful from this distance. Now when he bends To the heavy glass he’s...
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