About eNothing

My photo
eNOTHING has a mission: To bring poetry, arts and music to the streets via a growing artistic Twitter community.

Thanksgiving 2020 State Poet Laureate Anthology - Poems of Thankfulness - New York Times

A long-standing annual tradition of mine has been to pick up the New York Times on Thanksgiving morning - and enjoy my pre and post dinner with family casually thumbing through the whole paper, page by page.  World news, national news, politics, sports, crime -- page by page, section by section.

2020 has been a year of nightmares and broken dreams...and today's paper is full of articles about the President (of course) - articles about COVID 19 (how 260,000 of my fellow citizens have died so far) - articles about proposed potential vaccines - and tales of tragedy, courage, unemployment, and the economy moving towards depression.

But amazingly I stumbled upon a 2-page spread featuring poems about 2020 by a number of Poets Laureate representing about 20 of our States - and I was overjoyed to read poetry on Thanksgiving.  There were a number of interesting passages, so I thought why not print up an "Anthology of the Anthology" which is my way of looking at 2020 as one very bad memory, which will gradually fade away, slowly even as we all fade away.

Here's the eNOTHING compilation Anthology of the Anthology -- Coping with Thanks for your enjoyment.  Which ones resonate with you?

2020 - Anthology of the Anthology - "Coping with Thanks"
Excerpts From the New York Times National Edition, Thursday November 26, 2020 pp. A16/17 

thankful for the bend
without the break
the branch beneath the weight of the

for the crows
consistent in their caw
as if saying wake
the morning lies in the street 

Near the end of a difficult year,
may we spot the light,
as we breathe in prayer
or supplication: Show me, 
Show me, Show me.

It was the summer we took
   heads, toppled statues of despots

& slaveholders off their gleaming
   plinths; elsewhere tipped them

into the oily depths of rivers.
   It was the summer we gave thanks

for the thousand-thousand bodies
   marching in the hearts of the grieving

we get a heat wave and a second chance
to put things right in the world

We feel so lucky that we smile
our biggest smiles behind our masks,
making our eyes crinkle and shine
like the elusive Northern Lights.

despite my elected representatives'
negligence, thankful
for my Hawaiian-print face mask,
for this
red sofa I commute to for work

We pray for each other
In all our heartbreaks.
We give thanks
For hope, 
For family, for dear ones, 
And neighbors
For "I love you"
Written on the red wings of cardinals

Rain turning eye-salt to rivulets, 
to rivers wheresoever many weep as
Rain thrust deep in earth, seeking
Rain taking its own sweet time.
Earth's thirst for the first rain - 
never to be cursed again.

Time moves,
then moves again and forehead lines
are bar charts, flesh and bone
diagrams of courage.

After Many and Much
have been taken from us
the checkout girl whose eyes smile
above her mask
your ungloved hand in mine.

Grateful for old men, white and Black,
weathered as the sweet potatoes they
hawk from the beds of their pickups at
every other highway exit.

Love's reaching for
each other only to find our scars
Inside these walls, 
we have food, 
each other - Love and fear's first 
real test.


1.    Anis Mojgani - Poet Laureate of Oregon
2.    Karen Craigo - Poet Laureate of Missouri
3.    Luisa A. Igloria - Poet Laureate of Virginia
4.    Joyce Sutphen - Poet Laureate of Minnesota
5.    Matt Mason - State Poet of Nebraska
6.    Angela Jackson - Poet Laureate of Illinois
7.    Kim Stafford - Fmr. Poet Laureate of Oregon
8.    Kari Gunter-Seymour - Poet Laureate of Ohio
9.    Kevin Stein - Fmr. Poet Laureate of Illinois
10.  Beth Ann Fennelly - Poet Laureate of Mississippi
11.  Christine Stewart-Nunez - Poet Laureate of South Dakota 

POEM OF THE DAY -- "63RD CHORUS" (from San Francisco Blues) by Jack Kerouac


This poem by Kerouac is from his book "Book of Blues", which is a posthumous compilation of some of his short form poetry, written in his own "blues format".  Kerouac's blues format poetry is basically an ad-libbing on paper...sort of like verbal or word "riffing" in a way (as a guitar player I get this totally).  In his own words:

"In my system, the form of blues choruses is limited by the small page of the breastpocket notebook in which they are written, like the form of a set number of bars in a jazz blues chorus, and so sometimes the word-meaning can carry from one chorus into another...It's all gotta be non stop ad libbing within each chorus, or the gig is shot."

Love it!


By Jack Kerouac

"Seriously boy
This San Francisco
      Blues of yours
Like Shark Fins
      the summer before
And was it Sarie
Sauter Finnegan
   Some gal before --
   It's a farce
   For funny you
                   you know?
I don't think I'll buy it"

  Slit in the ear
   By a bolo knife
  Savannah kid just nodded
  At the beast that


POEM OF THE DAY -- "may i feel said he" by e. e. cummings

This poem just delighted me.  There's a reason why ee cummings poems hold up over time, and why ee cummings image holds up over time.  After all, it is nearly 100 years since he began writing poetry.

EE cummings is accessible today.  What I mean is that he is probably more accessible today than he was in the present tense back in 1932.  He was popular, but WAY ahead of his time, considered eccentric.  But in addition to his wonderful innovative poetry, look at his pictures.  His intellectual good looks, interesting FASHION sense, which would be considered very fashionable even today -- his hair, sideburns, etc. -- quite the intellectual rebel image.

Well, enjoy this poem.  Nearly 100 years old now; it holds up quite well.  And as usual, cummings captures the feel.  He puts you on the bed.

A tribute to love.  A humorous tribute to the human mating ritual.

A window into two loving souls.

may i feel said he

by e e cummings

may i feel said he
(i'll squeal said she
just once said he)
it's fun said she

(may i touch said he
how much said she
a lot said he)
why not said she

(let's go said he
not too far said she
what's too far said he
where you are said she)

may i stay said he
(which way said she
like this said he
if you kiss said she

may i move said he
is it love said she)
if you're willing said he
(but you're killing said she

but it's life said he
but your wife said she
now said he)
ow said she

(tiptop said he
don't stop said she
oh no said he)
go slow said she

(cccome?said he
ummm said she)
you're divine!said he
(you are Mine said she)

POEM OF THE DAY - "Venus Anadyomene" by Arthur Rimbaud

Arthur Rimbaud is one of the most influential French poets of the 19th century.  His unusual free-verse style of poetry has served as a primary influence to many of the great poets and artistic movements of the 20th century including French Symbolism, Surrealism, Beat counter-culture, and Jim Morrison, Bob Dylan and Patti Smith.
His name is frequently associated with counter-cultural movements and schools of thought; this is because he himself was counter-cultural in his day.  His poetry is inspired and suggestive; his personality was caustic and unstable. Though brilliant, during his life his peers regarded him as unsophisticated, arrogant, and perverted.

We have included several of Rimbaud's poems in the eNothing blog; including "The Drunken Boat" which stands as a "Top 100 of all time" entry.  You can search for them easily.

Enjoy the ulcer.

Venus Anadyomene

by Arthur Rimbaud

As from a green zinc coffin, a woman’s
Head with brown hair heavily pomaded
Emerges slowly and stupidly from an old bathtub,
With bald patches rather badly hidden;
Then the fat gray neck, broad shoulder-blades
Sticking out; a short back which curves in and bulges;
Then the roundness of the buttocks seems to take off;
The fat under the skin appears in slabs:
The spine is a bit red; and the whole thing has a smell
Strangely horrible; you notice especially
Odd details you’d have to see with a magnifying glass…
The buttocks bear two engraved words: CLARA VENUS;
—And that whole body moves and extends its broad rump
Hideously beautiful with an ulcer on the anus.

POEM OF THE DAY -- "Skid Row Wine" by Jack Kerouac

Have you ever romanticized the ancient "bums" of yesteryear? I have.  I've placed myself in their shoes, feeling the soul, feeling the real blues.

In my mind.

Back in the day, an element of American society began to align themselves with a soulful, sad part of society, for it inspired art and was very real; not contrived or artificial - not CONSTRUCTED.  It just was.  The homeless, the bums, the broken, the lost -- these outcasts were embraced by artists and musicians and writers as a sort of inspiration.

Kerouac helped to usher in the modern era, spawning folk music and beatniks and rock and roll and punk movements, opening up society to a different way of thinking.  The hippie movement, punk, grunge...all came from his willingness to lay it out there.

Here's an ode to escape.  For some, wine may be hard to connect with; in this case I would suggest substitute the words "drinkin wine" for "smokin weed". 


by Jack Kerouac

I coulda done a lot worse than sit
in Skid Row drinkin wine

To know that nothing matters after all
To know there's no real difference
between the rich and the poor
To know that eternity is neither drunk
nor sober, to know it young
and be a poet

Coulda gone into business and ranted
And believed that God was concerned

Instead I squatted in lonesome alleys
And no one saw me, just my bottle
and what they saw of it was empty 

And I did it in the cornfields & graveyards

To know that the dead don't make noise
To know that the cornstalks talk (among
one another with raspy old arms)

Sittin in alleys diggin the neons
And watching cathedral custodians
Wring out their rags neath the church steps 

Sittin and drinkin wine
And in railyards being devine

To be a millionaire & yet to prefer
Curling up with a poor boy of tokay
In a warehouse door, facing long sunsets
On railroad fields of grass

To know that the sleepers in the river
are dreaming vain dreams, to squat
in the night and know it well

To be dark solitary eye-nerve watcher
of the world's whirling diamond