mardi 29 juillet 2014

The Echoes

Frank Howell - New Mexico Echo


With even one glance
at the Ecstatic,
we swear we will do anything,
anything at all
to keep it.
In that moment,
we do not lie:
The Ecstatic projects itself forward
like an echo,
and all we see before us is
the Ecstatic, the Ecstatic, the Ecstatic,
the Most Beautiful,
the Most Compassionate,
Beyond Joy and Sadness,
Supreme Peace,
Absolute Consciousness.
Yet like every echo,
this one fades too
from our failing eyes,
our distracted ears,
our feeble, fickle hearts,
and though we've pledged all actions,
we cannot deliver:
No one can sustain that vision
and not go insane,
and thus are we left with the echoes,
with our humanness.

mardi 15 juillet 2014

"I'm flying!"

Pieter Pauwel Rubens: The Fall of Icarus

Long fall into this poem
I've been slipping and sliding so long
it feels like home
Dignity is no longer an option
No I must laugh at myself
flailing my arms alongside Daedalus
then light up like the sun
and sparkle like the final flourish
on a Hammond B3
Ta-da-da-da-da-dah!
Here I come, darling
Fall or fly with me in this 
free-for-all of love

samedi 12 juillet 2014

I'll fight you with my mind

I don't have a muscle left
to fight you with
so I'll fight you with
my mind:
I'll renounce your
sweet nothings
in deference to
logical arguments
and though you already
think you've won
because you had a
superior education
corresponding skull size
and an ancient cave dwelling
from the younger Dryas
I've butted heads
with the best poets
and have loved them
amidst the rubble of
battered futures
I couldn't invest
but I've slept with them
and it was worth it

When the market crashed
I hitchhiked across an ocean
thinking I had escaped
but it was a mistake:
The market had not crashed
volcanic winter had not started
and flowers were still growing
out of American garbage
I returned and planted
seeds of self-love
and though I had
plenty of doubt
I chose to believe in myself
something you could not
do or give me
not a house above ground
In spite of your superior knowledge
in spite of your charts and graphs
and the vast undeniable
romance of Hellas
I had to come back
turn my back on everything
and begin again

I will have to remind myself
a thousand times before I'm done
I will have to exercise
my muscle mind
even as the jasmine blooms
even as the winter comes
even as the sun rises ...


Daphne by Hubert von Herkomer

dimanche 6 juillet 2014

The End of Everything

Frederic Leighton: The Fisherman and the Siren

I left my glasses
on a bench
next to the Mediterranean:
I haven't been able
to see anything since.
I was blinded by
orange blooms,
blazing turquoise,
white morning light
breaking on mountains,
village songs,
Macedonian dances,
and your hands
all over my body.
I will never recover;
I will never see again.
My heart is a broken drum
on a broken sea floor,
the spoils of an internal war
and the end of everything.

Never give yourself away
to the Mediterranean.
Never do it.
Afterward, nothing else exists.



vendredi 27 juin 2014

Dans le jardin


Toujours ces clés d'antiquité
Les pleurs viennent
on ne peut pas les empêcher
Les reines fières
souriantes en masques d'albâtre
leurs robes longues, les cheveux serrés
Mais leurs filles sont nues
chassées, emportées, violées
par les dieux et les fils de dieux 
en formes d'animaux


let it go

the broken places in me
move in and out of french,
icelandic, greek and italian
sometimes it's better
not to know the language
but how my curious mind
wants to know, wants to relive
wants the pain to wash over
it never cleanses, never relieves
just replenishes
it the curse of memory
the human gift
and it's viscious

samedi 14 juin 2014

Hospital Visit

originally written in June, 2009

he's asleep in the

northwest corner of the room
we knock softly, calling out
his name... nothing but silence
there's one old man in pyjamas
sleeping soundly, the third
bed is empty, it is neatly made
with hospital corners, i wonder
about the man that was in it

we said 6, it is 7:30
we enter tentatively, not wanting
to take him by surprise and
round the drawn white curtain
he's sitting up on piled-up pillows
i notice his hair is all gray, what
remains of it after the treatments
it looks soft and thin, and i see that
he's lost weight since last week

he wakes, opening his right
eye––the left is paralyzed––and
he's surprised to see us, "oh, hi,"
and then, "they're trying a new pill"
"what kind?" i ask. "chemo..."
the first thing he does is
bring out fading pictures from the
50s, there's a photo of him at
thirteen, round and handsome
i go to the desk and ask for a xerox

we bring out the book we
bought on the story of the
coast guard, and figure out
where we last left off
we joke about the coastie motto:
"you have to go out but you
don't have to come back"
and then read about katrina

he sinks back into his
pillows, nodding out to the
monotony of my voice

jeudi 12 juin 2014

Family Habit

Our family always
did it like that
you know
hit the road
as soon as we
were old enough
We were running away
from generations of pain
perhaps at one point
outwardly caused
by some Bolshevik or Nazi
but eventually it was
self-induced
with alcohol and cigarettes
sex and escapism

I always thought
I'd be the one
to break the habit
with my own children
Two sons whom I adored
and stayed close to
but I found myself in a bed
unable to get up one day
crushed with mental illness
and as hard as I tried
I couldn't rise up
My brain was running away
as it had been indoctrinated

So there it was
the family trait
and I can never again 
look at things as simple
uncomplicated
or self-explanatory
No history is like that
It's nuanced and colored
with myriad bubbles
that break the surface
of the smooth, the perfect
the undaunted

vendredi 16 mai 2014

Rioting over Punctiglio


Punctilio - Joe Mazza

She wanted to break the rules
rearrange the living room
put a big crack
in the neurotic mirror
of her mother's house beautiful

She wanted dust to accrue
and love to accumulate
to dance naked with Isadora Duncan
to die flaming with Sarah Bernhardt
never to be afraid of anything or anyone

She wanted pancakes for breakfast
a yard full of honeysuckle
life in another language
and who the hell cared if it was perfect
perfect what was perfect what was perfect

was perfect
was perfect
was always perfect
what was not
was punctiglio

jeudi 8 mai 2014

Forgive


FJ Bertuch (1747–1822)

I first had to save my body
and now I'm working on saving my soul
Two years ago I packed my poetry into a box
a few pictures of my sons
some books, my favorite film
and I ran away from sixteen years
of pain and illness
I hurt a lot of people in the process
the man I'd lived with for twenty years
my children, my mother
Even today, none of them understand it
They've forgotten about my suffering
and I realize now they never grasped it
If I had stayed, I would still be on
seven medications, counting the infernal days
waiting to die, in constant pain
But I saved my life
rose from the ashes
flew to Greece
threw the bag of meds in the trash
swam in the healing waters of Thermopyles
and tried to forgive myself

samedi 19 avril 2014

The Lost Shawl



Fancy Shawl Dancer by Donald Brewer

for Vince Wannassay
 
I brought it to your house
when Richard left
this seed of an idea I called
“shawl on a shawl”
Even if my Sioux warrior
abandoned me in the depth
of my love for him
Even if he drank himself
a thousand times under the table
I would take our child, our Joey
and I would dance the circle dance
with other Human Beings
I would create a shawl
and wrap myself up in it proudly
and round and round I'd go
beating my feet into the dirt
to the singing of the drum
at Warm Springs 

Vincent, you were his best friend
and you and Dee became mine after he left
helping me apply the shawl dancer
with thread and felt to the shawl
a “shawl on a shawl” I called her
One day I returned to find
you had sewn and knotted
the fringe all around the edges
a gift for me in my grief and madness
You gave my son Paul a light blue
fancy dancing costume
He broke all the feathers
and I felt terrible
but I never felt worse than when
the “shawl on a shawl” got thrown away 

I was working at the tv station
on the day my new husband
moved us into our new house
I told him, just throw the garbage out
any crap we aren't using
I didn't foresee how literally he would take it
and the “shawl on a shawl”
wound up in the St. John's dump
among my bead collection, my loom
and my algebra books
I'm lucky I didn't lose my poetry that day
I'm lucky I didn't go insane 

I wound up in a mental hospital
a month after that
when I realized I had married
someone I didn't love
that I was still in love with Richard

mercredi 2 avril 2014

Dreaming


Thomas Ralph Spence - Sleeping Beauty

I dreamt I was
the mother of invention
I dreamt my wit
was the soul of brevity
I flew to the east
and married Archimedes
I flew to the west
and shook hands with Ben Franklin
I entered into a pact
with the Sandman:
No more marriages
At the tender age of 57
I am learning to love freedom
I am learning to love myself
 

samedi 22 mars 2014

every house



"Spiral patterns like that exhibited by R Sculptoris are generally due to a companion star..."

every house I lived in
had a death in it
a thick black tick
deleting fathers, brothers, mothers
leaving me out of doors
breaking windows
wandering like a foreigner
through new little towns
with woolen mills and
muddy lake beds
where I swam belly down
eyes down down down
falling always down
in a death spiral

samedi 15 mars 2014

The Making of Rain


Photo: Pigeons sitting in summer window by Marilyn Nosewicz 
I wrote this poem for Akira Kurosawa the day that he died... September 6, 1998.

I was an inmate of sadness
But I dried all my tears
And put away the madness
Of those melancholic years


The locked doors and the voices
The old crown of perdition
The cold reason of choices
The treason of tradition

And I blew it to an atom
With one puff of my mouth
And left behind my Sodom
For the garden of the south

Now I rest in this bright place
Perfumed with gardenia
Birds on my windowlace
Sontinas de España

And I realize the sadness
Is a part of the framework
And the isolating madness
Is a bulwark of a birthmark

And I justify the dullness
With the sadness that I've lost
Like an amnesiacal witness
To the holocaust of frost

I know that I could leave there
With one wave of my hand
And blow the frost to seafare
At the edge of this bright land

But I covet it like butter
On a renunciant's bread
And close up every shutter
And put myself to bed

To dream of the northland
And the cold bitter snows
That reduce every man's plan
And cover mouth and nose

To rest on her bosom
To hear her heart ticking
Puts an end to the flotsam
Puts an end to the thinking

I lay in this garden
And give myself to pain
And watch the south sky darken
And lend itself to rain

mardi 4 mars 2014

rehearsing

i had an insight
but just for a minute
and then it was spent
like every red cent
i lay my hands on

money comes and
money goes
like self-revelations
during early morning
anxiety attacks

you wake from 
the dream again
wanting to make
amends to everyone
you've harmed

you work out a
plan in your head
write a letter
pick up the phone
dial the number

and just before
they pick up
you get out of bed
and forget everything 
best laid plans

next month
i will make a budget
next month
i will speak with you
i'm rehearsing it
 
 

dimanche 23 février 2014

saumon


je suis devenue
un rare poisson
salé, roti
mangé, vomi
puis canalisé
domini domini
saint saumon
ses œufs
dans l'écume
des vagues
en hiver
gréco-romain
âme-âne
fille-femme
poison-poisson
nul en l'air
faire faillite
à la fin
de ses jours
celle-là
ange saumon

vendredi 17 janvier 2014

At the Stuck exhibit (working title)

Sin like a mirror
half-smiles at me as I cry
and if that's not enough
Lucifer is there to remind me
how lonely it gets
when your only light
is a pale crescent...
Am I Apollo or Dionysus?
I can't tell anymore
damned if I do and
damned if I don't on this
big dark canvas of
forever twilight
Like Sisyphus it's the
same hills same valleys
and if that's not enough
the sky is on fire
and I find the symbolist anchors
of my childhood
I lie like Judith
I seduce and I kill
and what I get is more revenge
than you can shake a stick at
my own reflection cast
back to me as Sin
and Pietà, Pietà will always be mine
Pity my sons do not love me


Frye Museum, Seattle
Franz von Stuck
January 16, 2014



samedi 11 janvier 2014

Ayia Marina


It's true, I loved you
my blue edges giving way
to your salty kiss
that warm summer sea
turquoise and flecked
with blooms of jellyfish
mountain vistas
it felt like bliss
it almost felt like health
my legs wrapped
tightly around your waist
as we crashed with
wave after wave
of classic tantra
laughing buddha
and for just a moment
one bright moment
we became children

lundi 6 janvier 2014

bitter dregs


Photo by Seth Anderson, "Bitter Dregs"

if i taste the bitter dregs
it's because i asked for them
to augment the pain

it's not enough that i left you
after the deep intimacy
that made us one body

now i'm bathing in the blood
of another restart
of my miserable heart

i don't know what is
wrong with me
that i can't fully love

but i know i must
stay alone
for the both of us

jeudi 28 novembre 2013

thanksgiving song


walking the path into darkness
you never know what is coming
but all you can do is walk
and keep walking and deal with
the good and the evil
you meet on the journey

fear must not paralyze you
because it's hills and valleys
and valleys and hills again
and then the sun after the
rainstorm that blew your
life to bits

but that sun feels so good
on your skin
your eyes are brightened
you stand tall and give thanks
for every moment you're free
and for all the good people

because after the storm you know
that you can survive anything
and the gratitude you feel
is boundless and whole
and you know for a fact that
you've been transformed

you know for a fact
that you're human

dimanche 20 octobre 2013

my appetite is for freedom


i don't know what i want
that much is evident
it's never enough when
my freedom is in question

cold leg of lamb
roast pork 
applesauce
salad with gingered walnuts
it doesn't matter
one taste is as good as an another
when you've lost your freedom

but just get a hint of it again
and everything is back
everything is beautiful
you want to eat it all

then lose it
and it's in the garbage disposal
ground down
and tasteless

dimanche 13 octobre 2013

un dernier mot


Duel de Brigitte Fontaine

Tu ne me fais pas peur
J'avance en douceur
Sous les orangers en fleur

Tu cherches la bagarre
Oh madame noire
Attention tu vas l'avoir

J'ai des armes qui vont te plaire

Engageons le combat
Une reine un roi
Une lionne et un cobra

A la vie à la mort
Qui est le plus fort ?
On ne le sais pas encore

Deux sorciers
Le bronze et l'acier
Le bronze et l'acier

Un regard lancé
Flèche ou bien fusée
La partie est commencée

Un mot de dédain
Cracher avec soin
Attéri dans ton jardin clos

Je me change en rat
Je me change en chat
Je me change en méchant loup
Je me change en caillou

Je te veux vivant
Tu n'as que du vent

Ton poignard
Comme un goéland
S'est perdu dans le brouillard
Froid

Je défie le roi
Je m'en fous prends moi
Je connais par coeur
Tes numéros de bonne soeur
Tes numéros de bonne soeur

Je t'aime
Je ne te crois pas
Tu n'aimes que toi
Je ne m'aime pas

Je vois en toi
Une ?
Viens je t'emmène un peu plus loin
Je crie dans le feu
La jolie musique
Je maudis ton dieu
Dieu que j'aime tes yeux hérétiques
J'ai les bras cloués
On va nous saigner
Sur ton oranger
Dieu que j'aime ta nudité
Tu me brules et tu me crucifix
Amie
Tu me prends la vie
Et je rends les armes à l'amour

Tu me ne fais pas peur
Tu as pris mon coeur
Je m'incline à toi
l'honneur

samedi 12 octobre 2013

Stretto Café, Thessoloniki


left Egnatias
right Ionos Dragoumi
left Basileos Irakleiou
sure sure whatever
I missed that one
but that's all right
I'm on Komninon now
and then Tsimiski
walking in the wrong direction
cross the street
double back and
there you are
25 beautiful fruits
in the sun
drinking coffee

mercredi 9 octobre 2013

my double mind


Image: Sita Sings the Blues by Nina Paley

yes, there's that double mind of mine
the one that's like my mother
the one that's not going to take
any more shit from you

you can criticize me all you want
send me to hell and back
but there's one thing you can't have
and that's my soul in tatters

i'm going to fix my eyes
directly in front in me
and walk out of here
with my head held high

and if that's like my mother
then bless her heart
and bless her soul
and bless her eyes


vendredi 27 septembre 2013

just feelings


Image by Victoria Tweed

if i wrote a poem tonight 
it would be about finding
a thousand forgivenesses 

it would roar and scratch
lick its wounds and then
saunter off into the jungle

it would jump into the sea
from an 80-foot height and then
rise from blue-green algae

it might open its mouth
breathe from its belly
it would be hissing and yowling

it doesn't matter
whatever it was would be
better than nothing

but i'm not brave tonight
i have no deep wisdom
just feelings


vendredi 20 septembre 2013

On Thought


Girl with a Book by José Ferraz de Almeida Júnior

Fantasy, it's all fantasy
We live our lives as we dream
make our decisions
strum the strings of mind
plunge blind into the misbegotten
jump for joy in the sublime

I've long ago forgotten
to believe in fate and reason
We pursue our fantasy
like fruit in season
The test of time rests unrelenting
upon the tree of life

Believe and you will see
Project and you will be
Mind above all, fate below
Secure yourself in the afterglow
The senses fade, the will begins
Thought is our begin again


(May 16, 1997)

vendredi 13 septembre 2013

Lost in the echo

this is my quit smoking song... and a whole lot more! subtitles on the video...
can you dig it? ~L




dimanche 25 août 2013

Sparrow in Hell



I know nothing about
foundations or cellars
I'm not squirreling away
nuts for winter
or laying slabs of concrete
And that storm that's overhead?
Let it bring the best and
brightest lightning
Let it burn this shack to ashes
or shake it from its berth
in middle earth
Let it bleed spirit from
black and blue space
Let hell unleash its nine circles
and let Cerberus bark and yelp to
keep me back from the river Styx
My foot is already passing o'er it
and damn it, as always
as cruel and as fast as disaster
I cannot attach
and I am not afraid

mercredi 21 août 2013

double peine


pour A.B.


la pluie tombe sans cesse
sur ma tête mes pieds glaces
la fleuve columbie dégage
comme un océan
et je me demande
de la patience
pour une fin du monde

à l'archipel de japon
des autres seismes forts
bougent l'un après l'autre
les gens s'embrassent
terrorisés en pleurant
on ne les reproche pas
un instant et tout change

14 mars tu es parti
après avoir disparu
dans tes vêtements
je pensais que j'avais vu
ta main faire signe
mais trop vite
au coin de mes yeux

trois ans déjà
un an que fukushima
crachait de son MOX
ce n'est pas antibiotique
pour guérir nos maux
il ne pouvait pas te sauver
à la fin sans cheveux

nous non plus
nous non plus
laisse la pluie tombe
disant tout
les vagues
sans cesse
sur nos têtes nues


Je ne fume plus - This is not Armageddon


more like new beginnings...

the sea told me
she loved me today
when she swept me up
and made me buoyant

the sky did too
a big blue dahlia
breathing into my skin
an eternal openness

sometimes i think
i can bear anything
then i cry
and it's over

this is not armageddon
this is an earthsong
this is not armageddon
this is a life that must be lived


 

mardi 13 août 2013

Je ne fume plus - What I love best


you know what i love best?
the things that are hardest
the things i can't do well
like dance

tell me to go right, i'll go left
i'm movement dyslexic
but i'll dance my heart out
and somehow or other
it will make me feel beautiful

i need to apply that
to "je ne fume plus"
maybe i can learn
to say "no"
and somehow or other
it will make me feel beautiful

Je ne fume plus - Forgiving


okay i loved too much
came too fast
stayed too long
wrought havoc
anything you wanted
you got it

like a superlative
like a gift
repeated in the back
of a minivan
or high above a cliff
falling, failing

sprouting wings now
i'm flying solo
i'm not going anywhere
i'm not coming or going
i'm just standing here
forgiving myself