Thursday, October 30, 2014

Shadows on Tracing Paper

—Poems and Photos by B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA



IN AN ARTIST'S CELLAR

Shadows on tracing paper
drawing us in
with Fall foliage outside
these French window blinds
bursting in a Magritte red
interior color of leaves
by Japanese yew trees
near our flagstones
with sea bird voices
in the close shoal's background
sounding on the waves
by my A.M. radio
recalling my portfolio
of poems and paints
stashed here
containing pains, wounds, joys
from my palms, hands, fingers
gouged with years of labor
mountain weighed in thought
sustained by drawing me
from lambent rainbow landscapes
on my warm coatings in Goya's oil
of many Joseph colors and odor
recalled from vessel sea ships
to return to home port
in voyages like Ulysses
waiting for Penelope
and record them in verse
like Homer
asking to be free and redeemed
in all nature's elements
of air, water, fire, earth
no longer as a mere wage slave
to hours of surface living
with uneasy sleep.

______________________

DOWN CELLAR

When in adolescence so down
and desiccated in my senses
yet dedicated to my crafts
playing alto sax
with the windows open
doing deadpan
like Charlie Chaplin
pretending to be Don Juan
with my acquired Spanish tongue
morphed into Cervante's poetry
wearing a freshly washed cape
from last Halloween
dressed for the next playhouse
in the nineteen-90's
writing a one-act
about those invited
to enter in our scenes
of life and quickly depart
yet make an impact
asking the characters
who will be remembered
those forgotten, costumed by me
like the flashy flamenco guitarist
from Andalusia
whose parents migrated here
during the Civil War
and my grandparents put up
in the shadows of the basement
still reverberates with music.

_______________________

UNDER THE CAPE'S CELLAR STAIRS

With cellophane
ready to be wrapped
for garish costumes
in the dark Gothic cellar
by pipes and woodwinds
here is a traffic in stringed
instruments to be repaired
on old and young violins,
now pretending with my lines
for a new BZ play on parade
at the outdoor South Shore Theater
with fashion designed
on new skits and skins
in four acts expecting visitors,
as this poet and jazz musician
soloist and storehoused magician
writes his romantic, ghostly
or Chaplinesque stand-up comedy
in mostly breathless arrangements
anticipating a downrange descant
amid a musical prelude of song
in voices of counterpoint melodies
by a chorus for us all.






CELLAR-WISE

With 112 characters
but not in any tweet
but in my serio-comic play
about spacey bat girls and boys
all Giants fans
in a manned mission to the moon
to uncover its secrets
outnumbered by thoughts
of science fiction
scratched out on October nights
buried in by four days of rain
lines written in three languages
actors in way-out campy space suits
survive on hard bleu cheese
surfacing for a while
to tell of their journey.

_____________________

AT THURSDAY'S END

The worst offering
of yesterday's standing
in the chorus line
at the play's dress rehearsal
in the college basement
amid snacks and cookies
is a sudden forgotten tune
you sang with strum und drang
for us amid rich human feelings
with overwhelming sentiment
in the scent and sentimentality
of your last red rose hat
of French chapeaux
in October's music shadows
you put on for us in a festival
for a feel easy show's rehearsal
about Marlene Dietrich.

_____________________

DO YOU SPEAK SPANISH?

Unknown roses sent
after my last short film noir
written in my basement
"From a distant Denver or die"
as a dear John
love letter purloined in the West
is discovered with it
in the margin of a Spanish novel
found in a green bottle
by a newlywed couple
at a Cape Cod harvest festival
promoted and implanted
as Poe phantoms rise up
this October morning
and a barefooted child
squatted on an Persian rug
by a fading hyacinth
recites from her own composition
an enchanted apparition
composed into night music before.






WHEN I LOST

When I lost
the night music
briefly
in a chamber recital
at a basement in Frisco
yet restored by Mozart's
clarinet's harmony
in the slow third movement
all indolent regrets
groundless secret passages
suddenly appear
in the third movement
it reminds me
of the orange squares
in a Mondrian
on the arts balcony overhead
speaks to my estrangement
like a mirage of notes
listened to as in an experiment
of my words.

________________________

STOP

Stop at the red light
from the old red light district
the dusty basement apartments
over a bygone cinema
with putsch of old loves
that wound actors and actresses
up for veteran entertainment
halfway up the steps
of the now stripped flowers
in the park dives
driving in the grey dusk
by nests of bird calls
of an unsettled past.

________________________

Today's LittleNip:

IN THE BASEMENT

In the basement
of dream and bird
those days of sunshine
when leaves turn a blush red
after a night music of love
and letters arrive
from an unknown city
saying my poems
about the sea
have moved you
here is line by line
voice by voice
by a now-known name
and picture
from a kinetic light.

________________________

—Medusa, thanking B.Z. Niditch for a tasty breakfast, and reminding NorCal poets of three events tonight: Poetry Unplugged at Luna's Cafe will feature Bill Carr, Tony "The Haiku Hitman" Robles, and open mic. And Sac. Poetry Center will present the last in its Fall Lecture Series: Susan Kelly-DeWitt will talk about art and poetry, 7pm. Scroll down to the blue board (below the green board at the right) for details.


The third event will be a Day of the Dead celebration which will take place in Hart Hall on the UCD campus today from 5:30-9pm. There will be dance performances, poetry readings and hands-on activities, such as altar making. The evening also features a panel of speakers discussing present-day issues in Central America.



The Beez