Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Speak of Oranges

Our Seed of the Week is Cliffhangers.
Ever feel like you're hanging on by
your fingernails?

—Martin Carter

Here be dragons, and bitter
cups made of wood; and the hooves
of horses where they should not
sound. Yet on the roofs of houses
walk the carpenters, as once did
cartographers on the spoil
of splendid maps. Here is where
I am, in a great geometry, between
a raft of ants and the green sight
of the freedom of a tree, made
of that same bitter wood.


How come my momma doesn't do opera?
She gets loudly dramatic about household things
that ordinary people can handle on their own
without their spouse or their adult child's consolation.
"Oh no the kitchen disposal drain backed up
what am I going to do!”
or "Oh no, the dishwasher didn't run!”
"Oh the washing machine is leaking!"
she trills stuff like this at the top her lungs
as if the house had caught fire
or the whole block has to hear it.
Yet her whole life, she claimed she can't sing songs
nor put her voice to use doing gospel or blues
and possibly be making some money
instead of just being Dad's house frau…

—Michelle Kunert, Sacramento


—José Garcia Villa

Now I prize yellow strawberries—
With their dignities of silk and
Their archbishopal opulence—
Rivaling God the peacock only.

Assuming neither space nor time,
A purely intellectual fruit,
Yet of matchless elegance. This
Is my intellectual religion.

For I would not have bishops lean
Nor peacocks irreligious, but
Temper them to that great gold pitch
Of the first-ascending bridegroom.

So, to the tune of yellow strawberries,
Announce to philosophy my arrival—
O a little irreverent perhaps
But religiously, peerlessly musical.


José Garcia Villa

Inviting a tiger for a weekend.
The gesture is not heroics but discipline.
The memoirs will be splendid.

Proceed to dazzlement, Augustine.
Banish little birds, graduate to tiger.
Proceed to dazzlement, Augustine.

Any tiger of whatever colour
The same as jewels any stone
Flames always essential morn.

The guest is luminous, peer of Blake.
The host is gallant, eye of Death.
If you will do this you will break

The little religions for my sake.
Invite a tiger for a weekend,
Proceed to dazzlement, Augustine.


—José Garcia Villa

I was speaking of oranges to a lady
of great goodness when O the lovely

giraffes came. Soon it was all their
splendor about us and my throat

ached with the voice of great larks.
O the giraffes were so beautiful as

if they meant to stagger us by such
overwhelming vision: Let us give

each a rose said my beautiful lady
of great goodness and we sent the

larks away to find roses. It was
while the larks were away that

the whitest giraffe among them
and the goldest one among them

O these two loveliest ones sought
and found us: bent before us two

kneeling with their divine heads
bowed. And it was then we knew

why all this loveliness was sent
us: the white prince and the golden

princess kneeling: to adore us
brightly: we the Perfect Lovers.


Today's LittleNip:

I often quote myself. It adds spice to my conversation.

—George Bernard Shaw

Hurley Kunert, who also sleeps in the sink
Photo by Michelle Kunert