Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Blindfolded Passion

Solitaire Face
—Photo by n.ciano, Davis

—Shawn Aveningo, Rescue

What do I do with all this stuff?
This cornucopia of confusion,
a lifetime of emotion, mixed up,
logic thrown out the window
with the baby and the bath water.

I’m not even sure if two follows one,
or if one follows two,
and was I really contemplating a three…
times I feel old
remembering when double fours stared back at me.

My friend that age
when death rescued her
and it’s funny how
I sometimes fear the loss of youth,
old age finding me,
more than I fear the reaper.

It’s over.
He’s made his choice
it was the obvious one to make
and I still try to reconcile,
I was really never an option.

But still,
these feelings,
they keep smoldering,
welling up, like an eddy swelling,
and let’s face it:
a lid put upon a boiling pot
eventually just leaves a mess on the stove.

So what do I do with all this stuff?

And a voice answered, “write a poem”.


Thanks to today's contributors, including Taylor Graham, who continues to talk about the Winds with D.R. Wagner (and n.ciano chimes in with a poem and sky photo) and Shawn Aveningo, who will be “unpacking” her poetry box (see her new website, at Beatnik Studios in Sacramento (17th & Broadway) along with three other fabulous poets: Lara Kaapuni, Joyce Odam, and Ann Conradson, for this month’s Red Night Poetry Series tonight at 8pm. ($5.00; open mic to follow). Check our bulletin board at the right for details. And while you're scrolling down on the b-board, check out the events for the rest of the week, including the WTF release party at Luna's Cafe tomorrow night.

Our Seed of the Week is Magritte's painting, The Lovers, and apparently it has struck a chord; poems are coming in from near and far, and today's are a fine sampling. (You can see the painting on the b-board under the "Seed of the Week" heading in the green box, or go to yesterday's post with its presentation of the painting and Joyce Odam's poem about it.)


—Shawn Aveningo

He lightly traced her flesh
before each kiss.
In a furious frenzy, his grip
ever so slightly at first.
Until their union pulse
His fingers unlacing,
to cover his face with regret.

The vase shattered.
I watched it fall
in      slow      motion,
unable to move or catch it.
Irises tumbling to the floor,
floating like lily pads
in a pool of jade.

I remember floating myself.
Wistfully, blissfully,
serene among sapphire
shards of glass
safe in my crystalline stratum,
sparkling against an endless,
ebony sky.

I think of Ophelia,
how Millais made her sing.
A voice in the distance
calling my name,
come back…
come back…
come back.


—Taylor Graham, Placerville

A sailor knows so many names for wind,
the way it flows down mountains, scrolls the shore.
Borasco, Brisa, Bull's Eye Squall that skinned
the coast of Africa. The tidal bore

off Portage to a Matanuska's roar.
Chinook, Leveche, with Sirocco twinne—
a sailor knows so many names for wind,
the way it flows down mountains, scrolls the shore,

then suddenly goes still; his sails are pinned
against the mast, the ocean dead before
his prow. Invoking mariners' old lore,
he prays, may Zephyros this curse rescind.
A sailor knows so many names for wind.

(first published in Rattlesnake Review)


—Taylor Graham

In this house
no Waff or Cats Paw to ease
the afternoon and clear the air
inside papered walls.
No Shamal, Imbat, or Vento
Coado whispering
through petals of roses
in the vase. Cut crystal. Only
eddies of words, the same
syllables breathed in
and out again.

Come Steppenwind
or Purga, Cierzo, Papagayo,
Landlash, Buran or
Burster, a Chubasco,
wild wind to open doors.


(After Rene Magritte's Les Amants)
—Michael Cluff, Highland, CA

Faceless lovers
surrogates for the fearful
they serve the emotional side
while leaving the ego
safe and cocooned.

Reggie feels empathy
for neither
he has been
long before
he will expire
a blank
that not even he
has tried to filled in.

Words have never left
his mouth
on such uncomfortable issues
and the extreme distance
but yet socially correct
between he and any person
any female
is granite, graded and
stolidly maintained.

Evelyn evenly
suffers in eyeless
blindfolded passion


—Tom Goff, Carmichael

Just try to translate love
into love and you see the impossibility:
one term for complete self-leavetaking
and entering utterly into the other’s heartbeat,

but the same term for utter self-caressing
and shriveling up still red & wet alongside
your own pounding bloodstream…worse yet
if you abandon your birthright word love
in favor of a changeling: amor, liebe, m_la
(Latvian: just imagine discarding
even this for a synonym, like ekst_ze,
and there are no synonyms: Nietzsche)—

like tearing your own face off
before you know if the transplant will work…
these lovers, however, feel no qualm, kissing
through veils, which is to say shedding
a veil, a vow, for another veil, another vow,
as if all of life’s traildust, and at every step
a bramble-dangling cobweb to love your face
the instant you’ve brushed aside each last
clinging plea. Look how desperately, darkly they kiss
hoping butterfly tongues and salivas interpenetrate
the gauze overhanging each mouth-cavern…

Like wrinkled criminal stocking-masks: wrinkles
indicating her left hand, his right hand, insinuating
upwards past the bunch at each neckline, so each
blind hand yearns to root fingers in half a beloved’s face.
I wanted to retranslate “Girl from Ipanema”
so that laelia and brazilwood scents permeate
the English, transmit pure Vinícius de Moraes
unstained by Norman Gimbel’s priapics…no good,
unless this bossa nova blossom equals

the gropings of the lovers’ unseen other hands
below frame, navigating the heavy industry
of the pubic zone with such delicacy…


(“Garota de Ipanema,” Vinícius de Moraes)
—Tom Goff

Look at her go the most lovely
girl out of the many
more graceful than any
I’ve ever seen walking
in sweetness and balance
the road by the sea

Young one all golden in body
—Ipanema sunlight—
O let her stay balanced
better than any poem
keep on being the lovelight
I’ve seen passing by

Ah, how can you be so lonely
Ah, why must you be all sadness
Ah, to the beauty existing
to the beauty not only my beauty
passing right by us and lonely

Ah, if she only knew
that when she goes walking
all the world smiling
turns beautiful graceful
let the world stay lovely
because of love
because of love…

(freely transl. by T.G.)


And today....
I’ve always wondered about time and space
and today the sky looks so thoughtful
I can’t help but notice the serenity.
I’m going to relinquish control
and let my mind be free.

Like the clouds that come and go
not by chance but by choice
sometimes in a hurry
sometimes in no rush at all
just another passerby taking the wind for a ride.

I want to be that tree
letting go of wisdom by leaves
dropping them and giving back
only to return with a profound knowledge
but never knowing anything at all.

But I look at my hands
and see I am the clouds and the tree
I won’t last like they do.
I’m alive and dying at the same time.
I am passing by with a wisdom that grows.

—n.ciano, Davis


Today's LittleNip: 


where we sat in the dark
on the verandah of a small café
a lamp glowed nearby
a rough hewn table laden with books
coffee cups

we sat trading ideas
my mind to yours and back again
ping pong
little globes of thought
bouncing off our brains
training one another
in the art of friendship
not love

—Patricia Hickerson, Davis



  Serene Sky
—Photo by n.ciano, Davis