Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I Take My Women Any Way They Come

Belly Dancer at Jodette's, 
Second Sat. in Sac., Sept. 2011
—Photo by Michelle Kunert

(After "Square Limit" by M. C. Escher)
—Joyce Odam, Sacramento

Braid of woven silence and sound—coil
of lines bent according to the weave
—a complexity of pattern and

the materials that work with pattern
intention obscures thought upon
thought that holds the secret:

white is relief—
as black and gray are relief
to white—center is always reached

—as are the edges.
What is first: Idea or result?
Bind the edges. Let nothing out.


(After "Self Love" by Winslow Homer)
—Joyce Odam

It’s not the curious self-deep mirror now,
or this wide field that’s yours for the scything,
it’s more the vast expression on your face,
the way you pause and seem to listen—

knee-deep in daisies—wearing the sky
like an inner movement
as you lean from your shadow—
it’s more like that: you, absorbed

in a moment of self-admiration,
proud of your thoughts, of your grasp
upon the infinite, and the power you think
you have—it‘s more like that.


A Triangle
—Joyce Odam

She is bending to smell a rose,
will it allow her nearness . . .

which is the most beautiful
to any admirer—

self to self—
or rose to rose . . .

does the rose open fully—
do her eyes close . . .

will it dare to rain
and ruin her hat—fill the rose

with sudden raindrops
to hasten her away, splat, splat . . . ?


(After "Portrait of a Woman" by Pierre-Auguste Renoir)
—Joyce Odam

A comfy chair. A dark room. A piano. The corner of a picture on a wall cut off by the frame of the formal painting. Centered on the oval red rug, she turns to look at you, holding her skirt back with one white hand, delicately posed, with a motionless white fan held open in the other, caught in mid motion. And what is her expression? She seems to hold her breath—she is that still—that practiced of restraint, not one rustle of her voluminous gown. Her face is strong with silence. The patient shadows darken. Her face glows like a secret.


—Joyce Odam

In the middle of the cat
sits the night
staring out upon the lovesongs of the dark.


Her yellow eye is like the sun.
The dark falls through
and ignites her purr.


—Joyce Odam

How easily she slips through all those who
talk and move around her though she speaks
between their words, and sits where they sit,

and stands where they stand. Her opinions
get lost in rhetoric of others, their strong voices.
Her invisibility protects her from too much

scrutiny, saves her from cameras and admiration.
Eyes glance over her to rest on the reciprocation
of other eyes that connect in instant recognition.


(After "Unconditional Love" by Sarah Descallar)
—Joyce Odam

Hope wears a blindfold so you can grope
toward the brightness of your desire.

It is the only way to earn what you want.
It is its own guarded secret.

It will tell you, and tell you to follow—
follow. And you will follow

and not stumble,
though there are pitfalls everywhere.

Your heart is pure and your
want is sacred.

You will never fail yourself,
and someday hope may reward you.


Today's LittleNip: 

—Joyce Odam

is the soul
of the long day.
It is lost
for awhile
in half dark
and half light.
It moves through a time
of forget and remember.
The sound that it makes
is shadow.
The place where it goes
is night.


Thanks to Joyce and Michelle for today's offerings!

Two items of note: Our Seed of the Week is Bridges, either literal or metaphoric. Golden Gate or holding hands? Solid steel or shaky rope-bridge? Making a phone call, or Katy Brown's mysterious covered bridges with their dark shadows and weathered wood (more about that later)? Send your poetic thoughts or photos of bridges—or art!—to kathykieth@hotmail.com or P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726. Take your time; no deadline on SOWs.

The second thought is our new form to fiddle with: try a triolet. See the green box for a description, or go to Calliope's Closet under the Snake on a Rod in the green box and check out the new list of form-sites. Here's an example from Lewis Turco:

(from Bordello)
—Lewis Turco

I take my women any way they come—
I'm Jasper Olson, brother, hard and fast
I play this game. Though some folks think I'm dumb,
I take my women any way they come,
and come they do. There's no time to be numb
in this life—grab it now and ram the past.
I take my women any way they come.
I'm Jasper Olson, brother, hard and fast.



 Ballet Folklorico costume
display at La Raza Galeria Posada in Sac.
—Photo by Michelle Kunert