Monday, October 01, 2012

Thom Gunn & Other Acrobats

—Photo by Katy Brown, Davis

—B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA

Though no lens
will remember all,
yet we are buoyant
at the girls and boys
idealistic for games
at play for divine fun
and energy,
at those mature
and ripe
as nature's plums,
asking the lone poet
along the seashore pub
to say grace
and read
from his life's collections.


—B.Z. Niditch

Further than
the outcome
of skipping rope
or hula hoop
explaining chess
or Beckett
by a first dive
from strange
underwater reefs
astonished like Melville
in the south seas
or on a motor bike
like James Dean
at the edge of a road
or emerging
from hypnosis, analysis
with an artificial heart
for a poet's
initial read,
or overhearing
the blushing neighborhood
gossip about
someone's official summons,
or a first day at school
away from home
with a new backpack
swinging your books
like clouds in the wind
by another skateboard kid
sidled next to you
lost in the big city,
or on a blind date
with someone you know
but cannot relate to,
raising your finger
at the sky
yet finding connections
with resonance
in the same world
and time.


—B.Z. Niditch

of gentian, iris
and ring of gladiolas
in your hands
aching to flee
parental storms
our foreign bodies
in a metallic
first light of exile
along kilometers
of neurasthenic fears
for a cold air voyage
between continents
fate gestures us
to tempt the waves.

Old Gear
—Photo by Katy Brown

—B.Z. Niditch

but no sun
posted in August
on a drab heated hour
steamed as hornets
begging all silence
on my left shoulder
listening to bees' echo,
rescued by showers
along sand dunes
of tall grass
my still voice
iron frozen
when rain wafts
along the shore,
the wind whipped gulls
floating in the heavens
trapped in clouds
the caped poet
undismayed at noonday
by burning sand
with eye shards sharing
visions sent out
between my words
in these letters
for you to discover.


—B.Z. Niditch

On roads
from first light
under the foliage
of hapless rose-bushes
flooded by the river
a cortege of the wounded
giving birth
to wireless death
unreported in rites
or news cycles,
you whose language
knotted in oracles
of a great longing
for peace,
brother to brother
intimate as the sun
consumed generations
of a burial of justice,
and you, Lorca,
lover of the unknown
your plays now suspended
on the last stage
of laments and dirges
once applauded
now in a mirage of white
still rest, unreported
as an apple of an eye.


—B.Z. Niditch

You fill in, Sylvia
several obituaries
before your death
still wishing making
for a defense
as a confessional queen
burning with words
in a tell-tale
of two cities
named Cambridge
frozen out of love
on both sides
of the ditch water pond.


—B.Z. Niditch

At the Advent Church
on Beacon Hill,
awakening to funereal
smells and bells
often as hearsay gossip
heard from unrequited souls
among the Jamesian
and Jacobites
of the Bostonians,
taking their sherry
at communion altars
and tasting heaven
up here higher than God
in larger headlines
than the latest Globe
with your long obituary,
and you, Robert Lowell
still composing
on the ledge
of universities
on suicide watch
pass over naturally
as your shadows
on tall grass
breeze through
your dark glasses
by swan song boats
a kin
to suffering Odysseus
a refuge in exile
at Logan, Paris
or Central Park
to compose
in all night journeys
stroking oars
of rugged verse
for your friends
with an allegiance
and elegance
that only travels once.


—B.Z. Niditch

No one studies
with Thom Gunn
he is rolled
in imagination
and warmed
in hand clasps
like a sailor
who erases love
in colorful whirls
by sandstone shorelines
about Frisco
where everything is portal.

No master class
for each murdered morning
as language goes on
deep as a needle
and breathes out again
in scratches
from roses.

The sea has a sailor, too
kept for no one else
with thin shells
we won't examine
what's mortal.
No one studies
with Thom Gunn
he studies us.


Today's LittleNip: 

We poets are acrobats, twisting and turning on the tightropes of the wind.

—B.Z. Niditch


—Medusa, with thanks to B.Z. Niditch for today's poetry, and to Katy Brown for the photos. See Medusa's Facebook page for Katy's new album, "100,000 Poets—Well, Almost", featuring photos from three of our area readings which took place this weekend. 

 —B.Z. Niditch, who sends all his best "from MA to CA.
One coast to another loves Medusa", he says.
See more about Barry Niditch at, including info about
his newest book, Captive Cities.