Thursday, May 23, 2013

From An Earth-Wise Voice

(May 21, 1265 & May 12, 1828)
—B.Z. Niditch

I read you, Dante
in Latin
while at a school
in Manhattan
Then met
another May birthday
poet and artist
Dante Gabriel Rosetti,
all hats off to them
with cake,
and floats of confetti.


—B.Z. Niditch

After a four-mile drive
with an old map
a student in a buzz cut
leads us to the podium
in the small college
sound-proof studio
where you are speaking
wishing to record
for all time
your nomadic voice
at the end of night
the poet in spring gear
of a searsucker suit,
here at your open reading
your ripened cadences
reaching us
in the back row
a voice touching us
like melted bonbons
before hours ripen
for the luminous sun
with Venetian blinds closed
we also shut windows
of our now sandy eyes
to listen intently
to your still life verse
drift as puff balls
as your hypnotic images
like Japanese paper flowers
flow like crossword puzzles
onto our note pads
stamped with the memory
at your birthday appearance.


(In memory
Robert Creeley)

—B.Z. Niditch

The moon
fell so low beside
your shadow
lower than the clear
leafy eyes
along the pier
descending to the depth
of a webbed gaze
that night greeting us
in a few words
to piece together
our lives
when the single praise
of taciturn language
of your minimalism
featured the attention
of a footloose vagabond
a jazz fiddler, sax player
and rogue poet
looking down
from a nimbus of thought
of a Juan Gris painting
in blue abstract
wishing to be anonymous
like pale scintillations
at the ocean's depth
carrying the hand
of peace
from an earth-wise voice.

The Basket of Pears
—Painting by Juan Gris


—B.Z. Niditch

Night fades

and the lost sunset

from voiceless clouds

enters history of you,

Yukio and Yufuko

there a departure

in neon flame of fire

between earth and sky

and you both

painting in ashes 

of your own sorrows

are masking the air

in the shade of the past

who are my neighbors.

—B.Z. Niditch

Running my right
into bushels of hay
with a hurting hand
from overwork
at this stage of my life
yet feeling like a rake
after playing Falstaff
in Shakespeare's play
Henry the Fourth
at the town theater
to rounds of applause,
now doing outside work
all alone,
being kept busy
in this abnegated time
as a poet approaches
here between the peat
along the two barns
refusing to be afraid
of the fire this time
or of the hay fever
that curls us up in May
on leave among blankets
of orange, yellow, reds
among bright flames
along tall grasses
to sweep the lawn.


—B.Z. Niditch

It's May outside
your doors and windows
with burning books
in huge piles
this a civilized society
Heine, Freud, Einstein,
Brecht, Beckmann
no, don't turn away
general public,
try to be objective
now it's only temporary,
but a poet says
don't take your eyes
away from the ashes,
five years later
bodies will be burnt
after the books
in huge piles.


Today's LittleNip:

Only poetry is able to describe the ineffable.

—B.Z. Niditch



View from the Train
—Photo by Cynthia Linville, Sacramento
[Be sure to check Medusa's Facebook page
for a new photo album from
Cynthia Linville!]