Tuesday, July 02, 2013

This Achy, Breaky Life!


I was flattered to learn
you were an artist
who said, rather drunkenly,
that you would like to paint me . . .

But this was just an abstract
not meant to be more than
a moment’s flattery . . .

But my dark love
has believed it.
My dark love sees me nude
in a studio of seduction . . .

My dark love
sees me guilty and obscene
making love
to his own dark conjuring . . .

I was foolish to believe
in either of you.
Nothing is undistorted
if the heart is jealous . . .

My dark love feeds me guilt
from year to year
while I age and fade
and learn to wear

the surrealistic paint
of accusation
my dark love
pours over me . . . .



Am I not the one with the heart made of lead,
eyes made of brass—hands without touch
through gloves of numb—am I not that one…?

I saw the peacock spread its fan,
and I wept for all women
vainer than seduction with its pretty ways:

how they preened back—in spite of
memory’s sweet haze. Never mind that:
I am the one without words enough to say

the deep yearn that lives
next to the leaden throb—the one
who pines away—who would foolishly sing.



would finish with its grief.
Does that not aspire to meaning?
If not, then why this thought,

and why personify one’s self this way—
more dormant than alive?
If that is so, how many deaths

make up a life?
To be one’s original being
is miracle enough for any question.

Heart is a metaphor
and so is grief—some balance kept
when falling would be easy to allow.

The mind holds many strings
to its puppet body, sometimes tangling,
sometimes working on its own.

If so, then why this thought—
does thought aspire to meaning
that grief is ever finished with the heart?



When waltzing, we followed the music.
We blent to the lyrical tunes.
We whirled till the dizziness failed us—
so drunk we could dance on the moons.
                       O O O
Too many moons for the dancing,
shining themselves in our eyes.
Now we must risk the unmasking—
surrender our foolish disguise.


Watch me dance upon
the approving air—holding me aloft
in my pose to charm you, Love,

while you
watch secretly
from under your lashes.

The blue night is soft
with distant moonlight
and the songbirds

have remained—
singing, and out-singing each other,
to please us.

Help me remember the truth of this
when time
has taken us away from each other.

Look how shadow-memories play
at the edge of our attention—
how quietly the moon falls past the horizon.



There was a man grew heavy in my mind.  No—it was her—in an old time—a nebulous room from some razed place—surely, it is no longer there. He brought his shadow and wrapped it around her for he was cold.


Oh, we have lit the love—and the fuse of love—the blue love fuse, and the news of it. And it gives us pleasure to rise in the true blue news of love, and refuse—refuse the trues some try to use against the night we love—oh, love—the cold blue night. Let it tremble around us. Use a thimble for the light. It is enough. Do not spill the thimble lest it tremble out the light, love.


She owned this seat in this theatre. The screen was her love. On it, moved all her fantasies. She stared until she was absorbed. The projector light beamed down upon the empty seat where she had left her coat and purse.


Let the blue begin, Maestro of the blue fugue. I feel you shudder the blue notes into silence. Let me hear the blue fugue follow the flow of curtain as it flutters the hem of the stage where the lights release the shadows to dance around the legs of the chairs where the sad musicians tap their feet—not in unison, but in private throe—just as you, Maestro, raising your blue baton over the air to memorize the grief and weep onto all your music which flutters to the floor in pages of white birds that escape now in their own discord.


Oh, Gertrude, in your clean cup of carelessness, how you swim toward the edge of me where I fish for you—oh, jelly-fish dance of falling through the falling water where I ask of you—your meaning, Gertrude, oh, your meaning. So clever of you—taking the shadows of meaning down—toward you—and I am fishing toward you with my seeming eloquence, and Lo! we hum the brief blue language where you are singing me toward you—and I am singing toward you, where you are brilliantly falling through the shimmering facet language of blue water.     

(prose poems in the style of Gertrude Stein)                 



In love again
so foolish in your second happiness
sitting close enough to touch
and laughing at every glance,
you bring your news to us,
your friends.

We pour the wine to toast you . . .

You do not notice our loveless eyes
our smiles that hurt
our words that come
like finished marriages
the way we touch each lifted glass
except our own.

(first pub. in Urban Voices That Matter
Broadside, 1997)


Thanks to Joyce Odam for today's poems and pix, including some fine prose poems. Don't forget Meg Pokrass's daily prose poem challenges on Facebook for the month of July; go to "Flash Fiction PRIDE Month".

Sacramento Poet Jane Blue is hoping to go home from the hospital today, after a week of antibiotics to fix a bout of pneumonia.

And our Seed of the Week is This Infernal Heat, if you can muster the energy to talk about it, even. Send your infernal heat poems to kathykieth@hotmail.com—no deadline on SOWs, though. Keep 'em comin'......


Today's LittleNip:


Sometimes we lose?
Sometimes we lose!
O, how can Life partake
of contradiction with its ploy…
of all the foibles that annoy…
of rudeness for its sake?
For all of this,
life is amiss.
O, Life is such an ache.