Friday, December 13, 2013

Our Earth-Wise Lives

—Photo by Katy Brown, Davis

—B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA

Hearing Tom Rush
this week when I met
my ex again in a coffee house
we remember Joan Baez,
Pete Seeger, and Bob Dylan
in the peace days
of the Sixties
writing their own songs
we become the alchemy
in a jazzed-up world
when we scrawled
on high buildings
"No more war"
preparing our readings
on city graffiti benches
huddled in happenings
acting out in my plays
wanting the subtext
as a young visionary
to live for a better time.


—B.Z. Niditch

How wet met in the Big Apple
on city streets passing us
with intersecting signals
in a once-red light district
our parents called it,
like dances of the '80's
now forgotten,
you took a ride
on my once-new motorcycle
now abruptly cut out
with every nightfall excuse
of always being late,
now we're moving sidewise
blinded from new construction
in a rush of city traffic
prepared against us
outside a Brooklyn club
that has legendary jazz
with a run for my life
along tinted bar
and gig soundings,
suddenly flakes of snow
appear on my pea jacket
knowing the raw reality
of another dead-cold storm
will not change my fate
in tempests of traffic
on weary alleyways,
yet you went with me
even as I told you
I'm still pledged to a chip
on my dark shoulder
always wishing to recapture
back my energy
from bygone strangers
even those who heat up
the atmosphere
in boiling altercations, affairs
accidents, rumors, encounters
on this familiar road
which separates me
from my own blame games,
you were always there,
ex or not.


—B.Z. Niditch

When the Bay turns blue
time mingles with your own voice
and a sailboat glides
filled with Brie, books
and blood oranges
in a knapsack
from your hard motorcycle
watching joggers
day and sleep walkers
bicycle riders advance
near the cargo ships
of the home harbor,
your poet initials land
on a tree branch
from an ink-stained thumb
now on a three-ringed diary
full of furtive secrets
along blankets of fever
near the blue prints
of your own body,
from a long silence
an exiled Odysseus appears
under street lamps
with a passerby shadow,
possible Penelope.

Cactus Heart
—Photo by Katy Brown

—B.Z. Niditch

Unexpected on a long way
we met at a poetry reading
where language is visible
only to lips of the living
on a pale December night
I had a defensive glassy solitude
from the sweat of high cheeks,
you heard me read
shivering in passageways
of my clairvoyant body of work,
you wrote me a note
in the quick beat of an eyelash,
you quoted my poems
in Spanish each night of love,
this life is fragile
all our flesh smooths us out
you still share a silver age
of my sweet thoughts
after days and prospects
of yellow forget-me-nots.


7 A.M.
—B.Z. Niditch

A daily routine
after we met
with poached salmon
or Deviled eggs
now in the deadpan of life
cushioned with pads
of yesterday's shoes
getting heavier each day,
the mirror is more remote
closing the window pane
on sloth, envy, gluttony,
drying our hair
in the sunlight
wanting to be serious
for wondrous Chinese exercises,
"Springing of the Tiger",
"Raising of the Birds",
to stay young and fit
remembering the Oiran Dochu
geisha you quickly once loved
in your only muscle shirt
and cherry tie
with homesick leave
wanting peace
on board a battle ship
still remembering the air
of green fever
from the poor children
at the end of the war.


—B.Z. Niditch

Getting lost after driving along
the highway to get to Sacramento
for the Capital Air Show
a surrealist poet sings to me
as we are watching the flyers
do aerobatics overhead on the sky,
she has bright dizzy rings
on her rose-colored lips
and first refuses
to be picked up
the disarmed prince flyer
of this charmed world
dressed in a blue uniform
when he reaches us on earth
in a violent low passing,
she enjoys watching this aerialist
fall onto a field
this handsome sky angel
unexpectedly floats by
on the transparent earth
his hands reaching out
from first light at dawn
as the voice this gifted poet
named Lily touches the pilot's
once-cold shoulder,
and they as strangers
caress in front of me,
and we all became friends
at the air show,
and our lives at once
became one,
he was an enamored air devil
and she an upstaged actress
yet we met on a dream field
on a flying weekend.

 —Photo by Katy Brown

—B.Z. Niditch

When music met me
just at the moment
the dusk sun hits
the red brick
of my soundproof studio
the fog uncovers
its rain pouring years
of avenging memory
from off the Bay
and the sax player
stands by an open window
on the basement floor
in the dim electric light
for a time such as this
between two notes,
seasons, hours, moons
humming with ignominy
the same exercises
always with the repeated
sinking sadness of an E flat
dying for the kissing reed
of a lost soul urchin's voice
still dreaming verses
from palpitating nights
of the human alto sax
behind the scenes at my gig
beyond the city limits.


—B.Z. Niditch
The day I met poetry
I was deeply into kinetic signs
with words
constantly reminding me
of nature's flux
burning as stars
as an apprentice of phrases
calling out
to our resonating ears and eyes
the immense blazed joy
of winter's globes,
with occasional encounters
in landscapes
and planets above
our earth-wise lives.
yet what a visionary eternally present.


Our thanks to B.Z. and to Katy for today's brew, and to Michelle Kunert for sending us photos of the Shine reading which took place night-before-last in Sacramento. For more of Michelle's Shine photos, see Medusa's Facebook page.

Speaking of the Shine readings, Trina Drotar writes: Last night closed out the Poetry With Legs series at the all-new and slick Shine Café. Word on the street is that Mr. Gainer is seeking ideas for a new name for this popular series. Please help him out or it may go the way of the symbol (the artist formerly known as . . .) and become The Series Formerly Known as Poetry With Legs. Hmmm. Anyway, word on the street is that William O'Daly will be reading for this now-unnamed, formerly known as series in January, and you won't want to miss him. If you have ideas for a new name, contact Mr. Bill Gainer. You know him and know where to find him!

Try his Facebook page, for starters. As for a new name, Medusa has many thoughts on the subject:
Poetry With Liver
Poetry With Spleen
Poetry With Toenails
Poetry With Heart
Poetry with [insert favorite body part here].


Today's LittleNip:

—B.Z. Niditch

Restless as the wind,
meeting the Medusa Muse
wanting nothing to be foreign
in the shadow of stones
or exploring planets
excited to try out a new telescope
inflating my visible study
of astronomy as earth-wise poetry
with skill at a language's speed
by the planetarium door
opening a thistle gorse light
winking at me early
as a brain storming of stars
lets me in on nature's laws
out in the lustrous skies
with a cloudy horizon
of outer and inner space
making my wan eyes wide open
as a weightless snow drifts
pass by an affirming universe.



Martha Ann Blackman
—Photo by Michelle Kunert
[Check out Medusa's Facebook page for more
photos taken by Michelle at Shine this week!]