Monday, April 21, 2014

Cellars of the Subconscious

—Watercolor by Nora Staklis, Carmichael

—B.Z. Niditch, Brookline MA
For me reminiscences
always open at the Bay
of outside sight reading
on hand
of thoughts, impressions,
in tonal awareness
near a Cape's lighthouse
over hills and a hull
walking barefoot
along white arid sands
as if all our creativity
escapes to its fragrances
by the shore's wild iris,
and love songs
drift by the open shore
at the laments
of my green guitar,
whether a smooth jazz
discovers its wavering notes
or an island paints in mind
warming its local familiarity                                                     we pick up luminous shells
on the growing tall grasses
with shrilling sounds
over the swan flotillas
my memory's influence
wishes for a lifeline
out to the sea sail rigging
to watch the tortoise, crickets
jellyfish at a deck's
crossing point
with stairs not fixed
after the winter's Northeaster
dawn stumbles on the wharf
at my confidence
in the body movements
and exercises on minor scales
unraveling my fingers
from nature's habitats
as shore birds' tiny sounds
voice their own harmonies
and all my thoughts
to be in a sunlight skiff,
those daydreams
on numb winter nights
reading memoirs
by a flamed fireplace
when we were in hibernation,
imagining to be underwater
in a snorkel submerged
fresh as an ocean's baptism
as phobias try take us over
a kayak washes ashore
the sun casting shadows
on fishers and mermen
letting their ropes down
under the ocean's seaweed
still touched by wonders
rooted to the tide.


—B.Z. Niditch

Bringing oranges
to a beach picnic
cleverly arranged
watching shades
of green through
as squirrels scatter
up the elm
meeting a nameless
Italian actor from
the nearby playhouse
in an oceanic minute
joins us and helps
with the preparations
and all that's art in me
we hear his preparations
of a new part in a film
they are making here
dramatically rehearsing
on a makeshift morning
by the steepest dunes
over spiny wild flowers
on the Bay's shore's marsh
covering suspended waters
as four swans pass by
which stirs his attention
and everyone is impressed
with Mario's performance
and he offers to translate
any future poem of mine
with sanguine eagerness
leaning across the table
at a Cezanne fruit bowl
picking up an orange
and then at the count of five
offers to race all of us
where the balloons take off
ocean side.

 45-lb. tortoise at Southside Park, Sacramento
Earth Day Celebration, April 19
—Photo by Michelle Kunert, Sacramento

—B.Z. Niditch

On a long March day
feeling rootless
warmed by the arrival
of a convincing sun
searching for answers
to a spiritual survival
on my solitary visit
to witness any revival
from my words,
or legible knowledge
for inspiration,
spying a hermit
in white linen cloth
near the beach
with deep-set eyes
one would expect
in the learned faces
of ancient rabbis
here on thorny hours
by an extended labyrinth
in miles of hot haze
over a sheep-sheared desert
near the monastery
of Saint Catherine
perhaps seeking
purification from the world
by an oasis for prayer,
not wanting to disturb
the one touching
perhaps holy ground
just to believe
was more than enough
for me,
as small birds cluster
and whisper around me
where none travels
before Ides at nones
casting my thoughts
like mirror-image stones
feeling subterranean
wishing like the hermit
or Flaubert's
St. Anthony to atone
my hands reach out
on the Mediterranean.


—B.Z. Niditch
and daddy of dada
from the hangouts
of Paris' surreal
challenging lines
of mineshaft words
hidden away
in cellars
of the subconscious
knowing outstretched
words are for some critics
our only last chance
to rescue us Bohemians
from the oppressive
schools from the past
a soul of a genie
and genius, Tristan
was the man who emerges
somewhere from Romania
tries his streaming forms
in experiments of art
without constraint
like expressionists
with red wall paint
fusing and synchronizing
in fragments of language.

  Milk Pod
—Charcoal by Jennifer O'Neill Pickering

—B.Z. Niditch

You had a metaphysical
fellowship in a lyrical accord

regardless of censorship
there is a musical chord

in a flowing relationship
to worship a mentoring Lord,

Up toward bell tower skies
seeing stewards of angels

those birds of paradise
rewards words from your eyes

here on the beach's dawn
a sun reaches Henry Vaughan.

Today's LittleNip:

—B.Z. Niditch

Spring really enters
across the green
from Hopkinton,
Heart Break Hill
to Copley Square
where thousands line up
for a good word
and water for our thirst
as it dawns on Monday
April the twenty-first
when the Boston Marathon
takes off under sunshine
of cool dazed air
nothing else
but the memory
of new life in our breath
keeps us at the finish line
wishing everyone well
on Patriot's Day
the runners, survivors
dreamers of a better time
poets, mechanics
gardeners, singers
a cross-section of America
and the world
of all races and ages
taking each other's arms
hoping for a semblance
of utmost peace.


—Medusa, with thanks to today's contributors, including some beachy delights by B.Z. Niditch from clear across the country. Jennifer O'Neill Pickering and Nora Staklis will be reading at Folsom Lake College this coming Wednesday, April 23, 12-1:30pm, along with Taylor Graham and Tom Goff, celebrating Literature of the Wild. Details of that and other up-coming readings are on Medusa's blue board at the right of this column (scroll down past the green board).

And after several weeks of glitchy Facebook confusion, I've managed to figure out how to do photo albums again, so hop on over there and enjoy two new ones: Voices at the Shine by Michelle Kunert, and Mooning by Katy Brown. They're swell!

 Fo'Shang at Southside Park on Earth Day
[see for video
of last year]
—Photo by Michelle Kunert