Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Dreams & Orgies

—Poems and Photos by Joyce Odam, Sacramento


Raging and romping like beasties and cruelies,
he pulled at her breast with his hoof.

She pulled at his tail.
They laughed to scare each other.

He bit her throat.
She stabbed him with her horn.

Riding and kicking upon his back,
they fought their way to the forest.

He threw her down
and rode her till she howled.

They came back to the party,
their arms around each other’s waist—

her nails dug into his hide—
his fingertips putting bruises on her hip.

They swayed toward the others.
The music was stuck above the shouting.

Someone poured wine down her mouth.
She laughed and swallowed.



It was my particular madness sat on my chest—
all night—in a dream and asked me to give praise,
while stroking a formless light.  It was a test—
my own self darkly glowing.  I felt blessed
to be given a dream that ended in two ways:

one as a radiance—a tangible love that burned
like a holy fire right through my eyes while I
went through a transformation—unreturned—
held ransom for a meaning not yet earned
—the other ending I must solve or die.

My chest felt bound, as if held down by night.
My mind released its demon (made of what?),
the morning curtain filtering in the light,
in which some howling struggling thing was caught.

(first pub. in Poets’ Forum Magazine)


I am possessed by demons of my own making
with ravings
and gesturings—
with loud sobbings
and uncontrolled laughter—
haunted by things I’ve not known before.

They writhe with me—drive me on, their arms
fierce with holding,
their voices merging
with mine until we are hollow—
made of soft moans and weepings—
inert together in the long falling into depletion.



I tried to solve the night but the night was secret.
Nothing penetrates but restless dreaming.

Night without moon. 
Or moon behind clouds.

Iconic moon. 
Changeable moon.

Nocturne . . .
Nocturnal . . .

Like a cat.

Like black shadow of cat
brushing by.

No moon for fear.  Howl
at the moon, full and near.

An echo of that howling.
Electric with tension.

A bristling in the air. An apprehension.
White moon of morning in pale blue sky

hanging there—
benign and patient, fading with the morning.


This is the all of it, the resistance,
the surrender,

when all argument is done and each value

the purity of all that is given in return
for what is taken.

All of this.
All is all. And enough.

Nothing disproves this.
The balance is held, and still is tested.

It is where reason goes
when there is fear—

some dim, unreachable place full of shadow,
full of following light.


                (for David)

The day we drank sweet Cinnamon-Spice-Tea,
that winter day,
your death to mourn and celebrate—
those little rituals we make to manage grief.

Oh, we were gathered with our news.
We wept and spoke;
we offered words of disbelief—
all this for you—our floundered one
who broke the slender hold of life—
your foolish choice—your last escape
from all that chase.

No demons now.
No rule.
No law.
The rest is yours.

We will not make you guilty of our worried love.
You were a lost child, after all.
For you we held this ritual.


Today's LittleNip:


A downward wing—something on the
edge of far light, its mute form heavy,

though transparent—like shadow;
like dark thought that prevails;
like worry—which is another wing,

dragging itself everywhere
until you splint or amputate the thing.

(first pub. in
Poetry Depth Quarterly, 2003)


—Medusa, with thanks to Joyce Odam for today's fine poems and pix! Our new Seed of the Week is a riff on her LittleNip: Wings. Whose wings? Birds'? Dragons'? Angels'? Those little ones on Mercury's feet? Or the metaphoric kind—what flights of fancy does the word conjure about freedom, speed, being "clipped"? Send your poetic/artistic/photographic thoughts to kathykieth@hotmail.com/. No deadline on SOWs, though.....