Thursday, September 24, 2015

Big Apple, Next Stop

—Photo by Denise Flanagan, Newton, MA
—Poems by B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA


At California's entrance
here we depart
Omaha all aboard
with John Denver
even Lord Baltimore's here
get up kid, he tells me
in my blue beret
take off your Gogol overcoat
Big Apple, next stop
your urban read
is ready for first announcing
in his buzz
bz, you are on call
for this stand-up appearance
no ride is as tentative
as shadowy figures
as a poetry in the underground
translated to film nostalgia
the quicker to get there
to recompose
in a song of writing
my insecurities not shown
at the microphone
with a refugee script
about war and peace
a poet wanders in a tumult
of compelling crowds
my audience applauds
in vagrant curiosity.


(Birthday September 30)

Spliced with life's comma
through a coma of warfare
rife with a clasp of hilltop wind
you hand over hours of speculation
in a provocative expression
giving your voice to us
on a thousand sands and words
lifted in praise on grounds
of your chosen field
over an eternal fiery flame
by thistles, names of stones
over a poet's sky-diving
on limbs of a city and sea
next to leaves of laurels
anointed as a visitor arrives
with Autumn's birthday gifts.

 Car Wash
—Photo by Katy Brown, Davis, CA


Radiance in the eyes
of landscaped sea-waters
in postcards sent by a poet
who finds duplicate shells
to salvage in a darkness hull
embracing the morning beach
and all who walk by the Coast
acknowledging your time here
by the long-suffering waves
and eventide of hands
hidden in lapsed memory
in the mist and fog
out of first-light lanterns
of miscarried dialogue
reaching out to rolling angels
cast as a newly reborn Hamlet
knowing only the speech
which whispers in the west wind
kilometers away
by you on park bench
near a two-lane rose garden
among lapidary fields
the ocean at his back
reaching out for words
in a maze of stones
granting a watchman
of ships and lifeboats
has entered the wharf
by the tall grass dunes
along the home harbor
T.S. standing there alone
weaving his whispered voice
near the flock of swans
who follow his shadow
will not be lost
in a soliloquy in French.



Paz is passing by
his voice remembers
when city streets
would welcome words
of civility
and humanity
your thoughts
a repast of taste
with the intimate
reprimanded recurrences
and sentences
of your stranded past
you speak and sing to me
over names that slept
a thousand days
in rose blossoming
over deserts
of thirst of watering holes
from Mexico's sounds
ascending in the dawn
even now
his gated shadows are here
enough reported
and said by your cortege.

 Car Wash 2
—Photo by Katy Brown


At the Berlin Jewish museum
a poet writing turns toward me
embracing signs of history
and art from California
from your yellow studio
at those days R.B. Kitaj once
traced back in Berkeley
in drawn paints on screen
of wet silhouettes
remembering his tribute
to Creeley and Duncan
who visit you, Kitaj
in London, 1977
with unrelenting brushstrokes
from outdoor cafes of lovers.



In your living room
of entrance, entr'acte
and departure
from crystal goblets
you drink and draw in
from blinds and awnings
of a fallen crossword abyss
in your answered mind
from a metamorphosis
of a quest on boulevards
overlooking the sea
flowers found on roads
you pick up rose petals
near the fountain water
wrapped in quiet silences.

—Photo by Katy Brown


A crisp tongue rolled
over the lawn mower
by Paris green
at dawn's walk of the dog
moving to leaves on fire
alive as September songs
from Connecticut's lone
astonished figure in the sun
waving only to the wind
in all directions to Hartford
with a post-war cut poem
pasted from the vessels
of his outlook opened
at a blind optimistic notebook
his crystal pocket watch
in his trembling hands
remembering how Whitman
entered and left our world
as a well-known influence
now here is another cortege
where uninhabited ants
live in a coffin
of unknown tantrums
who move over
to hear a drum roll and tantara
all the way to Santa Barbara
while you, Wallace Stevens
await to have others
in the academy remake you
from your own image
of renewed language
from square-toed critics
who have gone before you
with their own petulance
love, prejudice or parlance.



You crashed against
the careful landscapes
in an avalanche of paint
as a tenant of breathless
wall art
scents of a kindled hand
knowing your signature
will not remain suspended
in watershed reputations
along the Hudson
from a raining downpour
of hypnotic spellbound drawings,
in a lightness of a viaduct
of being connected.

 Notre Dame de Reims 
—Window Designs by Marc Chagall


Chant to me Lautreamont with love
for the transmuted words
to make everyone's phrases
as one limitless lexicon
in a Pascal dictionary
of quoted fervent meditations
over third-chronicled graces
from mangled mirrors
in your ambulatory quotes
on trespassed made-up faces
where destiny waits us
as exiles over islands,
continents and archipelagos
in deserts thirsting
for lost traces of your verses
in disappointed excavations
or dug-up horizons
impervious records
of updated trials of sentences
even in the gulag's snow
there is a copy
of your verses everywhere
in Las Vegas motels
of second chances
and Los Angeles comings
in illustrations
reading you quietly
in corners of gated
Potemkin villages
spies on library shelves
there under moldy blinds
by housetops crowds
under seven stories
of a friendless memory
hearing a singing canary
sing of you, Lautreamont
outside a Paris church
with Chagall windows
hearing your voice, Lautreamont
by paintings stolen in Vichy
during the watershed year, '43
you are located
even in a used bookstore
in old beautiful Jerusalem
at an archaeological dig.



We waved as grackles rose
on Cambridge Common
standing near the Charles River
a young poet on the corner
near the news stand
by the first rays of the sun
his alto sax blown near
the bicycle racks
waiting under every limb
of a hundred years of Evergreen
holding Virgil as a guide
by the law faculty
at a Mass. Avenue sighting
needing your company
as you returned from Brazil
refreshed and vetted
I'm palpitating by a hornets’ nest
from an allergic reaction
after attending religious session
on meditation
about St. John of the Cross
you show her a new poem
and abracadabra,
the dead wind of September
becomes alive.


Today’s LittleNip:


Baudelaire's guy
Constantin Guy
a Dutchman drawing us in
who painted landscapes
who would pay him much
attention of his sketches
or "Three women in
a Carriage"
if you were not killed yourself
by a horse-drawn carriage
or loved by the Fleur du Mal
Parisian poet on my shelf.


—Medusa, thanking today's contributors for their fine work, and noting that there is a new photo album, Joshua Tree, CA with Cynthia Linville, on Medusa's Facebook page. Also note that this is another busy weekend in NorCal poetry; be sure to check the blue box (under the green box) at the right of this column for all the goings-on!

B.Z. Niditch, wishing you a Happy Fall
—Photo by Denise Flanagan