Thursday, July 07, 2016

Silver Into Aqua Fortis

Alchemical Preparation of Silver Nitrate
De re metallica, 1556 


On the second hand
of a third note laughter
by the fourth estate
near the fifth dimension
of the sixth day of media
reading aloud
by the seventh night
over the eighth star
crossing by the ninth circle
of the lyrical tenth kiss
washing the beggar's feet
after an eleventh ladder
drawn by a musical heaven
at the crossing of a twelfth abyss
from a Beat poet's alchemy
of silver into aqua fortis
born on November thirteenth
as of creation in awe
at the miracles of St. Francis
meeting at the Fourteenth station
at the fifteenth prophetic sound
from the sixteenth lost poet
who composes madrigals
of wonder in the underground.

[Ed. Note: In alchemy, aqua fortis (Latin for "strong water") is nitric acid (HNO3). Being highly corrosive, the solution was used in alchemy for dissolving silver and most other metals with the notable exception of gold, which can be dissolved using aqua regia or "regal water".]

 Fish (Poisson), 1926
—Sculpture by Constantin Brancusi


With wet media
fingers set in bronze
with clusters
of fish and terrestrial mammals
at my daydream
set on the cold shore
in the harbor seal silhouette
features pedestals of birds
assured on my mind
in a motif of your sculpture
on a blanket canvas
of nature's exposure
by wishing an on-sight schemata
from the sensual culture
of motioning pinnipeds
of Brancusi's sculptures
as an underwater diver
in disclosures are swimming
at their ocean beds
of these ardor of creatures
by the color of my words.



Missing pieces
asks the metaphor
to elevate lines
of space to ensure
a poem is finely drawn
in his armchair
feet flat on the floor
spies at a Hartford window
with a glare
like two weeks ago
as releasing a sky
when flakes of snow fall
awaking children's laughter
like rolling waves
as the wind breaks
on a winter afternoon
will show we are
but shadows and masks
of beauty's manifesto.

 —Anonymous Photo


Words in whispers
that labor in the veneer
of war being benign,
caught up in tension,
shut up by memory,
worthy of attention
and humanity's cost
in an age of fear,
is not lost;
you who made us aware
to love our neighbors,
for a witness to care
about every holocaust.

 —Anonymous Photo


Remembering each note
floating twelve-tone
sharps and flats
over the stage of the ballet hall
here at my tender age
dressed in a tux
wearing white short pants
asked to play first violin
glancing at the audience
with the harp of consciousness
of an utterance in a visionary
trance at tumultuous throbbing dance
with masked costumes of Bakst
as tentative lovers at last word
in their own witness of calling
on Stravinsky's moment
of his Firebird
desire in memory of romance
to discover a luminary's world.

 —Picture Poem by Kenneth Patchen


On the printed galleys
painted poems brush us
over the emerging galleries
covering extended lines
of an armchair length
upon new provocative language
dripping waters, colors, designs
of an interior stubble of spaces
in five-o’clock shadows
facing their underground memoirs
for chimeras and observers
by studio attic windows
on phosphorescent cameras
as we survey our arguments
of a dripping midnight ink
sounding out what we alarms
shutter our adolescent exposure
from patinas and impressions
and a venture of brave appearances
thinking out loud at the Louvre
unraveled in our nourishment
where living down of daydreams
from the posture of a Paris love
these much-too traveled voices
of canvas at the art of words
fairly wander over a continuous
alcove serving nomenclature
in repast of our culture
of double concave worlds.

—Painting by René Magritte, 1950


Etches of red unravel prose
bathed in a revolutionary art
to a time of invention
covered in your pulse
rose on museum walls
bandaged with painted dreams
by the Paris windowsills
which spill ravishing flowers
the sky, grass and palm trees
in a yearning for daylight hours
to form the coiled tongues
of figs, clouds, oranges
opening in the courtyard
departing with a new creation
grafted as bardic images
from refugees hiding
in the markets and alleys
fleeing the Occupation.

 The Listening Room
—Painting by René Magritte, 1952


With June allergies
or on his knees
or with the company
of Boswell's biography
or his own wise history
in business of a tell-all
he is melancholy
yet eats his veggies
at 75 will atone
yet barely alive
we have his wisdom
of freedom to survive
when reputations fall
his will rise.

 White Cliffs of Dover, Kent, England
—Anonymous Photo


             for W.H. Auden

With my hand
here in modern London
reading Auden
here is an exiled time for
silence in the dawn
to reach out for pardon
among the shells and rocks
even to view the night squalls
in the home harbor's sun
at a park in an English garden
going over to Dover
watching the last white swan
over the waves appear
as a sea-voice bird motions
in perfect harmony and pitch
away from the ditch water
and I've done taking out the boat
into the Atlantic Ocean.

 The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
—William Blake, 1908


Like threads in the sunlight
of tapestries
unwinding on a visionary loom
a faint sunlight has shone
over an artist of skills
as we wander for hours
in the breezy poet's room
by the church's stained windowsills
over Blake's statue of dominion
in shadows of Westminster Abbey
as a mystic hears chants in the rain
by shadows of the twelve Apostles
who is continuously pencil-sketching
even through the last night vapors
leave us to search for your statue
on a summer's seasoned hour,
remembering his bold "relief etching"
from some papers floating in mind
imagining him in a dream vision
stretching his cosmic powerful words
hearing by blinds
the London showers
from the raucous thunder fog
listening to the wondrous chorus
on a branch of sea-bird wings
picturing him customarily awakening
hearing all of nature sing
imaging a potter's wheel
of Blake's endearing drawings
one by one on the high shelf
reddened by words of a cosmic rust
and weeping tears myself
William cannot forsake his task
to be done
as an enigmatic artist
whom we singularly trust
revealed in his Songs of Innocence
this Blake, an idiomatic artist poet
and solo visionary
offers a charismatic metamorphosis
splashes as his anointed oils glow
in appointed watercolor patterns
as a dynamo overtaking Romantic art
deposits his frescoes stretching
for his all-knowing eye gates
of his own inventive Inferno
in illuminated manuscripts
upon copper printing plates
beyond Raphael or Michelangelo
to illustrate a historic glorious verse
as in a luminary's dynamic break
with the shaky dust of the past
he blurbs in faint highlights
among angels which rose and fell
as a nature poet and an artist
in a loving second illustrious career
from proverbs of Heaven and Hell
who toils to be reviewed and outlasted
as he illustrates Chaucer
and Dante from tempera paint
with inundated different chalks
on a snow-white boned china
or an angelic saucer will not shock
as he traces a new sainted art
and talks like a renewed artist
going past us as a lone eccentric
to show us to walk a kindly peace
how a clever genius unleashes poetry
for he is still with us to sum up, to ask
our secret anthropomorphic wishes
never to depart in stone masks
as he will have vetted to fulfill
an increase of our own creativity.


Today’s LittleNip:


Sometimes on a day
an invasion
of her brave words
others momentary persuasion
rarely tongue-tied
only on occasion
for to be topical
is to be philosophical
in Plato's cave
from our lonely nature
saves our nomenclature
to carefully stow away
or abide.


—Medusa, thanking BZ Niditch for today’s fine culinary fare and inspiration!

 Emily Dickinson


I HAD no time to hate, because
The grave would hinder me,
And life was not so ample I
Could finish enmity.

Nor had I time to love; but since
Some industry must be,
The little toil of love, I thought,
Was large enough for me.


Celebrate poetry with Emily tonight by heading 
down to Poetry Unplugged at Luna’s Café at 8pm, 
or over to Poetry in Davis to hear Will Greene and 
Jamil Kochai, also 8pm. Scroll down to the blue box 
 (under the green box at the right) for info about this 
and other upcoming readings in our area—and note
that other readings may be added at the last minute.

Photos in this column can be enlarged by clicking on them once,
then click on the X in the top right corner to come back
to Medusa.