Wednesday, April 29, 2009



Hi.  If you happen to be reading ... if not, well it is always good to talk to yourself,  I have been writing and posting in my NaPoMo group but haven't had the energy/time to bring them here these last few days.    I will though.  Eventually.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

April 20 & 21

Haven't had time to post these days here barely time to write -- 
and not sure
they are even worthy of posting them
but since I said I was going to do that, I must.  


Becoming Uncoupled at the base of South Mountain One Early Spring Evening When Fog Hangs in the Air 

After love, we listen in the dark
to rain make a song on the thin roof
-- a cat meowing at the door sounds 
like an untuned lute. 
He says "I love your voice" 

why is it this way --
too much passion brings such affliction. 


Confronting Helen 

For Beauty's nothing
but beginning of Terror we're still just able to bear,
and why we adore it so is because it serenely
disdains to destroy us. Every angel is terrible.

Rilke, the First Elegy

Fuck Rilke and his mysterious angels 
the terrible angels -- his limpid, lapis eyed 
mysterious creatures who hold up the blood of Imam Hosayn, 
Prince of Martyrs so the world doesn't fold.

I birthed a baby boy whose eyes revealed
the answers to the pyramids 
and a daughter whose face
iswaswillbe torment the minds of poets
for eternity. 

I am not afraid of you, Helen, who sent 
legions of men smiling 
into the mouth of death --the promise
of you on their lips 

"Love made ME such that I live in fire 
like the Phoenix, who dies and rises 
at the same time." *

* from Gaspara Stampa's Rime 208

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Day 18 -- late and rushed thoughts of about Love

Euphorion, again 

You, not a boy, not a man but something
forever in between, Magician. 

When I say "Beauty must be broken 
for the sake of this poem"

it doesn't surprise you -- 
"In everything I've encountered 

a dark-side exists but She is the promise
we can be something more 

than animal." I know your eyes 
and, the sadness their color holds 

wounds me. I keep mining for more.
The devil forever heating the space between us. 

Day 16 Out of Order

Helen in San Fran

I saw a photograph of her
in a San Francisco crack house 
or maybe she's just a runaway

a naked mattress-- 
a blonde boy next to her
a modern day Paris

her face either California suntan 
or dirty, I couldn't tell. 
That face always wearing
the perfect ratio. 

Friday, April 17, 2009

Day 17 (Day 16 will have to wait)

Day 17

"Meshes of the Afternoon"

“.......time is built into her body in the sense of becomingness.”

                   Maya Deren 

Helen, we must talk directly now --
do you understand 
at all 
what you are? 

Your slender footed beauty 
and perfect face, the pearl luster of your cheeks 

you are unnecessary, not essential 
at all 
to human survival -- 
like Love itself

how I have fallen. 

This cruelty I speak is not meant to bring you pain
but freedom – can you feel it?  

my Helen who has lived too long 
ensconced in white stone.

Come with me now
to the slums of the Kathputli Colony 
allow your hair to be infused with the smell of curry 
and slaughtered cow.  Laugh with me 
at the sword swallowers 
and stilt walkers 

take off your ivory dress
and forget that the ocean is pretty
it is only its immensity that makes it so 
its depth a deathly mystery 

“I feel your closeness like a shot gun” 
Helen of my own soul, slay the beast, let the wrinkles come.  

Thursday, April 16, 2009

April 14 & 15

Struggling - too mentally busy last few days to have time to find poems -- only fragments
and dusty pieces of stories ...

my apologies 

April 15

hieroglyph 3

A Berber of Kabylie 
her head wrapped in linen 
blew in with the Sirocco 

They call her "tribeswoman"
she seems more a girl --

doll lashes
like black sun spray fringe
wet riverstone eyes 
set in a Helen's face. 

after Emile Frechon 

April 14

hieroglyph 2

Thetis, in a pink bikini,
pedaling her purple bike 
on the Atlantic City Boardwalk,
thump thump the wheels on the wood.

Just up from the sea, her skin in the sun
sprinkled with diamonds. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Day 13

Day 13 

Hieroglyphs 1.

the seasons revolve around a pause in the infinite rhythm of the heart and of heaven.

Helen of Egypt, H.D. 

In a stand of trees 
branch tips tumefy 
with buds 
oblivious to the mechanics 
of the ticking clock. 

Monday, April 13, 2009

Days 11 & 12

Day 12

For Childhood, an elegy

"The imagination spans beyond despair
Outpacing bargain, vocable and prayer."

from For the Marriage of Faustus and Helen, Hart Crane

Our castle, built of white sheets strung
on mother's laundry line smelled
of sunshine and dandelion,
a limp stemmed flower tucked behind my ear.

Do you remember the span of grass
between the swing-set and the sandbox
we called the Groundless sea?
Your ship the latest cardboard box we fished

from my father's trash.  Your cargo, provisions
of pebbles and sticks.  
I loved the choppy blonde ocean
of your hair and never tired of trying to decode
the secrets stamped in the map of your eyes

those two, ragged petaled irises.  

These stories still draw themselves 
in stringy clouds set
inside fiery sunsets, in the open and close of spiral shells 
in the sparrow's mottled wing

what is real we didn't imagine -- 

but if I look too close,
I see wrinkles in my hands and wonder how we manage 
to live with ruined Troy 
burnt and smoking 
inside our human hearts.

Day 11

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Day 10 but poem written on Day 11

this is, i suppose, day 10 but really day 11 but poets don't care about chronological time 
anyway.  but i'm not a poet so i suppose i have no excuse.  

the elegy continues -- sort of, I guess,  Faust the fucker is everywhere. 

Anton Webern probably because of my
murdered Austrian Grandfather

"Doomed to a total failure in a deaf world of ignorance and indifference
he inexorably kept cutting out his dazzling diamonds, the mines 
of which he had such a perfect knowledge."  


It happens like this
-- what do I know about the twelve tone technique?
I quit piano
at 13.  
Long before my teacher
allowed me the honor of Schoenberg. 

Goethe's Faust
I put it down -- remember?  We went 
to find Robinson and that piano;
those red socks and the cat called Lonesome,
curled and sleeping through the endless ringing phone.

A small beat up book of immortal poems
Hart Crane, page 267 
"For the marriage of Helen and Faustus" 

and this isn't meant to be didactic 

put it down.

"A Little History of Modern Music" 
by William H. Gass -- last in the book
bought for 25 cents at the Hospital Thrift 
Shop on a steel rain Holy Saturday.  
I thought 

about the women who guarded
Christ's tomb, about Jesus' decent to Hell
and Gilgamesh.  I tried for something 

else -- Cochise, Arizona, a ghost town 
Doc Holliday and Big Nose Kate 
hot desert, prostitutes 
killing a copperhead in a far off canyon--

but even notes are not random 
-- each one like a star thrown from a fist
to form a constellation

you clear your throat very close to my ear. 

Friday, April 10, 2009

April 9th -- really.

And it has come back to you ... 

Robinson I should have known
the rabbit that slid through my tires
that dark night
on Iyanough Road 
would eventually lead me to you.

I've grown weary wrestling the two halves
of Goethe's brain 
give me your indestructible shoulder 
my head needs a rest where it is always quiet

or play on your piano 
a song written in the language of God.

*Weldon Kees Robinson. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Day 7 & 8 --- struggling.

vii.  Stop the flowers

Gretchen, her soft blouse open, rubs pussy willows
against her cheek.  Frank, watching from the garden fence
wants to touch her.  

He plucks a yellow rose from the twisted vine.  A dot 
of blood blooms on his finger.  

A small interlude the devil will perhaps miss

Let this moment last a while -- 
the butterfly alight on the milkweed
a blue-black raven stitching doubt to the sky

Hazel Dickens singing about West Virginia 
the same melancholy as knowing about the execution
of Camila O'Gorman, her baby baptized in bullets.

It is endless -- the beauty of sadness;
the dusty Sphinx losing its face, wild sweet violets 
young girls in white Easter dresses praying to Jesus. 

Monday, April 6, 2009

Catching up on Day 5 too.  


V. Elegy for Euphorion 

I hold night in my hands
turn the sea with my finger

Sapphira, Helena, Jezebel
my sister.  Die Mutter, the Witches.

Do I dare disturb the Universe?
Bring David to his marbled knees

open a carpet of crocus across the once barren lawn
and set the baby birds' throats to wailing O's?

Gather up my amulets, my book of sigils, summon
the sirens, the symbols and Sybil

I hear a new boy has tired of his searching 
the time is now to revel at the sign of the Brocken spectre. 

Day 6

The Lover 

IV.  Elegy for Euphorion 

//say "Nades, Suradis, Maniner"
and a dijinn will appear; tell the dijinn "Sader, Prostas, Solaster,"
and the dijinn will bring you your true love."//

from the Black Pullet Grimoire

The Lover binds the heart
like a Chinese mountain mother binds
her daughter's small feet --
spancelled, an animal hobbled by each days glossy thread.

I don't know if I like this amber-eyed inamorato thieving my freedom 
I don't know if the knots you make are tight enough -- I don't know 
tell me, are you in service to the devil?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

April 4 -NaPoMo

Victorine's Saddest Eyes

iii. Elegy for Euphorion

"All things do change: All things do love: All things are locked in ate:
Whoever fully thinks his through/holds the key to Man's estate"*

He left her a the railway station, gave her the puppy and a few coins.  
She's reading Quirinus Kuhlmann's "Himmlische Libes-Kuess" for the
thousandth time.  The face-less child, the chubby hand gripping 
the iron fence, watches his body dissipate into smoke. 

* Love Kiss XLI translated by Richard Sieburth 

Friday, April 3, 2009


Well it is National Poetry Month and like last year I have pledged to write a poem a day for the 30 days of April.  

I have decided to post them here as well as post them online with the group I'm doing NaPoMo with --- 

They aren't polished and some will be very bad.  The object of the exercise is to write something everyday -- which for many is standard practice but for me -- not.  I write only when the muse strikes and so during April I do everything I can to entice her to me for at least 15 minutes a day.  Sometimes she's a real bitch.  :)

And so .. 

Day 1

An Elegy for Euphorion, Part 1

Helen couldn't keep the boy
from cutting paper wings, taping them--
crooked and tattered to the back of his Superman t-shirt

or from jumping from the highest rung of the metal slide
in their backyard -- though

she never really tried
lacking herself, a decent sense of sin.
And when the boy found Mallarme and Heinlein
and took his guitar
         to the edge of the northern cliff

his nose stuck in pages rattled by grass-spiced wind
his toes dug into the rain softened dirt
pulling the curl drooped on his forehead -- straight to spring --- straight to spring

no one
not even his father
recognized the disease.

note:  Faust 

Day 2

II  that unnamed girl talks about Euphorion

My mother knew his father
I have heard together
they sang the Song of Solomon.

I met Euphorion after humanities
a copy of Steppenwolf tucked
in the back pocked of his knee-patched Levis
he smelled of good weed and a bit of baby shampoo

his face was
his face was
his face was

a Caravaggio angel 
though it is not fashionable
to say that -- here
-- this audience disappointed by cliche

I still have the gold bracelet he took from his jacket
and clasped on my wrist. 

Day 3

"My real name is Mephistopheles, but you can call me baby..."

III. Elegy for Euphorion

His plane touches down
in Manhattan

fresh out of the Amazonian 
jungle -- alpaca jacket
blow gun
poison darts -- soft brown hair
resting on his shoulders

Murphy has run out of cigarettes
stops and empties out his pockets
on the top of a metal trash can outside the men's room
sweeps together the pile of lint

cat hair and what's left
of the Nino Korin tobacco -- a few strands stolen from a shaman's bag in Bolivia

His slender fingers peel a rolling paper out of the pack with a familiar
crinkle -- the Fashionable, the vagabonds 
don't seem to notice
security cops walk right by

He lights up and leans -- one long leg bent
leather booted foot pressed against the white wall
inhales, smiles --and coughs with the harsh first suck.