Saturday, May 18, 2013
Three painting by Chris Buzelli
AFTER THE HEAT
Dynamite in the blood.
The veins are fuses, hot
With mockingbirds in the
Long air of delta summer night.
I listen to the sputter in
My chest, smell the gunpowder
Of tomatoes and snap beans
Racing through the tall
Grass toward my brain.
I become the fields
And burst into flame,
running from my bedroom
Blinded by sheets of flame
Higher than the crust of smog
Above my head, choking on smoke
Of my ancestors, as the dream
Banks break over my mind, flooding
The synapses and thought canals
With wave after wave of soothing
Water. Towers of steam rise up
Throughout me. I am pale and shaken
With the delta. Clouds of me hover
Over the levees, find the languid sloughs
And presently regain the river, winding, unwinding.
Friday, May 17, 2013
Wyeth- Herons in Summer
Wulfing - illutration for The Littlest Mermaid
Wolfing - flowers
This is the title poem from my 1982 collection Cruisin' At The Limit published by Duck down Press in Fallon, NV. Kirk Robertson put together an excellent selection of my work from 1968-1978. The book is long out of print.
CRUISIN ‘ AT THE LIMIT
Glowing after midnight,
I thought there were demons
in the room and that shape
kept twisting and turning
adopting the vajra weapons
as points of light and out
rageous greens. White
ring around each eye the
white of the eye black the
black white and seeing all
I stayed in bed late half
expecting she would come over
early and knowing she would not.
When she got here she was nice.
I was nice too. My words sounded
like they had been canned years ago.
I listened to how it sounded. Fourths
skinning into each other, up scales,
down scales. I worked in the yard
pruning roses. Red light danced
around her skin.
The clutch is slippin’
and the wheel’s dancing out
of control. the iodine’s on
the table, the grid has caught
afire, the rest is after midnight
, comes roaring through the soul.
The forward motion bottoms out.
The lower chakras turn into traffic
lights. Cars find it easier to
keep going. The comments get thick.
Yama slides through with his landing
lights on. i light some incense
and go to sleep. The coast looks great.
from Cruisin’ at the Limit, 1982
Duck Dwon Press, Fallon, NV
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Frog Song (detail)
Day or night do not matter much
When seated in the red and white striped chair.
The room requires an ability to
Carve light into huge slashes and crescents,
And toss them about the room,
At once careless and precise.
From here it is possible to contemplate
The planets, one minute small, to be
Held in the hand, the next,
An impulse transforming them into
Something beyond human understanding,
An unceasing theology made of swirling
Rocks in an airless void that has no
Center and is everywhere.
I build talismanic instruments,
Swords and knives and offer them
To the sleepless, thinking they may be gods
That can unwind their own labyrinths
So one may travel from this room
Filled with chintz and recklessness
To find a precise place
Where we might stand, pleased
To be seeing a garden,
A faun waking a nymph,
The lemon trees,
The room where the song has
Finally found a voice that can
Only be heard by La Sonambula,
Pleasing to the ear, made of water
And the curve of a hand
To cup the ear, to repeat
A weaving in dream after dream,
Honey dripping on my feet,
Holding the ‘shyness of melancholy’
In the hands resting on one’s lap.
I cannot know it but for the
Loneliness of waking, illiterate
To all the writing in the world.
Dust creating a language within me,
I endeavor to speak.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
This poem is from a forthcoming book: THE NIGHT MARKET
A GIFT OF KNIVES
A gift of knives. A gift of blindness.
The smell of blood. The taste of blood
Inside the mouth. The way the lights
Of the railroad station look as if
They had something more than an electric
Glow to them. Someone is crying.
I make a call on my phone to see who
It might be, but no answer came.
The fire in the pampas began just as the day
Began to lose its way, backing up to allow night.
The animals came ahead of the fire,
Until there was a stampede of shadows
Backlit by the greatest of flames.
I stepped from the landing boat, looking
Toward the town. There were lights
In the bars and the houses showed a
Yellow-gold glow through their shades.
It made the entire street pulse.
I knew the reason we were here.
The fire on the pampas could be seen
On the far horizon. Soon the animals
Would be here. There was only the town
Between them and the sea.
I felt for my knife. This would
Be all that I needed. I would be gone
Before any fire could reach this place.
There was no waiting.
I ran down the side of the road
And began making a list.
The last thing I noticed before
The whole thing began was the sound
The ship’s bell made. I turned
To look at the ship.
It was beautiful.
I thought it was a candle.
The gift of knives.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
THE ESSENTIALS OF THE IDYLL
It is sweetest right next to the sky.
Just before you cross the line.
The air is limpid.
The sea has forgotten
About waves for a few hours.
Words have tracks
As we talk. They look
Like tiny wrens, full of
Close shadings, a bright beak
Flashes; hard to see when
We’re in the woods.
Nothing has a surface.
We are inside of everything.
I was hoping you wouldn’t
Get this far with this poem.
I was hoping the images would
Continue on their own and make
A story for you, elicit a sensation
That would capture you,
Provide some transportation.
Instead, here I am alone
With you, amazed at the color
Of the sky, the way the breeze tricks
It’s way through Summer,
The kind of quiet, working
Like this precipitates.
Before you go, one Summer when
I was about eight years old,
My father stopped the car as dark
Was coming. While the children and
my mother watched, he walked into a
Small woods near Lake Ontario
To catch fireflies for us to see up close.
The woods were a great flashing field
Filled with millions of lights, millions.
I have never seen anything like that
Evening ever since then, until now.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Wyeth-The mysterious Stranger- Margret
W.H. Robinson - Olden Times
Wyeth- The Mysterious Stranger - The Astrologer
A TALE FROM THE OLDEN DAYS
Now long before Tellan was known by that name, before the time of Talan, called the elder, long and wise the ruler of the lands beyond the cusp of the hundred forests, there dwelt a race of people in that place. Handsome they were, to be sure, fair of face and limb, courageous in all endevours and wily in their understanding of the forests and the myriad of creatures in it.
They knew the dwelling place of the great bears and often sang songs to them in the Spring of the year, just before they awoke from their white sleep. They told them of the bushes near Marlee, close against the sea, where the gooseberries were green as buds and sweeter than the honey trees distilling high above the forest floor, full of heady buzzing and the making of dances that named the summer. They sang of streams, cold from the snow, that bristled with the cool white flesh of fish eager for the taking, leaping high into the air, silver sides reflecting rainbows to the morning.
All these things they said in their songs and not one word to any one of them. All noises like the wind, their mouths, streams of water sounds and squealing in the great hallways that divide the shadows from the light, the elder trees from copses of saplings in their fresh and green regalia.
These songs became most popular and their singers were renowned among the creatures of the forest of Marlee. Even to the bears, the best of caves were those that bordered close to the villages where these singers dwelt so that their waking in the Spring would be a kind of blessed, secret, news that moved within their bones and made the waking to the world a magic thing. Indeed, it was the cubs of these great beasts who heard these songs upon their birthing; often days before the mother of the cubs could rouse herself enough to sniff the air to know the temper of the season. Their young bear hearts were filled with these sweet noises and likewise filled their newborn hearts with knowledge of these forests long before they would know them through their other senses.
And of these singers the greatest of them was Reman, son of Jaben and of Carth, who soothed by birds and who could dance the tempers of the winds. His songs were full of every stream and brook and indeed, the rivers flat and steely flow could also be his song as were plays of light along the banks of each and every bend and eddy of each stream. He knew the days and of the ways of clouds, how they flew and what messages they carried through this place. “I am full of rain”, said one and Remar danced this bliss. “I am from the south and sweet upon the breath the scent of roses are the diamonds on your fur this morning.” said another. It was liquid on the skin of Remar; he danced the roses, became diamonds. These were the gifts of this greatest of singers. For these songs all the gods of the seasons gathered about him.
Then one time, it was in the Spring, after Marlee was awash with the fine cloak of new green and the brightest of whites and pinks, aglow beneath the coursing of the clouds, Remar made a sound within his throat that raced between the dance and the color of the eyes of a female bear he had seen in the autumn of the failing year, just before the long sleep was to begin. From somewhere deep within the coils that gathered together to make Remar and his knowing, came a sound that was not of the dance. It was a name, a thing unknown until this time. He made this name loud in Marlee and from all the camps and growing kingdoms fraught with their own dreamings of the Spring, this sound was heard. And once this sound was made and took its course across the being that was Remar it was single thing, for as long as Tellan was separated from the seas that were the realm of Szooh, this sound came without a cloak, rushing from the mouth of Remar and all was changed. All sounds that came from his dancing had things attached to them, places and actions that had had no sound in the place of the great beasts who sat long, once at the feet of this teller of dances and tales. The sounds of the wood dissolved and speech came into this ancient world and Remar and Marlee and all that followed after were no longer understood by the beasts who dwelt there and in strong and unrecoverable sounds, this speech to all the animals was lost, and has dwelt forever in the bosom of a goddess chosen for this singular purpose, long before the dancing came into Tellan and long before the great kings of this land could know the machinations of the eldest of the gods.