Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Revival






We looked at drama and with a penetrating gaze forced our way into the inner moving world of its motives—and nonetheless for us it was as if only an allegorical picture passed before us, whose most profound meaning we thought we could almost guess and which we wanted to pull aside, like a curtain, in order to look at the primordial image behind it. The brightest clarity of the image did not satisfy us. For this seemed to hide just as much as it revealed. And while, with its allegorical-like revelation, it seemed to promise to rip aside the veil, to disclose the mysterious background, once again that penetrating light illuminating everything held the eye in its spell and held it from penetrating any more deeply.


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Friday, January 26, 2007

Never Mind the Shape, Look at the Color



I haven't been here
I haven't been around
I haven't not been here

somewhere
anywhere
over there

nowhere not possible
hidden from sight
wait for the moonlight

waiting for the moonlight
would be better
but in what direction

about an orange line
a white line
make a general statement

point to the color
and not to the shape
never mind the shape

he's wearing green today
not a jacket
he's thick as a cloud

a diamond painted blue
a ruby painted blue
a frisbee in the garden

I haven't been anywhere
I haven't gone anywhere
I haven't seen you

this life took place
taking place
finding my place

in the world
the shape of things to come
at every turning

a red brick
a gray brick
an ornate roof line

having been here
I've been nowhere
having been longer

seen coming home
wait for moonlight
half a moonlight

I too have a pastness feeling
There is something further about it
what do you call that?

-- jeff wietor

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Cowboy Hats



Out in the west we wear our hats,
for a lot of different reasons.
Some for work, and some for show,
but mostly we follow the seasons.

Jaunty and low, the brim just so
means he has some pride.
Straw in the summer, felt in the fall,
and he’s sure to catch a bride.

Those Montana boys like to wear ‘em wide,
and the Texans, high and mighty!
But the Colorado pokes have all the style,
And they wear 'em neat and tidy.

We Colorado gals can pick our men
not by his manly size,
not by the fit of his tight blue jeans,
but by the hat he wears over his eyes.

It never fails to fan our tails
when a tall one comes in sight
with his best boots on, his jeans all pressed,
and his hat pulled down, just right.

The man I met never showed his sweat,
his band was gleaming white.
A fancy scarf wrapped ‘round the crown
........with both eyes out of sight.

At the Valentine Dance he wore those pants
that fairly made me shy.
When he slowly looked up, to take me in,
it was to the side - with just one eye.

He winked, I blushed, he tipped his hat.
We danced to the cowboy band.
From that moment on, and for the rest of our lives
he held my heart in his hands.

-- Rusty Calhoun

Thursday, January 11, 2007

In Memory of My Feelings




My quietness has a man in it, he is transparent
and he carries me quietly, like a gondola, through the streets.
He has several likenesses, like stars and years, like numerals.

My quietness has a number of naked selves,
so many pistols I have borrowed to protect myselves
from creatures who too readily recognize my weapons
and have murder in their heart!
though in winter
they are warm as roses, in the desert
taste of chilled anisette.
At times, withdrawn,
I rise into the cool skies
and gaze on at the imponderable world with the simple identification
of my colleagues, the mountains. Manfred climbs to my nape,
speaks, but I do not hear him,
I'm too blue.
An elephant takes up his trumpet,
money flutters from the windows of cries, silk stretching its mirror
across shoulder blades. A gun is "fired."
One of me rushes
to window #13 and one of me raises his whip and one of me
flutters up from the center of the track amidst the pink flamingoes,
and underneath their hooves as they round the last turn my lips
are scarred and brown, brushed by tails, masked in dirt's lust,
definition, open mouths gasping for the cries of the bettors for the lungs
of earth.
So many of my transparencies could not resist the race!
Terror in earth, dried mushrooms, pink feathers, tickets,
a flaking moon drifting across the muddied teeth,
the imperceptible moan of covered breathing,
love of the serpent!
I am underneath its leaves as the hunter crackles and pants
and bursts, as the barrage balloon drifts behind a cloud
and animal death whips out its flashlight,
whistling
and slipping the glove off the trigger hand. The serpent's eyes
redden at sight of those thorny fingernails, he is so smooth!
My transparent selves
flail about like vipers in a pail, writhing and hissing
without panic, with a certain justice of response
and presently the aquiline serpent comes to resemble the Medusa.

-- Frank O'Hara

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Sea Surface Full of Clouds



I

In that November off Tehuantepec,
The slopping of the sea grew still one night
And in the morning summer hued the deck

And made one think of rosy chocolate
And gilt umbrellas. Paradisal green
Gave suavity to the perplexed machine

Of ocean, which like limpid water lay.
Who, then, in that ambrosial latitude
Out of the light evolved the morning blooms,

Who, then, evolved the sea-blooms from the clouds
Diffusing balm in that Pacific calm?
C’était mon enfant, mon bijou, mon âme.

The sea-clouds whitened far below the calm
And moved, as blooms move, in the swimming green
And in its watery radiance, while the hue

Of heaven in an antique reflection rolled
Round those flotillas. And sometimes the sea
Poured brilliant iris on the glistening blue.

II

In that November off Tehuantepec
The slopping of the sea grew still one night.
At breakfast jelly yellow streaked the deck

And made one think of chop-house chocolate
And sham umbrellas. And a sham-like green
Capped summer-seeming on the tense machine

Of ocean, which in sinister flatness lay.
Who, then, beheld the rising of the clouds
That strode submerged in that malevolent sheen,

Who saw the mortal massives of the blooms
Of water moving on the water-floor?
C’était mon frère du ciel, ma vie, mon or.

The gongs rang loudly as the windy booms
Hoo-hooed it in the darkened ocean-blooms.
The gongs grew still. And then blue heaven spread

Its crystalline pendentives on the sea
And the macabre of the water-glooms
In an enormous undulation fled.

III

In that November off Tehuantepec,
The slopping of the sea grew still one night
And a pale silver patterned on the deck

And made one think of porcelain chocolate
And pied umbrellas. An uncertain green,
Piano-polished, held the tranced machine

Of ocean, as a prelude holds and holds,
Who, seeing silver petals of white blooms
Unfolding in the water, feeling sure

Of the milk within the saltiest spurge, heard, then,
The sea unfolding in the sunken clouds?
Oh! C’était mon extase et mon amour.

So deeply sunken were they that the shrouds,
The shrouding shadows, made the petals black
Until the rolling heaven made them blue,

A blue beyond the rainy hyacinth,
And smiting the crevasses of the leaves
Deluged the ocean with a sapphire blue.

IV

In that November off Tehuantepec
The night-long slopping of the sea grew still.
A mallow morning dozed upon the deck

And made one think of musky chocolate
And frail umbrellas. A too-fluent green
Suggested malice in the dry machine

Of ocean, pondering dank stratagem.
Who then beheld the figures of the clouds
Like blooms secluded in the thick marine?

Like blooms? Like damasks that were shaken off
From the loosed girdles in the spangling must.
C’était ma foi, la nonchalance divine.

The nakedness would rise and suddenly turn
Salt masks of beard and mouths of bellowing,
Would—But more suddenly the heaven rolled

Its bluest sea-clouds in the thinking green,
And the nakedness became the broadest blooms,
Mile-mallows that a mallow sun cajoled.

V

In that November off Tehuantepec
Night stilled the slopping of the sea.
The day came, bowing and voluble, upon the deck,

Good clown… One thought of Chinese chocolate
And large umbrellas. And a motley green
Followed the drift of the obese machine

Of ocean, perfected in indolence.
What pistache one, ingenious and droll,
Beheld the sovereign clouds as jugglery

And the sea as turquoise-turbaned Sambo, neat
At tossing saucers—cloudy-conjuring sea?
C’était mon esprit bâtard, l’ignominie.

The sovereign clouds came clustering. The conch
Of loyal conjuration trumped. The wind
Of green blooms turning crisped the motley hue

To clearing opalescence. Then the sea
And heaven rolled as one and from the two
Came fresh transfigurings of freshest blue.

-- Wallace Stevens

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Lateral Disregard



after an observation by Kenneth Koch

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s bay
an orange cliff rising from its waters to the east
to the west a slope of reddish earth whorled with gray olives
between them an arc of rock, then sand, then little port
four houses of blue-washed rubble and red-tile roofs
and below them under broad-leaved vines a terrace with tables and benches
from which at noon the smoke of golden bream grilling
brings a gust of longing to the wayfarer as he looks over the bay
from a bluff down which a dusty zigzag path
leads to a straggly cluster of fig trees near the water’s edge
(their first fruits now ripened in July sun)
to whose left on flat rocks ample nets have been drying
to whose right on the sand — green, yellow, green, red — four fishing craft
rest through the languid hours of the blue day
only at night taking to the clear dark waters
through which their bow-lights beckon curious fish
for nets to scoop from their nimble careers
to be shaken over the decks in slithering heaps
and at dawn the boats coast home between brighter blues
the glory of the world suffuses earth stone and leaf
land and sea reaffirm their distinction
in an exchange so gentle that the wayfarer briefly believes
he has been suspended lastingly in newborn light
the happiness and rightness of the morning
no longer dreaming plowing on through thick mud?

-- Harry Mathews

-- Music: Sigur Ros

Monday, January 08, 2007

Gimme the Mermaid

Iowa



The plains of Iowa dreamed, or seemed to dream,
the prairie dogs erect above their dens,
the corn unripening by the local Gulf.
We slept through May in the landlady's single bed,
like two wives -- creaky, uncomfortable as sin,
the eagerness of sin a sin itself.
Airless at dawn, at dusk a tinderbox,
your shoebox apartment shared the slanting roof.
The alley lay in moonlight's palest talc.
One night a shout -- a file of naked freshmen
streamed away, white asses hot as dimes,
onward into forgetfulness. Youth, ah youth.
We slept, and woke, and slept the day away,
careless as pigeons with their broken quills.

-- William Logan

Thursday, January 04, 2007

A Shrug of the Shoulders



We generally give to our ideas about the unknown the color of our notions about what we do know: If we call death a sleep it's because it has the appearance of sleep; if we call death a new life, it's because it seems different from life. We build our beliefs and hopes out of these small misunderstandings with reality and live off husks of bread we call cakes, the way poor children play at being happy.

But that's how all life is; at least that's how the particular way of life generally known as civilization is. Civilization consists in giving an innapropriate name to something and then dreaming what results from that. And in fact the false name and the true dream do create a new reality. The object really does become other, because we have made it so. We manufacture realities. We use the raw materials we always used but the form lent it by art effectively prevents it from remaining the same. A table made out of pinewood is a pinetree but it is also a table. We sit down at the table not at the pinetree. ...

-- Fernando Pessoa

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Famous Blue Raincoat



It's four in the morning, the end of December
I'm writing you now just to see if you're better
New York is cold, but I like where I'm living
There's music on Clinton Street all through the evening.

I hear that you're building your little house deep in the desert
You're living for nothing now, I hope you're keeping some kind of record.

Yes, and Jane came by with a lock of your hair
She said that you gave it to her
That night that you planned to go clear
Did you ever go clear?

Ah, the last time we saw you you looked so much older
Your famous blue raincoat was torn at the shoulder
You'd been to the station to meet every train
And you came home without Lili Marlene

And you treated my woman to a flake of your life
And when she came back she was nobody's wife.

Well I see you there with the rose in your teeth
One more thin gypsy thief
Well I see Jane's awake --

She sends her regards.
And what can I tell you my brother, my killer
What can I possibly say?
I guess that I miss you, I guess I forgive you
I'm glad you stood in my way.

If you ever come by here, for Jane or for me
Your enemy is sleeping, and his woman is free.

Yes, and thanks, for the trouble you took from her eyes
I thought it was there for good so I never tried.

And Jane came by with a lock of your hair
She said that you gave it to her
That night that you planned to go clear

-- Sincerely, L. Cohen

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