March 5, 2008

I eat an oyster and I feel the contact
But more than one would be a waste

Rudy Burckhardt, A View from Brooklyn II, 1953

Hand With Jar
-- by Tina Celona

There was a hand. There was a jar, the hand was lifting the lid off the jar and nearby there was a big red fruit. To the left and in the distance were ferns. To the bottom center and right the sun was coming up. A blue Egyptian flower sprouted from the branch on which the red fruit was growing. It looked like the jar was standing on a table. The important thing was the circle of light around the jar. You could not look away from it, you could not look at the painting without looking at the jar, because the painting was so small part of it could not fill up your whole eye.

The three objects were evolving. One was a collection of safety pins. One was some kind of tropical fruit. The three were like weapons with sharp, knifelike edges and you could not tell if they were the same size on either side.

I was certain you were a genius. Your paintings were the size of your ego. Your notebooks were a place to hide them.

Near Field
-- by W.S. Merwin

This is not something new or kept secret
the tilled ground unsown in late spring
the dead are not separate from the living
each has one foot in the unknown
and cannot speak for the other
the field tells none of its turned story
it lies under its low cloud like a waiting river
the dead made this out of their hunger
out of what they had been told
out of the pains and shadows
and bowels of animals
out of turning and
coming back singing
about another time

Two Winters
-- by Cassie Lewis

Dark night. I dreamed of a competitor
in the Winter Olympics
who won the event called ‘running
through constant drizzle’
then gave up the sport,
changed her name to ‘moral wife’
and vowed to become a poet.
I woke up guilty, as though I’d kissed
my best friend’s man. Your photo
on the dresser, your planes in the sky,
your clothes in the dryer on this
rare, rainy Californian day. Snow
like a penchant for loss, falls
white over distant hills.
Blankets of future images
just out of grasp. You’re the one
who knows what I’m wanting
before I move my hand. They say
it’s still cold in Melbourne and I’ll be there
next time storms become the official season.
I’ll be there drinking and thinking
of what I can never tell you,
light just past caring
or ownership. Two winters
on opposite sides of the globe:
two winters to discover
how this love got so far
from home. I’m sentimental
and mostly I don’t care
metaphysically speaking:
I trust in a gentle world,
I trust in you.


Blogger Brian said...

"coming back singing/about another time"-- Merwin doing that, that's what I like, moving the reader along in fairly simple language and ideas, concrete images, and then concluding in open air. Spacious.

11:56 AM  

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