Friday, May 29, 2009

Black Tulip Zodiac

Over time, you have been sought after by many. Some weeks find you feeling forgotten. This may be one. Keep yourself busy. Maybe craigslist yourself as a potential artist's model. Find a muse to deliver you to a songwriter or a poet. Your lover flits from flower to flower and has the capacity to sting. Keep your face to the sun and a casual indifference. Do not worry if the rest of the crowd is not in sync with you--blossom in your own time. Your horoscope points to a heliotropic outlook.
To the naked eye, also science, you seem implausible--at best. Your fuel is fancy, your food: hope. You should avoid literalists, concrete thinkers and doberman pinsers.Don't allow yourself to be reduced to target practice for the dreamers. Even when no one believes in you, believe in yourself. At your core, blooms a star that no one can see.

Scarecrow, Black Tulip, Thyme,

I have loved you as time searched for its wristwatch
and several hours rushed over the hill or was it years
while the loss cost us all.
I meant to say the lost
(or was it lust) cut us all, in any case.
I am tired, Misters, of all this losing. I woke with song
behind my teeth but to sing it is to strain it.
Sometimes it's bearable, or Wednesday, you choose;
every universe is not universal, the stars are barstools,
and most nights sit up, elbows angled, leathery, yellow-eyed
spinning and falling off, here and there glimpses of the pets
of extinct giants, the sidewalk: a dachsund's spine,
love has gone that way, simply prehistoric, the sea
turns to tomato soup, biblical.
Understand, I have been blued, untrued,
bibled and reviled, it grows old, I grow
petunias, oregano, daisies.
One day I woke up
to the vastness, the handful of days
dashing over the hillside
like the children of nursery rhymes.
I remain unculled, uncolored
and (for all the poems,) unsung.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Some People

are indescribable. Their presence in the world is nothing short of a present.
Just received Abraham Smith's book in the mail and recalled what a wonder his words and Abraham, too, one of the good reasons to live.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Turn Up the Frequency

The flavor of the new Tori A. is: yummy.
The good thing about being born and making my way to Cincy and finding Lady L-Bo and getting to birthday with her and her lovely and talented Filo-Boy.

So much talent in one house, I raise my Amos glass to you both, you Paris-improvers.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Not a Dark Thing at All

I mean, it was a gorgeous day and I thought about every possible loveliness and how lucky I was to know who I know and to be so very loved by so many good people--thank you L-Bo and Filo for the birthday lunch. The day was spent otherwise at home, in quiet, preparing the house and the life for guests and the big yard sale

It seems fitting that a big purge take place when Chez Intaglio & Tres Intaglettes gather so much so quickly and must then, send some pretty back out for the other kids.

Shooting Ghosts

A thing that could look like an old midway game, the kind with the piano player and the target on his back, the kind with ducks rolling by like, well, moving targets. But for me, tonight, it is the kind that I usually use as a shield, the ghosts of what hasn't worked as a block against the living things that could. Kind of like planting a big shrub over the wildflower seeds you threw down, but a thorny one. One that scratches when you walk by and lets nothing grow in its shadow.

My friend, "Rhoda" asked me if I wrote something on my birthday and I had been writing a short story and a little note to myself but nothing so formal and captured as a birthday log, a formal account of that day every year. I wished suddenly, that I had. But this isn't that. It's too late to recapture all of those, just like I can't move forward into the sudden-promise of some good things with the old sorrows hanging from every tree. I like too much, linger too long and long, long, long after the lingering's good.

Lately there have been daisy-days glazed with the fresh sweet, shininess that hot donuts wear. A treat to the senses and something so simple to that, too. I am tired of the mean-broken who accuse the sad-broken of something sinister. I am tired of working very hard to stop seeing broken or naming broken or loving broken and having the mean-broken make ugly every possible joy.

I wish us all something light, full of color, and the promise of hope and dare-we-reach happiness. Even the ghosts I had to shoot deader so as to keep them from smothering everything that might live in their pitiful, and once-beautiful stead.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Forms Forgiveness Takes, a Poorly-Painted Chair the Color of Twilight

I meant to write about the movie I saw with L-Bo, how it walked such a tightrope between gratuitous sorrow, schmaltz and every danger of employing children, the old and the notion of what means and loses its means and so on.
What a tightrope walk! I said to L-Bo within moments, "I will have to own this" and I will. To retired magic and magicians, to women who dance on one leg, to the ways we find to forgive and get forgiven, I blow a stream of rainbowy bubbles.
I miss my big friend who has moved away. He is in a swirly memory blizzard from a gallery hop in January or February when the streets were wild with snow and he walked in the quiet of snow-globes, all that good quiet he contained and that he inspired and it was what winter in Ohio must be.
My garden grows prettily and the seedlings even are peeking out. I have a wooden chair that is sloppily-blue-lavender and I am sitting in it now, writing to all of you--whoever you might be--and listening to a song about chiropractors. I have eaten a bunch of mini rainbow marshmallows because it is the food of such a day.

Friday, May 15, 2009

A Rich and Varied Week

I'm floored again and again by my students and my students who are more like my friends, because, after the grading is over, why wouldn't I hang out with people who live in art and who work in the world as if they are not entitled to something more because they are artists but instead, provide the world with more beauty and wisdom because they feel lucky to be able to create art and be amongst like-minded people.

That said, I found a lot to admire in the youtube postings of katereadsbooks She is the smart cookie and funny, besides. This morning was a workshop on how to start into publishing and tonight, a movie and dinner with my dear L-bo.

I feel free of the heavy burdens of certain not-good-for-me persons and grateful at the new friends I am finally finding here.

My garden is growing so prettily and with home internet--at last! I get to go out and enjoy it and write beside it.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Insipitudes

They come in like wrens and go out like finches or maybe
it’s the other way. They come in like tornadoes and exit
like divas. When we tell them about black tulips, the imagination,
Plato, the crazy things that happen there, they take-over,
want a spotlight of crazy, want to pluck the black tulips from our gardens
and arrange them in their sickrooms. Every room they enter
is a sick room and they like it that way, less pressure.

They walk by way of pity, even mercy, they press, sure,
into us like handprints on wet cement in May
and often in July. They peddle their miseries
like flowers and they watch for us, hoping we’ll buy.

When I think about suburbia, I think about streets that are named
after trees and I am reminded of my friend’s late wife
who said “love like a tree not like a bird”
Another one was born soon, they’re everywhere
and when I think to forgive one I recall that the last time
I might have seen Tom Waits and was sold-out.

Because Veace was So Kind

and generous to the BT poems, I will finish some of the stragglers and post them. Perhaps we're looking at a chapbook. From where I sit, I can see the nightdarkmoist soil of the freshly tilled and watered garden. It does a heart (even a depleted, robbed one) good.

Orange Sun Oozing

like a popsicle left in a hot car,
a crayon or a lifesaver. Big star
stuck in a vast pond, big orange slice
congealed in the blueberry jell-o skies.
Her heaven’s sexy, vibrant, as the words
risqué or tangerine. Her heaven’s armed
two-lipped, black nightied, sassafrass, sweetass,
and heavened again, a twin-star: juicy
with wishes; the mind’s eye disrobing one
planet then the next, the constellated
pores sprayed out on the ever-midnight
chest, celestial shout-out to suggest:
let nothing go uncelebrated.

for KW

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Day of Great Gratitude

Happy Bearday! Happy Bearday! My life is a children's book and the characters include my big bear, a bird, a talking spoon, three dreadful whiskered villians, plus one a ways away with fangs and warm flames in its hot lime eyes. Some tough Utah wild-girls in the form of what? A star-gazer with a comet's risque heat, a boomerang moon-girl with spiral locks and a horse they call Wildfire back to the state that is a sheetcake with one gone piece. There are more, a veacey vixen in Brooklyn with a heart that blooms sunflowers...

The Bear is the big, gentle being that feeds the rest, by heart and by mouth. Prettiest thing, he makes the world better by casting his brilliant, lovely, talented shadow on the grateful ground. Thank something for him. Stop now and do it. May 10, 1965 was an inspired day. One day in Alabama some thirty years later would change my life forever and I never stop feeling lucky for it. Good work Gloria and Jack!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy Birthday You Wonder, You!

To all my dear ones who are also Mom-ones, Happiest Day to you. How I envy you your crayoned cards, your goofy love gifts with their smudgy prints.

To Magda, Dora and Mollie, my borrowed kids. You have a great mom (who is a bit sad today, no doubt,) but special beyond, like all of you.

To my students, I happy mother's day your moms--without them, no you and that is pretty unimaginable even to a crowd like us whose thoughts are tropical birds.

The gratitudes stroll by in twos and twos of twos like Noah-beasts or the participants in a mass cult wedding. They are vintage salt shaker you toaster, you two slices of bread, perforated. Birthday cake. Meringue. The park with the pond at the center and the fountain that spouts a true water lily. The seed pods left behind in late winter that rattle like maracas. The December day when I wintered there, warmly and wishing.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Ah Craig, Rebecca, Jackie, and World, Most of all You...

Terrible news just found me.

from A Place of First Permission

AT a still point of the turning floor
there is a dancer you would know her
even across a crowded room
the way she sways is so familiar
She weaves with the easiness and grace
of someone so completely in
possession of her body the beat
she lays down with her hands and feet
is all that keeps the cosmos in its groove

She is a lash of flame
spiraled to fire-colored hair
Her hands unfold a flower out of the air
If you reached out to take it if you came
closer you would liquefy like wax
pooled in a candle's crater you would spill
past possibility of shame
She says
Smoke me a bass line to go with that
thick as blackstrap molasses she says
Give me the buzz of oboe between your lips
the tingling tambourines the sweet
percussive patter of palm on palm she says
The whole world is poured into the deep bowl of my hips

Now get on up she says and shake
the creases out of your clothes she says
Your life is nothing but the thread
you spin behind you every step
a turn a loop a figure-eight
until the day that blind witch Fate
opens her scissors and snips you dead

What would you do if you could take it
between your fingers if you could feel
every knot and snag and tangle
loosen and gather softly round the spool
What would you do with such permission
how far would you wind it what decision
you made or didn't make

You can sit the next one out together
here at this table you can share
a glass of white vermouth pretend it's absinthe
green as venom green as Eden
seawater wormwood pine-needle
and watch the dramas and the comedies
playing around you you can ease
into one of those silences
that never feel the need to fill
And you can say what you've been so afraid
to put in words what's tied your tongue
for years of useless reasons and excuses
the apology you never made

Love from you I learned
to dance you taught me with your body
and not words your movement answered
mine and mine yours you gave me back
to my own body we passed between us
all the speechless gestures of admiration
of those early in love who aren't yet
careful to say so much and no further

But each time we kissed you kept your lips
closed however much I pleaded
Open the petals of your mouth for me
you never let them part I thought your heart
too was closed I was afraid to see
how happily you would have offered
everything had I done the same

Love forgive me all I've given
has been a form of taking
talking over a table of scarred wood
talking always about the table
I've held out my hand and drawn it back
in case you took it always afraid
to take away the table altogether

You laid a coal on my lips you made me
bend my chromatic into blue
You taught me how to spin my line
back and forth in a broken prayer
and give it to the all-assuming air
Now here it is my gift to you
if you will take it oh my Ariadne
my muse my lady jane my valentine

She takes your hand her thumb circles
lightly over the backs of your fingers
How have you never noticed
the sweetest galaxy of freckles
scattered across the fine skin of her wrist

Outside the ragged trickle of the rain
the dark snarl of branches the blades of grass
bend and flutter caught in the wind
that sweeps over the wake you leave behind
As if it all were bowing briefly
toward your passage nodding as if to say
Yes you're going to get away
with everything
As if the dancers
happy or disappointed loving or leaving
their voices the red velvet curtain
swaying from side to side the broken glass
the girl you loved and you and the whole train
were nothing but a line of thread
licked twisted drawn through
the eye of a needle and slowly pulled
another stitch in the cloth of the world
that is all stitches a piece of string
lost in the weave never to be untangled

Look did you see it
The eye blinks
and the bud of the moment blows open
shakes off its sleepy petals
and you are sitting there
listening to a girl in a pink sweater
gossip into a phone
and she gets off
at the next stop (there is no keeping her)
leaving a dimpled seat a hole
shaped like her in the air a long blonde hair

and the smell of rain in wet wool

Craig Arnold

Made Flesh

Bonnie Prince Billy!!!

June 13 says a pink flyer with a black skeleton and that's my boy and L-Bo, Filo??

So, the worst part of my job is grading...

and my grades suffered some internet difficulties today so I had to come to an internet cafe and repost. I am sitting at the door of this great place that is all about scooters and coffee and just outside a group of people are playing kick ball in the faint drizzle of spring rain and High Street is crazy with light and bodies all doubled against the shiny streets and I am a decaf cappucino and sitting as near outside as a girl and her laptop can go and it's amazing. Sometimes I nearly simply love my life.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Update and a Request on Behalf of "Find Craig Arnold"

Rebecca Lindenberg sent a message to the members of Find Craig Arnold.

Subject: Craig Needs Our Help

Thanks to the money raised through The Fund to Find Craig Arnold, we have been able to engage the help of an independent search and rescue team (1SRG) who arrived at Kuchino-erabu yesterday afternoon. The local authorities brought the team up to speed, and they immediately began searching; they believe they have picked up Craig's trail. They will be on the island until the 9th, looking, though obviously we all hope Craig will be found before then. However, the official search for Craig has been called off by the Japanese authorities. We need everyone's help contacting their local Congressional delegation and asking their assistance in pressuring the Fukuoka consulate to engage local US military/DOD assets on the ground in Japan. They have been thinking about it and we need them to move forward with that as quickly as possible. We would be enormously grateful if Craig's friends and supporters would help us in this effort, and we thank you all for the amazing outpouring of help, generosity, and sympathy that everyone continues to show for Craig.


Sunday, May 03, 2009

Whatever Can be Done

Black Tulip Reminiscence

We went out our in best black tulip suits
washed our black tulip diner-ware, painted
all the red tulips black, the pink tulips—white.
The black tulips grew rampant and right
as the night they contained. We mouthed
words into the wrong mouths for too long
and then again always. We were ironing our
collective shirts, sighing into our collective
soup, we were collected for a time, then donated.
For one season, beyond belief, we were all the rage..

10 Friday

Good Friday We Drive Around the Synagogue Geese

the deer not yet bounding across the lot, into a stand of trees
the light suggestive of spring, the air recalling winter and it’s good,
Friday, us, the strange new year we’ve opened like a suspicious package
bore a new facet to our friendship that were it a day would be Friday
a day sipping at the rainwater puddles at the edge of the weekend pool.
A day caught like a kite in the hope-tree of the possible, where Saturday
is a breakfast served in the mind’s little cafe, the stack of pancakes
rivuleted in real maple syrup, the pats of butter--pillow-plush, your face,
Friend, Brother, Dear-Heart, Weird One, better for our ever-Fridays
when I drive the hundred miles back to where for four years we shared
a lifetime and if once one of us wished a forever tucked inside
those times, the other trafficked in Black Tulip Time, an infinite
minute if imaginary.

19 Anger

Angry Black Cloud Pretends to Tulip

He rainbowed me, abhorred me, man-o-warred me,
Then bestowed me, (then just stowed me,) What was owed me?
Who can say? Yesterdayed him then unprayed him,
If betrayed then, let it lay.
Misconnected, no one objected.
We undressed and then redressed it
Left ourselves out on display.
Sacrificed it, sliced and diced it,
Then we left it, so-bereft it skulked
towards home then lost its way.

30 Goodbye too, Love: Elegy for Karen Carpenter

Only yesterday when you were sad and you were lonely,
Your alto-range lovesongs put the pop in popsong.
That smile in your voice, like a good receptionist,
kept the better part of the seventies
pleasant. Karen, forgive us, we hadn’t yet seen that strained
look on the faces of all the women to starve themselves
after you. Didn’t know that a body could be both dandelion spore
and scarecrow-headed in bellbottom jeans with a t-shirt, embroidered
with many colored flowers and glinting with a rhinestone at each
of its floral-cores. Yesterday when you were sad and you were lonely,
to leave the past and all its tears behind you, you emptied yourself,
like a pill bottle found irony on labels that instructed you not take them
on an empty stomach. Wondered how to otherwise when you were emptiness
embodied, singing your even your own dirges in a voice careful and sweet
as a greeting card. Jagged-Girl we saw you, the gothic self, running behind
the trees in the forest—recolorized by Disney in shades that were synthetic
imitations of color—that was your soul, your slip-self creeping between pines
And watching that other-you in her bright pastels pull another smile from her
handbag and swallow it whole. Superstar, you’ll go too far, not far enough,
you’ll shoot and fall, and for a split-glitter-torn second the heavens will recall.