Wednesday, March 25, 2015

March

























"... Because the heart
buries its losses again and again
till longing shocks it: bright sun
breaking upon a white-washed necropolis."

Chris Forhan

Sunday, March 22, 2015

This afternoon brightness, this blinding flood...

























(letter to her with map, terror & excitement)

Rain echoes through the hollow of this
late afternoon light & the shadow
of my hand drags across the Great Lakes,
across states, & it shakes, & O how inexplicable.

I said love when I know I meant predisposition.
I meant empty rooms, sun cascading
through slats after rain, that life I can easily
imagine & want. I meant there is no way

to express the complex architecture of
what you are to me - the you you are in words,
the body of you, the you I don’t even know.
I know what I hope for.  This afternoon

brightness, this blinding flood, this thing
we’ve built up, this heaviness masquerading
as lightness & I just don’t know
what to say.  I can see you standing there,

can almost hear your voice.  I can see the sun
& it’s setting & there are the two of us facing
each other, people made out of words with
real bodies, standing together & breathing.

Nate Pritts

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Bright sun breaking upon a white-washed necropolis

Why Did the Kissing Start?

Because of leavings:  silt-drift, silica
that falls and turns to rock in us.

Because we are foolish and will not last.

Because in the murk of dusk
she trilled to the bats in Italian.
Because she is pretty.

O my armada, in a minute
you were sunk, ocean closing
over the cannons and intricate rigging,
swift gift of absolution and forgetting.

Great blue herons, thruways—because
of them, because of the glut of comets
and eclipses amid which we have no choice.

Because we have blood in us and do not own it.

Because her imagination is a forest
with a fox in it, fur silver-tipped, glimpsed
and gone.  Because we are unaffirmed.

Because we are death’s pretty children
and task her patience.  Because the heart

buries its losses again and again
till longing shocks it:  bright sun
breaking upon a white-washed necropolis.

Chris Forhan

Sunday, March 15, 2015

A little love goes a long long long way




















I Say I Say I Say
Simon Armitage

Anyone here had a go at themselves
for a laugh? Anyone opened their wrists
with a blade in the bath? Those in the dark
at the back, listen hard. Those at the front

in the know, those of us who have, hands up,
let's show that inch of lacerated skin
between the forearm and the fist. Let's tell it
like it is: strong drink, a crimson tidemark

round the tub, a yard of lint, white towels
washed a dozen times, still pink. Tough luck.
A passion then for watches, bangles, cuffs.
A likely story: you were lashed by brambles

picking berries from the woods. Come clean, come good,
repeat with me the punch line 'Just like blood'
when those at the back rush forward to say
how a little love goes a long long long way.

Found, and harbored

Nights in the Neighborhood
Linda Gregg

I carry joy as a choir sings,
but quietly as the dark
carols. To keep the wind away
so the hidden ones will come
out into the street and add
themselves to this array of
stars, constellations and moon.

I notice the ones in pain
shine more than the others.
It’s so they can be found,
I think. Found and harbored.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Crowds

"We worship individuality and long for freedom, but we are invariably drawn to crowds, which leaves us with a resentful ambivalence toward ourselves and others."

"Only together can men free themselves from their burdens of distance; and this, precisely, is what happens in a crowd… Each man is as near the other as he is to himself; and an immense feeling of relief ensues. It is for the sake of this blessed moment, when no-one is greater or better than another, that people become a crowd."

Nobel Laureate Elias Canetti on Our Fear of Being Touched, the Four Attributes of Crowds, and the Paradox of Why We Join Them

Maria Popova

http://www.brainpickings.org/2015/03/06/crowds-and-power-elias-canetti/

Unsaid

So much of what we live goes on inside–
The diaries of grief, the tongue-tied aches
Of unacknowledged love are no less real
For having passed unsaid. What we conceal
Is always more than what we dare confide.

Think of the letters that we write our dead.

Dana Gioia

Friday, March 6, 2015

Take loneliness

Dear Ezra

I have to confess:
there are abstractions
I no longer go in fear of.

Take loneliness.
I've started calling it solitude.
It feels so new and improved now,
I can honestly say it soaks up time
better than a sponge soaks up water.

The other day I actually washed this poem with it.

Ez, let me tell you,
aging is a Laundromat,
and eventually you find yourself
watching what you spurned
and dreaded for years
spread out in widening gyres,
like sheets fluffed in the dryer.

Life is quite a bit cozier
when you let all the bugaboos—
you know—say, sadness and fear
crawl into bed with you.

Pace them with your breathing
and they fall asleep
fast as a couple of kids.

The other night we huddled together
staring at the moon
as it slid past my window:
big-bellied sail on a wet black sea.

Eileen Moeller

http://www.ayearofbeinghere.com/2015/03/eileen-d-moeller-dear-ezra.html

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Ariadne

Myth and Creativity: Ariadne’s Thread and a Path Through the Labyrinth
Allison Stieger

"The process of living creatively brings new things into the world and to humankind, but there is a monster guarding the gift, because the maze "takes one to the center of one's self, to some hidden, inner shrine, occupied by the most mysterious portion of the human personality".

http://www.creativitypost.com/arts/myth_and_creativity_ariadnes_thread_and_a_path_through_the_labyrinth

Ariadne
A performance with compositions of Clio Karabelias and a butoh:contemporary dance by Marianna Tsagaraki

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xW8ZN1X4S9M&feature=youtu.be

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Home

























Grief

Sometimes you have to take your own hand
as though you were a lost child
and bring yourself stumbling
home over twisted ice.

Whiteness drifts over your house.
A page of warm light
falls steady from the open door.

Here is your bed, folded open.
Lie down, lie down, let the blue snow cover you.

Louise Erdrich

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Foothold

The Other Side of the Argument

But she prefers the morning glory,
How slowly its bloom unfurls,
How its curl of vine
Catches the flaw in masonry
First, then the crosshatch
Of kite string we hung
From the porch
As a makeshift trellis,

How it needs only a foothold
To fill half the day with blue.

Eric Pankey

From here: http://fluttering-slips.tumblr.com/archive

Touched, they fly

Touch-Me-Not

There is a flower called touch-me-not,
which means, of course, touch me,
for it depends upon touch for propagation,
as humans do. 

The blossom may be
two tones of orange, the darker exquisitely
freckling the lighter, or a clear lovely
yellow, an elegant aperture, inviting entry
by winged emissaries of imagination
actuated by love. 

The seed pods are made
of coil springs laid straight in the pod’s
shape; ripe, the seeds are restrained in
suspension of tension. 

Touched, they fly.

Wendell Berry

Spotted Touch-me-not: http://www.minnesotawildflowers.info/flower/spotted-touch-me-not

Seed Dispersal:
http://dkphoto.photoshelter.com/image/I0000M7ECzDTC_VY

Video, exploding seed capsules: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tp08jHeatc

From here: http://fluttering-slips.tumblr.com/archive

The Social Genome

Die, selfish gene, die
For decades, the selfish gene metaphor let us view evolution with new clarity. Is it now blinding us?
David Dobbs

"... If faced with clues that food might be scarce, such as hunger or crowding, certain grasshopper species can transform within days or even hours from their solitudinous hopper states to become part of a maniacally social locust scourge. They can also return quickly to their original form."

"...This raises a question: if merely reading a genome differently can change organisms so wildly, why bother rewriting the genome to evolve? How vital, really, are actual changes in the genetic code? Do we always need DNA changes to adapt to new environments? Are there other ways to get the job done? Is the importance of the gene as the driver of evolution being overplayed?"

"...Perhaps better then to speak not of genes but the genome — all your genes together. And not the genome as a unitary actor, but the genome in conversation with itself, with other genomes, and with the outside environment. If grasshoppers becoming locusts, sweet bees becoming killers, and genetic assimilation are to be believed it’s those conversations that define the organism and drive the evolution of new traits and species. It’s not a selfish gene or a solitary genome. It’s a social genome."

http://aeon.co/magazine/science/why-its-time-to-lay-the-selfish-gene-to-rest/?fb_ref=Default

Friday, February 27, 2015

And that sometimes, in a breeze

Poem for a Man with No Sense of Smell

This is simply to inform you:

that the thickest line in the kink of my hand
smells like the feel of an old school desk,
the deep carved names worn sleek with sweat;

that beneath the spray of my expensive scent
my armpits sound a bass note strong
as the boom of a palm on a kettle drum;

that the wet flush of my fear is sharp
as the taste of an iron pipe, midwinter,
on a child’s hot tongue; and that sometimes,

in a breeze, the delicate hairs on the nape
of my neck, just where you might bend
your head, might hesitate and brush your lips,

hold a scent frail and precise as a fleet
of tiny origami ships, just setting out to sea.

Kate Clanchy
from Selected Poems, Picador, 2014.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Seeing Truly

"You don't think in depression that you've put on a gray veil and are seeing the world through the haze of a bad mood. You think that the veil has been taken away, the veil of happiness, and that now you're seeing truly.

It's easier to help schizophrenics who perceive that there's something foreign inside of them that needs to be exorcised, but it's difficult with depressives, because we believe we are seeing the truth."

http://www.ted.com/talks/andrew_solomon_depression_the_secret_we_share/transcript?language=en#t-603082

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