Dragonfly: Any of various large insects of the order Odonata or suborder Anisoptera, having a long slender body and two pairs of narrow, net-veined wings that are usually held outstretched while the insect is at rest. Also called regionally darner, darning needle, mosquito fly, mosquito hawk, needle, skeeter hawk.
Poetry: The art or work of a poet.
Prolixity: Excessive wordiness in speech or writing; longwindedness
Leave the dishes. Let the celery rot in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator and an earthen scum harden on the kitchen floor. Leave the black crumbs in the bottom of the toaster. Throw the cracked bowl out and don't patch the cup. Don't patch anything. Don't mend. Buy safety pins. Don't even sew on a button. Let the wind have its way, then the earth that invades as dust and then the dead foaming up in gray rolls underneath the couch. Talk to them. Tell them they are welcome. Don't keep all the pieces of the puzzles or the doll's tiny shoes in pairs, don't worry who uses whose toothbrush or if anything matches, at all. Except one word to another. Or a thought. Pursue the authentic-decide first what is authentic, then go after it with all your heart. Your heart, that place you don't even think of cleaning out. That closet stuffed with savage mementos. Don't sort the paper clips from screws from saved baby teeth or worry if we're all eating cereal for dinner again. Don't answer the telephone, ever, or weep over anything at all that breaks. Pink molds will grow within those sealed cartons in the refrigerator. Accept new forms of life and talk to the dead who drift in though the screened windows, who collect patiently on the tops of food jars and books. Recycle the mail, don't read it, don't read anything except what destroys the insulation between yourself and your experience or what pulls down or what strikes at or what shatters this ruse you call necessity.
~From: "Original Fire: New and Selected Poems", page 149
GriefBy Louise Erdrich
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.
No coolness yet, but I can smell it coming...Time to awake now and begin again. xo
At Burt Lake By Tom Andrews
To disappear into the right words and to be their meanings. . .
October dusk. Pink scraps of clouds, a plum-colored sky. The sycamore tree spills a few leaves. The cold focuses like a lens. . .
Now night falls, its hair caught in the lake's eye.
Such clarity of things. Already I've said too much. . .
language must happen to you the way this black pane of water, chipped and blistered with stars, happens to me.
From: "The Hemophiliac's Motorcycle" by Tom Andrews, page 13. (Winner of 'The Iowa Poetry Prize')
Mistaking Opiates for the Clear Light By Suzanne Paola
There's always been this confusion with white things--- hospitals, cold, moonlight. They seemed to embody the will paralyzed into peaceful acceptance. Blank paper consecrate to the end of words: I love that, secretly, more than this. Quaaludes in my palm, rowers, eucharistic form. Clear bag of heroin. Stuff, we called it. Too foundational to define.
In a clear bowl, a pear & a pomegranate wizen into color. Almost alive, skins rucking in on themselves. Cheeks sunk, russet & carmine, seeming almost to care about this... Each a countenance too private for a face, collapsing in the hard gravity of color.
I was their opposite, pale girl, not living or dying. They were what I feared.
I trust in the bardo wisdom: how the gods, with their soft white light, draw us in, convince us their stuporous world is all there is.
I've seen them, slumping forward, burning themselves with cigarettes.
How grand they were for a while: their leathers, their etched bodies, a stalled writhing eagle on each arm. And their nectars, their secret foods, that gave an easy kind of sensate order.
Though a god's world finally suffers itself away from him, braille of the tracks of a thousand needles, transgressions of red under the skin---
From: "Bardo" by Suzanne Paola, pages 6, 7 (Winner of "The Brittingham Prize in Poetry")
Bardo (from Wikipedia): "Used loosely, the term "bardo" refers to the state of existence intermediate between two lives on earth. According to Tibetan tradition, after death and before one's next birth, when one's consciousness is not connected with a physical body, one experiences a variety of phenomena. These usually follow a particular sequence of degeneration from, just after death, the clearest experiences of reality of which one is spiritually capable, and then proceeding to terrifying hallucinations that arise from the impulses of one's previous unskillful actions.
For the prepared and appropriately trained individuals the bardo offers a state of great opportunity for liberation, since transcendental insight may arise with the direct experience of reality, while for others it can become a place of danger as the karmically created hallucinations can impel one into a less than desirable rebirth."
More faithful than lover or husband it cleaves to you, calling itself by your name as if there had been a ceremony.
At night, you turn and turn searching for the one bearable position, but though you may finally sleep it wakens ahead of you.
How heavy it is, displacing with its volume your very breath. Before, you seemed to weigh nothing, your arms might have been wings.
Now each finger adds its measure; you are pulled down by the weight of your own hair. And if your life should disappear ahead of you you would not run after it.
=============================== Pain is with me 24/7, 365. Nobody can see it, so few believe it. It feels like I should be bleeding profusely, covered in bruises...but I'm not. Autoimmune disorders, say the doctors...no known cause, no cure...just pain that affects mostly women...go figure. To those in pain...I wish you relief. xo
All of the saints starved themselves. Not a single fat one. The words “deity” and “diet” must have come from the same Latin root. Those saints must have been thin as knucklebones or shards of stained glass or Christ carved on his cross. Hard as pew seats. Brittle as hair shirts. Women made from bone, like the ribs that protrude from his wasted wooden chest. Women consumed by fervor.
They must have been able to walk three or four abreast down that straight and oh-so-narrow path. They must have slipped with ease through the eye of the needle, leaving the weighty camels stranded at the city gate. Within that spare city’s walls, I do not think I would find anyone like me. I imagine I will find my kind outside lolling in the garden munching on the apples.