Monday, December 19, 2016

A Poem from the Experimental Novel, "House of Leaves"...



(Untitled Fragment)
By Mark Z. Danielewski, from "House of Leaves", page 563

Little solace comes
to those who grieve
when thoughts keep drifting
as walls keep shifting
and this great blue world of ours
seems a house of leaves

moments before the wind.

<><><><><><><><><>

This truly experimental novel, which is many stories (lifetimes/dimensions) in one, messed with my head so badly that, among other abuses, I threw it against walls, poured coffee (then blow dried it in remorse) on it, tossed it in the trash (and retrieved it) twice, stopped reading it for a full year, then finally just wrote my frustration into the margins (along with the author's gazillion footnotes/endnotes/sidenotes) which is freaking hilarious NOW as I revisit it about 10 years after I read it and enjoy my bad attitude back around 2005 when I experienced "House of Leaves".  Mark Z. Danielewski (MZD) is a pioneer, a poet, and a courageous trailblazer.  He's also a crazy as a loon genius and an excellent storyteller.  It would just be nice to read one of his stories in chronological order, but I doubt that'll happen.  Reading a fat novel (occasionally) in circles and sideways got a bit tedious at times, but I guess that's art for you.

If you're looking for a challenging reading experience, then read this book.  If you're an impatient, normal type, then for heaven's sake:  DO NOT READ THIS BOOK!




Friday, December 16, 2016

Questions of Travel by Elizabeth Bishop

There are too many waterfalls here; the crowded streams
hurry too rapidly down to the sea,
and the pressure of so many clouds on the mountaintops
makes them spill over the sides in soft slow-motion,
turning to waterfalls under our very eyes.
–For if those streaks, those mile-long, shiny, tearstains,
aren’t waterfalls yet,
in a quick age or so, as ages go here,
they probably will be.
But if the streams and clouds keep travelling, travelling,
the mountains look like the hulls of capsized ships,
slime-hung and barnacled.
Think of the long trip home.
Should we have stayed at home and thought of here?
Where should we be today?
Is it right to be watching strangers in a play
in this strangest of theatres?
What childishness is it that while there’s a breath of life
in our bodies, we are determined to rush
to see the sun the other way around?
The tiniest green hummingbird in the world?
To stare at some inexplicable old stonework,
inexplicable and impenetrable,
at any view,
instantly seen and always, always delightful?
Oh, must we dream our dreams
and have them, too?
And have we room
for one more folded sunset, still quite warm?
But surely it would have been a pity
not to have seen the trees along this road,
really exaggerated in their beauty,
not to have seen them gesturing
like noble pantomimists, robed in pink.
–Not to have had to stop for gas and heard
the sad, two-noted, wooden tune
of disparate wooden clogs
carelessly clacking over
a grease-stained filling-station floor.
(In another country the clogs would all be tested.
Each pair there would have identical pitch.)
–A pity not to have heard
the other, less primitive music of the fat brown bird
who sings above the broken gasoline pump
in a bamboo church of Jesuit baroque:
three towers, five silver crosses.
–Yes, a pity not to have pondered,
blurr’dly and inconclusively,
on what connection can exist for centuries
between the crudest wooden footwear
and, careful and finicky,
the whittled fantasies of wooden footwear
and, careful and finicky,
the whittled fantasies of wooden cages.
–Never to have studied history in
the weak calligraphy of songbirds’ cages.
–And never to have had to listen to rain
so much like politicians’ speeches:
two hours of unrelenting oratory
and then a sudden golden silence
in which the traveller takes a notebook, writes:
“Is it lack of imagination that makes us come
to imagined places, not just stay at home?
Or could Pascal have been not entirely right
about just sitting quietly in one’s room?
Continent, city, country, society:
the choice is never wide and never free.
And here, or there . . . No. Should we have stayed at home,
wherever that may be?”
Elizabeth Bishop


Saturday, December 3, 2016

In The Bleak Midwinter by Christina Rossetti

It's been crazy here at Chez Dragonfly since I got my greenhouse. Did I mention I have a new little greenhouse/potting shed?  I do! I counted 62 plants in it yesterday, most babies propagated from my other plants: Lemongrass, Yarrow, Pineapple Sage, Spearmint, Peppermint, Chocolate Mint, Apple Mint, Comfrey, Basil, Lavender, Airplane Plants, Wandering Jew, Black Sweet Potato Vines, Passionflowers...too many to recall!  Mother Nature keeps blessing me with abundance.  For the first time in my life, I have big fat Tomatoes in December!  They're also in the greenhouse.  I bought one Angel Trumpet flower a few years ago & now have 12 of them. They're like trees! This Spring I plan to have a few plant sales to make some money to buy more plants. LOL!  It's an addiction.  And my Cypress Tree has 10 babies all thriving across my front yard.  They're gorgeous.

I want to wish you all a blessed Christmas/Holiday season filled with love, peace & happiness.  I sincerely appreciate the many faithful readers of my blog, several who have become dear, precious friends over the years.  This has been a physically painful year for me (chronic pain & autoimmune disorders) and your support means the world to me.  God bless you all! xo, Marion

...water like a stone...


In the bleak midwinter

Related Poem Content Details

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.

Friday, November 11, 2016

RIP Leonard Cohen

RIP, great Poet!!


Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen
("Various Positions" Version)

Now I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do you?
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you to a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
You say I took the name in vain
I don't even know the name
But if I did, well really, what's it to you?
There's a blaze of light
In every word
It doesn't matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even though it all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Starlings in Winter By Mary Oliver

LOOK!  A jet trail dragonfly!



Starlings in Winter

By Mary Oliver

Chunky and noisy,
but with stars in their black feathers,
they spring from the telephone wire
and instantly

they are acrobats
in the freezing wind.
And now, in the theater of air,
they swing over buildings,

dipping and rising;
they float like one stippled star
that opens,
becomes for a moment fragmented,

then closes again;
and you watch
and you try
but you simply can't imagine

how they do it
with no articulated instruction, no pause,
only the silent confirmation
that they are this notable thing,

this wheel of many parts, that can rise and spin
over and over again,
full of gorgeous life.
Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us,

even in the leafless winter,
even in the ashy city.
I am thinking now
of grief, and of getting past it;

I feel my boots
trying to leave the ground,
I feel my heart
pumping hard, I want

to think again of dangerous and noble things.
I want to be light and frolicsome.
I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,
as though I had wings.

"Starlings in Winter" by Mary Oliver, from Owls and Other Fantasies: Poems and Essays.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

WHAT THE CROW SAID By Michael Hannon



Amy Brown Art





WHAT THE CROW SAID
By Michael Hannon

Though friendly to magic
I am not a man disguised as a crow.

I am night eating the sun.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Monday, October 10, 2016

Shadows...


I walked out the kitchen door...

barefoot...onto the carport...and into the front yard.

I inhaled the scent of freshly cut grass,
admiring the vivid greens against the
aching cobalt of
Southern Autumn sky.

A Mockingbird landed to
fetch a worm, then
sat on a telephone wire to
sing me a dozen tunes.

I was not looking up,

I was still looking at my wet,
clipped-grass-coated feet
sunk into the soft, spongy lawn
and enjoying the bird's serenade.

I was, to be redundant, at that moment,
looking down...at the ground,

when a shadow,
a wide shadow,
an unusually large shadow
passed over my own
verdant-footed shadow...

...no, it glided,
effortlessly,
poetically...
right over me.

I, of course, looked
straight up into the sun
and saw spots,
then walked in circles,
head upturned,
knowing it was a Hawk,
a big, beautiful predator
hunting for breakfast.

The Mockingbird
quickly left...
self-preservation!

Finally, I spotted the Hawk
still gliding, wings outstretched,
     drifting on an air current
along the edge of
the woods, the Ent-like Pines.

I stood transfixed,
watching reverently
until it vanished...
     as in a lucid dream
into a fast approaching
storm cloud...

By:  Marion, Summer 2016

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Epilogue by Robert Lowell



Epilogue

Related Poem Content Details

Those blessèd structures, plot and rhyme— 
why are they no help to me now 
I want to make 
something imagined, not recalled? 
I hear the noise of my own voice: 
The painter’s vision is not a lens, 
it trembles to caress the light. 
But sometimes everything I write   
with the threadbare art of my eye 
seems a snapshot, 
lurid, rapid, garish, grouped, 
heightened from life, 
yet paralyzed by fact. 
All’s misalliance. 
Yet why not say what happened? 
Pray for the grace of accuracy 
Vermeer gave to the sun’s illumination 
stealing like the tide across a map 
to his girl solid with yearning. 
We are poor passing facts, 
warned by that to give 
each figure in the photograph 
his living name.

Robert Lowell, “Epilogue” from Day by Day. Copyright © 1977 by Robert Lowell

Friday, September 30, 2016

Black Moon Rising



Tonight, September 30,  is the 2nd new moon
in September---a rare Black Moon,
which only occurs every 32
months...

It's the threshold/doorway into Autumn,
the dark time of the year, a time for
staying in and going inward.
Contemplation, reflection, resting,
and reverie are on the menu.

Even nature rests in Fall
and Winter, going dormant,
quiescent:  living, yet appearing barren.

Nature is our mirror,
our teacher and muse
telling us to slow down now,
collect her gifts of
seeds, then
ponder our own gifts.

Black Moon rising,
new moon ruling.
Fearlessly enter your darkness---
explore the shadow side
of your life---and of nature.

Disentangle your
knotted, twisted thoughts
and prepare to grow
in the spring...

like a brazen, hot pink Zinnia
bursting from the soil.

9/30/16


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Advice to Myself & Grief by Louise Erdrich

Wish that younger me could have read this---


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~




Advice to Myself
By Louise Erdrich

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.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

At Burt Lake by Tom Andrews & Bardo (excerpt) by Suzanne Paolo


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. . .

                                  Lord,

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."

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

PAIN By Linda Pastan

Smile, even when you feel like crying...



PAIN
By Linda Pastan, from "Waiting For My Life"

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

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

What We Want by Linda Pastan

Moonlady by Marion---



What We Want
By Linda Pastan

What we want
is never simple.
We move among the things
we thought we wanted:
a face, a room, an open book
and these things bear our names---
now they want us.
But what we want appears
in dreams, wearing disguises.
We fall past,
holding out our arms
and in the morning
our arms ache.
We don't remember the dream,
but the dream remembers us.
It is there all day
as an animal is there
under the table,
as the stars are there
even in full sun.

^^^^^^^^^^

A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language. ― W.H. Auden

^^^^^^^^^^

Love

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Hymn of a Fat Woman By Joyce Huff




The Hymn of a Fat Woman

By Joyce Huff


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. 


-------------------------------