Like a Log

F among the Consonants

To the pewter tines of you as cap
I prefer your curves in small case longhand,
gathered and cinched at the crux of your lap
— then unknotted at your command.

***
This sequence in progress, dedicated to Rimbaud, author of Voyelles, can be retrieved within tumblr by using the tag #among the consonants. It can also be found at http://alteritas.net/pastis/?page_id=922

— 2 days ago with 2 notes
#poetry  #gm lang  #rimbaud  #among the consonants  #erotic poetry  #light verse 
huariqueje:

Geraniums - Childe Hassam 1888
Impressionism

huariqueje:

Geraniums - Childe Hassam 1888

Impressionism

(via nmontinari)

— 3 days ago with 43 notes
D among the Consonants

Your quivering carnation flesh resents
the burnt sienna sack in which it’s clothed.
Free yourself from those ashen pigments.
Your body is not chattel to be loathed.

***
Third in a sequence of poems dedicated to Arthur Rimbaud, author of Voyelles, and to Crayola crayons. The poems can be retrieved with the tag #among the consonants.

— 3 days ago with 12 notes
#poetry  #gm lang  #rimbaud  #among the consonants  #erotic poetry  #light verse 
C among on the Consonants

Over the rim of your cavity I’d crawl,
plunge into the pond within your grotto.
Treading in water, I’d await your call 
immersed in ambiguous indigo.

***
Second in a sequence of poems dedicated to Arthur Rimbaud, author of Voyelles. The sequence is tagged #among the consonants.

— 5 days ago with 4 notes
#poetry  #poesie  #gm lang  #among the consonants  #rimbaud  #light verse  #erotic poetry 
Tokens

"How could I ever have written such a silly thing?" I often mutter to myself, having run across a yellowed typescript or a text unfortunately preserved like a fossil in print. "Juvenilia" is the catch-all for these relics, usually best left to slumber in peace. I have nonetheless taken to waking them, excavating and polishing some for curation, as I put it.

Not a gift, more a burden, poetry nonetheless offers largesse to anyone who has practised it over a life-time, opening a treasure chest of gilt tokens distilled from past passions and illusions which can still be cashed in for memories no longer in current circulation.

Revising the lyric below has enabled me to stand again on that curb-side of the Boulevard St-Germain, angle Danton, renewing my futile desire for the anonymous woman who stood momentarily next to me before crossing through afternoon sunshine towards métro Odéon in late September, 1965.

***

Of the winding paths the mind’s eye traces
aimless in the past I risk no comment.
The see-saw of tense and place prevents
my grasping their grammar. Just the moment’s
bustle I know, scant marks of confusion
gilt in the sunslant air: calliope
motes, a wisp of disobedient hair.

Yet given the girl poised light as a lip
on this curb, I could whisper into the soft
nautilus of her ear one secret of time.

— 1 week ago with 2 notes
#poetry  #poesie  #gm lang  #paris  #juvenilia 
Frame

Open wide the window
which gives to the sun.
Rock on the rhythms
of a passing phrase

in a foreign tongue.
Such is the air, seen
to be unseen, that we
can measure and mime
the sun’s slow time.

Clocks interfer.
Compare the beat as
shadows slice off glare
and a Degas bather,
in some cool room,
brushes her hair.

***

Autumn of 1965. San Raphaël. I had taken the train down for a few days on the Côte-d’azur before returning up to Grenoble for my immersion. Perhaps because I had just spent my first ten days in Paris and roamed its museums ravenously as much in quest of a woman as out of appreciation of art, the poems I can date to this period are pictorial, static, masturbatory. When I cast myself back into the state of my mind then, more adolescent than fully adult and deeply marked by not so much the poetry as my received image of Rimbaud, I recall a drop cloth of pervasive sadness illuminated by convulsive shifts of mood, much more expressionist than the scene here. The havoc of my emotions was indeed a pose — in fact, it was posed behind some psychic proscenium, as if I were my own audience. This poem reveals me to have been much more Apollonian than the Dionysian I imagined myself to be. 

— 1 week ago with 6 notes
#poetry  #gm lang  #Provence  #degas  #impressionism  #rimbaud  #dionysian  #apollonian  #juvenilia 
Privacy

I don’t want anyone to know
who I am, no one to see what
I’m doing right now. I have
nothing to say. There is nothing
to know. I don’t want anyone
to know anything about what
I think — I regret this poem.

— 2 weeks ago with 4 notes
#poetry  #gedicht  #gm lang  #privacy 
Salvia leucantha or Mexican bush sage is something of a weed, but a delight to hummingbirds and, here en contre-jour, to human eyes too. What would a hummingbird see, to say nothing of smell, approaching its nectar from this angle?

Salvia leucantha or Mexican bush sage is something of a weed, but a delight to hummingbirds and, here en contre-jour, to human eyes too. What would a hummingbird see, to say nothing of smell, approaching its nectar from this angle?

— 2 weeks ago with 1 note
#gm lang  #photo  #contre-jour  #salvia 
Still Life en Plein Air

As they thrash in the breeze the maples moan. 
One that I know stands not quite alone

on a slope where gloom and silence cloak
a footpath running beside an ancient oak.

From its broad boughs splashes of scarlet flow
to the fresh sound of water burbling below.

An open slash in the limbs makes a frame
through which a beam pierces, igniting a flame.

The fabric of its swaying summit seems spun
from the dying fires of the crimson sun.

Among golden leaves below in a bed
there is one which flashes bright blood-red.

Twilight then mutes the luster of things, throws
ambient shadows shading to rose.

The blue-white moon heaves into sight,
spills trickles of silver into pure vast night,

transparent splendor nothing can rival:
after setting sun, night autumnal.

***

Last week I flew into Ottawa for the first time in almost five years. The late afternoon sun had slipped behind a veil of cirrus off to the west. As the little Embraer cut a slow arc east, there was a splendid view of the confluence of the Rideau River and, on the opposite shore in Quebec, the Gatineau, both emptying into the Ottawa itself, once the main conduit for the canoe-driven fur trade from Montreal to the Upper Country, indeed across the entire continent. It was a week too early for most leaves to turn, but a few trees were touched with scarlet. For me, these sere tokens of memory were enough to evoke blazing realms of experience left far behind, though this season’s full radiance was yet to come.

The Canadian poet Albert Lozeau (1878-1924) lived a life too short and painful to have rivalled the great Émile Nelligan (1879-1941), who has often been likened to Arthur Rimbaud, and who bore sufferings of his own. I was delighted in 1987 when the Sherbrooke-based poetry review Ellipse asked me to translate two of his poems. The first, above, was renewing itself in my mind as the plane touched down.

The French text / On translation. Earlier version published in Ellipse 38 (1987), 113-114.

— 3 weeks ago with 4 notes
#poetry  #gm lang  #albert lozeau  #rimbaud  #emile nelligan  #CanLit  #littérature québécois  #translation 
Spleen

Must I find my body in a book,
a misnomered bruise, borne like a gland
on the wrong side since they made me
cross over and out? When I was a girl,
the lithe babble of warm rain fell
through my skin, herbs from the languorous
green mountains sifted through my pores.
No one made the flowers speak. The sea
was blue, gulls’ flight script I could read.

Now through metal blinds I watch the cold
precipitate particles of light
from the gray – or is it grey? – veil
late solstice afternoon unfurls:
words which do not become me.

***

Nasrin was born on the southern shores of the Caspian. Winters in Alberta were far from her cup of tea. To make matters worse, when I wrote this poem for her, she was suffering from a mysterious debilitating virus. “Spleen” to her had always been Baudelairean melancholy, not the gland, the exact location of which required some research, though both meanings certainly applied in that place and at that point in time. She recovered completely and fifteen years later we have found ourselves in lotusland, not where Canadians place it, in Vancouver, but much farther south.

— 1 month ago with 5 notes
#poetry  #gm lang  #spleen  #baudelaire  #exile  #alberta  #lotusland  #durch die blume 
P/Q among the Consonants

Not to importune, Sir or Madam, 
but, in the spectrum, what’s your hue?
Whatever we are is random.
But do you prefer P or Q?

*** The sequence is tagged #among the consonants.
— 1 month ago with 4 notes
#poetry  #gm lang  #gender  #rimbaud  #among the consonants  #light verse  #erotic poetry 

 Opium Poppies with Ornamental Verbascum ( mullein)

 Opium Poppies with Ornamental Verbascum ( mullein)

(Source: the-night-picture-collector, via last-picture-show)

— 1 month ago with 148 notes
Y among the Consonants
O woven woman, your sheer nylons
make me woozy, your phylogenetic
lips, your cadmium thatch, its ions
and pheromones, real and synthetic!
— 1 month ago with 4 notes
#poetry  #gm lang  #rimbaud  #crayola  #surrealism  #voyelles  #among the consonants  #light verse  #erotic poetry 
B among the Consonants

O bulbous periwinkle,
sunk in sodden goldenrod sand,
your valve sets me a-tingle.
Let me hold you in my hand.

***
In homage to Arthur Rimbaud and his Voyelles, but also to Binney & Smith Company, the creators of Crayola wax crayons. I think of these as poems as paeans of love to the consonants. And to crayolas.

— 1 month ago with 3 notes
#poetry  #gm lang  #crayola  #rimbaud  #erotic  #surrealism  #les consonnes  #among the consonants  #light verse  #erotic poetry 
The smell “of Crayola crayons is one of the most recognizable scents for [U.S.] adults, ranking at number 18, trailing coffee and peanut butter that were number one and two respectively, but beating out cheese and bleach, which placed at 19 and 20.”

The smell “of Crayola crayons is one of the most recognizable scents for [U.S.] adults, ranking at number 18, trailing coffee and peanut butter that were number one and two respectively, but beating out cheese and bleach, which placed at 19 and 20.”

— 1 month ago
#crayola