:: :: :: :: terrible dragon: slaying the world one poem at a time :: :: :: ::
Friday, November 27, 2009
The ginger spangling of her small bones
She Brings Rain For Kim
Every time she flies in, her plane snags a cloud. One cloud snags another and all the others bunch up to see what it’s all about. Happens every time. Texas is a flatiron of drought and stunk boots. Her father lives in his hill country house and regularly tracks the stables in. Giant might have been shot here, but it wasn’t and she dare not tell him so. When he curses the sky, she stays out of sight. Barometers swell shivers in her mere presence.
I say her hips are what change pressures in the sky, the ginger spangling of her small bones rocking up against the world like they do. Those same hips have rocked mine in long afternoons, under shade-ravened piñons when sun stabs anything that dares move. Monsoon season in Santa Fe and the small of her back summons delicate surges to gleam sweat along lordless mountains nailed to windworn crosses where red pores bleed a sweet-clayed rain.
You may find her in Morocco or Paris, upstate in Yorks so new they name them again and again. She’ll be blueburn under fireflint, her crest ablaze, her skytrodden eyes making holes in your chest so wide they can be seen from space. This is her way. Call off the Zia dancing and cancel the corn prayers. Douse your bundled sage; put up those pointless diviners. Spread sandshot muslin and set her a place at your parched table. She’ll pour the clouds. She’ll bring rain. Joseph Gallo September 29, 2009
Holland has a smell in the afternoon, in Amsterdam in 2002 on Cornelius Krusemanstraat near Valeriusplein, a certain smell that mixes the moment with coffee brewing in a kitchen that looks out over a small courtyard in back where summer finds late September still willing to be considered a season not yet ready to give itself over to dying things, or to the American man who is me, visiting on business, scenting fruit coming up from the tiny produce store two flights down that sells vitamins and money orders, stamps and strange bottled drinks, thread and nail files, children’s toys and the wintered conveniences afforded several square blocks when cold counts every one and the only fume that stings the air is what cannot be long held in the nose for to do so is to invite the way water moves in north countries, the milled certainty of never having to be anywhere wind won’t go first, like a story being read by a grandmother in a park, or a long walk nowhere along a canal for no other reason than to walk a canal in Holland because that is what one does when the air steeps the scent of dry grass and mineral, there near Valeriusplein where the #16 stops before continuing to or from Dam Square and the Red Light District, where Dutch things smell of Dutch things, unlike anything whatsoever in California, as memory marks it for recollecting from time to time in these passing years, when Amsterdam moves from moment to meaning.
To worry about headlight oxidation the man at the gas station hawked some aero- sol cleaner about, or fuss about percentage calibration of my inexotic molecularity— am I enough oxygen, carbon, hydrogen? Equal parts longing and love?—or palpitate over splits in my boxers after barely six months wear, or agonize over ambient freeway noise drifting up the acres from three miles away, or exfoliate over rampage murders happening somewhere across the continent, or arc a brow over it being sixty-six degrees exactly on the eleventh of November or that the temperature is yet another coin- cidental multiple of a prime number that has counted me as its own since the day I first spat water and instinctively converted nitrogen and oxygen into carbon dioxide, fifty-seven years ago this very day. This is not one of those days.
When horses pass, stop and consider— the wheel, the hoof, how the day rolls across the sky above you; how the ground heaves beneath your passage. The wind may catch in your hair and the willow keep all its stoic suffer from your witnessing. There are other concerns to pause the turn of what you stand on.
Mind their flanks at sunrise, how the light inlays a broad perfectitude, noble as a swirl of gases that faintly smudge your genesis between iron studs of Orion’s spangled belt. Lift your head in the wearing of cindered manes set with all the fire you’ve forgotten to wash your hair with at daybreak.
When horses pass, stop and consider— the pull, the press, the feel of tack in the mouth, how the bitter patina of days feed the drive through oakborne paths laid out before you. For all your forsworn labors, there is no other way but through the spiked heart of a gaited stable that holds your fenceless rest in nesting hay.
Let us speak in grey and brown words, a common tongue for common things, mute a need for flamboyance or panache, talk to dullardly stones in their laysome language. We might chitter among the downwood, chat about how the hill shadow has advanced so early in the break, leave a marker of stick or flower to compare in the slow coming days.
Let us converse in a calliope of meadow, the fielding vernacular of crake and vireo, warble where we are in relation to every- thing else and, if appropriate, allude in starling tones to a mutual dispassion. We might remark on the paranoia of quail, how they nearly always keep to brush avoiding open spaces for fear hawk may descend bearing talon rain.
Let us hush in the stealth of saxifrage, avoiding the passerine plumage of the orangefire paradise, its blue tongue piercing the sky in lyrebird chording if one listens closely enough. We will be about the unseen this day, the per- sistent invisible that pass unnoticed, much as we do; the collective necessary if we, and all of this, are to continue.
She daggers up into the oak startled by a trespass of morning walk, up from a sheath of field flushing sparrow and dove in a scatter of cries and quill dust.
Moments later the tree settles. She sits her limb like sculpture, turns her sharp head to allow my slow approach beneath her. We hold to regard one another.
Some moments between bird and man, something between reverence and ennui, so much given to each nature, so much more apportioned and withheld.
She draws a harass of mockingbird, some ageless quarrel of kith and territory, rapier tail brushing her back repeatedly until she relents to set for a flight of sheer eucalyptus across a broad acre.
Reedless shrieks come now from far mornings of November, reminding whatever might have forgotten her that she is here to hold her due hitch in the grand weave of tree and field.
I might keep this as a dropped feather, some blankless message delivered from an unremembered sky that said so much in its dear moment until both were lost to this one, to the one yet to come. Joseph Gallo November 1, 2009
wisdom is worth all we lose to attain it. ~aucassin verdé
i wonder if the artist ever lives his life-—he is so busy recreating it. only as i write do i realize myself. i don't know what that does to life. ~anne sexton
you must acquire the trick of ignoring those who do not like you. in my experience, those who do not like you fall into two categories: the stupid and the envious. the stupid will like you in five years time. the envious, never.~john wilmot, 2nd earl of rochester
art arises when the secret vision of the artist and the manifestation of nature agree to find new shapes. ~kahlil gibran
creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. art is knowing which ones to keep. ~scott adams
those who don't know how to weep with their whole heart, don't know how to laugh either. ~golda meir
i said to my soul, be still,
and wait without hope,
for hope would be hope
for the wrong thing.
wait without love,
for love would be love
of the wrong thing.
there is yet faith;
but the faith and the love
and the hope are all
in the waiting.
wait without thought,
for you are not ready for thought.
so the darkness shall be the light,
and the stillness the dancing.