May. 18th, 2017 09:50 am
satyapriya: Macchu Picchu 2009 (Default)
Poor sorting: I like that: that it all gets dropped, the big stuff enmeshed with the grainy soft stuff. The indiscriminate mess. That it forms a long train, so that seeing it all, one can trail events back. Guess at them. View time. And by way of the whole scattered and shifting pattern, by the gathering eye, make something of these loose details, collecting. - from "Glaciology" by Lia Purpura.

Imagine the bride down the aisle,
white train leaving behind her old life.
Along the curated carpet:
a Barbie here, a skipping rope there.
Over by the doorway, a tiny engagement ring
given to her by a boy desperate to fuck her
when she was eighteen,
the diamond speck scarcely visible
amongst light refracting off the rock on her finger today.
Her life revealed,
like a shock of ankle,
or a glimpse of 1913 stocking.
Heaven knows, now anything goes,
as old bikinis,
and a school uniform are kicked
by the mother of the bride
into a spare aisle at the back of the church.
And oh, over there, the body of her first dog,
old Aldo, who endured her toddler love.
Everyone pretends they can't see
her history sediment roughed up and exposed
by the glacier-white of her dress.
She streams past, hands trembling
ever so slightly,
and face frozen in a smile she's practiced
for years.
The groom, at the front of the church
yet to be ground down to rock flour,
as she approaches.
New territory open for both of them;
climate change, and going-away outfits.
The rubble is left behind
on the floor of the church,
as she looks ahead,
as though she knows what's coming.


May. 15th, 2017 01:29 pm
satyapriya: Macchu Picchu 2009 (Default)
"By August, the young geese are strong fliers, and the parents take them from the ponds down to the marshes and the shore, where some of them will spend the winter near the salt water. Others fly off, looking for new homelands." - Mary Oliver, UPSTREAM.

High summer,
we're lolling on the verandah,
stripped to bathers,
or underwear,
and each of us eying the others,
wondering who'll be first
to make that noise.
"Mum, Dad, I'm going to-"

Leave home.
Who will it be?
It's holidays now,
school's done.
Dad's joked for years:
"Out you go, the lot of you."

What's the signal,
the moment unspoken,
when the urge to fly
lands on some,
and not others.
Who stays, who goes?

High summer,
and we're waiting for the
honking-goose moment
for one of us to ruffle feathers,
spread wings,
and lift into heat-laden air.

The hours tick,
a sun-burnt tin roof,
cooking our brains,
until we don't know
what the future holds,
except that some of us will
go, and not come back.


I don't know who's speaking here. Someone part of a large family, it seems. It's certainly not my own experience. It feels American to me, perhaps the Mary Oliver influence.
Who are these people, that so many young adults around the same age, are thinking beyond high school to the world beyond, and either reaching for it, or shrinking away?
satyapriya: Macchu Picchu 2009 (Default)
The following are poems typed out from Jacquelyn Mitchard's excellent book THE MOST WANTED. The poems are by Sharron Singleton.
I have wanted to store copies of these poems for many years, but have never found a permanent home for them. This seems like as a good a place as any.

To Dillon For Our Wedding Day

Love is a season
for the migrant
heart to rest in.

Love is the wild
wind the heart
rides home on.



In some dumb wisdom your mama named
you, not after a person, but after a place.

Darling, you are all the lonely hometowns
in Texas, brown and sun-burnt, a little wild

a little sad. You are the high meadow
streaked with shadows of quick-moving clouds.

You are that narrow valley outside of town
where flowers bloom after a few drops of rain.

You are the place I am always moving toward,
the yellow light that spills from open

doorways, a darkened bedroom
with a dress thrown over the chair.


Every bride

holds the future
in her mind
on her wedding night.

Here is the future
I want - enough
time to grow

ordinary and dull,
that settle

like moths,
you and I
on the porch stairs

in the dark, the glow
of your cigarette,
the smell of the first drops

of rain in the dust,
nothing to look forward to
but tomorrow

and the day
after that.


The Sound of Bells

I'll always remember our first night
together, you so flushed and sky,
me knowing what I know but
scared too because you are the first one

I loved. We poured our loneliness
into each other and filled the emptiness
and dark corners of this place with joy.
Seeing you naked made me feel so tender.

I think of your long straight back,
your strong legs, see your hair on the pillow,
your dark eyes close, and say your name
over and over. Arlington. It is the sound of bells.


The Terrain of Love

I thought love would be something so large
and bright I could not contain it, like an armful
of exploding firecrackers. I see now

that the terrain of love is small scale. There
are the fine golden hairs on the backs
of your hands, your voice as it thickens

when you say my name, your thumb
on the pulse of my throat, the day we first
stood together, not touching, just knowing.


What's True

The hardest thing is to say what's true. You
aren't the first or the only but girl, when I think
of how you came to me, how your long dark hair
fell across my face, your skin rippled under

my hands, water-soft and water-cool, I am washed
clean, like Jesus said, and it seems to me
that if this is all I ever have, it is enough.



This love sucks at me
like the Texas wind
that wants my clothes
that unbraids

my hair. It plucks
here and there
with strong fingers
pulls at the cords

of my wrists til
like a harp they
ache and sing
This love teases

unravels and loosens
til untucked
and love-struck
I open to you.


Cell Dreams

Late at night: I am dreaming, something wind
pushes me along like a pebble in the path
of a dust devil, something unbroken in me -
or too much broken, crazed they say. My life
is a walk through an electrical storm - each hair
stands up, each cell is charged with this current;
there is nothing behind me and nothing ahead.

Later: cheap whiskey redemption scalds my throat,
brings peace in the night.

Later yet: headlights (now I'm dreaming
of you) and a thousand miles of highways, the night
juiced up with music - lonely cowboys, angel girls,
and death, a 2.00am country preacher,
testifying, rocking in the spirit (we have to),
stop at the motel, tear back the sheets, tumble
and tangle together, call out, "Oh,
Lord!" while above us stars burn
holes in the black night.



Now I lay you down
my sweet, downy
head beneath my cheek,
to sleep your deep
and dreamless sleep.
The angels keep you
safe, I pray: my little one,
my Desiree,
and I will watch and I will wait
and rock this bough
that will not break.
No one will take
your soul this night.
I'm here.


Chasing down more of Singleton's poetry, I find the following links:

satyapriya: Macchu Picchu 2009 (Default)
Three yellow leaves
on a black windshield.
Which one will the glass eat,
to sustain its revving self?
The pooled raindrops
as saliva,
wipers as tongue.
Autumn nourishment
for a winter mouth.
satyapriya: Macchu Picchu 2009 (Default)
There are not enough of us to go
those who chose to age,
to concern ourselves with tribal future.

We wise wimmin
travel the land along ancient lines,
healing with story, herb, bony touch.

Children explore our faces with wonder
for they do not know wrinkles,
the crevasses of the dark.

We are too few,
and needed too much.
Our stories are demanded,
but put it on the computer,
where I can read it later,
Old Woman.
Don't tell me truth
face to face.
The mirror of your eyes says too much.

So, we travel to where we are needed
but not wanted.
The adults hurry us on,
while children reach out their hands,
their mouths round O's of more.


satyapriya: Macchu Picchu 2009 (Default)

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