Tuesday, 24 March 2009

A minature at the Metropolitan

two lovers wind around each other
curved like countries on a globe.

The father and mother I'd come on
those mornings in each other's

arms, her braids undone, sprawled
on his freckled skin,

her gown turned inside out, silken
underside of vines

after their so fierce quarreling
all evening long. Such secrets pull

me to this man from Isfahan-
his hand moves

towards her breast, her cinnamon
robe splits for his arm-

Langorous Persian pleasure-and i'm allowed
to see-a man and a woman

loving, in a wilderness
of boughs made for endless ardor

Myra Shapiro.

I met Myra last April on Block Island, just off the U.S. East coast, minutes before i ran for the Ferry in a buffeting weather front. Born in the Bronx, she is a gentle firecracker of a lady-this comes from 'I'll See you Thursday' out now on Blue Sofa Press. Another Block Island gal is my friend Lisa Starr-the goddamn Poet Laureate of Rhode Island no less. Here's one from her:

Late August

And then there is the way
the Summer
tiptoes off one evening
just at dusk;
the fallen apples on the lane
speak to you of sadness,

Leaving you suprised
and cold again
as you remember lovers
who gently closed the door
then left

Ahh, my joy is living near my grief as you may tell from this selection. Something about Spring makes me long for poetry from Women: i feel if i see another beard i'll do something unexpected (best not look in the mirror then). Jane Hirshfield says;

In sorrow, pretend to be fearless. In happiness tremble.

Then Yeats (honory woman today) says

Cast a cold eye on life, on death.
Horseman, pass by.

Not one for pity was old W. B.

Knee deep, actually thats a lie, chest deep in the orginal text of Wolfram's Parzival, with side orders of the Troubadours, Minnizingers and Sufi's. Did you know it's a Celtic tradition to let out a strange, ecstatic bark of gurgling laughter when you see something that delights the Soul? I bet you can remember such an unexpected epiphany. Some of my favourite lines of poetry this decade are:

In the sweetness of the spring, words turn green
and the birds sing on, each in their own latin

It reminds me of that other morning, that sweet war we bought to an end,
and she gave me a gift so great, her faithful valley and her ring.

I want my God to let me live
to have my hands beneath her cloak

Guillaume IX de Poitiers.

Lets finish with Sharon Olds: 'Greed and Aggression'

Someone in Quaker meetings talks about greed and aggression
and i think of the way i lay the massive
weight of my body on you
like a tiger lying down in gluttony and pleasure on the elegant heavy body of the eland it eats,
the spiral horn pointing to the sky like heaven...

if i had a God it would renew itself the way
you live and live while you take me as if consuming me, it would
be a god of complete satiety,
greed and fullness, aggression and fullness, the
way we once drank at the body of an animal
until we were so happy we could only
faint, our mouths running, into sleep.

Sweet dreams x

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