These poems were made as part of a presentation to the School of the Visual Arts Conference on Liberal Arts and the Education of Artists. The presentation was based on the structure of the work of one of my favorite poets, Frederico Garcia Lorca. Lorca wrote a series of “Suites” – short poems that are organized something like the way that I organize my work – highlighting connections that link sense and nonsense. So my thought was to create a similar loop by using the works that I created with no particular unifying theme in mind other than the media and material linkages and create a written poetic journey that makes the link.
las maravillas pequeñas
this dance is easy to learn but hard to teach.
jump naked into the circle.
take summer’s outstretched hand
and follow the rhythm written on your bones
by the long hot days.
there is order in it, skip, turn, spin, change partners, begin again
contained like the meadow inside a chain link fence overgrown with jasmine –natural and
human-made structures test the limits
and find a cloudy harmony
when the music starts.
siempre la lucha
newborn cradled here, his potential shimmers
like fireflies in a June twilight
subtle fences will shape him,
they leave a sharp crusty fear underneath everything.
offense the offense.
Defend the defensible.
Bobbing and weaving a new skin
spun from a fathers laugh
and a mother’s regrets.
turning slowly away.
rodeas los misterios tiernos
something is falling,
like a snowflake from the broken sky through a gleam of sunlight
reflecting every unknown color.
something is falling
one moment of inattention, that’s all it takes,
something is falling,
too fast – a comet reborn as it touches the earth.
something is falling
it didn’t mean to,
it didn’t have to.
It was just a normal day.
something is falling.
el corazón se abre en silencio
an answer to the unasked question.
for an instant the blackbirds were still in mid flight.
the termites ceased their relentless chewing,
the prayer flags fell limp with anticipation.
all the bright radio waves flattened out,
the clatter of traffic
and breakfast cooking
faded into grey silence.
the shadows moved shyly backwards
and the sun held its breath
for just that moment
as love like lava moved inexorably toward home.
respírame, suspirar, respírate
I sense you moving like raindrops on sand,
indelible invisible tattoo inside the skin of this moment.
you hover here at my shoulder
a presence familiar as dishwater
and as warm and soft.
stretching out across the horizon
the clean wind like an umbilical cord
sustains us in this black velvet dream.
the darkened moon pulls the ocean towards climax.
fickle, she turns,
expansive, fleeting as breath.
completo como un solo río
below the moonlit surface,
sound is muffled,
whisper heart sighs,
outside and inside melt into each other.
a bright flame in the center radiating outward.
sensation traces slippery spirals
and the stars recline in a love song.
in this bed of souls there is life in the threaded needle,
there is peace
and a turning of years in each breath.
a veces necesitan una mapa de calles
proud mountains and obscure valleys,
the topography of union,
mystical like a Ouija board
Yes? No? Maybe?
spirits roam waiting for the door to open.
take the planchette in your hands
tell me your heart,
recite for me the poetry of your body
don’t be shy, I want to know.
spell it out for me, love
sonando como sueños
silk threads are by far the strongest.
they bind with unexpected ferocity.
awake in this veil,
they twine like the wildwood flower
drawing us closer and closer yet,
any unoccupied space a memory.
there is only this jungle,
with the sound of small animals and flowers opening.
pétalos de la luna
deep blue eyes forever,
in baby dreams a moment that reaches forward and backward,
fairy tale colored
with the soft milky scent of honey flower.
this child was always mine.
He skips over the wild grass
the blue blue spring air rising through the eucalyptus,
and strong like the waxing moon.
el camino que se aleja de todo
we made our nest with silk threads,
they hold us unyielding,
the familiar embrace
we made it ourselves, but, it is too small now,
the soft edges bite and strangle.
in time the way opens.
outside, a generous hurricane
for the damp transparency of our wings.
hemos perdido aun este crepúsculo
a dusty back road ,
radio crackles like smug sandwiches
wrapped in waxed paper
in your soul, a quiet
common as reminiscence.
you save the slivers of soap
and broken rubber bands,
you parse the pure light as if it were a foreign language.
tear off the paper,
you are starving.
there will always be more.
secretos anhelando de su patria
this is it, all there is.
there is no current wearing away the edges,
no channel cut by that mournful river.
there is no weedy root
bleeding its messy uncertainty.
entropy soldiers on, but we don’t care.
we have dusted our treasures,
fingers in our ears
the secret tastes like an apple in fall,
then it is gone,
a dead woman’s house.
pañuelos blancos de adiós
the echo of sacred song floats across the wet pavement
its mournful undulation borrows harmony from the rainy night
in the close woolen comfort of a man,
I soothe his regret for a time.
It hovers between the raindrops
and gathers around our feet
in puddles of useless longing.
volvió al mundo al revés
on that far horizon, glowing violet, moving fast.
the dark birds circle like a crazy compass.
the air is magnetic,
attraction and repulsion in balance.
but this can’t last.
the shadows are thick,
and growing violent.
it looks enormous even at this distance,
when it comes
nothing else will be real.
can you see it?
we should run,
there is no shelter on this plain,
and what about the children?
remendando tan tierno
in spite of hope, not everything can be mended.
patchwork dreams stitched to shoulders,
itching like tiny ants.
mystery and sweet blood the birthright.
in the garden,
a deep well of blackbird feathers and forgotten bones
sanctifies the earth,
its dark grace delirious and absolute.
el camino entre las estrellas de la muerte
there is this humming
chanting or honeybees, I don’t know.
at the edge of attention,
absorbs the breath before it is breathed,
wraps itself around any secret faith or intention.
it rises tight as a mainspring and as obsolete,
a cyclone wailing bright pain.
the humbled sea grass smells like compassion.
tú recuerdo es de luz
you are light on water
skittering like a butterfly drunk on love.
you are flowers floating in memory
imprisoned in that dark ocean.
you are what you remember
the crackle of sunburn on your shoulders,
the delicious salty smell of sex,
the deep brief peace behind your eyes.
this earth breeds obstacle and grief,
forces of oblivion.
yet, I remember you,
I remember light.