Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime.
We would sit down and think which way
To walk, and pass our long love’s day;
Thou by the Indian Ganges’ side
Shouldst rubies find; I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the Flood;
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires, and more slow.
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart.
For, lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.

But at my back I always hear
Time’s winged chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found,
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song; then worms shall try
That long preserv’d virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust.
The grave’s a fine and private place,
But none I think do there embrace.

Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may;
And now, like am’rous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour,
Than languish in his slow-chapp’d power.
Let us roll all our strength, and all
Our sweetness, up into one ball;
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life.
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

~Andrew Marvell

via Helen


Eva Yerbabuena in “Pulse: A Stomp Odyssey.”

The Spanish Dancer
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

As on all its sides a kitchen-match darts white
flickering tongues before it bursts into flame:
with the audience around her, quickened, hot,
her dance begins to flicker in the dark room.

And all at once it is completely fire.

One upward glance and she ignites her hair
and, whirling faster and faster, fans her dress
into passionate flames, till it becomes a furnace
from which, like startled rattlesnakes, the long
naked arms uncoil, aroused and clicking.

And then: as if the fire were too tight
around her body, she takes and flings it out
haughtily, with an imperious gesture,
and watches: it lies raging on the floor,
still blazing up, and the flames refuse to die –
Till, moving with total confidence and a sweet
exultant smile, she looks up finally
and stamps it out with powerful small feet.

A Winter Dream

In winter we’ll travel in a little pink carriage
With cushions of blue.
We’ll be fine. A nest of mad kisses waits
In each corner too.

You’ll shut your eyes, not to see, through the glass,
Grimacing shadows of evening,
Those snarling monsters, a crowd going past
Of black wolves and black demons.

Then you’ll feel your cheek tickled quite hard…
A little kiss, like a maddened spider,
Will run over your neck…

And you’ll say: “Catch it!” bowing your head,
– And we’ll take our time finding that creature
– Who travels so far…

The Sun Has Wept Rose

The sun has wept rose in the shell of your ears,
The world has rolled white from your back,
Your thighs:
The sea has stained rust at the crimson of your breasts,
And Man had bled black at your sovereign side.

Nina’s Reply (Excerpt)

HE – Your breast on my breast,
Eh? We could go,
With our nostrils full of air,
Into the cool light

Of the blue good morning that bathes you
In the wine of daylight?…
When the whole shivering wood bleeds,
Dumb with love

From every branch green drops,
Pale buds,
You can feel in things unclosing
The quivering flesh:

You would bury in the lucerne
Your white gown,
Changing to rose-colour in the fresh air the blue tint which encircles
Your great black eyes,

In love with the country,
Scattering everywhere,
Like champagne bubbles,
Your crazy laughter:

Laughing at me, suddenly, drunkenly –
I should catch you
Like this – lovely hair, ah! –
I should drink in

Your taste of raspberry and strawberry,
Oh flower-flesh!
Laughing at the fresh wind kissing you
Like a thief,

At the wild rose, teasing you
Pleasantly:
Laughing more than anything, oh madcap,
At your lover!…

Seventeen! You’ll be so happy!
Oh! the big meadows
The wide loving countryside!
– Listen, come closer!…

– Your breast on my breast,
Mingling our voices,
Slowly we’d reach the stream,
Then the great woods!…

Then, like a little ghost,
Your heart fainting,
You’d tell me to carry you,
Your eyes half closed…

I’d carry your quivering body
Along the path:
The bird would sping out his andante:
Hard by the hazeltree…

I’d speak into your mouth;
And go on, pressing
Your body like a little girl’s I was putting to bed,
Drunk with the blood

That runs blue under your white skin
With its tints of rose:
And speaking to you in that frank tongue…
There!… – that you understand…

Our great woods would smell of sap,
And the sunlight
Would dust with fine gold their great
Green and bronze dream.

On this rainy pest of a morning
I offer you a summer of sweetness
Right here.
 
Just as the window is pelted with drops of rain
I will assail the pillar of your spine with kisses
Like these.
 
When the chill draught creeps through the crack between doors
You will only feel a soft breath on your neck
And it will be warm, not cold.
 
And when the sun finally peeks out and lines the clouds with silver
and casts little circle shadows on our skin
We will smile
 
And just be still.

© Me, 2011

My beast, my age, who will try
to look you in the eye,
and weld the vertebrae
of century to century,
with blood? Creating blood
pours out of mortal things:
only the parasitic shudder,
when the new world sings.

As long as it still has life,
the creature lifts its bone,
and, along the secret line
of the spine, waves foam.
Once more life’s crown,
like a lamb, is sacrificed,
cartilage under the knife –
the age of the new-born.

To free life from jail,
and begin a new absolute,
the mass of knotted days
must be linked by means of a flute.
With human anguish
the age rocks the wave’s mass,
and the golden measure’s hissed
by a viper in the grass.

And new buds will swell, intact,
the green shoots engage,
but your spine is cracked
my beautiful, pitiful, age.
And grimacing dumbly, you writhe,
look back, feebly, with cruel jaws,
a creature, once supple and lithe,
at the tracks left by your paws.

I believe the chicken before the egg
though I believe in the egg. I believe
eating is a form of touch carried
to the bitter end; I believe chocolate
is good for you; I believe I’m a lefty
in a right-handed world, which does not
make me gauche, or abnormal, or sinister.
I believe “normal” is just a cycle on
the washing machine; I believe the touch
of hands has the power to heal, though
nothing will ever fill this immeasurable
hole in the center of my chest. I believe
in kissing; I believe in mail; I believe
in salt over the shoulder, a watched
pot never boils, and if I sit by my
mailbox waiting for the letter I want
it will never arrive—not because of
superstition, but because that’s not
how life works. I believe in work:
phone calls, typing, multiplying,
black coffee, write write write, dig
dig dig, sweep sweep. I believe in
a slow, tortuous sweep of tongue
down the lover’s belly; I believe I’ve
been swept off my feet more than once
and it’s a good idea not to name names.
Digging for names is part of my work,
but that’s a different poem. I believe
there’s a difference between men and
women and I thank God for it. I believe
in God, and if you hold the door
and carry my books, I’ll be sure to ask
for your name. What is your name? Do
you believe in ghosts? I believe
the morning my father died I heard him
whistling “Danny Boy” in the bathroom,
and a week later saw him standing in
the living room with a suitcase in his
hand. We never got to say good-bye, he
said, and I said I don’t believe in
good-byes. I believe that’s why I have
this hole in my chest; sometimes it’s
rabid; sometimes it’s incoherent. I
believe I’ll survive. I believe that
“early to bed and early to rise” is
a boring way to live. I believe good
poets borrow, great poets steal, and
if only we’d stop trying to be happy
we could have a pretty good time. I
believe time doesn’t heal all wounds;
I believe in getting flowers for no
reason; I believe “Give a Hoot, Don’t
Pollute,” “Reading is Fundamental,”
Yankee Stadium belongs in the Bronx,
and the best bagels in New York are
boiled and baked on the corner of First
and 21st. I believe in Santa
Claus, Jimmy Stewart, ZuZu’s petals,
Arbor Day, and that ugly baby I keep
dreaming about—she lives inside me
opening and closing her wide mouth.
I believe she will never taste her
mother’s milk; she will never be
beautiful; she will always wonder what
it’s like to be born; and if you hold
your hand right here—touch me right
here, as if this is all that matters,
this is all you ever wanted, I believe
something might move inside me,
and it would be more than I could stand.

One of my favorite Andrew Bird tunes for this morning… (it’s a cover of a Blind Willie Johnson tune with the same name.)

From “Fingerlings”

Saddest Music In The World is a 2004 Guy Maddin flick that has been blowing my mind for years now.  It’s the story of a beer baroness in depression-era Winipeg, Canada, a town that’s been dubbed “saddest town in the world”  by a magazine.  Via radio waves, the beer baroness challenges the entire world to a contest for which country truly can lay claim to producing the saddest music in the world, resulting in an onslaught of visitors from faraway lands to compete for money and beer. 

This film is oh-so-very textured with wit and plot turns and surreal events that make it worth watching again and again.

Concerto No.2 Part 1

I heard this while at a cute little bakery and had the dough boy (well.. maybe just the check out boy) write the name of the piece down for me.

The piece was written by Henryk Wieniawski, a Polish composer and violinist of the 1880s. Genius, huh?

The violinist is Michael Rabin, a bel canto American violinist who passed at 35, not 40 years ago.

Sand
There is a precise total for all the grains of sand on earth,
as well as for the starry worlds above our heads
(supposedly the same for each), if only we knew it,
but it’s more important to know that the grains of sand
grow constantly in number and the deserts are getting bigger.
A touch
of violet has mixed itself into the pink of sunset.

Sand is white as milk and soft
as a bowing of violins.
Sand kisses your foot
and trickles over your palms like clean water.
At Bir el Daharrem hills and valleys are made of bronze.
At Thebes and Asmara dead cities lie under the sand.

Sand is crushed mountains and the ashes of everything that has
existed.
The sand dunes cross hot countries like stripes of fire.
Sand covers the planets. Moonbeams are reflections in sand.
Sand is the last thing on earth.
Time sleeping.

Musings

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