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Dances of Apocalypse
water running freely
I am your river bed,
set sail upon my body;
let me rain upon you
day dry spot remains.
if there is mystery
hire a detective
perhaps he can follow
deep into the forests
twisting, turning, rising
up mountain, down valley
finding oceans between.
I am blind alley lost
if that’s how you find me,
tossing off whatever lines
crawling baited with words;
let me pull you to land,
let my star-hook catch you
as your revelations
for this poor fisherman.
my African lady
graces without virtue
the hungry textures
of her orchid flesh
freeze the scene
mute clean forever
mood maiden’s gestation
crying zebra infant
born upon straw
heralds by cannon
newly confused issues
of fragments strewn
against the rhythm
beating in suspicion
that I am fear
to doorless walls;
how do I get in?
why do I want out
of walls with no doors?
stairs with no wells?
illnesses with no cures
burn the expression clean
turn the precious key
in my head or somewhere
found huddling between
taking myself back in
giving myself all out
in the end
entertain only collapsible thoughts
before the unattainable is revealed
before you cannot see beyond frustration;
marginal mirrors, crafty devices,
reflect only the background so clearly;
you, the foreground, become so indistinct
that all I can see are your misted eyes
peering out from the vivid evergreens
showing me the path beyond the seasons:
destroy the constant bordering distance
so the final sun rises and sets on me
being everything without horizon.
turkey-face readies for waltzes in the straw
while I search out her magnetic north poles,
spread-legged in the marble arch of change
baring my timid flesh to trumpet scorn
sugary jazz swayed up through the ceiling
into a vision of sexual vagrants
trotting, hastily candid, all night, naked
except for clothing their apple-bruised eyes.
Hong Kong recognition for the humbler
peace by piece constructing a gilded loom
foaming with potentially sleepy songs
to the intently triangular sobs
of mystics clinging to the morning post;
I’m another one, I know all to well,
who can barely repeat, but fabricates
so much that this ash-peace in purity
falls short when autumn tress blaze brightly
without any hints of skin searing heat
rolling huge Douglas-pine-legged day-dreams
across an ultra-submarine-filled notion.
The books starts with a suite of short poems each named after a dance style. One reviewer remarked on the subtle way each reflects its title. But that reflection was coincidental & the titles came after the pieces had been written at various time & without attempt to make them relate to one another or to dance either. The title Calypso was suggested by the sea & water imagery in the piece. Square Set & Fox Trot were suggested by the short lines & clearly Tarantellas by the wordy lines.
I’ve left the typos in this first piece & marked them but have removed, corrected them without indication where they showed up in the other poems. I was tempted to include them in brackets but that disrupted the flow too much. Maybe I’ll do an addendum for the typos only.
Calypso open the book with an invitation to set sail into this world of my imagery, warning about blind alleys that can be dead ends or escape routes to other mazes. Calypso lured men into her caves. The readers understandings can be so different from the writer’s intent that the writer’s intent is humbled.
Square Set is full of alliteration, surreal imagery, with a slightly sexual undertow. The influence of Dylan Thomas is so clear to me with phrases like ‘gorilla sunshine’ ‘orchid flesh’ – warm moist images that jump into ‘freeze’ – a humble jumble of words & sensations that don’t really lead to a way to get in & ends up boxing itself shut.
Fox Trot is a dance where the couples moves in small circles, the lines in the piece are short & the in the end it wraps around itself 🙂 I sense that I was looking for a way to unlock the future, to open myself up & possibly open the closet I was trapped in.
Tarantellas has lines that sprawl, with images about searching mirrors for clarity, looking for direction, a path – an echo of uncertain that runs through the the previous pieces. I find traces of poets I hadn’t even read i.e. Ginsburg in ‘sugary jazz swayed.’ I was a Bob Dylan fan & Ginsburg was a clear influence on him with thusly influenced me. There’s also a nod to Canadiana with Douglas pine & barn dance straw.