Friday, February 24, 2017

Your mouth found the switch 
on the bare slide of my throat 
that turns off my internal dialog. 
So I have no language for your love… 
but if I close my eyes, I can feel it 
again… I can hear it again, I can 
relive each unworded touch, each 
speechless kiss, each flush of scent 
and flavor from your skin. I can 
replay it all just as it fell from your body… 
like some kind of memory, accessible 
only through the silence of my senses.

Winter thawing in Budapest - February 17, 2017 



Afterward, you sleep, 
and I’m quiet against you 
and quiet rising 
and quiet picking up our clothes. 
I hang our shirts and pants 
and listen to you breathe. 

I catch my own eyes 
in the bedroom mirror 
and turn my body to the side 
to show myself where you kissed 
a lovely bruise into my skin 
like a red and purple valentine.

Thursday, February 2, 2017




I wake up 
just before the sun rises
and like the light does 
to the curve of the earth
I slip my hand down your belly 
and wake the birds 
just to listen to them sing
just to watch them fly


_Peregrine 



in the not-so-distant past of a not-so-distant future, who opened their eyes first? was that you, was that meI remember taking a selfie just to see how I look in the morning waking up beside you in a room that I wouldn't come to hate despite its serious effort to repel me with its glitter plastered walls or its completely unnecessary phone device on the bathroom wall or its decadent flooring or its peculiar scent of vanity products, or -god- all its details that had murdered aesthetics forever

memory never serves me in the long run, but I remember my face because I looked at it for a while, trying to detect signs of your lower lip widening to an excruciating point of symmetry turning to smile so painfully seductive. I remember my eyes, half open, trying to detect signs of your love invisible and powerful and uncontrollable, and beautiful and possibly even unsuitable _ rewind this for me, will you? I tell the brain and it quietly obeys; each time it does one more part has gone missing_ but I remember you in me, I remember your bracelet and I know you're wearing it still_  
























Monday, January 30, 2017

your eyes blaze out

when I'm alone 
I paint my lips red
a silent cry for you

___
her lower lip
was an orange
mint. and 
I was a crying
little boy
in the candy store.


_Ron Padgett



Είναι όλες αυτές οι χώρες κάτω από το χάρτη. Κάτι πίτες που λένε από πού φεύγουν κι έρχονται μέχρι εδώ. Οι αριθμοί επί τοις εκατό και τα συστήματα που τους μετέφεραν. 

Έρχονται αυτοί, αλλά δεν μου μιλάνε. Δεν ξέρω ποιος είδε τι, ξέρω ότι τόσοι είδαν αυτό και τόσοι το τάδε. 

Δεν ήμουν καλή με τα νούμερα ποτέ. Τα οικονομικά μου είναι θάλασσα όπως και τα τετράδια των μαθηματικών μέχρι να βγάλω το σχολείο. Μου έδιναν καλούς βαθμούς παρόλο που δεν ήξερα πού παν τα τέσσερα. Ίσως και για τον ίδιο λόγο να μην φαλίρισα ακόμη, κάτι που θεωρώ σίγουρο στο μέλλον. Θα φτάσω τα ογδόντα και θα είμαι η γριά που δεν έχει να φάει αλλά φοράει ακόμα μια κίτρινη τσάντα σανέλ κι έχει μέσα μόνο τα κλειδιά και τα τσιγάρα της. 

Δεν ήμουν καλή ούτε με τους άντρες. Δεν ήξερα πώς ν' αγαπήσω τον καλόν και πώς να διώξω τον παπάρα. Προσπάθησα. Είπα ο καλός θα μείνει και ο παπάρας να πάρει το δρόμο του, άστον παιδάκι μου να πάει στα τσακίδια. Τον άφησα. Τους άφησα όλους να κάνουν όπως νομίζουν. Μείνε εσύ αφού το θες και φύγε εσύ αφού γουστάρεις. Θα φτάσω τα ογδόντα και θα είμαι η γριά που έχει το σημάδι σου στο χέρι της. Είμαστε η γενιά του μελανιού. Θα κάνουμε να πάθουμε άννοια και θα μας ψάχνουν με το αλέρτ από τα τατουάζ μας. 

Και τη θυμάμαι αυτή τη λούπα. 
Είχε μια θεία η Ελένη, την έλεγαν Κλειώ κι ήταν θεόμουρλη. Δεν είχε άλλο πράγμα να μας πρήζει όλη μέρα, όλο με κάτι αστρολογίες ασχολούνταν, μίλαγε ασταμάτητα για συναστρίες, α ναι, και για την κόρη της που είχε γεννηθεί ερμαφρόδιτο αλλά αποφάσισαν να την κάνουν κορίτσι ενώ εν' τέλει έμοιαζε με άντρα μεγαλώνοντας και είχε παντρευτεί έναν Άραβα, ξανθό παραδόξως. Δεν είχε πού να πει τα κουλά της και ερχόταν κάθε δεύτερη Τετάρτη πριν απ' τη λαική να μας μοιραστεί τα οικογενειακά της και τα ζώδια του μήνα. Μίλαγε και δεν την ακούγαμε, κουνάγαμε τα κεφάλια μας και κοιτάζαμε σα να βλέπαμε από μέσα. 

Τι ήθελε η Ελένη και τη ρώταγε για πλάκα; 
Αυτή δεν θα στεριώσει πουθενά της είχε απαντήση η μουρλο-Κλειώ. Είναι σκέτη καταστροφή είδα το χάρτη της. Όταν μου τα πε η Ελένη γέλασα. Ποιος τη χέζει μωρέ κάθεσαι και ακους τις μαλακίες της Κλειώς, σήκω να πάμε να ψωνίσουμε μπλουζάκια στους Ρώσους και χέστηνα. 

Μπορεί να μην πιστεύεις σε Κλειούδες και λοιπά αλλά καμιά φορά όταν σε παίρνει από κάτω, λίγο περισσότερο απ' το συνηθισμένο, σου επιστρέφει η φάτσα της με το ένα μάτι να φεύγει πέρα και σ' τη δίνει. 

Είναι που λες όλες αυτές οι χώρες κάτω από το χάρτη. Κάτι πίτες που λένε από πού φεύγουν κι έρχονται μέχρι εδώ. Οι αριθμοί επί τοις εκατό και τα συστήματα που τους μετέφεραν. 

Καμιά φορά βλέπω τη χώρα σου ανάμεσά τους κι αναρωτιέμαι αν είσαι εσύ. Μ' αυτά τα σκατά τα Ίνσταγκραμ στόριζ ξέρω ότι με βλέπεις. Δεν μου μιλάς, όμως είσαι σχεδόν κάθε μέρα εκεί, σα να μου λες "γεια" εδώ είμαι. Δεν θέλω ακόμα να δεχτώ τη βαρεμάρα ως αιτία για όλο αυτό, αν και δεν είναι δα και τίποτε σπουδαίο. Κι εγώ προχώρησα το δρόμο μου και ας είναι πότε-πότε λίγο πληκτικός. Ξέρω ότι σου λείπω, ότι για όσο ήμασταν υπήρξαμε όμορφα μουρλοί, ότι μας έδενε ένα αόρατο κορδόνι που δεν άφηνε χώρο για τίποτε άλλο, κι ότι όσο κι αν προσπάθησες να το εξηγήσεις γιατί αυτό γινόταν τόσο άφοβα, τόσο αβίαστα, δεν βρήκες εξηγήσεις. Έβαλα τ' άπειρα κουτάκια του σκεπτικού μου όπως τα έλεγες κι εσύ στην άκρη. Το ένα μέσα στο άλλο και δεν ρωτάω πια, δεν μ' άφησες και περιθώρια.  

Παίρνω την κίτρινη σανέλ που από τώρα έχει μέσα μόνο τα κλειδιά και τα τσιγάρα μου, καμιά φορά κοιτάω το σημαδεμένο όνομά σου στο χέρι μου και λέω "να εκεί είσαι κι εσύ" και βγαίνω ν' αμολήσω τη συνέχεια ελεύθερη. Και που 'σαι... ακόμα μου χρωστάς μια οδοντόβουρτσα ...την έταξες και δεν την έστειλες ποτέ... κάποτε σκέφτηκα να σου πω κράτα τη και βάλ' τη στον κώλο σου ... αλλά τι ψέμα θα ήταν αυτό ε; κόβει κανείς το χέρι του; δεν το κόβει. 



Sunday, January 29, 2017

T.M. (Temperature melting)



It’s me… I am 

that aloneness you feel. 
Let it deepen in you… 
let it flush beneath your skin… 
Think of that feeling 
like it’s my mouth at your neck 
and I’m saying your name.

_______

Maybe this isn’t… wet… yet… 
like other loves we’ve had. 
Maybe it isn’t… yet… 
food fights and jungle cat screams 
and, “The fuck if I’ll wait 
till we get back home.” 
Maybe this isn’t… yet… 
back bends and rope burns, 
butt slaps and candle wax… 
Maybe it isn’t. Maybe it isn’t. 
Maybe, right now, it’s just you and me 
on a couch, listening to music, 
touching, talking, listening 
on a long, windy, winter night.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

the poetry of life

In winter, some voices are like coats.
"I go in life utterly unaware of things, Finding out about some of them convinces me how little I know and how much more I should keep on striving to acquire as much as is possible", he said. 
So to Tristan, who loves finding out, here's a "poem" written by a most unexpected poet : NASA
Consider this: You can see less than 1% of the electromagnetic spectrum and hear less than 1% of the acoustic spectrum. As you read this, you are traveling at 220 km/sec across the galaxy. 90% of the cells in your body carry their own microbial DNA and are not “you.” The atoms in your body are 99.9999999999999999% empty space and none of them are the ones you were born with, but they all originated in the belly of a star. Human beings have 46 chromosomes, 2 less than the common potato. The existence of the rainbow depends on the conical photoreceptors in your eyes; to animals without cones, the rainbow does not exist. So you don’t just look at a rainbow, you create it.

NASA Lunar Science Institute, 2012

_________
and another 



The complete tattoo is: “Ich will mit dem gehen, den ich liebe” … the first line from Bertolt Brecht’s poem: 

I want to go with the one I love. 
I don’t want to calculate the cost. 
I don’t want to think about whether it’s good. 
I don’t want to know whether he loves me. 
I want to go with whom I love. 




I can’t translate German, but I think “go” ( “gehen” in the original ) is weak here. I want it to be … I don’t know … “belong?” … or hell… “susurrate”… or how about “ridge” used as a verb… 


I want to ridge with the one I love… I don’t know what I want… beyond my hand right there on your hip


Friday, January 20, 2017

and you


There are shades of red… everything from daydream pink to I can’t friggin sleep. And then there’s you… you and your hips slippin' by… every time I close my eyes. Again, I roll your name across the tongue of my mind. I like the taste. 








There are a few things in life so beautiful they hurt: swimming in the ocean while it rains, reading alone in empty libraries, the sea of stars that appear when you’re miles away from the neon lights of the city, bars after 2am, walking in the wilderness, all the phases of the moon, the things we do not know about the universe, and you.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

I was naive 

Don’t ask me to stop. 
What kind of story is that… 
Aesop’s thirsty crow 
flying off without a drink… 
No…I will keep dropping stones 
into your distant heart 
until my lips can reach yours… 
until I can drink my fill 







have you been too? Kid, I can tell you one thing" work till they've vanished from sight _


Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Betsy Hotel




By Gemma Sieff
The porch of the Betsy Hotel, a slender silhouette on the main drag of Miami's South Beach, is flanked by wicker chairs well positioned for watching the slow rollerbladers, slower Rolls-Royces, and Jessica Rabbits flaunt their curves on Ocean Drive. The hotel's Writer's Room, which has been hosting distinguished poets, playwrights, novelists, musicians, and visual artists since 2012, is snug and uncluttered (a suite might abet procrastination). The first room on the ground floor, it is more bungalow than aerie, conjuring Hemingway in Kansas City—as a cub reporter he sometimes slept in a towel-cushioned bathtub at the Muehlebach Hotel—getting closer to Key West. Writers and nice hotels have long been simpatico—Oscar Wilde was arrested at the Cadogan in London, Truman Capote claimed to have been born at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans (technically untrue, though it accommodated him in utero), and Tennessee Williams loved New York's Hotel Elysée so much he checked out in a casket. The Betsy sits squarely in this tradition but is enhanced by personal history: the poet Hyam Plutzik (1911–1962), author of Apples from Shinar and Horatio (a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1961), was the hotelier's father.

The Betsy designates the space a respite for writers in Miami, and means it both ways: a writer who's just visiting (such as the novelist Richard Ford) as well as the writer who resides nearby (the poet and musician Oscar Fuentes). The room's bookshelves hold an eclectic and ambitious mix of titles: poetry by Robert Lowell, Richard Wilbur, C. K. Williams, Hayden Carruth, and Galway Kinnell; Dag Hammarskjöld’s Markings, translated by W. H. Auden and acquired in a book swap; Rattapalax, a journal of international writing; Harold Robbins's vintage page-turner The Betsy. The artist and writer Donald Daedalus, who stayed for a week this past February, is bookish in new-media ways. He was comparing analog and digital archival processes ("analog is tables of contents, card catalogues, and a locked library door; digital is cloud storage and corrupt data; moisture is a problem for both") for one project and e-publishing a 700-page collection of essays about walkways for another. "I'm interested in non-linear texts,” he told me, “book forms other than the codex.” 

--

Gemma Sieff is a writer and editor based in New York. 

Photos by Sarah K. Moody

Exhumation at Sant’Orsola


By James Romm
On July 13, in Porto Ercole, on Italy’s western coast, an immense crowd watched a solemn ceremony. Four bones, said to have come from the long-lost corpse of Caravaggio, were interred in a bizarre funerary monument, an immense casket topped by a bowl of fruit resembling the one in his famous portrait of Bacchus. Silvano Vinceti, a former television host turned historical researcher, had found the bones in 2010. His fifteen-year forensic quest has seen the exhumations of Dante, Petrarch, Pico della Mirandola, and Poliziano. Vinceti’s career is not without controversy: he’s a showman, Indiana Jones with a dash of Dan Brown.

Vinceti left broadcasting for bone-hunting in 2000, after he was approached by an antiquarian seeking the remains of the fifteenth-century poet Boiardo. His 2007 discovery of high arsenic levels in the bones of Angelo Poliziano and Giovanni Pico, two Florentine philosophers who perished suddenly and mysteriously within a few weeks of one another in 1494 (the same year Boiardo died), appears to confirm the long-held suspicion that both men were murdered—Vinceti has theories as to why and by whom. Perhaps the most significant aspect of the investigation was that it happened at all; academic historians have neither the means nor, in most cases, the time to reopen such centuries-old cold cases. Like Heinrich Schliemann, the bull-headed German banker who found the sites of Troy and Mycenae in the late nineteenth century, Vinceti is an amateur drawn to relics like a dowser to water.

The skeleton of Lisa Gherardini, whom he believed to be the model for Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, was disinterred in 2013 at the former convent of Saint Ursula (Sant’Orsola) despite the early objections of Gherardini’s living descendants, who later came to favor the exhumation, and ongoing opposition from some skeptical Florentines. Previously, Vinceti had proposed that the model for the Mona Lisa was a man, Leonardo’s apprentice Gian Caprotti, on the basis of her “androgynous” features and a number—72—he discerned under the bridge in the far background of the painting. A positive identification of Gherardini’s bones might have made possible a facial reconstruction, forever linking that famous smile with the moldering skull and broken teeth once beneath it. No such luck—in late October, Vinceti announced that the recovered skeleton had not yielded enough valid DNA to identify the model. She remains a mystery; he’s off after the remains of another missing Renaissance artist, Antonello of Messina.

--

James Romm is the James H. Ottaway Jr. Professor of Classics at Bard College and author of several books, including Dying Every Day: Seneca at the Court of Nero (Knopf).

Monday, January 9, 2017

fleurs du mal - le balcon




Le Balcon
Mère des souvenirs, maîtresse des maîtresses,
Ô toi, tous mes plaisirs! ô toi, tous mes devoirs!
Tu te rappelleras la beauté des caresses,
La douceur du foyer et le charme des soirs,
Mère des souvenirs, maîtresse des maîtresses!
Les soirs illuminés par l'ardeur du charbon,
Et les soirs au balcon, voilés de vapeurs roses.
Que ton sein m'était doux! que ton coeur m'était bon!
Nous avons dit souvent d'impérissables choses
Les soirs illuminés par l'ardeur du charbon.
Que les soleils sont beaux dans les chaudes soirées!
Que l'espace est profond! que le coeur est puissant!
En me penchant vers toi, reine des adorées,
Je croyais respirer le parfum de ton sang.
Que les soleils sont beaux dans les chaudes soirées!
La nuit s'épaississait ainsi qu'une cloison,
Et mes yeux dans le noir devinaient tes prunelles,
Et je buvais ton souffle, ô douceur! ô poison!
Et tes pieds s'endormaient dans mes mains fraternelles.
La nuit s'épaississait ainsi qu'une cloison.
Je sais l'art d'évoquer les minutes heureuses,
Et revis mon passé blotti dans tes genoux.
Car à quoi bon chercher tes beautés langoureuses
Ailleurs qu'en ton cher corps et qu'en ton coeur si doux?
Je sais l'art d'évoquer les minutes heureuses!
Ces serments, ces parfums, ces baisers infinis,
Renaîtront-ils d'un gouffre interdit à nos sondes,
Comme montent au ciel les soleils rajeunis
Après s'être lavés au fond des mers profondes?
— Ô serments! ô parfums! ô baisers infinis!
— Charles Baudelaire

Two editions of Fleurs du mal were published in Baudelaire’s lifetime — one in 1857 and an expanded edition in 1861. “Scraps” and censored poems were collected in Les Épaves in 1866. After Baudelaire died the following year, a “definitive” edition appeared in 1868.



Slim darling...

one can learn to understand people when one finds themselves in their shoes_ S.L.



Slim darling, you came along and into my arms and into my heart and all the real true love I have is yours – and now I’m afraid you won’t understand and that you’ll become impatient and that I’ll lose you – but even if that happened, I wouldn’t stop loving you for you are my last love and all the rest of my life I shall love you and watch you and be ready to help you should you ever need help.
All the nice things I do each day would be so much sweeter and so much gayer if you were with me. I find myself saying a hundred times a day, ‘If Slim could only see that’ or ‘I wish Slim could hear this.’ I want to make a new life with you – I want all the friends I’ve lost to meet you and know you and love you as I do – and live again with you, for the past years have been terribly tough, damn near drove me crazy. You’ll soon be here, Baby, and when you come you’ll bring everything that’s important to me in this world with you.
— Humphrey Bogart’s letter to Lauren Bacall


Sunday, January 8, 2017

to Sparrow

Dear ... Sparrow ... why do you keep coming back here? what are you seeking?
ask yourself that _







I can smell your sorrow. 
Even at a distance… it brings 
the taste of salt… 
as if there’s no difference 
between the thought of you crying 
and kissing tears from your lips.









This is my heart. 

On nights you choose to open it_
beside you in our bed, remember, 
in your bones, 
my mouth against your neck, 
the tether of your hands around my wrists, 
the way we rise and fall 

I’ve gathered every moan 
my skin has ever found in yours 
and keep it in this box. 
All my ecstasies are yours, enclosed. 
This is my heart, 
come closer, rise and fall, 
come inside_ 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

(T)






he says there is a small light in my eyes 
where he can trace my happy childhood
the stories from the books of Gutenberg
the little chiming sound to flip the page
my pride of reading before I even could
how hands folding a letter to my penpal
living next door produced the lines I text
how legs that never liked the hopscotch
now twist around him like a tourniquet
the lights I followed driving into nights
how blades of grass keep growing tall
as I leave years behind, how silky ribs
have turned from past blood slicks
my habit of tenderness so hard to break
the many lives he lives inside me now
he takes me, he says there is a spark
flickering strange and small, a tiny orb 
madly trying to speak whatever it feels
his teeth and tongue and lips define me
for every word and lip and pivot pins
the curves I am onto his board, a board
that lasts as long childhood does_ 



`gently into the night





after some time now, I sat there and couldn't speak, words stuck at the back of my throat, words all summed up in a non-uttered sound, You; 

you are a shape forming in my mouth, my many lives clawing each other to find some space that's nearer to your scent... and a question, my darling,who was I before you looked at me like that?