long!

Giving a reading today. Wanted to cover a few of the ongoing projects. All exerpts. Ezekiel 1956 is from a 16 hr. continuous writing exercise I ran with some students; Nicole WHite is the last Virginia Tech piece written; Shape is the last Soulographie piece written (includes material quoted from HC Andersen); and the last poem is collectively written by members of the Tenderloin Opera Company…

 

EZEKIEL 1956

PART ONE

Scene One

(A woman lying long and peaceful, barely visible in tall grass in a field, like a sleepy lioness. The woman is Gin.)

 

GIN

Book run tree quit, elf quiet lamp spark, tungsten shine fold bless, rip drop merry-go-round, forget octave, tremble Lucifer, laugh-go-walking, rotator cuff dice, pinecone crawl; amaze marching band; restore secure sign; violate hair mend rend Mary chop.

(We see her more and more clearly. The space is a vacant lot between a factory and a fine house. The woman is bloody and recovering from a severe accident.)

Leaping elf tremble the octave the merry-go-round and even the walking stick crawls, terror genuflects, the maple tree explodes its rotator cuff forget a walking stick.

(Garnet, an eleven year old, appears at an upper-story window in the house. Thick, thick glasses. She sees Gin. Gin inventories her environment.)

Vacant lot saw grass cyclone-fence halfway around plastic milk jugs rusted iron.

Twenty-four large mullioned windows

Working fireplace

Captain’s chair

(Gin sees Garnet. Garnet has a cap made of silver formed to half her head.)

Silver dish, forget-me-nots.

 

We go down a demon down a long dance a language a bucket made of grease a light.

(Garnet opens the window. Gin and Garnet begin to float to each other like characters in a Degas painting. Bridget, twelve, in her separate window, narrates.)

 

BRIDGET

Gin cleans a window, elsewhere.

Gin is a window, elsewhere.

Opens and goes through so as not to disturb.

Gin crawls, Gin in through the window, the silver through the window, the silver head of her hatcheted niece a mercury moon, the silver plate fashioned around her head by the grandfather who cut her once; her niece was cut on the head with a hawk, a hatchet, and the soft place where the wound was is covered now with a half-helmet of beaten silver. Gin is crazy, she escapes, she finds her nieces, climbs the window, sees the silver head of her niece on the white moon pillow, Gin is crippled.

(As Gin and Garnet grow closer, it’s Garnet who seems to be a young lion sleeping. Gin finds Garnet sleeping in bed.)

The cripple enters, apprentices the window, the widow looking up.

The cripple entránces the window, it loves her.

Through a window, seeing through a window, glass still in her skull: silver head.

 

*

 

BRIDGET

Earlier that day:

 

Silverhead looking out the merchant marine ship, late, hauled down the channel by mules, sculptural drown-head, dreaming phantom streams that thicken and twist in the settling air, gin running stowaway between bundles, aft. The mule ship passes the window; Gin sees Silverhead Garnet, and both; promise made.

 

GIN

The moon’s full of beans tonight.

 

BRIDGET

The girl’s regretting everything but Roman candles, a pink forgotten by even the elves. What is the word for her mistake?

 

*

 

EPILOGUE

ENSEMBLE

She plays guitar and makes her fortune, her husband is too afraid to touch her.

 

The upper ranges of the tree are broken… we’d put down some poplar.

 

The old crazy man is bitten by a fox and goes mad with rabies; he rides a motorcycle; riding a motorcycle – MOTORCYCLE – broken rib beach woods and sees a woman flayed.

 

How we know that love is indestructible.

 

The library of the flesh.

The brief mermaids.

Knife Philippines motorcycle rib.

 

What’s the relationship between the husband and wife after the bicycle after the broken rib after the fear and monism in the night?

 

First, you leave each other. Waldrop says: Separation Precedes Meeting.

 

My breath lies down in poverty; I draw my parents with silent lines of breath inside.  The same was true of all the dogs.

 

Tungsten miner, gone away – he’s a mad as a hatter. Dies like a fir tree.

 

It would take a road breathing blue pines –

It would take witches

 

How will you end this? In extreme pine, in blue patience.

 

The night’s a series of marquees for itself. Think still. Caffeine fish a casino; the property myth: mummification combat of forget-me-nots; the bird who ate the blackberry and left a band of brambles thigh high through the woods; the mad – meaning: memory.

 

Ezekiel; how does Ezekiel end? With a prayer for peace.

 

*

 

Nicole Regina White

 

[Traveling Song]

Five years in the manner of salt

Love of the Lord, only daughter,

Only sister, bread on the water

Swimming the canticle, swimming the bay

You, little child, free, without fear –

The animal of the ocean, the animal of the world

 

“God has a question for everything” and I have mine

Hold to your breast the

Emergency Volunteer Valentine

 

A sail, a flame: the fire of this child

Will build light from its working out the air

This will be hard and she is one

With what will save us

Rose of the covenant.

The red of us

May we break

For love’s

Sake

 

Purple and orange banner, VT

Seven-foot dogwood tree –

A flower with nails inside

“She had certain powers – to make you happy”

Isle of Wight County

She was a rescuer

She loved the water

She was a trained lifeguard who worked down at Luter

Who is the singer of this song?

A boatman on the Rhine

And we always hear the echo

Of the Three-Knight-Stone:

Lore Lay!

Lore Lay!

Lore Lay!

As though there were three of us

 

Be with me

I’m with you

 

*

 

[Prayer]

River rescuer reunion Nansemond.

The vigil of her strength: the arm of the river.

Her red energy the leading edge of covenant, joy structured into aftermath, surviving. In the house, in the sound of the bird, the name of her house, her horse: our wound is a type of our animal.

A language of only vowels – open.

You go to your heat and spit and dirt –

Ephphatah;

We are open, open, open.

Light, teach me patience,

Love me like the bees love the hive,

Hold me like the burr loves the hem –

Could you please just be here?

 

To forgive, pull aside, not outside-of, but as a curtain, and climb deeper in, a new space where you forgo teleology, your use of the next; patience as an ecstasy, leaguing yourself with power not yours; riding a horse. The name of her horse, her house: Patience. A type of agapé. The animal of the earth, the animal of the day.

 

Remember, meme-bird, remembered in Christ, at last plural; we tell stories so that what has been breathed into us makes us breath, makes us atmosphere, identity in the nature of giving; heaven: that case of simultaneous, irrevocable, universal living. A tree grows by thinning.

 

The sound of a luffing sail the only list working in the marina.

Three o’clock. Acedia. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint.

My heart has turned to wax; melted within me. My mouthis dry like a broken pot.

Taste sweat; salt-light off the bay.

A radio batteried up, live, implicit signal, thirsty for relay.

The first sense of forgiving, to offer it or receive, is to be forsaken, foregoing –

A way to admit you are going away.

 

We are each other’s child. We don’t see what catches us; we know by the option of our prayer that we are caught up, saved again.

 

Save my language, restore me to the word – you, seeming silent, are fluent.

 

Lord, despite my will, my history, that which my understanding so powerfully claims, may I be open.

 

Rise up this mornin’,

Smiled with the risin’ sun,

Three little birds

Pitch by my doorstep

Singin’ sweet songs

Of melodies pure and true,

Sayin’, “This is my message to you-ou-ou:”

Singin’: “Don’t worry ‘bout a thing,

‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right.”

Singin’: “Don’t worry (don’t worry) ‘bout a thing,

‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right!”

 

Be with me.

I’m with you.

 

*

 

from Shape (Soulographie)

 

CORDELIA

God save us this is nice a nice place to be.

 

Move past the dead parts of my brain.

 

A lovely boy was stolen from me. I had kissed him but not so hard that he died from it. Now he is among the living, herding goats in the mountains.

 

I worry sometimes that there is something wrong with my head, that the bad thing has crawled up there through my teeth.

 

Look one sits alone as proud as a king.

 

Pulling at my eyes.

 

Up, up he climbs, away from everyone but not from me, he is mine

 

Sleepy Heaven

Sleepy Heaven

Sleepy Heaven

Sleepy Heaven

 

I shan’t give you any more kisses or I might kiss you to death.

 

They are sleepy in heaven

Because

In heaven they never sleep,

They pray without ceasing

 

They don’t want to miss anything

Because

Heaven’s everything is perfect.

They are a little crazy and they are

Over the world

 

I have something better than milk, some travelers left half a bottle of wine behind. You have never tasted better. Yes I will kiss you if you give me the beautiful ring, yes that ring and no other.

 

I am hanged, it is daytime, I am sober. Plenty radio; I don’t know how to boil it all down. I’m as sleepy as an angel. Have you broken silence yet?

 

I kissed you when you were a child, kissed your mouth, now I kiss you on your toe and your heel, now you are mine you are mine you are mine.

 

The constraints are simple and can’t be eased. I am the statement you are making about my shape.

 

In heaven I will not sleep. I will be sleepy all the time. I will lose my mind. And will have heaven. Which you will not know until you are dead. Which however long it takes will be soon. And then all force will be gone. All will be where it needs to be, and radiant, light of the morningstar filling to the brim.

 

Here are your eyes. I fished them up from the bottom of the lake, they shone so brightly, here take them back you will be able to see more clearly now; look down into the well.

 

I cannot hear you. You will not be heard. We will bear you no grudge, and if only you had one single word you would be in heaven too.

 

Many things have changed since we were children together, our souls as well as our bodies are not the same.

 

My king is diamond; he is shining. I am the queen of walking around: I’m how that shining shows. Without ideas you are not a people, no royalty or revolution, only the flies. You know how to be sick.

 

I do not want to make you my enemy. Soon I will be living so far away from here.

(To Billy.)

I have only the kindest memories of you, but I do not love you as I have learned now that a woman can love a man. I have never loved you in that way, you will have to accept that. Goodbye.

 

For a great poet a great toothache.

 

Flowering Peach

Cherry

Magnolia

Hawthorne

 

Dogwood

Tulip

Myrtle

Plum

Sourwood

 

Redbud

Jacaranda

Scarlet Bean

Sacred Pear

 

I am hung from a flowering tree

In La Villa Florida, 1923

 

Do you think this is a tragedy?

 

*

 

from heaven to the sea (Tenderloin Opera Co.)

 

last night I had a surreal dream

while lying on a bed of pomegranates

feet flying skyward

like a plane skipping over

islands

many feet to fall

along down the planet

i

was strumming along my journey

with my 6 string guitar, plummeting

floppy hair

hovering over my eyesights

heavenly music filled the air

with the aroma of the sea

have I found my element?

as the cello brings the cadence

focus on away and beyond thy clouds and

i just have one thing in mind and…

 

 

 

 

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