ODALISQUE DOES NOT SAY HELLO NO SHE DOES NOT.
I AM SORRY.
I AM TRYING TO RECORD HER DREAMS IT IS VERY HARD.
MAYBE I WILL SHARE ONE SOON.
I AM SORRY SHE HAS NOTHING TO SAY.
I HAVE THINGS TO SAY.
HELLO I AM OWL.
in a dark and dated hotel room with the boy you tried to kiss his name the name of greek statues the ones that hold up temple porches
get ready. before a plate glass mirror get ready
to fly north for an event.
planes to catch in metallic hangars it is so hard to get to these planes.
city streets treacherous they all drop down into round-a-bout bottoms like the bottoms of bowls. bowl bottom is stable equilibrium says math class. no catching a plane in the bottom of a bowl without a dose of irrational energy.
i fly. afraid to lose the earth. no worries. boy and girl are bound to earth. i bear them.
sidewalk man in suspenders makes chalk mandalas on the concrete very colorful they are.
maybe he is the one.
that girl has fantastic boots. red cross-stitched.
maybe she is the one.
will the bicycle make it up the hill, out of the city, to that dark road running home? see road slope and curve beneath o’erhanging trees shadow trees where insects sing.
we / land / ground / earth on a paved plaza.
event hotel! off-center lobby. elevators to rooms where folded schedules are forgotten. long brown halls. stumble upon an intimate, semi-circular hall where businesspeople in frumpy suits karaoke made-up lyrics to classic rock songs. in one room girl having an argument with staff about what she knows to be true. time to go home. surely the event is practically over time to catch another plane. for vacation. girl can’t find keys to room where her things are and can’t remember where her room is but
look a forest. a cube of forest bounded by glass. stunning concept. balanced with fore-thought / but wild. red leaves / peacock blues of ever-greens. deep deep ground forest sunk so to see into canopy
technicolor forest caged between glass viewing corridors of event hotel.
here was well thought-out. here is worthy of contemplation. here be still.
Quiet, please, quiet.
Let me sleep.
Let me pull this darkness (this darkness that is still natural in many places of this world) over my face like a black hood wrung in cool water.
Let me be blind inside it.
Let me sleep as deeply as sleepers in the dark regions.
Let me sleep, fists curled like a skinned animal who dreams of the moldy earth, of thick plush fur.
A dream that closes on waking like a heavy door heaved against a beast who wants to tear my bones away from themselves with its jeweled claws.
If a tree is cut down and paper or pencil made, and I then write with them?
If you were a tree
would you be my pencil?
my blank page?
my unblank page?
If you were a tree would you be the page preserved in an archive, its climate controlled with combustion, the burning of ferny compression we call fossil fuels?
Would you be my paper, my pencil, preserved?
A tree would prefer I crumple this page, throw pencil away.
Better yet, would I please bury both in dirt?
When I fall something shoot its pale cusp from the trunk that was me.
Come back wild moment from far before
I took up my sword call it pencil say paper or page.
Killing impulse, I took up pencil and page.
I ruined everything.
Wake up. The phoenix staked another billet-doux through my pillow with a splinter of arrowwood.
It is on fire.
Fizzling like a sparkler.
Billets hard to hold through waking. They sizzle at the edge of dream. Wake up. They burn themselves out. Pillow ash brings intense, peripheral feelings, mis-sequenced, uncertain, numinous.
(click to read the first billet-doux)
BURNING DOOR. IN AND OUT AND IN
LET US BE WITH EACH OTHER
THE DAYS COUNT THEM]S[?]
IT IS NICE TO BURN
INTOXICATING THE LIGHT
Cans and shells are both abandoned when no longer useful.
One, when empty (by man). One, when full (by glob-footed organisms).
Glob-footed organisms cannot live inside aluminum cans.
Shells do not litter the streets of major cities.
Broken shells can mulch flower beds.
Crushed cans cannot be flower vases.
Neither makes a tasteful ashtray.
Neither illustrates prayers or sells in tourist shops.
Neither is likely to be gilded, to impress ladies at a luncheon party, or to evoke true love.
Either might evoke memories of an ex.
Neither can nor shell should be clutched too tightly to the bosom.
Neither is an apt metaphor for the muse. Neither inspires odes. O cracked bit of shell O crushed aluminum can
And so forth.
The shell, broken, reveals a lustrous encapsulation of roseate dawn. It is pleasing to the thumb.
The can, crushed, is illegible. Its crinkled lip flashes in the sun like a razor.
More sea trash (read bones, candy wrappers, a winnowing basket here).
When cicadas hum and green things spoil themselves for autumn,
let’s go to the kitchen and stand contemplatively in the light of the refrigerator door.
Let’s grab leaves and roots and pulpy ovaries, throw them on the counter and make choices.
Let’s use sharp knives and pull with our fingers.
Let’s put things in pots and boil them.
Let’s stir and sizzle and poke until they’re done.
When they are, bring out the earthenware and a bottle of something intoxicating!
Let the night burn like sugar!
Let the days be warm and crisp as a salad!
Let us be bountiful with each other and sharp.
Let us labor and be well fed. ( oh
it’s nice to smell oil burning
to cut into gourds and hearts
to come inside when the sun gets all teary-eyed
and sit close in the last bit of warmth.)
[click to enlarge]
figure [unenumerated]: boreal
Midway on life’s journey, the right road lost, I find myself in dark woods
pursued by armed men crying: Nymph! Goddess! Celestial Queen!
They say they are artists.
Their eyes are on me.
They do not presume that my solitary repose is neither for being seen nor to better see them.
(I include the confounding nor: boys, you forget how
pretty you are.)
I will not play hunter, bewitcher, or conquered prey in this interminable masquerade.
Leave me alone. Go away.
(foot fiercely stomped.)
(bows lustily drawn. )
(swift incurable flight. hooves.)
figure 7: boreal (otherwise)
[ ] Odalisque.
click to enlarge.
(ghosts carry blessings & strange dreams around sharp corners through cracks in the sill.)
(moonlight turns the turn of the stair into an ascension.)
(ghosts carry blessings and strange dreams in their open palms.)
they are exquisitely delicate
(tangles of dust pins string hair.)