Prometheus Modernized; Rosa Parks as Grand Theft Deity.

Scott Jones,

Two Sundays ago we sat expounding poetic waxings in my living room and while we spoke on a range of varied topics there was one specifically that stood out to me; the idea of modernizing gods and mythos. A week later I had the inspiration of Paul Ekman, with all of his faces, being some form of a modernized Janus and this morning I had the inspiration of something far more intense.

As you know Sunday, March 7th, 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery march marked as Bloody SundayThis morning Amanda and I were catching up on last night’s Daily Show and both of us were really quite moved by the interview with congressman John Lewis.

While Lewis spoke of his time as a youth in the south and shared the stories of meeting Dr. Martin Luther King jr. and Rosa Parks I was struck, overcome, confounded by a poetic feeling that truly confused my senses as if I was truly being inspired in the sense of this poem appeared to literally be breathed (spired) into (in-) me from elsewhere and I knew this woman…

http://www.biography.com/people/rosa-parks-9433715/videos/rosa-parks-legacy-15821379604

…must be our Prometheus.
Rosa Parks; Prometheus Modernized.

And she reaches a black hand
through the ash and grasps
the roots and trunk of a centuries
aged olive tree; bent at hips
and tree tip to flame ignites
the leaves and branches –

now fire as foliage and raising
the torch of a colossal olive
branch she twists into a flaming
centrifugal force and hurricanes
the gods approaching, the gods
closing in, falling in – she spins.

Her fists clasping the whirling bark
and branch of an enkindled
and coruscating olive tree; she
vortexes a capital H-E-R
HERicane collapsing concentric,
conflagration, circles of gods in piles at her feet.

Grand Theft Deity…

She dives from Olympus terminal
velocity unheard, blurred
and muffled by her sonic booms.
Careening back, cratering the Alabama
Earth beneath her feet and sits…
She keeps the fire     safe.

She hides the flames in her
resting feet. Tinder
and kindling a blaze within
her heart
febrifuged beneath her
bobby pinned hat and whispers…

All people have
earned their grip
upon this torch
.”

And straightening herself
her posture as perfect,
as confident, as the human
form is built for she knows
so from, and for, bones
and muscles are the tools

that straighten her spine.
Knowing only sinews
and joints thrust chins
upward; knowing the
blades beneath her skin
pull back her shoulders.

Knowing only vertebrae
that turns her head;
knowing only lateral
and superior rectus
muscles to be turning
her eyes – to meet his.

And knowing – it is the
brachioradialis muscle
that forms his fists;
knowing his vocal cords
and tongue are what
forms his mouth to say…

Get up… Get up now…
Get to the back 
of the fucking bus NOW!.

Her eyes close a composed
moment and resting blink
she knows his skin color
did not clench those teeth and fists;
she knows her skin color
did not part her lips; the fire her skin

encases is what breathed
(deeper than the reflection
of facing mirrors)
and respired breathless
into the blazing, historically
echoing inferno, that spoke…

“No.”

Poem on his birthday…

Dear Brother,

Seven years? Is that right? Today is your birthday to turn 35 and you’ve been gone for 7 of those years now. I remembered that silly poem I wrote for you the year after you died – I shared it with few people and was happy when it came to mind yesterday talking to Amanda. Everything is still good here, things seem well with Chad; I think you would love my fiancé; I have a great career that I worked hard for – you’d be proud of everything. Happy birthday.

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March 1st and the underneath
of beneath the grounds is a’rumblin.
Benjamin stirs in his made-for-a-Jew
coffin twixt two trees and a road.
Arise brother dear a rise!
From the zombified dirt and goth wounds
of the too many girls that will cry
and bleed over your grave tonight.

Shake them their maudlin pathos
and reach an ashy hand
from your cremation-tin-can
horror movie style with a half bent finger
and please – flip them the bird.
Happy Birthday is the word on your seventh birthday
elsewhere, celebratin’ with the Ghosts
and drinkin’ down your spirits.

For tonight I shall drink down your spirits,
with 2 shot glasses double fisting
some Moodswing Whiskey stumbling
over the upside down shovels
that I’ll use as stilts, like a Scared Crow
wobbling through the graveyard
my drunk fists’ll be dirty
from the digging up and digging down with you.

March 1st and the underneath
of beneath the skies is a’fumblin’
through blue hues of drug dazed
and hands balled at our chests.
Benjamin breaks loose the stitches
and vomits embalming fluids
burns off the doll suit and cuts loose
with a scream and dances the Skeleton Dance.

Owls hoot and the wind wails
as dust upturns from the foot stomping
of Zombies in their birthday suits.
Eating the cake of headstones,
getting stoned and boozed from graveleft libations
cawing into the night an Izibongo
of spirit guides while gliding into the shadows
to be seen only from the corners of our eyes.

Happy Day to the dead
and happy is our dead this day
for Benjamin turns whatever age his
ageless soul lets him; and since I still
have life left in me to breathe,
I’m blowing out the candles for you all.

My Lisp’s Mistress…

Amanda,

According to pediatricians, when I was much younger, there wasproblem with my tongue; the frenulum was “far too short” and just, “had to be cut,” so that later in life I would speak like a normal person…

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So then – as a teenager with impacted wisdom teeth about to go in for surgical removal, the doctors decided, “yes, this should be a fine time indeed to get rid of that pesky frenulum.” After surgery… Well… I’m sure you can imagine – 4 teeth pulled and a piece of my tongue removed.

Of the few people that notice that I do have a slight lisp with my voiceless dental sibilants (in particular the letter ‘s’) you not only did not make a joke of it but instead showed me how much you loved it. Every /s/ I spoke seemed to pour out of my mouth and into some aural erogenous zone that would elicit from you some kinetic necessity to reach out and kiss me. You are the mistress to my lisp…

My Lisp’s Mistress
    For Amanda Blair

Her fingers skim the skin
of my jaw she says,
“something in your smile,
some – thing perhaps – slid
from your tongue?”
She focuses, indexing
the sulcus of my
chin and says, “some
unveiled vestige of
Phoenician history –
a sin passed when
unused, unpoured
forth from that soft
palate,” her thumb
tip traces incisivus
superioris fastening
phalanx with philtrum
sealing orbicularis oris
to colonize my alveolar
ridge she sighs, “mine!
My salix lips –
my sibilant hush,
my lips-sentry
of Semitic shin,
polydeuces of Greek
Sigma and San as
unspeakable siblings,”
she presses sedulous,
against my pursed mouth
leaning into my cheek,
collapsing into a respiring
command, and whispers,
“I want to hear you hiss…”

The Reverse Distribution of Happiness

Amanda,

     Yesterday you sent me a poem by Robert Hass called, “The Distribution of Happiness.”  

Bedcovers thrown back,
Tangled sheets,
Lustrous in moonlight.

Image of delight,
Or longing,
Or torment,

Depending on who’s
Doing the imagining.

(I know: you are the one
Pierced through, I’m the one
Bent low beside you, trying
To peer into your eyes.)

     While I was moved by the poem itself – its meaning, its intimacy, it’s unique expression of love and passion the way few understand it; I was moved more by when I put my usual practice of reading poetry backwards that I found where and how the meaning was held for me, for us…

To peer into your eyes here
bent low beside you
I am the one pierced
through what I know
to be true: you are the one.

We do this, this, imagining
and turn our torment,
our longings into images
of delight.

And you – lustrous beneath
moonlit tangled sheets –
I throw back your bedcovers
and see the distribution
of my happiness.

Canis Lupus Peripheres – A General Overview

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Mother” redirects here. For other uses of “mother,” see Mother

C.L.Peripheres
Image, “Dark Breath,” a project by Linda Caracciolo Borra

The peripheral wolf (Canis lupus peripheres) is a canid native to the seat and remote suburbs of the Pittsburgh metropolitan area, Florida, and New Orleans. It is the smallest member of its family, with males averaging 92–113 kg (205–250 lb), and females 36–38.5 kg (79–85 lb). It is similar in general appearance and proportions to Canis lupus campestris, or Steppe Wolf, but has a smaller head, narrower chest, shorter legs, straighter tail, and human hands in place of paws. Its winter fur is long and bushy, and predominantly a freckled brunette in color, although nearly pure white, red, or brown to black also occur.

Within the genus CanisHomo, the peripheral wolf represents a more specialized and similarly non-progressive form as its smaller ancestors (the call-girl and the enabler), as demonstrated by its morphological adaptations to hunting itself, its more manic nature, and its episodic mixed-affective expressive behavior. It is a social animal, travelling in dysfunctional families consisting of an abusive pair, accompanied by the pair’s offspring. The peripheral wolf is typically an auto-predator throughout its range, with only itself[1][2][3] posing a serious threat to it. It feeds primarily on well whiskeys, cocaine, lithium, caffeine and nicotine though it also eats halušky, prepackaged microwaveable meals, and garbage.

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Image from The White Deers

The peripheral wolf is one of the world’s least known and poorly researched animals, with probably less compassion and empathy given to it than any other wildlife species. It has a selective history of association with humans, rarely having sensitive or serious attention paid to it and hunted in most self-reflective situations due to its bipolar and depression inducing deliberate self-harm behaviors, while paradoxically being respected by itself during moments of idiopathic lucidity. Although the fear of the peripheral wolf is prevalent in, primarily, her offspring during adolescence, the majority of recorded attacks on her young have been attributed to alcohol induced aggression, the intergenerational cycle of violence and/or borderline personality disorder induced externalized aggression.

Approximately 62% of peripheral wolves have attacked people, and this is not unusual due to the limited availability of Therapy Wolf International resources. Furthermore peripheral wolves are relatively few and, while they do live amongst a society, have learned to trust themselves and others utilizing the few available resources when they are accessible. Hunting and trapping has reduced the species’ range to only vestige memories of its region, though this relatively widespread range has left an increasingly positive legacy which means that the species is not threatened at a visceral or emotional level for those who maintain its existence. Due to the suicide of the peripheral wolf, however, its physical form is no longer verifiable and is therefore classified by the IUCN as Extinct.

The Gray Wolf Poems…

In the poem, “The Suzerain Speck,” I learned, and became obsessed with, how to write the poem through the perspective of some other thing and since then have been either blogging about some iteration of this idea or notebooking some variation of this poetry form.

Buddha16

I began to write several poems from the perspective of Hesse’s Siddhartha through the filter of my belief system. Many of the poems were, I felt, successful however when I found myself meditating on Siddhartha at the stream another creature began to sniff around at his crossed legs, illuminated brow and lily pads.

 

As if one Hesse novel bledScreen Shot 2014-01-24 at 6.51.04 AM itself into another – if I’d dream of Siddhartha I would be interrupted by the Steppenwolf as some pup searching for his pack, freed from his cage, taunting Siddhartha the way he’d taunt Herr Haller as a boy.

I set the Siddhartha poems aside and decided, instead, to pay mind to my Steppenwolf pup instead. While every word Hesse ever wrote impacted me in such a way that from the onset of the first page of each book I shall forever remain changed – the Steppenwolf has always found his way to permeate my soul and body without reserve.

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I began to read about the Gray Wolf and wrote scribbled ideas in the side of notebooks and poetry books I was reading. In addition to this studying I’ve recently finished a class with Burgh Bees on honeybee keeping, with this in mind I began to read Nick Flynn‘s book, “Blind Huber,” which is a series of poems about the art and history of beekeeping. Many of Flynn’s poems were reflecting the same connection to the bees that I was experiencing towards the Gray Wolf; the first of the wolf poems came out in the margin of a poem about the queen bee wanting to die in a specific way… The wolf pup began to sniff around, searching for his mother.

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The pup sniffs at cold where
a killing of, simply, too much
to eat alone had left a scent
redolent of pack.

His breath – a slow drift
steam, shifting, a quick
fog as, in the stream,
he out-tricks his reflection –

and to an image of ether his
breath (as everyone stands
wrapped in arms, pose, held
smile – steam, resembling

the face moved, by aperture)
moved by interest
in anything else but this…
“Mother,” he sniffs, “alpha.”

He snarls, “Judy. Never mention Judy.
We. Never. Talk. About. Judy.”
Shaken loose by a wet memory
he whimpers… “Judy.”

His paw to bare snow, and slick
as a flashback hallucinating
an instant decades passed;
the sound of that bartender

pint glass-plunge into the ice
bucket – crunch… “I am sitting
below her bar stool, I am heeling,
mouth closed waiting

for the reinforcer, she loves
me as I do her.” The whiskey
stench of his mother tongue
against his neck fur…

Tracking the eidolon of perfume
in the hallways of some dark
night club; sunlight, bathing
through tree branches,

dancing the komorebi; her scent
on pine bark, paw prints in snow,
her icy reflection in the stream,
dancing the ignis fatuus.

His nostrils yawn at the memory
of canines bared in a snarl,
eyes distend in tears at the howl,
the teeth and gum glare..

the pup sniffs at cold where
a killing of, simply, too much
to handle alone has left a scent
redolent of her grief…

My poems never treat me – sweet and gentle…

Talking with Blake Ragghianti the other day about the extemporaneous nature that is sine qua non to jazz music brought my mind back to a piece he and I put together a few years back. Coupled with the bass stylings of Dave Busch and the venerable nature of Jerry Gaudi‘s trumpet playing we four put together a piece of jazz poetry that held, as its last stanza, the nature of that extemporaneousness; it is always to be spoken, as if the entirety of the preceding poem were its epigraph, on the spot and not rehearsed. The piece was to end, with each iteration, with something different inspired by the feeling and spirt one elicited from the poem.

Blake later pieced together all the video from the event and some images with a recording…

 

The Backside of a New Orleans Bandstand’s Got Its Insides on the Outs.

When at first I had the chance
To take the ski-ba-de-bop-do-opportunity
To bless these restless
Ears with years
of tangible voice from pipes
in nights of tattered paramour

I did

And I found a fair enough pheromoaning
melody melismically tease out and spout
these tones so sound and so

beat [that I rose in tomes of sweet poems]

And Billie Holiday see, she lain bare
tongued across the bottom rungs of this ladder
I remember the first time that I heard that
(Sunday was gloomy and with shadows I spent them
all — my heart and I have decided to — )

I remember when Ma Rainey shined me her
big beautiful barraging black bottom her cow
hooves stuck in the muck and entrails of
the mud undoing the undone history
of the dance itself

And I remember the day that Nina Simone died.
I Standing flat and shirtless in a Southern heat to

[beat so hot that even my eyes were sweating]

On the decadent Decatur balcony
while old Johnny Boy violined a dirge
in the hallways all ways stringless.
He’d just horse hairedly hum a harmony
Orpheusly while clowns and umbrellas
umbraed the French Quarter
while Harlequin Hobos and hounds
howled and funeraled through the streets
to beats [I venerate the trumpet
and I deify the simplicity
of the blues] tone on one note wrote toes
tapping on Green Dolphin St.
Where I meet women who endlessly collapse into song.
In New Orleans where
(My baby never treats me, sweet and gentle,
the way she should)
I’ve still got it bad man, and that ain’t good.

But then again – my babies never treated me so gentle.
Now that wasn’t so bad now was it?

Alyssa – I remember her name and at 6 feet 2 inches tall
all brunette you could bet that you could find her
any night of the week blowing deep in a Jazz deep
tone in a one note club with its insides careening on it’s outs.

She’d spouts above the drums, the cymbals and all that guitar.
Above the drums, the cymbals and all that guitar.
She’d blow deep from that heart and that heart from that soul
and that soul blowing from that soul blowing from that
Suyam-bop-be-op-a-dum-bass that dropped my throat
to the chok-ing diaphragm and man –

I was in…
Something.
It probably wasn’t love, but from New Orleans on –
it was heels over head style while all the girls I fell for –
they were just Jazz songs in the singing.
And I fell for that brunette in the black dress with the whiskey grin.
The chain smoked Femme Fatale that riled my nerves
and dropped my heart to a single –

beat.

She was – every woman –
that Humphrey Bogart ever fell in love with.

[Make up the ending each time you do it..]

In the light of this conversation with Blake I was taken to one with Kitty regarding the irrelevance of the jazz when compared to the notes we choose and why we choose them.

Similar to the medium and forms within – the poem, the poetry, doesn’t matter. What matters is why – and this is why I continue to write this blog without just simply posting poems and, instead, post long rants regarding my connections to it and why I do it the ways in which I do.

Why, I wonder, are so few poets unwilling to share in this manner?

Freelance Deaf Interpreter, Creativity Consultant, Non-Verbal Communication Specialist.

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