Love calls you by your name – Leonard Cohen

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The bed to lie in

Slept inside the closet as a dark-eyed little girl,
A louvered door without a lock between her and the world
Rug burn on her knees, setting out to please

Met a fairy on the road beneath a silver moon
Fell into a thicket-dance of starlit shimmer tunes
Runes all down her arms, sinking in the poet’s charms

Where’s she gonna sleep tonight,
Where’s she gonna sleep tonight

Felt nubby polyester sheets inside the college dorm
Stealing secret kisses there to punctuate the storms
Always hiding down the hall, ignoring class’s call

Paced the hotel room before her master’s funeral
Watched the sun rise anyway as though there’d still be Earth
Saving every other breath, for whispers after death

Where’s she gonna sleep tonight,
Where’s she gonna sleep tonight

Spiralled down the heartbeats of her soulmate’s rhythmic chest
Thorns between the rose petals scenting all the rest
Letting go the sting, to wear a wedding ring

Her fingertips loosening,
Loosening, losing their grip on
The grip on that wakening wave
Losing that wakening wave –

Cradled babies through the milky scent of mother’s night
Watching constellations for the meaning of the rites
Laying soft-knit wraps, against the elder’s trap

Lost the rosewood bedstead in the terms of the divorced
Tore up satin sheets to weave a ward against the curse
Found the closet floor, didn’t fit her anymore

Didn’t fit her anymore.

Asked an angel lover to meet at the mattress store
Found a queen-sized bargain bed that could reform a whore
The downy feather pillow, a halo for his willow

Where’s she gonna sleep tonight,
Where’s she gonna sleep tonight

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I wonder

How long it will last, this wave of grief, and how long the waves will come. All over a mere dream. There is no escaping it, trite and repetitive though it is.

I miss San so.

ML

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A clarification longer than the answer, or the question

I have had some discussion regarding my last post. So I share it.

First, of course a dream of San means nothing, except to me. Likely he is well. I apologize if this was not clear, but it should be when I say it is a dream. The dead and living do not speak together, and San made it clear I was to be as dead to him. I might be a necromancer, but I cannot raise myself; that is not the order of things.

Second, I was offering the song alone. The lyrics confused it, perhaps.

I like this song very much, because it has brought me much comfort.

I almost spoke with Leonard Cohen this fall, and I was saddened when it was not possible, because I feel that when he speaks of altars, he understands my own. Also the line about the heart beneath. Often I have felt this to be the case, that the things I learned about love in the past are one heart, but there is something else as well, deep within.

But many, many feel this way about him and this has been his lasting gift to me: When I thought no one could ever understand my songs, long before I spoke on this Internet, I saw that some understood his. His journey is not mine, clearly. He speaks to many and I speak to a few. But to me, it is significant.

So that is why this song came to mind as a song and an offering, I think. It is generic and specific at the same time.

I understand that he is speaking of the world, not a person. It might be a person, but it might be starlight, or a ripe avocado, the avocado for my Lyria, of course.

If anyone truly needs it, of course, it is myself. I am, after all, the discarded.

It is strange to me, still, that San rejected me and mine to such a degree. It is odd, still, to think of his whole lifetime ahead without me, and mine without him. There is no question it is thus on his desire, but I am not quick to change. I have been considering what it means, one’s word, when others break their own. I do not like the common answer, and yet I find my own deeply unsatisfactory.

But all this has been said before.

What is unusual enough to note is to find myself turn to compassion the first. I was not raised to have very much, if any: Let the strong survive and the weak not.

In Lynn, these thoughts are told thus:

A hypothetical case of lifeboat ethics. You have been tossed out of the boat.

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Come healing

It is odd to post something so much of the light. And yet I dreamed a complicated dream, the details of which do not matter but in which someone close to San was appealing to the warrior queen for aid. All of which is ridiculous; I know what it is that system thinks of her, and of us. It has been made clear. And yet when I woke I thought of this to offer. 

ML

O gather up the brokenness
And bring it to me now
The fragrance of those promises
You never dared to vow

The splinters that you carry
The cross you left behind
Come healing of the body
Come healing of the mind

And let the heavens hear it
The penitential hymn
Come healing of the spirit
Come healing of the limb

Behold the gates of mercy
In arbitrary space
And none of us deserving
The cruelty or the grace

O solitude of longing
Where love has been confined
Come healing of the body
Come healing of the mind

O see the darkness yielding
That tore the light apart
Come healing of the reason
Come healing of the heart

O troubled dust concealing
An undivided love
The Heart beneath is teaching
To the broken Heart above

O let the heavens falter
And let the earth proclaim:
Come healing of the Altar
Come healing of the Name

O longing of the branches
To lift the little bud
O longing of the arteries
To purify the blood

And let the heavens hear it
The penitential hymn
Come healing of the spirit
Come healing of the limb

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Mimi Page – Gravity

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Aiken

Red Is The Color Of Blood

Red is the color of blood, and I will seek it:
I have sought it in the grass.
It is the color of steep sun seen through eyelids.

It is hidden under the suave flesh of women-
Flows there, quietly flows.
It mounts from the heart to the temples, the singing mouth-
As cold sap climbs to the rose.
I am confused in webs and knots of scarlet
Spun from the darkness;
Or shuttled from the mouths of thirsty spiders.

Madness for red! I devour the leaves of autumn.
I tire of the green of the world.
I am myself a mouth for blood…

Here, in the golden haze of the late slant sun,
Let us walk, with the light in our eyes,
To a single bench from the outset predetermined.
Look: there are seagulls in these city skies,
Kindled against the blue.
But I do not think of the seagulls, I think of you.

Your eyes, with the late sun in them,
Are like blue pools dazzled with yellow petals.
This pale green suits them well.

Here is your finger, with an emerald on it:
The one I gave you. I say these things politely-
But what I think beneath them, who can tell?

For I think of you, crumpled against a whiteness;
Flayed and torn, with a dulled face.
I think of you, writing, a thing of scarlet,
And myself, rising red from that embrace.

November sun is sunlight poured through honey:
Old things, in such a light, grow subtle and fine.
Bare oaks are like still fire.
Talk to me: now we drink the evening’s wine.
Look, how our shadows creep along the grave!-
And this way, how the gravel begins to shine!

This is the time of day for recollections,
For sentimental regrets, oblique allusions,
Rose-leaves, shrivelled in a musty jar.
Scatter them to the wind! There are tempests coming.
It is dark, with a windy star.

If human mouths were really roses, my dear,-
(Why must we link things so?-)
I would tear yours petal by petal with slow murder.
I would pluck the stamens, the pistils,
The gold and the green,-
Spreading the subtle sweetness that was your breath
On a cold wave of death….

Now let us walk back, slowly, as we came.
We will light the room with candles; they may shine
Like rows of yellow eyes.
Your hair is like spun fire, by candle-flame.
You smile at me-say nothing. You are wise.

For I think of you, flung down brutal darkness;
Crushed and red, with pale face.
I think of you, with your hair disordered and dripping.
And myself, rising red from that embrace.

– Conrad Potter Aiken

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