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Thread: Lifeboat, Wingspan

  1. #11
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    Re: Lifeboat, Wingspan

    Twilight Sleep

    Stop up the keyholes and draw the shades.
    Awakening is touching a candle-
    wick with a match-tip: a burning smell,
    some flickering light, the little roar
    of chemistry. You cannot remember it later.

    Some woman long ago drank caudle, laboring
    in a dim room, stroked by a midwife. Forgotten.
    Even my great-grandmother's suffering
    was never told, save for the last birth, seventeen
    years after the rest. Go to the pictures,
    Father said, and the elder children grabbed
    the coins and ran. They didn't know and he
    was ashamed. The newborn small and powerful,
    distilled from the ether, dreams, old rain.

    My mother's dress was pressed, her lipstick
    pink. My Brylcreemed father drove her around
    and around the block until midnight passed,
    evading the charge for an extra day.
    The nurses strapped her down and hours
    of pain vaporized—she did not believe,
    in the morning, that I had been born. Who
    is that dark girl, her eyes like the first mud,
    effervescing. A stranger, a to-do list.

    Books say there are good births, but I
    don't believe it. All beginnings hurt
    someone: the animal, the ground. So much
    to witness and all of it slipping away.

    Unlock the cupboards, lift all the lids
    in the house, to open the womb. Cast rushes
    on the floor and heat milk for bathing. Touch
    honey to the infant's tongue to wake her hunger,
    to sweeten her voice, for she is thinking even
    now about the darkness and how to say it.
    .






    In a perfect world, our dreams will be fulfilled. There would be no hard work or planning ahead, because everything you want would be given to you. In the real world, where we all live, rewards must be earned. The problem most people have is in the day-to-day details of accomplishment. Accomplishment takes a lot of time, sacrifice and effort, and that’s the real rub for a lot of people. But, as Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

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    Re: Lifeboat, Wingspan

    Supposition Poem

    If silent at four the couch
    If the book in my hand allows sleep
    Like another hand I am holding
    If she bears no resemblance to herself
    As we knew her as she knew herself
    Wearing a resemblance, a semblance, of the self
    If dressed in the body of another
    If feeding
    If wearing this baby as I wear my face
    If I become undressed of myself
    If on the couch reading or sleeping
    A figure, a shape, some matter
    The red couch and the red wall behind it
    At the wire waking
    If another's pain ever travels
    If another's pleasure
    If weight of the body on the couch
    Weight of the body on the couch
    If eating is feeding another, if eating is denying another
    If dressed in the silence of being never another
    If wearing the baby and also my face and the cloth that is the silence
    of not hearing, not being able to hear, another
    If the window is the sign of departure, the eventual departure
    from all others
    If the soul is in the body a silence
    The silence of flames that don't sputter don't burn out
    The red couch and the red wall behind
    If the book is as close to another as ever—
    wearing the baby and face
    wall behind
    .






    In a perfect world, our dreams will be fulfilled. There would be no hard work or planning ahead, because everything you want would be given to you. In the real world, where we all live, rewards must be earned. The problem most people have is in the day-to-day details of accomplishment. Accomplishment takes a lot of time, sacrifice and effort, and that’s the real rub for a lot of people. But, as Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

  3. #13
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    Re: Lifeboat, Wingspan

    Inward Abstracts
    To enter or to inter.
    Both rely on the earth. Terra: which in turn rests on thirst. The earth's opening up: a sigh in the dirt and it will turn. As one enters the other is interred. The wet who comes in, but from within. The very dry one who goes out by going in. I am sorry, which is to say sore, or full of sorrow. To rely is to rally or to re-tie, to gather. This ligamental terrain we lie on. In.

    Think of the old, the destroyed. I was a king. Now given as food. Which is an honor. To be eaten. To expect, at the table, a reprisal. Of myself.

    The torn bit of skin is expectant: waits to be replaced.

    I'm placed as kin toward word. Guarding and regarding that which will round or will rend me.

    Knead this matter, this measured month. From kneading comes making: the entwining of mass. If needed I am rounded, insinuated, now sinuous. Mass around which I, curved, imply or am implied. For which and by which I am transparent.
    .






    In a perfect world, our dreams will be fulfilled. There would be no hard work or planning ahead, because everything you want would be given to you. In the real world, where we all live, rewards must be earned. The problem most people have is in the day-to-day details of accomplishment. Accomplishment takes a lot of time, sacrifice and effort, and that’s the real rub for a lot of people. But, as Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

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    Re: Lifeboat, Wingspan

    Horizon of Feet

    "I hate dancers. Well, I don't really hate them,
    but they're not musicians. They just count beats,
    oblivious to the music. They wouldn't know a theme
    if it bit them. They're arithmetician-athletes."

    We're sitting, cooling off, after racquetball,
    and I've asked the principal flutist of the New York
    City Ballet Orchestra, Paul Dunkel,
    to solo in words, to talk about his work.

    "Musicians are there to serve the music, not
    vice-versa, as with dancers. Think of us
    as the composer's lawyers, and our job's to put
    forward for our client the best possible case.

    "But playing for dancers we're little more than
    drummers in a circus, just there to highlight
    with sound the dog whose trick it is to run
    and jump through a flaming hoop: drumroll, rimshot.

    "Likewise, some composers think they're tailors,
    writing to order. They make the music fit
    the dancing. Four extra steps? Then add two bars.
    I call that music-as-Armani-suit.

    "The truth is dancers and musicians live in two
    different worlds. They're like passengers and pilots
    on an airplane, and the conductor's the steward who
    talks to them both and connects the dots.

    "But Balanchine combined those two worlds with ease.
    Russian-trained dancers learn music, and Mr. B.
    played both viola and piano, would get ideas
    at the keyboard for his choreography.

    "My girlfriend used to dance, and when we go
    to dance performances we disagree
    on everything. She'll say the music's too slow,
    I'll say the dancers are too fast; I see

    "with my ears, she hears with her eyes. Or I'll say
    a female dancer's too thin, and she'll say not.
    But one thing we agree on: in his heyday,
    Edward Vilella was just right; that is, hot.

    "A guy's guy. Tough. I never heard Eddie whine.
    He boxed—and learned fast footwork in the ring.
    Was always revved, a Harley-Davidson.
    Just did his work; let his feet do the talking."

    "Vilella could be one of Whitman' s roughs,"
    I say, and imagine the poet's ghost, eyes
    wide, front row, watching the dancer do his stuff
    while partnering Patricia McBride in Rubies.

    "Walt leaned and loafed, didn't he? Like the faun.
    In fact, we're rehearsing Afternoon today.
    Setting the tempo's the catch. The dancers want one,
    the musicians want another. They'll win, we'll play.

    "Speaking of time ... " He stands to check the clock.
    "Those games were long. I'm late. And outta here."
    He waves, heads down the hall, then stops, turns back
    and adds a coda before he disappears:

    'I'm titling my memoir Dancing On My Head.
    That sums up playing for dancers in the pit.
    Once, I didn't recognize a dancer who said
    she knew me. I told her, 'Let me see your feet.'"
    .






    In a perfect world, our dreams will be fulfilled. There would be no hard work or planning ahead, because everything you want would be given to you. In the real world, where we all live, rewards must be earned. The problem most people have is in the day-to-day details of accomplishment. Accomplishment takes a lot of time, sacrifice and effort, and that’s the real rub for a lot of people. But, as Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

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