Thursday, August 23, 2007


where I want to be

All Wet
by Marie Ponsot

Underwater, keeled in seas,
zinc the sacrificial anode gives
electrons up to save the sunk hull from salt.

The carving of salt water skirls out beaches
where each wave fall can push softly, a long curve in.

Rain widens the waterfall till the stream
slows, swells, winds up, and topples down
onto lilypads it presses forward on their stems.

Carp drowse among stems sunk in the park lake,
their flesh rich in heavy metals. Eat one and die.

A drip from the tap hits the metal sink
& splats into sunlight, cosmic,
a scatter of smaller drops.

One raindrop on a binocular lens,
and a spectrum haloes the far field.

Haloes dim the form they gild but
by its own edge each object celebrates
the remarkable world.

Personal computers make dry remarks, demanding:
Tea, wine, cups must leave the room.

We’re all the wine of something. His Dickens act,
her Wordsworth murmurs, expressed
juices still in ferment when their old children read.

Bones left after dinner simmer down into juices
to make a soup rich as respect or thrift.

As if making allowances
for the non-native limbs of swimmers,
water gives way as I spring into it.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

More Dress

The dress exists somewhere like a swath of beach and turquoise water, like the white hawk that swooped it seemed across my window. Is it on a department store rack, waiting for the form to embody it? I look, slip into the story of a dress which isn't my story. I see the self in the mirror as other. Revise the shape reflected in the lights of the harsh changing room. Nod at that 13 year old who grabbed the too-short dresses from the rack even as her older version grimaced you can't tell young people anything these days.

Here's what Virgil advised when I randomly opened David Ferry's translation of The Georgics.

The sun gives signs, telling you from what region
The wind is to come that blows away the clouds
Or what the stormy south is thinking of --
And who dares doubt his word? For many times
The sun has warned us of dark events to come,
Treachery, deceit, clandestine plots, and war.
When Caesar's light was quenched, the shining face
Of the sun, in pity for Rome, was covered with darkness,
And that impious generation was in fear
That there would thenceforth be eternal night.
And not only the sun but the earth and the sea gave signs,
And dogs and birds gave signs, of ill to come.

On he goes. Should I fold my tent and quit shopping?
Is this about some greater concern?
Close my eyes and flip through the book to another section?

Another Virgilian approach from his Georgics:

Whether the hive is made by sewing together
Concave strips of bark, or woven of pliant
Osier wands, be sure the entrance is narrow,
For winter cold makes the honey freeze and congeal,
Heat causes it to melt and liquefy,
And either of these is a cause of fear for the bees.

So help them out, by spreading mud or clay
Over the walls of their hive, and maybe scatter
A few leaves over it, too. Be sure there isn't
A yew tree growing too near where the hive is placed;
Beware of roasting crab too close to it, too --
The smoke is poisonous to the bees; beware
Of any place where the smell of mud prevails,
Or where a voice from within a hollow rock
Comes echoing back in response to the sound that struck it.

That's what I need -- a little mud on my hive.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Dress

I need a dress. Went dress shopping. Tried on many dresses. Stella, Prada, Oscar, Miu Miu. To see what I could see. Looked out the window of the dressing room over the avenue to the bottom of the deep blue sea. None of the dresses were the dress. I don't own any dresses. Well, a shift. Otherwise it's skirts and pants. Shoes I like more than dresses. But I must have a dress for a dress occasion. Not a suit. No pants. There are many other places to shop and I will visit some of those stores. It seemed important to begin my quest with the good stuff. Learn from the best, that kind of thing. Begin with Stevens. Bishop. Not that I can afford to actually acquire Stella or Oscar. Anyway, I prefer the dresses made by Lesley Dill, pictured here. To attend an event wearing a dress titled Woman with Hindu Healing Dress or Dress of War and Sorrow or Poem Dress of Circulation or Large Poem Dress or Unknown Nourishment. Some dress like that. Dress of paper and tea-stained vellum. Dress with Dickinson's words a single screw of flesh is all that pins the soul sewn into the waist. To wear it with great shoes.