Distant Woman VIII

irrationalgraceistaken:

All you distant women

painting portraits with your toes, dodging rain that freezes to snow,

you with your pretzel almond eyes and smooth fingertips that never lie,

watch me wanting you,

with my velvet words and sonnet freckled elbows,

are you the ordinary goddess who knows so much,

uncomfortable in this solitude,

you with your well worn make up and cosmic hips

I am a foreign body chasing bodies and minds wanting to sip

from your intellect in ways you’d never suspect.

Poetry socks raw with holes at the toes,

looking at you with your rain soaked hair,

Kissing your back in the midnight glow, playing your skin like a

Baldwin piano.

All you distant women make me hungry and I eat the idea of you

and lick my fingers that know you so well.

I am trapped in this wanting like a paradox eager to eat itself,

I listen to you talk and when you breathe, I memorize and mimic

how your eyes watch me and I wonder how you see.

In the distance, between the shadows and sunlight,

I wait to find you reflected against the starry eyed sky.

(Reblogged from irrationalgraceistaken)

heartlessmuffineater:

I have walked through many lives,
some of them my own,
and I am not who I was,
though some principle of being
abides, from which I struggle
not to stray. When I look behind,
as I am compelled to look
before I can gather strength
to proceed on my journey,
I see the milestones dwindling
toward the horizon
and the slow fires trailing
from the abandoned camp-sites,
over which scavenger angels
wheel on heavy wings.
Oh, I have made myself a tribe
out of my true affections,
and my tribe is scattered!
How shall the heart be reconciled
to its feast of losses?
In a rising wind
the manic dust of my friends,
those who fell along the way,
bitterly stings my face.
Yet I turn, I turn,
exulting somewhat,
with my will intact to go
wherever I need to go,
and every stone on the road
precious to me.
In my darkest night,
when the moon was covered
and I roamed through wreckage,
a nimbus-clouded voice
directed me:
"Live in the layers,
not on the litter.”
Though I lack the art 
to decipher it,
no doubt the next chapter
in my book of transformations
is already written.
I am not done with my changes.

Stanley Kunitz, "The Layers", The Collected Poems (W. W. Norton & Co., 2000)

(Reblogged from apoetreflects)

The Last Beatnik

irrationalgraceistaken:

When I met David a year and a half ago in New Orleans, he told me he was hitchhiking around the United States. He was young with a square jaw and the determined look of a James Dean character. He sent me postcards as he traveled up the East Coast, disappeared around Washington, DC for awhile until making his way to a farm in upstate Michigan. I had gotten the itch to travel again so I told him I could meet him around Indiana and drive him west to Denver. It would be my first trip back to the city that gave birth to my street poetry dreams. A reunion with that particular street poetess was also on my mind.

David reminded me of myself, or the me I could have been under different circumstances, instead of jumping into a long term relationship at the age of 17. He stared at the world with a wide eyed wonder, looking  to create and never to destroy. There was a point of direction in his thinking, in his writing. He was struggling with the why and the how of it all, a brain on fire, a beatnik hunting for a muse.

(Reblogged from irrationalgraceistaken)

The Last Beatnik

When I met David a year and a half ago in New Orleans, he told me he was hitchhiking around the United States. He was young with a square jaw and the determined look of a James Dean character. He sent me postcards as he traveled up the East Coast, disappeared around Washington, DC for awhile until making his way to a farm in upstate Michigan. I had gotten the itch to travel again so I told him I could meet him around Indiana and drive him west to Denver. It would be my first trip back to the city that gave birth to my street poetry dreams. A reunion with that particular street poetess was also on my mind.

David reminded me of myself, or the me I could have been under different circumstances, instead of jumping into a long term relationship at the age of 17. He stared at the world with a wide eyed wonder, looking  to create and never to destroy. There was a point of direction in his thinking, in his writing. He was struggling with the why and the how of it all, a brain on fire, a beatnik hunting for a muse.

newbeatnik:

The sick man of Europe swallowed his medicine,
so then slowly his symptoms faded.
This served to hide the malignant roots,
the terrifying truth -
he was only as sick as the doctors made him;
only as well as they wanted him to be.
When he was sick
they sat betting on his deathbed,
and when he was well
they wagered when he’d be back.
The sick man of Europe has never wished to rebel;
he thinks “they always make me better, even if the cure ain’t so swell.”
So he pays the good doctor,
even tips him with a smile -
who snarls back in appreciation
knowing he’ll be back a little while,
and now the ward is full of patients, each sick in their own right,
with swarms of prodding doctors
gambling by their sides,
and they all drink up their medicines
then one by one they die.

nb.

(Reblogged from newbeatnik)

The Gentleman Poet

irrationalgraceistaken:

I met M when I started writing street poetry on Frenchmen Street. Unlike me, he was a local, and had been active in the street poetry business since after Katrina. Tall, with a wisp of a beard, and always dressed with a vest, he was a comfortable stranger. He wrote on a portable Royal typewriter and occasionally we would talk about New Orleans, poetry, movies, society. He always had a notebook he would scribble in between poem requests. He was the first one to introduce me to street poetry etiquette, the most important rule being you don’t interrupt or talk to a customer who has already engaged a fellow poet. It was a rule I broke constantly in the early days, probably irritating the fool out of him, but M was a gentleman poet, a man consumed with the intangible, world weary, amused by New Orleans life, and more balanced than I. I was stressed, worrying about rent and gas money, two boys to support, but M knew what it meant to be a professional poet. He engaged the 2am drunk poetry requests with eagerness and class while I tried to hide behind my typewriter. While I looked for the deep stories within people, their mythology and romance, M was not interested in being a romantic. He shakes your hand and tips his hat to you because he’s a gentleman and poetry was a natural evolution.

(Reblogged from irrationalgraceistaken)

The Gentleman Poet

I met M when I started writing street poetry on Frenchmen Street. Unlike me, he was a local, and had been active in the street poetry business since after Katrina. Tall, with a wisp of a beard, and always dressed with a vest, he was a comfortable stranger. He wrote on a portable Royal typewriter and occasionally we would talk about New Orleans, poetry, movies, society. He always had a notebook he would scribble in between poem requests. He was the first one to introduce me to street poetry etiquette, the most important rule being you don’t interrupt or talk to a customer who has already engaged a fellow poet. It was a rule I broke constantly in the early days, probably irritating the fool out of him, but M was a gentleman poet, a man consumed with the intangible, world weary, amused by New Orleans life, and more balanced than I. I was stressed, worrying about rent and gas money, two boys to support, but M knew what it meant to be a professional poet. He engaged the 2am drunk poetry requests with eagerness and class while I tried to hide behind my typewriter. While I looked for the deep stories within people, their mythology and romance, M was not interested in being a romantic. He shakes your hand and tips his hat to you because he’s a gentleman and poetry was a natural evolution.

Street Poetry in Denver

irrationalgraceistaken:

Two years ago, I drove to Denver from Florida to see a friend from college get married. Eddie and I had been poets from those University of Alabama days, lyrical protestors, chasing skirts and battling the status quo. Eddie had moved to Denver as part of the new black renaissance and I was honored to see him get married at the top floor of the clock tower in downtown Denver on my last night in the city. 

I walked down the long outdoor pavilion mall and saw a cute brunette setting up a chair and typewriter right there on the sidewalk. We struck up a conversation and I was enthralled by the possibilities. I gave her a topic even though I didn’t have any cash. My topic was the Paradox of God in the Postmodern World. I know, right? She didn’t blink and dove right into it. I told her I would write her a poem and she told me Hypochondriac.

All those New Orleans days ahead of me, the labyrinth of time and space, and I had found what I was looking for. The air hummed around us and when she read the poem to me I could see myself. I had the confidence and the desperation to put myself on the street and write poetry for strangers. I watched how she interacted with people and took mental notes. Poetry had never seemed as interesting or mysterious to me then. The poem is still on my fridge, a monument to that one moment that changes your life forever.

(Reblogged from irrationalgraceistaken)

Street Poetry in Denver

Two years ago, I drove to Denver from Florida to see a friend from college get married. Eddie and I had been poets from those University of Alabama days, lyrical protestors, chasing skirts and battling the status quo. Eddie had moved to Denver as part of the new black renaissance and I was honored to see him get married at the top floor of the clock tower in downtown Denver on my last night in the city. 

I walked down the long outdoor pavilion mall and saw a cute brunette setting up a chair and typewriter right there on the sidewalk. We struck up a conversation and I was enthralled by the possibilities. I gave her a topic even though I didn’t have any cash. My topic was the Paradox of God in the Postmodern World. I know, right? She didn’t blink and dove right into it. I told her I would write her a poem and she told me Hypochondriac.

All those New Orleans days ahead of me, the labyrinth of time and space, and I had found what I was looking for. The air hummed around us and when she read the poem to me I could see myself. I had the confidence and the desperation to put myself on the street and write poetry for strangers. I watched how she interacted with people and took mental notes. Poetry had never seemed as interesting or mysterious to me then. The poem is still on my fridge, a monument to that one moment that changes your life forever.