Category: Tribute


Polaris Ascent

Deer Tattoo

Gryffin stag

Ice maiden descends
Second veil of heaven
Above damp earth
Below ephemeral sky

Land of deer crossing
Threshold of worlds
Mystical sky-horses
Stamp communion

Animal souls devoured
Ink trailed narcotic visions
Nurture strength, she is
Courted by death

At the pinnacle of her
Horsehair mitre, locus
Of regenerative power,
Panther and ram

Preside over quantum paradox
Epicenter of shamanic liberation
Larch kurgan, world tree root
Ecstatic winged snow leopard

Climbs a celestial path
Seductive gracile line
Drawn through the twist
Of antlers and anguish

Image by Kobsev at wikimedia commons, used under a CC-BY-SA 3.0 license

Ak-Alakha River in Siberia, image by Kobsev at wikimedia commons, used under a CC-BY-SA 3.0 license

 

 

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for Jane Austen

Symphonic assault on propriety
a woman’s wit, most treacherous
deadlier yet if coupled with robust
appetite for passion flashed like an
overwrought Paganini violin concerto

Poverty unraveled ambitions
taught me to be tame, well cared for
I danced Purcell’s Abdelazer Rondeau
Hid all my wildness better than she,
so he sheltered me for a price

Voracious imagination unshackled
no overflow of joy in living
tethered tightly in the mind
freedom in life is terror
I remained bound by uncertainty

Poppet performing tricks
cracked porcelain doll
Offenbach’s bird aria
anyone can wind me up
or wear me down

They were in love with an automaton
dissociated darling designed to flirt
disembodied clockwork child
cold to the touch
Unaware I wasn’t real

Playing the trickster – show the world
my feints, its folly, crafting identity to fan
imaginations’ pyre rising unbidden
conflagration, melted with love
Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring riot

Fighting for a voice, rage to master
never abandoning creation
the burning art he inspired
akin to spiritual suicide
Maria Anna Mozart’s lost works

At the tattered end of ashen tears
shards of translucent ceramics
tides of words, melody, and color
elegies of self possession
now I write my own songs

Hellen Frankenthaler Madame Butterfly

Madame Butterfly by Helen Frankenthaler ©2000 Collection National Gallery of Australia

 

Frankenthaler pours mountains and sea
salt-stain wave of unbridled experimentation
pathfinder in the flow of a quadrillion connections

unfathomable neural networks alight
electrochemical cognate comprehension
of yet unknowable heights

entering elaborative flow, fluid intelligence
a sublime interiority of creativity
color fields of liminal poetics

realms she’s unable to disparage
reaching an optimal state
of courage, merging awareness

with action in rapturous parallel processes
lyric soak stain, abstract expressionist
dialogue of landscape and emotion

art birthed through her inventive interplay
breakthrough paradox: immediacy of motion
mimicking the spontaneity of (her) nature

intimate picture of a singular day
impossibly operatic and poignant
of inked butterfly promises never fulfilled

Intermittent Streams

Anna Montgomery

walking along a ravine
of sun-caked mud
crisp-cutting sounds
grasshopper wing song
of independence

shade like shadow
has its own atmospheric
melancholy and joy
symphony in the air
whispering spirituals

under a willow cloak
shape-shifting shaman
fluidity of your presence
water in an arid land
free flowing wild

climbing the
hollowed trail
canyon walls kissed
with wind symbols
images of liberation

shade like shadow
incants secrets
paints landscape
swaths of transformation
intermittent streams

Arches by Anna

Lines in italics by Anthony Desmond from dVerse poetry prompt.
This poem is written to congratulate him on his book deal!

Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 2.31.06 PM

For Anne Sexton

 

Razor-thin laser slices
of monochromatic memories
tumble from the bed-sheets

embroidered with the lit tip
of an anguish cigarette
sending smoke signals

to ravenous readers
scrabbling voyeurs
confessing their delight

looming cutouts, stand ins for emotional
states shot in anamorphic cinemascope
with close-ups to distort the actors

each inscribing a tale
scar trail to the molten core
every recorded infraction upon

the paper of her persona
burned away mixing ash
with tears to erode any trace

of those cardboard faces

D'Ranged 25.6.7482 for Camilla D'Errico

D’Ranged 25.6.7482 for Camilla D’Errico

She posited a postmodern pout
a mechanized quandary
intellectual/artistic/philosophic inquiry
cyborg helmethead being
weighing on her mind

an anarchy of manga tangles
speaking unknowable truth to power
she embraces complexity
in matrices of binary contradictions
ambiguous fractured metaphysics

for a meta-human world
deconstructing her constructs
before they’re even subroutines
in an act of poetic/semiotic liberty
swirling identity round cyberspace

in an endless loop
tracing a track of thought
self-files corrupted by an
infinite stream of data input
she spins round the code

0110100101110000101010

 

I’m hosting MTB today at dVerse Poets Pub where we’re experimenting! Please join me.

Intransitivity

diffeomorphicIn his vast universe
beyond language
where a soul’s conjecture
curves in Euclidean space, warped
within a matrix trace,
immersed in the possibility
of an infinite grace

she encounters relativity,
enmeshed in incompressible
geodesic loops limning the curvilinear
path of a lexical soul theorem
encapsulated by exotic spheres
spun – expanding and contracting
in a bounded singularity

where superposition exposures
underlie asymptotic entropy
forming polaroid parameters
of memory’s carving blade
two souls bound in isometric equation
meet upon the contrapositive vector field,
unraveling at the edge of imagination’s fire

interior symbols burn the
cartography of her exponential map
upon the topology of his geometry
demarcating areas of profound significance
at the paradoxical barrier
of parallels crossing,
impossibilities colliding,
converging on an ancient solution

Notes: A tribute to Grigori Perelman and dVerse Poets Pub, the only place in the universe that would allow me to share poetry about mathematics. The community at dVerse literally changed the course of my life trailing joy, friendship, and love in its wake.

The Cruciverbalist

for David Kwong

his magic
a flourish of wit
teasing order from chaos
prodigious prestidigitator
shocking tricks

 

Written for Tony Maude’s prompt at dVerse on expanding the Cinquain.

The Harrowing of Hell, from a fourteenth century manuscript, Anonymous

The Harrowing of Hell, from a fourteenth century manuscript, Anonymous

Upon a muddied road
long lost to the noise
and bustle of everyday
inanity I came upon
a wound in the land

from the bottom
of the ever deepening pit
he winks his brightest blue eye at me:
‘nothing in the wide world,
of which you seem so attached,
has any real existence’

ontological jokes
for the squeamish

‘I’m a figment –
pigment stain
of your wall-eyed,
lolling fantasies’
dancing as he heckles
my raised hackles

‘ogling my impish
grin gets you nothing
but sin,’ whispers
‘it’s meaningless din,
for all is naught’

with nihilistic glee the
trickster jests his own
dark thoughts
rhyme, don’t rhyme
on moral principle –

even the damned
need amusement

he laughs aloud
‘what gods are left
to damn me?’

there is no purpose
in the gilding
of my golden cage
and my resentment
may be stonily wrought

I’d be devastated
but remember
his existence is
nonexistent, another
prank on my sincerity
and so merrily continue
my journey unencumbered

Written in response to Claudia’s prompt at dVerse Poets Pub to write a poem where character from a book intrudes. My character is Woland from The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov. The title is the beginning of a poem from Eunoia by the experimental poet, Christian Bök.

Weminuche Wilderness Image Credit: David Chamberlain

Weminuche Wilderness / Image Credit: David Chamberlain

Sappho’s disastrous god
devoid of love and sorrow
wept not upon the metrons of her tragedy

His moonglow blindness
to her ornate melodies
rapturous abandon of polyphonic ecstasy

Her enduring wilderness
echoic lingering metaphors
gestalt harmony of a vision pale

Sunlit peaks preside over pulpwood coffins
effigies lit by Apollo’s fire-licked arrow
fed by the inexhaustible breath of Aeolus
burn filigreed epitaphs to her bright star

Notes: This was written for Victoria’s excellent prompt on patterns at dVerse Poets Pub. The poem makes allusions to Greek mythology, Christianity, the Weminuche Wilderness in Colorado where some of the peaks include Eolus and Sunlight mountains, poets John Keats and Sappho, and patterns in nature in its exploration of the recurring historic theme of the oppression of women and their expression. Together these allusions create connections of meaning, explicate the contrafacture and intertextuality inherent in poetics and religion/mythology, and indicate a deeper layer where we encounter the patterns that undergird the psychological entanglement we experience in our engagement with poetry, religion, and culture. It also demonstrates a pattern of themes within my own poetry.