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Terreson's word hoard (4)


Anyone following my word hoard poems can notice I am going back in time. Probably I am a better word smith and technician than I was when younger. And I think I have a better ear for the language. But I am not sure I am a better poet. Which is not something I can explain.

Word hoard (4) takes from a collection called Nisqually Blue. The Nisqually river is a glacially fed river pouring down from the west northwest side of Mount Ranier, WA State. It forms a large delta just before emptying into Puget Sound. I was living not too far from there on the Sound in those years. Collection was first called Tasty Tendrils. It is the one collection of poetry I've ever published, which is not a mistake I'll make again. I did the printing job myself, did everything except the book binding. Out of a run of 2,000 I may have sold 10 copies. Likely the cover illustration proved too hot to handle. A pen and ink drawing of a naked woman kneeling before a pond and with a scimitar moon behind her. What didn't sell eventually ended up in a recycle bin when I moved from the Sound for a mountain cottage far to the north. This proved to be a good thing.

Poems were written between '87 and '89. 70 plus poems. Now a few over 50 poems remaining. Two, maybe four years after making the collection I went back to it, radically, damn near murderously revised it. In brief with the originals I had been too enamoured of my own anima voice. That said the original collection got a review by a feminist thinker. What she said about it pretty much sums up the whole of my poetic objective, even still. "In his work, however, [sign in to see URL] found the voice of the Muse, and she reclaims her rightful place as poetic [sign in to see URL] does not speak for her, or declare her words to be his own; she speaks through him. There is present a blending of masculine and feminine that speaks to the notion of the androgyne; inclusive, it incorporates the polarizing balance of both the mythic feminine, the lunar aspect of expression, and the universal solar journey of a man-poet." Further on in her review she wrote: "Terreson is a masculine voice that heeds the feminine, and unites these contrasting aspects into a rich, harmonizing body of poetic expression."

Nobody, no man or woman reader, before or since, has as clinically, forensically gotten my poetic ambition. (Thank you, Andrea.)

Collection's opening poem. That it is a poem had to be brought to my attention. I didn't recognize it as such.


A Trickster Tale

Do you know the one about Old Man Coyote,
(Foolish Trickster and Animal Master)
just another racial ancestor or she-man
to find his unthinking way inside
the mystery circle, the pottery weave,
the womby tomb of the moon white woman's camp?
And do you know the tale told down by the river
of how the Old Man became a dancer,
and how he could dance the wildness dance
when he had surplus of sorrow or gladness;
or of how, this one night, he so entranced the Sisters
they each let him have his way with her?
You know about the Gift Givers, the Dema Loves,
the three-in-one Mystery Sisters
who then became the seeds
when the Life Lover himself swallowed them
while giving themselves in abandon.
Who then were imprisoned inside his stomach,
three women, three culturally captive,
who've led him ever since through narrowest passages,
if only to turn him topsy turvy, as captive girls can do,
and standing him on his head just when
he thinks he's come to the vaginal cave,
even to the Bodhi tree or Sky Peak
of quiet and peace.

Don't you know that story by now so old
and every day so foolishly new?

Well, anyway, here's another one to tell
if you haven't heard it already.
It's about those same Three Sister Seeds
and how they finally worked their way up
from the Old Man's stomach and into his head.
It looks as if they traveled the distance
while the unsuspecting fellow was asleep
to where they finally sat behind his eyes,
while foolish Coyote, thinking he was in charge,
thought he was asleep.
Anybody could see he wasn't sleeping
and that the Sisters were, all the while,
fluttering their way up to where
they could comfortably work on him.
But that's just how ceremonial magicians
and convinced technicians have always been.

And now the story goes how the Sisters
sittting just so
showed the Old Man things he hadn't known before,
things he never could know without their help
since, after all, an original theft
remains a theft no matter the means.
And first they showed him interior days,
showing him next the thingy heart beat,
then they danced for him the blue heron's
wading dance of dawn,
a dance sure to melt
his world transforming
disposition forever;
and finally they met their berry bodies together,
making of themselves a fluted whale.

It was how they swam up from the sea to where
their sleeper was surf wading, no longer sleeping.
And how they opened the one whale eye,
the deep water, otherworld, numinous eye,
until the Old Man fell so far in love
he turned on his side in the surf there,
he saw the Sisters swim out on a tear there
until they came to where they could swim around,
then before and finally beyond him.
Except for the youngest of the three who, it seems,
had fallen in love with a foolish coyote.
It is how Trickster came to the sea,
pulling past the surf, then following the lead
of the berry brown woman girl
swimming in his eyes.

Never was a tale in all the world so true.


Terreson
May/27/2012, 3:08 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
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Buried Chain

We were in bivouac, having ridden hard that day, having forced the long march to where we could camp. We were the first to occupy the higher ground from where the river run led. On the next day we would meet them, in the morning maybe, or in the early afternoon, just as soon as the blue phalanx came. My job wasn't much in that war. I hadn't been kept to kill or maim, or even to lead the tender boys through the defile of fire taking them to where the green fields would grow greener still. Hard to say why, but early on the General had seen me marching by, had called me out of the line, had told me to keep to the grooming and care of his dappled Gray, his Traveller. Which is how it was that the Old Man's horse came to where I was bending over the clear water, where I was washing the dust from my face and out of my eyes, and taking the cool drink. His tall shadow coming first, and maybe I could feel his pain. Looking up, and then around, the big Gray was standing there, his neck hanging down just behind me. He couldn't exactly talk, but he did have a manner of saying what he had to say. And so I learned he was in pain, that something was embedded in one of his hooves. Bending each leg back I finally found the thing. It was a long metal chain strung to a flattened disk of gleaming gold and sharp edges. It was a treasure that was as hurtful as it could have been a precious find to anyone other than him. A pocket watch. And Traveller's relief was immediate, his gratitude of the sort that washes over companions. When his eyes were clear again, when he could focus on something other than the hurt that had been cutting into him, he turned his eyes back to where the man was standing in the mid-distance. The man who had led us those many times, whose blue eyes we would keep on keeping to even after he was gone. And maybe it was in how the Gray's mane quivered with an itch running its way down his neck. Or maybe it was still that way he had for saying what he said. But it was a word of sorrow he spoke, turning back away from his long march rider, and straightening himself to the full hand span of his easy stature. And he was somehow saying he pitied the great man so weighted down that he hadn't been able to feel for the hurt his best beloved Gray had ridden to all day. Or maybe it was just another bad dream. The long march, the rider, the buried chain.

Terreson
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A nicely realized moment, drawn from events that have been made mythical. Why does it strike me as more poetry than prose? Why do I want to call it a prose poem? Not that the distinction is [sign in to see URL] it does interest me. Thanks for this, Tere,

Chris
May/29/2012, 8:31 am Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 
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Thank you, Chris, for reading and commenting. Guess I would agree with you, that it is a prose poem, since, drawing on both poetry and prose.

Tere
May/29/2012, 6:06 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
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Hi Tere,

I like the light-hearted way you've told "A Trickster's Tale." The story itself is twisty and mysterious. Karmic, too, in the sense that the trickster himself gets tricked before all is said and done. "Buried Chain" reverberates and moves with the mythic quality Chris mentions. Much enjoyed both poems.

Jun/1/2012, 9:57 am Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
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Thank you, Kat. Trickster poem keeps true to the oral tradition of Native American lit. It tries to at least. People loved the humorous side of the Trickster cycle(s). Story teller always managed to slip in some large Trickster truth like slipping in a micky. The Traveller thing haunts me, speaking as a Southerner, the way everything about that lost cause haunts me. The movie, Cold Mountain, nailed firmly what damage the Civil War did to a Southerner of the yeoman class. That is what the story is about. A yeoman's inner conflict about fighting for the right to own slaves.

Tere
Jun/1/2012, 5:29 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
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Goliardic Confessions

Something worldly strange and exotic.
It's what they want when you walk a new town.
So you learn to weave outrageous stories
like some kind of traveling salesman.
And what can the untruth hurt
when what you've brought them
is entertainment in the province,
the passive province?
It's just a journeyman's job anyway.
With the only hard part really,
and leaving out the close night's wish
to lay beside the warm and tugging truth,
but the only hard part comes when
your remember the truer tales,
what you've seen, what they'd never believe,
the tales that require gypsy firelight.

Such as stories of rainbow streams
soaking into mother mounds of earth;
of fluted tails of whales pushing
the white water lady your way;
of moonbeams shining back on lost keys;
of young girls standing where
the fishes swim up to them;
of calling on a road woman's grace
when you've gone too far inside
the cold's embracement;
of how she will let you know
when danger is near the door;
of what it's like in wild wood nights
when you walk home and
the growling dog keeps close and urgent;
or of the cosmic conflicts,
the bastard arguments you've held
with that life hating, never laughing thing
when you've stood in his way,
when he's borne down on you
until you smack him with his name;
and of what you've seen wavering
behind the screen of abstract symmetry:
just earth seed's insistence, a beating heart
in the breeze, an overlaid hush, a quick turn's touch.

But these are the tales they'd never believe,
except for those gullible listeners
who've stuck their heads
in other-world streams, who
footlessly walk on other-world planes.

And as for the truth
or what you'll come to keep,
it's that this world woman speaks,
listens and waits, or turning away
when no one's there to hold her;
only turning back again when
you come clear with her.

Terreson.

About the title. The Goliards were Medieval poets. The last poets to work in Latin, then still a living language. For hire they were copyists working, first, in monasteries, then in universities. One author has dubbed them wandering scholars. By necessity they spent a lot of time on the roads. And a lot of time in taverns. City after city proscribed against them, banning them from the town. The Church was not particularly fond of them either, but considered them a necessary evil because they were literate. Their poetic themes involved carnal pleasures and a devotion to Venus. They could also be acutely critical of Church hypocrisies.

Tere


Last edited by Terreson, Jun/3/2012, 1:41 pm
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Stations

She's asking him again where he's been.
He just doesn't know what to say to her
at the station where he's coming in.
And when it always seems
to depend upon her time of year,
on the full or flow in her cyclical year.

And what's it like getting strung up to freeze
in a way you can say on the leafy, the live oak;
or when it's the king of stags who's come to play
his deadly game of tag, leaping with knife and tine
down inside the thorny lucust line;
or when what you hear, when the close, quiet bull man
keeps chewing in your ear, smelling of crushed bay;
or being a vegetable king and newly seeded
while swaying inside a yellow corn dream,
knowing soon scimitar moon will come for you;
then turned back under like grape vine and tendril
and the spread toe through disordering order
reaching in crevice down through the town;
or of how stranger-man it feels to lope like a wolf
when a lone wolf's instinct and scent of pinyon pine
will be what she love's the best;
or of being that child, sweet girl, that first born fool
when no other sapling fool will do;
and hardest of all to wear,
the invisible grin, perfectly opaque
like a man in black ash wearing her moon cape
and the sun sinking inside western sky,
unable to stare her man-in-black down.

But still a crazy girl who smiles when she
leans on the turnstile and pulls into him.
Milk and honey ledges, salmonberry bridges,
the needle thatched, sitka slope shade,
and the sun dog crossing over
guiding them to where the surprise of her,
when she lets heerself be surprised by him
beneath madrona tree cover,
becomes the high love they have.

Terreson

I wonder if anyone gets what I meant in my intro to word hoard (4). Can't exactly say if I was a better poet back then. But without question I was more a poet. Funny. I had forgotten how each "station" ties itself to tree or vegetation.

Tere

Jun/2/2012, 2:45 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
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Mignon
("What's the world done, poor child, to hurt you so?" Goethe)

Mignon the slender slip,
the mysterious chit
coming down twilight's road
who must be some soldier's girl,
some stationed lieutenant's woman
so far from her hibiscus home.
Or is she, instead,
really that father bothered, since,
she can't even rest her head?
Driven by icon, mask or trace
of the cold vein, the hand too suddenly
lifted from her face
when he might've seen the chasm
her young trust would've opened
in those manly, well bridged emotions.

The taut lines in her face, the restless eyes
rolling over unseen borders,
and always the whipping will
or the stormy thrill
of the long hair spiraling
when winds pick up to where
she can forget her ghostly burden.

It's just that I've seeen her likes
too many times by now
to ever again mistake the signs.

And maybe she'd been his favorite
before that day,
maybe she was left to uncomprehend,
left to wander and stray?
Her only lead being
the memory, the tilted picture,
the recollection he'd left to her.
The seed of her heart hurt
always that close to bursting,
and always choking
on dry dawns of nameless men.
Soldier, sailor, or vagrant scholar,
always only the left over
of her own lyrical father.

Terreson

Got to tell a literary story. Mignon was first invented by Goethe. She figures in his Meister Wilhelm novel. And he wrote a poem about her. She's Italian and exiled to north Europe, sorely hurting from home sickness. Goethe would have understood that. His two trips to Italy opened him in a huge way. Then she figures in an opera, mid 19th C. Can't remember the librettist's name. Still the same girl in exile and I think in love with a man she cannot have due to her lower class station. Her fourth appearance comes in the 20th C. James M. Caine, known for his "hard boiled" fiction, wrote a novel about her. This time she is in New Orleans during the occupation by the Union forces in the Civil War. A Union officer falls in love with her, must choose between his love and his sense of duty. Her father is a Southerner working against the occupiers behind the lines. Mignon chooses her father and his mission out of love. As I recall she gets swept away by a flood of water caused when her father blows up a dam.

In comparison my poem is stupidly slight. But I wanted to get to her character. I've seen her so many times over the years in so many father bothered women. No other word for it. Her psychology fascinates me. Rivets me actually. She never seems to figure it out. Never gets over something lost early on, keeps driven, keeps lonely, keeps in exile no matter where she is or what she's doing. I always want to save her even knowing I cannot.

Think about it. Just a literary invention and so true of a certain type of woman who gets born again and again.

Tere
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Hi Tere,

I love Goliardic Confessions (and your commentary on it). That's a fine poem. A keeper, for sure. Can't quote my favorite parts, because I'd have to quote the whole poem. emoticon Stations is also lovely. Mignon is sad and far too fatally true. (I blame patriarchy and the lack of tribal initiation given to the young.) Your poem is not stupidly slight at all. It's like a pen and ink drawing as opposed to a portrait done in oils.

Jun/5/2012, 5:11 am Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
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Thank you, Kat for the comments. The Goliard and Stations things are companion poems in a way. Mignon I could also blame on patriarchy. Except that maybe Freud was right about all that Oedipal stuff controlling family dynamics. Thanks again.

Tere
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Fascinating about the Goliards, Tere. Beautiful poem,

Chris
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Thanks, Chris.

Tere
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Here are a few deceptively inconsequential ditties.


The Dark Door

Persephone stolen?
More like
and I'd be willing to bet
that such an excitable lady
freely went,
that that son of the earth
had to be persuaded
or cudgeld, cajoled and coaxed
into staging the theft.

But it may just be
how differently
things look from down inside
the dark desire,
the dark daughter's story
when the hand of her mother
leads her lover down.



Dancing Girl

Dancing is for the earth,
for white wolves too
nearer the moon,
for the sun,
and for the lucid stars.
But always for the earth.

She is no dumb weight, you see,
nothing inert,
always just this slender side
and waiting, anxious.

And when she's dancing near to,
leaping clear through
her own looping love-tide,
through the nimbus of paradise,
through the violet sky light,
while smelling of wet leaves
body warm like quaking trees
and tucked away secretly
in the thousand tales her
fluid fingers tell:

when she's there, my girl,
just there my girl,
when she's there you'll feel it too.



From Behind

The Pleiades
were sitting high
in the ink well's sky last night,
the bull's eye Aldebaran
was blinking close behind them.
And there was that feeling then
coming from who-knows-where
saying itself entirely when it said -
bend your belly down please,
bend your belly low
more closely over.

And I've only glimpsed it
looking down the dream's deep,
even sometimes seeing it
on the periphery,
having felt for it once or twice;
I've still not held it,
been held far enough inside it,
the indigo mystic.



Heaven and Earth

She's come back.
She wasn't gone for very long.
Still I worry.
But I just saw her, just now
in the late night
through the window wearing white,
slipping by,
just the sign and signature.

It was the flutter and flourish,
the inside hour's calligrapher.


Terreson

I suspect my inclinations, almost said devotions, could not be any clearer.

Tere
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I read that the original Carmina Burana was written by the Goliards, hundreds of verses with music. Orff's version doesn't retain the original music but it's mighty powerful, don't you think?

Chris
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I wish I could remember the year, Chris. '73 or '74. It was Orff's cantata that led me to the Goliards. His Carmina Burana. Then I read up on them. Still have the two books of their poems I bought then. The Goliards were lost to history, suppressed by the Church, then forgotten, for maybe 600 years easily. Then when Church property was secularized during the Napoleanic years a copy of their poetry was found in a monastary in Bavaria. It was an under-the-counter kind of manuscript the monks had kept safe. I don't know how Orff came upon the material. I do know that he first performed his cantata in Franfurt in (I think) 1933. Hitler was on the rise. I've always felt his work was a subversive act. I also know that, after writing his piece, he destroyed everything he had written prior. He also made another cantata called Carmina Catulli in which he put to music the lyric poems of Catullus.

Tere
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The other day I was googling Terreson. Several links were attached to my name. One stood out. Above I mention that the collection was first called Tasty Tendrils, that I made a book of it, tried to sell it, ended up recycling maybe 1,900 copies. Seems one copy is still in the hands of a book dealer in, I think, Oregon. Sorely tempted to purchase it just to get it out of circulation. It was not a well crafted, selected collection. Easily I've since sent 20 or more poems to the morgue file. The kicker is this. The book is described as a collectible, signed by me, on sale at a price of $10. I had originally set a price of $[sign in to see URL]. Got to get the bloody thing out of circulation.

Tere
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Out Runner

It was a dark horse dream of coming up from behind the others, keeping to the inside, easily breathing until just behind the fanned out row. And then coming even, running with them who were galloping so amiably close together. Very friendly they seemed. They must have been keeping close to each other for a long time. And then how they were soon welcoming the one who had come up from behind where they wouldn't have seen him. And the nearest runner who was making conversation, asking the newcomer how the race was treating him, while giving a shortened description of how they had all come to agree that they would run together. And so it felt good to be in rhythm with all those runners, and to be running in company after having done it so long alone. Just to be that close it was, that companionable, and then feeling how easy the course could be something to be keeping to. But then there was that other new feeling coming up over the lately arriving rider. And he hadn't meant to, he had no cause or forethought for the prospect. But there he was suddenly edging out, first by a full head, and then by his neck. And all he knew was how good and free it felt to be running that way, just as he knew he hadn't meant to cause anyone pain. He still didn't know how he hurt the rider riding nearest to him. But he had heard a wince, which is why he looked over. And there was his neighbor in pain and confusion at the sight of him pulling out ahead of them. And then he was feeling the pain and confusion too, the same as what was telling him he had to make amends, which he did by dropping back and crossing over to the outside rim. Somehow he knew it was what they wanted. And he didn't really mind running out there. It felt fine out there, except for the stilling memory of having done wrong. It even felt better, in a way, as the further field seemed like such a wider prospect. And he could see it all, the whole span of the race, all the fleshy space. And how then could he have known it would happen again, that same urge, that same easy sense coming up from inside an outsider? It was how he found himself pulling out in front a second time. It just felt so natural to be running that way. Before he knew it he could no longer see any of the others. All he really knew then was the ride, losing his sense of everything until he felt as if he was running in place, slipping in space, not able to get his legs firmly into the action. That was why he started grasping at the ground, pulling into the earth, feeling as if he was climbing, while the sod began to feel like tufts of thick fur in his grasp. And it's hard to say why, maybe the exertion that was finally required of him, but he felt the tear on his cheeks. It's even hard to say what he was meaning when he called out the name, the earth name of someone to meet him. Just a name it was, half-forgotten, the name of a face he thought he could remember, even a warm touch he thought might still be out there. And no sooner did he call that name when he was wading in a stream crossing over, that was coming in, that was flooding the dark fields in him. And then he could hear the other runners coming closer. It must have been the stream, after all, they had been running for.

Terreson

Woke up one morning with a dream in my head of an out runner. Sat down immediately to write it out. While writing came the surprise. The face, the half-forgotten name, and the stream. It doesn't get more elemental than this. That is what I think now.

Tere
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Here is the link to a 12 page poem posted in our forum, Ateliers. It is a narrative about a cross-country bus ride, from FL to WA State I took in '87. A year later and the poem came, drawn partly on the notes I had made while on the bus. It includes so many memories of, reflections on, many of the places I've lived in and travelled through in America. I was once a veritable road warrior. Poem is Whitmanesque in delivery, or so I've been told. It is also an indictment of the environmental disaster Americans have succeeded to.

[sign in to see URL]

Tere
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Just read "Out Runner," Tere. I'm speechless.

Chris
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Re: Terreson's word hoard (4)


"Out Runner" is riveting and weighted and mysterious in the way dreams so often are. I am drawn to reread it. Thank you for taking the time to set the dream down in words and then to post it here.
Jun/11/2012, 8:17 am Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
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Thank you for reading, Chris and Kat. I think it is something we all know, some of us actualize. Pulling away or ahead of the pack, college, organization, church, coven, friends, family, the group. In retrospect the dream was the easy part. Execution was bloody hard. More than once it stymied me.

Tere
Jun/11/2012, 7:00 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
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Except that maybe Freud was right about all that Oedipal stuff controlling family dynamics.

Not to be too much of a troublemaker here, but the Oedipal stuff came to us from the Greeks, a patriarchial society. Also, isn't Freud considered the father of modern psychology? How many great women psychologists followed in his footsteps? There must be some, but I am more familiar with women psychologists who followed after Jung.
Jun/12/2012, 9:49 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
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Love it, Chris. Greek society not entirely patriarchal when Oedipus was afoot. I mean he married a queen, his mother, and that made him king right? As for Freud, more than a few thinkers and artists, woman like, have subscribed to his notions.

Personally, my inclination is to the Jungian side of the equation. But not ready to wholesale discount some of Freud's notions. He was spot on when it came to the incest of family dynamics.

Tere
Jun/13/2012, 7:22 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
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Hey Tere,

Don't blame my wobbly response on Chris! I take full responsibility for its shortcomings.
Jun/13/2012, 8:40 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
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Oops. I see my mistake. Sorry about that, Chris. And there is something to what you say, Kat.

Tere
Jun/14/2012, 6:14 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
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Upthread, on June 10, I link to a long, 17 page narrative poem from the collection. Link to it. Just read opening strophe, which is really a poem in itself. No poet has ever given voice to immediate environment this way.

Tere
Jun/17/2012, 1:58 am Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
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So the collection includes a trilogy. At first I called it Slope Side Sisters. Name got changed to Demas. I was living on Puget Sound in a shore cottage; working a restaurant in the town of Olympia. One late night I came home from work and saw this cloud lady stretching over the city. I thought of many things at the sight of her. Mostly I thought of the ancient Egyptian Goddess Nut who arches over the sky, her head touching west, toes touching east.

She signed herself in the sky that night,
arcing over water,
the bare curvature of her body
closely familiar.
She was bending from her belly
that felt as near as any lady's
earthside center of gravity.
She was somehow there and vaulting over
the downstream South Sound city.
She was just where any man
had to certainly know he was seeing her.
And she must have been holding herself how
she could keep the dark sky's overcast
from falling further,
the blue gray overcoat from closing on her.
Such a proud girl.

And it was just a way she had
for lighting layers, associative pictures,
the painted nudes, myth mixed crudes,
and tales of lucky lovers
each hanging to corners of her mooody runes.
Even of some first local Indian
who said he had found the left over sky-ladder
that belonged to Sky Friends,
those giant Sky Friends who walked grounds made of clouds
to seed a cumulus or two with the dew of rainbow.
Like her that night.
She was a giantess.
And it was mostly in the way she had
for stretching over as much of sky's deep round
as any man's faculty could measure,
by any means a larger-than-life lady
and her eyes closed in self-estimating.
Then her hair held up behind
with whale's white bone and comb,
and back around from her haunting shoulders
to her bending back arched like a cat's,
then her twin rounds in ample outline
and sliding by her silhouette sides
on the way around her mothering mound,
and along her butterfly thighs to her taut calves,
and then the pointed terminus of her toes.
She looked like an entire region,
one wide expanse of home.

And still the elective connections to fall back
on the dominoes of what she could mean.
Back through anima answers,
arcing divers, drawing room Manets,
gardening Millets, redolent Bouchers,
to the half-shell sisters, beehive basilicas,
just the woman lore and Santa Sophias most like
ancient mothers in recline.
And on through stranger faced nations,
past clock run civilizations,
down the lively ladder leading back behind
some Nile Blue delta line
of another lady in the sky who was said
to swallow the evening sun,
to then push him out on his morning's run.
Who was said to come before
all the other Lively Ones,
who was said to be of the stuff
whereby clouds are born.

And even then back behind her
whose name is a three letter word,
back behind, back inside
the morning she came even nearer,
mostly just a feeling like the forty or fifty
soft green waxwings quietly, quickly flitting;
and no longer closing those Nile Night eyes,
the camas lily blue of her bright eyes,
when still arcing over to where
a stranger-to-home could pass under;
unlocking love's latch, the tremble catch,
just where she might keep inside
cathedral conifers.

Terreson

  
I do know one thing. This poem proves, demonstrates, Eliot's Wasteland theme wrong-headed. I'm good to go with that.

Tere


Last edited by Terreson, Jun/17/2012, 1:56 pm
Jun/17/2012, 3:19 am Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
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Re: Terreson's word hoard (4)


Well -- I've read it. And found it beautiful and wanting for nothing. So here is my response, immediate and freely offered.

quote:

She signed herself in the sky that night,
arcing over water,
the bare curvature of her body
closely familiar.
She was bending from her belly
that felt as near as any lady's
earthside center of gravity.
She was somehow there and vaulting over
the downstream South Sound city.
She was just where any man
had to certainly know he was seeing her.
And she must have been holding herself how
she could keep the dark sky's overcast
from falling further,
the blue gray overcoat from closing on her.
Such a proud girl.


This is an incredible opening strophe. The entire poem starts, resides with and ends with this arcing sky woman, lingering in the closing light, trying to keep “the blue gray overcoat from closing on her.” What a beautiful image. I love the way she in the sky is equated repeatedly with earthly woman/women. Woman is woman, goddess is goddess, whether “signed … in the sky” or standing on the ground.

quote:

And it was just a way she had
for lighting layers, associative pictures,
the painted nudes, myth mixed crudes,
and tales of lucky lovers
each hanging to corners of her moody runes.
Even of some first local Indian
who said he had found the left over sky-ladder
that belonged to Sky Friends,
those giant Sky Friends who walked grounds made of clouds
to seed a cumulus or two with the dew of rainbow.
Like her that night.
She was a giantess.
And it was mostly in the way she had
for stretching over as much of sky's deep round
as any man's faculty could measure,
by any means a larger-than-life lady
and her eyes closed in self-estimating.
Then her hair held up behind
with whale's white bone and comb,
and back around from her haunting shoulders
to her bending back arched like a cat's,
then her twin rounds in ample outline
and sliding by her silhouette sides
on the way around her mothering mound,
and along her butterfly thighs to her taut calves,
and then the pointed terminus of her toes.
She looked like an entire region,
one wide expanse of home.



I love this idea of her “lucky lovers…hanging to corners of her moody runes.” I see her casting her spell on mortal men…. Also am very moved by the close observation and reverence implicit in the poet’s words here: “her eyes half closed in self-estimating.” This is one of those times when something has to be said in such a way to make me see what has always been there, but that I’d not ever realized. And finally, in this second strophe, the exquisite description of the physical woman etched in the sky. She is so real and human even though she floats in water molecules above a city. We are reminded of her scale and grandeur in the final two lines of this part, though these lines also bring her close – as home.

quote:

And still the elective connections to fall back
on the dominoes of what she could mean.
Back through anima answers,
arcing divers, drawing room Manets,
gardening Millets, redolent Bouchers,
to the half-shell sisters, beehive basilicas,
just the woman lore and Santa Sophias most like
ancient mothers in recline.
And on through stranger faced nations,
past clock run civilizations,
down the lively ladder leading back behind
some Nile Blue delta line
of another lady in the sky who was said
to swallow the evening sun,
to then push him out on his morning's run.
Who was said to come before
all the other Lively Ones,
who was said to be of the stuff
whereby clouds are born.



So cool how in 3rd strophe the poet takes us through the history of such an iconic, archypal woman. Through all the paintings of reclining women, odalisques, sensual and feminine and self-contained. Then through the ancient lore to Nut, birthing the clouds themselves, it seems.

quote:

And even then back behind her
whose name is a three letter word,
back behind, back inside
the morning she came even nearer,
mostly just a feeling like the forty or fifty
soft green waxwings quietly, quickly flitting;
and no longer closing those Nile Night eyes,
the camas lily blue of her bright eyes,
when still arcing over to where
a stranger-to-home could pass under;
unlocking love's latch, the tremble catch,
just where she might keep inside
cathedral conifers.



This took me beautifully by surprise – the introduction of the waxwings. I saw the exquisite and delicately colored waxwings superimposed on the lady in the sky, flitting over and past her, leaving her somehow even more alone. After her birds-as-acolytes have left the scene, the poem brings us to where she welcomes the weary wanderer back into herself and into the cathedral conifers where love’s latch will be lifted and an invitation made. The stranger is home again.
Jun/17/2012, 9:45 am Link to this post Send Email to vkp   Send PM to vkp Blog
 
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Whoa Nelly! Seems I will have to induct you, vkp, into my rather select college of gifted poetry readers. If I picture or imagine an audience in my head they are it. Who I write for.

You seem to have entered wholly into the poem. Poem viewed as poem and for its own sake. Color me grateful and humbled. Thank you for what you say about S3. So many times I've come close to cutting it out, not certain it works. But it is true to the moment and to how what I saw that night affected me. So many associations came tripping out, tripping over each other coming out.

The poem brings me to something else, a bit of a discovery not thought about before. That archetypes, in fact, do live a life of their own. Not dependent upon circumstance or even environment. Jung is credited with inventing the word and spelunking the notion. The second he certainly did. But he did not discover the notion. He took it from a mid-19th century scholar whose studies in ancient Roman jurisprudence aroused him to the realization that, in fact, there are eternal ideas universal to the whole of the species. His term gets closer to what Jung meant by archetype.

Thank you again.

Tere
Jun/17/2012, 2:21 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 


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