Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Puedo escribir

Saddest Poem

I can write the saddest poem of all tonight. 
Write, for instance: "The night is full of stars,
and the stars, blue, shiver in the distance." 
The night wind whirls in the sky and sings. 
I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too. 
On nights like this, I held her in my arms.
I kissed her so many times under the infinite sky. 
She loved me, sometimes I loved her.
How could I not have loved her large, still eyes? 
I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.
To think I don't have her. To feel that I've lost her. 
To hear the immense night, more immense without her.
And the poem falls to the soul as dew to grass. 
What does it matter that my love couldn't keep her.
The night is full of stars and she is not with me. 
That's all. Far away, someone sings. Far away.
My soul is lost without her. 
As if to bring her near, my eyes search for her.
My heart searches for her and she is not with me. 
The same night that whitens the same trees.
We, we who were, we are the same no longer. 
I no longer love her, true, but how much I loved her.
My voice searched the wind to touch her ear. 
Someone else's. She will be someone else's. As she once
belonged to my kisses.
Her voice, her light body. Her infinite eyes. 
I no longer love her, true, but perhaps I love her.
Love is so short and oblivion so long. 
Because on nights like this I held her in my arms,
my soul is lost without her. 
Although this may be the last pain she causes me,
and this may be the last poem I write for her.



I Remember You As You Were



I remember you as you were in the last autumn. 
You were the grey beret and the still heart.
In your eyes the flames of the twilight fought on.
And the leaves fell in the water of your soul.

Clasping my arms like a climbing plant
the leaves garnered your voice, that was slow and at peace.
Bonfire of awe in which my thirst was burning.
Sweet blue hyacinth twisted over my soul.

I feel your eyes traveling, and the autumn is far off:
Grey beret, voice of a bird, heart like a house
Towards which my deep longings migrated
And my kisses fell, happy as embers.

Sky from a ship. Field from the hills:
Your memory is made of light, of smoke, of a still pond!
Beyond your eyes, farther on, the evenings were blazing.
Dry autumn leaves revolved in your soul.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

"Dying is an art, like everything else. I do it exceptionally well. I do it so it feels like hell. I do it so it feels real. I guess you could say I've a call."

Soliloquy of the Solpisist  

I?
I walk alone;
The midnight street
Spins itself from under my feet;
When my eyes shut
These dreaming houses all snuff out;
Through a whim of mine
Over gables the moon's celestial onion
Hangs high.

I
Make houses shrink
And trees diminish
By going far; my look's leash
Dangles the puppet-people
Who, unaware how they dwindle,
Laugh, kiss, get drunk,
Nor guess that if I choose to blink
They die.

I
When in good humor,
Give grass its green
Blazon sky blue, and endow the sun
With gold;
Yet, in my wintriest moods, I hold
Absolute power
To boycott any color and forbid any flower
To be.

I
Know you appear
Vivid at my side,
Denying you sprang out of my head,
Claiming you feel
Love fiery enough to prove flesh real,
Though it's quite clear
All you beauty, all your wit, is a gift, my dear,
From me.

Love Letter
Not easy to state the change you made.
If I'm alive now, then I was dead,
Though, like a stone, unbothered by it,
Staying put according to habit.
You didn't just toe me an inch, no--
Nor leave me to set my small bald eye
Skyward again, without hope, of course,
Of apprehending blueness, or stars.
That wasn't it. I slept, say: a snake
Masked among black rocks as a black rock
In the white hiatus of winter--
Like my neighbors, taking no pleasure
In the million perfectly-chiseled
Cheeks alighting each moment to melt
My cheek of basalt. They turned to tears,
Angels weeping over dull natures,
But didn't convince me. Those tears froze.
Each dead head had a visor of ice.
And I slept on like a bent finger.
The first thing I saw was sheer air
And the locked drops rising in a dew
Limpid as spirits. Many stones lay
Dense and expressionless round about.
I didn't know what to make of it.
I shone, mica-scaled, and unfolded
To pour myself out like a fluid
Among bird feet and the stems of plants.
I wasn't fooled. I knew you at once.
Tree and stone glittered, without shadows.
My finger-length grew lucent as glass.
I started to bud like a March twig:
An arm and a leg, an arm, a leg.
From stone to cloud, so I ascended.
Now I resemble a sort of god
Floating through the air in my soul-shift
Pure as a pane of ice. It's a gift.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Monday, 15 March 2010

Smile... even if reluctantly...


 
Song

Sweetest love, I do not go,
    For weariness of thee,
Nor in hope the world can show
    A fitter love for me ;
        But since that I
At the last must part, 'tis best,
Thus to use myself in jest
    By feigned deaths to die.

Yesternight the sun went hence,
    And yet is here to-day ;
He hath no desire nor sense,
    Nor half so short a way ;
        Then fear not me,
But believe that I shall make
Speedier journeys, since I take
    More wings and spurs than he.

O how feeble is man's power,
    That if good fortune fall,
Cannot add another hour,
    Nor a lost hour recall ;
        But come bad chance,
And we join to it our strength,
And we teach it art and length,
    Itself o'er us to advance.

When thou sigh'st, thou sigh'st not wind,
    But sigh'st my soul away ;
When thou weep'st, unkindly kind,
    My life's blood doth decay.
        It cannot be
That thou lovest me as thou say'st,
If in thine my life thou waste,
    That art the best of me.

Let not thy divining heart
    Forethink me any ill ;
Destiny may take thy part,
    And may thy fears fulfil.
        But think that we
Are but turn'd aside to sleep.
They who one another keep
    Alive, ne'er parted be.
 

Twickenham Garden 

BLASTED with sighs, and surrounded with tears,
    Hither I come to seek the spring,
And at mine eyes, and at mine ears,
    Receive such balms as else cure every thing.
    But O ! self-traitor, I do bring
The spider Love, which transubstantiates all,
And can convert manna to gall ;
And that this place may thoroughly be thought
True paradise, I have the serpent brought.

'Twere wholesomer for me that winter did
    Benight the glory of this place,
And that a grave frost did forbid
    These trees to laugh and mock me to my face ;
    But that I may not this disgrace
Endure, nor yet leave loving, Love, let me
Some senseless piece of this place be ;
Make me a mandrake, so I may grow here,
Or a stone fountain weeping out my year.

Hither with crystal phials, lovers, come,
    And take my tears, which are love's wine,
And try your mistress' tears at home,
    For all are false, that taste not just like mine.
    Alas ! hearts do not in eyes shine,
Nor can you more judge women's thoughts by tears,
Than by her shadow what she wears.
O perverse sex, where none is true but she,
Who's therefore true, because her truth kills me.
 

Sappho to Philaenis 

Where is that holy fire, which verse is said
 To have? is that enchanting force decayed?
Verse, that draws Nature's works, from Nature's law,
 Thee, her best work, to her work cannot draw.
Have my tears quenched my old poetic fire;
 Why quenched they not as well, that of desire?
Thoughts, my mind's creatures, often are with thee,
 But I, their maker, want their liberty.
Only thine image, in my heart, doth sit,
 But that is wax, and fires environ it.
My fires have driven, thine have drawn it hence;
 And I am robbed of picture, heart, and sense.
Dwells with me still mine irksome memory,
 Which, both to keep, and lose, grieves equally.
That tells me how fair thou art: thou art so fair,
 As, gods, when gods to thee I do compare,
Are graced thereby; and to make blind men see,
 What things gods are, I say they are like to thee.
For, if we justly call each silly man
 A little world, what shall we call thee then?
Thou art not soft, and clear, and straight, and fair,
 As down, as stars, cedars, and lilies are,
But thy right hand, and cheek, and eye, only
 Are like thy other hand, and cheek, and eye.
Such was my Phao awhile, but shall be never,
 As thou wast, art, and, oh, mayst thou be ever.
Here lovers swear in their idolatry,
 That I am such; but grief discolours me.
And yet I grieve the less, lest grief remove
 My beauty, and make me unworthy of thy love.
Plays some soft boy with thee, oh there wants yet
 A mutual feeling which should sweeten it.
His chin, a thorny hairy unevenness
 Doth threaten, and some daily change possess.
Thy body is a natural paradise,
 In whose self, unmanured, all pleasure lies,
Nor needs perfection; why shouldst thou then
 Admit the tillage of a harsh rough man?
Men leave behind them that which their sin shows,
 And are as thieves traced, which rob when it snows.
But of our dalliance no more signs there are,
 Than fishes leave in streams, or birds in air.
And between us all sweetness may be had;
 All, all that Nature yields, or Art can add.
My two lips, eyes, thighs, differ from thy two,
 But so, as thine from one another do;
And, oh, no more; the likeness being such,
 Why should they not alike in all parts touch?
Hand to strange hand, lip to lip none denies;
 Why should they breast to breast, or thighs to thighs?
Likeness begets such strange self flattery,
 That touching myself, all seems done to thee.
Myself I embrace, and mine own hands I kiss,
 And amorously thank myself for this.
Me, in my glass, I call thee; but alas,
 When I would kiss, tears dim mine eyes, and glass.
O cure this loving madness, and restore
 Me to me; thee, my half, my all, my more.
So may thy cheeks' red outwear scarlet dye,
 And their white, whiteness of the galaxy,
So may thy mighty, amazing beauty move
 Envy in all women, and in all men, love,
And so be change, and sickness, far from thee,
 As thou by coming near, keep'st them from me.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

E. E. Cummings....


Edward Estlin Cummings was an American poet, essayist and artist who lived between 1894 and 1962. My uncle gave me an edition of his selected poems before I left for university and even before completing an initial read through I knew that Cummings was in possession of the equally rare and beautiful ability to capture humanity at its most raw, and simultaneously complex. The three poems I have selected are not necessarily my favourites but are amongst the first pieces I came across and have very much remained with me ever since. 


it may not always be so; and i say
that if your lips, which i have loved, should touch
another's, and your dear strong fingers clutch
his heart, as mine in time not far away;
if on another's face your sweet hair lay
in such a silence as i know, or such
great writhing words as, uttering overmuch,
stand helplessly before the spirit at bay;

if this should be, i say if this should be-
you of my heart, send me a little word;
that i may go unto him, and take his hands,
saying, Accept all happiness from me.
Then shall i turn my face, and hear one bird
sing terribly afar in the lost lands.

***

i like my body when it is with your
body. It is so quite a new thing.
Muscles better and nerves more.
i like your body. i like what it does,
i like its hows. i like to feel the spine
of your body and its bones, and the trembling
-firm-smooth ness and which i will
again and again and again
kiss, i like kissing this and that of you,
i like, slowly stroking the, shocking fuzz
of your electric fur, and what-is-it comes
over parting flesh . . . . And eyes big love-crumbs,

and possibly i like the thrill

of under me you quite so new

***

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Alexander Girard...

One of my very best friends, Alex, has developed a someone awesome, and indeed inspiring, passion for mid-century modern design over the last couple years. I must concede that particular items I've come across, whilst flicking through his extensive library of intimidatingly large hardback books or sauntering through Copenhagen's Illums Bolighus, have interested me but never to the point of independently developing a individual fascination. However on Monday, again flicking through a newly acquired book of which I could only appreciated the photographs for the text was German, I stop immediately on the pages pertaining to the American designer Alexander Girard. So, here I am three hours after I started casually researching his work and absolutely obsessed with not only the amazing design pieces he produced but aspects of his character, such as his passion for the folk art of South America, Asia and Eastern Europe. 



These 17" square pillows resurrect two colourful Girard designs: a wallpaper pattern called 'Alphabet' and a drapery design called 'Fruit Tree'. Unfortunately these pillows featured in an exclusive range for Room and Board in 2007, costing $79 each, but can still be found online through Ebay. 



These classic Alexander Girard designed were reissued by Modernseed in 2006 and cost $49 each. Unfortunately they are no longer available but can most likely be sourced another way if you do enough research!


At the moment Urban Outfitters, but only the North American division, stock a range of Girard print pillows retailing at $38.00 a piece. The pillow above depicts the resurrection of Girard's 1972 'International Love' design, which includes the world 'love' written in 19 languages. It is 17" square, made from linen and cotton with a feather fill and made in the USA. Sadly, no international shipping available, making 'International Love' confined to national boundaries!   

'Daisy Face Panel' by Alexander Girard


'Fa├žade Panel' by Alexander Girard

Currently available at Room&Board, amongst other retails, one can find ply-prints of various Girard designs. The prints in particular emphasis Girard's mastery at successfully mixing modern design with traditional folk-art themes. They cost $95 each, are produced from sustainably harvested maple plywood and are made in North Carolina. 


A particularly nice print.


Wooden Dolls designed and made by Alexander Girard. 

Alexander Girard famously headed the fabric and textile division of Herman Miller, 1952-1975, where, upon working with George Nelson and Charles and Ray Eames, formed a design team that influenced the fundamentals of design. On another, more personal level Girard had a marked passion for folk-art. 

Monday, 1 March 2010

Books are Idols and words have magic...

A sentiment I have long possessed but have recently not only been thinking about but declaring to anyone who will listen, or at least feign some degree of interest so I can say my piece. At 23 years old I honest say I could not be happier or more content with those people that have secured a special place in my heart; friendships are paramount. However, such close friends seem to have, in general, certain personality traits and characteristics (yet obviously there always exists anomalies) - this is to broadly sum up: creative art/design/fashion types who realise that the world is their oyster and, as thus, are too scared to make those important, initial steps to taking their (happy and content) place within it ALSO on a less profound level it seems that no one really reads, and when they do it is for necessary academic work. There are one, two or three people I have and can talk book to but not a regular basis or people with whom I see with a certain degree of frequency. It is so frustrating to have just read an amazing passage in something and wanting to share it with someone, but knowing that the processing of informing said someone (with necessary convoluted explanations of context and such..) would just result in dejection and even nullify that which first inspired grand and wonderful thoughts! So I am venting my love of words, in the form of what I am currently reading, here for nobody and everyone to read. 

In regards to my own literary tastes and trends, and the direction the are taking, I feel it necessary to note that until recently, when I started the current book (/trilogy) I'm reading, 'The Cornish Trilogy' by Robertson Davies, it had seemed a long time I had been taken over by a fictitious text so completely and wholly. On the whole I must admit that I find it rather hard to be impressed by a lot of endings I have read. What is written at that point, besides all that which has previously been said, needs to truly grated upon ones soul. 


'The Cornish Trilogy (The Rebel Angels, What's Bred in the Bone, The Lyre of Orpheus) - Robertson Davies - Published by Penguin (1991) - ISBN-10: 0140144463
Buy for around £11.16  


'Whose Body is it Anyway?: Justice and the Integrity of the Person' - Cecile Fabre - Published by Oxford University Press (2006) - ISBN-10: 0199289999 
 Buy (in paperback) for around £19.95