Original Poetry: A Song for My Grandmother

Two trumpeters standing tall . . .
From deep within, two trumpeters,
like a pipe organ warming up,
causing shivers and glassy eyes . . .
(It’s an anthem?)
Billows of fabric, flags, circle slowly.
Two trumpeters standing tall
announce
from deep within, an anthem;
and flags, mere billows of fabric,
grandiose flags arc upstroke skyward
in a burst of white doves on a blue sky
causing shivers and glassy eyes.
The crowd, two trumpeters,
a field of uniforms . . .

I am alone
on a high box in white spotlight—
The Moon (Garcia Lorca’s Blood Wedding).
I am alone and not seeing the crowd
in the blackness; voyeurs watching
me sing of death and longing.
Blue hair, white face, and painted brown
lips, hands clutching (bowing) an upright double-bass.
I am singing what he knew,
of what I’ve yet to know,
of what she knows; and I am alone.

She, my grandmother, straddling her cello,
bows the exhaustion, the longing;
with a trembling upstroke,
does not see the crowd in the blackness
anticipating.

The white doves, anticipating,
are waiting for their high box to open.

Trembling, she claims the microphone.
(It is an anthem.) From beyond
her girth-protected pharynx,
from deep within, like a pipe organ
warming up, she sings
of white doves in a field of blue.

She, the moon,
with wild brown hair and gypsy eyes,
has always sung through the blackness.
Her bone white in a blue sky
sees the anticipating crowds
from her high box on the upstroke.
She announces.

With billows of fabric trembling,
the white doves upstroke
toward a knowing moon.

Two trumpeters announce an anthem.

She, at the microphone, anticipates
the crowd and sings.
I am alone (but am I brave?)

White hair and a blue dress
are laid out on billowing fabric.
The bows are silent.
The brown earth lip-trembles
like a lover anticipating.
She, my grandmother,
does not see the brave crowd
in blackness singing,
causing shivers and glassy eyes.

The moon knows of longing
and sings from deep within.
It’s an anthem “of the brave,”
that she, at the microphone, sings.

He knew the moon.

I have yet to know the doves
that two trumpeters announce.
 
 
 
 
 
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Original Poetry: Suspension

From the tiers of the river,
      a floe of fog shears
Chicago’s drifting citadels—

their buoyant bulk hovers
      like oscillating droplets
amid eddying vapors overflowing

the locks of the man-hewn Hennepin.
      Like Monet’s Charing Cross Bridge,
a smudged tint in suspended mist

on the opposite bank,
      my parents’ place, gains definition
as I silently slide away.
 
 
 
 
 
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Original Poetry: Amazonian Dance

A man dances in the tropical night, gyrating possessed
        running through jungle brambles, searching for lost
        Kayapo blood masked by skyscrapers and networking
        highways teeming with lights and smog.
Clouds of pollen dust and smoke rise from leveled land, ride the hot
        breeze bellowing out over embers, ravines, creeks stirring
        the sediment, grabbing at banks, lapping, surging forth
        away from the gridded land, beach-lined, where the lovers
        roll submerged, embracing.
Sperm and fish schools dart, angle synchronously in filtered
        light revealing silver lamé scales in vector changes like rush
        hour traffic merging with the expressway to be momentumously
        thrown arcward, spiraling out with hundreds of satellites.
The refuse, astronaut laden, plunges, slams in an ocean bellyflop
       collapsing the lungs, leaving the man screaming helplessly mute,
       fearing hysterical madness, convulsing, dancing the seizure
       in spasms and rhythm.
The shaman’s head explodes with ebene and snot revealing
        and stomping the Hekura in a fiery frenzy burning, devouring,
        leaping the canopy tops with scarlet papagayos
        shrieking uproosted.
Abandoned feathers cascade with the rains upon pink dolphins
        spilling streams, washing banks, flooding bushes
        at the feet of Yanomamo dancers with feathers flying and manioc
        sprouts piercing dampened ashes.
 
 

[Published in tres diversity (1999) as part of the Austin International Poetry Festival.]
 
 
 
 
 
[Check out other original poems here.]