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  1. #161
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    Bringing us down to -

    Sea Level

    Down from the mountains of Appalachia
    and the highs of new love
    I've come across the extended monotonies
    of interstates, back to where
    scrub pines stand small at sea level.
    There's the house I left for good
    (if forever can ever be good),
    and there's the Great Egg Harbor River,
    which widens here, and everywhere
    the visages of ghosts appear
    and disappear. I've come to visit
    the friends who've stayed
    casualty's course—the dearest ones,
    who somehow have learned to live
    amid the messiness of allegiances,
    the turns and half-turns of whom now
    to console, whom to embrace, and when.
    I pull into their driveway, wanting
    to tell them how it feels to have—
    for the first time—an undivided heart,
    a sudden purity of motive,
    but when I begin to speak I realize
    I don't. I say it anyway, won't take it
    back. When their outside cat wants in,
    they let him in. Then he wants out.
    They accommodate. That cat
    is almost as lucky as I. No mountains
    here, I can see the afternoon sun
    on the horizon hanging on,
    about to dip and be gone. Their yard
    is a dusty orange. I love the truth,
    I swear I do.

    - Stephen Dunn.

  2. #162
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    If you liked the poem, "Sea Level", you might like to meet the poet, Stephen Dunn, in person, by clicking on - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YV14D...eature=related

  3. #163
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    F.Y.I.O. -

    Signing Ceremony

    Hotel Timeo, Taormina

    The lilac peak of Etna dribbles pink,
    Visibly seething in the politest way.
    The shallow vodka cocktails that we sink
    Here on the terrace at the close of day

    Are spreading numb delight as they go down.
    Their syrup mirrors the way lava flows:
    It's just a show, it might take over town,
    Sometimes the Cyclops, from his foxhole, throws

    Rocks at Ulysses. But regard the lake
    Of moonlight on the water, stretching east
    Almost to Italy. The love we make
    Tonight might be our last, but this, at least,

    Is one romantic setting, am I right?
    Cypresses draped in bougainvillea,
    The massed petunias, the soft, warm night,
    That streak of candy floss. And you, my star,

    Still walking the stone alleys with the grace
    Of forty years ago. Don't laugh at me
    For saying dumb things. Just look at this place.
    Time was more friend to us than enemy,

    And soon enough this backdrop will go dark
    Again. The spill of neon cream will cool,
    The crater waiting years for the next spark
    Of inspiration, since the only rule

    Governing history is that it goes on:
    There is no rhythm of events, they just
    Succeed each other. Soon, we will be gone,
    And that volcano, if and when it must,

    Will flood the slope with lip-gloss brought to boil
    For other lovers who come here to spend
    One last, late, slap-up week in sun-tan oil,
    Their years together winding to an end.

    With any luck, they'll see what we have seen:
    Not just the picture postcard, but the splash
    Of fire, and know this flowering soil has been
    Made rich by an inheritance of ash.

    Only because it's violent to the core
    The world grows gardens. Out of earth we came,
    To earth we shall return. But first, one more
    Of these, delicious echoes of the flame

    That drives the long life all should have, yet few
    Are granted as we were. It wasn't fair?
    Of course it wasn't. But which of us knew,
    To start with, that the other would be there,

    One step away, for all the time it took
    To come this far and see a mountain cry
    Hot tears, as if our names, signed in the book
    Of marriage, were still burning in the sky?

    - Clive James.

  4. #164
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    If you are sensitive or intelligent, you may wish to avoid seeing and hearing the poet, Clive James, by not clicking on - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ww3f3YTZbQw

    And if you are worried things could get much worse, don't click on - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_N5T...feature=relmfu

  5. #165
    Unlimited Dancemoves ® AgentF's Avatar
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    poets i have known have always disappointed me in person.

    they are almost always better read than heard.

    what did *you* think of Signing Ceremony? i thought it was beautiful, and sad. and worrisome because it reminds me of my British ex's parents and their home in Lanzarote and their insistence on nude sunbathing.

    the British with very few exceptions should never sunbathe in the nude.
    I may be kindly, I am ordinarily gentle, but in my line of business I am obliged to will terribly what I will at all.
    ~ Catherine the Great


    7w6 ❣ sx/so ❤ physical touch ❥ sanguine 70%, choleric 30% ❦

    Johari.

  6. #166
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by agentfurrina View Post
    poets i have known have always disappointed me in person.

    they are almost always better read than heard.

    what did *you* think of Signing Ceremony? i thought it was beautiful, and sad. and worrisome because it reminds me of my British ex's parents and their home in Lanzarote and their insistence on nude sunbathing.

    the British with very few exceptions should never sunbathe in the nude.
    @agentfurrina

    And quite right too, dear Agent Furrina.

    I could look it up but I would much prefer you to tell where Lanzarote is, and I would like you to do one more thing for me, if you will, and that is tell me the meaning of, "pequeña pero picante".

    Of course I could look it up, but I think there is nothing nicer than you telling me yourself.

    How nice to hear from you.

    Victor.

  7. #167
    Unlimited Dancemoves ® AgentF's Avatar
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    so happy you asked!

    Lanzarote is part of the Canary Islands, popping up just west of Morocco yet part of Spain, the insatiable colonizers (my mother was colonized by a Spaniard so i won't complain). the island was formed by volcanoes and is covered in ash and Brits on holiday.

    the latter mainly during the summer--it feels fairly uninhabited once you leave the capitol city. we have the volcanic aftermath to thank for its dusty moonscape (and for some bitchin' footage in the "One Million Years BC" film haha). the best part of the island is that the wind brings bits of the Sahara with it...i assure you that you haven't fully lived until your face has been whipped by the unrepentant, dust-bearing Saharan winds that the Spaniards call la calima.

    Paul Bowles said it best:

    “There is a way to master silence
    Control its curves, inhabit its dark corners
    And listen to the hiss of time outside."

    the Sahara is like that. the ground shifts under your feet and the weather does strange things to you. a few of the many reasons people cling to its edges.

    *

    "pequeña pero picante" means "small but spicy" (literally). a more faithful translation would be "small but potent/powerful".

    for i am.
    I may be kindly, I am ordinarily gentle, but in my line of business I am obliged to will terribly what I will at all.
    ~ Catherine the Great


    7w6 ❣ sx/so ❤ physical touch ❥ sanguine 70%, choleric 30% ❦

    Johari.

  8. #168
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    Quote Originally Posted by agentfurrina View Post
    so happy you asked!

    Lanzarote is part of the Canary Islands, popping up just west of Morocco yet part of Spain, the insatiable colonizers (my mother was colonized by a Spaniard so i won't complain). the island was formed by volcanoes and is covered in ash and Brits on holiday.

    the latter mainly during the summer--it feels fairly uninhabited once you leave the capitol city. we have the volcanic aftermath to thank for its dusty moonscape (and for some bitchin' footage in the "One Million Years BC" film haha). the best part of the island is that the wind brings bits of the Sahara with it...i assure you that you haven't fully lived until your face has been whipped by the unrepentant, dust-bearing Saharan winds that the Spaniards call la calima.

    Paul Bowles said it best:

    “There is a way to master silence
    Control its curves, inhabit its dark corners
    And listen to the hiss of time outside."

    the Sahara is like that. the ground shifts under your feet and the weather does strange things to you. a few of the many reasons people cling to its edges.

    *

    "pequeña pero picante" means "small but spicy" (literally). a more faithful translation would be "small but potent/powerful".

    for i am.
    @agentfurrina

    I am tempted to reply to you immediately but I know if I wait a while, something more interesting will occur to me - but I can't wait. My reply to you is yet to be fully formed - it is as yet unripe, unready and perhaps not a sweet as it might be.

    I haven't quite taken in that you live in the Atlantic, directly opposite me on the Earth. And although you are surrounded by the cool waters of the Atlantic sea, you breathe the air of the Sahara.

    One thing I can confirm though is that you are powerful. I could sense this from the moment you wrote to me. But just as we live at opposite ends of the Earth, we may be opposite personalities - you may be extrovert and I may be introvert. So you are strong on the outside and I am strong on the inside. What do you think?

    Tell me a little more about yourself - what do you most like to do? What do you most fear?

    And I am glad I make you happy by asking.

    Victor.

    PS: I feel like writing more and more and more but somehow I must come to an end by pressing the Reply button. See ya. Goodbye. I'll be seeing you again, goodbye. Au revoir. See ya Agent Furrina.

  9. #169
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    Sent in anonymously by our agent -

    Endowment

    Han-shan is not indifferent to fame.
    Often he imagines himself winner
    Of the literary competition held each
    Year at the capital, to which end
    He stores his poems in the family's
    Ivory ringbox, ready for transport
    Should the invitation come.

    Ah, he thinks, at fall festival to stand
    Among the great bards of the province!

    What troubles him is that he has no robe
    Fit to wear in such company nor any way
    To arrive at the august presentation
    Except on foot. No one he knows
    Owns a mule he might borrow
    For a trip to town.

    Then there are those scandalous reports
    He hears of what the judges demand
    For a favorable decision.
    A coupling for a couplet!
    What, Han-shan wonders, would a villanelle
    Cost him by way of quittance.

    Each year, on the night of funding,
    He sits at the crag's lip reading his pieces
    Toward town in his loudest voice,
    But no runner comes upmountain
    To announce the good news.

    So he adds another season's worth
    Of poems to his already brimming box
    And plants another garden in the purlieus
    Of summer, telling himself that in all reason
    He should have been a ringmaker
    Like his father.

    - George Scarbrough.

  10. #170
    Unlimited Dancemoves ® AgentF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    @agentfurrina

    I am tempted to reply to you immediately but I know if I wait a while, something more interesting will occur to me - but I can't wait. My reply to you is yet to be fully formed - it is as yet unripe, unready and perhaps not a sweet as it might be.

    I haven't quite taken in that you live in the Atlantic, directly opposite me on the Earth. And although you are surrounded by the cool waters of the Atlantic sea, you breathe the air of the Sahara.

    One thing I can confirm though is that you are powerful. I could sense this from the moment you wrote to me. But just as we live at opposite ends of the Earth, we may be opposite personalities - you may be extrovert and I may be introvert. So you are strong on the outside and I am strong on the inside. What do you think?

    Tell me a little more about yourself - what do you most like to do? What do you most fear?

    And I am glad I make you happy by asking.

    Victor.
    never fear, my favorite fruit is pomegranate.

    what i most like to do? smear myself with reality and duality, of course. discover ways in which my thinking is wrong/limited/distorted and and allow that knowledge to do its work. at other times, piss off from those duties by rolling around in my own kind of wrongness, loving myself exactly as i am. or think i am.

    i most fear having squandered whatever gifts i've been given. i think we all have latent abilities, i am just keenly aware of mine. sometimes that awareness is a source of great pride and at others is about as relaxing as a night at the Overlook Hotel.

    you?


    p.s. the only kind of power i'm really interested in is self-mastery. pretty sure you got that, though.

    p.s. 2 a friend who works with the Miwok Indians invited me to stay for the weekend. her home overlooks an area named "Tuolemne". it is pronounced "to all o me" and means "land of the mountain lions".
    I may be kindly, I am ordinarily gentle, but in my line of business I am obliged to will terribly what I will at all.
    ~ Catherine the Great


    7w6 ❣ sx/so ❤ physical touch ❥ sanguine 70%, choleric 30% ❦

    Johari.

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