Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Prehistory

Ukrainian researchers announce the unearthing
of a six-thousand-year-old temple the same year
a woman I know looks for a calm site to rise.

197 by 66 feet in size and built mostly of wood and clay,
the building, my friend's body, were destroyed and abandoned
after years of regular occupation, for ambiguous reasons.

Found intact inside the temple, there were numerous animal bones
and pottery fragments received with enthusiasm by the archeological
community. My friend, two ribs spared in sacrifice, has only this poem.



(Photo: Nataliya Burdo and Mykhailo Videiko/Institute of Archaeology NAS of Ukraine, Kyiv)



N.B.:

- Trypillia temple gained the news last October after the publication of this paper
- Experts theorize Trypillian society was matriarchal.
According to statisticsevery two minutes, five women are victim of aggression in Brazil


Monday, December 29, 2014

Monsieur Fat Pig

Monsieur Fat Pig,
renowned artist to whom I have
been canvas several times,
apparently likes my frame.

He would have me hanging
on his office wall, but he's got a wife
and kids - "these things consume
a lot of money", he explains.

These are days of cheap copies
and easy pleasures,
because I am costly,
he bargains.

I have run into many men
like Monsieur Fat Pig lately.
My disgust for their sexist,
insulting behavior, sustained.

Unfashionable

I woke up feeling petty and
helpless this morning
put on a faded smile and my old
laconism no one appreciates.

I couldn't care less about
being fashionable.

Shoelaces

I learned you without my hands,
in the dark, by listening to your breathing,
by making friends with your ghosts.

Unaware of the
terrible complications of being tough,
you surround yourself with silence and walls.

But you held my hand once,
you tied my shoelaces once.
I know you have a heart.

I've seen it once, for thirty seconds.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Thou shall not look down

I must admit I am fascinated by his ability 
to only speak when he has something to say. 
Words, like seeds, carefully selected and 
patiently placed in sentences that, under the 
right will and dream conditions, may grow into 
exquisite thoughts overnight. I am privileged
he allows me close enough to watch them
gain the clouds and incites me to follow him
to the top, despite my fear of heights. 

Sunday afternoons

I am very careful about
writing on Sunday afternoons,
especially in the summer,
when I sink in bed alone with my thoughts
under temperatures as high as 35°C
and I can find no use for blue skies,
I haven't worked hard enough on my metaphors.
I can't be anything but ordinary on hot days.

Never too much, just enough

There is a word left unsaid
for every three I tell you.
Girls learn to speak prior to
and more quickly than boys,
therefore they gain knowledge
of words to be omitted from
their speech a lot earlier.
It's only natural you sense them,
you know them well enough.
They are hiding, not hidden.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The woman who mistook a man for wings

I had a guardian angel once -
the thorough thing, halo and wings,
- who would show up at my window
at the faintest mention of his name,
I thought. He did. He can't be seen
in many of my photographs, but he
is the reason I fear to forget
we grow up fast, feet and legs,
when you look further, men are just men.


(This is the story of the first man who left. Written for Play it Again #12 over at the Imaginary Garden. I went with Fireblossom's call for angel poems, the title is a reference to this great book written by neurologist Oliver Sacks: The man who mistook his wife for a hat. There's all kinds of crazy I guess.) 

Something about strong women

They weave personal experiences
into tapestry.
Pain and joy,
two sets of interlaced threads.

The first, running parallel to
the woman's length;
the second, running parallel
to her width.

They choose tapestry
because it is weft-faced weaving.
All the warp threads
are hidden in the completed work,

for the sake of stability.


(A found poem sort of for my soul sister Kerry, because she always knows what I mean.)

From the very best

I've learned from the very best -
a crooked angel who smelled like rain:
to love people whether or not I could touch them,
to believe them real beyond the physical world.
This is how I stand before you.

Even when before doesn't mean
I can read the future from
your quiet green eyes,
even when it's unlikely I will
ever have your hand in mine.

Even then.

I've learned from the very best -
a young restless lad with a trumpet:
to push away people I might hurt,
to look the other way as they part.
They don't know it at the time.

That I step inside myself for periods
as long as six months.
It doesn't mean I didn't think of you
every single day, because I did, or that
I stopped listening to your voice on my mind.

Because I didn't.

Then I taught myself to apologize,
to go back and make amends.
I'm learning it from the very best -
the only unknown soldier I know:
to build dreams from laughs.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Python

The reason why I very seldom
see you in dreams is simple:
I have little of you to build on.
We beat the odds walking side
by side on that beach in Kent,
I wish I could go back. But
it seems the mind makes the whole
dream-making thing random.
It's been a long time I learned
algorithm. Languages have
changed significantly since then.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

The listener

He sat across from me
wearing peaceful eyes
and listened,
like someone 
counting the seconds 
between lightning and thunder
to tell how far the flash is.

I am never close.



Christmas morning

I wake up from dreaming
We still go to the same places.

We are now friends with different people
who will avoid confrontation
who won't stand for a challenge.

Your eyes search my stillness for discomfort
- there was never an answer
you couldn't draw out from my body -

my shoulders scream
I'm mad at you for parting
I'm mad at myself for waiting.

My knees confess
I wish you walked toward me
And occupied all the empty spaces.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Strangers VI

Dear Stranger,

You searched my window
four times today
for traces of me,
would you have called
if you had my number?

I've been watching you too.
You seem to worry I might
die all by myself in  my bedroom.

Who would find the body?
How long would it take?

Don't worry.
I'd have someone inform you.

Friends tell me to leave you alone,
you won't shout words from your window,
you're probably afraid to sound crazy.
You are not the only one.

Lesser and lesser

The first man who left
is in town for a month
and he brings color
back to sunflowers.

It's summer again,
last time we saw each other
there were so many
lights,
butterflies,
strangers,
I couldn't speak,
he must have noticed.
I've been speaking lesser and lesser.

I like saying things in poems
which some believe to be about nobody
but happen to be about people
who come and go because
life is like this
and just a few close observers
can tell.

The first man who left is in town,
we have changed considerably
over the course of the past five years.

I've been speaking lesser and lesser.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Growing in Lankhamar

I'm just half a hero, he says.
And I wouldn't have minded it,

if he hadn't taken me
for a dame in distress.

I was a teenage role player
for god's sake.

I've been a halfling thief,
an assassin, a mercenary, a mage

you fall for cheap red lipstick.
You're neither saint nor sage.

I have bled many men like you
on the dirty fumy alleys of Lankhamar.



(Lankhamar is a fictional city in the Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser stories by Fritz Leiber. )

Thoughts on nights spent living

a house of mirrors, my Lord,
and empty orbits:
this world, these people

who are born from similar explosions
who respond to the same clock
who can't tell reflections from bodies.

Let them not find it, my Lord, 
hidden in the secret compartment
under the library, too broken a heart.

I love selflessly,
I pray for my enemies,
I walk my path slowly.

why can't I be saved?

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Strangers V

Dear Stranger,

It's too hot for clothes.

Tonight I press my head
against the window pane
and care not about your eyes.

I'm too raw for bites.

I am and have been
a woman in nobody's dreams,
an awry shadow in mine.

Too hopeless for shame.

Handwork

Pins, needle and thread
to embroider a heart to this chest.

Measure the height and the width
calculate the number of stitches

to guarantee you will cover
the entire motif.

make them tight enough
it won't fall off,

but not so stiff
it can't beat.



(image by Visceral)

Friday, December 19, 2014

Oware

I beat my sister at Oware today
in two hours of nearly untroubled silence.

As children,
we didn't see eye to eye often.

She insisted our dolls should have
perfectly brushed straight hair.
I learned to use scissors.

She wanted to sleep on the top bed.
I claimed it first!

I learned how to use a lighter.
She got burned.

We were both afraid of the dark.
I came up with a monster under the bed.
[we called it 'Mrs. Wig']

As children,
we were regularly warned by the father

we wouldn't be let into the world
if we didn't make peace with each other.

We were grounded for years,
I remember.

I complain about her sluggishness,
she still makes fun of my math.

(From left to right: Daniela, me and Kelle)

N.B.: 
  • There's a one-year age difference between Kelle and me, this poem is for/about her.
  • Oware is an abstract strategy game among the bigger Mancala family of board games. They say you can't be selfish if you play Oware. I was incredibly selfish as child. Thank God I also had sisters growing up.
  • Oware works with two sacred principles: you must sow if you want to reap and you must learn to give if you want to receive.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Strangers IV

Dear Stranger,

I would tell you
the stories behind the neon letters
if you couldn't guess.
Something tells me you do.

Have you ever visited
the space between two words
in a poem? Try me here,
there is enough room

for the thoughts on your mind
and the questions you don't ask
because they would get lost on
the way from your window to mine.

I talked to someone last night
who couldn't sleep either.
He had a cigarette and watched
the empty loneliness of the streets.

I was the one who waved.
Would you have waved back?
Will you,
ever?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Political science

350 B.C.E Aristotle writes Politics
2014 I regret having slept through
college philosophy lectures on
Rousseau and Locke.

Because there's you
reading a science fiction novel
I recommended
against a barricade when it's calm. 

You speak the language of
snipers and bombs
which I cannot understand
or learn from books.

We have tea for breakfast
you don't talk about the blood.
But at 4 a.m. Ms. Revolution sleeps
and you are still awake.

Mind over mind

In a dream
I forget your face.

I've been seeing it so often
in people who are not you

I leave parts of you
in these strangers now,

shards of a broken past
I have walked across

and didn't hurt my feet
or heart.

I am no longer shaken
by the hearing of your name.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Stuff about me you should know

Circus classes,
social awkwardness,
insomnia;

Scar on the forehead from falling at school
at the age of five.

Love for dogs,
elephants,
sunflowers.

Fear of heights,
darkness,
forgetting
people's faces
and laughters.

Aversion to gooey creatures
[like slugs],

fondness of
fireflies,
junebugs
and the teeny-tiny pill bugs
[I really miss seeing them in the big cities].

Never a broken limb.
More than often a broken heart.

Pirates

It's all been written, Tom
if not by God,
at least by Mark Twain:

two souls with but a single thought -
you and I were meant to meet
down our very own Meadow Lane.

I would lead a life of crimes
with no one else.



Monday, December 15, 2014

No immutable observation is true

That I change my heart
with the weather,
you would say of me.

Because it rains
I'm in love with a man
who can read clouds.

The sun comes out
I lock myself in the bedroom
To learn my flesh and shadow.

Though there isn't light enough,
I try and stay the closest to the truth
this is how I'd like you to remember.

In a world of copies
could have been
whoever I wanted to

and I chose myself.
This you must remember. 
The space you gave me to breathe

I used it to cry
because I am a woman
I can't breathe.

You drew your conclusions
from afar
afraid I was another copy

afraid if you got close enough
to touch me
you'd find me real.

What is real, T?
A head flooded with theories
on an empty bed.

But if you had stayed 
for one more minute,
if you had had a second look.




Give me release. I'm tired of this world of appearances. Pigs that only look fat. Families that look happy. Give me deliverance. From what only looks like generosity. What only looks like love.

― Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters

Sunday, December 14, 2014

What to do in case of silence

It's different when
you're sitting
three steps away
and if we're silent

I can hear
the clock
the streets
your breathing.

I know exactly
what to do then.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Your eyes can meet mine in Betelgeuse

Spring showers
dissolve the city streets -

this Saturday morning
I can't find my boots.

Lipstick, coat,
glasses, and keys. Check.

Late for work
I miss breakfast.

But your hue is in town and I
realize beyond recall

how you got to learn
the names of the clouds:

You were born and raised
in Greyish Brown!

Now please, let me
tell you about my stars.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Scattered Cumulus Under Deck

I apologize for being unsteady,
but these lines, like scud clouds,
part as fast as they come to my mind.

They know my eyes chase the storm
behind them and they hush
to remind you a few things:

that we are transitional,

that if you observe a
three-headed monster long enough
you might see it turn into a whale,

that we are all going places,

that it takes not only courage
but also a great deal of faith
to look a tornado in the eye,

that our time on Earth is sensitive,

that my treasure has never been
at the end of any rainbow,
I carry it inside -

a heart that will shelter your dreams

throughout the downpour
and would very much like you to
stay after the monsoon ends.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

For the sake of being

I can't say
I'm proud of
myself for

doing
the right thing
all the time.

I make mistakes.
Lots of them.
Thank God.

For#222

Strangers III

Dear stranger,

How much do you get from my silence?
Do you see me waving from my window?
Because I do.

There isn't enough for a poem sometimes.

Sometimes there's too much work.
Sometimes I don't want to go home.
Sometimes I just lie in bed looking at the ceiling,

Wishing for a good dream.

Can you tell it just by looking over my shoulder
and peering into my frame?
When you can read these silences,

We'll be no longer strangers.

Monday, December 8, 2014

This is where I leave you

This is where I pick you up:
braces, glasses, zits - day one:
you barely look at each other
but would still tell a tale of being
closely studied -

someone must have noticed
your lazy eye,
or protruding ears,
you being too thin,
you being too fat.

How on Earth can anyone fit this seat?
How does one manage not to make a fool of oneself?
What if the teacher asks me a question I cannot answer? 
Who in this class will want to be friends with me?
What if I I don't understand while everyone else does?

This is where I pick you up:
spelling, verb to be, classroom language - day one:
you speak in, you are afraid to make mistakes
that can get you laughed at
because people laugh.

They laugh when you mispronounce 'pocket'
when you invent words like 'father saint' or 'Daddy Noel'
when you can't get a sentence straight
when you don't know what to say about vegetarianism
because you do like meat.

This is where I pick you up:
reading, listening, speaking - day one:
Do we really need grammar?
Can I exceed the 45-word limit?
I haven't done my homework.

Will they learn it? I ask myself.
Will they like it? I ask myself.
They will hate mostly everything,
because they are teenagers,
that's what teenagers do.

Music, drama, movies.
Dancing, drawing, collaging.
Grammar. (Yes, you need it. Because you do.)
Good morning, this is an English-only environment.
You are required to use English here.

News. Discuss it. Global warming. Teenage behavior. War.
News.  I won't take 'I don't know as an answer, young man'.
News. Because I want to hear your opinion about it.

I have lost track of the days
(you're acquainted with my bad memory).
You're so grown up,
This is when you leave me.
This is where I leave you.


(a poem for the 12 teenagers who sat in my classroom for the past 6 years, and leave today. I'll add a photo later on.)

A song to follow Hope - RTQN

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Strangers II

Dear stranger,

if you don't mind me asking,
what are you doing home
on a Saturday night?

Mother believes I've got
Chikungunya fever,
I've been forced to

lemon tea and blankets.
I don't tell her my heart aches.
She can't keep secrets.

If we lived across from each other,
if I had a flashlight,
if you could read Morse code,

would you find a way
to take me out
for beer and jokes?

(For the stranger out there, peeking into my soul lots of times throughout the day.)

(PS.: I don't drink.)

Friday, December 5, 2014

Finding Mr. Paperman

I'm searching for
notorious Mr. Paperman.
I'm in possession of a message
to be delivered forthwith.

Mr. Paperman 
who traveled places in the wind, 
who lived in drawers, pockets and jewelry boxes,
whose best friends are named 2H and 6B.

Mr. Paperman
who is beautiful beyond the surface, 
who does not fear getting old and yellow,
whose pet peeve is people who do not finish sentences.

Mr. Paperman
who is a one-of-a-kind sheet,
who can't sleep because of a coffee stain addiction,
whose heart lies between his lines.

Mr. Paperman
who is scared of giant erasers,
who is fond of getting tickled by paintbrushes, 
whose most honest passion is the sea.

Mr. Paperman 
who fought a war against an army of mechanical pencils,
who has got folding marks,
whose childhood dream was to be a paper plane.

Mr. Paperman! My dear sir,
what a difficult man to find!
I bring you a heartfelt message
from My Lady Kensington:

T, I am goofy and emotional
I have the silliest of eyes.
I am random and oftentimes confusing,
will you help me read you right?

Burn the message

You leave my life much before 
I can learn your smell.

You borrow 
someone else's metaphor

to buy me an excuse
instead of a smile

to buy me distance
instead of  coffee.

You leave before we can
make memories.

I stand alone.

(Read part 1: Kill the Messenger)

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Arguing the uniqueness of man by regarding the treachery of images

He dreams of a poet in the crowd
whose face resembles mine

a vast, heartening smile that
matches big pensive eyes

he scans her for words
determined to find out for how long

they linger on her lips.
he doesn't know

I find it difficult
to be around people

to speak my words point-blank
to refrain my eyes from the violent blue.

I am not the poet.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

If I had no fear

A series of jumps
into the unknown.

Have a one-night stand.
Morir in a mojito glass.

Get a peek into my own mind.
A conversation with my ghosts.

Learn to fly
as well as to fall.

Tell my love to your face
and allow the passing of days

to erase you from my path.

Strangers

I could be one of the lit windows
in your neighborhood.

Late night, when you
listened to the noisy city streets

tentatively searching
for a familiar soul,

I would watch your silhouette
framed on the side of a building

long enough to invent a story
which explained your presence

and hope we could meet again
in sleeplessness.


(To the stranger who's been watching my exercise on existing closely for long hours this week)