Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Frail Orbits, Green Tries, or: Born One-Hundred Seven Years Ago Today

The big Muriel Rukeyser birthday post, second year in a row I'm not posting as a standalone, the sixteenth birthday of 2020 I have either not posted the standard standalone or not posted any mention at all, that I keep count is today's bleggalgaze

  • The traditional BLCKDGRD Muriel Rukeyser birthday paragraph: I took an Intro to Poetry course at Montgomery College when I was 20 or so when I was first learning I dig poetry (and trying to impress two women). The professor, who insisted we call her Tessa (so I don't remember her last name), prescribed beats and radicals, among them Rukeyser for her feminist and social protest themes. I liked her poetry then and for a few years after, but somewhere, by some erroneous aesthetic reasoning, I came to think overt political declarations in poems boring and, frankly, embarrassing no matter how well crafted the poem, so I stopped reading Rukeyser except when I'd come upon a poem in a magazine or somewhere. What a fucking dope. To be honest, my poetry, when I look up from the page to see what I've written, is often too full of overt political declarations, it's what I'm best at rhythmically, propulsively, embarrassingly, I'm so much better at that than I am the object><subject><subject><object-ology of poetry I somehow came to believe was superior, poetry's aim and goal. In any case, two years or so ago someone returned to the library Rukeyser's collected and I've been reading it since. It's a second chance at education.
  • 2020 December 14
  • Cosmic superhighways!
  • Gaddis 2020
  • I hear Wiman's gorgeous bells for the sounds they make but listening to what he is saying about his imaginary friend God sorta sucks, it doesn't help his name is Christian Wiman 
  • Sade's castle
  • The variable timepiece
  • Object lessons
  • New tag, clusterfuckfree, more of these I hope
  • The dream of the swimming pool
  • Dennis Johnson
  • Bleggalgaze: I would lose +75% of readers if I went totally clusterfuckfree, +50% readers if I went 50% clusterfuckfree, so fuckclusterfuckfreeme, hard, fine my metaphors complicity abound
  • Clothing as first conduit
  • Huge run of Harold Budd music for RIP on Jesse's show early this morning


Muriel Rukeyser


Whoever despises the clitoris despises the penis
Whoever despises the penis despises the cunt
Whoever despises the cunt despises the life of the child.

Resurrection music,        silence,        and surf.


No longer speaking
Listening with the whole body
And with every drop of blood
Overtaken by silence

But this same silence is become speech
With the speed of darkness.


Stillness during war, the lake.
The unmoving spruces.
Glints over the water.
Faces, voices.        You are far away.
A tree that trembles.

I am the tree that trembles and trembles.


After the lifting of the mist
after the lift of the heavy rains
the sky stands clear
and the cries of the city risen in day
I remember the buildings are space
walled, to let space be used for living
I mind this room is space
this drinking glass is space
whose boundary of glass
lets me give you drink and space to drink
your hand, my hand being space
containing skies and constellations
your face
carries the reaches of air
I know I am space
my words are air.


Between        between
the man : act        exact
woman : in curve        senses in their maze
frail orbits, green tries,           games of stars
shape of the body speaking its evidence


I look across at the real
vulnerable        involved        naked
devoted to the present of all I care for
the world of its history leading to this moment.


Life the announcer.
I assure you
there are many ways to have a child.
I bastard mother
promise you
there are many ways to be born.
They all come forth
in their own grace.


Ends of the earth join tonight
with blazing stars upon their meeting.
These sons,        these sons
fall burning into Asia.


Time comes into it.
Say it.        Say it.
The universe is made of stories,
not of atoms.


blazing beside me
you rear beautifully and up—
your thinking face—
erotic body reaching
in all its colors and lights—
your erotic face
colored and lit—
not colored body-and-face
but now entire,
colors       lights       the world thinking and reaching.


The river flows past the city.

Water goes down to tomorrow
making its children        I hear their unborn voices
I am working out the vocabulary of my silence.


Big-boned man young and of my dream
Struggles to get the live bird out of his throat.
I am he am I?        Dreaming?
I am the bird am I?        I am the throat?

A bird with a curved beak.
It could slit anything, the throat-bird.
Drawn up slowly.        The curved blades, not large.
Bird emerges        wet        being born
Begins to sing.


My night awake
staring at the broad rough jewel
the copper roof across the way
thinking of the poet
yet unborn in this dark
who will be the throat of these hours.
No.        Of those hours.
Who will speak these days,
if not I,
if not you?