Microtonal Concertape

Vija Celmins, Untitled (Ocean), from the portfolio Untitled, 1975; lithograph, 12 1/2 in. x 16 1/2 in. (31.75 cm x 41.91 cm); Collection SFMOMA, Purchase; © Vija Celmins.

Vija Celmins, Untitled (Ocean), from the portfolio Untitled, 1975; lithograph, 12 1/2 in. x 16 1/2 in. (31.75 cm x 41.91 cm); Collection SFMOMA, Purchase; © Vija Celmins.

The balcony is cut swiftly
falls as a drawbridge

A secret two-story harp
(exposed) (mangled)
Marimba Eroica
cold fog

I lay my hands
on silver strings
it’s no secret
I form my own
instruments

an oval, shimmering
kingdom, light
limestone green
wires

for the sharp
rain-like turn
in a song

that leaves
impressions

dotted furies
locks impounded
lined paper
pelican inks

(repeat)
ousted galaxy

headlong rush
revolving the blood

placing clear agates
up against the ledge

liquid forms
worship empty skies

His voice steps
over the running
of the bath, knocking
of the shade
in the next room
his reading holds
a jagged sense
he may not make it

He clatters on
in brokenness
as if he were
hiking (in ascension)
citing certain
medicine words
in order

Moonscape in reverse
scattered rocks cutting
up and away from the waves

six descending tones

— mustard
— bleached gold
— flamingo
— Mars red
— burnt orange
— bleeding cove

dry underneath

a torch to lick the walls
a singer to catch the song

Read Indian Oratory deep in the night
And cut it all up

“Looking Glass is dead —
The circular blue paper is the sky.”

In Joanne Kyger’s poems the ground is formed from last nights’ dream
The thick Tibetan rope is piled like a snake, a young fruit tree shades the long plank bench
An agate sits as a stopper in the glass bottle
“the wind is in the light of the sun”
the tide forms an inlet, cutting off a small boat anchored beside timid lovers
The ends of clouds have spiral lines like scrolls, Japanese woodcuts of waves spilling over
“a lone hummingbird sits on the limb where there used to be two”
The poplars grow past a red circular sun, dense lines quilted behind it, frozen in light, a postcard cut tall and thin
The footprints are traced beyond the cliffs
Long stories are meant for empty containers
The woodpile is arranged upside down, wisps of cold, web-like grass underneath
The black branches hang down and narrow to purple leaves dividing the page

one cloud forms a low
solid ceiling over the Pacific

two Blue Jays swerve out
against another sky

one paved ring (white)
around East Peak

watch the dragonflies
drop off, away

“we visit now
more than we did
when I couldn’t
drive myself
up to see you”

the lilt in

       drifters
  at night

their distortion

(like) embalming of
shooting light

         turned figures

          and soon
I couldn’t recognize
distortions at all

their closet, inward radiance
and carry-over
was how I lived

     How the coast is not
              My dream jagged line

but a living massacre
a round, continuous ocean view
               all the way asking
of reflection, again
         suspension

         in sound
     means circling,

          chasing down,

      scaring off
old edges

The remnants of a lovely
party strung out,
sensitive, dark eyed
woodcuts in love
young and old
candlelit tombs
casting down planks
through the darkness
crossing canals toward
the shaded corners
of the house

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