Saturday, February 28, 2009

No Flowers, No Champagne

The accompanying Image is no longer available. To view "Expulsion From Paradise", visit German Herrera and view image #06 in the series.


Journal - date unknown

To dream every dream
from here to now--alone
until we forget our names


Journal - December 2006

I've gone missing,
and you
missing from me--
this bed
freshly made

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Monday, February 9, 2009


Entries from torn journal pages -- 2007-2008

--------- Page 1 ------------
Notes to self on the power of gesture in works of art:

Traces of human interaction are more powerful and emotionally potent than the direct encounters which made/left them.

Objects left behind often feel more real than those which can be perceived and touched in the present.

Memory and nostalgia are most effective as an artistic device when they are inconspicuous.

--------- Page 2 ------------
Some nautical terms to remember:

Wing on Wing

Full and By – sailing into the wind. getting on w/ the job but w/out stress; moving into the wind, relaxed.

Close Haul

Beam Reach – widest distance across the boat

Chafing the Shrouds

Broad Reach

Hauling Out the Main Sail

--------- Page 3 ------------
"Life is a She Wolf: You never know when, instead of suckling, she may decide to eat you." -- AM

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sunstone - Octavio Paz

Letters - February 2009

Some of Paz's most delicious and moving poems are pages long and far too complicated in their structure to reproduce in an email. Given this format restriction, I am forced to share his shorter poems, many of which are equally good but perhaps not as transformative. Sometimes length works against the reader--causes them to tire or lose interest. Other times length submerges the reader, takes them down, strips them bare as they descend through the layers of the poem's underworld and, eventually, nudges them on toward the mythic ascent of the hero. I like it when that happens. And it happened often in my mid-20s as I acquainted myself with Paz's longer works.

I will share with you what I can of poems I have dog-eared and stanzas I have noted. They are numerous; hence, I'll share over time, not all at once. For the same reason I gave you the Auster book, I share these so that you can follow the gaze of my eye as it looks into the world. In many ways my eye is my heart; and my heart, my eye.

My x to your y -- A.M.

To Start: A few excerpts from the 17-page long poem Sunstone. You can read them as one reads surviving pieces of Rumi: as though each line contains the whole of the original poem. (I am sharing what I had bracketed, underlined and starred in the text. Ellipses indicate missing lines and/or whole stanzas.)

Image courtesy of

SUNSTONE (excerpts)

I travel your body, like the world,

dressed in the color of my desires,
you go your way naked as my thoughts,
I travel your eyes, like the sea,
I travel your forehead, like the moon,
I travel your belly, like your dreams

your lips, your hair, your glances rain
all through the night, and all day long
you open my chest with your fingers of water,
you close my eyes with your mouth of water,
you rain on my bones, a tree of liquid
sending roots of water into my chest,

I travel your length, like a river,
I travel your body, like a forest,
like a mountain path that ends at a cliff

there is nothing inside me but a large wound,
a hollow place where no one goes,
a windowless present, a thought that returns
and repeats itself, reflects itself,
and loses itself in its own transparency,
a mind transfixed by an eye that watches
it watching itself till it drowns itself
in clarity:

--this night is enough, this moment that never
stops opening out, revealing to me
where I was, who I was, what your name is,
what my name is:

the two took off their clothes and made love
to protect our share of paradise and time,
to touch our roots, to rescue ourselves,
to rescue the inheritance stolen from us
by the thieves of life centuries ago,
the two took off their clothes and kissed,
because two bodies, naked and entwined,
leap over time, they are invulnerable,
nothing can touch them, they return to the source,
there is no you, no I, no tomorrow,
no yesterday, no names, the truth of two
in a single body, a single soul,
a total being

the world is born when two people kiss,
a drop of light from transparent juices,
the room cracks half-open like a fruit
or explodes in silence like a star,

they crumble
for one enormous moment and we glimpse
the unity that we lost, the desolation
of being man, and all its glories,
sharing bread and sun and death,
the forgotten astonishment of being alive;

to love is to battle, if two kiss
the world changes, desires take flesh,
thoughts take flesh, wings sprout

to love is to battle, to open doors,
to cease to be a ghost with a number
forever in chains, forever condemned

the world changes
if two look at each other and see,
to love is to undress our names:
"let me be your whore" said Heloise,

I go back
to where I began, I search for your face,
I walk through the streets of myself
under an ageless sun, and by my side
you walk like a tree, you walk like a river,
and talk to me like the course of a river,
you grow like wheat between my hands,
you throb like a squirrel between my hands,
you fly like a thousand birds, and your laugh
is like the spray of the sea, your head
is a star between my hands, the world
grows green again when you smile,
eating an orange,

the world changes
if two, dizzy entwined, fall
on the grass: the sky comes down, trees
rise, spaces become nothing but light
and silence, open space for the eagle
of the eye, the white tribe of clouds
goes by, and the body weighs anchor,
the soul sets sail, and we lose
our names and float adrift in the blue
and green, total time where nothing
happens but its own, easy crossing,

I heard my blood, singing in its prison,
and the sea sang with a murmur of light,
one by one the walls gave way,
all of the doors were broken down,
and the sun came bursting through my forehead,
it tore apart my closed lids,
cut loose my being from its wrappers,
and pulled me out of myself to wake me
from this animal sleep and its centuries of stone,
and the sun's magic of mirrors revived
a crystal willow, a poplar of water,
a tall fountain the wind arches over,
a tree deep-rooted yet dancing still,
a course of a river that turns, moves on,
doubles back, and comes full circle,
forever arriving:

I will send a couple short poems in their entirety in the next email. It can be so dissatisfying to read an incomplete poem, I know. Plus, I wouldn't want to leave you feeling unsatisfied!