” Adioses ” by Pablo Neruda

IMG_0962Goodbye , goodbye , to one place or another ,

to every mouth , to every sorrow ,

to the insolent moon , to weeks

which wound in the days and disappeared ,

goodbye to this voice and that one stained

with amaranth , and goodbye

to the usual bed and plate ,

to the twilit setting of all goodbyes ,

to the chair that is part of the same twilight

to the way made by my shoes .

 

I spread myself , no question ;

i turned over whole lives ,

changed skin , lamps , and hates ,

it was something I had to do ,

not by law or whim ,

more of a chain reaction ;

each new journey enchained me ;

I took pleasure in places , in all places .

 

And , newly arrived , I promptly said  goodbye

with still newborn tenderness

as if the bread were to open and suddenly

flee from the world of the table .

So I left behind all languages ,

repeated goodbyes like an old door ,

changed cinemas , reasons and tombs ,

left everywhere for somewhere else ;

I went on being , and being always

half undone with joy ,

a bridegroom among sadnesses ,

never knowing how or when ,

ready to return , never returning .

 

It’s well known that he who returns never left ,

so I traced and retraced my life ,

changing clothes and planets ,

growing use to the company ,

to the great whirl of exile ,

to the great solitude of bells tolling .

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The Glory in You

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the ermine shiver

a page ripped out

a passage cries to quiver

anointing poems , a frozen room

this grey land storms a labor pain

the puddle , the bellies lake

does blackness wane

upon an empty beds membrane.

the night frock flees

this in between

the spider crawls into the snow

the crow suspends , the fish lay low

blood stalks the stars

and Venus reigns

a dream that drips does not touch down

a dream where wings salute the air

to spill the scent of sweet champagne

she walks the wire a forsaken domain.

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Photo credit : Janet L. Doane

her hair hangs ore the river

her hair hangs ore bare skin

her hair an adoration

her hair tormenting worlds

harpooned

the great whale dead and bloated

ice screams from broken bone

Hail Mary full of grace

the river smells of outer space .

My Sun

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I sat watching on the sheepskin rug , watching as the desert invaded the room , invading my body becoming like the hollows of the rotating earth . I am tired . The houses gaze at each other with beige pueblo faces . I watch the wide sky , the soft ending lavender of it all . I was once married to a Christian , and once to an artist dead now , and once to a carpenter.

What is that boy doing pulling a skull along the street with a string ? Watching , there appears a light of pale pink from the moon so far away . And in that blush glow I hear my youngest son say , ” I sometimes miss my father “. How do you explain God to his own son ? It’s too much for me . I look down at my drooping breasts , the dark purple nipples he once suckled and the scent of crushed juniper berries passes into my memory , a memory of his father , his fathers paint and ink stained clothes , the very look of him , his gentleness ¬†, his father and I walking , walking as he takes the garden shears , clearing a way thru the woods , showing me the birds , the wildflowers , the sun . He hums a song by Jim Morrison , it was to be the last song I ever heard him sing . There was that place of his contentment surrounding his studio , a place now faceless , that place I cry about . It’s been twenty two years . He held my hand so tight before he left and I wanted to lay down on the ground and smell the mud in my nose . You were only five years old sleeping with batman on the wall over your bed .

I sat watching from a room in Santa Fe  , watching the night invade my life . I am tired . Your older brother hung himself on a stove pipe a year later , his body growing plump and rotten like palm wine before anyone found him alone in Brooklyn , alone on the Road of Perpetual Tears .

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In honor of Edward “Ted” Dickerson

June 1932 – February 1994

photos by Denise Thomasin Photography

When Did She Go

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The old paint on the canvas became transparent , when ? A tree appeared , when ? A tree inside the interior of the room , when ? And a dress with no one in it , when , floaters in a landscape , when ?

The narrator :

A repetition is seen , a repetition of a motif in different places , places where the lines suddenly possess music expressing a beautiful idea , ideas that sometimes become changed , replaced , painted over , the earlier ones disappearing , disappearing from view like all the questions Jack never asked Francie . And sometimes , sometimes the ghostly presence of older possibilities reemerge , a phantom code from an earlier universe , emerging like the voices of gods , ” you have a spirit inside of you “.

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Francies diary :

I didn’t love you well enough . Listening from across the street , I watched a man with a broom sweep the snow off his driveway , the sound strange . I thought of the ” umbrella girl ” ¬†selling trinkets while shuffling along the beach of Sayulita . The sound of her feet on the sand , sand drowned in the sun , the sun where the horizon was just an illusion . Those trinkets of silver , bangles , old keepsakes lost and strings with bells attached , attached to my mind like a fine portrait on the wall in a fine museum . And then I remembered all the doors of my life even the place where I saw people standing on a shore but not able to see what they were doing . They appeared so very tall , tall like a row of skyscrapers , tall like Seraphim , the fiery burning ones worshipping continually . I was exhilarated and terrified , that sound like the sound of snow and sand , terrified that my dead mother could now be one of them, one of the Seraphim , ¬†and that she was calling to take me to God . Tonight , as I write , a hymn now fills the sky , a hymn so clear and sweet , why didn’t you know that I loved you ?

Jack :

You , I saw you today for only a moment . You didn’t see me . You , standing alone in a parking lot near the drugstore . You , you standing in the almost frozen rain , the rain seeming to fall only on you . I felt the water come straight into my arms . It was raining you . You drove off very fast in your car when you once took only a slow path lasting one year . You I loved . I loved you .

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Narrator :

There is a drawing on white paper she left for me . A drawing of lines , curvy lines so small and naked in their expression . A self portrait with her wrist watch turned upside down . When , when did she do it , when ?

Credits : paintings by Meg Dekorne

 

Once More , The Narrator

There she was , yes . Her choices were different , yes . The sky was grey and pink , yes . She saw out her window , hills that had eyes , yes . Eyes so brown that their softness created a city , yes . A city for only poets , yes . There she was , yes . She had become her own inspiration , yes .

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Once upon the earth lived a man , a man tender who she loved . She laid in the quiet  not sleeping . The night was to be the last with him . She remembered Amsterdam where tulips die so beautifully and she thought of northern Michigan where tragedy had happened one year ago , a tragedy in the forest , a storms destruction . And she hoped the forest would take care of itself , hoping for mossy growth on the fallen bark to return , hoping she could shove off into the snowy woods down a hill and slide into heaven . Hoping he could too . She planned her escape during those midnight hours , of laying so still while his sleep of anxiety and sweat created a smell that had always intoxicated her , a lingering scent whose memory saddened her now . With the haziness of dawn approaching , without speaking before he left for work , she dressed into her clothes of yesterday . She pulled the curtains down as if disassembling a nomads tent from an oasis. She did everything methodically , packing her clothes , blankets and rugs , paintings , her writing desktop , dishes from Mexico , her green accordion . She carried it all outside , placing them in a pile , waiting for her brother to come , the wall of belongings looking like a carved facade , carved like the Lost City of Petra . Feeling a desert in her heart , hot , she raised her hand to touch the bones of her face damp , damp as she stepped through the door .

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Days before he had taken her to dinner , I know as I was sitting alone , watching them from the dark corner table . Looking across Main Street from where they were sitting , I saw her black eyes become transfixed on the upper windows of the long term , newly renovated Studio Hotel . Something in her life was ending and another thing was beginning , she wasn’t sure what but she knew she was letting it happen . She told him a story about her soul , how it was like an intimate plot of moist , warm , well cultivated earth with the sun dazzling hot on it and how the appeals of that small heap of earth were unremitting if anything righteous was to grow , righteous of its quality and how this soul needed so much care . She told him it would be very difficult for her to live if it were destroyed again just now .

The night after her escape , alone , she felt lightening hovering courageously . And out her brothers window the trees were moaning like the lover she left , the shadows like wild animal tracks in the abyss of the winter , the winter of 2016 .

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It was beautiful inside the cage , yes . But it was still a cage , yes . He would always be touching her , yes , even when he could not reach her , yes . All the days are holy , yes . The sky was pink and blue , yes . The sky was unfinished , yes .

 

Credits : last photo by Denise Thomasin photography

 

 

For Shimon

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And the winters are so many

and the winters are not so many

and everything feels so close to me

the Caspian Sea

the skeleton dress

the man with turban pastel

everything feels so close to me

and somebody’s on the moon as well .

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And I hear your name

and I hear my name

over the loudspeaker

with a million others

white sleeping tents so many

the dreams singing , all yelling to dispel

the unexpected questions

bewilderment to foretell.

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And it’s written over the land

and it’s written on a neon sign

and the fish make rainbows

and bodies scatter Jerusalem

dead , dead and soft like brown mangoes ripe

and children shoot machine guns killing the gazelle

and the winters are so many .

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And into the Hall of Extinction

and into the Ship of Imagination

and into frozen lakes of Titan to dwell

where my mother is dead

and everything feels so close to me

all the fields so soft and green

and God , God a trilobite with three eyes

watching the ground swell .

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And who was I

and who were you

and no one wants to give it up

and everything feels so close to me

and the winters , the winters , they are so many .

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Credits :

Inspired by ShimonZ at thehumanpicture.wordpress.com

Outlook – Sara Wickenheiser Photography

Snow – Dale De Vries Photography

Running – Aela Labbe Photographies

Writing found in my mothers Suitcase

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Near The River of Wonder I walked , traveling all this way without shoes. A porcupine tree branch tapping , tapping on the window , flashing in the sun , these are the first voices heard , a sound like people talking in whispers , a ¬†sound stunning its way around in my mind too strange to believe . Only night and day , one night , one day , becoming my entire life as the moving sculptures of Christs apostles on the astronomical clock in Praque click cryptic with dials and mechanisms into a world so sublime where a skeleton , the figure of death , waits slowly , so slowly , to strike the hour . Is my friend La Vagabonde near ? ” Night and Day ” could be the title of a poem by Chris Nelson ¬†or William Blake , or a sign over a cafe in Paris , a bookstore on Orcas Island , a collaboration unbolted by Tony and Tati , a song by Ewian or Pink Floyd , or even the name of a tango dance applauded by the spectators in the square of Puerto Vallarta . But it is for me the name of a most curious decor , the velvet decor of my own life , a blue decor of an endless sky held open by a curtain of tassel trims sewn with threads silken of nostalgia under which peacocks nest where I am touched in a womb like the heavens touch a single star . It is a spinning , puzzling , absurd decor , mysterious where all makes sense .

The hour of motherhood , only one soft sweet peculiar moment , a moment in the snap of a camera , images ( every time I can , I stare at them ) covered in glass , delicate and shimmering , spilling their hearts into my mouth , my breath joining the budding branch where a dove is cooing , where linens sing flapping on the clothesline sending off-beat melodies towards the yurts on Mount Bohemia , connecting with the hum of the electric station not far from that rusty windmill laying broken on its side still able to plink like a xylophone and even further on ¬†the beat is giving rise to the howl of the tall Egyptian pharaoh dogs with wide apart eyes gleaming on their foreheads from the rays over the pyramids epicenter . It is a loud ornate place where ” all boundaries are conventions waiting to be transcended “, a world that rhymes with me , rhyming into almost insanity. This is the way it is . Why are birthdays so important when every single second is one ? When day breaks and night departs , I know I’ve been here a long , long , long time . . .

photography by Denise Thomasin

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You Don’t See Me

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the witness point

on eyes of a bark less tree

residing in the gypsy globe

take notice

of her beloveds worn shirt

the buff cream

of Charolais cattle

sedate , too damaged

for this wilderness land

of dangerous freedom .

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she is a runner

like antelope

always alone

with her solar smile

silent , so hungry

biting her lip

take notice

a zephyr lily

looking for the

promised land .

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he is a rare sighting

a god

disquised as a man

spreading nightmare

to her standing there

with no movement

anymore

weary of this

peaceful slavery

where

someone else

holds the surveyors transit .

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does he not see

her climbing out

from the hole in his eye

terrified

there at the

witness point .