Good Blue Clay

Tanka, by Ono No Oyu

The city of Nara of good blue clay glows like a blooming flower, now at its prime

Source: Ono No Oyu. “Tanka.” From the Country of Eight Islands: An Anthology of Japanese Poetry, edited by Hiroaki Sato and Burton Watson. New York: Columbia University Press, 1987, p. 43.

Photo: Church Street, New Paltz; Nov. 6, 2020; Joe Gerace

“Ono no Oyu (?-737) was a Japanese bureaucrat and a poet. He served under Ōtomo no Tabito during the Dazaifu administration. He rose to the rank of Assistant Governor-General (daini). Three of his tanka poems have been preserved in the Man’yōshū.” Wikipedia

An Urge to Flex Everything

“I seem to be very and/or, / with an urge to flex everything until it loses / what I secretly feel to be its false polarity.”

‘Solidus’ by Ron Padgett

Why am I making myself
do and be things that I don’t really want to?
Because I have an idea of what I should be doing and/or
I don’t have an idea of what I really want to be and/or do.
And/or both. I seem to be very and/or,
with an urge to flex everything until it loses
what I secretly feel to be its false polarity.
E.g., there is a such thing as good and
such a thing as evil, it’s just
that they aren’t opposites.
Am I a good person? Yes, after
a certain point, and no, after another.
Deep down I’m just down there, a kind of gurgling
black Jell-O that doesn’t have any idea
of what’s going on up here. Up here
I have on a baseball cap and have
a vague desire to fix the closet door.

Source: Padgett, Ron. Collected Poems. , 2013. Print, p. 503.

Photo: Main Street, New Paltz; Nov. 6, 2020; Joe Gerace

The Fiction of Time Destroyed

“the fiction of Time destroyed, / free from love, from me.”

‘Anticipation of Love’ by Jorge Luis Borges

Neither the intimacy of your look, your brow fair as a feast day,
nor the favor of your body, still mysterious, reserved, and childlike,
nor what comes to me of your life, settling in words or silence,
will be so mysterious a gift
as the sight of your sleep, enfolded
in the vigil of my arms.
Virgin again, miraculously, by the absolving power of sleep,
quiet and luminous like some happy thing recovered by memory,
you will give me that shore of your life that you yourself do not own.
Cast up into silence
I shall discern that ultimate beach of your being
and see you for the first time, perhaps,
as God must see you—
the fiction of Time destroyed,
free from love, from me.

trans. Robert Fitzgerald

Source: Borges, Jorge L, Willis Barnstone, and Alexander Coleman. Selected Poems. New York, NY: Penguin Books, 1999. Print, p. 39.

Photo: 11 Church St., New Paltz; Nov. 6, 2020; Joe Gerace

Wikipedia Poem, No. 404


“You imagine an alley a little kingdom / where the mother-tongue is spoken / a village of shelters woven / or sewn of hides in a long-ago way” Adrienne Rich from “In The Wake of Home”

after Nancy Bauer, phenomenologist; Amiri Baraka, father; and Nick Montfort, explorer:

of the sea from
baraka’s trespass 
    what little you can hear 
echoes out from the work 

to lift 
human voices to discover a 

    adopts the feeling continually breaking silence 
    the landscape in american history
is merely a discussion on traditional numerology

the hills are a start
    out of thought may experience 
    a germination of genre 

    the work 
        we find researched 
    draws pseudo-scientific inference 

it's a living 
out of feeling 
and lyric flight

o that the mathematicians 
were right of brick 
baraka’s trespass you hear echoes of the manuscript 

it is a start 
out of his waves 
be hideous uses 

the term numerology 
is often a native guard 
words names any belief 

in sonnet form
his writing were a start 
    out of the little you 

    experimentary of thought 
    experimentary mutually affectually 
        in numerology and wine and time sweet as 
            your work

Dream 06012013

I woke, feeling of particularly base moral character, because of this dream I had.

The dream was built upon a typically gauche bacchanal at a filmic hivelike Midwestern frat house, a free Chinese buffet erected on the street outside operated by presumably a crosstown rival frat, the unacceptable total loss of some unreplaceable button down-type evening wear, and the medically airtight revelation by special hand delivered letter that I did in fact have AIDS, contracted during a blasé threesome during the prior night’s hockey party.

I loved that shirt.