memorial for a brilliant woman

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Another radically rewritten poem: the original March 26, 2000

here's the new:

At the Museum, Molly

reads poems long and thin
as her loblolly legs
rise from the hardwood floor.

With a mouth full of feathers,
she hums Dulce Domum,
the air tastes like fresh pears.

I would embrace her there
while the sun slides into the wall,
touch behind her ear, treasure her

until a draught takes the words
off the pages onto our skin.
Then we can feast on syllables

in front of a new acquisition;
the statue of a faceless woman,
Jaipur marble perfectly carved.

Here's the original:

The lady

reads poems as long and thin
as her loblolly legs
rising up from the hardwood floor

torso catalog casual perched
over peg-leg jeans and black pumps.

Her mouth is full of feathers
teasing phrases outside in to torture
tropes into bound-wrist cliches'

her mask transparent as a tutu

she is naked at Bendel's
a major credit card
bulges her back pocket.

The 'what were you doing?' thing....


I was doing some things I should’nta been but am glad I did. I was happily teaching at a private school with my best friend and life seemed charmed. I was choir director at a big new church and lots of poetry going on and a great jazz combo, the Brautigan Quintet. I had really just started writing seriously again after a long hiatus. I was having a great time-
I was contemplating how much certain aspects of my main teaching (job) sucked and how much I wanted out. I was in a smaller church but with much nicer people. I was publishing a lot and getting more and more into poetry performance. I had a trio called Villanelle. I was drifting emotionally. I was fifty years old.
I was getting more involved at the art gallery, taking over the responsibility for the bar on First Friday exhibits. I was planning my one woman show for March 2005. I had a lot going and was trying to get poems together for a collection. I was busy.
I was sleeping most of the day away after a lovely snowstorm that paralyzed the city and gave me a great rest. I did laundry, made fabulous minestrone with leftover turkey, watched the news as everything gradually shut down. It was wonderful.


Nick said...

Re: "The Lady"

Love the imagery in S1.

Nick said...

Don't ask me what I was doing twenty years ago. I don't remember what I was doing this morning. ;-)