memorial for a brilliant woman

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Someone was searching Mutyalamaduvu

so google sent them to my poem (written last year for an AmarantH Dance Company performance at art6

Body in motion

from the top of her heads to the calloused soles of her feet,
the dancer’s heart pumps blood to all the places it needs to be
in constant movement beneath the skin: sartorius, ilium,
ischium, transverse abdominis, latissimus dorsi, trapezius,
her blood like water seeping up only to seek its own level
before a spectacular fall: Niagra, Tagbaladougou, Gocta,
Mutyalamaduvu, Papalaua, Hagoromo-no-taki, names
that tumble off the tongue like spun sugar confections
slung carelessly down jagged cliffs, over verdant valleys,
under burned bridges, water that goes deep to rise, rise,
rise again in unexpected places as springs, springs,
springs that bubble and pop to mystical healing shrines:
Calimanesti, Lourdes, Daius Church, and Bethsaida, where
just one toe, one fingertip dipped in the troubled waters
will bring blessed relief from an eternity of pain- but
you must be the first, first, first or be left to crawl back
to your cot to wrap up in sorrow to wait, wait, wait-
another year, another holy day, until a stranger says
you can do it if you want to, you can do it on your own,
find a healing, it’s already within you to take the gift,
float joyfully away on a sea of salty tears, buoyant,
expansive as furled sails in tropical harbors, blinding white
against the nacreous panoply of colors: vermillion,
pomegranate, viridian, malachite, gamboge, amaranth,
an impressive array somewhere between red and rose
love stands simple capturing the breath, heart beat, memory
of a fragrant flower: ansinthium, verbena, moonflower, lilac,
gardenia, or jasmine, strong and fragrant as musk, to stand
against the world and its gravitas, one body of many parts,
single-minded, from foot to hand to mouth to heart, the beat,
beat, beat pumping blood to all the places it needs to go,
like water rises then falls and seeks its own level,
again, again, again, again, again, again.

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