||[Mar. 6th, 2011|07:28 pm]
There was a whiff of spurge laurel in the air this evening, and a few daffodils have bloomed. The roadsides still have a few low hummocks of snow pushed there by the plows a few days ago. The atmosphere is transitional, but spring is playing the flirt. There might be more snow this month, or there might not. |
The first clear evening might reveal flocks of waterfowl migrating north. Tonight, the sky is silent and starless, and the waxing crescent moon set without being unveiled by the clouds. The night has too many secrets. April will have to be especially shameless to make up for this winter.
by Diane di Prima
Even the sunsets here haven't won me over
Haven't convinced me
Simply, this isn't to me familiar land
Pink ears of jackrabbits high among the sagebrush
Don't tell me any different
I suppose we all learn; there is in Herodotus
the tale of Greek soldiers settling near Thebes
each given a woman and land, one woman
so like another, one field...
But they at least moved from glitter to gold:
As we step backwards, even the clay becomes coarser
my thoughts echo big against the high, flat valley
they roll back, bigger than life, to devour my dreams
II—CORN DANCE, TAOS PUEBLO
Red people in blankets wait for returning woodhucks.
(I know it, though they don't say it)
and chipmunks, and possums, and otters, gophers, white people
poison the prairie dogs, if a dog find a dead one & eat it
he dies—what kind of game
Red people in blankets stand on their high flat roofs
outlined against the sky
they chant—they sing and pray and it could be
Morrocco except the houses aren't white
the women sell jewelry, giggling, the little boys
catch fish with their bare hands, in the sacred river
The city I want to visit is made of porcelain
The dead are gathered there, they are at their best:
in his checkered jacket & little hat, his grin
full of cocaine, spinning down the street; Frank drunk
spitting out tales of Roussel, of Mayakovsky
brief anecdotes over bacon and eggs on a roll,
his keenness against the wind; Fred in pointed shoes
drinking an egg cream, his leotard over his shoulder
in a little bag, waving amphetamine hands at the sky
The porcelain city glitters, I feel my friends
hastening to join it & to join me there:
Bob Creeley tearing through Buffalo streets seeking entry
John Wieners holding still, mumbling and waiting
tears under his eyelids; I walk in that brittle city
still sleepy and arrogant and desperately in love...
IV—EVENING, TAOS VALLEY
How did we come here? my bones
keep asking me.
they see themselves lying bleached on the sand floor of the valley
they don't like it
don't like it at all
the moon like a bleached skull
sits behind an abandoned house
the house is melting, it is becoming
part of the field
Which ones are weeds? the garden
teeters on the edge of success
We live in a mud cave, with a stone floor
a rather luxurious cave, with running water.
V—FAREWELL, NEW MEXICO
One thing they never mention in Western movies or those ballads they're always
writing about wide open spaces:
Sagebrush has a smell
And there are hills, distinctly flesh-colored, lying down
in front of the purple ones.
O wondrous wide open spaces!
O dust on the roads!
O Rio Grande Gorge!
Green Taos valley full of thunderstorms and mosquitos
Mountain with two peaks, sacred to Taos indians
Great ceremonial lake, fought over in congress
O Taos indians, with your braids wrapped in leather
may you keep your sacred lake and whatever else
you would like to keep
may you drink with brother buffalo on its edge
when no one at all remembers the US Congress
As for me I have just changed from the D to the A train
in a dark tunnel you Indians wouldn't believe;
a metal tube is shrieking as it carries me to an island
with four million people on it, eating supper.
The newspaper tells me that there is a war in Newark.
My hope is small but constant: black men shall tear down
the thing they cannot name.
They will make room again for the great sea birds
will spring up thicker than even you remember
Where you are, it is two hours earlier
the breeze is cold, the sun is very hot
the horses are standing around, wishing for trees
It is possible I shall see you dance again
on your hills, in your beads, if the gods are very kind
New Mexico Poem