poetryrepairs #235 v17.03:035

RALPH MONDAY : 'Bergman's Island' & Other Poems
The Painted Self
Rilke’s Room
Two Girls

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The Painted Self

Have you ever stared at a painting, unconsciously realizing that to walk through art is to see a self-reflection of particular times? Looking for some way to know self without knowing? Or maybe it is a desire to live another life in another time. Begin at the end with Van Gogh’s Wheatfield with Crows. That one is a rubber lined room for any loss, the dog that no one loved, the final fitful snores of a grandfather, the chatter of machine gun fire near the end in Berlin, the rejected whore’s love. Maybe a Picasso, Girl Before a Mirror, perhaps fragmented reflections reflecting the fragments to come. Too harsh? Choose something light and breezy like an impressionist landscape that makes you want to wear a white dress and run barelegged through a field of flowers. Or a longing for home, Norman Rockwell and golden browned turkeys, a smiling mother, a pipe smoking sweatered father, children who never grow old, doors never locked. But enough of this, some greater distraction is needed—a romp through a German cabaret, dark and smoky, steins of Austrian beer, willing women before the guns began. And you, pinned to the pages of a book waiting for something to put hooks in and tell you that it’s all ok.

poetryrepairs #235 v17.03:035





Rilke’s Room

She said that Rilke wrote of a moment when recognition blooms that individual death lies waiting somewhere within the body. Is it scripted, directed, by some unknown force living beyond the stars? But you must understand, she said, that is only one kind of death. There are many others whose cruelty afflicts the living. A man and a woman as above so below, skies mirroring mood whether sleeping or awake, classical elements that philosophers said could change us, make of through time four winds at the four corners of the earth living the death that we would become living again whether tree and rock become the mother and father’s voice, or our own, a wish of the earth that makes us sharpen knives in moments of insomnia, to watch swarms of new wasps as reminders of bruised waves unbalanced. This is why the woman wears attractive dress, red lipstick smeared across a bloody past, the man to think only of swords and an unknown rapture, to stare at strangers just beyond periphery’s vision lost in songs of their youth, and know that the grave-grass, the gray ghosts of burnt out desire is what moves our moods as moon phases crescent and full emit no light but reflect light released by another, and in those moments of attempting to walk a bridge between worlds of reconciliation realize it is better to live with warm beasts in their circled dance, soft eyes mirroring bloodied forgiveness that does not last.

poetryrepairs #235 v17.03:035





Two Girls

The girl lounged beside me is not you, no Lucy to my Charlie Brown. Not even the surrogate I have stitched together for decades like stretch marks elongated over an eternal pregnancy. You may as well be dead but still wound round like an engine’s copper coil. I cannot jolt you out of the carpet, your name still tangled in every thread. Somewhere atoms seep still from your molecules, the way that electricity streamed from you like cream, and those wavelengths, purple truths, illuminates a language that I cannot speak. Somewhere, worn down by earth’s fingers, sky’s ardor, you must still intuit a strange version of the person you thought you knew, the way that I look for a shop still selling records, or a lost child yearns for a way home. You do not know the way I am now, nor I you. If I could speak to you I would ask, what is your night? Do you know the deep dusk there where you kneel on smooth stones expecting absolution? I expect that you might say, in those strange god-tongues—I have been this way before, will be again, for it is rain-heavy bushes, the moon like a broken light bulb that is fractured, that cannot bite off a star. And you, you must know that this is a false- borne day, a dishonest December moment that can only beguile.




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RALPH MONDAY : 'Bergman's Island' & Other Poems
The Painted Self
Rilke’s Room
Two Girls


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