Monday, September 05, 2011
small epiphanies you take me into your secrets
I'll take you into mine, rigid white sprouts of rich
decay....Inside fuchsia, the world streams, monkeys
across the stone faces of god.”
****Hugh as Connie Fox from Blood Cocoon
There we are cheeks pressed against
each other --- your round baby face
and blue eyes crowned by a cap and
me blowing a pink kiss with fake fur
thrown over shoulders. November
and you read at the Somerville News
Writer's Festival about your grandson.
You and I have been affectionate pals
ever since you called me a vampira
from reading my first chapbook
I think back on all of your work I
have devoured and reviewed with such
pleasure, always amazed at your cosmic
wonderment and lush and clashing
details of earthling
activites. You were enamored of feminine beauty
and dared to become a woman
yourself with lacy tights and lovers. You even
gave her a poetic voice.
We traded music and reviewed each others'
styles....your cat-like playing on the piano,
lifting from each composer the swatches
of genius you wanted to invoke, and then
you writing up my “Spell on You” and
naming me a new Marlene Dietrich for the
velvely smoothness you generously heard
in my voice.
You investigated traces of the ancient
gods, a unique authority on pre-Columbian
American cultures and the green unity
of all things.
Ganesha, Moloch, the Buddha, Yama –
your fascination with the gods sparked
thunder in your verse. You were never
afraid to reach up and outward to over-
turned stars. In “Way way
off the road” your most authentic travelogue
memoir you recounted the “Hippy, Post-
Beat, Flower-Children, Invisible Generation,”
of which you were a member.
In “Defiance” – the book with the howling
fox on the cover you wrote:
“I was more beautiful than Beauty herself,
but more beast than the beasts in the forest,
far from my friends, the poetry that a bird
that never comes to sing in my brain, seventy-four
years of Bach, Holst, The Little Girl
with Honey Hair, now clouds, everything clouds,
and when there aren't any more, the hand of Nothing
touches my shoulder,
“It's time to
become a cloud.”
You are a cloud In Michigan and a star
in Paris and a mountain in the Andes
and a red flower in Brazil.
I remember you with the pigeons around
us at Au Bon Pan in Harvard Square –
you always scribbling poetry and
conversing with strangers to make
them friends. I am grateful the
suffering is over and know that you
dreamed into your death like an oracle.
You are forever in our hearts.