Tupelo 30/30 Project – Day 20 – La Ville de la Poésie

In honor of the annual International Poetry Festival in Trois-Rivières, Québec

Dans la Ville de la Poésie a Québec,
there is a magical portal that opens up
into a parallel universe of bards.
Its inhabitants breathe, drink, sweat & bleed
poetry every minute of every hour of
every day. The realm of Zénob vibrates
with stanzas. It thrives on bohemian heartbeats.
At the break of dawn, when the portal closes,
for a long few hours of quietude & renewal, I
can imagine those walls reciting, the chairs
falling to their sides in laughter, the bottles
of wine and whiskey brought to tears, the tables
enthusiastically applauding & asking
for more, eager to hear what is to follow.
Poetry returns night after night after night,
verse after rhyme after words enchantingly
combined, dans la belle Ville de la Poésie.

 

Frank O’Hara Celebrates Dancing at a Gay Bar

In honor of the Orlando victims and all minorities suffering from discrimination around the world…

Locus Solus: The New York School of Poets

In the midst of all the horror and great sadness about the tragedy that occurred in Orlando last night at the gay bar Pulse, I keep thinking of a poem Frank O’Hara wrote in 1955 called “At the Old Place.” This daring piece is one of the earliest and most exuberant poems about a gay bar I can think of:

AT THE OLD PLACE

Joe is restless and so am I, so restless.
Button’s buddy lips frame “L G T TH O P?”
across the bar.  “Yes!” I cry, for dancing’s
my soul delight.  (Feet! feet!) “Come on!”

Through the streets we skip like swallows.
Howard malingers.  (Come on, Howard.) Ashes
malingers.  (Come on, J.A.)  Dick malingers.
(Come on, Dick.)  Alvin darts ahead. (Wait up,
Alvin.)  Jack, Earl and Someone don’t come.

Down the dark stairs drifts the steaming cha-
cha-cha.  Through the urine and smoke we charge
to the floor.  Wrapped in Ashes’ arms I…

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Eastlit April 2016 – Xiamen & other poems

Eastlit-April-2016-Cover-1

With apologies for the delay, I’m delighted to announce the recent publication of five of my poems, four of which are from last August’s Tupelo 30/30 Project, in the beautiful Eastlit – a journal and website focused on creative writing, English literature and art specifically from or connected to East and South East Asia.

I’ve included a couple of samples here, but kindly invite you to go directly to the Eastlit webpage to read the full set of Xiamen & other poems, inspired by my life in this fun and exotic city.

Also, please have a look at the complete Eastlit April edition for some fantastic work from the region. The Eastlit May edition is also now out.

Xiamen

IMG_1611

Musician with the flower

 

 

Nine Ways of Shaping the Moon

From a fellow poet from the 30/30 Project… enjoy!

O at the Edges

file9781336412046(1)Nine Ways of Shaping the Moon

                                         for Lissa

1
Tilt your head and laugh
until the night bends
and I see only you.

2
Weave the wind into a song.
Rub its fabric over your skin.
For whom does it speak?

3
Remove all stars and streetlights.
Remove thought, remove voice.
Remove me. But do not remove yourself.

4
Tear the clouds into threads
and place them in layered circles.
Then breathe slowly into my ear.

5
Drink deeply. Raise your eyes to the brightness
above the cedars. Observe their motion
through the empty glass. Repeat.

6
Talk music to me. Talk conspiracies
and food and dogs and rain. Do this
under the wild night sky.

7
Harvest red pollen from the trees.
Cast it about the room
and look…

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Tupelo 30/30 Project – Day 19 – My hydro fam

A tribute to all the wonderful people I’ve met over the last 10 years who are working on water to change the world.

These years…
they have changed us.
We’ve shared some triumphs.
Then again, a good amount of frustrations.
Heck, many have called us crazy!
Yet, we’ve made it here.
Together, and you know who you are,
we have come so far,
emerging from the shadows
exultant. Older now…
more mature, if just for the better part of a day;
perhaps more forgiving, in peace.
Our relationships,
forged out of a shared dream,
have turned into a decade long
unbreakable bond.

We’ve seen each other, time and again,
come and go,
onwards and upwards in our gipsy paths.
Goodbyes never become any easier;
helloes grow ever sweeter.

I’ve witnessed in awe as you’ve blossomed.
I miss those who’ve moved on to new adventures.
Year after year, we’ve laughed
at our white hair and wrinkles taking over;
and shared pictures of babies
who are now young ladies and gentlemen.
Since we’ve met,
some have brought new lives into this blue planet
we’ve fought so hard to protect.
Within or beyond our water world,
some have found true love,
or deep, uplifting kinship.
Others have found themselves caught up
in a dark web of surprises…
lives broken, cut short or forever changed
at too young an age.

I smile at the thought of seeing you again.
I feel the weight of knowing that,
in some cases, this may not happen…

But on this day, so many of us are here,
together again,
celebrating at last
hard-won milestones in our fluid journeys.
I’d like to think that the stir we’ve caused
the trouble we’ve made
all that clamor
have played, even if a mini part,
in boosting blue hope for better days to come.

LLP

South Korea, April 2015, receiving a WWF award with my fellow fighters

So I thank you,
with the light of one thousand stars,
for stepping into my life…
for carving, ever so subtly,
a VIP spot for you there;
for confiding in me stories and worries,
along with knowledge and wisdom
from your huge, enlightened brains;
such kind, heroic hearts.

Your presence here honors and delights me.
Please stay a tad while longer, at least for a ‘saídeira’*.
Then let’s go for a walk, let’s climb a mountain and
take a pick at what the next ten years
may have in store for us.

May the world’s freshwaters,
and the wealth of life they sustain,
show us the way,
as we go on building the world we want:
ever wet, whole, refreshing and free-flowing,
from the mountains to the sea.

*Brazilian expression for the last toast and drink of the evening, and with which my freshwater friends from all corners of the world are now familiar.