poemimage

Where text meets image. Where the visual intersects the literary.

Month: February, 2015

A Golden Compass by Hafiz

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Forget every idea of right and wrong
any classroom ever taught you

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Because
an empty heart, a tormented mind,
Unkindness, jealousy and fear are always the testimony
you have been completely fooled!

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Turn your back on those
who would imprison your wondrous spirit
with deceit and lies.

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Come, join the honest company
of the King’s beggars –
those gamblers, scoundrels and divine clowns
and those astonishing fair courtesans
who need Divine Love every night.

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Come, join the courageous
who have no choice
but to bet their entire world
that indeed,
indeed, God is Real.

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I will lead you into the circle
of the Beloved’s cunning thieves,
those playful royal rogues–
the ones you can trust for true guidance–
who can aid you
In this blessed calamity of life.

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Translated by Daniel Ladinsky

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Elevator

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I read a quote by art critic Robert Hughes comparing painters: There is more death in a Gustave Courbet portrait of a trout than Rubens could get in a whole Crucifixion…

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Then I heard a song by an artist we saw in concert. Who spun magic, jewelled webs we fell into after chasing each other through twilight circumstance. Twilight and traffic.

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 The labyrinth ruled by Janus one level below.

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The shadows jousting on the street didn’t remind me of your fingertips, or your January dancing, or your honeyed cake.

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I didn’t make that joke in the elevator.

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Carried, like some tragic Pieta, into the stream. The playing of a wooden flute sounding in the reeds. My hands flat against your skin. The temperature slipping.

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Forbidden music within your temple as quiet and still as polished stones. Awash in the fragrance of whispered moments. As shiny as a silver bracelet, a tunnel, a hook.

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I’m not even sure I heard anything.

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Did such music ever exist.

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I’ve never wondered how my fine shoes, sewn of ancient parchment & soft as a silk purse, got so wet.

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Nor have I contemplated Gustave Courbet’s

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Trout.

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Or the absence of all that is not

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Trout.

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While gazing into the eye of the fish,

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A future sun.

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Credits for original images: The Trout by Gustave Courbet, 1873. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, 1958, based on the play by Tennessee Williams starring Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor. Skyscraper and Tunnels by Italian Futurist painter Fortunato Depero, 1930. Pieta by Michelangelo.

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I do not own the original images or claim copyright. I have created new images for non-commercial purposes of commentary under Fair Use provisions of copyright law.

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I Thought the Name of the Movie was ‘American Piper.’

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I thought the name of the movie was ‘American Piper.’

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Standing beside me in line was Enheduanna, Daughter of King Sargon:

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A Princess, Poet, and Priestess from 4400 years ago.

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With a serpent coiled around her arm and holding a clay tablet

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Inscribed & encoded with cuneiform script.

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As tall as me and bathed in moonlight.

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I said ‘What are you doing here?’

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She said, ‘I’m not here for the entertainment.’

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We were suddenly engulfed in a sandstorm.

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Vast, rolling hill-clouds of sand, engorged with heat, arose enclosing muffled sounds.

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A harsh wind blew into my eyes.

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I tried to grip her hand as she vanished and knew instinctively this was a mistake.

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My finger grazed her palm and the cut I received refuses to heal.

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I wake to find it encompassed within rings of moonlight. I wish I could say it was only a haze.

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I never did see the movie and from what I hear the screen was half-buried.

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Like a drive-in theatre in a snowstorm that stops all life from moving.

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Snow falling as white as moonlight.

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Melting and rushing water in the spring overflowing the oceans.

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Banishment from Ur

You asked me to enter the holy cloister,
The giparu,
and I went inside, I the high priestess
Enheduanna!
I carried the ritual basket and sang
Your praise.
Now I am banished among the lepers.
Even I cannot live with you.
Shadows approach the light of day, the light
Is darkened around me,
Shadows approach the daylight,
Covering the day with sandstorm.
My soft mouth of honey is suddenly confused.
My beautiful face is dust.

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Information and images concerning Enheduanna: http://www.transoxiana.org/0108/roberts-enheduanna.html

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Pied Piper (Public Domain) image source: Ginn and Company The Common School Catalogue (Boston, MA: Ginn & Company Publishers, 1906)

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Russian Orthodox Icon painted on wood: Artist unattributed (found on internet). The idea of using this image was inspired by the long history of Eastern Rites Churches in lands comprising modern day Iraq. A protective mother with her sacred child.

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 I do not claim ownership or copyright of the original images used as source material to digitally create new works of my own design for non-commercial purposes of commentary under Fair Use provisions of the copyright law.

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Like the satire in ancient, Irish poetry this ‘whimsy’ I have concocted may express a darker indictment.

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& Walk

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Walk into this land of echoes, rising, from long disappeared passages &

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Pounding with the resonance of a single, surging heartbeat.

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& Step lightly into, like a fox beneath the moon,

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Or the hunting bird, balanced, upon a branch pulsing,

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& Heavy clouds damping electrical skies.

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& Shaking berries into a bowl,

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Sharing handfuls bed to bed,

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 A nurse tending to the wound.

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The rhythm of & clapping hands,

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Two Palms, pressing deeply & into a lover.

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& Feet upon a curving world, arcing night into day,

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Timelessly vanished into a pulsing desire & always

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Echoes dress the wound.

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A heartbeat washing the sky &

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A vanishing moon, poured into bowls & delivered bed to bed.

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& Walk pulsing,

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& Walk always,

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& Walk into.

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Source material for digital collage:

Etching No 2. Soft ground etching by German landscape painter and etcher Franz Joseph Manskirsch (1768-1830).

Ancient Egyptian tomb art. Unknown artist. est. 2000 B.C.

Michelangelo, Sistine Chapel, 1508-1512

Mesopotamian Incantation Bowl, 8th Century, photo Christies.

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I do not claim copyright ownership of original images. I have created new images for non-commercial purposes of commentary or parody under fair use provisions of the copyright law.

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