poemimage

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

Category: Poetry

Transfiguration

A poetry video from eight years ago I made with a professional camera operator and video/audio editor, location sound mixer, a drummer, public domain silent film (masters!) footage, Spanish & French translation, urban footage…  

I am Goya by Andrei Andreyevich Vosnesensky

I am Goya
of the bare field, by the enemy’s beak gouged
till the craters of my eyes gape
I am grief

I am the tongue
of war, the embers of cities
on the snows of the year 1941
I am hunger

I am the gullet
of a woman hanged whose body like a bell
tolled over a blank square
I am Goya

O grapes of wrath!
I have hurled westward
the ashes of the uninvited guest!
and hammered stars into the unforgetting sky – like nails

I am Goya

Translated by Stanley Kunitz in Antiworlds

Vosnesensky recites I am Goya in Russian accompanied by an image of Goya:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcGwdfsTDas&feature=emb_rel_end

I received a book on the Spanish artist Goya – the biography by Robert Hughes – for Christmas. It’s in the queue. I’m finishing a book on Picasso set in Paris in the early 1900s. He’s working on Les Demoiselles d’Avignon and in competition with Matisse. The author, Miles J. Unger, puts a  fair amount of detail into Picasso’s Spanish youth and trips home.

During the first lockdown I watched many (contemporary) Russian TV (episodic) programs about WW2. Some incorporated archival footage. Vosnesensky, born in Moscow, was 8 or 9 during the Nazi invasion, encirclement, and Battle of Moscow.

 

 

 

It Predicted Everything

Prologue by Luciano Iacobelli

To create angels

Is to slice pie and name wedges:

difficult angles of light preserved in heart’s jelly

teenaged crushes trapped diagonally

undirected love felt in the presence of music

infatuation without object

movement in the skull

turtles waking in the mind’s mud

grape cluster the past becomes if artfully remembered

not images

but the script under them

negative space written in spelling errors

negligence that amends the soul

a family of perspectives driving a cumulative death

into the oncoming traffic

whole note in a black triangle on a blue background

disappearances denting the air

weather not noticed by the self absorbed

ignited visions

kissed ashes

barrel in the cellar

parallel fermentation of grape juice and darkness

the strong red taste of every humanizing event

stolen hour at the church dance

when a hard father’s daughter meets the one

who steals her from home

mines and quarries dug with the eyes

dream’s mailman

slipping letters through the slot

the white surrounding this

word

Luciano Iacobelli is a Toronto poet, publisher and editor. From 2007 to 2019 he was involved with Quattro books as both publisher and editor. He still runs a micropress entitled Lyricalmyrical press, specializing in hand made poetry chapbooks. As an author, he has published 6 full length books of poetry, his most recent book DOLOR MIDNIGHT was published in 2018 and deals with the subject of gambling. His next book, NOCTOGRAMS is due to be published in the fall of 2020 and deals with the subject of night and transformation.

Prologue begins THE ANGEL NOTEBOOK (Seraphim Editions, 2007)

Wind

 

 

When the Situation Hits Reverse

When the situation hits reverse
When you sleep and the situation speaks in tongues
When you don’t have a seatbelt and you don’t have a car

Going backwards off a cliff is not such a bad plan.
You might start dancing and you might change hats
You might introduce yourself as somebody new


But you don’t have a car and you don’t want to steal
So you rise from the dead just to try it out.
And you’re not such a dunce – as you feel your way –
And you spin even more – and feel even more new.

I wrote this in a couple of minutes to the tune of Fates Right Hand by Rodney Crowell – sort of a country rap song from years ago. I always like personal transformation stories. Not that Fate’s Right Hand is a personal transformation story. But I guess the juxtaposition of these images signifies such a possibility.

 

My Mother Did Not Speak to Me of Such Things

When I was young and my mother even younger in the history of the world I stood one day looking at the rain outside the window and on the window.

And my mother did not speak to me of rain upon the sculptures at the Hoysaleshvara temple in Halebedu, Karnataka, SW India, carved in the 1200s of the common era. No. She said farmers need the rain.

And my mother did not speak to me of astronauts or ancient astronauts or vimanas sailing through rain and cloud. No. She said farmers need the rain.

And I believed her. I had no reason to not believe my mother speaking of rain.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vimana

JFK at Woodstock

Just before Jimi Hendrix played the Star Spangled Banner
A wave went through the crowd.
He’s here.

Sleeping girls with feet caked in mud stirred.
Boys asleep with long wet hair awoke.
He’s here.

Potheads spinning up looked down.
Potheads coming down looked up.
He’s here.

Country Joe and Buffalo Springfield and Melanie
saw something moving like a river & coming into view.
He’s here.

He spoke without using a mic.
Ask not what your country can remember for you.
Ask what you can remember for your country.
The crowd applauded and gave him a standing ovation.

‘Inauguration Day man,’ the guy next to me said.
I looked at him closely.

The pottery in the next to last image is of Cucuteni-Trypillian neolithic heritage. I thought it played off the idea of ‘pothead’ as well as being a vessel the motorcade passed through. The images superimposed over JFK in the third image are the Sri Yantra diagram and a detail from the Book of Kells representing JFK’s ancestry. JFK loved poetry and read for pleasure so these are perhaps fitting images of tactile and spiritual deep time.

I do not claim copyright on original images. I have created new, non-commercial artworks for the purpose of parody or commentary.

 

HABITS by Majlinda Bashllari

Around here we measure everything

words, costs, speeds–

so nobody gets hurt

be sorry et cetera.

Define and predict: the span of germs,

the time of dinosaurs,

the era of humans.

Expiry dates on foods

favour short-lived romances

over the lifetime ones.

We’re being practical.

We measure tumours.

Sizes disturb us

same as their unyieldingness.

We keep notes. Calculate and file.

Out of stubbornness

we look for equals.


The whereabouts of clouds

we know precisely. Not so sure

about our thoughts,


we get near them,

they dodge

and wave –


young hands inside a steep creek.

Realm of flesh fingers that measure

the cruelty of flow.

Born in Albania, Majlinda Bashllari is the author of two poetry collections, Një udhë për në shtëpi (A road to home), published in Tirana, Albania (Morava, 2007) & Love is a very long word, published by Guernica Editions in 2016. Bashllari’s work has appeared in numerous Albanian art and literature magazines and in Albanian anthologies of essays and short stories. She lives in Toronto.

Later he pretended the moon was a mystical source of enchantment

He fell in love with a visionary


who cared for a tree.

Her visions became commonplace,
although beautiful,
as she cared for the tree.

The knight sometimes

aimed
his telescope

at a leaf dangling in the wind,
or a branch bent low, or bark,
or beds of moss
on the edges,
warming.


Invincible
sunlight
streaming.