In the beginnin…

Quote

In the beginning there were days set aside for various tasks.
On the day he was to create justice
God got involved in making a dragonfly and lost track of time.

Anne Carson. One of my favourite quotations of all time.

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Editing poetry: the pillow book

she is naked
except for a red ribbon
twirled around her wrist
and ink
in circles
whorls
words

around her ankles
Rilke spirals
she arches into the umlaut
l e n g t h e n s and tenses
like the swan’s anxious letting himself down
the brush relaxes against flesh

Carson crosses her uncovered arms
curved calligraphy
soothing the hard lines
she angles her head
to read
the roses were on fire
her dark hair
tied into droplets
splashing against her shoulders

on the stomach’s soft palette
Cohen and Plath
sear black into colour
force out small breaths
she curls her back
the words writhe, contort
need the PLEASURE in my spine

Borges and Neruda
duel for her hips’
pale meander
complete and radiant,
sealed by fire

a dark warmth like opium
uncoils

filling the gaps between lines
Mandelstam
crosses one cheek
he whines like a shutter
the retina is hungry
and her eyes are the darkness of Voronezh
along her spine
tightly lettered
spaced by her motion
He . looks . thro.  ugh .   the .   exqu.    isite .   binoc.  ulars .of Zei.ss

he is tracing the meaning
of the word circuitous
on her flesh
with one finger
like lazy jazz
saving his own words
sparing her thighs any brushstroke
because some words
are simply ribbons

Editing poetry: A miniature treatise on aching

A long time ago I had a project with C to write an alphabet of treatises. I think this may be the closest that I got to completing one. I was probably reading lots of Anne Carson when I wrote this.

What can be said about aching
That has not been said? (It is a twitch that lasts all day; it leaves you poised at the beginning of a breath, at the crest of a wave.)
Aching is longing for something
That is never close enough unless it is touching you.
No. That is a fallacy.
Unless it is wrapped around you.

Aching means never sleep (eyes). Use no pins (fingers). Lie very still and stare (eyes). Be helpless. Cry. Read. Search for music under floorboards. Cease to Function. Aching is lack of function (eyes).

Aching can see.
It knows, when the achers are wrapped around (in acres of silk, lovers, archers),
That soon, inevitably, they will be unwrapped, ripped apart along the seam, and the ache will begin again.

Aching slows time (beginning to live in increments of the past).
Aching bleeds colour from the world (aching is the absence of all colour, but is not black).
Aching leaves you outside,
In winter,
With no scarf.
With liquid eyes.

via Editing poetry: A miniature treatise on aching.