there is no
for an eclipse
although there are blessings
for a large crowd
putting on new clothes
the passage of time
Above us, the disk of the moon covers the sun. You can look right at it without dark glasses for 90 seconds. It burns like an eye in space. Birds fly into the trees. We can see Venus, much higher than usual, and a star or two-—Sirius? We’re at a rest stop in Lusk, Wyoming, having sleep in Nebraska. At the edge of short grass prairie.
Driving back into town, we encounter our first and last eclipse traffic of the trip. It takes a half hour to go a mile. At Agate State Monument there are sunflowers and prairie roses and stinging nettles and fossils from millions of years ago.
A colander and a vegetable steamer from home cast sharply defined shadows of dozens of partial eclipses.
All week I’d been having intense eclipse dreams:
and in the underworld of sleep
you can visit
all the shadows
of your different selves
an ancient white-haired woman
in a room
to look at directly
a dark man
torments some young crows
(in yet another dream)
I’ve been writing a 24 section poem on suminagashied index cards called “Woman, Sleeping” which is about the eclipse, statues and monuments, and more. I’ll post additionally when it is finished.
Do you have an image of the perfect way for your audience to experience your work?
Last year I had a reading of essays from my book Night Writer (my essay and Eddie Tafoya’s) at the Espanola iconic liquor store/bar Saints & Sinners. It could not have been a more perfect place to read/hear this particular work as it was an affectionate and badass homage to Espanola that had pictures of the place Saints & Sinners too. There were snacks and mixed drinks! I tend to have different “perfect” locations in mind for each of my books to be read and listened to — “intimate” events at small spaces. The essays in my book CLOUDS (images and essays) are scheduled to be read high on a hill at a friend’s gallery in Cordova as close to the clouds as possible!
I just have to say that the perfect way for me to experience this book is to be delighted I have a copy I can look at any time. It communicates utter transcendence. Here are some images from the Photo Eye site–
from the earth’s
pink and yellow
of a fossil dream
the ferns of the grotto
maiden hair, brittle, resurrection,
of winter without snow,
the geisha’s sleeve
the good time girl’s beaded fringe
sways and swings
with the gentle air
you came in on
the middle of…
It’s a bit difficult to see how creative process comes together. Isabel and I went to torah study group last week, had lunch, and walked the acequia trail.
If I’d been alone, I wouldn’t have been photographing. I find that no person’s land soth of my house to be mysterious, a bit threatening, even after all these years.
It’s a profoundly in-between place, even with the Railyard development.
I don’t think this neighborhood will ever be anything other than slightly shabby and always charming.
My affection for it has been one of the great sustaining things in my life.
Isabel recently gave me a lesson on her camera. We walked around the ranch–I shot these. It’s hard to photograph New Mexico…so familiar, so documented…
These are not edited, as I don’t know how to do that (yet?). I find the editing process obscure–somehow I feel it must be different than writing. Secretly, I hate to edit.
Can you see the familiar freshly? Make art from things you might be so intimate with they are barely observable?
What is maternal mitochondria? It’s genetic material–probably non-human–that allows cells to metabolize energy. There are 7 types–the 7 mothers from whom we are all descended, after differentiating from our common African ancestress, the original Eve.
My daughter Isabel swabbed the inside of her cheek some years ago and sent the sample to National Geographic. We share the most common form in Europe.
And it makes a great name for our ongoing mother-daughter collaboration in the arts! 2017 is our designated work year. One of our first projects was to figure out geocaching, so we could hypothetically geocache some poetry.
Here we are, starting off befuddled in the Railyard, only to…voila…find a tiny something hidden in a tree:
And this, too…
The project seems more doable after this experiential research.
Since Donald Trump’s election, we’ve also added on a more community based element to our self-education. So far, we’ve been to synagogue, non-violent training, and are headed to a city counselors meeting. More as it develops!