THE FEMALE WRITES A POEM

“The hostility to association of fine art with normal processes of living is a pathetic, even a tragic, commentary on life as it is ordinarily lived.”

My favorite gender was a queen

In light makeup, when her sleeves were green

And her youthful mouth crimson red

And the crown came off and she put her head next to my head.

The cameras made sure things were secure around the royal bed.

The queen and I could see two thousand years of history,

But it took a lot of reading to actually know

The significance of Greenland and Marilyn Monroe.

However, to know who was coming that day for tea,

And which rivalry was dangerous, and which jealousy was already dead

Took no education at all.

That day her DNA held me in thrall.

Put on your coat to meet the other coats and face the day.

Your father was president. That means he had a certain role to play.

Before it all happened, certain arrangements had to go a certain way.

Since everyone is born confused, only the simple needs to be explained,

But the simple keeps throwing people off.

They live out simple explanations before the longer ones

Get themselves into their souls,

So they lose sleep, and go to pot, and are continually burdened with a cough.

It’s luck. It’s inheritance.  Baudelaire, and the rest, are fools.

Yes, there will be those simplistic, effortless ones,

Who, better endowed by nature, hate man-made rules,

The womanizers who are stupid but go to the best schools;

But they are weak, they are not Renaissance artists, they can’t compete with you.

They hate the crowd, but are the crowd. That commie, John Dewey, too.

 

 

 

 

11 Comments

  1. Mary Angela Douglas said,

    December 28, 2018 at 7:58 am

    ALL LIFE

    all life hangs on a thread of wonder

    alas, my heart, that many don’t think this anymore

    so many doors they won’t walk through

    eschewing the gardens that wait for them;

    the Emerald City at the end

    I don’t know how they live.

    it shines in everything, invisible worlds

    uncurl like ferns and morning glories

    golden stories that we love and shores and

    what there is to love of vast seas marked unknown

    on unaccountable maps, the elusive thread

    that winds its way through entire lifetimes

    only to begin again

    beginning itself, first snows with no footprints yet

    oh may my heart not learn to forget

    its treasury of sunrise

    I will not countenance any other music

    all my allusive days and ways; standing down in darkness

    far from Praise.

    mary angela douglas 28 december 2018

  2. maryangeladouglas said,

    December 30, 2018 at 9:06 pm

    STILL TO BE DREAMING

    once in summer’s sandals to be shod
    never to live then any other way
    not to nod off, still to be dreaming

    anywhere, nascent incipient singing through Yeats I AM
    the rose of the world by the summer gate blooming
    then all we wanted was our share of dark cherry lollipops

    day to day and Mama’s stories and to play or
    suddenly, to find fluttering to the floor
    from some old fashioned book she once adored

    mapped on brown paper
    the way the Princess took
    from the castle.

    draw the drawbridge in
    the winter is coming
    we heard at the matinees

    the ones we made up, evading all homework
    the winter of centuries delayed
    and the map and the castle crumble away

    dark cherries, cobblers butter rich
    the green gate swings no more
    you’re in the ditch evading storms

    you say whenever you say anything these days.
    in sequined Dissolve! the fading scenes fade
    and the chamomille lawns

    the games of croquet
    the dairy maids singing in the jeweled grass
    when something Irish came to pass

    I know we lived this once
    it’s not too late
    still to be dreaming

    still self taught in a visionary way
    to be caught up in to the very end
    in this, the lace of the day

    mary angela douglas 30 december 2018

  3. maryangeladouglas said,

    January 3, 2019 at 8:48 pm

    EPIPHANY OF THE WHITE APPLES

    for Osip Mandelstam

    I don’t know why white apples in the frost

    seem suddenly to sob;

    reading Mandelstam three in the morning,

    I dreamt of God

    in an in-between time; or try to rhyme

    Him with something else, deeply felt

    but it’s too cold

    where after decades throw the arced lights’ shine

    as if they know

    this Neva is not mine.

    and who am I

    to make my petitions here

    on the other side of the world, the room I fear

    assorted people will not believe

    I do love Russian poetry;

    where the moon is made of glass,

    will it shatter at last? will I

    the milk bright pieces hold

    I ask like a child from a hand towel embroidered

    folk tale not my own

    God knows I’m bound up in the story though

    I won’t turn and become salt…if that’s your worry

    “it’s not your past”, a thin murmuring grows,

    how do you know I plead to no one heeding me

    what words came to me in a midnight hour

    and laid down their shields

    or that the blanched petals fleet so lingeringly by me

    on this heavy darkness, sown

    as an antique honey scarcely bottled.

    I don’t know why

    white apples in the frost…

    make me cry unto the light vexed distances:

    sheared seraphim may guard the long scars

    lightly felt now, the buzz of

    summer flies; soul freedom’s reedy tunes so

    lemon starred, no longer die, deep as

    Christmas hymns to the infant Jesus should be.

    one candle grown lilac in a perpetual Spring

    precariously I perch among worlds and

    So.

    they sigh, it’s you again and

    won’t even let me in

    for the ball dress, being less than Cinderella.

    packing one useless shoe

    I’ll look within

    wandering down Mandelstam Avenue,

    a quarter brimmed with wonders and

    remote viewing as through a screen of ancient snows.

    things, being foreign, suddenly parted

    on a mysterious stage, oh Star, my star

    where I, unaccountably, not knowing where You are

    but in a blinding Grace,

    have all the parts by heart.

    mary angela douglas 10 september 2016/3 january 2019

  4. maryangeladouglas said,

    January 4, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    SOMETIMES IN THE ABSENCE OF LIGHT

    sometimes in the absence of light

    we imagined the sun

    collected through secret prisms

    as if you were the only collector left

    in a film by Tarkovsky.

    there the leaves grow sodden

    through black and white scenes

    yet insistently they whisper, Come,

    the Zone is breaking apart

    as though it were a heart

    while you evade its gates, your natal star;

    and you’ve become they’ll tell you, every one,

    the last known weather vane spinning

    among the dreamers of dreams.

    there Time has split its silver seam

    and runs on

    into the measures

    where the Listeners have come

    into their own.

    into late landscapes occluding the moon

    there your waylaid vision shone

    on the lost coordinates of where you are

    in the Dream Time vouchsafed you.

    there the small comets weep

    into the borrowed mirrors of the fleet,

    are we that handful of stars?

    and you are only a quarter note asleep in the music

    of a beautiful regress

    when with your childhood pail

    you hurry to where They are…

    looking for little diamonds smashed

    there where the Ark of dreams

    has not yet come to rest;

    it one day, will

    mary angela douglas 4 january 2019

  5. maryangeladouglas said,

    January 4, 2019 at 8:37 pm

    Should be 2019. Im not in the new year yet, I guess.

    • thomasbrady said,

      January 4, 2019 at 10:50 pm

      Happy New Year, Mary!

      • maryangeladouglas said,

        January 5, 2019 at 12:15 pm

        Happy New Year, Thomas Graves. Hope your entire year flows over with your poetic sensibility, blotting out all idiocies and giving you musical everlasting joy.

        Wrote this just now, thinking of what painters call (in terms of light) ‘the blue hour’ (speaking of twilight) which I knew from childhood before I ever heard of that phrase and still love the same exact way…also ref. to my sister who played Chopin’s Ballade No. 4 better than anyone I ever heard at age 14 and which always makes me think of that time of day when we are cast in a blue and lovely light as though we were already immortal, beyond Time.

        BLUE GARDENS

        lost in blue gardens
        on the edge of time
        we gathered late hyacinths

        happy in the waning of the light
        with supper time near,
        the house drenched with lamplight foremost:

        a subject for numerous paintings
        over various, the suburban years
        the lemon glow of windows seen

        against the faded blue outside,through screens,
        the yards of lavender, besides;
        turning to that house I want to go

        in my light slippers woven of what seems-
        gathering again the blue flowers, the shading dreams
        the dusk of once upons,

        with all that we knew then of life
        by thimble fulls, faintly,
        of music back then, literature of the piano

        the pine tossed winds
        with the picture window we thought would always
        be ours:

        close, onto the vaster, water coloured blue
        beyond the swing set in evening dews
        where the moon was an opal fete

        that we cannot forget: through clouds
        the feeling in music then, unexplainable
        mounting sapphire winged, unattainable

        as Chopin’s fourth ballade
        melting into the blueness
        of everything

        I dreamed we could get there by dawn
        brushing aside the implausible,
        just crossing a lawn

        toward the gardenias.

        mary angela douglas 4 january 2018

  6. maryangeladouglas said,

    January 5, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    Time slip again: date and year this time. I always get stuck in this time tunnel every new year. Pardon my retro.

  7. maryangeladouglas said,

    January 7, 2019 at 5:18 am

    INTO THE BLUE

    into the blue their thoughts have gone
    clouded, into the marble of Time
    I cannot find them;

    can you?
    all their fountaining words
    the perfume of their language

    how could we bury their Spring
    o child my child they sing so far away
    like a harp’s glissando, gold flakes

    off of the sun.
    I know their phrases were lilies or

    wreathed of forgotten flowers
    float on forgotten waters! I cried
    to the Unseen

    in an unknown tongue.
    perhaps their work was done
    leaving no clues, used up

    leaving the empty cup but

    why has the way they looked at things
    melted beyond
    beyond angelic recall.

    ghosts of the lecture hall.

    we must look so small through their vast telescope now
    that crystalline point of view
    when all the stars were new that now are faint.

    or feigned.

    does anyone know
    what to do
    gazing into the blue.

    do you?

    mary angela douglas 7 january 2019

  8. maryangeladouglas said,

    January 7, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    Different version…

    INTO THE BLUE

    into the blue their thoughts have gone
    clouded, into the marble of Time
    I cannot find them;

    can you- all their fountaining words-
    the perfume of their language, turning
    then they asked sadly, did they, how

    could we bury their Spring?
    o child my child they sing, it’s so far away;
    like a harp’s glissando; gold flakes

    off of the sun into the heart unwon,
    I know their phrases lilies were;

    wreathed of forgotten flowers;
    float on forgotten waters! I cried
    to the Unseen

    in an unknown tongue.
    perhaps their work was done
    leaving no clues, used up

    leaving the empty cup its filigree
    more, than it means to me lost questions
    when oh why did the way they looked at things

    melt like a dream
    beyond angelic recall.

    ghosts of the lecture hall.

    we must look so small through their vast telescope now
    that crystalline point of view
    when all the stars were new that now are faint.

    or feigned.

    does anyone know
    what to do
    gazing into the blue after them?

    mary angela douglas 7 january 2019

  9. maryangeladouglas said,

    January 10, 2019 at 12:38 am

    STRANDED

    so that evasive beauty would not leave us behind
    counting the game piece coins they gave to us for lousy compensation
    so that each would become a separate nation, country

    in the soul’s inner choirs, free
    we have spent everything to the last penny
    remembering these:

    those who as Dickinson said died either for beauty or truth
    it being one sum, or lit the lamp for the others to come later
    leading the knight to falter on his way, to stumble but then to see:

    those who died of grief without beholding the Grail
    who could not prevail where he steps now, with ease
    or those who pondered the moon, having no ladders then,

    only yearning, leave.
    it comes down to this in a world of commerce. sin
    that goes on and on tearing us from home

    leaving us stranded

    either you stop and listen for the song of ages
    or you live abandoned and beauty flees
    and what was given you fades, and then the flame goes out

    not knowing its own name
    still less, the lanes of God.

    mary angela douglas 9 january 2019


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