In Praise of Ryokan

ryokan
The moon,
melting liquid
frost onto my window,
slips through my fingers,
as I recall
that legendary jewel thief
who once pulled off
an impossible heist,
which, to this day,
the right kind of fools,
lovers and lunatics,
constellate their larceny
and longing by.
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Gusty Winds May Exist

Gusty Winds May Exist. This was the sign I saw on the highway when driving back from Albuquerque. Gusty Winds May Exist. Which, speculatively insinuates, they may also not exist. A climate conundrum and barometric riddle to challenge everything you thought you knew about wind, particularly wind which falls under the classification of “gusty.” Bigfoot, the Lochness Monster, Santa Claus, gusty winds–all these potentialties straddling the line between reality and illusion, what is and what isn’t, make my brain bust into a happy breakdance. “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio/Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” Marvelous words from M.C. Willy Shakes, who may or may not himself have existed.
Anyways, to hop-skip over to someone who has masterfully exceled at being there/not being there at the same time: Miss Cindy Sherman. I recently fell under the spell of her Untitled Film Stills, my crush on this body of work was instant and deep and moved me to no end. It was a magnetic resonance which demanded my honoring of and partcipation in that “world,” and so I wrote a series of poems, sixty-six in all, corresponding to Miss Sherman’s stills, what I’m tentatively calling Untitled Film Poems. To publish them without the accompanying images would feel diminished, and yet securing the rights to publishing them with the images may prove very difficult. That being said, I’m trying to get the work into Miss Sherman’s hands (though, she, the woman of a thousand faces backlit by a guarded anonymity), which will require a small miracle of its own (but I do believe in miracles, I do, I do!).

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Pressure Cooker

cindy 84
Sometimes
the last straw
was a torn grocery bag
while several cracked eggs
bled yolk onto the floor
and you heard his key
in the front door
and the blackening notion
that any one of the pans
would do the trick
any one
came on strong
and stronger still
when you heard him call out
Honey what’s for dinner?

 

(Photo by Cindy Sherman)
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Room to Spare

cindy 82
At a lighted remove,
she coerces solitude
into a tender rapport
with her barest haunt.

 

(Photo by Cindy Sherman)
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Looking Without

cindy #81
The simplest means
to revelation,
and perhaps revolution,
was to stay away
from mirrors
and the masks
which justified
their glaring reproof.

 

(Photo by Cindy Sherman)
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The Fountain

IMG_2579
Washington Square Park. From Anthony Distefano’s “city scene” series.

 

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New York Noir

Two more from Anthony Distefano’s “street scene” series.

 

IMG_3005IMG_6687

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Light Becomes Her

cindy #62
There was never
going to be
any show,
she knew that.
Yet she fed
on the light
to counteract
an unappeasable hunger,
to star
where the emptiness
reamed darkest.

 

(Photo by Cindy Sherman)
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Sight-Line

Cindy #1
After watching
the bruised legacy of her childhood
pass her by
out of the corner of her eye,
she had developed
an astigmatism
which, in effect,
bred her glaring suspicion
of distance,
and violent need of its diffuse
edges.

 

(Photo by Cindy Sherman)
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The Movie You Didn’t See

cindy #66
Superimposed
onto a world
which left her
mute,
wondering how
and why,
she sought
out a base template
through which her blues
could be projected
from a distance
softly near to sublime.

 

(Photo by Cindy Sherman)

 

 

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