Sunday, March 22, 2009

Marcus walked into my room, whence forth he saw me in bed on the computer and burst out, "What are you doing sitting there in the middle of boxes and piles of clothes! Get up and pack!"

Of course I sheepishly dragged myself out of bed and emptied my bookcase into a crate. I can't just pack and go though... I have to spend time reminiscing. I stumbled upon a reasonably new Pablo Neruda book that I purchased shortly after Christmas- fat, thick, and rich with word, verse, prose. It's truly amazing. I promised myself that I could flip open to any page and find a poem that I loved instantly. Which I did. And though this is one I would generally be a bit timid to post on my blog, I do, in jest, love it.


Carnal apple, woman incarnate, incandescent moon,
seaweed's sodden aroma, the bog's and the mash of the light--
what shadowy rigors open between your columns?
What primitive night is touched by a masculine nerve?

Ah, love is a voyage with water and a star,
in drowning air and squalls of precipitate bran;
love is a war of lights in the lightning flashes,
two bodies blasted in a single burst of honey.

Kiss after kiss, I recover your little infinitude,
rivers and shores, your body's diminutive clan,
the genital spark, made dear and delectable,

that races the delicate pathways of your blood,
breaks up from below in a gout of nocturnal carnations
unmaking and making itself, leaving only a glow in the dark.

Naked, you are simple as a hand,
minimal, supple, earthy, transparent, round.
The lunar markings, the pathways through the apple,
are yours; naked, you are slender as wheat.

The Cuban blue of midnight is your color,
naked, I trace stars and tendrils in your skin;
naked, you stand tawny and tremendous,
a summer's wholeness in cathedral gold.

Naked, you are tiny as your fingernail;
subtle and curved within the daybreak's pink
you thrust yourself into the subterranean world

a tunnel's length through our duress and clothing:
your clarity trims its flame, unfurls, or covers over,
and again you issue, naked as your hand.


You come from the destitute South, from the house
of privation, regions made hard with the earthquake and cold
that gave us hard lessons in living in the chalk and the clay
while the gods whom they worshiped were spinning away to their death.

You are a little mare carved in black clay, a kiss
dusky with pitch, beloved, a clay poppy,
a pigeon of twilight that fluttered its way on the roads
and followed us into a childhood of want, with its tears.

You who always preserved your heart's poverty,
girl with the feet of the needy, accustomed to stones,
whose mouth was not always acquainted with sweetmeat and bread:

You come from the destitute South that once nurtured my soul;
in her heaven, your mother goes on washing clothes
with my mother. Therefore I have singled you out to be my companion.

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