Cuando estoy contigo,
mi único deseo es tocarte, pero
mis manos están atados
por ojos ajenos, de manera que
sueño estar a solas, tu y yo,
hechando el diccionario
a un lado, y juntos creando
con las yemas de nuestros dedos
un lenguaje nuevo y secreto, lleno
de verbos y claras definiciones,
porque cuando estas cerca, mis labios
anhelan leer tus labios, y
mis ojos desean ver,
por fin, lo que tu ves.
When I am with you,
my only desire is to touch you, but
my hands are tied
by all the other eyes. Therefore,
I dream of being alone, you and I,
tossing the dictionary aside,
our fingertips creating
a new, secret language, full
of verbs, and keen definitions,
because when you are near, my lips
long to read yours, and
my eyes yearn to finally
see what you see.
For those of you who are interested in the writing process behind my poems, I originally wrote this last July. It is the seed for the idea of what ended up being Lingua Franca.
I have been going through my drafts, looking for poems that I can finish, or ideas that stalled and need a fresh start.
you speak boy
I speak girl
yet for us, no sound
is sufficient, our mouths
explore each other’s territories,
our hands translate,
enlightening the natives
establishing new diplomatic protocols
you speak mountain
I speak sea
yet, an entire glossary
we have created, our eyes
smoke-signaling, our fingertips
interpreting, rewriting words
with a tactile alphabet
probing new depths of meaning
your tongue traced a path
from my highest peak,
winding down my slopes
to a fruitful valley, below
and taught me your word
for “the thrill of a skier
racing down a mountain”
my hips rose up
to meet your ship
then set you loose
to ride upon my ocean
and taught you my word
for “invincible sailboat
plowing through waves”
your breath left vocabulary lists
on the back of my neck
my palms splayed flashcards
on the small of your back
eagerly we devise this common language
so I can speak you, and you can speak me.
Lingua franca is a language that is adopted as a common language between speakers whose native languages are different. I have been intrigued with this concept, and began scribbling lines to this poem a few months ago, whenever images and ideas would pop into my head. I love the idea of two people having a language that they create, yet don’t speak in words. To be able to communicate soundlessly through sight and touch requires a deep intimacy and a desire to learn, understand, and be open and vulnerable.
I recorded a reading of a slightly altered version of this poem. If you listen to the reading, please let me know which version has a greater impact, the written version or the the spoken version.
Back, when we were grownups,
on any given day …
A twist of lemon-
a secret kept-
a multitude of sins.
The husband’s secret:
Neither here, nor there.
A rare breed of love, with
happiness sold separately.
A found poem from among the titles of books in our library’s book sale section.
It was a book, but
not a book. Words really,
a life actually, ready
to be devoured. I hoped
for epiphanies, maybe
a spark of recognition
yet, nothing was said
unless you wanted
to hear. You didn’t,
I surmised, and so there
it was, lost in translation.
Written for Dverse Poets Pub on this Tuesday in January. The theme is secrets. I could write a book about that. Sometimes, its better just to be direct.
Two friends set sail for adventure on the sea,
no chart and no compass, they let the wind lead.
The weather was balmy, the companionship keen,
on thrills and passion both their spirits did feed.
The friends took turns at the wheel, in the spray,
and they could still see land, they would not go astray.
Each moment exhilarating, they rode atop the waves,
’til the sun stopped shining on the deep, pleasant bay.
When the horizon looked looming, with no apparent end,
one sailor turned, and declared to his friend,
“Let’s sail back to land, our adventure must end,”
and the other was content, for the time they did spend.
So, they navigated back with no chart, a light breeze,
and felt their sea legs when they reached Reality.
The friends both agreed that it was a fun fantasy,
and they would not forget how it felt to be free.
I marveled this morning, when I awoke from that dream,
for you were that sailor, and the other was me.
No one can hold the slippery fish of time, until it starts to gasp.
And then, don’t behold it for too long, or it will expire in your hands.
When the first morning bird sings her triumphant tune, all worms better hide.
I’ve shed romantic notions on purpose, but still believe in romance.
Wait for dawn, to let the sunrise of love chase the cold out of our bones.
Anything can happen: perform due diligence, be ready for amazing.
American Sentences is a form of haiku created by Allen Ginsburg. Each sentence has 17 syllables like a haiku. You can really write about anything, not just nature. I think they are more interesting than traditional haikus because they can be about everyday life and the here and now. As I have mentioned many times, I like challenging myself in lots of ways, especially with form. I find that it helps me focus my thoughts and economize with words. I found this website about American Sentences by Paul Nelson which inspired me to practice American Sentences more often. According to Nelson, “I find it an amazing way to sharpen my perception and learn how to eliminate unnecessary syllables. It aids in a sort of pre-editing that supports my spontaneous writing practice.”
All of these sentences are sort of random, except for sentence #2, which was written to follow #1, however I am still rearranging them to see if a different order might have a better impact.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,200 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 53 trips to carry that many people.
Click here to see the complete report.
This Christmas I would like
a thorough investigation of
your retirement fund
I have always suspected
that you’ve been operating
under false pretenses, so
a little transparency
would be nice, this year.
P.S. Red is not your color.
Lumps of coal all around.