Friday, November 15, 2013

Repost: Walking On The Moon



Walking On The Moon



Since you left
I've been walking on the moon,
in the cold solar shadow, angel- and
demon-forsaken, unmused in a sinless place,
a floating cloud of cosmic diatoms weltering 
in undifferentiated asteroidal algae, working the
eyes of night for some buried beauty, some pandemic
of peace to infect me.

The dark side is
a rock rack, stone bed for the syncope when
white hope exhausts all exits with her rapid retreat.
I undrill in the dustbaths, naked in wallows of comet collisions,
bathed in dunes of ruthless radiance, where stars are
sprinkled in spilled saltgrains over eternity, vague and
sharp on the black velvet tablecloth
I once wore for a dress.

The sun side is harsh, but
even I tire of constant dark at times;
I know it's the side you see, fat harlequin
croissant of a sickle honeyed with words defying
gravity, toasted in the gold heat of your almond eyes.
I live on the grilling grid, fancy you making a meal
brioched of dark chocolate void where somehow
I've flavored the filling in dreams.

I walk on and on
light as the dead and sometimes
I find debris; yesterday an artifact
cast from the celestial dig of thee and me,
a vessel that used to glow, pounded to atomic dust, settled
in the flattened shardshape of a heart where I stepped
silent, and stood with the sudden choke
of moon in my throat.



~June 2012

Moon @Utrecht-zuilen


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Challenge: Fireblossom Friday
The inimitable Fireblossom asks us to revisit poems of the past and submit what we think is our best. This is a hard thing for a writer to pick, and I think I may only be picking a personal favorite here, but this particular poem is the one I thought of first, so after agonizing for an hour or two, I'm going with it..



Header image: A Voyage to the Moon, by Gustave Dore, 1868, engraving
Public domain via Wikipaintings.org
Footer Image: Moon @ Utrecht-zuillen, by HSmade, on flick'r
Shared under a Creative Commons License

If you'd like to hear the poem read by the author, click below:



25 comments:

  1. I'll never forget this poem of yours. I wish I had half your ingenuity to write something so amazingly imaginative, which strikes at the heart.

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  2. nice choice...def not an easy task because what is good for us may not be so for others....its funny my fav is a very simple poem from when i first started writing...really i would say this one is very representative of what i think of when i read your poetry...smiles...my fav bit would be the last stanza...the shattered vessel that got you here, being the shattered heart...the moon in the throat....nice choice joy

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  3. It's funny but after reading this I wanted to leave a comment saying how exquisite this poem is - and how I considered it to be one of your very best and then I read your addendum saying you picked it as one of your own 'favourites'.

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  4. It takes an astounding poem to be even considered as your best, but this one is up to that daunting challenge. There are so many stellar lines and images in this, that I won't even begin; I'll just say that this utterly captures the weird distance of the moon (or the speaker's current state) and its cold ruin as opposed to some earlier or at least dreamt-of state of warmth with the person being spoken to. The sun side of the moon is still not earth, not home, just a facsimile of it if one does not look at it too hard. To really take it in could only result in choking on the whole enterprise, as the speaker, in fact (and very poetically) does.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Shay, for the kind words, for getting it, and for the cool challenge.

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  5. A classic from the think tank of fear. Only yesterday I thought it had been a while since I heard you read one and then you drop the 'moon bomb' - a total classic! -

    I undrill in the dustbaths, naked in wallows of comet collisions,
    bathed in dunes of ruthless radiance, where stars are
    sprinkled in spilled saltgrains over eternity, vague and
    sharp on the black velvet tablecloth

    I once wore for a dress.

    The words, the reading, concept, subject - honestly, for me
    it doesn't get better than this in the contemporary
    sphere of the WHOA! or as we say over here -

    WOAH!

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    1. Thanks, Arron--my now-dead PC stopped letting me record on soundcloud--have yet to try this new one, but plan to eventually--thanks so much for your enthusiastic appraisal.

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  6. Hoy crap.....and the reading, really cool to hear you read it. Unbelievable and complex, I feel like I just read a trilogy of novels. You rock..

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  7. you are, perhaps, the only poet i read that it doesn't matter if i understand every word on first reading (then go look them up and come back to read again) ~ the way you write is exquisitely poetic and your reading takes the experience to an unbelievable height! yes, difficult to select a favorite of your poems because they are all perfection in their own way.


    dani

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    1. Thank you, Dani--I'm very humbled by such praise.

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  8. Your Cosmic Debris is Interstellor!!!!

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  9. Wowzers. It builds and builds until the closing stanza, when I felt the choke in my own throat, it is written just that well. "the sudden choke of moon in my throat". Stellar writing!

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  10. your reading sounds as if it is floating in a small vessel, intergalactically-- which sincerely adds to the setting. While the moon is in the spotlight here, I can also read this with the speaker coming from a remembrance of earthly civilization, having ending apocalyptically. I think I enjoy most, besides the really well-honed imagery, the sense that life continues in ruggedly changing physical and mental forms, and the moon provides a steady force to be reckoned with.

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    1. Thanks, Jane--from microcosm to macrocosm, eh? Appreciate your insights.

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  11. I don't know how you could chose. You are so talented and each one I read only reinforces to me how gifted you are. This is certainly an excellent choice. So great to hear you read it...I

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  12. "where stars are
    sprinkled in spilled saltgrains over eternity, vague and
    sharp on the black velvet tablecloth
    I once wore for a dress."

    I love this and the rest...so very cosmic and organic...

    I love the shift in the middle as your poem becomes rich with food-y descriptions...love the "almond eyes."

    " flattened shardshape of a heart" love that word mash and the rest of your poem...is there an effect on your reading...if so it suits this poem perfectly.

    Such an enjoyable visit, thank you, Hedge!

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    1. Not a designed effect--the effect of a very cheap microphone. ;_) Thank you Hannah--so glad you liked it.

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  13. Bravo Joy! I love this poem, the moon in your throat awakens the world within us all~
    I too love your poetry and find every word I read a volume of discovery~

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  14. You scribe the gulf that curls between longing and grief, Joy. ~

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  15. Heart and art endless circle each other, stomp on and choke each other, requite and defile each other. The poem's calibration of what loss means--a walk around the moon--accounts real and imagined as an interplay between persons or selves which is both and neither. The stuff of poetry, or a poetic. The polish and power here is astonishing, which is about what it takes the fill the emptiness left behind. An abyss, yes, but so resonant. The poem replaces its subject. - B

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    1. A rather inadequate substitute, but a comfort, nonetheless. Thanks for reading, B.

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  16. yeah, Hedgewitch, exactly this. you are brilliant.
    to pick on something tiny, so small as to be overlooked but it really stood out for me as evidence of your fine, fine craft: your use of "unmused" in the first stanza. arresting!

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  17. ... 'fat harlequin croissant of a sickle honeyed with words defying gravity, toasted in the gold heat of your almond eyes. I live on the grilling grid, fancy you making a meal brioched of dark chocolate void where somehow I've flavored the filling in dreams.'

    HOW do you, how do you conjure up words like these? String them together into something quite amazing! This is my first reading of 'Walking on the Moon' ... loved hearing your voice.

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'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg