"...to enclose the present moment; to make it stay; to fill it fuller and fuller, with the past, the present and the future, until it shone, whole, bright, deep with understanding."

Virgina Woolf, The Years


Falling madly (and therefore obsessively) in love with Edna

St. Vincent Millay... isn't she the most perfect Orlando in this picture? 

and so renascently romantic in this one...she would touch a hundred flowers 
and not pick one, 
and watch the wind bow down the grass
and the grass rise
with quiet eyes

and here perhaps thinking: we talk of taxes, and I call you friend; 
well, such you are, but well enough we know
how thick about us root, how rankly grow
those subtle weeds no man has need to tend,
that flourish through neglect, and soon must send
perfume so sweet upon us and overthrow
our steady senses

then perhaps in her mind beginning to seek Her, her other sister, 
her other soul: Grave Silence, lovelier 
than the three loveliest maidens,
whom evermore she follows wistfully, 
wandering Heaven and Earth
and Hell and the four seasons through.

and finally... before ever sweeping floors
or making dishes done,
she shall always be found
a-sunning in the sun!

Interested? Her bio and a few poems here, and a good collection of her work in digital format here.

Variación primera: "Afternoon on a Hill",  de Renascence
Variación segunda: Sonnet I, en Second April
Variación tercera: "Ode to Silence", also in Second April
Variación cuarta: "Portrait by a Neighbor", from A Few Figs from Thistles


Jewels and flowers

You were afraid of the god
sitting there among his jewels
and flowers and precious fabrics
all brightly colored
looking you straight in the eye
from the fake sky
of painted clouds

The god of fortune.
You were afraid of the god of good fortune.

But you also sang songs

(and claimed your right to freeedom
asking if I'd join you)


Somewhere between what the eye sees and what the mind thinks is the world

When I read about the garden
designed to bloom only white flowers,
I think about the Spanish friar who saw one
of my grandmothers, two hundred years
removed, and fucked her. If you look
at the word colony far enough, you see it
traveling back to the Latin
of  inhabittill, and cultivate. Words

that would have meant something
to the friar, walking among the village girls
as though in a field of flowers, knowing
that fucking was one way of   having
a foreign policy. As I write this, there’s snow
falling, which means that every
angry thought is as short-lived as a match.
The night is its own white garden:

snow on the fence, snow on the tree
stump, snow on the azalea bushes,
their leaves hanging down like green
bats from the branches. I know it’s not fair
to see qualities of injustice in the aesthetics
of a garden, but somewhere between
what the eye sees and what the mind thinks
is the world, landscapes mangled

into sentences, one color read into rage.
When the neighbors complained
the roots of our cypress were buckling
their lot, my landlord cut the tree down.
I didn’t know a living thing three stories high
could be so silent, until it was gone.
Suddenly that sky. Suddenly all the light
in the windows, as though every sheet

of glass was having a migraine.
When I think about that grandmother
whose name I don’t even know, I think of
what it would mean to make a garden
that blooms black: peonies and gladiolas
of deepest purple, tulips like ravens.
Or a garden that doesn’t bloom at all: rocks
poised on clean gravel. When the snow stops,

I walk to see the quiet that has colonized
everything. The main street is asleep, except
for the bus that goes by, bright as a cruise ship.
There are sheet cakes of  snow on top
of cars. In front of   houses, each lawn
is as clean as paper, except where the first cat
or raccoon has walked across, each track
like a barbed-wire sash on a white gown.

On Gardens, by Rick Barot


The Wrong Pronouns

You made me cry in cruel stations,
So I missed many trains. You married others
In plausible buildings. The subsequent son
Became my boss. You promised me nothing
But blamed me for doubting when who wouldn’t.
If  I knew how to please you — who have found
Out my faults. In dreams I’m wild with guilt. Have pity
Kill it. Then, when I’ve lost all hope,
Kiss me again, your mouth so open — 
I’d give anything for one more night — 
That I go without thought. Don’t bite. No,
Mark me. My husband already knows
Exactly what owns me.

Et en plus...