February 12, 2016

Demeter caught dreaming about Boreas from the Catskills to the Alps

'Bonfire', by Lisa Yuskavage ©

Demeter caught dreaming about Boreas from the Catskills to the Alps

yes, I let ghosts feed on me...when these raw and ready 
northerlies come with hint tunnel whispers and glide 
they ride saw-toothed o'er the humped forested 
old mountains and rivers, come February 
here in upstate New York...

there are still German words 
fingerprinted here to the clays 
and shale of the river muds 
stitched into quilt and language 
of this land's every season 
turning further away from indigenous... 

and this time of year does 
so remind me about wheels 
those of progress and millstone variety 
spinning us away from being
nature driven and steed pulled 
so despite the reach 
of farm to federal commerce 
over fief and pageantry with 
the American colonies having won 
their freedom from the English 
an old German pagan idolatry still rings, 
in dagger-ed bells here
perhaps the Jewish bakers 
or Hessian soldiers maybe 
influenced it with how their words 
still cling long after their leaving...

but poem and I think this place 
with its many rivers 
and mountains with valleys 
reminded of home...
calling to ancient tones 
as sure and true 
as a bellowed and bowed ache 
of planked wood 
I walked on 
the snow cleared deck way 
to where the water stay 
when a startlingly clear pay 
attention to me noise 
it did make...

a stopping noise, made me crane my neck 
I looked at the stars in starkly cold air 
and thought of Demeter stirring her lady bits
and what I wanted was her tea 
and I needed water too
and I had already wished 
I went to the well 
more often and earlier 
when it wasn't so 
wintry out here...

but today, I remind myself 
it is the 21st century
and I am very often a drunk poet 
wanting the poem to be atop
a raft which carries salt down the Salzach 
and is used perhaps to make 
a nice braided weck 
with a tight shine top 
these melt-away breads, which
are made to go with anything 
beer and song can be paired to 
and are especially delightful 
when it is very cold outside...

the Alps are jagged mountains  
the types of pinnacles 
that demand the strongest 
kinds of fires in the hearth 
when Winter senses 
it must start 
leaving its palaces 
of ice and clime, 
perched perfectly 
knife near sky...

as I lean here, I swear I hear
looking out my window 
watching the bare trees 
wave and tremble 
under the street lights 
in wobble breasted fed fertile voice
spry bellied mother laughter 
pulling the Sun toward Spring 

"Proserpina, Proserpina", 
she calls, melodic and longing 
"what have you to want from me on your return...
is it ribbon-ed trees with garland flowers and lithe honeys from the early bees...?"


at the river city port slip 
the quiet past midnight 
ate our unloading of wares 
very very eagerly

this is vestige farmed 
harm-way hypnosis 
modern america 


you call the chocolate flower candied blood lust 
after the super bowl valentine's day
it is really Lupercalia...
poem says it was a festival for
the keepers of wolf rites 
and their goat sacrificing adherents 
it was what could be construed 
as a Shirley Jackson lottery civic fertility party
that morphed into a gathering 
for fucking, frolicking and fraternizing
it has been like this since way before Rome...

this yearly madness or fever 
is a go panic we're stricken with
in the 1980's it might have caused us 
to throw basement beach parties
regardless of when, it assembles us 
in any sort of huddled communities   
where we could find our innermost immolate 
and unfurl ourselves against what always seems  
a never ending Winter...

we want to pretend to want to clear ourselves of core sin 
we want to flesh our innermost desires so to speak, thresh
the grain for more bread with festive ambling about 
whispering come-on(s) in hurried and excited tones 
wearing bright plumed masks and animal pelts 
working well to intermingle an intelligent wielding 
of a self letting go of boundary while falling, intoxicated...

who would we be 
without Lupercalia
needed suckle warm relieve 
would we make believe 
there is a certainty 
we must tend to 
what in us is still deceived 
by mankind's apathy 
is its continual ascendancy 
to throne-d dominion...

are our striations 
patterns of almost 
are they what 
we've poured over 
every single perceptual life's form 
we eventually buried
in the rich worm-y loam 
of remember when...?

we were shepherds once, 
pastoral in our elliptical realms 
we held flat horizon views 
we knew if we could fly 
the round and round carousel 
of animal kingdoms wanting 
image after image of a divine death 
would lead us to golden ever after(s) 
and make thieves of us who want to know more
the bright morning stars 
already cast as permanent shadows 
will forever hunger for color  
in an increasingly black and white world
that lives by trading, lying 
and bleeding in unknown(s)...

what the dark ultimately is here, I guess, is our every unseen, 
so clairvoyants don't look inside me anymore, I've candlelight enough for the a few more rolls of the die, thank you...

you fill in purpose, motive 
and opportunity of scale 
when I'm always on 
the other side, of course...

this expression of purification 
by spawn is undertaken to understand 
our place in the landscape 
of every when and where 
we are awake and aware...

but isn't it scent driven memory 
always taking us there, especially 
when Demeter moans
with giggles of a young maiden 
lathering beguilingly 
this beauty of a crone
your nose is only an approximated precise 
or at least it is part translator 
of the most commonly exchanged 
underbelly currency 
concerning human souls 
and their old and new homes...

we will spill into vessel-ed chance taken with(s) 
and we will program burn our poisons, 
to mimic this so as we past mid Winter 
glowing in luminescent lust 
we can make a fertile leap 
into unknown adhesion(s)...

we are but bone and cage, 
we rage, we blossom, 
we ripen tender ferocity, 
we watch what rivers 
do, to slow knife words 
when they know 
we are really listening 
to hear our timeless parts...

so, tell me Lupa, 
where must I begin
and when, a shave 
and haircut 
two bits...?



  1. Like the story of Demeter and Persephone...such a flow for maybe ten of poems...

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