Leslie Scalapino / The Dihedrons Gazelle-Dihedrals Zoom

The Dihedrons Gazell-Dihedrals Zoom.

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Nation on the verge of a nervous breakdown / New Statesman

New Statesman – Nation on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

Target Ain’t People / YouTube

the tree that cheered Anne Frank / artdaily.org

the tree that cheered Anne Frank

letter to M, in France

letter to M, in France

Knowing one another offers a way back from grimy, jagged childhoods. Feeling for warmth, a door or window to the other side to it. M, are you still there? I am going to try to open, something . . .

There’s this deep braid of scar tissue in my throat, glowing with hurt. Crying out thoughts. Unknotting from pain. Loosening by restraint, desire for her. Tightening the strings to play all the notes.

thunder n’ lightning
running alongside
a white butterfly

Last high school class of the day. Saying a shy hi to one another, somehow becoming friends . . . I’d open the door into an empty, dark living room; gaze into the brick courtyard three stories down. Engulfed by space, radiator hiss and knock. Mother family, Helen, at work for two more hours alone.

So begins my mucking through years of havoc. Insolence was my mother’s word for it. Riding the hinge of the door, feet off the ground, back and forth, in and out, jumpin’ off in mid air. Just no one I could feel there. Then you, M. Your own cold hands and blue rivers made of more than enough wonder for me.

Dark grit. Scraping heart muscle on it. Being in the world. Staring back at it. I cannot write my first poem. Threatened with an “F” I will not budge. Teacher looked up at me from his desk, with that watery maw telling me to write it, in a voice like Hank Bukowski.

Years later I’m an “I”, struggling through that as well. Reading of 8th and 9th century India Kashmir Bhakti singer-poets, mostly outsiders, who insisted on freedom and lived on what they wrote — no matter what. Defying any beliefs that “could limit the intensity of experience . . . .”* We were them, M. Lal Ded, a female born in the early 1300s in Kashmir wrote

Solitary, I roamed the extent of Space,

leaving calculation behind.

the place of the hidden Self

opened and suddenly

out of the filth

bloomed a lotus**

Donna Fleischer
2010

* from Jerome Rothenberg’s blog, “poems and poetics”
**Translated by Andrew Schelling

Buffy Sainte-Marie / Sometimes When I Get to Thinkin’

Roberto Benigni / VIENI VIA CON ME

~ by way of the poet Rita Cummings
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