Friday, February 24, 2017

Sergio Ortiz Returns

Let's start with Sergio's poem inspired by Etta Jones.

Walking in the Limbo of Words

the lighthouse of the indefinite
trafficking voices of absence,
skeleton walls smuggle freedom.

My country: a poem under an illegal shade.
A sun full of cameras rides
my skin like ghosts
who claim what is rightfully theirs. 

I lead the echoes of my flight
to a heart masked 
as theatrical delirium,
my wrinkled memoir  
slow dancing to Etta Jones’s,
I found a dream, that I could speak to. 
A dream that I can call my own.  
At last I touch your lips 

with my revolutionary blood
and leave my confession 
on your cinnamon eyes.

With No Punctuation 

You insist on dealing with my silence
by making sure no one rises to my defense

Between the lips of your vulva 
scented flowers
open locks
on doors that listen 
to what belongs to me

No endless
no monsters
nothing of the low note
by my voice

To be able to sing
with amazement
with no punctuation 
or alarm

Reparations to Eros

May silence never ride 
on the dormant back of a heron. 

May it leave a homeopathic drop of luck 
on the waters of my trembling body.

May my skin bear no resemblance
to the unshakable epidermis 
of a frozen pachyderm.  

I must confess, I am in debt
to a slave driver's arms.
Tasted his fruit, 
but could not distinguish 
sour from sweet.

Black Salt

You fall beyond your sap / abated remembrance / vile fear of tears // In you my heart / a circle of fire / black salt on the river banks of your Himalaya // And I am shipwrecked / confused tangle of dreams that mocks the cacophonous memory of water.

A Thousand Darknesses
In memory of the Holocaust Victims and Celan

We went to Mirabeau Bridge
and paid your promise.

The hours passed
on the Seine, our lives

increasingly smaller 
grew confident

thinking a suicide chose 
the side of the Tower

where nothing ends up falling.
We threw our coins in the water.

No Country for the Elderly
The young
In one another's arms, birds in the trees,
—Those dying generations—at their song
Sailing to Byzantium
By William Butler Yeasts

I set the rain on fire, lacerated the sun
with my straight razor
so I could part company with time.
I'm saving my abysses
to scamper away from the cold
so as not to be disgusted with death.

This country is no place for the elderly,
the ridiculous collections of antiquated scores,
birds bebopping jazz melodies on the autumnal tree
of sensory music that ignores everything.

Teenagers standing on God's sacred fire
turn to me and say…
Stick to being the teacher
of your wrinkled breath.

Of course, I must start with some Etta Jones.  Here is her "Don't Go to Strangers":

Her "I'll Be Seeing You" also features her long-time love, the tenor saxophonist Houston Person:

Let's play some vibes.  My husband made a request for some Jason Marsalis.  Here is his "The Man With Two Left Feet":

Another song of his is "Offbeat Personality":

Back to the papers!

1 comment:

  1. These are well-thought out poems I found engaging, thought-provoking. In Limbo of Words, I particularly found the following line intriguing, relevant and pregnant, "My country: a poem under an illegal shade". In the poems With No Punctuation and Reparations to Eros, silence seems to be a loud, connecting thread.