To begin ...

As the twentieth century fades out
the nineteenth begins
.......................................again
it is as if nothing happened
though those who lived it thought
that everything was happening
enough to name a world for & a time
to hold it in your hand
unlimited.......the last delusion
like the perfect mask of death

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Rochelle Owens: Hermaphropoetics / Blood

[This is the third section of Rochelle Owens’ long work to appear on Poems and Poetics. For previous sections see here and here.  This posting coincides with publication of her latest book, Out of Ur: New & Selected Poems 1961-2012 by Shearsman Books]


       Woodcut by Conrad Lycosthenes, 1557

in an early version
a deaf mute

a hermaphrodite
captured after the siege

a hermaphrodite
emptied of allegory

seated on the stump of a tree
wearing body paint

his soaring paper thin
shoulderblades

the dome of her skull
his earlobes

the angle of her nose
his fat ankles

her perfect toes
his legs collapsing under her

multiple hues of flat color
triangles of purple

circles  squares  stripes
Teasing femme/homme

hypermasculine  hyperfeminine
murderous sex cells

her long pale eyelashes
And gazes upwards smiling

An altruistic mother’s deathless love
Deathless love saved the babe

an impure creation
carnal/spiritual

pale and red his lips
she could feel and taste colors

his mouth watering
Meek sweetness the face the face

of the hermaphrodite
her platinum blonde curls

bringing millions to their knees
In a later version

out of a lost narrative
a deaf mute

seated on the stump of a tree
covered with tattoos

an asymmetrical form
vertical/horizontal

an impure creation
she could feel and taste colors

A hermaphrodite
out of the center page

the edge sharp  dangerous
hidden before the siege

Spasmodic the spirals of color
astrological symbols

a kaleidoscope slowly turning
purple  orange  blue

shards of green glass forming
letters  abstract designs

His mouth watering
taste buds pulsating  a flow

of hormonal forces
hypermasculine  hyperfeminine

murderous sex cells
signs and wonders  veins  muscles

sweat glands  ligaments
intertwining  darkening ruby-red

burning silver
the marrow filling the cavities

neurological linkings
streaks of burning gold  thick  thin

strokes alternating
slashes of color seeping    

He sucks evening to morning
milk of the mother misery

milk of the father terror
She sucks morning to evening

milk of the mother misery
milk of the father terror

tasting the color drippings
nipples spurting nectar

An altruistic mother’s deathless love
Deathless love saved the babe

an impure creation
carnal/spiritual

the shape of blood poured
into a cracked cup

pale and red her lips
her arms floating above

red and pale his fingers pulling
the spirals of her hair

blood of the hermaphrodite
Meek sweetness the face the face

of the hermaphrodite
his platinum blond curls

2 comments:

Miguel Alvarez Morales said...

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Anonymous said...

(what do you think of this poem?)

Source - I

She is the source. I can know she is
the great source
on which everyone thought. When in the field
the clover was sought, or in silence
the night was awaited,
or somewhere on the peace of the earth
the warping of time was heard ---
each one thought on the source. It was a
secret and peaceful flow.
A miraculous thing which happened
obscurely.

No one spoke of her, because
she was immense. But everyone knew her
as the teat. As the goatskin.
Something smiled within us.

My sisters were smoothly becoming
women. My father read.
An acceptance of the clover smiled
inside me, a very chaste finding.
It was the source.

I loved her, painfully and quietly.
The moon was forming
with a subtle hint of ferocity,
and the apple took a beginning of
splendor.

Today sex has drawn itself. The thought
has been lost and reborn.
Today I know permanently that she
is the source.

Herberto Helder