dahlia_moon: (Default)
2012-04-30 23:45

Then reached the caverns measureless to man,

final poem! so sad :/ thanks to those who commented on these! I did enjoy your comments even if I didn't reply to them (because I am very bad at replying back in a timely fashion and only remember four or five days later I meant to do it. I hope you all will still love me in spite of this debilitating disease).

"Kubla Khan; Or, A Vision in a Dream. A Fragment"
Samuel Coleridge

In Xanadu did KubIa Khan
A stately pleasure dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round:
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced:
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chafly grain beneath the thresher's flail:
And `mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean:
And `mid this tumult KubIa heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!
The shadow of the dome of pleasure
Floated midway on the waves;
Where was heard the mingled measure
From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure dome with caves of ice!

A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw:
It was an Abyssinian maid,
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight `twould win me,
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honeydew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.
dahlia_moon: (batgirl!steph)
2012-04-29 23:55

on the rim of vast silence.

"Has My Heart Gone to Sleep?"
By Antonio Machado

Has my heart gone to sleep?
Have the beehives of my dreams
stopped working, the waterwheel
of the mind run dry,
scoops turning empty,
only shadow inside?

No, my heart is not asleep.
It is awake, wide awake.
Not asleep, not dreaming—
its eyes are opened wide
watching distant signals, listening
on the rim of vast silence.
dahlia_moon: (batgirl!steph)
2012-04-28 23:50

Out of the ash/ I rise with my red hair/ And I eat men like air.



"Lady Lazarus"
by Sylvia Plath

I have done it again.
One year in every ten
I manage it--

A sort of walking miracle, my skin
Bright as a Nazi lampshade,
My right foot

A paperweight,
My face a featureless, fine
Jew linen.

Peel off the napkin
O my enemy.
Do I terrify?--

The nose, the eye pits, the full set of teeth?
The sour breath
Will vanish in a day.

Soon, soon the flesh
The grave cave ate will be
At home on me

And I a smiling woman.
I am only thirty.
And like the cat I have nine times to die.

This is Number Three.
What a trash
To annihilate each decade.

What a million filaments.
The peanut-crunching crowd
Shoves in to see

Them unwrap me hand and foot--
The big strip tease.
Gentlemen, ladies

These are my hands
My knees.
I may be skin and bone,

Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman.
The first time it happened I was ten.
It was an accident.

The second time I meant
To last it out and not come back at all.
I rocked shut

As a seashell.
They had to call and call
And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls.

Dying
Is an art, like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well.

I do it so it feels like hell.
I do it so it feels real.
I guess you could say I've a call.

It's easy enough to do it in a cell.
It's easy enough to do it and stay put.
It's the theatrical

Comeback in broad day
To the same place, the same face, the same brute
Amused shout:

'A miracle!'
That knocks me out.
There is a charge

For the eyeing of my scars, there is a charge
For the hearing of my heart--
It really goes.

And there is a charge, a very large charge
For a word or a touch
Or a bit of blood

Or a piece of my hair or my clothes.
So, so, Herr Doktor.
So, Herr Enemy.

I am your opus,
I am your valuable,
The pure gold baby

That melts to a shriek.
I turn and burn.
Do not think I underestimate your great concern.

Ash, ash--
You poke and stir.
Flesh, bone, there is nothing there--

A cake of soap,
A wedding ring,
A gold filling.

Herr God, Herr Lucifer
Beware
Beware.

Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air.

~*~

the last three lines totally remind me of Jean Grey from the X-Men and are my favorite (though there are many other great lines).
dahlia_moon: (Default)
2012-04-27 23:50

carved out of such tiny beings as we are

"Wait"
Galway Kinnell

Wait, for now.
Distrust everything, if you have to.
But trust the hours. Haven't they
carried you everywhere, up to now?
Personal events will become interesting again.
Hair will become interesting.
Pain will become interesting.
Buds that open out of season will become lovely again.
Second-hand gloves will become lovely again,
their memories are what give them
the need for other hands. And the desolation
of lovers is the same: that enormous emptiness
carved out of such tiny beings as we are
asks to be filled; the need
for the new love is faithfulness to the old.

Wait.
Don't go too early.
You're tired. But everyone's tired.
But no one is tired enough.
Only wait a while and listen.
Music of hair,
Music of pain,
music of looms weaving all our loves again.
Be there to hear it, it will be the only time,
most of all to hear,
the flute of your whole existence,
rehearsed by the sorrows, play itself into total exhaustion.
dahlia_moon: (Ten Wet)
2012-04-23 23:50

Deep with the first dead lies London's daughter

"A Refusal to Mourn the Death, by Fire1, of a Child in London
Dylan Thomas

Never until the mankind making
Bird beast and flower
Fathering and all humbling darkness
Tells with silence the last light breaking
And the still hour
Is come of the sea tumbling in harness

And I must enter again the round
Zion2 of the water bead
And the synagogue of the ear of corn
Shall I let pray the shadow of a sound
Or sow my salt seed
In the least valley of sackcloth to mourn

The majesty and burning of the child's death.
I shall not murder
The mankind of her going with a grave truth
Nor blaspheme down the stations of the breath
With any further
Elegy of innocence and youth.

Deep with the first dead lies London's daughter,
Robed in the long friends,
The grains beyond age, the dark veins of her mother,
Secret by the unmourning water
Of the riding Thames.
After the first death, there is no other.

1 During the firebombing of London, known as the Blitz, in World War II
2 Heaven (from a Palestinian citadel, the nucleus of Jerusalem)

~*~

Also, if anyone feels obliged indulging me - what are your favorite sad songs? I'm compiling a playlist of sad songs to listen to while writing (because I've found having the right music on in the background is the perfect catalyst to be in the right mood for what I need to be writing) . This brought to by my creative writing teacher who gave us "little coffin" as this week's writing prompt. Yes, I don't think I'm clever enough yet to make that a *humorous* story so might as well cave in and try to make my whole class sob as much as possible. It's possible that I am a little evil. But only a little. :D

So far my list includes:

Pearl Jam's "Last Kiss"
Scorpions "Wind of Change"
Stone Sour's "Through Glass"
Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On"
Sia's "Breathe Me"
Birdy's "Skinny Love" and "Shelter"
Snow Patrol's "Run"
James Blunt's "Goodbye My Lover" (which doesn't help if you've seen Ten/Rose fanvids set to this song)
dahlia_moon: (Stargate Dream)
2012-04-22 23:48

To be a Problem on/ Park Avenue at eight

"Dinner Guest: Me"
Langston Hughes

I know I am
The Negro Problem
Being wined and dined,
Answering the usual questions
That come to white mind
Which seeks demurely
To Probe in polite way
The why and wherewithal
Of darkness U.S.A.--
Wondering how things got this way
In current democratic night,
Murmuring gently
Over fraises du bois,
"I'm so ashamed of being white."

The lobster is delicious,
The wine divine,
And center of attention
At the damask table, mine.
To be a Problem on
Park Avenue at eight
Is not so bad.
Solutions to the Problem,
Of course, wait.
dahlia_moon: (Default)
2012-04-21 23:40

Against the shrieking city air

"City Trees"
Edna St. Vincent Millay

The trees along this city street,
Save for the traffic and the trains,
Would make a sound as thin and sweet
As trees in country lanes.

And people standing in their shade
Out of a shower, undoubtedly
Would hear such music as is made
Upon a country tree.

Oh, little leaves that are so dumb
Against the shrieking city air,
I watch you when the wind has come,—
I know what sound is there.
dahlia_moon: (Default)
2012-04-20 23:56

The night, the world, the wind spin out their destiny.

"Sonnet LXXXI"
Pablo Neruda

And now you're mine. Rest with your dream in my dream.
Love and pain and work should all sleep, now.
The night turns on its invisible wheels,
and you are pure beside me as a sleeping amber.

No one else, Love, will sleep in my dreams. You will go,
we will go together, over the waters of time.
No one else will travel through the shadows with me,
only you, evergreen, ever sun, ever moon.

Your hands have already opened their delicate fists
and let their soft drifting signs drop away; your eyes closed like two gray
wings, and I move

after, following the folding water you carry, that carries
me away. The night, the world, the wind spin out their destiny.
Without you, I am your dream, only that, and that is all.

Apparently, you can listen to Julia Roberts and Andy Garcia reciting this poem. I take it it's from those movies they did together? Ocean's Eleven? I've yet to watch them, so I have no idea.
dahlia_moon: (Jason Toddler)
2012-04-19 23:56

I tie my tongue softly

I kinda dropped the ball on this project there for a couple days, but it has been a hectic week. Hopefully things will calm down a bit.

"A Hundred Ways To Say Your Name"
Tania De Rozario

I avoid speaking your name in conversation,
throwing it to the air as if it were nothing
more than an assumption of you; it is my last
mode of defence. The last item of clothing
to discard before I realise I’m naked in public.

Because they can hear it in my voice. I know.
Even in that one short syllable that means
everything and nothing; your name is as common
as you are rare. As easy as you are not.
As simple as love should be, but never is.

But when I’m alone, I tie my tongue softly
round the familiar sound, as if pronouncing
with conviction the phonetics of desire
will cause time to pause just long enough
for the earth to hear me naming my loss.
dahlia_moon: (maria)
2012-04-16 23:40

except you ravish me

"Holy Sonnet #14"
John Donne

Batter my heart, three-person'd God ; for you
As yet but knock ; breathe, shine, and seek to mend ;
That I may rise, and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp'd town, to another due,
Labour to admit you, but O, to no end.
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captived, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain,
But am betroth'd unto your enemy ;
Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.


Stumbled upon this code to have the lj-cut image go back to its former design, for those who are finding the scissors image ugly: http://xylodemon.livejournal.com/473217.html

Personally, I don't care either way. I'm kinda ambivalent more often than not when LJ decides to change things. Could be because I've totally moved over to Dreamwidth - well, besides just the friendslist and a few comms here and there that aren't on DW. But, god, I can't stand updating through LJ anymore - why is the update window all shrunken down over? or am I imagining that?
dahlia_moon: (girl power)
2012-04-14 23:43

And drown the wakeful anguish of the soul

"Ode on Melancholy"
John Keats

No, no, go not to Lethe, neither twist
Wolf's-bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine;
Nor suffer thy pale forehead to be kiss'd
By nightshade, ruby grape of Proserpine;
Make not your rosary of yew-berries,
Nor let the beetle, nor the death-moth be
Your mournful Psyche, nor the downy owl
A partner in your sorrow's mysteries;
For shade to shade will come too drowsily,
And drown the wakeful anguish of the soul.

But when the melancholy fit shall fall
Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud,
That fosters the droop-headed flowers all,
And hides the green hill in an April shroud;
Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose,
Or on the rainbow of the salt sand-wave,
Or on the wealth of globed peonies;
Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows,
Emprison her soft hand, and let her rave,
And feed deep, deep upon her peerless eyes.

She dwells with Beauty—Beauty that must die;
And Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips
Bidding adieu; and aching Pleasure nigh,
Turning to poison while the bee-mouth sips:
Ay, in the very temple of Delight
Veil'd Melancholy has her sovran shrine,
Though seen of none save him whose strenuous tongue
Can burst Joy's grape against his palate fine;
His soul shalt taste the sadness of her might,
And be among her cloudy trophies hung.
dahlia_moon: (Default)
2012-04-11 23:08

poetry always demands all my ghosts

"Always"
Rane Arroyo

We met in proud Utah and wore opaque
vodka on those vague Sundays for the
unfaithful on your dangling back porch
while dreaming of the very New York

where we entangled for the last time.
Te quiero, you said there, my ears as
paths. You then vanished with a macho
because I had a lover, because we’d

never ride across Russia together in
that frozen train, because listening
to A Chorus Line all those weekends
didn’t teach us the foreign language

of our bodies, because of your career
as a model after years as a military
mannequin, because we never expected
adios to be our actual parting last word.

Because, because, and because. You
turned around to stare at me and I waved
back: I love you too. What an education:
poetry always demands all my ghosts.

~*~

Also, saw the s6 finale of Psych. WTF?!! Seriously, that ending still has me shocked and angry. And season seven won't be premiering until the fall, which seems like years away. (If anyone else on my flist sees it, PLEASE TALK TO ME ABOUT IT. BECAUSE I CAN'T HANDLE IT. Especially what happened *before* the last five minutes.)
dahlia_moon: (maria)
2012-04-10 23:37

It must be in the blood,/ this notion of returning.

"Heaven"
Cathy Song

He thinks when we die we’ll go to China.
Think of it—a Chinese heaven
where, except for his blond hair,
the part that belongs to his father,
everyone will look like him.
China, that blue flower on the map,
bluer than the sea
his hand must span like a bridge
to reach it.
An octave away.

I’ve never seen it.
It’s as if I can’t sing that far.
But look—
on the map, this black dot.
Here is where we live,
on the pancake plains
just east of the Rockies,
on the other side of the clouds.
A mile above the sea,
the air is so thin, you can starve on it.
No bamboo trees
but the alpine equivalent,
reedy aspen with light, fluttering leaves.
Did a boy in Guangzhou dream of this
as his last stop?

I’ve heard the trains at night
whistling past our yards,
what we’ve come to own,
the broken fences, the whiny dog, the rattletrap cars.
It’s still the wild west,
mean and grubby,
the shootouts and fistfights in the back alley.
With my son the dreamer
and my daughter, who is too young to walk,
I’ve sat in this spot
and wondered why here?
Why in this short life,
this town, this creek they call a river?

He had never planned to stay,
the boy who helped to build
the railroads for a dollar a day.
He had always meant to go back.
When did he finally know
that each mile of track led him further away,
that he would die in his sleep,
dispossessed,
having seen Gold Mountain,
the icy wind tunneling through it,
these landlocked, makeshift ghost towns?

It must be in the blood,
this notion of returning.
It skipped two generations, lay fallow,
the garden an unmarked grave.
On a spring sweater day
it’s as if we remember him.
I call to the children.
We can see the mountains
shimmering blue above the air.
If you look really hard
says my son the dreamer,
leaning out from the laundry’s rigging,
the work shirts fluttering like sails,
you can see all the way to heaven.
dahlia_moon: (Default)
2012-04-09 23:41

the bright song of sex or hunger,

"Practising Bach"
Jan Zwicky

for performance with Bach's E Major
Partita for Solo Violin, BMV 1006


Prelude

There is, said Pythagoras, a sound
the planet makes: a kind of music
just outside of our hearing, the proportion
and the resonance of things — not
the clang of theory or the wuthering
of human speech, not even
the bright song of sex or hunger, but
the unrung ringing that
supports them all.

The wife, no warning, dead
when you come home. Ducats
on the fishheads that you salvaged
from the rubbish heap. Is the cosmos
laughing at us? No. It's saying
improvise. Everywhere you look
there's beauty, and it's rimed
with death. If you find injustice
you'll find humans, and this means
that if you listen, you'll find love.
The substance of the world is light,
is water: here, clear
even when it's dying; even when the dying
seems unbearable, it runs.
dahlia_moon: (Default)
2012-04-08 23:16

Through the ecstatic night

"April in Maine"
May Sarton

The days are cold and brown,
Brown fields, no sign of green,
Brown twigs, not even swelling,
And dirty snow in the woods.

But as the dark flows in
The tree frogs begin
Their shrill sweet singing,
And we lie on our beds
Through the ecstatic night,
Wide awake, cracked open.

There will be no going back.
dahlia_moon: (Default)
2012-04-07 23:01

the masters play blindfolded

I love people talking about their own writing and feedback and meta-ish thoughts on those subjects. So two links on Archive of Our Own's kudos function:
A year in kudos
in the fandom afternoon (this was linked in the first article about kudos)
 
~*~

Today's poem:

"Prodigy"
Charles Simic

I grew up bent over
a chessboard.

I loved the word endgame.

All my cousins looked worried.

It was a small house
near a Roman graveyard.
Planes and tanks
shook its windowpanes.

A retired professor of astronomy
taught me how to play.

That must have been in 1944.

In the set we were using,
the paint had almost chipped off
the black pieces.

The white King was missing
and had to be substituted for.

I’m told but do not believe
that that summer I witnessed
men hung from telephone poles.

I remember my mother
blindfolding me a lot.
She had a way of tucking my head
suddenly under her overcoat.

In chess, too, the professor told me,
the masters play blindfolded,
the great ones on several boards
at the same time.

You can also listen to the poem being read by the author.

This poem might've come around during the last five National Poetry Month extravaganzas I did around here or not (Charles Simic has definitely been featured here before), I don't remember, but he is one of my favorite contemporary poets ever. Ever. 
dahlia_moon: (Default)
2012-04-06 23:05

Coral is far more red than her lips' red

"My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun" (Sonnet 130)
William Shakespeare

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress when she walks treads on the ground.
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.

RL update )

~*~

And TV updates. Spoilers for One Tree Hill )
dahlia_moon: (Katara - Hearts)
2012-04-05 10:34

to let them feel they’re not quite as nice as they might be.

"The English Are So Nice!"
D.H. Lawrence

The English are so nice
so awfully nice
they are the nicest people in the world.

And what’s more, they’re very nice about being nice
about your being nice as well!
If you’re not nice they soon make you feel it.

Americans and French and Germans and so on
they’re all very well
but they’re not really nice, you know.
They’re not nice in our sense of the word, are they now?

That’s why one doesn’t have to take them seriously.
We must be nice to them, of course,
of course, naturally—
But it doesn’t really matter what you say to them,
they don’t really understand—
you can just say anything to them:
be nice, you know, just be nice
but you must never take them seriously, they wouldn’t understand.
Just be nice, you know! oh, fairly nice,
not too nice of course, they take advantage—
but nice enough, just nice enough
to let them feel they’re not quite as nice as they might be.
dahlia_moon: (liz x max - snowing!)
2012-04-04 02:24

Fool, said my muse to me, look in thy heart and write.

"Astrophil and Stella 1"
Sir Philip Sidney

Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show,
That she, dear she, might take some pleasure of my pain,
Pleasure might cause her read, reading might make her know,
Knowledge might pity win, and pity grace obtain,—
I sought fit words to paint the blackest face of woe;
Studying inventions fine, her wits to entertain,
Oft turning others' leaves to see if thence would flow
Some fresh and fruitful showers upon my sun-burned brain.
But words came halting forth, wanting invention's stay;
Invention, nature's child, fled step-dame Study's blows,
And others' feet still seemed but strangers in my way.
Thus, great with child to speak, and helpless in my throes,
Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite,
Fool, said my muse to me, look in thy heart and write.

-

It's this journal's seventh anniversary, today, btw. Wow. I can't believe I've been on Livejournal since '05. It seems so far away.  
dahlia_moon: (Default)
2012-04-03 00:41

our country moving closer to its own truth and dread

"What Kind of Times Are These"
Adrienne Rich
 
There's a place between two stands of trees where the grass grows uphill
and the old revolutionary road breaks off into shadows
near a meeting-house abandoned by the persecuted
who disappeared into those shadows.
 
I've walked there picking mushrooms at the edge of dread, but don't be fooled
this isn't a Russian poem, this is not somewhere else but here,
our country moving closer to its own truth and dread,
its own ways of making people disappear.
 
I won't tell you where the place is, the dark mesh of the woods
meeting the unmarked strip of light—
ghost-ridden crossroads, leafmold paradise:
I know already who wants to buy it, sell it, make it disappear.
 
And I won't tell you where it is, so why do I tell you
anything? Because you still listen, because in times like these
to have you listen at all, it's necessary
to talk about trees.