Vinni Marie D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.

Poet/Scholar

Text Box:

by Vinni Marie D'Ambrosio, in Confrontation

Love Upstate

 

 

I. Poems,

memory,

and love

are meter, not matter.

 

Reader, don't

for a moment

think

they are flesh.

 

 

 

II. You see,

I'm not in San Francisco, not

disorganizing a plate

of antipasto

in a shady garden restaurant,

not facing a kindly gaze,

but their shapes

draw me like the wind.

 

 

 

III. Here's a stanza tracing a shape,

a horseshoe. Long ago, a tall Cavaliere

meets a girl - my mother's being

is being begun! For good luck, check

out the horse/shoe

of her Papa's stallion.

See its twin prongs throbbing

spondees and forked lightning.

Iron is absent, and hardly missed.

 

 

 

IV. This stanza cradles a foetal curve -

above a beach, a halfmoon rocking

the pair who eloped my lifetime ago. . . .

Look, the moon-beams varnish

a tree while its black leaves turn

jazzy and shimmy and shake.

Half/moon, not really half-unborn.

Well, didn't I lie there in sweet caul?

Was I on the dark part or luminescent?

 

 

 

 

V. I'm not

incurious, or inattentive, or indifferent to

the thick places.

In a poem we drift straight through solidities, even

through this Brooklyn house

with its limestone fašade

and long intricate curtains bracing

against the wind.

 

 

 

VI. Once, flying

to the West Coast

in a high lonely plane

over a pearly jungle of clouds,

I saw in the sunshine

a great rain-ring,

a round spectrum

balancing in the sky,

a target

for a rapturous arrow.

 

 

 

 

VII. This part of the poem

is the memory of a marigold.

Upstate, New York.

 

We crouch, denims touching.

 

Our faces dome it: we smell its

yellow lineaments -

odor of bookstores,

nutmeg,

sharp heat!

A heliograph!

A trumpet of topaz

flourishing for a Shakespearean king

 

 

His hand in love with my hand:

we take the marigold, and it

umbrellas our morning.

We are special, as in a Renoir,

and the air is washing meadows.

 

He knows a blue lake beyond the hill.

The land is like cake just for me.

Far into my memory a childish chanson winds out

of a park band. . . "Vrai, vrai. . .,"

and a carousel purrs, residence

 

of wooden horses festooned in gold,

ideal, their moulds

ascending along red poles, spool-turned,

turning,

and ascending.

 

And we, ascended to the hill's lip,

touch the empty sky.

Below us

lies the dry and shining biscuit, the lake

unlaked,

its light stable and sunken,

a half-built causeway

gashing it.

 

I am yet dreaming that chasm blue.

And so we run zigzag down in love

into the gray bowl, the green and sensual hills circling it,

and we pluck two arid gray gifts,

branches,

so desiccated as to seem solid dust,

in the shape of birds flying,

tense,

when one hill strikes a chord,

 

marvelous concussion,

and strange!

a paper comb and mixmasters

and Moussorgsky at once,

and I startle the way a deer does,

mute,

my neck lengthened, and he cocks his head,

 

and soon the hill spins out a thick tuning arc

of birds,

a long low rainbow in shuddering blacks and silvers

that hums,

and brakes, and we rise

to stop the disappearance of the huge smooth song

over the other lip of the earth,

 

but we are left with two dry drowned forms

in our passionate hands.

Copyright © 2008 by Vinni Marie D'Ambrosio

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