Friday, October 21, 2016

The Times They Are A-Changing: Autumn Poems

Melinda Palacio

Last week was great because Bob Dylan was blowing in cyberspace. Congratulations Bob on winning the Nobel literature prize. This week may be all about nasty women and bad hombres. So, I bring you some excellent Autumn poems by Patricia Spears Jones (you may have read Linda Rodriguez's review of ALucent Fire), Gina Ferrara ( and Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo. These are poems you will want to savor, read aloud, then read them all over again. Enjoy and refill your cup as many times as you'd like.


He was filled with beauty, so filled he could not stop the shadows
from their walk around his horn, blasting cobwebs in the Fillmore's

Somewhere dawn makes up for the night before, but he is floating
Dead in the water. And yet, my lover tells me, he saw him

As did others. It could have been the acid. Or fragmented
His reed ancestral. This perilous knowledge. The band went home,

shivering. A girl threw roses in the water. Carnations, daisies. And
            bright red sashes.
Like ones the Chinese use for funeral banners. A drummer intoned

From the Orient. Police wrote up the news. Years later, my lover told
Friends would hear the whisper, then a tone, full throttle from the

Ghosts on Second Avenue, jazzmen in the falling stars.
If you catch one, your hands will glitter.

A Lucent Fire. Poems by Patricia Spears Jones

All Saints' Day
Patricia Spears Jones

Diamanda Galas screams sings
rage upon love
as winter forms
drop by cooling drop.

And earlier in that year, spring in the Blue Ridge—
pastures and hills bejeweled
with violets, dogwoods, the Judas Tree—
softens the bitter taste
of recipes for worming, for worry,
for the death of masters, overseers,
the uniformed patriarchs of a history
astonished by defeat. The burned mansions and
moth-ridden grief comes back to haunt lanes
to the left and right, a clear divide

between the Black side and the white,
On All Saints' Day, a wind resurrected
as dervish, spiraling dry, sharp leaves

righteous fuel for bonfires.
Honorable music to comfort the dead.

In New York, hear Patricia Spears Jones and Christopher Stackhouse, Tuesday November 1, 2016 at 6:30 pm. Free to Dia members, $10 general admission, $6 admission for students and seniors. Grab tickets while you can. 
Readings in Contemporary Poetry
Dia: Chelsea
535 West 22nd Street 5th Floor New York City
212 989 5566

Gina Ferrara

When the medics strapped
you on the stretcher,
the bones of my knees and shins
pressed against Neruda's earth—
the acacia's offerings,
the cicada's hum,
a pair of fish
ascending from the abyss,
the accolades of tangled morning glories,
the solitary crow followed
by a triptych of magpies.
None of the sonnets
roused or woke you.
Your silent tongue and slack lips
extinguished the light of novas
and unstrung lanterns.

*From Gina Ferrara's Amber Porch Light

Ladder to the Moon
Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo

Ladder to the Moon, Georgia O’Keeffe

                                                              Ghost Ranch, O’Keeffe’s
                                                              sprite spirit rises

                                                         like the waif of moon
                                                         over Perdenal’s inky, cut top.

                                                    It’s an aquamarine night
                                               when I catch her climb wooden rails

                                             to the sky. Her frail arms
                                             evoke twigs, but her eyes

                                         ignite like the stars.
                                        I want her to invite me up,

                                    but she doesn’t.
                                    I want her to teach me how,

                                but she won’t.
                             I kick red rocks across the land

                        and keep a look out
                        for my own blond ladder to blaze.

*This poem was first published in Malpais Review.

Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo's Posada

Don't miss Xochitl-Julisa's Book Release Party, Saturday October 29 at 7pm at Avenue 50 Studio, 131 N Avenue 50, Los Angeles, CA 90042

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