Monday, November 8, 2010

It Makes a Great Lei


I plan the night garden, down to the last detail
A distraction from a leg cramp, or
The med tech bending, sterile paper rustling,
Cold metal or needles against skin, or the
Techno beat bashing as you lie so still
In the long white tube. You'll get out of here,
You remind yourself. Laboring over the imaginary garden
Is a way to not be here, now. My fear: I know
We won't have time to make the garden; we will never
Be granted that stretch of space to grow
Omixochitl, whose night scent young women
Are advised not to breathe. No such cautions
For old ones. Our gardens are choked
With weeds and frost-struck stems.
The table is a cold slab. I take my mind back
To details. Tuberose is a perennial in this climate
And will take a year. The roots are rhizomes.
I wonder: Can the bay overwinter?
Where will I get the seeds for the black poppies?
You would know, you would know. I dream myself away
To the place where I touch the boneflower
Blooming flesh-pale against the darkness,
In a few hours, coming. This could be
The only night garden we will know.
Only as big as this bed, in this room,
On the night ahead of us. This must be enough.


mark said...

Hmmm. Are these the thoughts of a particularly ravishing corpse?

Slothrop said...

I keep thinking about this 1 - seems a little more haunting every time I reread it. Beyond the lush imagery & tension btw the organic & metallic there's real fear. I've never been inside an MRI but I imagine its atmosphere & demand of total stillness would drive the mind in these directions. I identify very strongly w/ all of this.

I grew up surrounded by farms, spending my days exploring forests & mossy ravines, studying birds & insects & grubbing thru old abandoned barns. W/ puberty & its lust for renewal I craved purely artificial environments - steel, glass & the buzz of machinery. After so many years in the inner city, I now long for an almost transcendental bonding w/ the earth. Flesh to soil, bone to stem.

W/out going on for even longer, I understand the fear & disassociation here but also love the poem on other levels....

Maria Padhila said...

@mark: exquisite corpse. @slocum: god, i missed you, baby. ;) @anyone else: i've been way off base for writing lately, but it's been because of lots of pay work and also some really wonderful things happening, nothing bad, well there is pain and scariness involved but it's overall pretty fucking great.