Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Luz Azul Wild China Blues

                           “I was the shadow of the waxwing slain
                            by the false azure in the windowpane...”

                                                             Vladimir Nabokov

Just between me and you
is it possible to find a language
of but one word—like blue:

the blue of sky?

the egg of a robin that wings red and gray
across its space?

the unseen face of a blue moon bounding month
or season or seen rising above a land of volcanoes
spewing ashes of a long dying poetry?

coming out of the blue, suddenly,
blue-eyed boy talking a blue streak,
shooting pigeons

  onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlikethat

blue in the face like blood or ribbons,
collared blue, dressed to the nines in blue velvet?

a bolt, like a note microtonally out of pitch
from a bent string or double-reeded aulos or bagpipe
or klezmorim or wailing Arab flutters in quartertones?

or is it the blue flower--die blaue Blume—unreachable
in its infinity of passions and desires like bluebirds of wandering to and fro

Is it a rose blue from dye injected into its bark?

Sacré dieu! Sacrebleu! Morbleu! Par le sang de bleu! 

Is that the artifice of Victor Hugo's L’art c’est l’azure
or of Ruben Dario's reverie—Homeric, Hellenic—of prose and poetry
bounded by the River Ocean and circling an ancient world--of Este azul es lo mío?

Is it Oscar Wilde and  My Blue China?

Era su príncipe azul.

¿No te he dicho
que el azul no hay que tocar?

Why not and even if forgot or shallowly begot
why not too blue Berbers--circum cellas euntes—to wit, Donatist Circumcellions
wandering among North African Roman peasants, cancelling debt, anathematizing property
and slavery, prizing martyrdom, rightly turning the world upside down?

Blue-veined white skin and the wedding of something borrowed, something blue
(at high interest)?

Nel blu dipinto di blu?

Into the wild blue yonder?

The girl with the blue dress ON—Swedish ¾ and Jenny Lind, and when, exactly, does it come OFF?

Blue Christmas—Elvis lives!

Prussian blue? Electric blue? Blueprints? Blueberries? Blueflies? Bluebeards? Bluecoats? Blueballs?

Bluenose? Bluefin? Bluegills? Bluebells? Bluegrass? Blueing (bang!)? Bluet?

Bluestockings, true blue.

Bloody blue murder, skies and seas and streets filled with boys in blue and swearing, blue laws, blue chip robber barons,

Wittgenstein's Blue Book and very unfinal rhapsody:

This is a pencil, this is round, this is wood, this is one, this is hard...but:

this is not yellow—this is blues,

this is blue.

E. A. Costa

E. A. Costa December 29, 2016 Granada, Nicaragua

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Poetry Generators, Stylometry & I Corinthians 13

                      “Si os dan papel pautado, escribid por el otro lado.”*

                                                                     Juan Ramón Jiménez

Typically one hopes
to explain as much
variation as possible.

We look for snapshots:

                                    Night rises on a great crow wing
                                    bearing the half-lifed moon....

Once functorial, however,
multidimensionality is underrepresented:

                                   glows like an apricot
                                   blossoms salacious as a tiger lily

Thus and so one explanation
of many things goes astray:

                                   sandal beams
                                   tears of honey

If this seems to do the trick, it is strictly a trick
of triadic line.

Therefore let us say
in variable syllables
there may be untold many
in each with his, her, or its own ways:

                                  last moan of spring
                                  breast to breast as one

In conclusion, then--Who authored I Corinthians 13?

Ultimately Corinthians, for without them

no Corinth
no column
no bronze
or isthmus
no pink
no spirit
no epistles
no echoing horn
no clashing cymbal

& also no rash formulas and answers off the scale.

E. A. Costa

E. A. Costa      November 2, 2016     Granada, Nicaragua
N.B.: *”If they give you ruled paper, write on the other side.” Interestingly
enough a very similar quotation is often attributed to William Carlos Williams,
“If they give you lined paper, write the other way”. There can be little or no doubt
that if Williams said this, he got it from Juan Ramón Jiménez, the Spanish poet
who won the Nobel Prize in 1956 and after the Spanish Civil War taught at the
University of Puerto Rico. In fact, Williams, who was Spanish on his mother's
side, with ties to both Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rican community in New York
City, was physically in Puerto Rico in 1956 when Ramón Jiménez won the prize,
though he never mentions meeting or otherwise knowing him. Williams in Puerto
Rico was close to the poet Luis Palés Matos, several of whose poems he imitated
and one of whose works he translated into English. It is inconceivable that
he did not hear about and read works of Ramón Jiménez, either in New York City
or Puerto Rico.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Above the Tree Line

                         "Cada vez que abro los labios
                         Inundo de nubes el vacío."*

                                              Vicente Huidobro

Cold bitter roll
out of the sleeping bag,

flash of fire and a cigarette
frantically inhaled,

warm perch and hot coffee
in the golden morning sun--

                         nicotine, caffeine & bright light:

the animal arctic and addicted,
billowing with vapor,
ends another Ice Age night....

E. A. Costa
N.B.: * "Every time I open my lips, I flood the void with clouds."

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Purple Cloud Of Gentle Doom (Mementos of a Polytonic)

                     “...and beneath the flag, stretched right across the house,
                      was the thing which spelled, letter by letter, in letters of light:
                      and it spelled two words, deliberately, coming to the end,
                      and going back to recommence: Drink ROBORAL"* 
                                                                                                     M.P. Shiel

& shoes

but stilletoes emphatically stilletoes even as high-heeled blues.


throes & woes

but undoes noes and yoes.

Foregoes no-go's so:


(which looks too much like backhoes in them thar hills)

magnificoes &

Yet echoes with echoes or echos, vetoes vetoes and never banjos banjoes.

Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man,
when was the Great Vowel Shift
& should there be a comma before the and?

E. A. Costa

E. A. Costa     October 24, 2016   Granada, Nicaragua
N.B.: *Alise Bulfin, “'One Planet, One Inhabitant': Mass Extermination In M. P. Shiel's
Purple Cloud" suggests plausibly  Roboral—otherwise unknown apparently--was some 
“fraudulent tonic”. It might be pointed out that Shiel was a Socialist and the name is an
anagram of “laboro”, “I work” in Latin, which works either in regard to Shiels or to some
contemporary patent medicine peddler having the very name of the tonic avowing that it works.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

NW x NW: Antiode to Alfred Hitchcock

                                      "In Riemann, Hilbert or in Banach space
                                      Let superscripts and subscripts go their ways.
                                      Our asymptotes no longer out of phase,
                                      We shall encounter, counting, face to face...."

                                                                                 Stanislaw Lem

Every image arises from a field
of possibility and having risen,
rises another field between
meaning and unmeaning:

       Two in and out of twilight
       hand in hand, dark and bright
       in the ballet of left and right...

               tragedy & comedy

               laughing and crying chiasmically.

Is the fruited field polysemous?

                               jupe de jeter

                              à travers de l'espace  

                              jupe à jeter


As things stand aren't all worlds
AMBIGUONS winging through two
or more images at the same time?

What a post-predicament:

               flying planes can be dangerous: rat-tat-tat

              the jet strafes North by Northwest: pan-pan cul-cul

              it is a Naval Factory N3N Canary crop sprayer

              with four on the floor by Rolls Royce

              Cary escapes with a prayer and a little shrapnel

              in the κεῖσθαι of his featherduster

              the pilot a marine from Quantico

              is convicted of being viciously orange

              locust run amok

              no wheat or maize are sown or grown

              what can a poor poet do except plant potatoes?


E. A. Costa

E. A. Costa       October 23, 2016     Granada, Nicaragua
N.B.: κεῖσθαι: the lie, being in a position (Aristotle)

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Dreams Of War Among Orangutans

                             “En ces temps difficiles, il convient d'accorder notre mépris
                             avec parcimonie, tant nombreux sont les nécessiteux.”


Let scientists tell in precisest terms where
reside dreams of war among Orangutans
and what kind of war it is:

Is it war to control bananas,
food of the wise, by the likes
of Great Ape United Fruit?

Is it war to monopolize the best routes
for brachiating through branches
of jungle and over the shortest airlanes
between trees to trapeze across?

Is it religious war or war to colonize and exploit?

Is it nuclear war, chemical war, economic war?

Is it a war of terror? Is it racist or genocidal?

Is it war for profit or war for the sake of war?

Is it no war at all but a still sullen nightmare
of a long-armed guerilla blowing strawberries
at under and over men logging, mining, and burning
the small green planet of just another less than human,
more than human forest kind?

E. A. Costa

E. A. Costa   October 11, 2016  Granada, Nicaragua

Monday, October 3, 2016

Haiku Informaticus/ Haikú informático

This is no window.

This is a computer screen.

Behind you—the world.

E. A. Costa

Haikú informático

Esto no es ninguna ventana.

Esto es el monitor del ordenador.

Detrás tuyo—está el mundo.


E. A. Costa     October 13, 2016    Granada, Nicaragua