Thursday, November 27, 2014

De Rimbaud--L'étoile a pleuré rose...


L'étoile a pleuré rose au coeur de tes oreilles,
L'infini roulé blanc de ta nuque à tes reins ;
La mer a perlé rousse à tes mammes vermeilles
Et l'Homme saigné noir à ton flanc souverain.

Arthur Rimbaud


La estrella lloró rosa en el corazón de tus orejas,
El infinito roló blanco de tu nuca a tus riñones--
El mar perló rojizo a tus tetas bermejas
Y el hombre sangró negro a tu flanco soberano.

[tr. E. A. Costa]


The star has mewled rose in the core of your ears,
infinity veered white from your nape to your small--
sea pearled red with your vermillion nipples
& mankind bled black at your all-reigning side.


[tr. E. A. Costa]

Granada, Nicaragua 27 November 2014

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Atavism No. 7


1.

Night rain arrives
from time faraway
fraught with tears.
Glowering in mournfulness,
bowing to howling wind,
she darkens stars and moon.

In sinister whispers
her prosody intensifies.
The shadows are all ears.

Then as she came she is gone,
untraced in eyeless silence
between wakefulness and dream.


2.

Every bivouac
it was the same dream:

a roughly human form two-legged and armed
wading empty of matter through
the plenitude of night.

Where nothing meets nothing
there is electric skin.

He named it negative man
after a childhood bogey
haunting a closet.

At the top of the stairs
behind that door—ghosts.


3.

It wasn't until he had been
in the northern rainforest
for nearly six weeks that
he came face to face with Wolf.

He sat straight up out of deep sleep.

Wolf was watching yellow-eyed, wiry and unscrupled.

In retrospect he understood the glance:

wholly ferocious corporeality whose every strand acts as one.

But Wolf waits and watches,

calculates and decides:

if not this night, some other

in endless time ahead and behind.



4.

Coming up from the gorge

smelling of forest,

breathing forest,

drowning unpersoned and quiet in it,

not even hearing one's own footsteps--

straight into Deer's motionless stare

not six feet away.

There was no decision to freeze:

just two demobilized for infinite minutes.

He smiles and raises his hand.

Deer bounds effortlessly to the left,

indifferent under uncounted points.


5.

Somewhere in Québec

after midnight

he walked into the ancient Roman village,

first century or thereabouts, no doubt French,

thus underneath it all somewhere in Gaul.

Stone farmhouses and outbuildings,

tools left leaning by small stone sheds.

The village slept.

Dogs did not bother to bark.

They trusted one another through the night.

At last he is permitted to pass.

Later he talks to his father long distance.

“Would you like to be a senator?” he says.

“A senator? What are you talking about? Have you gone mad?”

“Not that kind of senator,” he says, “and not in these obscene times.”


6.

Blizzard begins like a sneak thief

stealing off with the drab ground.

Soon trees are wearing white wool.

The cosmos is slowly muffled.

He walks quietly in heavy boots.

Every step the world gives way

a fraction of an inch, protesting softly.


7.

Half wild dogs

are the most dangerous.

They run in packs.

They hunt.

They are not afraid of man

because men do not know

their unseen side.


He walks up from the highway
to the summit of a flat-topped hill

and is ambushed by a perfect triangle,

lead dog facing him.

He stands stock still

gripping the walking stick.

They return the favor,

which is: not one inch more.

There is no transcript,

for nothing is said—no word or bark.

He backs slowly between the pickets toward the rear,
right and left, awaiting their captain's orders.

Before he turns down the grade
he smiles to himself.

They watch him all the way
back down to the road.


The captain nods and they disappear.

E. A. Costa  June 8, 2014  Granada, Nicaragua

Friday, May 9, 2014

Fragments Of Forgetfulness (Presque Vu)


Traveling light
there was no room
to pack snowstorms...

IN THE COLD SUN
RISES LIKE STEAM
FROM THE SEAMS
OF BLACK SOIL

el rocio....(the dew)

In the carry-on
fit only two seasons of four:
summer and winter, dry and rainy.

MANGOS THE SIZE OF CANTALOUPE
(sliced in wedges & eaten like melon)

Toil is a mystery here
like the inconsistent sea.

GLIDING INTO THE NEWBORN SEASON
UNDER FULL SAIL IN ROLLING GALLEONS
STEEL-WHEELED

Razón y caparazón

Lives ANY snail apart from its shell?
Where is the asylum if not in self?

CREATURES OF THE NIGHT
NEVER INVADE THE DAY.
IT IS YOU WHO TRESPASS.

LOOK TO WHALE OIL & ELECTRIC LUCUBRATIONS.

She is no maid
in luminous brocade
to be nursed or cursed.

She stirs ever so softly
with small-cupped tea
and songs of youth....

IN THE MERCADO THE SILHOUETTE OF AN AZTEC

in the desert dryness of winter
whoever is sane waits for rain.

THE SANDPAINTER:

it is landscape imaged in landscape, it is the map that is the territory....”

[spits & pisses]

The transience of beauty, the transitoriness,
what is its inverse? The permanence of the ugly,
its Calvinist eternalized universe?

Or does that too pass, giving way again to....

IN THE FAR EAST
SELF IS NOT ATOMIC

Semana santa es la semana
cuando el Cristo resucita y los precios
suben con él.

Where is the suspense in this passion play?
What if Spring never returns? What if bread
never rises (even symbolically)?

Even Christ doubts.
[nothing is resolved by western science: eclipses
have beginnings and endings with repetition only
in their middle]

Listening to Hollanders talk for a week:

they never repeat, just expand like balloons.

They are grandiose in their small-mindedness,

building elaborate dikes and filling all the little crevasses

with their fingers.

BELOW THE LINE OF THE HORIZON
SANDSTONE WALL BECOMES DAWN
& SUNDOWN

LIFE IS A NARROW LEDGE DISPUTED
BY TOURISTS ON MULES

WALKING IS A GLIDE DOWN A LONG GRADE...

What to do with a poem
that roams from place to place
in sub-atomic space?

What to do with a rhyme
that is a hundred years
in aftertime?

OVER THE DRY PEAKS
THE BLUE OF THE WIND
IS NO FIGURE

TAUGHT BY ROTE
TO BLINDED CHILDREN.

IT IS A SPECIFIC SKY,

ENDLESS

UNCHANGING....


Just between our six tongues

(two searching, two denying, two affirming)

a word that rhymes with lizard
that names a county in Kentucky

which Ferrer is Dreyfus

where in the USSR U-2 was downed....

THIS CREATES SPACE
WHERE A CLOCK TICKS
IN HETEROGENEOUS SECONDS:

arma virumque cáno....

HERE ALL QUESTIONS
ARE ANSWERED TRUTHFULLY

or not answered at all....

There the fruit
of associations
begin between
you & you.

In this water
the platypus
hunts crustacaeans
electromagnetically.

Do you smell the lights flashing?

1,2,3....

Once upon a time
no one ever invented
a word.

Twice upon a time
everyone misunderstood it.

Thrice upon a time
begat birdsong
and crickets rubbing
their legs together
sensuously.

Have you heard the babbling books?

Have you seen clothesless nymphs

singing by the still pools of satellite dishes,

echoing?

This is Narcissus & the Missus
kicking off their shoes
after a hard day's worthless work of 7x8
watching 24.

Darkness is their fortress wall.

Flickering is their intellect.

Commoditized dreaming

is all the rest

they ever get.


E. A. Costa May 9, 2014 Granada, Nicaragua

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Festival Of Parrots


                            "The essence of parrotry is the realization
                             that what is called hard is not necessarily hard,
                             & that called soft not necessarily soft..."

                                  (Pseudo-Gracián, Un cœur simple)


En voz alta:

In the morning a jet black clarinero
picaresquing through void conjured
its name in Spain and summoned up
a cloud of orangutan that ate the sun.

In the evening same raven—for it was a raven--
devoured the moon

leaving only craven shadow

through which to soar unseen.


Por el altavoz:

THERE IS
NO PARROTRY
IN ENGLISH
THEREFORE THIS
IS NOT PARROTRY

(feedback)

...NOT PARROTRY...


En voz alta:

The Holy Virgin emerges from the Cathedral
riding a wave of arms and floats around El Centro.

As she passes all cover their eyes
so as not to be compromised. ¿Por qué?


Por el altavoz:

PORQUE (after Buñuel) TODAS LAS VIRGINES TIENEN CULOS

(feedback)

...EN CULOS....


En voz alta:

The sharks return to the sweet water sea
speaking Chinese. Chi fan le ma?

On the grey shore wash up tell-tale cans.

Pearl River.

A beggar sleeping on the streets
is translated to Olympus as a pumpkin.

Jack-o-lantern laughs succinctly in Latin:

Veni, vidi, lexi.

Sky rains down a bolt
from the blue.

The word AZUL
is incinerated
in every text
leagues around.

Ash-edged lacunae in sundry editions remain.

It is Sunday.

A young German girl—zaftig--
holding open a volume
behind her back has AZUL
tattooed on her round right

BUTTOCK.

A delegation of clarissimi
is dispatched to investigate.

They confirm the significance of AZUL.

Photographs are taken.

Bystanders are interviewed.

The report is printed, bound & sent
to the Great Pyramid in the CAPITOL.


Por el altavoz:

STEP RIGHT UP, STEP RIGHT UP.

(feedback)

...RIGHT UP...


En voz alta:

Gold coins fall from the sky
inseminating selected Danaës.

It precipitates toads.

Blind men speak in tongues.

The lame hear.

There is an earthquake
joining the Atlantic and Pacific.

Mombacho belches.

Night descends in a slurry
of ash and torrential rain.


Por el altavoz:

PARROTRY IS KULCHUR.


(feedback)

...KULCHUR...


                           (a veces no está demás decirlo....)


E. A. Costa 14 March 2014 Granada, Nicaragua














Tuesday, February 11, 2014

If You Want Wide...


If you want wide go elsewhere
or on your side turn yourself
perpendicular to the pull of the earth
and

left and right

excavate with your eyes:

dig the sky
and fly into the bowels of the globe

grow upward
and shrink down
freeze and burn

generate electricity

and in elastic mirth be renewed.

E. A. Costa  11 February 2014

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Zen Swing (in three voices)



In the vast night the sky hangs lower than the treetops...

                                (William Carlos Williams after Meng Hao-jan)


1. 
Distance is steps. 
Interval is time between. 
Space is where unfolding.



2.
Touch stone or water or sky. 
That is active voice. 
Stand skin against the wind. 
That is passive. 
Put index finger to nose tip. 
That is middle. 



 3.
Three voices speak in different tongues. 
At times all agree. 
At times they don't. 
At times one or another or all are quiet. 



1. 
There are different ways to cover
longer distance in equal intervals: 
Speed up pace. 
Lengthen stride. 
Speed up pace and lengthen stride. 
The last defines simultaneity.



2.
Look at the reflection in the mirror. 
The reflection is not you.
Left and right seem reversed. 
If you move, the reflection moves. 
If the reflection moves, have you
or is it the mirror?


3. 
Walking is a procession of  falls. 
A foot lifts off the surface,
another lowers down upon it. 
Walking is the rise and fall
of left and right.


1. 
A one legged man
who hops progresses. 
He coils and spings.
He pounces and bounces.
He does not walk.


2.
Crutch or cane serves as leg,
so unveils the triangle,
so unveils the fall,
so unveils the swing.


 3
Effort is expenditure.
Effort is stretching.
Effort is reaching.
Effortless walking
is swing.


1.
Gait is Scots for gate.
Walking is opening
and closing a gate. 


2.
Body is joints.
Body is pivot.
Body in movement
is three voices.

1.
2.
3.
Body is swing.

E. A. Costa  23 January 2014