miércoles, febrero 27, 2008

New Poetry From Richard Cronshey


You take away everything that can never be possessed
leaving only what can never be lost.
Where the night's meridians cross
I empty my pockets, looking for you
but there is always more.
You wait for me everywhere, like space.
To escape you, I have invented the past.
I have changed myself into a labyrinth
into which the future disappears
with its swarming fragrance
and its beehives filled with weeping.

Our Grief Comes From Elsewhere

“Our grief, which comes from elsewhere,
That grief, which destroys and renews us,
Will dissolve itself
In the flesh of our union…”
–Rene Char

What you said is true.
There is no grief here,
at the equinox of the body,
surrounded by the body's ripening,
arborescent life.
There is no grief.
To be here, embraced everywhere, and breathing
where this one breath is the consummation I had missed.
To dissolve the ghost-knot of self which is grief and heal
this wound that runs through the world,
all at once
and let time subside in me.
I had escaped through a trapdoor in the floor of myself
into boundless night and hidden where not even the mind
could find me.
How many years since you lay down in the snow you loved and died?
What could I possibly lose now,
giving my life up to my life?

“My hunger, Anne, Anne,
Flee on your donkey!”
–Arthur Rimbaud

My hunger is a ghost who climbs into bed beside you
and steals the covers, when it’s coldest, just before morning.
In my hunger’s country the wind always blows.
We walk with our collars up, our eyes down. Our hands in fists,
plunged into vast, empty pockets, cling to our pet skeletons.
Such tiny skeletons to listen to our famished memoirs;
to sing us to sleep at night where we live
heaped together unblinking beneath the shimmering bridges.

“... that which we cannot wish to change.”
–Simone Weil

It is wholeness,
it’s voice,
arisen as world,
the shining face,
waiting for me
in the present.

“I am the water that looks”
–Maria Sabina

I am an ember in the mazes
of the mysterious year,
the year’s transparency blessing me;
the deep year.
Consummate resonance, blessing me.
The earth seeing you, mute, the air
looking through you.
The mineral within you seeing through you
into the deep year. The moment before
I see that I have gone
out in front of memory
into opalescence
so that I can reach you,
so that I can be with you.
Oceanic tenderness conveying me.
The year with its blue roots conveying me,
with its ancient scintillation.
The year with its caress, the medicinal year.
The seeing year conveying me, with its luminous cadences.
The year that curls elegantly, waiting.
I am following this long shadow back to your tall heart.

From the Morning

I am the one who smells the water flying
underneath the rocks
and I am the water that flies
through the dense night space of the earth.
I listen to my own voice from before the past,
from after the future, telling me
there will be a break in the cloudbank of the world.
I am the daylight that waits for you there.

I Am the Child of My Life

Inside, in the very center, it is this nakedness forever,
this fragrance; a stillness existing by itself.
It is a wish without a beginning shining.
Sometimes for years I wear this life, like a sad hat
pulled down over my eyes
then, when I look at you, I see sunlight on water
and I remember what I am.
You are so clear I can see all the way to the bottom
of your life, into the flowering night,
that deepening brightness that can never leave us.
There is such abundance haunting us.
Look how precisely the sunflowers climb their own becoming,
like time rising in time.
You, your body and your life are the dreaming of that same light.

Richard Cronshey was born in Los Angeles in 1966. He is the author of Adagio of the Body (1990), Three Similar Instances (1992), Afternoon in the Museum of Late Things (1994) and Mutilated Currency (1997). He co-edited Bird Full of Rain (1999), a collection of the late Glenn Parker’s poetry. In June 2007, Cronshey’s thirteen-poem sequence Whose Nude and Holy Iridescence Belongs to No One appeared in Zone.

jueves, febrero 07, 2008

Three Poems by Li Po (李白) in New English Translations

Visiting the Monk of Mt Daitian Without Finding Him

Dog’s bark through water’s sound
Peach blossoms the dew weighs down
In deep woods, glimpses of deer
At brook’s edge, no noon chimes
Wild bamboo part blue mists
Spring falls from emerald cliffs
No one knows where he is gone
Weary, I rest against some pines



Mid Mountain: With a Hermit, Drinking Together

Two men drinking together. Mountain flowers blossom.
One cup, one cup, again another cup.
I’m drunk, on the edge of sleep – you’d better go.
At dawn, if you desire, come back with your guitar.



Mid Mountain: Question and Answer

You ask me why I dwell on the emerald mountain.
I laugh, without answering, my heart at ease.
Peach flowers in the water’s current linger into vanishing.
Heaven and earth are different here than in the world of men.



Translated by Andrew Haley

Li Po or Li Bai (李白) the Banished Immortal, celebrated Tang Dynasty poet, was born in 701 in present day Kyrgyzstan to Chinese exiles. He achieved great acclaim before his death, despite a life of itinerant wandering. One of the Eight Immortals of Wine, he was a legendary drinker and is said to have drowned drunk in the Yangtze trying to embrace the reflection of the moon. He was returning to his childhood home in Sichuan Province after a thirty-five year absence. He was 61.