Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Poetry Thursday--SYNAESTHESIA


I, WASCA


1 Dancing Across My Own Brain

Marvelously I see my splitself
walking and dancing
across my own brain. My brain,
round as a stage, floods
with color, as if someone
outside my head were drawing
swaths of richly colored silk
across the stage lights. Color
pulses inside my ears. It is blue
as music which soars, then pales
where the brightest gold
floods singing through my eye sockets

then seeps into the ruby
of my upper brain.

2 How a White Ballet Flooded Yellow

Lately I began to see a shade
of color which I had never
seen before. Yellow.

Yellow shimmers
before bursting
from the proscenium as woodwinds.

Yellow, the color proper
pools, recedes, puddles
into petals of tainted poppies.

I tend to it with these iridescent
fingers that are forming from yellow fire
flaming into hands, all flaming

into fingers smoking and twisting
into body, sprouting legs
that arabesque to yellow music
...

3 Clue Into a Schizophrenic Mind

Someone tells me
"Wasca, your insane brother
Stanislaw died yesterday
in Russia, incinerated
into grey ash
in the fire that consumed
his madhouse."
I think: Stanislaw.
And yellow blooms inwardly
as I see my brother and I
run laughing through childhood.

The dance begins, a kaleidoscope
of colors, of sounds, of smells.
We dance in our red boots
for the first time at the great fair
in Ninji Novgorod. All the sights
all the sounds, the perfumes
flood me yellow, bells ringing,
the taste of Turkish Delight on my tongue,
turn, on pointe, fade blue
as I watch Stanislaw leaving St. Petersburg
with father. Stanislaw is young,
and a squiggle of jade spirts
as if squeezed from a tube, pirouettes
until blue sees brother sitting in the madhouse
with his vacant, dark eyes and open mouth.
The color of brother flashes blue
and brother spins, flapping and squawking:
"I burn,
I burn,
God, kill the fire!"
Stanislaw burns. All colors rage
into the silver tributaries of my cortex.
Unable to concentrate on fire,
on silver, or blue, or yellow, or green,
my mouth smiles while my brother burns
and burns
inside my eyes.

--excerpts from I, WASCA by Maryan Paxton

12 comments:

Catherine said...

This one matches the prompt perfectly. I'm not sure if I'm putting my comment in the righ place, because you seem to have posted it twice?

dorinny said...

This is incredible. Really truly amazing. One of the best uses of alliteration I've ever seen.

Interesting form, how you've broken the poem into three peices. Like watching a ballet, each scene unfolding ontop of the other. Really beautiful.

Anonymous said...

The true artists are always slightly crazy, yes? Or do they simply see what we do not?

Thanks for showing this post and above great pic of drama and beauty!

pepektheassassin said...

My friend Maryan wrote an entire book of poetry about Nijinski, 50 pages long. These are just part that seemed to fit the prompt. The book begins with his childhood, and ends with his death in the madhouse. After his very last performance, "dancing war," he put his hand over his pounding heart and said, "The little horse is tired."

Sadly, Maryan died of heart failure about 5 years ago. This book was never published. She won 1st place in the Utah Arts Council contest with another book called "The Honeymoon Poems," and the Utah State Poetry Society published another one called "Downwind Toward Night."

I miss her.

Tammy said...

WOW just perfect for this week! Paxton is brilliant! Thanks for sharing!

Pixletwin said...

She was a great poet and fun to talk to (argue with).

twitches said...

Wow. Amazing stuff. I am in awe.

pepektheassassin said...

But she had no sense of direction (nor do I). We traveled alot together and ALWAYS got lost.

"A good traveler has no fixed plans," said Lao Tzu, "and is not intent on arriving." That was us.

Beloved dreamer said...

Thank you for your kind words about my poem. I found it a hard one to write but you seem to be at ease with it. Very good and haunting.
Sorry post is a day late, blog was not working yesterday.

bd

Nic said...

This is great stuff -- who knew?! Thanks for sharing! Nic

pepektheassassin said...

Thanks for commenting, everyone. I really appreciate the comments. I only wish Maryan could read them.

nic--I don't know how to post comments on your page, but out of the African books I found I had heard of 4 and read 2 (if that makes you feel any better). I used to travel with a theater road company abd ibe if the plays in our rep was Payon's Cry the Beloved Country, so I practically have that memorized. Also, like twitch, I am a HUGE fan of Annie Dillard. I got to meet her once, have all her books. I shook the very hand that wrote those words!

pepektheassassin said...

abd ibe = and one
Payon's = Paton's

*g'nite*