Dolce far niente, John Ashbery, Richard Blanco, Stacie Cassarino, Silas Weir Mitchell

Dolce far niente

 

 
Nr. 512 door Roel Rolleman, 1982

 

The Painter

Sitting between the sea and the buildings
He enjoyed painting the sea’s portrait.
But just as children imagine a prayer
Is merely silence, he expected his subject
To rush up the sand, and, seizing a brush,
Plaster its own portrait on the canvas.

So there was never any paint on his canvas
Until the people who lived in the buildings
Put him to work: “Try using the brush
As a means to an end. Select, for a portrait,
Something less angry and large, and more subject
To a painter’s moods, or, perhaps, to a prayer.”

How could he explain to them his prayer
That nature, not art, might usurp the canvas?
He chose his wife for a new subject,
Making her vast, like ruined buildings,
As if, forgetting itself, the portrait
Had expressed itself without a brush.

Slightly encouraged, he dipped his brush
In the sea, murmuring a heartfelt prayer:
“My soul, when I paint this next portrait
Let it be you who wrecks the canvas.”
The news spread like wildfire through the buildings:
He had gone back to the sea for his subject.

Imagine a painter crucified by his subject!
Too exhausted even to lift his brush,
He provoked some artists leaning from the buildings
To malicious mirth: “We haven’t a prayer
Now, of putting ourselves on canvas,
Or getting the sea to sit for a portrait!”

Others declared it a self-portrait.
Finally all indications of a subject
Began to fade, leaving the canvas
Perfectly white. He put down the brush.
At once a howl, that was also a prayer,
Arose from the overcrowded buildings.

They tossed him, the portrait, from the tallest of the buildings;
And the sea devoured the canvas and the brush
As though his subject had decided to remain a prayer.

 

 
John Ashbery (28 juli 1927 – 3 september 2017)
De High Falls in Rochester, New York, de geboorteplaats van John Ashbery

 

De Amerikaanse dichter en schrijver Richard Blanco werd geboren op 15 februari 1968 in Madrid. Zie ook alle tags voor Richard Blanco op dit blog.

Until we could (Fragment)

I knew it then, in that room where we found
for the first time our eyes, and everything—
even the din and smoke of the city around us—
disappeared, leaving us alone as if we stood
the last two in the world left capable of love,
or as if two mirrors face-to-face with no end
to the light our eyes could bend into infinity.

I knew since I knew you—but we couldn’t..

I caught the sunlight pining through the shears,
traveling millions of dark miles simply to graze
your skin as I did that first dawn I studied you
sleeping beside me: Yes, I counted your eyelashes,
read your dreams like butterflies flitting underneath
your eyelids, ready to flutter into the room. Yes,
I praised you like a majestic creature my god forgot
to create, till that morning of you suddenly tamed
in my arms, first for me to see, name you mine.
Yes to the rise and fall of your body breathing,
your every exhale a breath I took in as my own
wanting to keep even the air between us as one.

Yes to all of you. Yes I knew, but still we couldn’t..

I taught you how to dance Salsa by looking
into my Caribbean eyes, you learned to speak
in my tongue, while teaching me how to catch
a snowflake in my palms and love the grey
clouds of your grey hometown. Our years began
collecting In glossy photos time-lining our lives
across shelves and walls glancing back at us:
Us embracing in some sunset, more captivated
by each other than the sky brushed plum and rose.
Us claiming some mountain that didn’t matter
as much our climbing it, together. Us leaning
against columns of ruins as ancient as our love
was new, or leaning into our dreams at a table
flickering candlelight in our full-mooned eyes.

 
Richard Blanco (Madrid, 15 februari 1968)

 

De Amerkiaanse dichteres en schrijfster Stacie Cassarino werd geboren op 15 februari 1975 in Hartford, Connecticut. Zie ook alle tags voor Stacie Cassarino op dit blog.

In the Kitchen

It’s right before you drive away:
our limbs still warm with sleep,
coffee sputtering out, the north
wind, your hips pressing me
hard against the table. I like it hard
because I need to remember this.
I want to say harder. How we must
look to the road that’s gone,
to the splayed morning of cold
butter and inveterate greed.
Light comes and goes in the field.
Oranges in a bowl, garlic, radio.
In the story of us, no one wins.
Isolation is a new theme
someone says. By now
I’ve invented you. Most people
don’t like to touch dead things.
That’s what my friend tells me
when I find my fish on the floor.
It must have wanted an out.
Sometimes my desire scares me.
Sometimes I watch football
and think: four chances
is enough to get there. But
we don’t have helmets.
I want to say harder,
I can take it, but
there’s no proof I can.

 

Northwest

I admit, I am afraid of isolation,

and of the way the land breaks off here
into pieces,

and of the woman who says forever
moving her tongue along my skin
like she means it.

If I believe her, I will suffer.
If I don’t believe her, I will suffer.

Who has never wanted to be unneeding?

One year since I’ve seen the mountains
or had proof love could be enough.
The mind loves hope.

Dumb heart, come down from the walnut tree.
All the distance is ultimately a lie.

In Alaska, the heart was a fourteen-pound King.
In Seattle, she held a fishing pole to the sky.
She waited.

I will remember this version of me.
I will remember loganberry, fishscales, the future,
the letter that says:
love can sidewind.

Dear god, it is years since I’ve prayed.
I understand the birds are holy.
I understand the body leads us to love, or

this is one way of knowing the world.

 cassarino
Stacie Cassarino (Hartford, 15 februari 1975)

 

De Amerikaanse dichter, schrijver en arts Silas Weir Mitchell werd geboren op 15 februari 1829 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, als zoon van de arts John Kearsley Mitchell. Zie ook alle tags voor Silas Weir Mitchell op dit blog.

A Camp In Three Lights

Against the darkness sharply lined
Our still white tents gleamed overhead,
And dancing cones of shadow cast
When sudden flashed the camp-fire red,

Where fragrant hummed the moist swamp-spruce,
And tongues unknown the cedar spoke,
While half a century’s silent growth
Went up in cheery flame and smoke.

Pile on the logs! A flickering spire
Of ruby flame the birch-bark gives,
And as we track its leaping sparks,
Behold in heaven the North-light lives!

An arch of deep, supremest blue,
A band above of silver shade,
Where, like the frost-work’s crystal spears,
A thousand lances grow and fade,

Or shiver, touched with palest tints
Of pink and blue, and changing die,
Or toss in one triumphant blaze
Their golden banners up the sky,

With faint, quick, silken murmurings,
A noise as of an angel’s flight,
Heard like the whispers of a dream
Across the cool, clear Northern night.

Our pipes are out, the camp-fire fades,
The wild auroral ghost-lights die,
And stealing up the distant wood
The moon’s white spectre floats on high,

And, lingering, sets in awful light
A blackened pine-tree’s ghastly cross,
Then swiftly pays in silver white
The faded fire, the aurora’s loss.

 
Silas Weir Mitchell (15 februari 1829 – 4 januari 1914)

 

Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 15e februari ook mijn blog van 15 februari 2018 en ook mijn blog van 15 februari 2015 deel 1 en eveneens deel 2.

In Memoriam John Ashbery

In Memoriam John Ashbery

De Amerikaanse dichter John Ashbery is gisteren op 90-jarige leeftijd overleden. John Ashbery werd geboren op 28 juli 1927 in Rochester, New York. Zie ook alle tags voor John Ashberry op dit blog en ook mijn blog van 28 juli 2010.

 

How to Continue

Oh there once was a woman
and she kept a shop
selling trinkets to tourists
not far from a dock
who came to see what life could be
far back on the island.

And it was always a party there
always different but very nice
New friends to give you advice
or fall in love with you which is nice
and each grew so perfectly from the other
it was a marvel of poetry
and irony

And in this unsafe quarter
much was scary and dirty
but no one seemed to mind
very much
the parties went on from house to house
There were friends and lovers galore
all around the store
There was moonshine in winter
and starshine in summer
and everybody was happy to have discovered
what they discovered

And then one day the ship sailed away
There were no more dreamers just sleepers
in heavy attitudes on the dock
moving as if they knew how
among the trinkets and the souvenirs
the random shops of modern furniture
and a gale came and said
it is time to take all of you away
from the tops of the trees to the little houses
on little paths so startled

And when it became time to go
they none of them would leave without the other
for they said we are all one here
and if one of us goes the other will not go
and the wind whispered it to the stars
the people all got up to go
and looked back on love

 

 
John Ashbery (28 juli 1927 – 3 september 2017)

Remco Campert, Malcolm Lowry, Herman Stevens, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Stephan Sanders, Angélica Gorodischer, Shahyar Ghanbari, John Ashbery, Drew Karpyshyn

De Nederlandse dichter en schrijver Remco Campert werd op 28 juli 1929 in Den Haag geboren. Zie ook alle tags voor Remco Campert op dit blog.

Den Haag

Overal bevuilde daken
groen koper van kerken
brakke lucht uitgebeten huizen
afgegraasd grasland verwaarloosde zee.
O en de trieste trage gele trams
en het kippevel van de verwaaide straten.
Heel Den Haag was één Panorama Mesdag
elke dag een verregende koninginnedag.

Mijn grootvader ongeschoren
dwaalde als Strindberg door het huis
gevangen in zijn eigen kamerjas.

En zo speelziek en verlegen als ik was
met mijn kleine rubberdolk
beheerste dolleman
pleegde ik sluipmoord op een schemerlamp
of op zolder het oude lila kussen.

 

Bandrecorder, eenvoudig

Je hoeft niet te praten
ook geknisper van kranten komt duidelijk over
of als je slikt keelschraapt
een schoen uitschopt

het suizen van het gas
de tik van het licht uit
de telefoon buiten de auto’s
mijn korte adem

maar als je toch iets zegt
zeg dan liever iets aardigs
iets dat i nog eens af kan draaien
als je weg bent.

 

Zo lag ik wel

(Zo lag ik wel
en lig ik nog: liefde
vernieuwt en en verdiept zich.

Steeds meer huiden wierp ik af-
nu eindelijk in mijn eigen
laatste vel,

ben ik kwetsbaarder dan ooit)

Remco Campert (Den Haag, 28 juli 1929)
Doorgaan met het lezen van “Remco Campert, Malcolm Lowry, Herman Stevens, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Stephan Sanders, Angélica Gorodischer, Shahyar Ghanbari, John Ashbery, Drew Karpyshyn”