Friday, April 17, 2009


Navigable Space

Cynthia writes:
And then, in the blue
light of Stockholm

“grievous fumes of zebra”
she doesn’t quite write,
but we take her meaning,
we infuse it with
the leftovers of this &
that, grieving everything
that nozzled the new day,
the blue ubiquity of
failing cemeteries, long
forgotten in the grey
meadows, long bemused by
missing flowers—asters, gladiolas, stargazers—
on my word, I have
lost the very last I
I had to muster, confused
by gerrymandered time,
impoverished by Stockholm’s blonde
vigor, the backs of tourists
in blonde streets,
the cooing of pigeons over
blonde bridges, the last chance
for hello into a world
thirty years lost
in the rain, grey garden
on the edges, basement
revelations in the crying that
grew louder & louder,
the day
you said
you would never die.



Blogger anno said...

This is exactly what it's like to navigate a poem. Love the turn in the middle, the "on my word, I have/lost the very last/I had to muster, confused/by gerrymandered time. Enjoyed every bit, actually.

2:08 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Anno: Jon-fen is still creeping into the poems. This fell out of a writing assignment I gave yesterday. I handed out an assortment of last lines from novels - famous, not so famous, and obscure. They were to write a story that ends with the last lines of their choice. Like all good students at the Instituto, I broke the rules and started with the last lines and broke them as well (and wrote a poem, instead of a story). Cynthia Ozick: And then, in the blue light of Stockholm among zebra fumes, he grieved.

2:59 PM  
Blogger Whitesnake said...

Interesting take

5:20 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Obliged, WS.

5:54 PM  
Blogger Dee Martin said...

I love the pictures - "the cooing of pigeons over
blonde bridges, the last chance
for hello into a world
thirty years lost"

9:08 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Thanks, Dee: it was fun to revisit the blonde bridges and the pigeons of 30 years ago. 31, to be exact...

10:40 PM  
Blogger Granny Smith said...

Mesmerizing! I read it several times. You have mastery of mood.

10:51 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Thank you, Granny Smith. I think mood has mastery of me. I'm happy to be under its spell.

10:54 PM  
Blogger Rinkly Rimes said...

'Blonde' is a word that always makes me think of Scandinavia and not just the idea of beautiful blonde girls either.

1:30 AM  
Blogger floreta said...

i like the attention to color in your poem. everything comes together nicely.

1:51 AM  
Blogger ainelivia said...

great word images here, "gerrymandered time", "blonde streets". am a fan of scandanavian crime fiction, and this certainly conjures up the nordic mood.

4:41 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Ms. Rimes: I'm with you on that one, though one of the backs was in fact a beautiful blonde girl reeling in the surrounding blonde. And the follower was, for the time, still blonde himself. A grey meadow now.

8:30 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Ms Floreta: I thank you. Apropos of your recent posts, though, I should say that I owe you some red...

8:32 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Welcome, ainelivia: Thank you for your comments. Thirty years ago in Stockholm and Örebro and skinny-dipping in a gorgeous rainy misty lake certainly seeped in deep.

8:36 AM  
Blogger SweetTalkingGuy said...

Wonderfully written, makes me want to go there.

4:01 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

STG: Got to...

4:11 PM  
Blogger Fledgling Poet said...

Such wonderful imagery...lovely.

7:05 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Fledgling Poet: Thank you and thank you for your visit.

7:28 PM  
Blogger Tammie Lee said...

'the day you said
you would never die'

and so much about this poem reminds me of my father saying "we'll beat this" and then he died...
flowers had no meaning for almost a year.... because they too would simply die
your poem has this feeling for me, taking me into the sorrows and 'grieving everything
that nozzled the new day'
well done~

10:51 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Tammie: I'd say your father must infuse your photographer's eye, the splendor and love in all you capture: he must be deeply within it all...

6:55 PM  
Blogger alister said...

This amethyst river is particularly nice-rolling, nice-sounding, pounding in places and gurgling in others. And all the rivers that have ever rolled through you, they roll out these wondrous combinations of words, words that snag on my branches, and I love them for a little before I let them roll on. Where do they come from? The one, great mind. Yes, I know, but where do they come from? Nothingness. Where do they go? To the one, great sea. Yes, I know, but why?

10:32 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Mil gracias hermana, but oy, vat a question! Why? I think even the KOB would be stumped, and would slay me for this, but I offer two choices:

Sez the smart-ass: Exactly.

Sez the sap: Love.

Much love from both of them.

6:07 AM  
Blogger alister said...

Both answers—the truth—as true and perfect as language can do. And as if enjoyment of that wasn’t enough, I found within your delightful response additional amusement, for your first answer was that of a Zen Master and for you to call it the smart-ass answer, I thought another true and perfect thing :-D

2:32 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Ms A: Zen-Master is a bit too hoity for my toity (those koans are killers for my dunderhead), but I know this: any Zen-Master worth her salt is assuredly a smart-ass to boot, no?

3:50 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

The poem jolted alive for me with ¨"on my word, I have lost the very last I had to muster," and then again at the end, such a gray grief emerges. Thanks for posting the process behind the poem. I sometimes feel that borrowing from other writers is not quite fair, but it brought this poem to life, and so I´m thankful for whatever pushes creativity. But still, how sad and sad.

4:57 PM  
Blogger San said...

This one sneaks up on us, like "gerrymandered time." Such a phrase! And "the blue ubiquity of failing cemeteries"--genius resides there.

And the ending has such a nice inevitability.

5:04 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Beth: There are definitely some grey meadows in the posts that show up here. I sometimes wonder if it's an unrecognized sadness within me or just my giving way to voices that need to come through, a grey grieving place, shrine, chapel, sacred grove. All, more than likely. The grieving despairing voices come through as needed: their "dreamspace" is in poems, rather than in dreams.

There's an occasional part of me that may twinge a bit about borrowings, but not much. Theft is a long-established tradition among poets: theft of fragments, mind. I see most of my poems as part "found poems" and collages with found objects. Braque and Picasso borrow newspaper cuttings for pieces, composers echo folklorica within their symphonies, modern musicians sample or riff off of earlier music. Theft? Tribute? Both? Neither?

Enough soapboxing: I thank you for your many visits, and the intelligence and compassion of your eyes and ears.

6:03 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Thank you, Sister San: I liked when the wind blew in both those phrases myself, particularly "gerrymandered time."

6:06 PM  

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