Sunday, August 21, 2011

word-culling hands

word-culling hands




… the hand no longer trembles
nor is it disconcerted…
the hand no longer consumes
so much paper; nor does it limit
itself to the minutely drawn letter
with which to channel its explosion…

poet João Cabral de Melo Neto, Autograph  







a hand, what is a hand
but a gesture, a hit
an endearment, or a crime?
at first lonely, hidden
in the pocket of my shock, our sin
inert but at full blast
a hand is above all
some open-and-shut kick-around,
about to arise from sleep –
necessary it is to move in on
an important task
from those who leave behind
the clamber of some secret –
and then to cuddle, keep off
store, feel for
or just silence

my hand is today… floating
it is weeping but hopping
as usual groaning but fluting
that I wish you could turn it into
something less secret, less private
such an unbearable flinch
to reach a low, even a low
canary flight

as all many others’ branches
my hand is today… dirty
not dirt of grass, of crap, of sex
not weariness to marvel, or to strain
no sweat, no bitter drop
an impossibility, maybe
to touch something
bigger and wiser or sharper
than this way back in many nights
where you can only hold and lift to your lips
a pure – a transparent – motion of delicacy
or some lie, one another crime
and fasten itself within
just to… stuff like that you always bite

my hand keeps still in its corner
and what to do when you feel torn down
or just absent, maybe étranger
to rise your hand and make it dance? –
as if culling beans, and tossing out the chaff
the scathing kernels, the heavy seeds –    
and then it lasts the lead
the echo, the scream …
yes, like hearts or mouths
hands cry out, they parley
by drawing their own particular route
they stroll in days and nights
and they live, they catch
they break down, they breathe
they dance even when silencing
and jump out from obscure
or free-from-cloudiness pages
to make your words, your least or most vivid seed
lure you into this or that risk

my hand endured blue
today it is a bit more chummy
a little lost, cut, disguised –
as if in no-motion to anything
or to be carried away with –
but aware of its non-place

to penetrate deftly the kingdom of words –
where lie rabbits and birds
waiting to be freed from their state of dictionary
paralyzed, alone and dumb
but in no despair, as dwelled on time –
is to accept that a hand is alive
much more than synchronized
to hold its temper and come closer
to a thousand of secret faces
and then – still humid, even saturated with sleep – 
to answer the question, “have you brought the key?

my hands, oh! my poor hands
are but a dream inside a no-entrance castle
where I am only impossible myself
not to touch, not to sense
nor to flute, nor even to dream
maybe to dance, or to cull that bean
into a land of crowded streets
a word delicate dance on our sins


I never feel myself alone when not only my hands but my eyes and lips begin to cull the beans, and gather them – careful or impetuously – leading the kernels to some invisibility a rabbit and less often a bird will chime in with. There are always special voices with and within me to whom I dedicate this zigzag verses.
Karime Limon – I cannot communicate poetry, my dear, but if I could, at least in a spark, if I could poeticize the world I would stand up in front of you, humble and fascinated, ask you to hold my hands, and let yours carry myself on to that delicate song from the woods your verses make us blown away with.
Isabelle Bonzom – dont les mains nous font sentir les choses vivement et différemment, parce qu’elles nous amènent à goûter l’art en étant dégustés par l’art.
Setty Lepida – and her hands, her voice, her sweet and bright whisper that multiply the pure feeling of being alive.
Francesca Stimolo – chi scolpisce una belleza così dolce e delicata riempiendo la mia vita di tenerezza e grazia.
Paula Friedman – rescue words, sweet hands, as if offering a generous look at those who need to “shout their toddler into silence to keep a home”, while their souls turn down the violence of being torn away …
Véa Xiradakis – d’écritures et digigraphies et kaledogrammes et tableau vivant toujours artistiques, palpitants, ça c’est un travail avec l’art qui n’est qu’au-delà de quelque chose d’ordinaire, mais d’inconstant et pourtant d’immense qui approuve aux yeux sensibles, comme les couleurs, les mouvements, les yeux et les mains très sensibles de l’artiste elle-même.
Tatiana Carlotti – aquela que, com seus urbanos atalhos, doçura em escrita, me faz sempre acreditar que é possível acabar o dia, madrugada adentro e começar a noite com deliciura incrivelmente dela, literatura incrivelmente tudo.
Isabela Escher – versos que sempre pulsantes, que sempre intensos, que sempre cá sempre.  
Margaret Kargbo – hands that heal, arms that support, and presence that always makes me believe in the redemptive power of words being used to open hearts, to neglect pain, and to spread love.
Kathy McConaghie – hands being joined, arms always ready, ears that comfort and stay beyond, feet walking away from devastation, and a special, brave voice arising from the very in-depth feeling to struggle against cruelty and cowardice.
Ralph Thomas – who made me float by bringing me his delicate whisper, resounding that it is possible to be fluting all day long, even in dark.
And Stephen Jackson – whose hands, voice, and words make me feel like I am coming home.