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.


Karime said…
I take your hands Carol, in a gentle yet firm grasp, and we will paint the sky with the colors of light. We shall feel the sun and fill our hands with life while learning secrets of time. We'll fly above the cities with our hands outstretched feeling whispers said,we'll feel the minutes gone by and touch the sighs before they reach the stars. We will shake hands with poetry, and color and song.
Setty Lepida said…
Sweetie, I was reading this and was planning on posting it on the REEL; so I reach the to's part, and ... oh ! You made my heart coil with tenderness... THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, I AM T r u l l y H O N O R E D to ever have been on your way _ LOVE HONEY !!!
Carol P. said…
And I woke up today Karime, from troubled dreams as usual, feeling a little this or that Gregor’s impossibility to escape, as if nameless and demure, inarticulate and off-course, and then, not by chance but by steps, while I unfolded my eyes and opened the windows of my own private misadventures in life, there was a bird, a small-giant bird made of enchantment and light inviting me to fly… to fly away, to fly over such an intemporality where the cities, the citizens, buildings and all those other concrete images were growing smaller, and smaller, and smaller… Your hands, as I dreamt of and wished with intensity, were holding mine. We were shaking them with poetry – a precious realm few persons allow themselves to enter, but when they just do it, windows and doors and colors and sounds prove their transitory yet magical existence… A dream within another dream then? – that was what I firstly thought. Much more beautifully was that, the more we took off from ground, and all the concrete scenario made of persons and places grew smaller, and smaller, the more we felt that whole chaotic environment downstream – concrete and apparently undermost – increasing in beauty, so that our very eyes and senses were growing more and more generous to feel and to understand that, rather than refraining people from their everyday concreteness and pain, rather than letting emerge such refusal from reality or from a tender look into the Other (distorted, small, and miserable just like we sometimes feel ourselves), poetry approach people, enrich their vision, make all us believe once and for all in the redemptive power of dreaming and trusting in humankind. Thank you so much for being this wondrous person, this talented and sensitive artist, Karime; for having made with me this incredible trip towards poetry, into the infinite power of beauty and generosity brought to light by poetry; for writing so beautiful verses; and for showing me here and there that we exist to live, not to die! With all my respect, admiration, and love...
Carol P. said…
Setty, my dear, how to express in words, how to cull the right, wholesome beans, and then make them alive and pulsating, make them “flute”, articulate and bright by leading them not only to reach but to really touch the deepest portion of someone’s sensibility-light? That’s what I’ll never be in the position to measure up. And that’s what you just do with your verses. They are vigorous, they are bright; delirious in essence (like any other piece of art), but free from conveniences, they are ever so alive! Thank YOU, and very much, and always, for your presence, for you always bringing color and enchantment to my life!! In front of your verses, since the very first moment I read them and felt them, I got voiceless and amazed, I could realize that objects exist to die, and by contrast that we exist to cry, and suffer, and hesitate, screw things up, be disappointed or insulted, but especially to love and live on! Your cavalcade, your solfeggio, the blind yet transparent flight towards the infinity you “zig and zag” by culling so delicate, sensitive words on this rotten condition of all us – that we are broken, painful and obscure but at the same time brave and ready to rise off the ground one way or another – all this touches me so deeply and shows me so strongly that we, humans, unruled and multiple, are able to look, to sense, to love, and to live after all. Thank you so much for your verses, my dear! They really made me cry, but they were tears of happiness, tears of delight, tears of wondrous amazement inside! And honored got I!

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