Monday, November 7, 2016

2 poems by Eileen R. Tabios

The Secret Life of Magenta

The world is never unclad—White velvet ribbon
stripped from a negligee became a bookmarker—
So many secrets masked by lace—Tears not

diluting the martial energy of a gaze—Mercury
become lifestyle—Oh unknown source of a lover’s
pause—Freeze the spiral that is memory’s perspective—

An open door through which, faintly, Bach … Murmurs
melting with marrow into soup—The revolt of the minor
key—Pepper a poor metaphor for truffles—Exodus led

by beards—Deathbeds where eyes take on an ascetic’s
gleam of ecstasy—Forgo wings—White prows slicing
oceans—The pulse pulsing among persimmons—

Suspension defined as a persimmon—The seduction of
wet cobblestones—Paradox the scent of a lunatic
negative—The god aspiring to decay—Aspiring to

geometry—Map viz a rough skin—The glue of “if”s—
Weeping over the language not yet lost by toddlers—
The resonance of bone—Blue becoming golden

in a Cimabue—Waiting out the ash in one’s mouth
until morning dawns—Paintings completed by the shadows
of viewers—The ember of amber—Respond to mystery

with a kiss—That pleasurable tension of avidity—
Slowing down in a room intimate with piano lessons—
Dwarves playing violins, velvet scarves at their feet—

The anguished redhead during Verdi—That dangerous
happiness only rain can elicit—Skin extended by
voluminous ballgown—Ignoring bells—Names of children

not born, like Alexander—Scavenged pearls—A whip’s
pathos—Sausage fat sizzling with the passion of cultists—
Irrelevant bonhomie—Diluted molasses—The stillness

of a barn as moss peeks through wood slats—Over a hill,
a waiting choir—Apples rotting on a lawn—Compassion
defined as resuscitating Salieri—Softening through sleep—

Ice relaxing its contours into liquid gold—A typo lurking
in 645-1133—Sunray searing a stallion—The car fender
tattooing a 100-degree summer day against my skin—

Deceit defined as conclusions—Intimacy measured by
a glistening patch of flesh—Money as metaphor—
The pathos of the word “ethos”—Reading lips through

a mirror—Seams caused by bindings—The paleness of
paste—When the stutter steadies itself—Blindly foraging
for eggs—The blinding whiteness of a thick porcelain mug

sunning itself on your windowsill—Capturing light through
algebra—Capturing you, Lover, through algebra—Dust
losing its passivity—Fringes colonizing—Snow tucked

amid cotton nightgowns—Dream defined as a face, name
-less but in a bookstore—Twin and twining knotholes—
Wave of grasshoppers blocking the view of a headless

Buddha—Peace defined as unblinking, unmoving heifers—
Meager defined as pity—The lurking joker card—
Desperation defined as rouged nipples—O delicate scrim

of fine wrinkles—Omission as confession—Moonlight reveals
itself as broken—The noiseless convulsion—The deception
of diamonds—Audacity defined as cruelty—Always on the other

side of street corners: caravans of sad hags—Nostalgia defined
as ivory—Sea vomiting gold coins despite flirtatious glints—
When butter melts, something is nullified—Even false witches

salsa—The chef who scoffed at insurance—Stitching together
a map from the remnants of fur-covered boots—Dungeons
wasting marble—Regret defined as a Kingdom with unknown

borders—Forgiveness defined as a brass coin—The awkward
blanket of trust—The alley without flavor—Does magenta really
exist in Geneva … ?

Notes to The Spanish Guitar’s Autobiography

She was not the wind (Not then)—Surveyed bone
resigned to an impending break—Red-rimmed eyes
denoted the exhausted pace of a replicating light-year—

I knew better than to display flinch—Instructed saliva
to wait—Periscopic sightings of her toes: like young
toads from an underbrush in Brazil—She quivered

like 19th century theater, accommodated my brandy—
Her poverty at spatial relationships—In sympathy, one
of us pawed at air—Obviated zero gravity to hone in—

Germs in silk pavilions embossed with blue dragons—
Someone’s chin truculently shoving air—expanded
the whites in her eyes—Turned professorial with a box

of Corona Gordas harrumphing by my side—Promiscuous
with chiding weather—Hands betraying French manicures—
She became the wind after drying my feet with her hair—

Moons end all days bequeathed by leap years—A body
throbbed—Conundrums of evacuating mornings—Eyes
unable to transcend bleakness—Eyes widening to pull in

more of the world—Intimacies with cognac and port,
mahogany furniture, creaking butlers, stuffed animal heads
on walls, minor European royalty, cherry-scented pipes,

tartan … Her interior became an effective compass—
Chastised by a scar traversing her belly—Whispering as
a failed position, It is good to feel—Underwear became

artifact—Trading flesh-colored pantyhose for silk vermilion
stockings bruised by black—Constructing an alternate stage—
Lies crafting incentives—Rain only pretends to forgive—

She was a hurricane in my kitchen, always stealing my eggs—
Preferring to be the envelope versus the perfumed snapshot
slipped in—Possessed by a limbic brain—Boats burning

where fire bloomed roses in the middle of an ocean—
A dungeon’s red velvet chair crashing to its side so that our
pens would mate—Boy losing hand after a steeple spiraled

across vermilion sky—Opened the Iron Gate for you by losing
wings—O lost shields for eyes tracking an old target: the Sun!
The Spanish guitar never wants dawn to arrive before glass

goblets shatter—O Andalusia, where duende also insisted on
“living life
as if dreaming”—

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