Santa Cruz Good Times

Saturday
Feb 06th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

The Poems of Marvin Bell

ae BellMarvinEditor’s note: This week’s Poetry Corner features the work of Marvin Bell. As the author of 23 books of poetry and essays, he has been called an insider who thinks like an outsider, and his writing has been called “ambitious without pretension.” His latest books are “Vertigo: The Living Dead Man Poems” (Copper Canyon); “Whiteout,” a collaboration with the photographer Nathan Lyons, (Lodima); and a children's book with illustrations by Chris Raschka, “A Primer about the Flag” (Candlewick). His poems, his teaching, and his columns in The American Poetry Review, “Homage to the Runner,” have influenced generations of poets.

More About the Dead Man and the Cutthroat
The dead man would be of the primary cutthroat trout class, one
of freshwater and not inclined to migrate.
Let the salmon climb ladders, let the salmon die in the gasp of the
life force.
Let schools of salmon exhale to blow down the trees as they perish.
We little ones, like the cutthroat trout, we the meek, we shall
inherit.
We will sputter with the hook in our mouth but say nothing more
than spit.
Fishermen of the deep do not want our language, they live for
ae Vertigothe ocean.
The open sea is a cemetery, the open sea is a past century, the
open sea is too big for us.
The river is where we live, the lake, the canal, wherever we can be
at our throats with kisses or with knives.
It is not so far to one another that we cannot get there.
It is not so far to one another that we may not get there.

 

About the Dead Man and the Arch
In the curvature of space, in the ox yoke of industry, half-
encircled by the arm of the rainbow or earthly in the curled
palm of an open hand, the dead man lives ahead and behind.
The dead man’s back arches as he bends to see or leans back
in submission.
The dead man has ridden within the hollow arch.
He has scratched at the stone arch, feeling for the Etruscans.
He thinks the arch may follow the path of their lost language.
The dead man sees in the arch an incomplete zero, a footless oval,
a hoof-guard, French arches triumphant, arches written in
Utah by erosion.
Arthritic fi ngers are arches, and the fl ood-curled covers of art
books, and the torso of a kneeling prisoner.
In such manner is dead man’s geometry displaced from purity of
thought, even as the age echoes with the latest “Eureka!”
Oh, purity of intention, beauties of foresight, and the fork in
the road.
For it was the divergent that sent one uphill or down.
It was the creation of options that sent the brain reeling, the
economy spiraling, and invented mixed feelings.
Then came the arch of architecture, which limned entry and exit,
the yes and no, the business of going in or staying out.
Every arch is academic, for the arch that props a bridge or roofs a
tunnel is a theoretical proof.


About the Dead Man and Food
The dead man likes chocolate, dark chocolate.
The dead man remembers custard as it was, spumoni as it was,
shave ice as it was.
The dead man talks food with an active tongue, licks his fi ngers,
takes seconds, but has moved on to salads.
It’s the cheese, it’s the crunch of the crunchy, it’s the vinegar in the
oil that makes a salad more than grass.
The dead man has a grassy disposition but no cow stomach for
flappy leaves and diced croutons.
The dead man remembers oysterettes as they were.
He recalls good water and metal-free fi sh.
Headlights from the dock drew in blue claw crabs by the bucketful.
A fl ashlight showed them where the net lay.
If they looked bigger in the water than in the pail, they grew back
on the stove.
It was like that, before salads.
The dead man, at the age he is, has redefi ned mealtime.
It being the quantum fact that the dead man does not believe in
         time, but in mealtime.

photo credit: Jason Bell

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

On the Run

Is there hope for California’s salmon?

 

Chinese New Year of the Red Fire Monkey

Monday, Feb. 8, is Aquarius new moon (19 degrees) and Chinese New Year of the Red Fire Monkey (an imaginative, intelligent and vigilant creature). Monkey is bright, quick, lively, quite naughty, clever, inquiring, sensible, and reliable. Monkey loves to help others. Often they are teachers, writers and linguists. They are very talented, like renaissance people. Leonardo Da Vinci was born in the year of Monkey. Monkey contains metal (relation to gold) and water (wisdom, danger). 2016 will be a year of finances. For a return on one’s money, invest in monkey’s ideas. Metal is related to wind (change). Therefore events in 2016 will change very quickly. We must ponder with care before making financial, business and relationship changes. Fortune’s path may not be smooth in 2016. Finances and business as usual will be challenged. Although we develop practical goals, the outcomes are different than hoped for. We must be cautious with investments and business partnership. It is most important to cultivate a balanced and harmonious daily life, seeking ways to release tension, pressure and stress to improve health and calmness. Monkey is lively, flexible, quick-witted, and versatile. Their gentle, honest, enchanting yet resourceful nature results often in everlasting love. Monkeys are freedom loving. Without freedom, Monkey becomes dull, sad and very unhappy. During the Spring and Autumn Period (770 - 476 BC), the Chinese official title of Marquis (noble person) was pronounced ‘Hou,’ the same as the pronunciation of ‘monkey’ in Chinese. Monkey was thereby bestowed with auspicious (favorable, fortunate) meaning. Monkey years are: 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016.  

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of February 5

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Wine and Chocolate

West Cliff Wines gets its game on, plus a brand new chocolate cafe on Center Street

 

How would you stop people from littering?

Teach them from the time that they’re small that it’s not an appropriate behavior. Juliet Jones, Santa Cruz, Claims Adjuster

 

Dancing Creek Winery

New Zinfandel Port is a ruby beauty

 

Venus Spirits

Changing law could mean new opportunity for local spirits