Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
Sep 21st
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

 

Catwalk on the Wild Side

Meet the artists and designers behind this year’s edition of FashionART, SantaCruz’s most outrageous fashion show

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Watch List

From Google to the government to data brokers, why your privacy is now a thing of the past

 

The Peace Equation

Sunday is the United Nations’ International Day of Peace, a global peace-building day when nations, leaders, governments, communities and individuals are invited to end conflict, cease hostilities, creat 24 hours of non-violence and promote goodwill. Monday is Autumn equinox as the Sun enters Libra (right relations with all of life). The Soul Year now begins. We work in the dark part of the year (Persephone underground) preparing for the new light of winter solstice. Tuesday to Wednesday is the Virgo new moon festival. We know two things about peace. “The absence of war does not signify peace.” And “Peace is an ongoing process.” In its peace-building emphasis, the UNIDP, through education, attempts to create a “culture of peace, understanding and tolerance”. Esoterically we are reminded of the peace equation: “Intentions for goodwill (and acting upon this intention) create right relations with all earth’s kingdoms which create (the ongoing process of) peace on earth.” At noon on Sunday, in all time zones, millions of participating groups will observe a moment of silence for peace on earth. Bells will ring, candles will be lit, and doves released as the New Group of World Servers recite the Great Invocation (humanity’s mantram of direction). To connect with others around the world see www.cultureofpeace.org    Let us join together with the mother (Virgo). Goodwill to all, let peace prevail on earth. The dove is the symbol for the day.
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Sweet Treats

Local cannabis bakers win award for cookies

 

What fashion trends do you want to see, or not see?

Santa Cruz  |  High School Guidance Counselor

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Santa Clara Wine Trail

My memories of growing up in England include my mother pouring port after Sunday dinner—and sometimes a glass of sherry before dinner. My family didn’t drink much wine back then, but we certainly made up for it with the port and sherry.