Santa Cruz Good Times

Friday
Apr 18th
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

 

Cardinal Grand Cross in the Sky

Following Holy Week (passion, death and burial of the Pisces World Teacher) and Easter Sunday (Resurrection Festival), from April 19 to the 23, the long-awaited and discussed Cardinal Cross of Change appears in the sky, composed of Cardinal signs Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn, with planets (13-14 degrees) Uranus (in Aries), Jupiter (in Cancer), Mars (in Libra) and Pluto (in Capricorn), an actual geometrical square or cross configuration. Cardinal signs mark the seasons of change, initiating new realities.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >

 

Growing Hope

Campos Seguros combats sexual assault in the Watsonville farmworker community Farm work was a way of life for Rocio Camargo, who grew up in Watsonville as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her parents met while working the fields 30 years ago, and her father went on to run Fuentes Berry Farms.
Sign up for Tomorrow's Good Times Today
Upcoming arts & events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management

 

Trout Gulch Vineyards

Cinsault 2012—la grande plage diurne The most popular wines on store shelves are those most generally known and available—Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which are all superb for sure. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Trout Gulch Vineyards’ Cinsault ($18), it opens up a whole new world.

 

Waddell Creek, Al Fresco

Route One Summer Farm Dinner You’ve been buying their insanely fresh produce for years now at farmers’ markets. Right? So now why not become more familiar with the gorgeous Waddell Creek farmlands of Route One Farms?