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Feb 07th
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Poetry: Nimbus of Self

AE_poetryEditor’s note: In this week’s Poetry Corner, we feature the work of Robin Ekiss, a former Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, a recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Award for emerging women writers, and author of the book, “The Mansion of Happiness” (University of Georgia Press, VQR Poetry Series, November 2009). She lives in San Francisco.

The Opposite of the Body

Of the face in general, let me say it’s a house
built by men and lived in by their dreams.

When you’ve been plucking eyes
out of the floorboards as long as I have,

you’ll see this, just as you’d see
the patience it requires

to render an eyebrow, half an hour
and an understanding of architecture.

When you see your body,
think its opposite: not the bridge,

but its lighted face reflecting the water,
some other city as seen from a ship—

your forehead, once ponderous,
now light as umbrellas—

still not beautiful enough to make time stop.
The pleasure in being a woman’s

knowing everything’s borrowed
and can’t be denied,

as when you take apart a clock,
there’s always another inside.

Edison in Love
Thomas Edison loved a doll
with a tiny phonograph inside
because he made her speak.

Is there any other reason
to love a woman? Did she say
the ghost of my conception

or something equally demure?
It’s hard to be sure how he feels;
when he holds me, I fall apart.

I’m projecting here. He didn’t feel
her first transgression
was in having no expression.

René Descartes, too, traveled alone
with a doll-in-a-box
he called his daughter. Francine,

Francine … is it better to be silent
and wait for everything
we were promised?

AE_poetry2Or should we love them back,
the way a train loves its destination,
as if we have the machinery necessary for it?

The Past is Another Country
I’m no longer in love
with the sand that makes the pearl,

or anything grainy
that hardens its beauty

by passing through pain.
Bone revisits the porous soil

and presses itself into coal.
Whole colonies of canaries

refuse to return from that mine.
Is there anything yellower

than their dark shaft of regret?
The past is another country,

all its cities forbidden,
their borders closed to you

on every side, while here
God has many mansions,

all too small to live in.
When I inherit his palace,

I’ll take my moat everywhere,
making difficult any crossing.
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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.  

 

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