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Apr 21st
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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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As the Lyrid meteors, radiating from the star Vega in the Harp constellation, begin showering heaven and earth with light, Pluto, planet of transformation (or die) turns stationary retrograde (Thursday, April 16), 15 degrees Capricorn. Retrogrades have purpose, allowing humanity time to review, reassess, research and reinvent while returning to previous situations. Retrogrades are times of inner activity, seeds sown in bio-dynamically prepared soil. Pluto retrograde is the most serious and resolute of retrogrades—a pure tincture, or, as in homeopathy, a “constitutional” touching the essences of all that matters. Pluto offers deep insight into confusion or puzzlement and areas where transformation is still incomplete. It’s valuable to have one’s astrology chart to follow what area of life the major planets— especially Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto—are influencing. These outer planets have long-term and lasting effects on our psyche, inner/outer life events, how people see us and how we see and process our world. Pluto, retrograde for five months (until Sept. 24) offers deep earthquakes of change, awakens humanity to the task of building (Capricorn) the new culture and civilization, flailing our inner world about, deepening us until we transform and do things differently. Pluto is an unrelenting teacher. New moon (29 Aries) is Saturday, April 18. With the personality-building keynote, “Let form again be sought.” Mars anchors the new creative fires of Aries into our world. The New Group of World Servers participates together in the new moon festival, while also preparing for the Taurus Wesak, Buddha Full Moon Festival (May 3). Join us everyone.

 

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