Moving ahead

You can find me over here, now: Body Orthodoxy

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The Lark Tells Her So

 

An edifice more terrifying,

than diving deep in the sea

where creatures glow and beam

It holds, composes, creates, affirms

life and darkness, the beautiful and grotesque

 

She opens her eyes

59,999 miles of human vessels rejoicing,

like the lark awakening the earth

“Arise” the vessels say, “this is your temple.”

 

She closes her eyes

Feel the skin and know its ancient perception

The embryo spoke first through touch,

most rousing through touch

Take in the contours of your body

Let them speak of a voluptuous, holy

God

 

She looks up

And breathes in abundance,

exhales what seeks to flatten and dull

This glorious edifice—

Breathe in enjoyment,

exhale what spoils and ruins

This glorious edifice who

longs to bless and confirm,

Self, God and Creation

 

This glorious edifice

whom shall be called

Body

Oh sweet,

brave,

languaged

Body

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© José Parlá, Courtesy of Elms Lesters

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José Parlá‘s work

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(a friend showed this to me whilst on a trip to hopefully see whales)

Humpbacks

There is, all around us,
this country
of original fire.
You know what I mean.
The sky, after all, stops at nothing, so something
has to be holding
our bodies
in its rich and timeless stables or else
we would fly away.

Off Stellwagen
off the Cape,
the humpbacks rise. Carrying their tonnage
of barnacles and joy
they leap through the water, they nuzzle back under it
like children
at play.


They sing, too.
And not for any reason
you can’t imagine.

Three of them
rise to the surface near the bow of the boat,
then dive
deeply, their huge scarred flukes
tipped to the air.
We wait, not knowing
just where it will happen; suddenly
they smash through the surface, someone begins
shouting for joy and you realize
it is yourself as they surge
upward and you see for the first time
how huge they are, as they breach,
and dive, and breach again
through the shining blue flowers
of the split water and you see them
for some unbelievable
part of a moment against the sky–
like nothing you’ve ever imagined–
like the myth of the fifth morning galloping
out of darkness, pouring
heavenward, spinning; then

they crash back under those black silks
and we all fall back
together into that wet fire, you
know what I mean.

I know a captain who has seen them
playing with seaweed, swimming
through the green islands, tossing
the slippery branches into the air.
I know a whale that will come to the boat whenever
she can, and nudge it gently along the bow
with her long flipper.
I know several lives worth living.

 

Listen, whatever it is you try
to do with your life, nothing will ever dazzle you
like the dreams of your body,
its spirit
longing to fly while the dead-weight bones
toss their dark mane and hurry
back into the fields of glittering fire
where everything,
even the great whale,
throbs with song.

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It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living, I want to know what you ache for. It doesn’t interest me how old you are, I want to know if you are willing to risk looking like a fool for love, for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive. I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine. It doesn’t interest me where you live or how rich you are, I want to know if you can get up after a night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and be sweet to the ones you love. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and truly like the company you keep in the empty moments of your life.

– Jon Blais

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January 18, 2013 · 5:32 pm