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Archive for August, 2011

As promised, my pieces for August’s Liner Notes show.  Thanks again to Ela Barton for organizing this amazing series of shows, and to everyone who brought gorgeous singing and poetry to the stage, and everyone who came to listen.

Side A: Genesis chapter 32, verses 24 through 30

The prophets foretold the brush of god’s fingertips
would dry my blood in its bed
would famine my center
but I have seen god face to face and my life is preserved
I was left alone in the arboretum,
and there, under the bridge wrestled a man with me
until the breaking of the day.   
I pinned his wrists, just to press against his pushback,
meeting his ferocious, open-mouthed.  
He enticed my fight, hoping to be thrown
we tangled hard on each other’s thighs,
his skin demanded the bite of my teeth,
gripped his hair between my fingers,
and when he saw that he prevailed not against me,
he touched the hollow of my thigh, and I opened for him
and my thigh was out of joint,
but the pain was sweeter than surrender
as I wrestled with him.  
And he said, let me go, for the day breaks
And I said, I will not let you go, unless you bless me,
and he  fell on his knees and blessed me with his mouth until we collapsed into each other, trembling, and he said unto me, “what is your name?”
and I said, “Jacob,”
and he said, “as a prince you have power with god
and with men, and have prevailed.”
and I asked him, “tell me, I pray you, your name.”  
And he said, “why is it that you ask after my name?”  
And he quieted my mouth with blessings until I released him
he gathered himself off the cement
and vanished
I don’t know who that guy was
but I learned with him
god is what we make when two men wrestle

Side B: To a Young Sea Creature

if it is too good to be true,
don’t put your mouth on it
your jaw snaps at every glittering thing
that rubber minnow
that glinting metal
that flailing feather
lure like free meals
All of them will spit hooks through your cheek
reel you up where your gills are no good
only to rip the catch out of your face
sportsman throwback                                                                                                                                                                           slap on the surface                                                                     
your wound absorbing brine
your blood sirening circling sharks

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