Many Musics, Tenth Series (v)

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Many Musics, Tenth Series (v)

Post by Cenacle » December 1st, 2019, 8:36 pm

[Continued from here:

xxv. Self-Portraits, While Painting

[But then you might be me . . . me too?
What of me I do not know, what are you?
You don’t look like me, do what I do.
Why do we connect only in dreams,
can there be more, will there be more again?
Can there again be waking music between us,
a song between us? Will you sing?
Will you sing to me in dreams, again,
will you wake with me to our song?]

“Francisco, wake up, my love!”
Eyes, some eyes, a girl’s eyes, love,
want, fear, for a moment I am soft,
then impatient, then stone again.
She watches me transform but does
not cover herself from me.

“You cry out so.”
“I’m sorry.”
“I’ll go?” Hoping my next expression is lust.
Why shouldn’t it be? Dark-haired, long
& curvy, dark-eyed, a body other men
would devise in madness to touch, to hold.

She knows to leave without fuss or
affections. Yet will wear through her day
the dress & lace I sweated through,
cummed on, bit, kissed.

I let her sweat & cum, her low potent scent,
remain too on my skin as I stand nude
before my new canvas. Nude save the hat
on my head, the long-ago gift from the
old woman you belonged to, long-ago you,
given me after she told my fortune,
given me after she agreed to let you
pose for me, bed you by my wish.

“She’s a beauty.” Sips her tea & stares at me.
We sit in her ramshackle hut on wheels,
filled with scarves, & strange tools, & stranger
scents. Half of it a shared bed, the rest a small
table, a stove, shelf of books, candles, maps.
“But for the loss of her right foot.”

Sip in reply. “And the bloody splotch on
her left shoulder.” She nods. Calculates
her cards & coins. Mutters her song, more
click-clicks & cackles than words. My offer
will be taken, but the old crone will have
her superstitious say.

You buck at lowering your blouse for me.
Would show your pretty breasts to the street
before fully baring me your splotch.

I nod. Point to the money. “Take it.
Go. Thank your Aunt for me.”
“She’s not my Aunt.” A bit of fire.

We stall until I paint you nude from a peculiar
angle. Until I carry you to my bed but in
full darkness. Until I am licking your splotch
over & over, you cumming on my command
to each . . . slow . . . lick.

Once trained up to candlelight, a lover
by turns wild & quiet. Your breasts roar
by my touch, your hips shift & buck in
wet whispers to my fingers, tongue, cock.
A virgin before my touch yet nothing
spooks your mind or body. Scarves, oils,
cuffs, made to moan, fucked in silence.
My wiser body gives ever more to you,
chases, surrounds, burns, buries, salves
you, even as my fool mind eludes & wonders,
my heart burrowing for what last bit
of you I cannot claim, so I hold a bit
back too. You are grateful, sweet. I raw for more.

Bring to my small room with its tall window
to Woods, mountains, sea, your not-Aunt’s gift,
the strange, square, velvety green hat,
roomy, close, soft, like wearing a calm pet.
I make you wear it the first time I roll you
over, ass high. Words crawl to your lips, a singing,
as I drive slowly inside you. “Are we . . .
the same? . . . Francisco, my lover? . . . Do we . . .
feel as one?” Not breathing, not seeing,
I carve your buttermilk ass with my knife.

In a later painting I make of you,
you are restored but for a hole in your thigh,
a piercing straight to the black cosmos
the old woman had said I would often know
in dreams, & soon enough in my death.

I had to drive you off, your words,
your splotch. Pay no more for pretty cripples.
I do not die soon, but often dream of
that black cosmos, enough red wine,
enough rough nameless loving, extra
paid for silence & scarves.

Were you me? Are you me too?
Are we the same? You come to me
in dreams, in mirrors, in wind,
in music. I wake up humming but will not
part my lips to let your words free.

It takes me years to find the violet tint
at the edge of that black cosmos,
to feel how I can use this like an oil,
lighten the cosmos (are we the same?
will you sing to me?), lighten, lighten,
carefully, my eyelashes like a brush,
reveal a little, a little more, reveal more,
the black cosmos, just your face, your eyes,
your voice, your shoulder, your thigh,
your missing foot. You sing, I push the last
of the tint across my canvas, you sing
to me, of a Beast, a Tower, a sea,
an Island, a Gate, no rest for me,
no rest ever for me.


xxvi. Two Women Embracing

Four walls & a ceiling or roof, a castle or hut,
the world will keep oncoming, slowly,
& by surprise—oncoming till you leap
into it or let it take you. This world
takes back what you borrowed, called a life.

I give painting lessons to bored young girls,
more eager for life’s touch & bite than
the by-turns immolating & workman moments
of an artist’s cloister. I resist them a long time
after you are gone, their sugar smiles, half-
lowered blouses. Getting close again would
hurt me more than any of these.

I dream of you in my small chamber
with the tall window. Growing number
of unfinished canvases. Growing scents of
a dozen girl students & their invitations.
Each has both feet, no splotches or holes
in thighs to the black cosmos. Just minds,
tits, curious cunts. Hearts if I would,
if I could again.

No, I roam my dreams for you, where
you are, what becoming. Powders & herbs
in my teas at night. Glimpses at best.

Finally I let my students lead me.
The young always chase the best highs
of an age. I being to smile, to admire,
let mine eyes play amongst thine eyes,
amongst thy loose garments.

I pick the one who seems to know the most.
Her paintings are violent, brazenly sexual.
I teach her use her lesser hand, for uncertainty,
lighter touch, lean back from her canvas.
I will her with my vague wish for long-haired
women, with longer dresses still, who have
something in them worth winning.

I make her crush her cherry passions
for powder, paint with more than her body,
with a crying empathy for the suffering,
green world, feel it, think it, be it,
make the art that salves the world.

When I tell her I love another mercilessly,
I expect her to blood, bone, & burn me
for it.

She looks at me. Twice. A man honest
to her? Yes. Something in her becomes
all those fool words about Art & empathy
that I preach.

A sympathy between us. She wouldn’t
give me the pills & leave me alone
that night. Wouldn’t let us remain
clothed. But no more.

Holds me, my eyes closed, makes me
listen to her breathing close, its
sound, its scent, the feel of her shaped
flesh in my grasp, a hmmming,
mine own, hers, ours both, closer,
closer, until I am gone. It’s her.

Wherever you touch me, wherever I look,
wherever the sun watches us or simply shines
its day, wherever these hills empty of
all others, save the rabbits & squirrels
at business, at chase.

Whenever you look, whenever I touch you,
whenever we dance as we do, as we did,
whenever you smile, whenever I sing,
your new blouse, my dress your favorite,
whenever we go from there & there
to come here & here.

Whyever I love you, whyever you loved me
too, why that half moon, why this one
tonight, why we were so near, why again
now so far, why I love you, why
you loved me too, tell me twice, I said,
one for now, one for much later, you told
me twice, laughed, still believed, & why
& why & why?—why, Francisco?

I wild back into my eyes & mind & body
& I’m awake. A man again. My beautiful
friend holding me, no more.

“Another’s breaking her heart after I did.”
“I’m sorry.” Already knows, grieves for me.
“I felt it. I felt her. I think she felt me too.”
“I don’t know.”
“I felt her limbs like they were mine,
her heart in my breaths, her sadness
yearning me for comfort. Just comfort.”
I say no more. This girl holds me,
feeling more for me than she should
even as I wonder wildly at what this dream.

Did I ever love her enough to feel her heart
break over me, heal by another’s touch?
Break new, salve her sadness, feel her
lorn heart & body, empty bed, salve her
anyway, salve her anyway?

I don’t know how to leap back into it, but
I mount my canvases again, clean my brushes.
If you’re in my blood & bones hereon, so be it.
I’ll paint with my sure hand guiding
your prettier one, you making me feel, feel,
more than a man & his heart & his cock,
more than a woman & her several furious needs,
more than a fang, a talon, a leaf, a buzz, or a roar,
feel rawly, & rawly more, nod the world,
nod, & again, till we have nothing, & nothing left.


xxvii. My Lunatics

“Keep the speed steady. Hold the wheel tight.
I swear I feel every little sway.
Our minds are the windows.
Our bodies are screens.
We scratch.
We scrape.
And we dream.”
—The Hold Steady, “Oaks,” 2014.

For a time, nothing. I teach, & sleep little.
The few new boys continue to ask me about
God & Art. As though an either.
The many girls just ask me what I feel,
just smile at me & ask me what
do I remember?

I paint other people’s passions.
Waiting for you. On my knees, finally,
what you will.

Then for a time I contain myself in
these walls. For you, despite you. Rustled
from our cells at dawn, fed worse
than slow starving, then the sticks
swing to herd us into the open courtyard.

Is it a screen above us to obscure
the shine & the clouds? Some of us don’t wake
fully at all, mention familiarly the several
witches floating above us, the bull & matador
in that corner, slaying each other by turn,
& that goat-headed devil, laughing & laughing.

One man watches me draw, even in
my discrete corner, hands on fat hips,
wooly head & inaudible brow, we do not speak.
Maybe I alone see him there, behind
his bars, maybe I am not awake too.

I think of you, lost lover, in my cell, resist &
feel you twice over, moan you,
moan louder, & others join with me,
we moan the long night of its wants,
its wishes, our hearts clench, our bodies
release. We sleep.

When I go, my pictures, my blanket,
my second set of clothes, I pause
at his cage again. Him there or no.
His eyes are dark, gorgeous, lunar,
oceanic. His tongue is cut, he holds
his bars with eight rough fingers. There or no.

“You’re why I came. You’re why I go.”
Not a word. But we begin to breathe
together. To moan. To hmmmmmm.

Others back in the courtyard join
us, hmmm, shake, howl at it all.
Our noise is joined by the arrival of
a blind fiddler, playing wildly, childly,
but stepping careful as the blind do.
We howl. We hmmm. He plays. We hmmm.
Feeling you in it, a demon & danger to me
again, I go.


xxviii. Inquisition

And if all these things do, indeed, exist?
Her frayed sweater in that roseate light?
I begin to reck the spilled blood in the streets,
the uniforms & tanks coming on now
with winter’s cease. Flowers still appear
in the windows but fewer seasonal
dresses, rowdy noises of a world new blooming.

My students continue to come & so
I press their hearts’ news. The boys paint
violence & the girls paint fear. I listen
at night to the streets where traffic
ceases at dark. I think of their young faces.

Finally I gather them to me, all my
students, the boys jostling, the girls
blushing & comparing. Hardly older than them,
I begin to lecture. Roam back & forth
in front of them all & lecture all I have.
I think of her, of you, summoning &
summoning. Let me say true.

“Take his power, bind his hands.
Take her power, cage her close in darkness.
Take his power, gag his mouth.
Take her power, strip her raw.
Take his power, hang him flailing.”

They are scared of me, of these words
worst resembling their hearts, & wait me salve.
But I have more to bite.

“Protect it, the words, its book, its truth.
It is powerful, kill its enemies.
It is noble, garrote its heretics.
It is eternal, twist their limbs.
It is universal, burn everything else down.”

I close my eyes, breathe in, breathe out,
begin to hmmm, & again she speaks with me
the words that come: “There is in deep Woods
a pathless place, a clearing, & in that
clearing’s center is a tree, a White Birch.”

I hmmm & raise my hands for them
to follow me, & they do. We hmmm long
& I speak again: “The White Birch’s trunk
seems to contain moving faces, human & not,
joyful, anguished, shifting, ever shifting,”
& we drop back into a long hmmmmmm.

Breathe in, breathe out, we speak once more.
“Look up, count the leaves, my students,
one for each of you, one for me. Each a token
for your eye & touch that more to the world
than men’s swinging steel; stranger strengths,
powers spake truest only in books written
by full moonlight in dreams. All is not
as it seems. Wherever life, there is music.
Wherever music, there is hope.”

Finally I draw my friends together back to the humble
room we share, to the hours of our days &
weeks to come. This time, though,
it is they who urge me to hmmm,
the boys stronger for their open hands,
the girls stronger for their unbidden faith.

We sleep together, clustered like a nest,
& I feel hands on my cheek, my shoulder,
my stomach. I close my eyes & think of you,
my lost lover, roseate light, frayed sweater,
& you smile at me, & you shake your head.
Not tonight, Francisco. Here you are.


xxix. Lumen Naturae

“Verde! Stroll through life singing.”
—Dream fragment

There is no higher & there is no ground,
we kiss. Across the abyss. And you are
mine once more. You sleep like a feather
on sea foam, your stumped leg tucked
between my two. Best fall asleep with our
hands twined, resting on my heart.

Eyes closed, but not clenched, I’m able
to keep you tonight, hustle between
dream’s like veracity & my lonely heart
the sound of your shallow breath,
the warmth of your pale-rose skin,
the scent of your sexed body,
the taste of this room because you filled
it, & because you left.

You talk softly, low, hesitant voice,
but yours, you’re long gone, you talk.
“What were you as a small boy,
“As now, a painter.”
“That small?”
“My father was an architect, his eyes
would construct & tear away everything
he saw. Listen to music, passionate orchestras,
& make mathematical notes in his ledger.”

“And your mother?”
“When we were rich, she gave dancing
lessons & held parties that devolved
into orgy & broken glass. When we grew
poor, as everyone did, she danced
by herself. Eyes closed, remembering.”
“Did they kiss?”
“They fucked. I dug a hole in the wall
to watch. Him on top, his hard thighs
smacking hers. Her on top, moaning,
singing. Her hands in cuffs. His hard ass
burned with wax.”
She wants to laugh at all this & doesn’t.
“You painted?”
“While we were still rich, our house
was very big, & I would hide in its
attic, amongst the trunks, boxes,
mannequins, old map & books, weaponry.”
“You found something?”
“It was an old painting. A white birch
in a moonlit clearing, deep in winter
woods. It was damaged. Cut, scraped.”
“What did you do?”
“I studied it for months. I dreamed
about it. Finally, I showed it to them.
Knocked on their door one night,
their sex-noise was quieted.”
She nods. Eyes wide. Mine closed,
I see them. I don’t have much longer.

“They didn’t know it, claim it for a
relative. It was the first thing I had
asked them about. They were uncertain,
unknowing how or what to say.”

I pause, I hmmm. Please stay.
Let us finish this.

“I told them I would fix it, finish it,
if they bought me paints. This was a relief,
buying something for me.”
“And did you?”
“I tried. I went slow. The moon above,
the sky, even most of the trees, were easy.”
“But the white birch?”
“Yes. No. There were faces in its trunk.”
“Men. Women. Other kinds.”
“In my dreams. They moved. Swayed, shifted.
Like a film but depthless. Endless. Some
happy, some morose, some tragic.”
“How did you render that?”
“I didn’t. In waking, the canvas’s trees
had simply broken birch bark. No faces.”

You’re gone again. Nothing to hear,
nothing to touch, nothing to sniff.
No stump between my legs. My room
tastes empty.

I open my eyes. Speak. Finish our conversation.
“What became of the painting?” you ask.
“It was lost. Destroyed.”
“A fire.”
I smile at you, your absence. Your never-absence.

“I was younger. Even stupider with women.
One found me with another. Face deep
between her thighs. My tongue & cock were
wicked indeed back then.”
You laugh. Your stump pushes up between
my legs, strokes, softly, harder at my cock.
Till I’m hard again, hopelessly hard.

I let you climb upon me, let your hips
find their liked place between mine,
almost feel you wetly maneuver me
in. Move my hips, sadder and sadder,
listen, no moans, listen, hear my father’s
single pronouncement on women and love:
“You’ll never stop chasing them, wanting
them. Ever. The rest of your time
for you to mold to worth. Do it.”

I let go my cock, unspent. Listen new,
naked, now, tell me. Tell me.
Close my eyes. Drift. Come again to
the old woman’s ramshackle hut on wheels,
where we negotiated over you. You were in
my room, waiting me. She probably knew.

You are in bed with her. A great old
comforter over you, firey crimson &
black, unknown constellations, twin moons,
strange creatures decorate it.
You are younger, scared. Has she stolen you
or does she protect you? Her hands
roam your body, gently but appraising,
but gently. She begins talking,
softly, just some noises, click-clicks,
but a few words too.

“The difference between need & knowing
may sometimes seem obscure. You’ll
confuse the two. Everyone does.”

Her fingers on your small breasts, rousing
you, her fingers between your thighs,
wet, wetter, then she leads your own
fingers there, teaches, gently, thoroughly,
you moan firstly & I hear all the times
I made you moan, & you tuck into
her embrace, close, insist, soon sleep,
& what any of this but the old woman
looks at me & says, “Do you understand
the black cosmos now, Francisco? Do you
feel it? Would you want her still? Would you
waste your years in this wanting?”

“What else? What else but her absence
& this wanting?”
“The white birch, Francisco. Find the white birch.
Finish your painting of it.”


xxx. In the Meantime / Some Other Time

I wake amongst my students. The girls.
The boys are gone. “We couldn’t wake you.
They came for them.” Pretty faces, fear twisted.

I gather them to me, new wanting them,
despite all. Calming them, letting them
pleasure me for distraction. Taking my turns.
In place of farewell.

I have to go. Three blank canvases, two for
failed tries. My paints, my brushes.
Few clothes. Look slowly around my chamber,
its view of woods, mountains, sea.
Am I returning?

Leaving the city isn’t something one does
of whim. There’s tech monitoring every
moving speck of dirt, every sentient gesture.
I’ve been nobody until now, a painter,
a teacher. A series of revolving numbers.

There are those who dwell on the edges
of the city, half mythical, half mathematics.
They cross the border mostly unchallenged.
I knew one of these. He’d served my parents
when I was a child but was turned away
when we grew poor. Exiled back to these Cross Lands.

Beyond the city is what happens to a world
destroyed over many centuries by a knowing,
complicit hand, many generations of hands.
The greater green world come back to claim
what wrecked & abandoned, begun the gestating
of a post-human world. From our polluting
blackness will come surer, greener. Stranger,
looser. Men no longer to shape, to limit.

Come night, the Cross Lands less guarded,
more fires, looser magic. Make your cross
if desperate enough, or a fool. I keep
to the shadows, the chance to find my friend
held in my open palm, the pink stone shaped
like a slouched heart, given me that night he left.

I was a boy, understood nothing but the love
in a touch & the terror in departure.
His shaggy, rare smiling face had tended
me when nobody else around.

Rarely spoke, to me or anyone, with words.
When he did, slow, struggled. But his large
hands bathed & dressed me when I was small,
showed me how as I grew. Walked me
among the great garden bordering our
land, taught me the how of plants & sun,
water & seeds. Carried my snoring form
back to my bed, hmmming me into dreams,
asking nothing of me until the day he left.

“Keep this with you always. For me,
your friend. Come a day when you need me,
come to the Cross Lands, hold it out
before you. When I am near, it will
glow. Very near, it will beat, sing, &
I will come to you.”

I cried & he held me. Thrilling power
in his grasp. I cried till I slept, or
he crooned me so. Woke to workmen
in my room, packing & discarding
my young life.

I creep among ruins, sick trees,
grey bushes, stone in hand, yes,
I had run away many times & looked
for him, stopped looking, never given up.

Far into the night, the risen full moon
exposing me & my lessing hopes. Could I cross
without him? Should I return to my
students? Unpack my canvases before
a single fragment of tech became disquiet
with my absence?

I sit somewhere. There was a house here.
Broken statues, pages of leather volumes,
a random busted drawer of a girl’s lace
intimates. Pink, red, yellow, black,
for her moods & moments. Seems a good
place to despair, return home.

My stone glows, barely, but warms
too in my palm! I nearly drop it
in my happiness! Walk toward a nearby
hill, deeper into the Cross Lands.
Deeper glow, warmer, I feel him
again, his hairy hands & face, his
low voice. Grow younger, happily.

The stony hill, once climbed, gives me view
closer the distant Woods than
ever before not in my dreams. Beat,
beat-beat, beat, beat-beat. There
he is, halfway down the other side.
Slumped low, on a log. Totally alone.

I climb down slowly, ecstatic, afraid.
He’s much larger than he had been,
more like a Beast now than ever, yet
the servant in him rejected & dismissed.

No right words. So these: “Hello again.”
He doesn’t move.
“How are you?”
“No longer a servant. Happier for that.”
“Do you hold against me?”
A pause. “No. You’re nothing to me.” His words
no longer a struggle. “Then or now.”

“Would you guide me across?”
“There’s nothing for men there.”
“There’s nothing for me here.”
Silence. Nothing but a single chance here.
I talk.

“I loved a girl & sent her away. I am sad
beyond comfort. But there’s something
I have to do. I beg your help in this.”

Silence. As I am wondering how else
to do this, he stands. Begins to lope
ahead, something like a titanic wolf.

I follow, run, lag. Stop, recover my breath.
Quickly shed my bag of clothes, extra
canvases. Just paints, brushes, one canvas
tied to my rucksack. One chance to get it
right will be enough. Stone’s light in my palm
is fading. I run & run.

Last edited by Cenacle on December 1st, 2019, 9:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Posts: 927
Joined: February 15th, 2005, 6:04 pm

Re: Many Musics, Tenth Series (v)

Post by Cenacle » December 1st, 2019, 9:36 pm

*** Many Musics, X, xxv *** Self-Portraits, While Painting *** there are simple wants & then there are those that ever reign the blood . . .
*** Many Musics, X, xxvi *** Two Women Embracing *** even in the most fantastic of worlds, blood, emotion, loneliness . . .
*** Many Musics, X, xxvii *** My Lunatics *** a weird sanitarium, a place of desperate wanters . . .
*** Many Musics, X, xxvii *** Inquisition *** Francisco is a teacher, & his passions, & woes, inform the wisdoms of his teachings . . .
*** Many Musics, X, xxix *** Lumen Nature *** Francisco is a teacher, & his passions, & woes, inform the wisdoms of his teachings . . .
*** Many Musics, X, xxx *** In the Meantime / Some Other Time *** Francisco & his childhood servant, & the strange land he comes to, the beginning of a much bigger stranger trip . . . it gets much more hereon . . .

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