25 June 2009

Featured Poet: Naomi Buck Palagi

musk




by the time even

I set my love afire

there is the stink

and no hold

of male


coffee grounds

in fresh coffee

sweat

and old wood smoke is man


we all fall in love

and again

says guinevere

but in May we smell the stink


the overdone tree blossoms the fecund

pond


hotdogs

on a grill


love is smell and smell is memory and memory is stink and funk


what did the baby goat say to her mother?

maaaa

she said

maaaa


and how did the tree fall down the hill?

no roots

they say

no roots


the wool of the lamb was rotting and I wrestled

with it while my father rubbed the iodine


the mud was made of shit and pee and the tingle

of fresh rain a moat

of earthen muck


before I set my love afire

there were blazes

in the valley

and even as my love flagrated dewdrops

sizzled wind


what else

would make such smell?






Path as is




This is not the river of my night

I am not standing here singing

beneath the river-trees


My father swam with the current and stopped

My mother washed away, she said


This is not the river of my night and

River rats do not make their homes here and

lovers do not kiss on these banks


From my shoulders flows a long white dress and yet

underneath their beauty-bare there is stubble

in my pits and my simple swing

keeps slipping to the left





calabash




calabash still the night in black

memoralia pretending to the evening light

and mimosas fall from cliff to sea

with no splash


all is night

or early dawn

mud madonna watching

from her tower

the grain mill smooth and worn


early dawn the softness of nightgown

and stone


azaleas arresting


follow the water and not trickle, tickle

our words with morning coffee-foam and a light brush

of long hair


nothing, nothing but mudded flesh

sunwarmed in shower in view of the sea oh see

as far as it is

mimosa stills and nothing, nothing

not taken in and consumed, gusto


early tea and binoculars to moonlight

touch

that easy foam and feel

riptides

through torso


gametes and monacles

touch the old wall

madonna

over all






Naomi Buck Palagi has made her way to Northwest Indiana via many stops, including a "homesteader" childhood in rural Kentucky, complete with goats and lots of bare feet, some years in the Mississippi Delta as, among other things, a furniture maker and ballet teacher, and several years in Chicago doing the small theater rounds as an actor and director. She enjoys shaping tangible things—wood, fabric, sound, words. She has work published or upcoming in the journals Otoliths, Big Toe Review, Moria, P.F.S. Post, and Blue Fifth Review, among others.



© Copyright 2009 Naomi Buck Palagi



2 comments:

Julie said...

This is not the river of my night and
River rats do not make their homes here....
___________________
Julie

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Jenifer said...

I loved your reading from the orange girl suite part 2 at the AWP offsite reading with Chicago poets.
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Jenifer
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