Eye of the Beholder

Laws of attraction. 

Eye of the Beholder

They said that she was beautiful,
In a certain light.
So by day, she hoarded candles,
And lit a few each night,
Or stood beneath a street lamp,
Half in, half out of sight.

She knew it was unlikely,
Yet still, she hoped he might
Be among the passers-by
when the moment was just right.
Then by shadow play, or molten wax
She'd feast on him that night.

Same old story

Another morning. I’m on the bus, and through the window I see a couple gesticulating on the sidewalk. His back is turned to me and I can’t see his face, but she is beautiful and exotic, a long mane of wavy black hair. And although i can’t hear her, I can see the anger and pain in her words. 


              Same old story

Her hair is wild, her brow is furled,
she wields her words like knives.
He stands immobile and remote,
the strategy of guys
who could care less.

She’s just another bitch, he thinks,
I was only having fun.
And I will win this argument
because I’ve got the gun.

Boywatching

A moment of joy captured through a bus window.


To the boys!

Tie me to your torso
and take me for a dance!
I just want to feel your body,
I’m not looking for romance.

Let the sun sculpt every muscle,
let the shadow draw the line.
We won’t cross it, we’ll just think it.
I know you can’t be mine.

But life is meant for living.
In this moment, let me dream
that years do not divide us
and I am still sixteen!


Poster girl

This one was inspired by the constant battery of perfume advertisements that seems to accompany the winter holiday season. The images of women who look like they have been lobotomized or seriously drugged as they float through wispy clouds and satin drapery. Ooo, la la. 


              Living with hunger

She’s learned to live with hunger
and shoes that cause her pain.
“She’s every man’s desire.”
Oh, not that crap again!

You can see her on the TV
and in posters on the street,
but she doesn’t look like
any living woman you might meet.

Now she whispers to the camera.
She’s only wearing gauze.
Your eyes are glazing over, darling.
Here’s a cloth to wipe your jaw.

It’s just an advertisement.
She’s a phantom, my dear man!
Come serve the goddess in your household.
That is… if you still can.

 

The words he sang to me

I saw a banner on the street advertising a concert by a well-know Valencian singer-songwriter, Raimon. Every time I see his face or hear his name, I remember the first time I heard a beautiful song that he wrote using the words of the poet Ausiàs March. It’s called “Veles e Vents” (sails and winds). There is also a beautiful folk song in English “Four Strong Winds“. In Catalan, they divide the wind into 8, each direction with its own resonant name. I recommend listening to both these songs.

So on the day I saw this banner hanging above me, the first line for this poem began to roll through my head. Eventually, this is where it led…

The Words He Sang to Me

"Veles e vents", the words he sang to me. Words of a man long-married to the sea.

He tried to love me, but no chance of that. His foreign heart could not speak anything but praise of Her. Her scent, her taste, the way she caught the light.

He loved the rasp of coarse rope nets. "Her braids," he said, and smiled. "Some days she's angry, others calm, and someday I will lie so deep within her arms I'll not come back."

And that's the way it's always been with men who work the sea. They'll love you for a little while, but she gets Eternity.

His song had names for all the winds that blow across her face, and I have learned them all by heart. That much she can't erase.