September 04, 2008


Are teapots art
if sufficiently awkward

or plates
with a poisonous glaze?

I keep dreaming of making things that might, like the beveled
edge of a mirror, compound value:

method antinomic, attitude questioning
result, still sometimes birdshit-

in such dreams I am always responsible
for the distance between burnt umber and brown

the roots concealing themselves
in the pilled wool of my pullover

my eyes a soldered bridge
mute before the questions, what's it for?

how long will it last- if irony's passÚ
shall we bring on beauty, the kind that has absorbed its opposite?

If not why not hovers over
virtuoso, tour de force & trompe l'oeil

but who can know the depth of even one's own heart-
access is guarded by a hard flame.

My ever-breaking promise of bliss:

If it holds water, is it art?

No matter how the poplars hold back the hill
as straight as any trees could be

they sway, as a mountain can appear the only one
or a link in a colossal chain.

One writes in a trance, the other applies Teutonic discipline:

shouldn't it look easy?

Let's varnish usefulness for long duty-
Christmas in the tropics-let's festinate
the yellow daisies into bloom, so icy in their blown glass-

—Natasha SajÚ
from Bend (Tupelo Press, 2004)

Posted by dwaber at 04:02 PM

September 03, 2008

A Minor Riot at the Mint

                         Custome is the most certain Mistresse of
                         language, as the publicke stampe makes
                         current money. But we must not be too
                         frequent with the mint, every day coyning.

                                                  Ben Jonson

Into my pocket slips a folded note, creased
like labia, cached with private promise.
Pea blossoms in broth. And my in petto
pleasure in thinking the missive
for me, the edges keen against
my thumb, my plotting to be alone and open it.
Is it tame as a Hepplewhite chair
or nubile as a pitchfork?

The ship rolls through open water,
dirty in the bay around Rio.
I'm a crazy sailor on the gravy boat,
a woman of means. This letter's mine only
till St. Geoffrey's Day, and if
the paper degrades, that's how it goes
with money. I'll wave the wealth
where any frigate bird can snatch it.

O my mackintosh,
my bilbo, my cistern, my confiture,

I love you so much you breathe me away.

—Natasha SajÚ
from Bend (Tupelo Press, 2004)

Posted by dwaber at 01:17 PM