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spacer.gif   Effie Mihopoulos
Posted by : cj on Friday, December 03, 2004 - 03:12 PM
Poetry:  Click On The Author's Name SALOME

Beethoven's head lies chipped
& cut off evenly at the shoulders.
Like the head she holds in her hands, caressingly
They walk a tightrope, her words
and she can think of only parasites and praise.
She danced her neurotic dance,
& Beethoven walked in circles,
around all the belts and luggage strewn everywhere.
She cried in whispers, hissing, all the time hissing.
Everything takes on a mediocre maze
that buries the truth below it.
in a lion's voice, she talked.
She crooned to that head, complex as faith,
wrapped suavely in her cloak.
She could only think of imaginary robes
on both of them, plush velvets, brocades.
But all those special occasions are secret burial grounds now.
The chaste moon was gone, absent as silence,
a lost friend.
She never thinks of Diana as a conspirator now,
always glances away from the white moon overhead
with a guilty sneer.
Beethoven is a plaster cast, painted a chipped blue.
He cried, and cries, and continues to do so.
Elaborate, stormy temper, full of disdain,
his haughty self is felled as much as hers was.
It is the spear, finally, that does her in,
blood on her hands, blood in her stare.
There is only blood in the moon's festivities tonight,
Joachim's blood
and dirt under her nails.
The moon is a white cloak
that leads her funerary lament,
a shadow of disease that she cannot disgorge
no matter how hard she tries to forget,
no matter how long she talks to Joachim
or Beethoven.


You are a cat, I am a mouse.
You lead, and I follow.
The chase is endless,
A race no one wins.
In the end, we are both consumed,
both of us
each other's victim.


in Atlantis
the dreams are always real
the dances are always fun and playful
the days are always beautiful
everything is eventful and entertaining
and the gods are always on your side

in Atlantis
evreything is always hunky dory
everything is always sane
everything is always calm
and the gods never make the day tremble against itself

in Atlantis
the edge of the world never seems to disappear
or come to a disastous end on the horizon
the air is never fraught with urgency
the time for business is always
the time for pleasure
and the gods never worry about sudden vengeance on their subjects

in Atlantis
transporation is always efficient and on time
the distingusihed figures here are always generous and kindly
the walls that separate people do not have moats between them
and the gods never make the sky a cold crimson weapon

in Atlantis
veils are transparent
and separate like curatins
they stretch like a rubber band
when you yank on them
until suddenly
suddenly snaps
and there is no time left--
and nothing will ever be perfect


The twin voices of your heart are cotton candy
that melts in your mouth.
We wrap longing legs around words as if they were
crisp dreams that sizzle,
a survey of daydreams.
But they are only lukewarm coffee,
a cooling bouillabaise.
You sip the taste of palpable air between us--
a temporary nectar--
& revise the tangible nights that pass for poetry
inside the quickening black suns of your eyes.
So many words rattle our days.
so many alternate voices in your head
& mine.
There are too many hands making demands in the morning.
the ultiple voices of your heart, fragile as muted tongues,
become entwined garden weeds in the peripheries of
desert paradises and blossoming hells.
You wish yourself into multiple personalities, multiple selves.
You clone your thoughts as if baking so many cookies
on a well-greased wax sheet, baking your words, too,
into trifling desserts.
there are too many mad universes that you are over-busy creating.
overly sweet on the tongue, fallen souffles that can't take the pressure
of your oversized hands.
You serve up cherry-topped sundaes, breakfast specials,
but we still sit like smart bookeneds at either end of the table
between the twin worlds you weave for you and yours & us.
I am caught in your facile computerese, the new language of poets
abandoning the typewriter for greener pastures, the fallow land
of no mistakes and no white-out.
There are too many contradictions in your eyes, a too-deep well of secrets.
the double image of your words shows such obvious signs of wear & tear
& yet I continue to fall under the spell of frenzied muscles & tongues,
an angling silence of twin myopia I acquiesce to.
As if there were more than the shallowness of empty air to complain to.
As if your twin hearts could break against the reassuring red glow
of the dawn and make that morning light
a sequence of real days complete with breakfast eggs and broken shells
that don't need daily mending, a virtual world that doesn't need programming
because you already live there
with too many hearts to count.

(for Ted Barrigan)

If you can get to where you're going
write a poem
If your voice quivers when you read
write a poem
If you can turn the pages of a book in sequence
write a poem
If you can read French and wear a cowboy hat
write a oem
If you can crack the Alexndrian quartet
write a poem
If you can translate a sonnet into twelve dreams
write a poem
If you can transform lightbulbs into rose gardents
write a poem
If you can live on the cold surface of the moon
write a poem
If you can wear your hair like a shawl around your shoulders
write a poem
If you can write history while eating a baloney sadwhich
write a poem
If you can make bracelets out of jeweled words
write a poem
If you can translate images into rituals
write a poem
If you can look at the moon and think only of its resident divinities
write a poem
If you can blow your gum into one big bubble while you blow up a factory
write a poem
If you can war the stars in your eyes as if they were army fatigues
write a poem
If you can limbo under the shoulder straps of your purse
write a poem
If you can stay up past midnight regularly with or without pills
write a poem
If you can turn yourself into a god or goddess
write a poem
If you can chase midgets and never catch up to them
write a poem
If you can read when the lights are out
write a poem
If you were ever drunk in Paris
write a poem
If you can tear up paper into black holes
write a poem
If you can write a poem under any circumstances
write a poem.....wite a poem.....write a poem
in the space that follows
under the glare of the divine moon
in this room that make you such a crazy poet
write a poem

for José G. Aggari,Jr.

José has two hearts--
a real one and an imaginary one.
He worhips the Sun and the Moon first--
and then the Saxophone,
meditating on its brass scales,
running his fingers up and down the keys.
He's got a spare heart in reserve,
for when his real heart gets broken.
The two hearts converse.
Each one makes up its own rhythm,
the heartbeat of the drum,
creating each moment that lives itself out,
the experience of the mutual harmony
of Earth, Fire, Water and
the heat of the Sun.
The ultimate therapist.
The void of the human heartbeat.
The reality of feelings.
The stigma of the ever-beating heart,
multiplied by two selves--
one heart for today, one heart for tomorrow.
He closes his eyes & imagines
the rising sun
surrounded by the shrouded moon
in the shadows of twilight,
those early hours of morning that birth the blues--
one heart here, the other there.
He molds each with his hands,
as if he is baking bread,
kneading it carefully, ridding it of excess emotions.
There is no answer to each of your destinations,
the differene of each individual truth,
one heart for each moment
that defines itself
the utter truth of each of those moments
that begins & ends with nothing
& grows from there
into twin hearts.


The muse
just won't
let them
shut up!


1. a blue frieze
2. a blue gargoyle
3. a blue whisper
4. a blue choker, enameled
5. a blue fragrance, from Paris
6. a blue atom
7. a blue answer
8. a blue grave
9. a blue gesture
10. a blue border, ethnic
11. a blue fringe
belonging to a heavily embroidered
Spanish shawl
12. a blue color wheel that
never stops spinning
from light blue to darker blue to midnight and back again to gray to light blue to sapphire


inside each face
you wear
is a new secret
you change
your mask
each day
as if it were
or pantyhose
or yesterday's newspaper
disguised as
tomorrow's news


you move like a soldier today
stiff and regimental.
your face is a mask,
as rigid as the front of a hospital building with its rows of doors and windows lining it— all of them an abstract painting
open or shut indifferently
their lights blinking
off or on
at random.
you are impervious to charm today—
nothing can change you.
you stare at me through those eyes
that never falter
you stare at me
as if I were a blank wall the patients confront each day like an enemy.
nothing can make you smile today—
like those guards at the palace gates
afraid to grimace,
with their jobs weighing in the balance. you look at me through those eyes
that have turned from water into ice.
nothing can crack the surface,
not even the crackle of laughter
that echoes all around you:
glittering ice
you refuse to melt.
you could never even go as far
as to soften
into snow


The mirror reveals your
silhouette behind me.
I glare at you.
You reach over my shoulder
& smash your fist
into the image of
the two of us together.
And then we lie scattered
across the floor,
reflected in a thousand
tiny bits of glass.
Your silhouette sits among
the other distortions
of me,
still clinging to the wall, &
only partially cracked.
We count our diseases,

for Nina Corwin

She wears a shrill secret
sewn into her heart
that her father scrapes daily
with a rigid scalpel.
She doesn't know how
that secret story
turned so raw
inside her,
became a scathing tattoo.
She knows only
that everything slants into a mistake
in that small, compact
"American Dreamhouse" of hers,
that everyday "home" she lives in.
It's then that it turns into a monster
when everything writhes wrong.
Like her stockings wrinkling crooked
on her way to school.
The seams somehow never match
into straight lines
like her Daddy's smile
when he wiggles her hips with his.
He asks her to parade for him
in high heels,
bright red rouge smeared
across her lips
bright red lipstick
slashed across her cheeks.
Only the color shade matches.
Not quite a real lady
she doesn't know
how to wear her make-up
but Daddy doesn't mind that.
There are other things he is thinking about. She whispers,
Oh, Daddy, Daddy,
don't tell mommy
I am wearing her clothes.
Don't tell her I am wearing her big summer straw hat. There are so many shadows
she would like to swallow into herself,
so many lengthening shadows she would like to hide herself behind but her father knows how to pierce them
with a sharp silver needle
a soundproof bullet.
He knows how to unravel her strength
like a worn sweater, shorn wool over the weary world's eyes. Her shredded secret
becomes a patchwork quilt
that covers them both
during show and tell,
when no one else is listening
but the echoes of her swiftly beating silent heart buried inside her toy-laden closet.

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