Last April marked the fourth year of my relationship with my brilliant and beautiful partner, Bonnie Cherry. To commemorate those years I decided to put together a one-off ‘zine, a gift for her, that compiled a wide array of miscellaneous writings, including but not limited to
- text lifted from her old blog- many of which themselves include bits and pieces of texts from everyone from Sappho to Whitman to Neruda to Ginsberg- that I chopped up and splayed out over the page,
- selections from and of my own original poetry, and
- selections from or whole pieces of works from some of our favorite contemporary women poets.
It was because of this last component that publishing the book never seemed like an option. That was: until Bonnie suggested we do it- and our first official collaborative work was born.
The work, entitled “The Book of Foxes,” will be out in early April, and is, according to its preface,
a dramatic liturgy to eros and spring, in celebration of our selves and our genesis. comprised of fragments from a multiplicity of source texts (and a few complete pieces) that have been curated and composed into its present form for the purpose of oral recitation preferably under the influence of holy wine or some such similar beverage in the event of the proper occasion of your choosing, it is a chaotic litany intended to be read dialogically with aplomb, bravado, and increasing levels of inebriation and/ or erotic stimulation.
The work is- just to be clear- an explicit work of eroticism that many would consider #NSFW. What follows is a wee taste, if you will, of a softer passage that yet displays what the text looks, feels, and sounds like: it begins with a poem that I composed specifically for The Book of Foxes, moves to Fragments of Fragments of Sappho, and then to the first of the many curated installations from Bonnie’s old blog, dated May 2009.
غ – Pronouncing Pomegranate
Writing with one’s lips, as it were, as on someone’s skin
the myriad words it takes to touch the word Pomegranate:
of the kingdom plantae and unranked as angiosperm,
eudicots (Eudicotidae or eudicotyledons), rosids;
order: myrtales, of the family lythraceae and the
lonely genus punica; species: p. granatum,
binomial name punica granatum synonym
punica malus (and this by Linnaeus, in seventeen-fifty-eight).
To say it is to trace its surface
but not yet to have plumbed
any of its possible depths:
The seeded – granatum – apple – pomum – the pomum-granatum
mistaken by the early English as the “Apple of Grenada,”
the pomme-grenade, the palm-grenade, the hand grenade
which comes from the Arabic spelled
rayn – raa – nun – alif – thaa – ta-marbuta
(ta-marbuta – thaa – alif – nun – raa – rayn)
atubram-at – aaht – fila – nun – aar – nyar
a language roiling in and around itself in reverse,
the rayn its roiling ‘g’ in the back of one’s throat
speaking with seeds sliding down one’s throat
pronouncing with a rayn the words
and I long and yearn
Eros has shaken my mind,
wind sweeping down the mountain on oaks
I will arrange my limbs
on soft cushions
as long as you are willing
Whitman’s “urge and urge and urge,
I feel an unbelievable urge to destroy:
to break bottles and fine china, to play trumpets and castanets, to hurl red paint at gray walls and, honestly, just burn things down.
and of the almost forgotten feeling of a soaking sweat with a light dusting of street grime
[I have gone marking the atlas of your body with crosses of fire.
My mouth went across: a spider, trying to hide.
In you, behind you, timid, driven by thirst.
Something sings, something climbs to my ravenous mouth.
Oh to be able to celebrate you with all the words of joy.
Sing, burn, flee,
like a belfry at the hands of a madman. My sad tenderness, what comes over you all at once?
When I have reached the most awesome
and the coldest summit
my heart closes like a nocturnal flower.]
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