Thursday Nov 23

Byrne Elena Karina Byrne, former 12 year Regional Director of the Poetry Society of America, is a teacher, editor, collage artist , Poetry Consultant / Moderator for The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, a reviewer for ForeWord Reviews, and Literary Programs Director for The Ruskin Art Club. Her publications include, 2009 Pushcart Prize XXXIII Best of the Small Presses, Best American Poetry 2005, The Yale Review, The Paris Review,  APR, TriQuarterly, Denver Quarterly, The Kenyon Review, The Journal, Colorado Review, Ploughshares, Verse, Drunken Boat, and Volt . Her books include: The Flammable Bird , (Zoo Press /Tupelo Press, 2002), MASQUE (Tupelo Press, 2008) and the forthcoming Burnt Violin (poetry, 2012), Voyeur Hour (poetry/art chapbook), and Beautiful Insignificance (essays, 2012).
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Clouds
 
(...nuages / clouds...)
 
 
All, & above all,
 
 
love, who lives by bird and in air
 
so too blows a cloud from Elizabeth I' s pipe. Such is the weather's disposition.
 
So too: silver lining begins in the shoe, moves up & up...
The head is full. Witholding. But heart-soar.
Bridewell open, once abyss, foolhardy.
Oh you, inside the Oh!
 
Free-falling emotion that takes on the guise of this nature form...
 
Can you 18th century a clouded cane or Pope's amber snuff box
back to who you are, redeem brightness
or visionary a notion?
 
Thinking, however,
the mind's upstairs windows blown out &
under watery circumstances, you are alone, part in
the whole of seeing, are undertone of this darkening
 
mood. Changing light, motion-in-shape,  de trop: my language
 
makes the sky heavier there, all the tenuous shadow of shift,
as sadness overcomes or finds one
 
spot on the forehead of a horse,
a white star, a blaze.
Go there:
 
a full-blown bloom, fat-cheeked and cherub-grey journey
 
where you will hold your free act of breath.
 
 
 
Shoe
 
 
Thought it ugly.
 
 
 
Taken down the cockloft for a walk, out
for legacy. The dead man has them, right
foot first for good luck, never wrong-footed or too large for the empire
over Edom. He was more than over shoes in love.
Dear Patron Saint Crispin.
 
Shaped like halved walnut, rubber barge afloat, empty uterus, gut.
Kitsch and money-catch,  bow to buckle, sassy & pumped, she favors.
 
Given to running leather, you’ll rove
so far away from home, even shoe the cobbler, shoe
the front foot in sliding, deathtrap day-grave-walk,
to shoe a goose, silly goose task,
without his supper fruit.  And: You’ll know
 
when to stand in another’s, adopt
a Northmen’s son, when
they’re too large and come to grief, or
when to die a violent death on the scaffold, to choose them
over boots. Give’em a tap before sleep or nap. Yet:
 
Discoverie of Witchcraft, 1584 tells us
(our first remedy hour set foot in the door)
“many will go to bed again if they sneeze before their shoes be on their feet.”
 
Sandals, slippers at the front step, old shoe hung like a rabbit to carriage, departing
the wedding, custom and way.
Duty for duty, drop it.
 
Between bouts of opium taking,
place one out
the garden; sky it up-faced,
ye dark cry of joy, windward, open-
mouthed, almost clumsy…
 
 
Stars


soothsay

themselves, stellar seeds spark-spell & spool & spondee
in starfields light years away from baby tooth,
bird dust, little white dandruff blown off
the accountant's shoulders. It's

the heart's steeplechase, heat's stepchild
sticking-place, all that consequence-gravity, gas & gas & heat close-up
in the tipped nebula's false-red cloud-column.

Watch out: constellation.

No one had ever heard of the Aztecs, or even of the Chinese...

There's Da Vinci's flying machine, release of the spirit from bondage.

There's what happens, Faust and Mephistopheles, as
the infinite infant sits in his magnetic field, spits
& throws tantrums
like a rotting basket of tropical fruit.

Once, so called because it nests in the stocks
of hollow trees, wild pigeon, the Stockdove stole the orbit 

from the mind. The Star of Bethlehem lily always opened at eleven and by 1641
the Star Chamber ceiling was decorated with stars for the King's Council
& for our memory, & for cluster & joy-drift, for the ecclesiastical art

where St. Bruno bore one on his chest
for our star part in the future
wars, (white dwarf companion!) our star turn on the omnipotent stage, 
peasant jewel-box explosions staining the atmosphere, desire,
two feet in the south, two feet in the north,

in the spangled banner, story
of the boy who brought home a bird, the father, who not wanting to feed it
killed it, killed the song (heaven's binary reach is law)


& so with it, himself.