Thursday, April 2, 2009

An Ode to Inspiration

A while back, I posted one of my favorite modern poems, "What do Women Want?" by Kim Addonizio, on a Facebook discussion group. Inspired, a young woman in Greece named Efi Didi posted a response in verse, and I replied in kind. This is the result:

Conversation Outside a Store Window
I want to walk like I'm the only
woman on earth and I can have my pick.
I want that red dress bad.

            from "What Do Women Want?"
            by Kim Addonizio

[Her]
i want a black dress not to be seen
i want it tight to take my breath away
i need it long so it can wipe my tears from the floor
. . . but i must say
my worse fear is living beside a man
who wont see all i care about is being me
for no one else will do that for me.

[Him]
Then get a yellow dress
so he can see the sun shining in your eyes
and feel the warmth of your soul.
You can hide in a field of flowers
or soar with canaries, if
you must have your freedom.

Wear a yellow dress,
woven from the softest silk
and twinkling like the stars.
Be springtime and Easter, but
do not cloak yourself
in the hue of death's robe.

[Her]
yellow . . . in my world . . . the colour of bad blood
wont even get me near to the closest sky
to fly among the shimmering birds
or dance with the stars of my vision's past.

What do you seek in the arc of the rainbow
that cant the colours of your soul provide?
beautiful stranger, let a woman's choices be.
Let her take you in a world of greater images, to dream.

[Him]
then purple
or blue, my dear,
or green.
magenta is not you?

then black, my goddess,
if that is what you choose.
Or absence of light,
if that is you.

Or absence of life,
if that is you.

[Her]
Life lies in our moves,
any garment unneeded.
Our essence hides in dekkos,
any evidence muchness.

Closing your eyes
colour disappears
but existence remains.
Do you remain?

Choices change.
though you remain.

[Him]
When I close my eyes,
colors abound. When the light
is gone

I am alone,

in a forest with no tree
to stand as witness
to my falling.

Is movement life,
with no one there to writhe against?
With no one to catch you

on lens or on canvass
among the fresh leaves and
cool water.

Or, if simply

no garment is needed,
might I suggest the slight almond of skin tone,
or milky white and pale pink?

[Her]
No need to continue disagreeing
or even better
make new choices and matches
for garment that
work as masks.

No need to continue,
than the need within all
people continuing diaphones.
Keep alive the colours,
the movement,
the joy.

Enthusiasm is invisible to mortality,
but when closing ones eyes
it keeps you alive.

Though fluid phantoms chase you
through frozen fields or sunny clouds,
through rainbow nights or colourless dreams,
I cant imagine a better clinging garment
than your arms around my almond facies and. . .

But again, i must disagree,
as i am a woman.

[Him]
There is no need. Agreed,
though forever would be sweet.

A woman wants what she wants, and
things change.

Be there a spectrum or not,
pitch or nothing at all,
I would take your breath, and I
could wipe your tears from the floor.

A choice is a choice. The choosing can't lose.
It was fun while it lasted.

I agree. You are a woman.
You know what you want.

[Her]
No don't agree, 'cause forever wont be a chance if you do.
that's the main reason man disagrees.

so don't.

What would luck be if we wouldn't believe in it?
just a word.
what would anything be, without our support?
Even our own choices, but we are mortal
and even gods have the right to apostatize.

We are not here to remit anyone's believes
we belong to the human race
we are cursed to make mistakes
so please, disagree.

Forever is not for us
unless we choose so.

Forever though would never be enough.

[Him]
Then make it pastels, damn it. Big
splashes of violets and teal. And
yes, yellow sunsets and blue midnights,
with textures abrupt and surreal.

Let the neckline plunge and
the hemline be bold.
Choose an elusive color, my love—
a dress designed by van Gogh.

Or choose to vanquish your veil
and hide in a tangle of elbows and knees,
then guide me through decades,
chasing dreams.

[Her]
Maybe soft grey
like what a cruel
fire gave away

Or maybe brown
an empty ground
royalty without a crown

My sweet unknown
my dress is long
hiding insistently the dawn

I've put some white
into the dark
try to capture rays of light

I'll leave a trace
a red pallete
so I could touch your homey face

But then again I can't be sure
for what's divine and what is pure.

[Him]
Earth tones and slate. The colors of
certitude—of knowing
one's self well. What fine fabric
. . . you are.

Grays and browns, you say?
Earth tones with accents?
Just a glimpse of your ankles
. . . I beg.

I remain, contained by desire.
Unfit to climb fences or flee
for the hills, bound by the promise
. . . of dawn.

[Her]
The more your words betray your gift
the more i want to permeate in it.

My bones can't hold my soul's vehemence
your magic's chasing all my demons.

Let's leave the earth tones to this land
and concoct new ones made of sand.

Needs caution love, how to be treated
this dress is glass, but not incising.

[Him]
Demons be gone!
I am a hero in my lover's eyes.
My gift is your freedom.
Bathe in it.

Let your mask become ashes
and your dress drape the floor—
my fantasy rainbow,
broken.

[Her]
Our barefoot feet
will not bleed though,
as mental wings
have grown
on our nude bodies
on the instant the glass broke,
you can espy them at our shadows frames . . .

And there, in the hug of our sooty figment
no obstacle is able to snip these wings
as they are not made of feathers
but from a diversity of colours.

I must wear a pelisse now my love
it's cold and I'm falling asleep without you.

-

It was a hell of a lot of fun.

Eric

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