A Poetic Interlude
There are some relationships, and circumstances in life, that move in a circular fashion – more magical than practical and in perpetual evolution. Starting in one place, then roving through the metamorphosis of years, various incarnations and a refusal towards any complete stop lest the momentum die down. My friendship with Evelyn Posamentier is a keen example.
It began in my twenties while I was the fiction and poetry editor of a punk rock magazine called 3A.M. Magazine. I accepted her words into many issues and we spent many days on the phone – she in San Francisco as a feisty poet/librarian and me in my office/bedroom at noon in pajamas with a rebellious glass of Cabernet. Like schoolgirls we’d giggle on the phone about our refusals to ever become “normal” and “socially acceptable” women. I relished her small chapbooks that she would send in the mail to me. At least twenty years separated us but on the phone in the afternoons in the freedom of our literary minds and private spaces we were timeless; simultaneously girl, woman and crone.
I wrote this poem about our conversations that was published some time ago:
There are other branches
Other fig trees
And the Jewish sense of order
That comes from moments
Of intense pain
(This I connect to).
There are other sex mates and
Coattails trimmed with animal
This to be true, this is true.
There are cats that walk on keyboards
Are no different from you or me.
(In the desert my voice is perfectly tuned).
A few years later we collaborated on a poem together when we were embroiled in the after effects of 9-11 and the Weapons of Mass Destruction facade; trying to hold energetic hands across cities that connected us to understand our fellow human man, inspired by official documents she was exploring in her world.
When the challenge of democracy
is the start of a love affair. She
swoops down, the rebel
angel ecstatically diving through piles
of whipped cream and ugliness.
Molding big noses onto prom queens
lipstick grinned from ear to ear
thick hair sculpted white
Islam is calling.
I am looking for the caliphate
And she loses herself on the way down
mixed message directions
no turning signals to signify
The ideological hay
the pursuance of justice through social cooperation
and mutual assistance
of whipped cream
She learns to wield pliers.
Clipped wings; sewn shut
the wound gaping no more
but throbbing internally; red
pink vulnerable bruise
establishing a non-
autocratic, consultative method of
government and compassion
in social situations.
In the valley between her shoulders
blades gone but loss digging
in retrospect she institutionalizes mercy
and compassion sulks silently.
Mars is close to the Earth.
She will stand there
all night in the rain with one flame
and in one hour
she could burn
every last disco
When I finally met Evelyn in person, it was on the occasion of her reading live at the poetry series called LIVE OUT LOUD that I coordinated for two years at the Palm Springs Art Museum. She stayed with me during her visit and like long lost friends we traversed the high desert for retro greasy spoon meals, thrift stores that sold small ceramic animals and used book stores the smelled like must as pored through the stacks for hours. Like sisters on a wild getaway we indulged our heart’s desires, purchasing whimsical things like new pink erasers for a nickel a piece that reminded me of fresh blank lined notebooks on the first day of school just waiting to be laid with naughty poetry and prose.
As they do, a few more years passed by with nary a word. Until two weeks ago when, as I walked my dog in the morning with red dress dripping with fresh paint slashes, orange flip flops and wild hair, I got a call from Evy in her deep crackling voice to let me know she wanted to use my painting of Flush Bruise for her next book which was currently being published called Royal Blue Car. Of course I was honored, but even more happy to know that life can still move in circular streams and that certain relationships walk parallel on the path, bumping into you when you least expect them to and reminding you that there is a lot of magic in the dance of the unseen muses constantly tip toeing around the intersections of passion, reality and performance.