Archive for September, 2008

a lying shame

She fancied him and things were free Sweet talking and sweet nothing But as the freedom was threatening he needed reasons beyond So they talked of stars and moons and planet configurations to explain their instant connection In heels she swayed where sweet music played and danced her heart away He spoke of love and […]


I was oh, perhaps 9? the very first time I heard the word Fuck. Emmanuel, the school hunk, had cornered Caterina by the back stairs of Union School and said I want to fuck you. Fuck… Fuck… Fuck. I didn’t know what it meant but the intensity with which it was said stirred something in […]

After Love

After you left me I had a bloodhound sniff at my chest and my belly. Let it fill its nostrils and set out to find you. I hope it will find you and rip your lover’s balls to shreds and bite off his cock – or at least bring me one of your stockings between […]

i know the tune

i could not wait for you all day i could not wait i bathed in holy water saying your name wearing jewels for you perfume inside my thighs i could not i could not wait for you there were wildflowers in my eyes a sexual haze of butterflies even before you came did you know […]

my dear friends

My brother Leslie once came back from Brazil with a gift for me. A cassette tape. Remember these relics of another age? Remember that flimsy brown strip of magnetic tape that would melt in the summer, snap in the winter and unravel when in a bad mood? To save our music, we learned the now […]

Let me explain a few things…

Pablo Neruda is “the greatest poet of the twentieth century–in any language.” said Gabriel García Márquez Pablo and Gabo Explico algunas cosas (Let me Explain a Few Things), a poem written in fiery rage against what Franco’s troops had done to Madrid “And one morning, everything was burning” , is where Neruda traced his own […]

Mon mal aviaire

Tous mes amis Ne savent pas que j’ai la grippe Cette chanson Mon mal aviaire en temps d’oiseaux Si je la chante C’est pour livrer ma voix au vent Je la reprends Le cœur enroué de trop aimer Je me fais tondre Sous le gazon d’une voisine Ma peur est bleue Sous le ciel grand […]

Good Fortune!

“Sonny Fortune is one of the most intriguing alto players in contemporary jazz.” Stereophile magazine You and the Night, Sonny… You and your alto sax and your music in the night at Jazz 966! Back in the 1970’s, when we were bright young things spending our nights in jazz clubs clouded with cigarette smoke, nursing […]

last wishes

once more our wasted prayers over a crowd of corpses once more our whispers of affliction while we hope once more for rain this time to wash the blood from our hands you do not know you do not know the sadness seizing at my throat the sorrows i’ve memorized this life i hope it […]

Leyla and the Medicine Women

Her instrument is: “this mermaid whose hair can sing this cross to bear a wooden box half hourglass half hollowness restraining resonant air to know what is not woman not thing but voice and with the audience mute as a landscape to let it scream” Ramon C. Sunico ~“Cello poem” “I believe we all have […]

Love and Defiance

“Bedil, weep not for your losses this party that is life is after all held in a glassmaker’s shop” AHMAD FARAZ enjoys a near cult status in the pantheon of revolutionary poets. Of him, Faiz Ahmad Faiz (the greatest Urdu poet of the last century) had said: “He protests against injustice as passionately as he […]

Bearing witness

“No foreign sky protected me No stranger’s wing shielded my face I stand as witness to the common lot Survivor of that time, that place” Requiem Anna Akhmatova “I have a lot of work to do today I need to slaughter memory Turn my living soul to stone Then teach myself to live again. . […]

plain talk

i have carried you everywhere you are there on the tip of my tongue i speak and in the word you appear and flow through my mouth so many words you say for a question so simple so much wine for little thirst don’t be misled by the laughter hope surpasses the question although i […]

where the water lives

i call on no savior from the forgetful heart of the earth what could i save that the wind took from my hand this is where the water lives in the silence and the lies you can see it rise you can smell it rise you can feel it rise time threatened rain threatened and […]


“I need my memories. They are my documents.”  I want to be like Louise Bourgeois when I grow up. At 96 years old and still working, bruised, battle-scarred Bourgeois is at once fragile and strong like the materials she uses to work: soft latex, fabrics, glass, wood, marble and metal. Provocative, emotionally intense, and very, […]

life is split at the seams

no one knows the exact number of the dead not even the storm herself though her course is charted and images circle the earth of wind and rain that hurl and whirl swallowing everything in their path (they laid there like dolls one next to the other they laid there as if they had been […]


  le bruit court sous la pluie et en un quart d’orange la terre fait le tour de la rumeur   le bruit court que le vent a soufflé tellement fort que le cyclone larme à l’œil a crié sur la ville un chant de cygne signe d’aile cynique de fin du monde le bruit […]

pleasure and pain

pleasure and pain keep company in our bed sharing covers until one day one will surrender to the dominion of the other (i wanted to live to love you to lose myself and did not care summer might end in sorrow so i invented poems and i invented lifelines against the chaos of your going […]


“Bajo la lluvia, bajo el olor, bajo todo lo que es una realidad un pueblo se hace y se deshace dejando los testimonios” La maldita circunstancia del agua por todas partes me obliga a sentarme en la mesa del café. Si no pensara que el agua me rodea como un cáncer hubiera podido dormir a […]

Lettre à l’absent

aujourd’hui je suis vide de toi je ne pense pas à toi tu n’es pas en moi tu pourrais mourir demain demain tu pourrais mourir j’aurais au moins traduit mes paroles en désir et mon désir en paroles michèle voltaire marcelin Oeuvre du peintre flamand Vermeer “Femme en jaune” (1665) : saisie dans une « […]

In the Country of the Dead

So many people die each day that our hearts refuse to register grief” All these dead Who among us will question them Will it still require a massacre and tears for the road beneath the earth to be traced for us Unless this wind that rips into us has made us lose our reason to […]

wild wind

rain dampens the earth when pleasure comes a sudden storm i tremble in the wild wind under an avalanche of leaves thrown in darkness without a voice only animal cries and open-mouthed kisses to silence words and share the blood-red sadness from your glass you leave i undress remove the name you blessed me with […]

Le cri

Nous n’avons plus de place dans le ventre pour la rose, pour le rossignol, pour l’âme pour le clair de lune. Et pour le moment, nous nous moquons des affaires de coeur. Nâzim Hikmet (1920)


promises are shattered glass and spilled wine i have no lust for such sorrows but for memories sweet as rain in my mouth water may dissolve tears and desire i doubt i shall ever forget you at my door me in your arms then in the air my name like a floating bird michèle voltaire […]