Jerome Rothenberg - from The Lorca Variations
THE LORCA VARIATIONS
forthcoming from New Directions
Proem. Days dissolve. The ink inside the album starts to
fade. Constantinople turning white erases Eloisa Lopez.
And that archbishop, really something else. See where she's
got him in her album -- what indulgence, oh my soul! He's
like a little white thing.
[ 1 ]
Birds fly down
from the moon
in white March
white & unreal
like a child
on the prairie
white in the forest
Frost on her feathers
grow cold on the syrinx.
her flesh glowing white
in the forest,
& Pan, sailing by
in his boat.
When it's night
the blond swan,
throws open his wings.
White's a conjure for clouds
& for mountains
with the clouds on their shoulders.
Stars are conjures for wings
& for snow
where stars drop down from the clouds.
Mountains are conjures for stars,
for all white conjurations.
Snow across the fields reveals the cock's crest.
Stars still shine at dawn.
The cock's crest suits him like a blouse.
Stripped down he greets the day.
A first laugh drives the stars away.
His gold crest soon turns white.
There were "romantic" words to end with -- "tree" or "house"
(0r "treehouse") -- before he got into another "novel."
March was as sharp as "vinegar" & there were some longhaired
"schoolboys" writing "verses." Did they notice how white a
"thing" the "snowbird" was when they saw it after "school?"
Also that "basil" would grow best in "sand" -- that "love"
could be "sweet" as "cherries," not like "vinegar?" With
Eloisa "dead," there was a "grandmother" who sewed her
"lips" shut. That made a "springtime" for "dead" Eloisa,
with her "name" lit up by "candles," and "girls" who looked
like "baby dolls" blowing "white feathers" toward her. O
little "rose" inside your "convent," said another, bring a
"bottle" for the "dead" down to their "boat." "Mockorange"
is the little "secret" we perpetually write about.
From Grist On-Line #1, October, 1993. An original publication.
© copyright 1993, Jerome Rothenberg