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More BMR Authors' Books:

Making Scenes
by Adrienne Eisen

Small Boat with Oars of Different Size
by Thom Ward

Viking Brides
by Richard Cumyn

Interesting Monsters
by Aldo Alvarez

The Gauguin Answer Sheet
by Dennis Finnell

Rosicrucian in the Basement
by Robert Sward

Bloodroot
by Aaron Roy Even




























The Blue Moon Review
 

 
Two Poems
by Carol Moldaw

Lou Reed in Istanbul
In the poem I had in mind

one blue-tiled stanza

containing a striped divan

and a single cut tulip 

ends at a latticed window



behind whose fretwork

an entire regiment

of red-turbaned tulips

is posted, standing guard

with drawn daggers.



Steam obscured one stanza,

making its marble sweat,

veiling its women's naked

boredom with languor,

their faint mustachios



with clove-scented dew

(dew that dissolves

on the tongue like sugar 

but tastes bitter-briny,

indigestible as tears).



A sinuous line of incense

led to an inner courtyard

where someone crouched

over a brass brazier, fanned

wisps of musky smoke



up the bellows of her skirt.

Hearing the click-clack

of my heels on the cobble

she turned to appraise me,

quickly got back to work.



That mother-of-pearl			

intarsiate poem, poem				

of the narrow-necked vase,			

the bejeweled mirror,			

of pumice and water pipes



and plush labyrinthian 			

women who glide up

from the foot of the bed,

who hide their emotions

even from the moon--



Lou Reed shanghaied

that poem, he runs

its arched passageways

despotic as a eunuch,

slouches on its pillows



the sheer-stockinged

corseleted cross-dresser

on Transformer's cover,

where, in Bilbao at 17,

listening to "Vicious,"



to "Satellite of Love,"

in a Spanish boy's bed

a year before Franco

finally died, high 

on  codeine cough syrup



I first saw him, his prick

in the facing photo

a concealed nightstick.

Now, listening to his

roughed-up dead pan



under a domed moon

just up the Bosphorus

from Topkapi's seraglio, 

watching some starlings

swoop toward the stage



to flit in the lights,

I remember how it felt,

the blood rush--swoop,

swoop, oh baby, rock,

rock--of being set loose.



* * *

Pelagos


1.

A man takes a walk on the beach below his house,

throws a fluorescent tennis ball into the waves--



his face lighting up as he describes the intricate 

simplicities of Japanese building technique,



the temple at Kiyomizu, with its healing water-

fall (and not a single nail)--tries to remember



the name of a book. He can picture the layout

of a page he wants to show us, the photograph



of scaffold, roof beam, and  joists, but the title

is iced sake evaporated on the tip of his tongue.



Bending for the ball his dog retrieved from the waves

and dropped at his feet, careful to keep his head



above the bloodline of his heart, he looks up as if

to say "This is absurd," straightens, shakes off



his residue of fear, tosses the ball into the breakers.

Roof beam, tennis ball, book; sake, bloodline, wave.



He would like to go back to Kyoto someday, someday

go back to Greece. But for now, each step of the steep



crooked beach stair scaling the hill back to his house

is a whitecap requiring a surfer's obstinate strength.



In the clear sea of his sun-stricken eyes, on the swell

of his unremitting gaze, an uncertain skiff.





2.

Though I'd let it languish next to my chaise

almost two years, as soon as you died I took up



the Seferis you'd sent me, reading at first

only notes inked in your hand,  marked phrases,



studying ruefully the locked diary of words

written out in your fluent-looking Greek:



every dog-ear, the signature of unglued pages,

the smudged binding, your name on the flyleaf,



even the Hellenic Bookservice label at first

talismanic as the sea, the plane tree, the pines.



     friend who left for the island of pine-trees

     friend who left for the island of plane-trees

     friend who left for the open sea



All week I've been searching for my poem,

a handful of lines, how could I lose them?



Could a copy still be folded in thirds

and tucked inside the collected cummings



I snuck into an open box of your books?

"Greek Dancer" I think I called it . . .



did you ever come across it? For years,

when you were alive but more vanished



from my life than now, I let myself regret

only the velvet jacket I left in your pickup.



     the life they gave us to live, we lived



From the house you built, and the meadow

where a yellow dog snuffles in tall grass,



you can see your wife and twin tow-headed sons

looking out over the cliffs to the kelp beds



where your ashes were launched from your kayak

and strewn like phosphorus on the pulsing skin



of the sea. When we meet now, in the uncertain

pelagos of dreams, it is and is not as before,



when I could slip a poem like this into a book

and eventually, eventually, you would find it.



		

		for Hank Palmieri


Carol Moldaw is the author of three books of poetry: The Lightning Field, winner of the FIELD Poetry Prize and forthcoming from Oberlin College Press in 2003, Chalkmarks on Stone (La Alameda Press, 1998), and Taken from the River (Alef Books, 1993), as well as a chapbook,Through the Window (La Alameda Press, 2001). A recipient of a Pushcart Prize (2002) and a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship (1994), Moldaw’s work has been published widely in journals, including Agni, Conjunctions, The Drunken Boat, Field, Kenyon Review, The New Republic, The New Yorker, Paris Review, Parnassus, Partisan Review, Santa Fe Poetry Broadside, The Threepenny Review, and Triquarterly. She lives in Pojoaque, New Mexico.

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