Thursday, October 25, 2007


"A poem should burn!"
--Jean Vengua

Galatea's mountain is in St. Helena, which is nearly 2 hours north from San Francisco (well, it'd have been a 30 minute drive from SF had a bunch of poets joined me in the drive to here after the City Lights reading but what happens in Tosca stays in Tosca, yah?).

Anyway, so St. Helena is, what, about a dozen hours by car away from the fires raging in Southern California. But from those fires hundreds of miles away, 6:30 a.m. brought a full moon the color of nothing less than blood orange. As I was telling Ernesto, the image evoked Beauty as a result of Danger. Made me think of certain poems, possible only because their authors burned up....

To which Ernesto replied with -- y muchas gracias Ernesto!:

Ballad of the Moon
By Federico Garcia Lorca
Translated by Will Kirkland

The moon came into the forge
in her bustle of flowering nard.
The little boy stares at her, stares.
The boy is staring hard.
In the shaken air
the moon moves her arms,
and shows lubricious and pure,
her breasts of hard tin.
"Moon, moon, moon, run!
If the gypsies come,
they will use your heart
to make white necklaces and rings."
"Let me dance, my little one.
When the gypsies come,
they'll find you on the anvil
with your lively eyes closed tight.
"Moon, moon, moon, run!
I can feel their horses come."
"Let me be, my little one,
don't step on me, all starched and white!"

Closer comes the the horseman,
drumming on the plain.
The boy is in the forge;
his eyes are closed.
Through the olive grove
come the gypsies, dream and bronze,
their heads held high,
their hooded eyes.

Oh, how the night owl calls,
calling, calling from its tree!
The moon is climbing through the sky
with the child by the hand.

They are crying in the forge,
all the gypsies, shouting, crying.
The air is viewing all, views all.
The air is at the viewing.