Saturday, June 27, 2015

21 Zs for Lisa: Omen Hunting at Yo El Rey Roasting

Photo by Robyn Beattie
Detail, Marvin Lipofsky mold blown glass
Today’s poem is for Lisa Rizzo. I challenged her to write me a poem using the letter z. Read her response, “Firenze Poem.” Here’s mine. Please add your “z” poem in comments…bring on your “z”…

Omen Hunting at Yo El Rey Roasting
                                    For Lisa Rizzo

Tart brine of a dozen fresh ground coffees
cuts Calistoga’s fog. We sit at salvaged gate
turned table, its slats varnished red and inset

with maze of silver zero rims of a typewriter’s
harvested keys minus striker arms and metal
host. A stanza eleven lines thick zigzags counter’s

horizontal face on a full-length chalkboard we quell
the urge to erase, revise. Lazy regulars stand
obscuring all but opening phrase, Wanted

to work on the poem... straight from some Writers’
Workshop post-reading party. I’m thinking of Hafiz:
“Fear is the cheapest room in the house.” At my elbow,

the letter “z,” and next to it, alongside all my reasons
for not writing today, the “Shift Key.” Surely
I’ll walk out of here with my one “z” name--

my two “z” friend Rizzo with hers--changed,
grey zipped to the sky, all former griefs
unswathed from gazebo of memory like Isadora

Duncan’s silk scarf unspooling from axle, neck,
body moving in reverse back to morning’s dreams,
azalea dye pooling in our upraised palms, long may she

sleep past noon. Here, neither czarinas of dance
nor Jezebels, we remain profoundly ourselves.
Our reflections in a storefront layer a painting

of a scarlet stallion running diagonal as a mirage
or a zither, a hundred violet mares on verge
of bursting past his blazing mane to reach zenith first.

Last line of stanza 4 is from the poem, Your Mother and My Mother, "The Gift," by Hafiz, tr. Daniel Ladinsky.

Photo by Robyn Beattie
Related Poetry News:

I will be reading from November Butterfly in Santa Fe with poets Barbara Rockman and Robyn Hunt on Sunday, August 9 at 2:00 p.m. at Garcia Books, 376 Garcia Street, Santa Fe.

I will also be attending A Room of Her Own Foundation’s 2015 August Retreat as the Marg Chandler Fellow. In addition to teaching a studio hour, I will be offering poetry feedback in conjunction with Tarot Readings (Tarot as Poet’s Mirror). I will blog more about Tarot Poetry consults shortly. They are tremendously fun and I love generating poetry prompts based on the cards specific to the poet's project.

Photos are by my poetry movie collaborator Robyn Beattie with the exception of the "Shift Key." The photo at the top of the post is a detail from a larger work by Marvin Lipofsky and is mold blown glass, cut, sandblasted, acid etched.

And do add your "z", "shift", or "coffee shop" poem to comments if you wish.

Link to post with original "z" poem invitation: June Gloom and the Letter Z

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