Barbara Guest

B
Barbara Guest

The Blue Stairs
There is no fear
in taking the first step
or the second
or the third
having a position
between several Popes

In fact the top
can be reached
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20
Sleep is 20
remembering the
insignificant flamenco dancer
in Granada
who became
important as you watched
the mountain ridge
the dry hills
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31
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Barrels
Y otras pasan; y viéndome tan triste,
toman un poquito de ti
en la abrupta arruga de mi hondo dolor.
Cesar Vellejo
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45
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Eating Chocolate Ice Cream: Reading Mayakovsky
Since I’ve decided to revolutionize my life
since

decided

revolutionize

life
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47
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Passage
for John Coltrane
Words
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35
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A Reason
That is why I am here
not among the ibises. Why
the permanent city parasol
covers even me.

It was the rains
in the occult season. It was the snows
on the lower slopes. It was water
and cold in my mouth.

A lack of shoes
on what appeared to be cobbles
which were still antique

Well wild wild whatever
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37
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Roses
“painting has no air . . .”
—Gertrude Stein That there should never be air
in a picture surprises me.
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Dissonance Royal Traveller
sound opens sound


shank of globe strings floating out



something like images are here

opening up avenues to view a dome


a distant clang reaches the edifice.





understanding what it means
to understand music

cloudless movementbeyond the neck’s reach
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Otranto
At sunset from the top of the stair watching

the castle mallets wrenched from their socket

fell from ambush into flame flew into hiding;

above the stoneware a latch like muscle hid

the green; he stood waist high under the rapt

ceiling and hanged the sparrow; where the kitchen

had been a mirror of eggs served in a tumbler he

saw the ring when a lancet pierced and threw it.
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39
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Prairie Houses
Unreasonable lenses refract the
sensitive rabbit holes, mole dwellings and snake
climes where twist burrow and sneeze
a native species

into houses

corresponding to hemispheric requests
of flatness

euphemistically, sentimentally
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35
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Santa Fe Trail
I go separately
The sweet knees of oxen have pressed a path for me
ghosts with ingots have burned their bare hands
it is the dungaree darkness with China stitched
where the westerly winds
and the traveler’s checks
the evensong of salesmen
the glistening paraphernalia of twin suitcases
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35
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The Screen of Distance
1

On a wall shadowed by lights from the distance
is the screen. Icons come to it dressed in capes
and their eyes reflect the journeys their nomadic
eyes reach from level earth. Narratives are in
the room where the screen waits suspended like
the frame of a girder the worker will place upon
an axis and thus make a frame which he fills with
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A Way of Being
There we go in cars, did you guess we wore sandals?
Carrying the till, memorizing its numbers,
apt at the essential such as rearranging
languages. They occur from route to route
like savages who wear shells.

“I cannot place him.” Yet I do.
He must ascend indefinitely as airs
he must regard his image as plastic,
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Words
The simple contact with a wooden spoon and the word
recovered itself, began to spread as grass, forced
as it lay sprawling to consider the monument where
patience looked at grief, where warfare ceased
eyes curled outside themes to search the paper
now gleaming and potent, wise and resilient, word
entered its continent eager to find another as
capable as a thorn. The nearest possession would
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35
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Finnish Opera
Grass grew long in the story.


Pieces clung to bedclothes. In the night he believed he grew taller.
Grass covered the dream of a serpent, eyes sunk in his head, tail of silk clover. The dream translated into silver tone. More serpent heads and the
dream turned into an opera.

It was the opera that made the dreamer famous. Location of opera could be
in any country, could be Antarctica, more likely Finland, where they believe
in silk clover, it is gold in a land of starved desire for summer.

The opera had a clover leaf copied in porcelain by Aalto, the famous
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Photographs
In the past we listened to photographs. They heard our voice speak.
Alive, active. What had been distance was memory. Dusk came,
Pushed us forward,emptying the laboratoryeach night undisturbed by
Erasure.

In the city of X, they lived together. Always morose, her lips
soothed him. The piano was arranged in the old manner, light entered the
window, street lamps at the single tree.

Emotion evoked by a single light on a subject is not transferable to
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