Thursday, March 26, 2015

Songbook (She's Fabulous! She's Fabulous!)

 Overture (for Red Bricks) 
Hickory! Hank! Zeke! (Farmboys’ Swing)
Dorothy’s Dream
It’s Green Glittering Glinda!
Mambo for a Daid Witch
I’m Thinkin’ I’m Thinkin’ I’m Thinkin’ Thinkin’ Thinkin’
Lamentation in Yellow (Waltz for Poppy)
Hands Are Only Idle When They’re Not Helping You
Is That You, Professor Marvel?
Not Gonna Be a Witch No Mo’ (No Mo’)
Red Shoes Polka (Ballet)
Heal Me (of the Bad Witch in My Soul)
Dorothy’s Dream (Reprise)
She’s Fabulous! She’s Fabulous! Auntie Em Is Fabulous!
Sarah Sarai, 2015. Written for Fairy Tale Review's Emerald Issue. The editors accepted another poem of mine, instead.  

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Wheat grows between the pages of books ... Nazir Qabanni, Syrian poet

A draft of a Nizar Qabanni poem. 
A Syrian poet, publisher, diplomat, Nizar Qabbani was born on March 21, 1923. He died in 1998.  I was looking for a poet born today, the first day of Spring, when flowers spring up. Love is a flower or so I'm told.

When I Love You

When I love you
A new language springs up,
New cities, new countries discovered.
The hours breathe like puppies,
Wheat grows between the pages of books,
Birds fly from your eyes with tiding of honey,
Caravans ride from your breasts carrying Indian herbs,
The mangoes fall all around, the forests catch fire
And Nubian drums beat.
When I love you your breasts shake off their shame,
Turn into lightning and thunder, a sword, a sandy storm.
When I love you the Arab cities leap up and demonstrate
Against the ages of repression
And the ages
Of revenge against the laws of the tribe.
And I, when I love you,
March against ugliness,
Against the kings of salt,
Against the institutionalization of the desert.
And I shall continue to love you until the world flood arrives;
I shall continue to love you untill the world flood arrives.
Nizar Qabbani, from On Entering the Sea: The Erotic and Other Poetry of Nizar Qabbani, translated by Lena Jayyusi and Jack Collum.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

God is whatever makes us better


 It’s the weirdest thing, 
to be in love with a woman. 
Nothing else matters. 
Even that campy hate scorn is 
rick rack on a little black dress — 
you kidding me? 

Your woman is a body of miracle fiber, 
a tote accommodating 
a change of clothes and good shampoo, 
a heated embrace, an epicenter 
a little sun next to you 
preparing you for your dangerous salvation.

 You have to find a way 
and a sherpa anxious to 
shake out, lean over, 
anchor raw minerals 
on the four directions, 
the four elements, 
the nonrefundable missteps.

 God is whatever makes us better. 
Who’s seen Her, besides 
          William Blake 
          and ten million mothers. 
Do they agree how shining her hair is 
or that her voice is the unified theory 
of everything arranged for strings?

 The idea is to be led to something 
          that is not you. 
If it is the solar system in your arms, 
          pinging you, well, that works. 

®2015. Sarah Sarai, Ping-PongLiterary Journal of the Henry Miller Library, 2014. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Early Jazz

from a Swingle Singers cover

It was during the yearly Bach Festival, over the Christmas holiday. WQXR plays solid Bach. Bach, who is solid, is on 24/7. All Bach, all-the-time, and any variations are Bach's invention. The organ was inevitable. Fugue, concerti, prelude, chorale. I only remember thinking, This is jazz. THIS is jazz. Something I'd not previously heard, noticed, sensed, understood. I repeated that to a jazz singer and daughter of a musician. We were going into or out of a meditation at the Edgar Cayce Center in NYC. She said yeah. So, yeah.

              Early Jazz

        Like most artists,
Johann Sebastian Bach
moved to the city. 
Sometimes you need
a point of entrance for
ornamental notes and flourishes.  
So a crazy organist
can staff the future with
musicians who rest, yeah,
but mainly soar.

                         Sarah Sarai. Published in The Wallace Stevens Journal, 
                         Volume 38, Number 1, Spring 2014.

Monday, March 9, 2015

What's falling, really?

One of these poems was published in Truck, (edited by Alex Cigale) in a more traditional form.  The other, written around the same time (five or so years ago), has been waiting.  Wondering if the prose form will serve me.  It's nice to post here.  Been a while.

Risky Business
 That time you gave me hope and pulled it back so fast I skittled into a whale and hid. The She didn’t lure me out to find not even one righteous soul and She is the almighty though a big know-it-all though She does.  It was a skittle like Tom Cruise’s on waxed hardwood in his unders. A clear sail was Tom Cruise’s which I hoisted to escape whale’s belly.  Me and She know beast bellies as basements sloshy with whitewash cans and matted stirrers floating on browny water.  Jonah and me have seen middle depths contained. Spit up. 

 Forgetting to wear the fringed scarf you wove that’s yours to warm your fragile neck so vulnerable. What’s falling, really?  You know and unknow revelations and splendors. Some leaps end in a crevasse helpful with rungs. As physics plays out, She feels your twingy innards. Doesn’t mind reciprocal omissions. Clouds delay sacred joinings but there’s safety in being grounded.  Our universe suggests abandonment is a lie. Not convinced? Doubt provokes a shaken fist She might not even see.

Sarah Sarai. 2015.