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by Marek Lugowski

26feb00		poem for wifefriend
 5mar00		smell like a girl
15mar00		touch pad, sa marek (enteractc om)
29mar00		a soft a hard a soft hard sway, nothing fey about it
 1jun00		paternoster
 7jul00		hands in waiting
 1aug00		on this planet all things faraway shimmer blue
27aug00		black
23sep00		tide-girl
 2oct00		the grief of an elephant
19jan01         when deed again

20mar00		Cleis   (Sappho)

		poem for wifefriend

		dear mitten i did my homework.

		looked through the panes of other people's marriages
		saw everyday saw radiance
		we fixed our expectations took aim...

		cool talk unfolds lonely leanings
		miss you miss you kiss you -- we stroke each other
		a kiss you miss you glass design clearing a way of seeing

		kid names already picked out -- they are exotic and lovely
		still kids will poo -- I just hope not in that too
		puky pink or puky baby blue
		infant fluff does not have to revolt
		aren't we doing this for a good reason?

		astonishing how little there is to say
		for the load to be taken off our shoulders
		not a lot got exchanged -- rather -- lots revealed
		thank you o swifts of instant recognition

		i presume pornography will stand down
		to decommission then recycle
		or is this another utopia?

		i am excercising again
		always marveled at madonnas with wide-eyed brats in arms
		at bus stops at the cashier's
		how can they
		i'd be worn out
		little piglet who's yer daddy?

		can't shake the inevitability of it all
		we are two time capsules with stuff inside them
		nudged into a rattle of a bottle

		mouthing the label:
		"don't you just long for that tiny hand to clutch
		your little finger?"

		the woman whose feet are resting on a turtle which
		itself rests on an elephant which works hard and rests
		off and on
		is now laboring at taking two
		she just shook out two --

		the two glisten in the palm of her open hand
		still slightly apart
		but destined to be taken together

		two at bedtime
		for the rest of her life

		here we come
		my sweat pea lean-to medicine
		here we come

		    Marek Lugowski
		    26 February 2000
		    Chicago, Illinois

		smell like a girl

		took a whiff inside the bright green plastic
		bubble sheet in which my medicine comes
		hospital sunlight on a pretty pretty pretty nurse's hair!
		dust dancing in a beam of light.  smell like a girl.

		a skein of white opaques: messages in a bottle
		each carefully dispatched by sam.
		before sam -- odu.  before odu -- sk.

		i take my medicine with tea
		i hope to take tea with my medicine
		pi lo chun.  golden gleam.

		white winter light has yellowed
		pond water ripples ripens to afternoon blue
		wind hairplays with it

		for me you will always bring more -- pledges the water
		for me you will always bring more -- pledges the wind

		smell like a boy smell like a girl

			Marek Lugowski
			5 March 2000
			Chicago, Illinois

		touch pad, sa marek (enteractc om)

		i played with your face
		the mac whirly whirled
		the software installed
		it was the seventh basic
		real player
		it took forever
		ample time

		i traced you
		r left cheek down to your chin
		dangled an earing by your right then left ear
		(you looked muy feliz)

		i touched you right on
		the nose

		delicately follo
		wed up the curve of your brow
		the whirly checkered roun
		ded then upped around the other

		feather-touched the touchpad --
		sweetspot of the sugarloaf

		went down the right side
		of your neck
		and rested
		in the artery nook
		right by the warm croo
		k and the whirly whirled and whirled and whirled
		then returned to arrow

		you know, chica linda linda linda
		it's been a dry and snowless winter

		like when --
		when will you rain?

			Marek Lugowski
			15 March 2000
			Chicago, Illinois

		a soft a hard a soft hard sway, nothing fey about it

		inside a cantaloupe -- blonde
		smells clean tastes good
		i like the flesh moist and firm
		a watery rose-yellowy sheen
		my hard spoon slides in -- with time
		unearths the translucent green
		a diving loon -- my spoon and i
		talk out loud -- for love mostly
		with my mouth full of melon fruit

		full of your sweet name o mitten

		i am sold on the rough elephant skin
		cupped roundly in my left hand
		this could be your heels taken together

		"It's not an option.  we are having children."

		"yeah, you get the fun parts!
		they won't be sucking you dry. *smile*
		you'll have your kids
		and you won't think i'm pretty anymore
		because the kids took it all away,
		leaving me with pouches of skin! :)"

		i so wish i had you here at my lakeside already
		to feed mouthfuls to on our vast blonde couch
		looking out west

		a couch with professional movers-lopped-off rear casters
		all the better to kiss you fondle you entwine you
		the couch itself will enfold you
		resist giving you up -- all the furniture here
		welcomes you home

		so -- will you put your crinkly feet up on arrival
		vege out fully
		i will feed you
		i will play for you some quirky dreamy piano
		i will kiss your hair -- never tire of touching it
		you will spin the saddest smiths songs
		and you will sing the promised lullabies

		no breeze will sway the silent almonds of candles
		less light more fondle more light more fondle
		bluish morning city light will dawn
		we will slink off to bed to sleep in snuggly consort

		and if you do not wish to eat blonde melons
		i will be sad but i won't cry
		i will eat them myself
		i will fish for you in the sea of sweet
		not to sway you -- swaying is a a natural occurrence
		in windy city hi-rise living

		hey.  hey you.  iloveyou.

			Marek Lugowski
			29 March 2000
			Chicago, Illinois

		just saying no to paternalism (includes a paternoster)

		someone told me someone told me

		that i come over 

		but that this is
		probably nothing
		i can help

		i was stung to the quick
		yes.  to the quick.  to the

		dear fire that burns (never forget to burn)
		this is a prayer (paternoster):

		i will come over

		i will come over

		i will come over

		only come over.

			Marek Lugowski
			1 June 2000
			Chicago, Illinois

		hands in waiting


		these hands were made for loving
		and that's just what they'll do
		and one of these days these hands are gonna
		skate all over you.


		sitting in the sauna -- beading up
		i examine critically my swimming-bleached
		cuticles my boyish knuckles
		my strong closely-trimmed finger
		nails -- the pink and cream stuff
		a rio friend -- she'd said:

		but these are not doctor's hands
		not even master's
		they are just my kind of town hands
		the it is still early hands
		meet me at the fountain drop me in the water
		you could pin me like a butterfly hands
		clean hands
		keyboard upon keyboard pentatonic windy city hands

		hands that instantly bruise and blister
		in 20 minutes of kayaking into the wind
		yes of course they harden then yes they do

		hands which will dry out in torrents of dishwashing
		hands that yes have amply gone to love before
		and yes could be called up again
		like willing and able yankee minutemen
		to caress -- for your and our freedom -- for hours.

		but not until they see the whites of your eyes
		yes the hands that say: just say...

		i am sitting in the sauna pearling up and smiling
		at the thought: here is a (little) light (yellow)
		that often goes out

		in the middim sauna light hand-to-mouth existence
		conjures itself unusually calmly -- i am not hardened
		by these visions of man~ana

		i shake the thought
		i turn my hands upside down
		think photographically
		think tactically
		how would these hands stroke your spine
		or brush your hair behind your ears (both at once)
		or as helen writes -- touch (delicately) at the pink claw
		oh helen.

		it is hot and now i am raining
		spot spot drip drip drop
		my nose -- an icicle -- my ears -- a bicycle
		traversing in slush -- in sluicing weather
		yes i am melting
		staining the already dark floor grating
		and glistening

		my hands are your hands 
		in waiting
		the rush and the push -- i opened the door --
		yes -- yes even the air has such soft hands
		in waiting

		so anxious to love me -- oh my love
		the hands of blue cool

			Marek Lugowski
			7 July 2000
			Chicago, Illinois

		on this planet all things faraway shimmer blue

		yes i run fantasies on time all the time
		ghosts of trains on a track
		overgrown with grass blade-gifting weeds
		still -- fit for picking seven kinds of wildflowers

		so.  in this particular dream (a 5:28 local to my bed)
		i unlock the door to my homestead -- our homestead --
		i walk in
		there you are on the couch
		sitting braced expecting having traveled -- and you say
		they let me in

		i am certain that all my life
		with all the other people -- women mother father sister
		i have rehearsed this laying grief to rest:

		i will brush your brow
		i will cup your face
		you will brush my brow
		you will cup my face

		survival is the point of embrace
		anything more would kill us.

		we are the ghost steam-engines of the good old days
		not yet gone by.  drink, my older sister.  you are without
		a little brother -- in polish you would say: bez bratka.

		i am your sharp blue vase
		you are my round blue pitcher
		and the seven kinds of wildflowers will keep
		if we press them among the leaves of the book
		where heros sing charms and things actually get done
		that way yes.  have you noticed love?
		we have been singing.

			Marek Lugowski
			1 August 2000
			Chicago, Illinois

			[rev 2 August]


		standing leaning -- wood -- the kitchen door
		eating the last blackberries of the summer
		thinking -- there's plenty more here and.
		and?  and.  the summer is nearly empty and
		neither one of us smokes so let the black
		ash fallout of rinsed blackberries
		be our ceremonial toke.

		standing leaning -- wood -- the kitchen door
		poststructurally smoking a bowl of the last
		blackberries of the summer...  now you too can
		my dear my white mitten my fear my blue duck
		my muted blackbody.

		playing a black baby
		grand steinway and sons 
		school of ed meeting room -- tall glassy
		sleepy carpethall unlocked afterhours
		afterovernight hours

		suddenly the sun shone and played
		my hands!

		it welcomed me -- such unexpected inclusion
		i welcomed it -- choosing the best
		word accompanying
		my name
		how the word fell slick and heavy
		flicking pretty pretty pretty -- into the black
		into my indian
		into my indian
		into my jazzy

		outside -- campus empty
		east of the sun -- faraway haze
		west of the moon -- glitter silvered the water
		and the three fountains in our lagoon swooshed:
		hi.  we too are daughters.

		a headbanded ponytailed blond woman jogging
		a crisp-white hat-wearing latino man hosing down
		the conference center delivery dock as i brought in
		our corrugated packing across the empty parking lot

		good morning!

		returning surveying the trinkling greenery
		kind and mellow lemon air
		effervescences of work done
		recognition of i-am-alive
		i asked.  am i happy or am i unhappy?  i asked
		more than once. and?  and.  and later i found myself
		standing leaning -- wood -- the kitchen door
		one of two.  smoking ceremonially a bowl of
		the last blackberries of the summer.

			Marek Lugowski
			27-28 August 2000
			Chicago, Illinois


		tide-girl, tide-girl you so brite
		gel or no, you're lovely, quite
		you are the bee's knees, you rule
		do you have a vacancy  -- for a fool?

			Marek Lugowski
			23 September 2000
			Chicago, Illinois

		the grief of an elephant

		her trunk probes -- fondles moves fondles and again
		she probes the skull the ridges
		she kisses the teeth and again
		and again

		this is going on for hours in the namibia sun

		soft-probes -- fondles -- fondles -- the motion repeats

		the calf dropped some months ago, anthrax
		the herd returns, water

		attention piagetian cognitive psychology:
		these pathmakers are mapmakers
		these mapmakers make new paths
		at dusk infrasound formerly unheard by man
		is listened to for up to six miles
		bouncing off the warm air, temperature inversion

		elephant talk elephant talk
		an elephant is a submarine -- pinging and lis(t)e

		her soft trunk probes fondles fondles, again and again

		how are you putting in words that what you are saying,
		elephant mother?

		no need to ask about kissing the ridges kissing the teeth
		touching the mouth (the usual greeting when two meet)

		what are you saying of and to
		your dead baby daughter.

			Marek Lugowski
			2 October 2000
			Chicago, Illinois

		when deed again

		you know like -- when you look in the eye
		people with a very blue very see-through
		very glass-like
		very patterned -- fair -- glass bead of an eye

		with spokes radiating!

		and something gets caught under your breath?
		a threat?
		of being down-undered, ancestor pain maybe
		for the kids that never came and went maybe

		you know like when i look instead on a darkbrown eye
		into a jew or a druze or a red sea-coastal yemeni

		or una latina or la mujer espan~ola -- and it's that 
		calming loving nursing kiss-me-in-the-face and.
		and and!  and make me instantly
		tranquil just by looking?

		you know the looking?  that is the looking i need.

		the only time i -- the only only only time i
		think about jewishness and -- genericness --
		what a mess that eye specialness.

		do you suppose we have fear in a little cooking flame
		a pilot light not too bright
		about as bright as a spasm of a calf?

		your erudite russian face at halfmoon of a streetlight
		your warm homey honey delicate _blask_
		in the amber dusk of sodium
		i won't describe.  that curve.  that look.
		that whet of wet.

		yes i could be married
		to a grayblue eye -- my father's apple people.

		so, darling, yell
		to put my hands up on my head, entwine them
		march out like a woman -- out of the rune country
		or a tarot deck of cards
		or a coffee-toffee live one
		smelling of egypt, of india
		a water cistern on her head
		and proclaim me walking dead for you, sister -- 
		ojczyzna -- duch -- blask.

		fatherland -- spirit -- shine.

			Marek Lugowski
			19 January 2001
			Chicago, Illinois

One companion poem, not mine, but posted to rap with
this dedication, so I suppose, it is an affiliated poem:

 for my wifefriend

		Sleep, darling
		I have a small
		daughter called
		Cleis, who is

		like a golden
		I wouldn't
		take all Croesus'
		kingdom with love
		thrown in, for her


		Don't ask me what to wear
		I have no embroidered
		headband from Sardis to
		give you, Cleis, such as
		I wore
		and my mother
		always said that in her
		day a purple ribbon
		looped in the hair was thought
		to be high style indeed

		but we were dark:
		a girl
		whose hair is yellower than
		torchlight should wear no
		headdress but fresh flowers

			2600 or so years ago, island of Lesbos, Greece
			translated from the Aeolic Ancient Greek
			by Mary Barnard
			_Sappho_, University of California Press, 1984,
			ISBN 0520011171 (my recommendation)

                Sappho link + to see how various translators convey her poetry

		Cleis = her only child, daughter