Friday, January 19, 2018

A Birthday Poem for Me by Verandah Porche

Jacqueline Gens  on her way 
to milk IO* in the barn at Packers Corner Farm

Jacqueline 1982

Rock walls hold the forest like a cash crop:
...some massive stand of late maturing corn.
A cellar hole, a hearthstone topped with
beaten brick, a spring box like a covered dish:
some raw ingredients of myth. Time is still
the laughing chef. Her favored trick: tectonics.

Six burner blaze on our modern stove.
You whip or simmer with no recipe;
know what to coddle,
when to bruise. Try glacier.
Use avalanche.

Verandah tweaked this older poem circa 1982 (age 32) for my 61st birthday on January 20, 2011, which she posted on Facebook. We lived together for a time at Total Loss Farm AKA Packer Corners Farm in Guilford, Vermont (1976-1982) which she founded in the late 1960s along with friends Raymond Mungo, Marty Jezer, Richard Wizansky among others. Verandah has continued to live on the farm for decades raising her two daughters and scribing her poems.

We met yesterday in Greenfield to discuss details of the upcoming 50th anniversary of Packers Corner Farm. Visit Monteverdi Artists Collaborate here.

Listen to a great VPR interview with Tom Fells originally of Montague Farm and Verandah Porche of Total Loss Farm

PHOTO by Virginia Paige: Jacqueline Gens milking IO, resident Jersey cow (see poem below). Packer Corners Farm, Guilford, VT


Twice, I imagined her name called, once
when my lover came to visit, and then again,
in the root cellar where I strained in the dark
to listen among potatoes and onions.

Twice daily, I called out to her-- I O
toward the back pasture from which she came running
to enter the barn and charge into her stanchen
awaiting hay, and that greater reward, grain.

I squatted on a three-legged stool
tipping forward, my face pressed into her Jersey flank,
right forearm barring her feisty kicks
while I massaged hard udders to let down her milk.

Each time I heard or said her name,
I thought of that other cow driven insane
by furies when thoughts assailed my mind of L.
making me crazy--

Until a tension released itself through her milk’s flow
as I grasped two tits and the warm stream
poured out into the stainless steel bucket
and we both came into Egypt-- I, out of despair.

IO on the run through Monteverdi props,
circa 1978

by Jacqueline Gens
2008 from Primo Pensiero, Shivistan Press

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Some Found Seasonal Ditties/Poems in my Bone Folder

The Telling

Planetary orbits sundry forces pulverize 
matter down to the minute particles 
as centrifugal forces 
gather all to naught
sucked into matrix of unbecoming

to Stardust Breath

Tonight I sort through old family photos for whom there are no heirs.
Me at one, two, three and so on, visits with grandma to the San Diego Zoo, Lake Tahoe, in Malibu. Photos make loving memories but generations heaped up gone now ……..gate gate parasam gate

Spots of Time stopped for a moment

All gone into flames into the unknown
As I enter no-name
Once again

December 5, 2015
Early morning

Into the Light

Slowly the being steps into the light
Herald of greatness to come
Or omens as it moves towards her
"Do not be afraid" it whispers
Terrible to look upon
Even the shwoosh of its wings
Horrible sounding
As the maiden shrinks back
Her belly atremble
Her gaze down cast
to receive its seed

Xmas 2012

Local Man Caught Stealing

from Girl Scout Cookie Jar

What was it he wanted the money for?
.....drugs, baby formula, diabetes test strips
ciggies, booze locked behind glass doors

In the church of stop shopping he wouldn’t need much
just shoes, a new shirt, jeans, underpants, socks

maybe a winter jacket