mythos and narrator
a source of joy
the sea as feminine form and flux
the politics of submersion
I felt both pleasure and a shiver
as we undressed on the slippery bank
and then plunged into the wild river.
I waded in; she entered as a diver.
Watching her pale flanks slice the dark
I felt both pleasure and a shiver.
Was this a source of the lake we sought, giver
of itself to that vast, blue expanse?
We’d learn by plunging into the wild river
and letting the current take us wherever
it willed. I had that yielding to thank
for how I felt both pleasure and a shiver.
But what she felt and saw I’ll never
know: separate bodies taking the same risk
by plunging together into the wild river.
Later, past the rapids, we paused to consider
if chance or destiny had brought us here;
whether it was more than pleasure and a shiver
we’d found by plunging into the wild river.
∆ Gregory Orr, “The River” from The Caged Owl: New and Selected Poems (2002: Copper Canyon Press, 2002). www.coppercanyonpress.org
Empty sea, empty boats, weak minds,
souls caught in the net of the great spider /
∆ “Musical Notes” for a Poem | George Seferis , Translated by Jennifer R. Kellogg
Chrysanne Stathacos and Anne de Cybelle by AA Bronson
July 1995, New York
One night, a hot July night, just two weeks ago ... I was staying with
Chrysanne Stathacos in her tiny Little Italy apartment in the heart of
Manhattan... l was sleeping and in the midst of my sleep, in the midst of this
still heat. I heard water running. It was three in the morning and
Chrysanne was puffing on a cigar in the manner of her friend George Sand,
feverishly filling the squat porcelain bathtub which sat steaming in the middle
of her kitchen, a mere twenty feet from my head. I heard her lower herself
with a groan into the lavender-scented liquid and I felt the pressure of a
hyperactive spirit life as it coped with the steam, smoke and scent with which
Chrysanne was forcing it from the room. The water would remove the psychic
sludge which had attached itself to her, which had awakened her from her'
sleep to the alarm of finding the impression of another body lowering itself
onto her length, clinging to her breasts, her mound of Venus, her thighs.
Was this Anne de Cybelle herself melding with her twentieth century reincar-
nation? Was it Charles Baudelaire returning to the body of his beloved?
Or was it more likely some sinister ectoplasm,
come to devour the delicious tresses of the celebrated
Psychic d'Elle Arte?
In these days of heightened spirit presence, choose safety over stimulation.
Unless the presence is absolutely clear and benificent, light incense and
smudge sticks, drink the juice of fresh red roses, spit water over the hair of
your head, bathe in lavender oil, wave white silk scarves or white sheets over
your head and around your body, stamp your feet on bare ground. For the
next three days, be careful of damage to your feet. In these days of death and
dying, the accumulated spirit life of centuries has been amplified by the
'epidemics of the twentieth century. And they are not passing to the other side.
They are not passing to the other side. They remain with us still.
So I lay on my row of cushions on Chrysanne's floor, watching as the
variegated fog of angry spirits was dispelled by smoke, by scent, by water.
The Psychic d' Elle Arte lowered herself into the steaming bath of lavender.
The ectoplasm collapsed. Anne de Cybelle was safe once more.