The Song of Women of Jaded Time
(for François Villon)
Talk to me this instant, or don’t ever bother
talking to me again. You think your sorrow
is like a flower, you beautiful, pitiful Italian;
but you are not a paragon, not crying like this.
Underneath my foot you shall find perfection.
You are like an echo of my own will, you shall
learn to speak of my brutality all the time,
and love it. Under this river or in your hands
I shall drown — how beautiful is too much human pain.
May you sing your own black heart forever!
Listen to what I say, but don’t hear it with your ears.
Listen with your heart, you are like a blooming flower,
you wild, beautiful fool. Your injured foot is far more
beautiful than my own. Don’t repeat me, speak only
of my brutality all the time. Under the water I will drown,
or under your hands. How beautiful is too much fever,
or human pain? May you sing your black song forever!
Or, perhaps you are like the wise, able Heloise,
and my blessed foot will kick you hardest
when you are already down. Like her dim-witted
Abelard — for love, he ceased breathing. Love,
I think you resemble the king that commands
none but the harridan. First, jettison your silly bag
of river water. Long may you sing your black heart!
You are wise, and blessed, as are all ill-fated lovers.
For love, we cease living — we all resemble royalty
in this way. I command the bitch who is my deepest
self: first throw away everything you hold dear.
May you sing with your thick blackness in my life.
The queen of white is coming to lie — she chants
regally in a serene voice. I was born of Bertha
with her grand feet, she of Beatrice, Alice,
harem dancers all, colored in the main for beauty rather than wisdom.
And we come, too, from Joanna, the beautiful Swiss girl.
The English back then were belligerent, though mainly
in Rouen. Or do I see in your sad eyes, your oldest
unforgotten queen? May you sing of your black, tight
heart until the words choke you with regret, with forgiveness.
I was once a queen, of all I surveyed.
I sang with a stilted voice. My mother,
my grandmother, my great-grandmother
were all such foolish harem dancers,
too lovely to look at and let live.
And the beautiful maid who cleaned
my rooms… I was always bitchiest
to her just before the dawn. O, your
sharp eyes went through me like a sword.
May you sing your own praises until nightfall!
O Prince, do not ask to love me except for cruelty,
do not wonder where those other ladies are, this year —
what a sad refrain your unshaven face reminds me of.
I used to know someone, he was a lot like you.
May you sing lullabies to your faithless black heart!
O my lord, do not ask me to come to you out of
kindness — do not ask where I have lived until now.
What an ancient sorrow you have reopened!
May you sing this pain into the book of all eternity.
Sometimes writing comes to readers at exactly the right time. This is one of those times.
Mothers. I love them, too.
Queen in our eyes!
Goddess in our hearts
Alleviated fears ;Shaped behaviors
Built careers ; Educated a nation
Sang hymnals :Through the moments slowly.
She learned to live and love
Unperturbed by failure unruffled by haste
To rise in the midnight glory
Unbounded by time ,Undimmed by hope.
She sang dirges in ceremonies
boxed by pain raze with tears
Called on a God in heaven !
Pushed by problems unleashed by dreams
To wipe our tears and fails
Charred by life’s harsh realities
Unbroken by woes strengthened in invocations
Into our stubborn adolescent years
The hectic times, the sick bed comforts
I reminisce her brief scolding
Refusing to go to school for no reason
And all her exquisite wares I broke
Can’t phantom the pain I caused her
But she never gave up on…
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Fantastic! Hilarious! True. Makes me wish I’d written it!
Hideous little fact, but if you torture somebody long enough, they’ll
eventually tell you whatever they think you want to hear. Eventually
they’ll start confessing to things they haven’t even done. Spy-factoid.
In the face of internet spy accusations, I used to launch a rather pathetic
wail, “but I’m a real person!” Forget all that, from now on I’m just going
to run with it, embrace the idea. So, I confess, I’m a spy, like Agent 99 on
Get Smart. Sometimes they even let me use the shoe phone.
In truth, on the internet being accused of being a spy, an agent provocateur,
a subversive, a troll, a government agent, is a pretty routine thing. People can’t
see you and until they know you, they tend to perceive you as a threat. (Once they
know you, they REALLY perceive you as a threat, but I digress.) To make the whole
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How Art Thou Received? (a prayer for refugees)
Imagine: suddenly, without warning (because that is how war arrives) you are a war refugee! Simply running away from being murdered. And how are you received when you can finally stop running, when you are out of range of the guns, the bombs, the blood? No countries to take you. No one to feed you. You are a skeletal pawn in a skeletal game.
Embalmed corpses declare war on the living and fight for their “territory” against other embalmed corpses using armies of young people; embalmed corpses feeding on fresh, young blood.
I know something is very wrong, somewhere. It must be addressed, and addressed properly. Our prayer, our incantation, our spell to heal, must be more powerfully crafted, more distilled, more essential, than was the horrid spell we are trying to break: a tradition of might over right, strong but wrong…
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