menu_californiafeature3

 

Part 3 Contributors

 

Michelle Bitting
Laurel Ann Bogen
Laure-Anne Bosselaar
Lucille Lang Day
Corrinne Clegg Hales
Marsha De La O
Charles Jensen
Eloise Klein Healy
Glenna Luschei
Clint Margrave
Henry Morro
Alexis Rhone Fancher
Phil Taggart
David L. Ulin
Jonathan Yungkans
Lorene Zarou-Zouzounis

Part 1 Contributors

Rae Armantrout
Bart Edelman
David Garyan
Suzanne Lummis
Glenna Luschei
Bill Mohr
D. A. Powell
Amy Uyematsu
Paul Vangelisti
Charles Harper Webb
Bruce Willard
Gail Wronsky

Part 2 Contributors

Elena Karina Byrne
liz gonzález
Grant Hier
Lois P. Jones
Ron Koertge
Glenna Luschei
Rooja Mohassessy
Susan Rogers
Patty Seyburn
Maw Shein Win
Kim Shuck
Lynne Thompson
Carine Topal
Cecilia Woloch

Part 4 Contributors

Tony Barnstone
Willis Barnstone
Ellen Bass
Christopher Buckley
Neeli Cherkovski
Boris Dralyuk
Alicia Elkort
Mary Fitzpatrick
Michael C. Ford
Kate Gale
Frank X. Gaspar
Dana Gioia
Shotsie Gorman
S.A. Griffin
Donna Hilbert
Brenda Hillman
Glenna Luschei
Phoebe MacAdams
devorah major
Clive Matson
K. Silem Mohammad
Rusty Morrison
Harry Northup
Holly Prado Northup - In Memoriam
Cathie Sandstrom
Shelley Scott - In Memoriam
Daniel Shapiro
Mike Sonksen
Pam Ward
Sholeh Wolpe
Gary Young
Mariano Zaro


President, Publisher & Founding Editor:
Peter Robertson
Vice-President: Glenna Luschei
Vice-President: Sari Nusseibeh
Vice-President: Elena Poniatowska
U. S. General Editor: Neil Langdon Inglis
London Editor/Senior Editor-at-Large: Geraldine Maxwell
New York Editor/Senior Editor-at-Large:
Meena Alexander
Washington D.C. Editor/Senior
Editor-at-Large:
Laura Moser
Deputy Editor: Allen Hibbard
Deputy Editor: Jerónimo Mohar Volkow
Deputy Editor: Bina Shah
Advisory Consultant: Jill Dawson
General Editor: Beatriz Hausner
General Editor: Malvina Segui
Art Editor: Lara Alcantara-Lansberg
Art Editor: Calum Colvin
Deputy General Editor: Jeff Barry

Consulting Editors
Shanta Acharya
Marjorie Agosín
Daniel Albright
Meena Alexander
Maria Teresa Andruetto
Frank Ankersmit
Rosemary Ashton
Reza Aslan
Leonard Barkan
Michael Barry
Shadi Bartsch
Thomas Bartscherer
Susan Bassnett
Gillian Beer
David Bellos
Richard Berengarten
Charles Bernstein
Sujata Bhatt
Mario Biagioli
Jean Boase-Beier
Elleke Boehmer
Eavan Boland
Stephen Booth
Alain de Botton
Carmen Boullossa
Rachel Bowlby
Svetlana Boym
Peter Brooks
Marina Brownlee
Roberto Brodsky
Carmen Bugan
Jenni Calder
Stanley Cavell
Sampurna Chattarji
Sarah Churchwell
Hollis Clayson
Sally Cline
Marcelo Cohen
Kristina Cordero
Drucilla Cornell
Junot Díaz
André Dombrowski
Denis Donoghue
Ariel Dorfman
Rita Dove
Denise Duhamel
Klaus Ebner
Robert Elsie
Stefano Evangelista
Orlando Figes
Tibor Fischer
Shelley Fisher Fishkin
Peter France
Nancy Fraser
Maureen Freely
Michael Fried
Marjorie Garber
Anne Garréta
Marilyn Gaull
Zulfikar Ghose
Paul Giles
Lydia Goehr
Vasco Graça Moura
A. C. Grayling
Stephen Greenblatt
Lavinia Greenlaw
Lawrence Grossberg
Edith Grossman
Elizabeth Grosz
Boris Groys
David Harsent
Benjamin Harshav
Geoffrey Hartman
François Hartog
Siobhan Harvey
Molly Haskell
Selina Hastings
Valerie Henitiuk
Kathryn Hughes
Aamer Hussein
Djelal Kadir
Kapka Kassabova
John Kelly
Martin Kern
Mimi Khalvati
Joseph Koerner
Annette Kolodny
Julia Kristeva
George Landow
Chang-Rae Lee
Mabel Lee
Linda Leith
Suzanne Jill Levine
Lydia Liu
Margot Livesey
Julia Lovell
Thomas Luschei
Laurie Maguire
Willy Maley
Alberto Manguel
Ben Marcus
Paul Mariani
Marina Mayoral
Richard McCabe
Campbell McGrath
Jamie McKendrick
Edie Meidav
Jack Miles
Toril Moi
Susana Moore
Laura Mulvey
Azar Nafisi
Paschalis Nikolaou
Martha Nussbaum
Tim Parks
Molly Peacock
Pascale Petit
Clare Pettitt
Caryl Phillips
Robert Pinsky
Elizabeth Powers
Elizabeth Prettejohn
Martin Puchner
Kate Pullinger
Paula Rabinowitz
Rajeswari Sunder Rajan
James Richardson
François Rigolot
Geoffrey Robertson
Ritchie Robertson
Avital Ronell
Élisabeth Roudinesco
Carla Sassi
Michael Scammell
Celeste Schenck
Sudeep Sen
Hadaa Sendoo
Miranda Seymour
Daniel Shapiro
Mimi Sheller
Elaine Showalter
Penelope Shuttle
Werner Sollors
Frances Spalding
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
Julian Stallabrass
Susan Stewart
Rebecca Stott
Mark Strand
Kathryn Sutherland
Rebecca Swift
Susan Tiberghien
John Whittier Treat
David Treuer
David Trinidad
Marjorie Trusted
Lidia Vianu
Victor Vitanza
Marina Warner
David Wellbery
Edwin Williamson
Michael Wood
Theodore Zeldin

Assistant Editor: Sara Besserman
Assistant Editor: Ana de Biase
Assistant Editor: Conor Bracken
Assistant Editor: Eugenio Conchez
Assistant Editor: Patricia Delmar
Assistant Editor: Lucila Gallino
Assistant Editor: Sophie Lewis
Assistant Editor: Krista Oehlke
Assistant Editor: Siska Rappé
Assistant Editor: Naomi Schub
Assistant Editor: Stephanie Smith
Assistant Editor: Emily Snyder
Assistant Editor: Robert Toperter
Assistant Editor: Laurence Webb
Art Consultant: Verónica Barbatano
Art Consultant: Angie Roytgolz

 
Click to enlarge picture Laure-Anne Bosselaar
Laure-Anne Bosselaar
Californian Poets Part 3: Four Poems
by
Laure-Anne Bosselaar


 

 



Author’s Note: All poems have previously appeared in These Many Rooms (Four Way Books)



I Forget to Listen


           to the silence after the rain —
or to that particular silence,

                                 like a
                                 held
                                 breath,

when the wind dies.


And to the silence after a slammed door.
Or a telephone’s last unanswered ring.

           I forget to listen to you —
and to the silence in you, friend.

I make such noise, such noise,
           that I don’t hear the silence in you.





The Night Garden


Because everything you learned from the stained
                      glass windows you knelt under
still remains thorned & stained & torn,

& all the teachings you were expected
                      to believe still leave you dis-
believing & you wish this were not so,

& because one sparrow’s chirp can pour
                      gratitude into you like a drought-
dazzling rain, & you’d much rather

kneel for that — & you do,

there’s something appeased in the way you
                      get up again & brush the dirt
from your knees — that modest

dirt that belongs to no one & is yours so entirely

in this small lot — hedged, hidden,
                      with its offerings of fruit
& shade & song. So that later,

when evening brumes embrace all
                      you just praised,
you slip back into the night garden

to be blessed that way too.





Elegy on My Drive Home

for Larry Levis

When it rains on Las Positas Road,
          the trunk of a eucalyptus there turns
      blue — with a few blood-red streaks — but mostly
                    blue: a bright
                    hard cobalt,

             & it just stands there, bleeding that blue,
among the other eucalyptus in their safe
                    camouflage of beige & brown —

& I remember something Larry wrote about Caravaggio,
          how he painted his own face
                    in the decapitated head of Goliath,

      & how Larry wanted       to go up to it & close both eyelids
          because they were     still half-open & it seemed a little obscene
                                                                 to leave them like that.

           I planted a willow in a garden in Belgium when Larry died.
It grew by blue-painted shutters. I wanted that tree
           to keep weeping there after I left for America again —

America who had lost Larry too — & I thought about that,
                                & about his two trees, lost somewhere
           in Utah: the acer negundo, & the other one
whose name he could never remember.

           So that now, when I drive home I think of those trees:
the acer negundo, the other one, & my willow.

Brother limitation races beside me like a shadow too, Larry,
                    so that now, when it rains, I take



another way home, or look
                                away from the Las Positas eucalyptus
standing there soaked & so
           blue it seems a little obscene to leave it like that.





While There is Still Time


           let me waste it, take it outside & do nothing
but sit with it under the old vine’s nave
                                            & its chaotic choir of sparrows.

           It’s one of those days when nothing gets done,
                                            my head a constant whinge of worries.

           But a breeze drifts in from the East & inside it the distant peal
of church bells then — like a vague voice from afar —
                      a line from Apollinaire: You’re tired, finally,
of this ancient world.
                                  À la fin tu es las de ce monde ancien.


I had forgotten it for so long
                                              & here —
                                 six thousand miles away from Paris
                                 six thousand miles from a room in Antwerp
where I memorized Zone by heart —
                                                       I hear myself say it aloud
                                            to a dusty congregation of sparrows.



Some poems will never leave me — they are my other mother tongue —
           their scansion the beat & in my throat & wrists.



But these sparrows: how easily they come & go
                                 from gnarled darknesses into bright noon light.
How, if there is no water, they’ll bathe in dirt.



I watched a woman once, on a subway platform, grab
her screaming child’s wrist, twist it, & shake her,




pointing to a cat-sized rat chewing at something
between the rails: Stop it or I’ll throw you to that rat.

That woman. ¬She seemed so defeated, so beat.
That child. Her terror as she wrapped herself

around her mother’s legs: I stop, mama, I stop.

I recognized that terror — my whole body a gasp: it was
a station of my childhood, there, not three feet away,

as the train screeched out of the tunnel. I didn’t board it.
Joined the crowd toward the EXIT & its urban dispersal,

all of us strangers, worn, torn, mute, blinded by New York’s
noon, its chaos & roar — brief companions in a scattering flock.



The sparrows haven’t stopped their commute & —
                      again — it’s Apollinaire I remember:

You almost died of sorrow then,
A Lazarus bewildered by light


                      & as the birds bathe in their fonts
                      of dust & sun, another line:

Un instant voile tout de son ardente cendre
           An instant veils everything with its ardent ash


but can’t remember
           what came before that line.

           It doesn’t matter. There’s such quiet unimportance here,
                      my memory so generous, untangling
lines & languages—as I sit by a vine,
                      wasting time & taking my time to do it.