At the end of the wagon road
At the end of the wagon road to the salt cove,
a hermit built a shrine from hubcaps, driftwood, and foil.
He lived there like a mud-packed iris poking from the serpentine
and smelled like grey and weeping clay, minerals after rain.
Living on the cliff, shiny by the smashing waves, that seemed to us
a fine solution: wonderful unravelment, a counterclaim.
When we were young, we walked five miles just to look
at him; then raced away to hide deep in the laurel woods,
breathing hard, intoxicated by the stink of bay and dampgrey
buckeye sickening sweet. And then for years, I was nonchalant
—no, careless—with this memory. I had assumed the road, the child,
and hermit would remain with me; that it would always be
a simple thing to throw my body forward towards the wild.
Who doesn’t want to orchestrate a change,
just make a wish and switch into another form of life?
The body wants experience somehow, a metamorphosis
perhaps into a peregrine who beats the western wind,
into twenty-five pound speechless largemouth bass.
How nice it’d be to cruise along the marine ledge,
swim dumb through weeds,
watch sunsets from beneath the edge, watery and vague.
I know we’re not alone in this; at dusk above the lake,
I saw the trout fling bodies silver to the sky
like airborne arrows, hang there in an ecstasy,
and pause, unguarded—
nearly leaping through the scrim.
Guitarist Bill Horvitz left us, way too soon, January, 2017. Bill was my husband, for nearly half my life, friend and creative partner, and loving father of my son.
I’m posting this sound file for Bill, a recorded poem about death and loss and gratitude for years.
(from In the Middle of the Night of the Road of My Life I Found Myself in a Tangled Woods Patti Trimble and Peter Whitehead: out of round records 2014)
Margine di un Altrove, (publication available here) is a project centered on the ancient Greek women protagonists Electra, Alcestis, and Phaedra, in conjunction with 2016 INDA performances of the plays in Siracusa’s (Sicily) Ancient Theater, poetry by American poet Patti Trimble and Greek National Poet Titos Patrikios.
Art exhibits, speakers, poetry, and Italian-English publication of art/poetry/and essay by writers from FILDIS and University Women of Europe, collected/edited by Elena Flavia Castagnino Berlingheri and Katerina Papatheu: sculptures by Stepania Pennachio.
Pensieri means inner thoughts. My poems are unspoken pensieri for the tragic heroines, how I imagine theirs, and what I think about their stories. Three wonderful actors from L’Istituto Nazionale del Dramma Antico: Michele Dell’Utri, Doriana la Fauci, Attilia Ierna staged and performed ten poems in 2016 at various venues in Siracusa and Taormina, Italy. Two are reproduced here:
The queen loosens her hair and chases
an untamed man across river and hill
and why shouldn’t she,
when so much has been made of his beauty
as the very breath of life
and voice of mountain air—
From this well-bred world,
who doesn’t need a corrective?
Who doesn’t ache for innocence,
for a new and lovely someone else,
and wonder who is hunter,
who unfairly chased?
Patti Trimble 2016
POEM FOR PHAEDRA: FIVE QUESTIONS
Must we choose between the holy and profane wild?
Can’t we simply watch a play about desire and feel better?
Or chant commanding poems about beautiful lunacies?
Can’t we simply dream of life essential jailed in dark suggestive nights?
What if, when awakened, we never follow on the scent of feral dreams?
Patti Trimble 2016
From Terra Amata
SAC Contemporary Art Museum, November 2016. Installation, performace by 40 actors/students from the L’Istituto Nazionale del Dramma Antico, curated and directed by Michele Dell’Utri with Doriana la Fauci and Attilia Ierna. A spoken word collection of “places on Earth, carried in memory”, based on interviews with immigrants, refugees, tourists, residents, most of them in Siracusa, Sicily: A collaged vision of Earth.
This piece is from a Somalian refugee who recently traveled via Libya to Sicily:
. . . The boat was crowded, and people divided up, Muslims on one side, Christians on the other side. There was no one father, the sea was so bad. Afterwards, now, we fear the sea, not even wanting to look at it even from far away. I never want to remember the giant waves and the feeling you have in the stomach when you are on top of the wave and are about to fall, you loose all the breath you have in your mouth. We never want to see the sea ever again. But I am talking about this now to you for the first time, and it makes me laugh. The waves were so tall. At the top of the wave, the Muslims were praying “Allah! Allah!” and the Christians were praying “Jesus! Jesus!”. At the bottom of the wave, the Muslims were praying Jesus Jesus, and the Christians where praying “Allah! Allah!”. . ..
Wild Girl and Tame, and Montauk 1984, awarded the “2016 46er Prize” from Adirondack Review. (A ’46er’ has climbed all 46 Adirondak peaks, at least metaphorically) Click here to read, poems and stories in the summer issue.
Listen here to poems from CD: In the Middle of the Night of the Road of My Life I Found Myself in a Tangled Wood.
Patti Trimble and Peter Whitehead