Thursday, July 14, 2011

the great fish

my pale-bellied body
watery tremors
across the skin
of this dark prism

the only form
the only colour

my hungry eyes
my hungry mouth

to the slightest movement
the faintest light

senses taut
and drawing in
the holy slightness


so bear with me, and if I thrash and groan
in those throes of sleep, believe me that i saw
the great fish tunneling the purple sea

excerpted from "night piece" stanley kunitz

music played by marilyn crispell: "one dark night i left my silent house"


Jinksy said...

The heartbeat rhythm of the dancing shaped in the video had me mesmerised. Now I want to know how the images were made...You certainly keep my brain ticking over...

steven said...

hi jinksy, the video is of shadows and light. this person did what i've thought would be very cool and that os to film the little shadows that result from chance rays of light catching an object or passing through a confined space and plaing across the walls and floors of my home. steven

The Weaver of Grass said...

As usual steven everything fits together perfectly. Have you finished school for the summer yet?

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Steven:
The flashes of light against the dark background are indeed reminiscent of the movement of fish in the depths of some deep ocean. And, the poem is a perfect companion.

Often a golden light is reflected from windows opposite directly into our apartment on sunny days and now, after this post, we shall be thinking of golden fishes as the lines flash across the walls and ceiling.

steven said...

weaver i finished school for the summer as of july 1. so i'm now two weeks into slowly unpacking the coiled tension - a necessary tension i might add - of my work. and loving it!! steven

steven said...

hello jane and lance. i remember a turning point in the way i saw the world when i watched shadows and light diffuse and scatter through the course of the day in the little room i grew up in as a teenager. steven

Reya Mellicker said...

LOVE Marilyn Crispell!! Wow.

Have a luxurious uncoiling. x

steven said...

me too reya! steven

Friko said...

As you know I have only just discovered Kunitz for myself.

I am returning your 'wow'.

Ruth said...

'the holy slightness' — could be your motto, I think. The delicacy of this post slows me down, makes me wish I'd paid closer attention to shadows and light. But I will.

The video and music haunt me into presence. The visuals remind me of the exhibition of smoke (live) behind glass, boxed, at the Orsay museum one year.

steven said...

friko - kunitz is a really exciting "find" for me. anyone who can open my eyes and heart wider . . . . . steven

steven said...

ruth - perhaps you've figured out just how slight i am - of build i mean - to suggest that i adopt that as my motto. i love the way shadows soften a space. soften objects. i feel myself drawn to them as much as the colourful lights that play off the glass and through the windows. steven

Dan Gurney said...

Quite mesmerizing, yes. My music and the images are so minimalist. Music that emerges from and tends to retreat into silence. Images that emerge from and tend to return to darkness. Simple tools: a plastic folder reflecting light. A piano and a baritone saxophone? Not much, but more than enough to cast a spell.

Kind of like summer: We teachers are left with little dots of light to fill up a vast, dark emptiness left by the sudden and simultaneous departure of two dozen supernovas into a summertime vacation.

Terresa said...

I agree with Ruth on the holy slightness. It is yours, you own it, and share it again and again. And I find myself upon your shores of words, awed, grateful.

Jo said...

I sit here tonight looking out over the ocean, Selene looking down on me, both of us watching the watery tremors so intently...senses taut.

How wondrous it all is.

Thank you, Steven.

steven said...

dan i've found that i write more easily and more directly - even more concisely - when i'm listening to music. it has to be the exact and right piece of music. so that can be a challenge. sometimes i'll write some words and hear the music - or a phrase - and then i put my headphones on and i'm good. if music shows up here, it's because it was the right" piece for writing. steven

steven said...

terresa - perhaps i have my grandfathers to thank for that. one was a methodist minister and the other a lay preacher - both in england. then my fayjer who travelled through blavatsky and crowley to buddhism. i built on all of that and i'm still making bricks. steven

steven said...

jo you lucky blessed person!!! steven

erin said...

steven! the holy slightness. ha! and while i think there are those who might argue with having a hungry mouth, or hungry eyes (as i have despite knowing better in this world of trying to just be) this is an honest and terribly wonderful image. it will stay with me.

when my children were little we read, My Many Coloured Days. love this book! there is one part, Green Days. Deep deep in the sea. Cool and quiet fish. That's me. the green days have always swelled in me.


steven said...

erin . . . i've been hungry for as long as i can remember. i crave so much. i wish that i could contain experiences especially sacred or holy experiences in their entirety - hence "slightness". steven