A History of Her

I acquire the history of her in each button:
agate and sardius, jacinth and jasper,
emerald, perennial, sapphire, deciduous,
christ and chrysalis clinging to her torso,
entering her in pairs, male and female,
to be reborn from her and generations
of her. Agate (chalcedony) as a worshipper
of silver and the light not yet named
thousands of years prior to a descendant
who would create Jehovah. Jacinth (hyacinth)
I see circling. I choose not to avoid souls
circling; I recite her poetry to them before

bed; I want them to recognize
their mother’s voice.

She is a progression of symbols (enveloped
in velvet and embroidery, read from east to west):
woman and well, a procession of rain, rain
rippling and rattling, words.

There were trees taller than any now, blue as saints
and clouds allowed to arch and cathedral, inspiring
magi, then later artists who would be paid well
to change god.

She is as she was, and their priests and sacrifices
will sometimes be envious.

Before I disperse my bones again to the four corners,
it is time to dispel the ambitious
who would inhabit the vessel of her to participate
in the vessel of us.

If there will be another birth, corinthians (isolated
by multiple stories--and I have been one) must abandon
the azure detailed with child.

Are they attempting again to enter through her? Is that
the trembling of her fingers.

That shadow, for example, is not her, though it appears
confident as it was when it navigated the glassy passages
and narrowing passages as my carcass fell, watching
her turn.

Another is returning to marble upon a hill of debris.

What are salt and glass to me.

The cunning of a perfect left foot (which may or may not
have taught me to forgive the transience of dusk).

Each window as hesitation.

Rhyme schemes, an ex-wife, her asthmatic son.

But sleep, a beaded talisman. Our hearts working
as rain, fluttering;

this is probably a marriage, possibly
ours (Why else would I have dreamt it in a forest?). The mouths
are ours as the torque attains its circle,

the bloom of wood marking the turning as our poems do now.

A History of Her [#14]
© 2009 Fammerée

* * * * *

Richard Fammerée

* * * * *


His Father’s Farm

Before Joseph left his father's farm
in Oregon, he descended into a freshly cut
womb where once he had been
cast by the sons of Leah and Bilhah
and Zilpah in Canaan.

His fingers reminisced among root hairs
and serpents and ripped
tubers oozing and smooth
and jagged, ochred
rock and snails in their salty

but his nails did not immediately
tiny beads, rhubarb red and pumpkining

He brushed them and touched an elbow and

His Father’s Farm [#13]
© 2009 Fammerée

* * * * *

Richard Fammerée

* * * * *


Blue Avarice

It is not her finger nail polish or every lie we must
tell the concierge or sapphire tiles in the wall of
windows yearning for the other side (which in music
is violet, if blue), the lost coast of the French church
where white has washed away or the single cerulean
breast of the mosque crowning the spice market
or blessings (in the tangible, tenuous form of blossoms)
clinging to iron gates trying to convince a stone building
of something it simply cannot conceive. It is not
the water or sky or their assumed marriage. Assume
, they remind us, our parents now; no others
accompany us crossing borders, carrying everything
we own into a vivid Diaspora. We were left
upon a doorstep of this pilgrims’ world, swaddled
with imaginings while the money was dispersed
to the seven corners of venality: booze, sex, substances,
Vegas, shopping, gorging (and disgorging), faithlessness
(the equivalent of self-deception). Our earthly fathers
are jealous. Mine was. Their predictions were jealous.
In a less familial context I would simply call their ethos
avarice--but painted blue to appear fresh and something
new. We cannot be ingested or exploited, bought or
sold. Not here, not now. We have become aware;
we had to, to survive and grow through stone. And we
believe in forgiveness this month--and why not? It is all
so far away from this stony beach and cold outdoor
shower. We are within as we are without, within
this room this Mediterranean afternoon. I pray for
those pacing the desperate corridor of myopia.

Blue avarice is like good art. It makes us look
and consider; it forces us into renewed palaces,
into eternity, knowing we need not pay a tithe for
this birthright.

Blue Avarice [#12]
© 2009 Fammerée

* * * * *

Richard Fammerée

* * * * *

[station IV]

She was overwrought, overweight, the color
she was wearing. Drawn inside the lines
inside the lines, pink, blank and pink.
Her question became an explanation.
She had come to the reading because she had
written a poem for her daughter, now four years
old and beginning to understand.

We nodded, estimating her age.
Twenty, perhaps.
“Do you have the poem with you?” “I always have
the poem with me.”
She held no paper, all peach and
pippin, cheeks and blouse billowing:

“This is called Zoo of Fear.”

[station IV] [#11]
© 2009 Fammerée

* * * * *

Richard Fammerée

* * * * *


Scene. In the middle of the myth, in the middle of a life

Enter a Poet, buried in the earth every two to three
generations, progressively cleansed of pagan-Judaic-
Christian-Moslem, etc., traditions and increasingly

Here is my staff and here my shell. I am naked beneath
this skin from stone to sky and back; and you are watching
me lost without you.

You pretend to be a tree. Of course, you do. I have pretended
many names before meeting you; and a tree is an obelisk
covered with hieroglyphs (now indecipherable), but it is
also a root becoming leaves.
Each of us is root becoming leaves.

You, for example, are my rosette. Inside the vaulting of
you, your leaves never lost,

never dying,

having agreed with myself this once not to leave bread
crumbs even though I reach for my pocket when I can’t hear

or feed or feel you. Ophelia.

Fortunately, there is music between sleep.
Fortunately, between kisses between shoulders, your faint
cynicism and shallows cannot protect you.
They only muffle shadows; and shadows may feed on you
but do not feed you. I cannot be a shadow, however

the obscurity. There you are, and there you are. Your voices

fall at the middle, spreading open upon a flattened spine:
Kiss me between here and here when the light is dark as
my hair.

Words flown or drawn from the womb of every tree, every
turning, every dream of every turning which, of course, is
every woman.

We are grove and spring, patches of words transcribed,
backlit and flickering, heightened by shadows including
the shadows of our last and first meetings and the shadow
of time.

The smudge of your left shoe remains. Its familiarity
encourages me to ask, When do past lives begin? Is this
walk from chapel to leaf to leaf
a beginning, for example?

And, so, as an ewe, I dreamed the eve of the fourth day,
licking at the lip of all waters in the west of an island
(presently England?). I saw a light reflecting softly as if
from a belly receiving a child, and I awoke to the length of
your continent and half globe prominent.

The longing of the eyes for its tail. There may be other
lifetimes (as a blossoming appears each March along the same
measure of branch), but these hours are diffident, too young
to remember the longing of the eyes for the peregrine.

Words rattle and fall, though we chase
and debate and kick to keep them aloft. They do not die
with us;

our child will inherit them as her child will inherit us.

Here is a little, easily illustrated story that can be told
to her: In the church of the Jews the wafer is square;
in the church of the Romans the wafer is round.
In every church the wine is red and the bird white.
Intinction is steeping the body in wine to receive the two
at once. Beneath the dome of sky, the cage of the heart is
square; the skull of the spirit round; the blood red,
the sclera (as albumen) white. Every god and creator
of gods knows this as the first day (before
mythology, before empire, before the dissolution
of empire and its mythologies).

This is what she has taught me, now that she has chosen
and been born to us, and I guard her translucence.

Intinction [#10]
© 2009 Fammerée

* * * * *

Richard Fammerée

* * * * *


La dernière fois


glass diaphanous
blood burned circa
7th century phial she
yearns for the red
for the music the cobbled street’s
final sunlit
hour every hesitation
a flaming sword at the gates and now there is
the Seine to cross

green glass green church looming

one last white column Baudelaire Maupassant Zola
the Temple which is France the caryatides every woman carrying all
the other side of the reflecting the contortionist painted

the monumented minueted Champs
Elysée the ceremony of swords and fire at the end men bending trees
ready the forest forever turning
but she was not she for whom my soul awaits

sun bushes of gold glinting her hair the glare the glamor of the Louvre
I continue
beneath and beneath gargoyles and Gorgons searching for Eurydice’s
raven hair traced with violets

In Violet the first draft cartooned onto a paper table cloth
wine spills night cast
as a bicycle’s shadow bending up the curb stone

4 AM wishing to not disturb the wraiths and deities
the church a tomb

I should have crept from the room down the five flights
and crossed the river that is what
I would have done twenty years before five hundred and twenty
years before that is what I did and now I am here again
and she is not and night lay
facing me

La dernière fois [#9]
© 2009 Fammerée

* * * * *

Richard Fammerée

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