Sunday, 29 March 2015

Mimi Khalvati's The Weather Wheel (Carcanet, 2014)

Here are some favourite passages:

                             The moon has carried you
on his back but what do you know of love?

Its arrow, smear of silk.

from "Snail" ampersand between presentiment and trace.

from "Sciurus Carolinensis"

But at cruising altitude, above streaks of indigo and purple clouds,

a blood continent broods on black estuaries, archipelagos, reefs,
for black is the simplifying force of memory. It is a form of elegy.

from "Marrakesh III"

This is the soul. In aqua and gold.

the opening line of "Le Cafe Marocain"

Aunt Moon, Old Glamour Moon in a haze of smoke
puffing behind your folding screen, Old Barren Moon

with your round pig belly, what lies, what lies!
I love you for the lies you've told!


                              No, the best lies are told with a bevy
of innocent stars in your eyes, not in a revolution's doorway.

the opening and closing lines of "Aunt Moon"

Cupboarded in shadow, one foot in twilight, we tilt.

Childhood snuffs its master light, light we need to love
and be loved by, to write, to read. Else all is dusk,

dusk in the heart, in all our finer feelings.

from "The Wardrobe"

...we labour of moles with paws like rakes--


World is headless and we, who have only touch and smell,
must touch and smell gas, smoke bombs, blood meal, bait.

from "Fog"

In itself is silent, but on contact, creaks. Acquires an air
of sanctity in repose but in action earns oaths and profanities.

from "Snow is"

                     And everything outdoors, buildings by the river,

boats, buses on the bridge, everything that runs in lines will run
into fountain, the beauty of the arc against the formality of line.

from "Model for a Timeless Garden"

...only a slight swell in the water to prove that we are not
in a painted vestibule, that this is not an annunciation.


                                                      Everything is always
like something else. Each makes love to the other.

You are like me, they say. Blue paint has spattered
the whitewash, speckled the flagstones--the eye jumps

from blue to blue, island to island, raisin to raisin in a cake.

from "Similes"

...and the more tears flowed,

the more I wanted them. World was foetal then.


I measured distances by her. My mother my compass,
my almanac and sundial, drawing me arcs in space.

from "Tears"

An orchard's soul should be ragged, ramshackle, dapple
throwing honeycombs of shade on soil, weather interstitial.

from "Granadilla de Abona I"

                           Lord of the green canopy,

he swings below the hammock ties, perches in a clef
to peer towards the sound of a generator whirring,

taps his left hand on the branch excitedly and twice
raises two white wings, once to declare himself an angel

and once for balance as he grows every more excited, 
hanging by his beak alone, doing chin-ups, sipping water,

shaking diamonds in a spray around him....

"Granadilla de Abona V"

                                   We are yesterday's people,

provisional, adaptable, borrowing and assimilating.

from "Granadilla de Abona VI"

                                    I loved forever being a child

at my mother's side, the captain of my ship whose railings
I peered over. All her absences are final now.

from "The Wheelhouse"

                Marina turns the music on and the room fills
 with candlelight and yearning.

from "Finca El Tejado"

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