Saturday, May 2, 2015

Leila A. Fortier: Form Poetry

A Room of Her Own

Been migrating this
Way: Throughout our home—
In and out of rooms—Different species
Moving through opposing seasons; holding no
Formation—We collide where we should converge—
Space has a way of closing in—Nests become mountains
Someone else’s trash—Someone else’s treasure—Who said
That no man is an island? I dream about a room of my own:
A space without ceiling—A space without walls—Absent

—of white noise—

( Wrapped in the air of silence )


(For Melissa Studdard)

There was so much more I wanted to say~ About the gate and garden~ Orchard and
Apple~ How branch is to olive as apple is to seed~ How I wanted to swallow
The core of the continuum~ To claim my place amongst unspoken
And misunderstood things~ For mysteries have become
Some unbearable stain … and it is safer to
Be labeled, known, and predictable~
But we … we turn toward
One another in cycles
Like the moon~
Our opaque robes and
Reflecting our transparencies~ If only
For this season … this night~ This moment that
May roll into some distant eternity~ Our hands stitch to
Page the profusion of words that should have been written
Taunting the anvil of gravity~ Ascending till even the stars
Cannot surpass our reaching~ I have become a panoramic
Echo, resonating the unsung songs left throbbing in our
Heads~ Your voice, too, emerges from the throngs
At sea~ A choir within the conch that refuses
No beauty~ Spilled from the muscle
Of its own lips~ A pearl cast
Unto the depths in
Search of its

( Meaning )

Iris in the Snow

Eyes fused to
Yours like soft lightning
And defibrillation…and just as
Spring can come without warning-
She opened to you like an iris in the
Snow…spilling passion in colors of
Purple and gold~ Her lips erased
The lines of time & years that
Stood between you~
From the curvatures
Of soul~ Her fingers danced
Upon your skin to the music of a
Forgotten yesterday~ Sensations
Awakened fresh with fragrance~
Blooming life against your
Silver and gray~
Of you
Where you had
Ceased to exist~ Not long
Before you shed your reptilian
Skin leaving scratches upon her
Cream canopy~ Slithering away
In search of burnt offerings~
Leaving so much behind
You had yet to


In India ink~ She arrived
Like a needle: an instantaneous vice
I imagined her body from every angle~ Black
Swan: open and arching~ Waking rolling hills from
Slumber~ Churning clouds by her violet moods~ She is
A rare mixed breed~ A battered magnolia~ Red ginger
And dragon fruit~ I am splintered by her gaze, sharp
As a raven~ The staggered swell of her breath

Alluding to some inevitable combustion~ I am sweating over cinders
Attempting not to notice the heat~ Yet, I feel she too is collapsing
Toward the center of my gravity in a play of mixed messages
We encode the surface with cleverness~ I send her
Poems in Portuguese~ She tells me the
Word ‘saudade’ as if in secret~
But there is no need for

Bear the invisible
Scar like one
Of her

**Saudade is a Portuguese word that has no direct translation in English. It describes a deep emotional state of profound melancholic longing for an absent something or someone. Saudade was once described as "the love that remains" after someone is gone.


Taste of Precipitation

I remember when sex was acrobatic~ A Cirque du Soleil of
Sweat and contortion; tightropes & magic hats~ The art
Of exhibitionism~ Incantations of eyes and breath;
Sigils of forthcoming sorcery~ Hands and
Mouths pressed into the sculptures
Of lovemaking~ I know my
Season has passed
Within the
It’s okay. I have
Found solace of a
Different kind~ But
Whenever it rains, I
Feel the withering
Grays~ Perhaps
It is the sound
Like fingers
~Taste of precipitation~


—Inspired by Violet Trefusis’ letters to Vita Sackville-West

Knew the rivers
Of milk that would flow
When the sun and moon
Hang tandem and naked
Like soft pornography
In the sky~ You
Are not
In the shade
As they say~ You retain
Your heat~ Swallow me whole
Like melon ball or ice cube~ Your
Viper tongue, a fire blossom, pregnant
With a venom of cruel seduction~ Neath
The arch of your influence, you are both
Bow and blade~ Pressed into flesh and
Pulse~ The artery of my dormant
Desires that had so long
Ago been animal