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Poems By Corrine DeWinter
BOOK OF THE DEAD

"You're not dead until there isn't a flash of you in memory left
anywhere." -S.J. Marks


Tonight I allow the dead
To live inside me,
To assemble their bleach white bones,
Their string of Told-You-So's.
I have kept within me their off time alphabet.
The dead move me,
As anything beautiful and extinct,
Made perfect by absence.
There are so many,
Like crows
Fighting for space, for survival
In a world where everything
Is consumed.
After awhile their stories
Become as harlequin as fairy tales.
I follow them like religion,
Keeping alive
The old woman who slept under bridges,
The boy who could tame wild animals with his singing,
The girl who ate make believe.


RESCUE

Did you have to fall
In love
Deeper
Than where rests
The bones of travelers who never
Came back from winter
Voyages,
Where strings of pearls
And silver forks
And sea glass
Murmur together like
Old lovers.
Did you have to sink
As far as
The wishing well's
End where pennies and
Serpents and bloodworms
Commingle
In wicked changing symbols.
Did you have to fall
Over and over
Through the air
Like a scarlet leaf in November,
Divine and destined
To dissolve against ice,
To tumble and spiral
Downward
Like the stricken acrobat
Who realizes too late
That there is no
Greater risk
Than diving
For one's holy
Beloved.


OVERCOME

All day Mother
I encounter that one man
With eyes the color of jealousy.
I try to run,
But O, he is handsome,
Offering the gifts of fertility
And winter fever.
He is patient
For a welcome sign from me.
His smile is slow
And sweet as warm caramel.
His lies are quick and painless.
He reaches
All of my darkest places.
I stand on my toes,
Lean toward him
Like the pull of the moon,
Emergency in my blood.
I think he is the one
You warned me about
When I was 10.
But you didn.t mention
He would possess
The passion of Shakespeare
And the tongue
Of the Marquis De Sade.
One wrong move
And I am overcome.


DE LA SIRENA

For long I was left drowning
(draped in maroon and jade seaweed)
until water was no longer
deadly to me,
and I could swallow, breathe it
as though the elements were part of me.
Strange how the body surrenders
what it does not use,
makes room for necessity.
So pale was I, like the underbelly
of great mariana,
black pearls for iris.
I remembered only fractions of humanity,
how stiff it was to move,
how sharp, unyielding and dry
earthly things could be.
But it was those faces above,
the sunward sailors,
that I struggled to keep away from.
Even with their far-reaching nets
and large iron hooks
seeking to spear me
I could not keep away from my fascination,
these bound men
so addicted to sky and sun.


THE BIRDHOUSES OF PORT LLIGAT

Gala writes to Salvador



Dali, I have always been
Your partial virgin, deaf
To the rumours
Of madness.

I can see beyond
The crucifixion, this Jesus
On our shore dying,
Floating above sunflowers
The birds come to feed on.

I can see your brother,
23 years dead,
His shadow
Still in pursuit of you.
Time, hung over,
Draped on broken cedar limbs
Like damp laundry.

Your landscapes hummed
With the dichotomy
Of all wilderness.

And the cardinals
Still waiting for you
To color them in.


Corrine De Winter, nominated four times for the Pushcart Prize, Corrine De Winter's poetry, fiction, essays and interviews have appeared worldwide in publications such as the The New York Quarterly, Imago, Phoebe,
Plainsongs, Yankee, Sacred Journey, Interim, The Chrysalis Reader, The Lucid Stone, Fate ,Press, Sulphur River Literary Review, Modern Poetry, The Lyric, Atom Mind, The Writer, The Lyric and over 800 other publications. She has been the recipient of awards from Triton College of Arts & Sciences, Writer's Digest, The Esme Bradberry
Award, The Madeline Sadin Award, The Rhysling Award, and has been featured in Poet's Market 1995-2006.

Copyright 2008  Chantarelle's Notebook