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Friday, December 02, 2011


by Rochelle Owens

                         In memory of Joy Walsh and Theodore Enslin       

Amid the sameness he blinks going out
feeling in front
of his face

and landing on his right eyelid
sunlight  blood vessels  
a seed of the larkspur

under the eyelid
a seed of the larkspur
under the eyelid

the hind toe of a lark   
scratching the cornea
stinging  lacerating  penetrating

a seed of the flower
blue color is the larkspur
the eye of the beholder

a fireball  e x p l o d I n g
the eye of the botanist
a dwelling

the universe  e x p a n d I n g  
amorous the greedy seed amorous
the greedy seed

a uterus its sweet nest
a triumph of genus desiring
desiring to fecundate

be fruitful and multiply
a seed of the larkspur flowering
s p r e a d I n g

the eye of the botanist  e x p a n d I n g
the grandeur of the cornea
Jesus saying—

suffer the larkspur children
beautiful children
luring the hummingbirds and bees

joyous the seed of the larkspur
in the heat of summer
joyous the song of the lark

glorious the eye of a botanist
lit with flaming torches

Rochelle Owens is the author of twenty books of poetry, plays, and fiction, the most recent of which are Solitary Workwoman(Junction Press, 2011), Journey to Purity (Texture Press, 2009), and Plays by Rochelle Owens (Broadway Play Publishing, 2000). A pioneer in the experimental off-Broadway theatre movement and an internationally known innovative poet, she has received Village Voice Obie awards and honors from the New York Drama Critics Circle. Her plays have been presented worldwide and in festivals in Edinburgh, Avignon, Paris, and Berlin. Her play Futz, which is considered a classic of the American avant-garde theatre, was produced by Ellen Stewart at LaMama, directed by Tom O’Horgan and performed by the LaMama Troupe in 1967, and was made into a film in 1969. A French language production of Three Front was produced by France-Culture and broadcast on Radio France. She has been a participant in the Festival Franco-Anglais de Poésie, and has translated Liliane Atlan’s novel Les passants, The Passersby (Henry Holt, 1989). She has held fellowships from the NEA, Guggenheim, Rockefeller, and numerous other foundations. She has taught at the University of California, San Diego and the University of Oklahoma and held residencies at Brown and Southwestern Louisiana State. This is Rochelle Owens' twenty-fourth New Verse News poem.