Laila is laden
her body is complex
with pearls that know more than she does.
Indra’s net, she carries the multitude.
she is the source of newness,
hopes that branch
toward good as likely as toward evil.
omniscient she sees them all
the possibility of new forms circling ::
shouting in concrete echo chambers
stoned in smoky motels
darting through night mist in anonymous cars--
She, eye of the midnight galaxy.
knows the curvature of every surface
of every pearl in her branches,
every peachy dimple
every dip and curve
of their champagne pearlesence,
every every last groove
every mar and pock
of their exquisite skins.
but at the core of every pearl, a rich vein
of mineable, unspeakably sacred ancient knowledge.
encyclopedic wisdom. the keys
to universal peace and understanding.
the DNA of Love itself
that she can
Laila is a passionless painter of flowers. She documents them in cool, objective detail without the slightest poeticization of an amorous corolla. She does not wonder their names. She renders them with a botanist’s accuracy in black ink. She paints, files her paintings in the order of their completion, and never looks at them again.
sprouting out the cathedral windows like Leonard Cohen's children of Suzanne-
children of the morning / leaning out for love / and they will lean that way forever-
Downright smoochy in lettuce-edged petticoats, florid conch-shells with dew-drenched seams whose floppy girlishness belies an elegaic howl for sanctification, for the triumph of Flower v. Fading Light, in an unending battle where beauty always dies, where the poet’s pen is the only weapon, the only hope-
queenly, but no less desperate for an offering- a lifetime spent as The Muse has left the rose clinging, lurking in poets’ gardens, unfolding silently before the easel among crusted cadmiums and ultramarines, pools of caustic turpentine and linseed. Her feet ache from years on the modelling stand, but her comportment is eternally regal. The Poets have made her corolla a crown, and by their decree she has been canonized. (!) (a full-body shimmer).
In a moment of spontaneous affection, a particular fondness as she flicks through years of memories- a pleasant afternoon perched in Van Gogh’s bedroom, the desert hospitality of O’Keefe—yes, they have been kind. Would the moon deign to reflect the light of the sun? The poet’s offering has become her lifeblood, her daily bread, her raison d’etre.
In Laila’s gaze she is the eternally new moon, black and full of possibility, the tide that never rises, the well of ink whose blackness contains innumerable images yet unpainted.
rose :: poem of poems, muse of muses
To paint the flower is an act of devotion that commingles the soul with that which is most human to find beautiful. For Laila the ritual is equally sacrosanct, but when Laila walks to the poet’s altar, Altar of Flowers, instead of laying the Flower of Laila, she lays nothing. Only in the absence of Laila can the Flower be truly itself, be truly Flower. Only in the absence of her offering can the Space of Flower open, fully.
Her passion is the passion of a saint.
Her love the love of God.
Her hands not the hands of an artist but of a creator.
In her lifeless inks all life lives,
in harmonious multiciplicity.
She is the perfectly tuned harpsichord that plays precision scales without variation of timbre.
Like God, she does not use her vocal chords.
Like God, she does not take interviews.
She sits on a park bench,
watches the children play,
and she weeps.