Warren Falcon (04/23/52 - xxxx / Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA)
Biography of Warren Falcon
...'a boy thief stealing circus hours.'
Expostulations of the child-man (excerpt) :
The pope in Italian
exclaims, 'Bring me! '
and the echoes bring to him
all his bounded wants.
'Why strive when nature is bounteous
and all ills can be made right with
wet sweetness? '
Refugee from the American South.
Now loud-but-reverent mouthed in
New York City.
Leave the world to the scoundrels!
But first, to orient, some ground, some Robert Creeley: 'As a kid I used to be fascinated by people who, like they say, 'traveled light.'...The scene is always this: What a great thing! To be a writer! Words are something you can carry in your head. You can really 'travel light'...I'm really speaking of my own sense of place. Where the heart finds rest, as Robert Duncan would say. I mean that place where one is open, where a sense of defensiveness or insecurity and all the other complexes of response to place can be finally dropped. Where one feels an intimate association with the ground underfoot...with that crazy water, the trickles of water everyplace, the moisture, the shyness, and the particularity of things like blue jays. I like the rhythms of seasons, and I like the rhythms of a kind of relation to ground that's evident in, say, farmers; and I like time's accumulations of persons....This is a very basic place to live. The dimensions are of such size and of such curious eternity that they embarrass any assumption that man is the totality of all that is significant in life. The area offers a measure of persons that I find very relieving and much more securing to my nature than would be, let's say, the accumulations of men's intentions and exertions in New York City. So locale is both a geographic term and the inner sense of being.' - from a Paris Review Interview
As I get older, my relationship to ground is problematic. Balance is no longer an assumption that delivers. Is it the room that leans or is it me? My sense of place has never been too pleasantly real or here (but for parentheses happy-enough and for these I am indeed thankful) , and place has been and still is found more in sound, a very early childhood thing, in what I hear by ear or eye when I read. Totem in this my life is the book and it's associated familiars. And now, older than I have ever been, which is a painfully obvious tautology standing long at the urinal waiting, waiting, a poem may arrive more quickly than other flow, poetry has taken on an urgency which orients me, grieves me, and leaves me somewhat in relation to light though I burn the midnight oil to work a poem from the darkness, and my eyes can no longer focus...but, it's ground work. Gives some heft, makes some meaning. Still, can't say I have traveled light. Not really. But heart's the better for the journey forced, or freely taken, pockets full of pieces.
Soon be ground myself, though. Hope Creeley's somewhere I can meet him.
'What thou lovest well remains.'
- Ezra Pound, Canto 181
'Let him not be another's who can be his own.
VISUAL BIO. Spare:
Little blur of a photo to
the right of page, apt image-
The 'striving-after' poet,
Much younger days, some months
Recovering from food poisoning,
Once again exiled to roses,
reading Lorca & Rilke in a park,
Medellin, Colombia, South America.
Photo by D. Simons.
This part of a newer poem sums it up for me at this juncture, November,2011, of love and art, the art of poetry, or ars poetica/ars doloris/ars pathetica:
from 'And The Daylight Separated The Mad Boy From His Shadow - Cancion for Garcia Lorca'
The mad boy
writes feeble colors
the halt the lame the
mute which within
around which intends
distorts (in your glass
traps light to
the mad world
thus take our
place with clowns who
know tomatoes thrown
and juggler's (bare necked)
You are the maestro here
whom I trail behind at respectful
murdered by the too ordinary
So long to image
to suffer on dear
bruised M the
void of course
o bring me
beauty no matter
created by His
[a god] biggish and
green and I can't take
her in my arms..
Won't she come back?
Why won't she? ' [from Lorca]
You, dear, will read
of my heterosexual shadow
a great lover who serenades
Her in the terrible contradiction
of the moon caught
in bare tree limns strophes
just outside Her window
the fool below in rouge
head hung, singing
heart's tin can
tied to belt loop behind
of his ragged pants
to be filled with
in the dirty lane
he leans his
which contains an aster
is a rose transforming yet again
because it can
has willed it obediently into being
letter by letter, petal by petal
bee-kissed by brazen bees
a clutch of stamens
Turning Thighs To Diamonds
Or what man is there among you, of whom if his son
shall ask bread, will he reach him a stone? - Matthew 7: 9
No blame shall stain us now, father.
The heavy ball you hit to me is never caught,
a floppy glove always falls from a hesitant hand.
Mars in you still storms the makeshift diamond.
Each base of cardboard weighted with stone
is still our house; a bat, a ball, a mitt,
hard rules of the game, mean to undo all
lust for dark heaven which shuns shining girls.
I was reaching for god then - not your fault - a lavender
boy early befriended by crows, already resigned to what
was given and what was to come, a softball between the
eyes, your attempt to guide me toward those diamond
thighs which, you often repeated, were everywhere waiting.
I blink still before you, head down, focused on 'Lion's Teeth.' **
I am your hard mystery, and soft, not so fast for I am fat
and cannot round the bases quick. I am your inherited meek,
a burden to shake into a sliding man furious for home.
At four I pluck a wild strawberry you point to,
all authority and accidental grace, revealing much,
still dew wet, sticky to the touch, opening sourness
deserving my frown. You laugh at my dawning smile
for their sweetness slowly yields, a surprise gift for
what will always unite us, your fear that I will suffer,
too, your fate, untended desire gone to wildness
brought low beneath branches, slow embrace of
cradle-gentle boughs entangling legs and light
between the greater shadows,
and shadows shall win the day.
In them my yearning grows yet, remains for that of edges,
what is beyond them, or beneath, for planets arcing and
comets rare, trailing lovers to come but meteors, not the
appointed stars of permanence allowed to some men's hands,
and never to the fallen.
Still, these essential things are caught
for all our mostly wasted days of practice,
wild sweetness is a stolen base,
the tongue is an untended garden.
There is a burning soft hands can know
which shall finally run some headlong
for home at the end, an inherited circle,
a latter-day glad son gathering berries from shadows.
'Are You Hungry? ' - Poems for Departure
for Karthik, departing
'Who has twisted us like this, so that-
no matter what we do-we have the bearing
of a man going away...so we live,
forever saying farwell.' - Rainer Maria Rilke
Out of decibels
out of hearing
the last sense
sing to me now
before ears take
leave and I shall
have no more need
for words, sounds,
even these my sighs
heard as I hear you
dropp the soap in
I imagine you bending
vague in the steam to
find the bar by scent
as you wash away
your own which has
so compelled me
again and again
into much life
So gladly the
cleave to this
I say aloud
though you may
not hear my plea
from where I sit
multiplied with grief
for leaving all this
now upon crumbling
I wait with this
sense of what
is unfolding just
out of reach,
with herbal scent
bath, my heart
to speak of it
to one side
tilted to hear
all news of
you that is
left in there
from the bath
reaching for the
towel, soft, obeying
daily habit, wipes you
dry, each cleft, the pit
of my longing rubbed
I am caught up in this
vision without glasses
squinting for what is
real or not though you
are faced to mine as I
obediently move my
shaking hand to your
belly, the scar there,
edges still hot
to the touch.
Much there is I will
make of this moment,
drying your back as I
have daily done -
began the rite
the towel easily un-
little mouths many
natural in me
with the wiping.
I am become
free now of
to this my task
to last, this minute
or two, to linger,
become a touch
I am right now to speak
of this, retrieving the soap
which clings one strand
your hair tangled there,
a cypher I read
with joy grown
long into cleaner
a leaf upon the
blown in through
the night window
I bring it to
you calling to
me from the
as you pack
'Are you hungry? '
From 'Instead Of You Today One Black Mouse'
I sit now watching
the dove watch the
street below, the sky
above the tenements.
It does not shut its
eyes to flakes which
somehow do not in fall
though I recall now
how they manage to
find mine, even now
they beat upon the
glass trying to enter
eyes intent upon watching
the scene unfold upon
the page and within the
eyes of the Dove of Ages,
see what a thing it is
now already become
since childhood and
the backyard forest
sparkling, every surface
of everything covered
with ice clear, a sheer
skin which seems/seams to
move as I am moved/returned
in response to impertinent
snow to let more new world
come flashing in, and the
one-more-bird, a startle,
a cardinal red against all
the white, white, there were
many, coveys of them inordinate
in all the snow blind, too
much for a boy to bear, broken
eye-nerves, brittle sticks,
he kicks on his back crying
to make an angel his own to
be relieved of the too ordered
world, would be the unwanted,
unexpected child of things
shattered, his need for
constancy and same, beauty
a necessary addiction dependent
upon diction's canary eye and ear,
just to introduce another color
between mouse and meaning,
a chorus stunned into sound.
4 more expostulations of the child-man:
The pope in Italian
wears a black beret, feels his tragedy,
'another fig in hand, ' refills his goblet,
calls for a clean ashtray, another pack of Gauloises.*
The pope in Italian
questions Michelangelo 'of hammers, of stone and nakedness,
the heart of the matter, ' whistles when the Artist answers,
and looks away, fingers crossed.
The pope in Italian
feeling frisky, ice skates, holds high
his brocaded robes revealing the boyish legs, white,
they are so white, like necks of swans.
The pope in Italian
dreams again he is a young
bomber pilot dropping heavy kisses
backed up in the bomb-bay.
A coda, this indulgence, verses here from 'I Once, Your Other Darkness':
for two paintings, one by Caravaggio,
'The Conversion of St. Paul, '
the other by William Hawkins, 'Horse'
I once, your other darkness, quoted Hopkins to you,
of seasons of dryness in the bitter pitch midst
his discovery, 'What I do is me, for that I came, '
not a text for self worship but, rather, an assent
to keep world woe intimate, felt in that greater
scape - inner - making poems from orphan woe, from
furtive grace which eludes then storms, in bleakest
place sudden parses in the greener green,
newly, of things while pleading still,
'Lord, send my roots rain.'
In the shorter light, the extended
night, of cold and star-bright questions,
may you cast clumsy net forward into
what it all might mean to fretted you,
to me, stretched canvas, though I will
not thrust these words upon your paint
or pen but make offering for your own
work to feed us through the eyes;
perhaps time to remount the horse
and soldier on, or to fall again, gain
Damascus perspective, from one's
back watch vision distort massive
horse into a God receding into necessary
darkness foregoing image,
see what may form in the spreading dirt,
what resurrection there is in the smell of paint.
Fragment from 'Song for Departure'
in words aflame reciting the Name, One alone,
then of patriarchs/saints the bearded whole
lot of them who murmur still for all our want
and next year next year shall be different
for we will no longer be here but
in Holy City finally gathered
cabs blur yellow/gypsy
in angular winter light
now dazzle before Spring
when raises dead bulbs to jonquils
potted pretty in windows, on stoops
and, wild, strayed in parks
do not, O, pass us by or over
for all our patient harping
come morrows under willows yet
we shall hang up our loves again
get back to work
honest scrub and
clean beside 2nd avenue
stand recalling willows
we grieve still an old yet present
eviction in the cities of men
- Warren Falcon
To read more prose and poses you may go here:
Warren Falcon's Works:
Small Favors of Mourning. Chapbook. Bartram's Ear Press. 1977
You're Toothless, I'm Beerless. Let's Fall In Love! And Other Unlikely Love Poems But Sings The Heart True. Chapbook. Published under the nom de plume, Norman Nightingale. Friendless Phrase Press. 1979.
Bucolic Bouncers At The Belly Dancers Ball (published under the nom de plume, Norman Nightingale) . Chapbook. Cortical Canticle Press,2006)
The Cathected Poems of Norman Nightingale. Unexpurgated Edition, Norman Nightingale. Chapbook. Cortical Canticle Press,2008.
A Boy Thief Stealing Circus Hours, New and Selected Poems. Warren Falcon. Chapbook. Cortical Cantical Press,2010.
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Delusion Of One
Born: Year of the Dragon.
Horoscope: 'Today's the lucky day.'
Luck, you say? O.K. Once. In a small town
on a snowy road, the scenery spinning round.
When it stopped you were pointing toward a good
place - Home. The message: Go back.
You can decide again to begin again
or stay warm there: Wombtown, population: 1.