6.16 / December 2011

Four Poems

Andalucía I

listen to this poem

When I see Alejandro I do not wear shoes. Because the sand is soft and the soft is always expanding and he likes to look at me! me flickering through all of his rooms, watering over his garden and shushing his child and reading books
I do not understand. I cannot trust myself with books. Books with words:
Even Eden was tainted. No one means to carry their burdens to good places.

If I wear shoes it will compel me to leave so I stay down like a sea without nerve or hunger and I speak in tongues things about obedience, things of sex in the morning while Spain watches. Sometimes I think she judges me. Spain is a woman who knows about being conquered and conquering.

Alejandro says I partial to my madness, that I ought to make him lemon water and make him love. We condemn our palace, I say. I am drugged by opium and the sea.

Your eyes are bloodshot, he says. Sleep.
Before I sleep, I ask, where am I?

Bad girls go to Andalucía.


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How do I explain Andalucía?
I went there and saw myself
unfolding. I did not miss anything,
and this scared me.

How do I explain Andalucía?
The great gateway,
shoreline purgatory.
The necromancy of bones on bones.
The tango of owls.
Bleeding into new forms, a doily moon.

How do I explain Andalucía
what it feels like to finally stop living?

An impossibly slow flamenco.
A serif written by tongue on all the wrong words.

Why don’t I want to leave?
I can barely speak the language.

Andalucía, we are in an abusive relationship.


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Alejandro haunted me from the Straight of Gibraltar to Barcelona, saw me from the street and said: bona tarda! Black and white flowers fell from his mouth. I potted them inside me.

Late in the night we had more cava, dined under Castle Montjuic. The castle fed me thoughts of death. How could I leave a place with castles? How could I leave a world of youth and balconies? How could I abandon clay sculptures?

Alejandro sang in Catalan. I saw my father in his skin. I saw my father in his face. I started to mouth the words you look so much like my father when the castle said no baby, don’t bring your pain to dinner.


listen to this poem

Alejandros stands in the garden.
There are tears
for miles, and inky cherubs everywhere.

My addictions to the ocean and to lies.

Alejandro looks at me. He is the marionette of Andalucía. He is the sea.
The Alejandros heave and sound the drum-roll of ancient civilizations.
Somewhere inside me he clobbers a beast and I tend to a child. Somewhere
inside me I clobber a beast and he is a child,

and there was my childhood,
my knobby knees; the need to be beautiful,
and there laid the collateral of my life,
weaknesses in me that smelled like the Mediterranean

You don’t need a sea to be happy
                                                                  do you?

Lisa Marie Basile is the author of a A Decent Voodoo, (Cervená Barva Press) and Triste (Dancing Girl Press), both forthcoming in 2012, as well as a chapbook, Diorama. Her recent work is or will be seen in Pear Noir!, Moon Milk Review, >kill author and Right Hand Pointing. She is the editor of Patasola Press and a poetry reader for Weave Magazine and LIT Magazine. Living in Brooklyn, NY, she is a performing member of The Poetry Brothel and is an M.F.A. candidate at The New School. lisamariebasile.com
6.16 / December 2011