Day 6 ~ Diane Wakoski
Anyone who writes a poem entitle, “Dancing on the Grave of a Son-of-a-Bitch” deserves our attention and she wrote that and like poems in her book the The Motorcycle Betrayal Poems, (1971). But then as years would turn Diane Wakoski wrote more books than I have years, and I found Medea the Sorceress and Jason the Sailor (1991 an 1993 respectfully), which called out to me because of my maddening love of myth, but they are so much deeper than an exploration of myth as we have seen them before. Not only does she use myth in these books but in writing these poems she creates a myth of her own life. Most Recently, Diane Wakoski has release Bay of Angels (2013) and this time her base to build these poems are movies and TV. For those of you that loved Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, there’s a poem called “Spike, Not Angel: Imagining Another Spinoff from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and even gives the pilot episode it’s own title “Vampire Ballerina”. It’s like she has been reading my mind before I was ever born.
I would also like to point out she is a nice lady. I brought 2 of her books (out of the shelf of books I seem to have of hers) and she signed those and Bay of Angels for me. And she chatted me up about poker, apparently a new passion of hers, and a game my grandma taught me at 4. Poets are regular people, folks. They watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and play poker, that’s what DIane Wakoski taught me.
Instead of me picking my favorite poems from Diane (which is nearly impossible), I am showing you a video that Diane has on her own website and I quote from her site “I am always interested in wonderful video interpretations of my poems. Below are some of my favorites. If you create a video using one of my poems, please be sure to send along the link.” So if you have created a video send it her way.
And now a poem from Diane’s website, that appears in Bay of Angels, and sings to my love of mythology in contemporary situations.
Persephone Steps Off the Elevator
At the 4th Floor
and emerges again onto the adobe walled landing,
the Southern California horizon wide as an avalanche
exposing parrot-wing cerulean, and cobalt
streaking into the molten crown of evening’s still golden
Returning to light,
even twilight, makes her shadow gasp with
recognition. Here on the 4th floor she seems still
long-haired and trusting, the speckled-blue egg of her
gaze is open to any invitation, as it was before
she became the Queen of Night,
If only she had not returned,
ascended to this balcony that obscures the long
corridor, on the walls of which hang photos
showing a girl
holding a blue flower; if
only she didn’t have to look
at the radiant sky, its
beauty reminding her of everything she’s either
lost or never had.
In the moment of stepping into light
she does not know,
for the first time,
if beauty is,
or ever can be