June 25-July 1, 2007: Hélène Cardona and Gary Blankenship

week of June 25-July 1, 2007

Hélène Cardona and Gary Blankenship

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Hélène Cardona

Bio (auto)

A citizen of the United States, France and Spain, Hélène Cardona is a poet, actress, translator, interpreter, teacher and dream analyst She holds degrees from Hamilton College and the Sorbonne, Paris, where she wrote her Master’s thesis on Henry James She speaks French, English, Spanish, German, Greek, and Italian A graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, she studied with Ellen Burstyn at the Actors Studio and played Candy in Lawrence Kasdan’s Mumford and Fuffi Drou in Lasse Hallstrom’s Chocolat Her first book, The Astonished Universe, a luminous bilingual collection of poetry about consciousness in English and French, is out from Red Hen Press Born in Paris of a Greek mother and Spanish father and raised all over Europe, she has lived in Geneva, London, Cambridge, Llandudno, Wales, Monte-Carlo, Bremen, Tarragona, Parisand New York City, and travels extensively She now lives in and Santa Monica
Visit Hélène on the web here: http://www.helenecardona.com/

The following work is Copyright © 2007, and owned by Hélène Cardona and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Life in Suspension

Let me introduce myself I’m the memory collector, your companion and spirit guide Let’s unwind the clock, peel the past The memories you give me, conjure up, surrender from within,
I throw into the fire, the cauldron of resolutions They turn into burning ashes and flickers that evolve into butterflies They flutter away, free and heal you of all strongholds,
so they can revisit and reinvent who you are Let the dance begin.

I’m in my mother’s womb in Paris She’s scared I want to get out I’m three years old, in Terracina, Italy, sharing a room with four girls
My grandfather is visiting from Greece He’s holding my brother on his lap
He says, it’s time there was a boy, I’m not impressed with girls.

I’m four years old, in Monte Carlo My mother is taking me to school A pigeon shits on my scarf She says, it brings good luck I’m five years old, in Karben, Germany It’s Saint Nicholas day, my birthday Marieluise feeds me Lebkuchen, Stollen and Pfeffernüssen They taste like heaven.

I’m six years old, in ballet class in Geneva, breaking my point shoes The Russian master ingrains in me the correlation
between pleasure and pain I now know the two centers sit next to each other in the brain I’m seven years old, in the Swiss Alps,
making snowmen, skiing, hunting for Easter eggs
My mother’s laughing She then says, your father can’t be left alone I’m eight years old, in the Jura mountain,
in love with my dog, playing chess with my dad I’m ecstatic.

I’m nine years old
My grandmother takes me to the market in Tarragona,
to buy the bitter and pungent quince she craves I’m ten years old
My cousin is drowning me in the beautiful blue waters
of the Spanish Mediterranean because I threw sand at him My head hits the hard bottom, all the air’s gone from my lungs My last thought is, no one knows I’m here.

I’m eleven years old My mother makes jam with apricots, strawberries, peaches and plums She has filled the house with the intoxicating scent of gardenias My brother is throwing another temper tantrum I’m twelve years old in math class, a mad laughter session.

I’m thirteen years old The Music Conservatory in Geneva is sheer magic,
an enchanted world I inhabit alone, the key to my soul My piano teacher has so much faith in me I’m fourteen years old, in between worlds My aunt married a fascist He has taken my dad by the throat It’s the middle of the night It’s loud I can’t sleep.

I’m fifteen years old, in Northern Wales,
riding a fabulous horse along the stunning steep cliffs,
racing him to a full gallop in the bewitching Celtic wind,
relinquishing cravings in the dust I’m sixteen years old, off to San Diego, California My mother is crying at the Paris airport She is breaking my heart But the pull is stronger.

I’m learning to let go, to trust the ripeness of the moment That everything happens at the right time To appreciate what I have I’m connected to my bones They are energy I inhabit I’m filled with the richness and texture of space, uplifted,
vibrating, reverberating I become the sound of Tibetan bells,
echoing and hovering in the cosmos I perceive the whole world below, life in suspension.

Gary Blankenship

Bio (auto)

Gary Blankenship is a retired federal manager from Bremerton, WA, who dabbles in poetry and publishing He is CEO of Santiam Publishing and published the online journal, MindFire Renewed and its companion, FireWeed, both at www.mindfirerenew.com Gary has been widely published on the web and in a variety of paper publications in the States and abroad His day is divided between the cat, poetry forums, and chores He published a volume of poetry based on Wang Wei’s River Wang poems, A River Transformed, available at http://people.lulu.com/users/index.php?fHomepage=108254 He has two chapbooks out of print “Autumn Reflections and The Garbage Collection” and for Poetry Super Highway produced a chapbook based on the words of George Orwell and George W Bush, By George Gary moderates at Wild Poetry forum and for Blueline’s Poem a Day forum His blog is at http://garydawg.blogspot.com/

The following work is Copyright © 2007, and owned by Gary Blankenship and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Songs from Stephen King’s Knapsack III: Insomnia

Trees don’t sleep, although some sit up in bed
and pretend They might even nod off
for a cat-nap, but you never catch them
in the depths of REM sleep where dreams come from.

Some undress preferring to spend the long night
nude, nothing between them and the damp fog
but some ragged shreds of moss and lichen Others stay clothed as they watch the moon change

from sickle to an old man eye winking Come day, they yawn and nests fall from great heights.

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