Friday, January 30, 2009

Poetic Break

Things have been very full over the last 10 days. I'm finishing my yoga teacher training program this Sunday, and I also open a stage production of Dante's Inferno with Synetic Theater in one week. I play the amazing queer poet Virgil, who leads Dante through the bowels of hell. Cheery, right?

Here's a wonderful poem I came across in the New Yorker by Robert Pinksy. Incidentally, his translation of the Inferno has long been my favorite.

I'll write more soon!

Last Robot Song

It was a little newborn god
That made the first instrument:
Sweet vibration of
Mind, mind, mind
Enclosed in its orbit.

He scooped out a turtle's shell
And strung it with a rabbit's guts.
O what a stroke to invent
Music from an empty case
Strung with bloody filaments-

The wiry rabbitflesh
Plucked or strummed,
Pulled taut across the gutted
Resonant hull of the turtle:
Music from strings that
Tremble over a hollow-
Sweet conception, sweet
Instrument of

Mind, mind, mind:
Itself a capable vibration
Thrumming from here to there
In the cloven brainflesh
Contained in its helmet of bone-
Like an electronic boxful
Of channels and filaments
Bundled inside its case,
A little musical robot

Dreamed up by the mind
Embedded in the brain
With its blood-warm channels
And its humming network
Of neurons, engendering

The newborn baby god-
As clever and violent
As his own instrument
Of sweet, all-consuming
Imagination, held
By its own vibration,

Mind, mind, mind pulled
Taut in its bony shell,
Dreaming up Heaven and Hell.

8 comments:

Donald Engstrom-Reese said...

Wow! Thank you so much for sharing this poem. I will now simply have to look up more of Robert Pinksy's work. Brilliant!

Venefica said...

I love Virgil. How long have you been performing? I always old myself I'd get into acting if I lived some place there was a market.

Greg Fletcher-Marzullo said...

Actually, Venefica, you do. Minneapolis has some amazing theater companies and ones that do some really groundbreaking and cool work. Check it out!

I've been performing for about 15 years, although I only do it now when I need some extra cash. It doesn't nourish me the way it used to, but it certainly isn't a bad way to make some cash-ola.

blue-sky-48220 said...

I adore Robert Pinsky. his work is so lyrical. Thanks for sharing this!

--Matt

gypsy-heart said...

Congrats on finishing your yoga teacher training program, and for your role in the play (hope to hear all about it).
Thanks for sharing the poem!

Good and creative energies to you!

Donald Engstrom-Reese said...

OK, Honey ... your poetic break is over. It's time to tell us about your life in this newly emerging spring!

Livia Indica said...

Hey Greg, where are ya man? Miss you.

Hecate RavenMoon said...

Blessings. Hope you are having a great weekend. I know that I have ben away for far too long, but I am trying to work out a time table that will help me manage my time better so that I can get back to my blog more regularly.

Oh yeah, and I agree with Donald--break-time is O-V-E-R...get back here and tell us everything that been going on.

Love ya! Have a great weekend.