Consuelos de Cocina – by Maia Maia


(Maia ) #21

Read what you’ve written here again this morning, compelled to thank you for entering into the territories of this conversation…which, in itself, is spacious enough to help me breathe more deeply when I get caught in the shoals of doubt/fear/despair . Wanted to work on writing this morning, too, but the “ocean-soul” as one friend calls it, is not sending up poems or the grip of prose just now, so i have to be patient and listen to the crows, watch light migrate through mist, altering the fluid shape of leaves, rooftops, mountains…
“Death will reward him with ambiguity” you wrote. Life, too.
An ocean-soul friend and I agreed earlier today that what we deeply want to be is translators for the may we say Weltraum or Worl_dream_?. Another friend calls it being “co-ambassadors” between human and not-human. Between our own ordinary humanness and our “poet-being”. Strange hardness. To both bring them together and experience them apart (sometimes skillful means, sometimes not) or maybe they are pushing apart like segments of a round magnet, not recognizing the other pole as “self/Self”?
The ramifying ambiguities of paradox…

Where/how can I read the full versions of what you’ve been excerpting from?

(Maia ) #22

Yes, thank you, this compact view really helps! Just before you posted this I posted another reply to you, but now, and for now, here’s a poem-reply that suggested itself (though the spacing and indentations, etc, I can’t get AI to render correctly, and still a bit wet, watercolors not entirely dry.)

Exile And The Sea

I close my eyes and I am in the middle of the sea,

from Days And Nights of Love And War, E. Galeano

--------for Eduardo Galeano and all poets of exile


I close my eyes a nacer con ti— born with you

in days and islands and the sea here inside,

in this exiled bed, nights drenched with salt

with sea-fog where you haunt wet streets— El Nido,

Camino Lindo, Embarcadero del Mar —sea rising,

carrying the roar louder than on any dry-eyed nights.

You pound the marrow of my life, subsiding,

rushing in again, all your stormy fragrances, clouds

torn flowers, stray notes, elegies, echoes of seabirds,

cantos from the coast where your poems first

composed lines through your body as you strolled.

Some mornings I walk along with you giving thanks

for ears to hear—we might be companions.

Then weeks go by when I have no tongue at all, I fall

deaf to your music, no child of the waves.

Close my eyes and I’m thrashing in the catch, pelagic

fish, live silver drowning in the wash of barges, steel nets

and whirling knives under a bone hard moon.

Do you hear it, too? That low moan like a mother

mourning— to find me now will cost you everything.

You who would live among gatherers of seaweed,

carvers of driftwood, net menders, bread-makers, bestowers

of endangered blessings, never at home

but in sea wind carrying voices…

on the quietest nights they smuggle you

through the gap of my window-frame to this beached bed

where I am nothing but listening—bottle-flute blood-song,

diphthong, erratic wind-bells from the eaves—

aqui soy yo todavia aqui going nowhere or astray or

returning— entre las olas profundas, abyssal capture and

release—all the sea’s prayers and interrogations

unanswered now and before we were born.



El Nido, Camino/Lindo, Embarcadero del Mar : The Nest, Beautiful Street,

Pier by the Sea. Actual street names in Isla Vista, California .

cantos : songs

aqui/ soy yo todavia aqui : here, I’m still here

entre las olas profundas: among the deepest waves

To find me now will cost you everything : Larry Levis, from Winter Stars

(Brian George) #23

Hi Maia,

You have posted a number of strong poems, but this is perhaps my favorite. It has a wondrous sense of evocation, in which there is a fluid marriage of body and mist, a sketching of translucent webs around the edges of the inexpressible. The dampness of the sea is present, but this is also a sea of memory. As in much Sufi poetry, the Beloved both present and almost infinitely out of reach.


Last Tuesday, my wife and daughter and I attended a performance by Dunya: A Musicians Collective, which featured a series of almost never performed pieces from 17th Century Turkey. Among these were a number of settings of Sufi poems. In reading Rumi and Kabir and Hafez and Al Hallaj and other Sufi poets, in listening to or attending a “Sema” ceremony by the Whirling Dervishes of Konya, and in responding to the energies generated by the various incarnations of the Dunya Collective—we go whenever they perform—I am always struck by the central paradox of Sufi mysticism: that ecstasy is presented in the form of longing.


There can, in certain poems or mystical states, be a peculiar relationship between a sense of intimacy and our awareness of vast space. To our everyday perception, such states should have no contact with each other. For some, such as Pascal, the depth of the sky was terrifying, as was the impersonal clockwork of the stars. For others, such as Rumi, it was no more terrifying than our return, after a long journey, to an almost forgotten childhood home.

Distance activates a different mode of communication, one of ritualized signaling and resonance. Due to the distance of the Beloved, whose acts on an alternate plane of existence call us to the same, there can be no hope of possession or control. One must approach such an Other by means of invitation, or, at most, a tactful reminder. This may or may not be followed by some partial form of union. This union must, of necessity, always be somewhat more partial than its image seemed to us from a distance, even if it results in what we experience as a connection to the “Source.” For even the whole may be no more than the image of an image; there are depths that precede it, of which even the first god may be only distantly aware.

The excerpt in the earlier comment that you asked about is from a long essay called “I Left at Dawn for the Eternal City: It Seems that I have Misplaced Several Days.” If you would like a copy of the essay, you can contact me at

(Maia ) #24

Forgive me for commenting on my own post, so to speak, but…just want to let readers know that the “form” of my poem, Consuelos, got lost in the translation: it should appear as couplets, but got turned into asymmetrical paragraphs!

(Marco V Morelli) #25

Oh, I see what you’re seeing now, @Ariadne. We discussed this issue before, and the page always looked okay to me, which I believe it does if you go to this link: That looks like this:

—with nicely formatted couplets.

However, I just realized that if you click “Show full post” in the forum post above, indeed the formatting is destroyed.

Strings upon strings of words —like the inside of a gourd!

A gourd that got bug in it. But I get what you are seeing now. We will work on a fix. For now, readers are directed to the original page for the poem on Metapsychosis: