Florence Miller

 

 

(USA)

 

 

 

Writing Room 

 

Come to my room

in the cellar

where I lie

under a bare bulb

and Paul Klee’s eye

 

 

 

Floating

 

Poems rise from the stove

then freeze like Steinberg conversation

 

I stand on the black kitchen chair

poems are floating across the ceiling

 

you say don’t force them

they’ll come down

 

play Bach for half an hour

run around the room

 

but the poems have gone

 

 

 

Invocation to the Muse

 

Sizzle

          burn

flame the needle

 

suck the spindle

 

turn

          the tables

 

soak the darning

          egg in rum

 

come words come

 

 

 

How to Write a Poem

 

Meditate

          chant

listen to water

let sky be your mirror

 

tell lies

 

 

 

Green Music

 

Bring pink cushions

elephants are playing violins

on fire escapes

 

Green music

like Chagall’s brides

floating

 

 

 

After Akhmatova

 

At night I await her arrival

And life hangs by a hair.

What are youth, honor, freedom

          to the one who holds the flute

          in her hand?

Now she flings down her veil

          staring at me

I say to her « Did you dictate to Dante

          those stories of Hell? »

She answers « I did »

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

____________________________________________

 

Short bio:

 

Florence Miller, born in Newark, New Jersey, taught English and creative writing in Oakland, California and advised the award-winning literary magazine, Flamingo. The Emmy award winning documentary, Can You Hear Me, by Allen Willis was based on her students’ poems. She is the author of Upriver: New and Selected Poems and, with Alexis Rotella, co-author of a renga trilogy. She is also co-author of My Dreaming Waking Life and co-editor of the peace anthologies, Dreaming of Wings and State of Peace: The Women Speak.  Awards include Editor’s Choice, the Paterson Literary Review Allen Ginsberg Poetry Contest, and Poets’ Dinner. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee.

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