3 poems by Ian Ellasante

June 12, 2013
By

Diana and the face of the moon

another night you are          . turning your face

………………….. i am already gone

and you are throwing stones        . Diana
swearing never ….. swearing never …… swearing never

………………………………………… again

just say what you are trying to say

this is one giant leap Diana
there’s a man on the moon       . yes i see

there’s a new man           . here now

…. and i know how you must feel     . but

turn your face       . on me
turn your face       . to me
turn to face            . me
public face/private face

 …….. i still see you Diana       . turning both

for one night       . see me

……………………. see me again

strap on your boots girl and lace
‘em up tight          . c’mon
slog through this gravity with me baby:
i think i never said that        . loudly enough

…………. and it turns out it’s in the details like that

truth is        . i dropped this request
into the box with so many others
i asked the sky to hide you           . at least for now

………………………. keep you dark and far
………. and behold there you are           . dark and very far

and still every night

i am looking for you girl

craning my neck        . still swiveling my head

into every revolution
around a low-slung orbit
that looks a bit like yours

  …….. and i hear myself say aloud

……………………………… stop     . just stop it

truth is        . maybe i get sentimental for that

……………. same-old lonely satellite

…………………… the same-old orbit girl

look Diana

    …………………..  . everything i say ain’t wrong

and surely i’m half grateful to see my name

……. on that list

of all that just isn’t you anymore
and it was immaculate Diana       .  for a time

……… but it didn’t take      . just didn’t keep

this is my next adventure        . it’s already here

……. that girl in there is waiting

………………………….. hey         . they say you’re waiting

well then       . she’s not going anywhere without me

…………………………… and i am already gone

this is one giant leap Diana
there’s a man on the moon
there’s a new man        .  yes i see him too

 

 

from a tree, at the moon : Diana

last night i dreamed i led a man
drunk from a bar     . left him
then swaying in the middle of a dark street
under a dim streetlight under a waning autumn moon

patted his shoulder    . said hey man excuse me for a moment

and went to climb a rough-barked tree

…………………… there
in a cradle of thick limbs

i drew               . my knees to my chest

and wasting no time

……………………. my love
i howled your name         . i really did

i howled your name        . again
i wailed your name        .  until
my fledgling voice broke         . until it satisfied me good

until i glimpsed your ankles       . your pink-soled

………………………………………….. bare feet     . brown

you sleeping        . curled and half-covered

…………………….. in crisp fallen leaves
on the other side of someone’s wooden fence

….. between us:         . bent rusted nails

sharp weathered pickets
your deep and deliberate slumber

this vague night

 

a flood of corners : Diana

i am stumbling     . in this rising tide
………………………between the two chairs in our bedroom

 …. from your two open hands          . surges a wave

 . ……. to crash against my chest

………….. it is a flood of corners Diana
these seconds that drip viscously down the face

……… of the broken clock on my side of the bed

these blood-wet moments that fling and lodge

  ……………………………….. into us and the walls

i remember well            . remember

you started this             . no     . you started this

…………………..no           . you

……………………… and i
  …………………… am already gone      . Diana

still        . i’m stooping in the next room just through the door

snatching my eyeglasses        . from the floor

…………….. as if it matters
 ……………. i place them atop the bridge of my nose
…………….. settling them between my ears and head    . just so

i imagine my glasses drifting slowly from my face

and coming to rest exactly diagonally from here

……………… as if it matters

as if it doesn’t matter why

you         . with arms and hands thrashing
  …………………….. . in arcs bigger than our bodies

 …………….. . like wet and heavy wings    . flapping blindly    . Diana

and me      . with hands and arms of transitional

weight and tentative strength      . missing     . and reaching

………………………………… in spite of myself

 ………… among the words that are lost

…………. i imagine are stop     . stop just stop     .  this

straining through clenched teeth
oh   . i know    . that i am already gone

still i don’t know ….. what we can really call a retreat
or an advance in times of war ….. in these perilous floodwaters

…….. we were both there Diana
………… still somehow there …… with my back to the mirror

i have clasped your wings to your sides ……. one arm across

…………….. the tops of your shoulders

……………….. and in the bend of your neck
your back nestles firm against my belly ……. my heart ….. my most

soft places your vital body so close to mine …….. as it should be

…. but …..Diana …… my love
……………………………. we are bleeding

…………………………………we are torn asunder
…….. and i think i am ………whispering into your right ear

……we are pulling under ………this last time
i feel .. your breath contracting ….beneath your ribs

……….your heart stop and start…… again and again

 

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Ian Ellasante is a transgender poet and artist of African, Choctaw, and European descent. Originally from Memphis, Ian studied Creative Writing and Sociology at the University of Memphis before moving to Tucson in 2007. He has recently completed his MA at the University of Arizona, which culminated in a creative thesis of his poetry and an expository introduction titled “Bridges Between Me: Liminality, Authenticity, and Re/integration in American Indian Literature.” Ian received the Native Writer Award in Poetry at the 2011 Taos Summer Writers’ Conference and has been published in Currency and Evening Will Come.

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4 Responses to 3 poems by Ian Ellasante

  1. Taos and Taos Arts in the News 6/12/2013 on June 12, 2013 at 9:32 am

    [...] 3 poems by Ian Ellasante | The Feminist Wire on Jun 11, 2013 at taos arts – Google Blog Search: She is a vibrant teaching artist and vocal coach, who envisions theater as personally empowering and socially transformative. She recently completed an MFA at the University of Maryland, too. But in all of her ventures, she is invested in … [...]

  2. Taos and Taos Arts in the News 6/12/2013 on June 12, 2013 at 9:32 am

    [...] 3 poems by Ian Ellasante | The Feminist Wire on Jun 11, 2013 at taos arts – Google Blog Search: She is a vibrant teaching artist and vocal coach, who envisions theater as personally empowering and socially transformative. She recently completed an MFA at the University of Maryland, too. But in all of her ventures, she is invested in … [...]

  3. Taos and Taos Arts in the News 6/12/2013 on June 12, 2013 at 9:32 am

    [...] 3 poems by Ian Ellasante | The Feminist Wire on Jun 11, 2013 at taos arts – Google Blog Search: She is a vibrant teaching artist and vocal coach, who envisions theater as personally empowering and socially transformative. She recently completed an MFA at the University of Maryland, too. But in all of her ventures, she is invested in … [...]

  4. Taos and Taos Arts in the News 6/12/2013 on June 12, 2013 at 9:32 am

    [...] 3 poems by Ian Ellasante | The Feminist Wire on Jun 11, 2013 at taos arts – Google Blog Search: She is a vibrant teaching artist and vocal coach, who envisions theater as personally empowering and socially transformative. She recently completed an MFA at the University of Maryland, too. But in all of her ventures, she is invested in … [...]

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