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Posts Tagged ‘Katherine Durham Oldmixon’

Puebla de los ángeles

February 27, 2009 7 comments


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On the zócalo in Puebla, la ciudad de los ángeles,
flocks of shiny balloons rise and fall and rise
again with the coruscating spray of water
spouted from the mouths of fountain
fish misting birds who flutter

above human voices

peddlers, priests, tourists folding
maps, laughing children playing chase,
rumble of taxis, buses, cars, clink of glasses in
sidewalk cafes, scrape of chairs as the band begins
the danzón, hum of horns, scuff of cellos and violins,

lyrical silence of pigeon wings.

by Arturo Lomas Garza, Robert Skiles, and Katherine Durham Oldmixon

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Process notes

Robert Skiles and Arturo (“Turo”) Lomas Garza have been friends and collaborators for almost thirty-three years, together performing Robert’s musical compositions for recordings and live concerts. Poet and photographer Katherine Durham Oldmixon and Turo have also worked together and supported one another on many artistic projects. So it’s no surprise that Turo, the editor of this project, is the nexus of the collaboration.

When we launched this project, we agreed that we wanted Robert’s music to be central, but we began with Katherine’s poem “Puebla de los ángeles” as a basis for the idea. Robert had read the poem before and expressed an appreciation for its sounds and images. We didn’t want the poem to become lyrics accompanied by music, but the music to be its own interpretation and representation of the idea, and the poem and images to complement. So Robert wrote and recorded his piano solo, “Puebla de los ángeles,” and Turo selected and edited Katherine’s photographs of Puebla, Mexico to create the visual media, integrating the lines of the poem as he heard them and saw them in the song.

2012

October 27, 2008 2 comments

The skyscraper across from my Times
Square hotel appears under destruction:
a sculpture in steel and glass, all angles
like an abstract colt or a weeping
woman watching her man launch
onto a sea of sky from her
salt grass baskets. Yesterday
a woman reminded me the Maya
predicted world-end at 2012.
She handed me a string of paper
to write what I would be doing
that day. I imagined
touching your faces, planting
something in earth.
I could only think of people
in our Americas
so poor they sell one another
dirt for food and of the bottle-green
Caribbean beneath the temples of Tulum.

by Katherine Durham Oldmixon

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Hiroshima

August 6, 2008 6 comments

We could fold ourselves into a thousand
paper cranes each nestled snug into the one
child’s bright life spread upon moving waters
out into summer, swans, fireworks bursting
too soon, a flash in the pan of August
that burns out monograms on schoolboy shirts
and leaves alone little girls’ lunchboxes
to witness, as if we would otherwise
forget shadows scorched into a stair
at sunrise, a tricycle crusted black
before a father’s disinterred grief,
dome of bricks resisting fall, finally
to wing perhaps a yellow paper sky
above a flame with no ash to deny.

by Katherine Durham Oldmixon

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Beyond the Gate

April 29, 2008 1 comment

Cyclamen

April 24, 2008 2 comments

A furious-pink cyclamen
now grows in the green
ceramic cube with no
escape for water. I had
a fuzzy old brain
cactus that couldn’t
survive so long
a wet season,
although I kept it
as if it were alive
sometimes using the pot
for a doorstop in summer.
When I finally let go
and dumped the papery
body into a corner
of the garden
by the rosemary
and the woodpile,
I discovered someone
had mixed the dirt
with styrofoam peanuts.
You could almost see
how the mind works.

by Katherine Durham Oldmixon

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Our Roots

April 7, 2008 Comments off

Between Season

April 3, 2008 1 comment

Spears of new jonquils push through black
mulch beside sweet-green hair of garlic,

nets of shivering rosemary and sage,
leafless stalk of a prickly old climber.

I turn a palm of dark crumbling winter
leaves into damp soil, mix in crushed eggshells,

coffee grounds dried in a ceramic bowl
from a week of mornings. In the latent

garden ferns send furry runners under
cover to network with iris tubers,

bulbous elephant ears, blind-white onions.
If I poke the lean edge of my trowel

into earth, decaying smells of birthing
rise from what lies beneath that skin to mine.

by Katherine Durham Oldmixon

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