Thursday, October 7, 2010

Aphrodite

A friend said that I never talk about love and I'm too grim; just to prove she's wrong, I pulled out this poem, and the mask of Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love, born from the ocean. See (name with held to protect the innocent)? No crop circles, solar flares, or environmental degredation! Just the Great Goddess Aphrodite, trying to come to terms with post-modernism.


Aphrodite in Brooklyn


Please allow me to take off my shoes,
this faux marble pose
and this modern, pragmatic mask.

Permit me my ruin.

Please, let us not consider this therapy
or revolution, do not ask me

to give you space.

Let us not discuss those who came before,

or those who might follow. Let us not talk of past lives.

This moment,
this moment is all I know.

I have fallen on hard times.

If you come to my temple, just
let me make for you an ocean.

Half seen in the darkness
your body is a Mystery
true, tangible, radiant,
lined with the rings of your life.
You are beautiful,
beautiful to be a man.

Darling, even in this era,
even now, I will not believe

that love is disposable,
that sex is safe
that lovers are trains
rolling past each other
to some certain station:

I remember,
I almost remember
my river source

My skin forms the word anew,
yes
enter me

as if
you were coming home.


(1999)



7 comments:

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

This poem and mask hint at the heart of a true romantic!

Valerianna said...

Nice one..... I used to get the same feedback sometimes - too DEEP and not love and light enough. But then I moved to the valley ( or hilltowns above the valley) and people seem to have deep roots, too. But I do love Aphrodite - how could I not having lived for years in Greece next to the blue, blue sea and eating aphrodisiasitc (spelling?) honey with my lover named
Odyseasas?

Penelope said...

I love this poem. Thank you, Lauren. I've been keeping an eye on your site since I found it recently. It recalled to me the dream I had perhaps 10 years ago, in which I made primitive interaction with a figure called 'Black Spider Woman'. I was intrigued to find the old definition of my name, also on your pages.

Robur d'Amour said...

I suppose that the statue in the top photo was chosen by you, consciously or otherwise, to illustrate that your anonymous friend was in fact correct.

The back part of the head of the statue - the thinking bit - is missing.

It means that your head is full of dark thoughts, trying to find problems in the world.

Be like the statue!

(I haven't figured out what missing arms symbolise, but if the statue is a numinous symbol, you can be sure the missing arms mean something)

Lauren said...

hmm.....thanks for kind words. Ah, to be in Greece, Valerianna; I think just to be there would be to be "in love".

Penelope - the meaning of the name, "with a web on her face", has been really important to me, as "a webbed vision" has been the central thesis of much of my recent art work.

Robur, well, I don't know. It is true I've been depressed lately; perhaps,I felt like posting this poem just to remember that the world is also full of love, and even love is ambivalent, and complex. But I chose this image because I feel in many ways we have lost the "gift of Aphrodite" in our world, lost the sense of her profound Mystery in our post-modern, materialistic world. That's why she says "permit me my ruin".

Gail said...

If one goes back far enough and studies Aphrodite before the transfer of power, Her true attributes shine. Before men trivialized Her, She stood for that great devotional love between and artist and his/her work. Gaia'l

Lauren said...

Interesting, Gail - thanks. Certainly, a great Muse. I think our whole world has trivialized Aphrodite - we turn Eros into consumer goods, we talk about "having sex" like "having a beer", our greatest profanities have to do with the sexual act. Eros is one great aspect of the life force, the impulse from which new life arises.........how frightened our world is, really, of the Mystery that Aphrodite represents.