Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Zabrisky and Rogghe's GREEN LIONS

  1. Is love an alchemical process?
  2. Is it successful, and is it art?
  3. Is poetic collaboration a good idea?

The answer to the first question is “yes.”
The answer to the second question are a bit more complicated. Love changes us, irrevocably, and most often times, not for the better, or that’s what the modern world would have us believe. The answers to the second question, at least, poetically speaking, are revealed in Green Lions (© 2014 Numina Press), a collaboration of love poems by Zarina Zabrisky and Simon Rogghe.
Green Lions employs the alchemical elements; water, fire, air, earth, and ether (or spirit), and the Major Arcana from the Tarot, to tell the story of two people who fall in love, where the process takes, and how it changes them. The voices of Zabrisky and Rogghe start off, predictably, as diverse as two people can be, with Zabrisky as the dominant voice, and Rogghe gentlemanly following in her wake. But as these two talented poets work their way into intimacy, and as the process of poetic courtship progresses, they enter into each other’s hearts and minds, and,the writing becomes much more unified in tone and language, as in the poem ‘Equestrian Seduction Duet” (This is Not a Poem About Horses)”:

I would like to know
how does it feel
on your fingertips
when you touch them
on the neck.
warm? soft?
do your fingertips tingle
with warmth afterwards?
would mine?
if you touch a brown horse
would your fingertips glow
with soft brown light?

Their skin is soft
Their neck is hard -
Running your fingers
Through a horse’s crest
Covers them with a sticky coat
You can roll in little clusters.
In the texture of reality.
The elbow grease of beauty,
The imprint of a friendship.
if you kiss a horse
between the eyes
do your lips feel salty?

To kiss a horse
Between the eyes
Is very much like
When you kiss a woman:
It may well turn its head
If it isn’t in the mood.
A horse kiss, rather,
is a gentle bite, a scratch.
But when your lips
Have grazed the surface
Of a horse’s face,
They know
A different kind of music:
I’ve kissed a horse
And tasted sweat
When riding in the desert;
One time
There was a pouring rain -
My lips seemed
To be stained with tears;
Another time
It was the dead of winter -
My mouth crackled
With the electricity
Of warm skin and dry air.

I want to know more.
tell me,
are horses
lonely creatures -
like people -
like islands -
like cities -
like lovers -
Sometimes a horse can’t eat
Because of mourning,
Just like we can’t
When we’re stressed out -
Maybe in love -
Do they
know how to be true friends?

Their conduct is impeccable:
Treat them right
And they will do the same.

Coupled with the simple, lyrical poems are Zabrisky’s lovely black and white illustrations, which nicely compliment the poetic discourse.
The answer to the third question is subjective in nature, but based on my personal experience, I’ve not read a collaborative work that came together so well as Green Lions, especially one that is so easy and profound to fall into, and is both unforgettable and entertaining.

Green Lions, © 2014 Zarina Zabrisky and Simon Rogghe, A Vox Nova Book, Published by Numina Press (www.numinapress.com), ISBN 978-0-9842600-6-5, 127 pages, $12.95

poetic content  © 2015 Zarina Zabrisky and Simon Rogghe

review content © 2015 marie lecrivain