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Tag: Virginie Colline

March: On the Cusp

March: On the Cusp

The Lighthouse at Two Lights. By Edward Hopper. 1929
The Lighthouse at Two Lights. By Edward Hopper. 1929

Tis a strange month, March. Both Winter and Spring, cold and temperate, it transitions us from Death to Life, fallow to green. Depending upon the region, depending upon one’s position on this earth, by design or chance, this month will bring us all great changes.

For Spinozablue, March brings us poetry by Virginie Colline, and fiction by Donal Mahoney. For this editor, March takes me closer to the lighthouse, and another rereading of the masterful, brilliant goddess of prose, Virginia Woolf. She brought us closer to lighthouses — metaphorical, fictional and in real time — because she brought us closer to the mind in search of.

 

 

Virginie Colline: Streetlight Tanka

Virginie Colline: Streetlight Tanka

Streetlight Tanka

Lámpagyujtogató by Sándor Bortnyik
Lámpagyujtogató by Sándor Bortnyik

 

Pulse of lights
he hops into a taxi
to wherever she won’t be      
too tall an order
the city whispers

Giant daisies                      
yellow glow
the streetlamps dance
before his very eyes
he kisses them goodnight  

 

Copyright© 2013, by Virginie Colline. All Rights Reserved.

 

Virginie Colline is a French translator living in Paris. You can read her latest poems in Egg, Seltzer, Yes, Poetry, BRICKrhetoric, Overpass Books, Winamop and Mad Swirl, among others.

 

 

The Mind as Haiku

The Mind as Haiku

For November, Spinozablue welcomes the poetry of Virginie Colline, Joshua Bocher, Greg Mackie and Kyle Hemmings.

 

__________
 

Making poetry, making art, comes naturally to humans. For all we know, we’ve been doing this since the dawn of time. It probably brought immense pleasure to the first Neanderthal and his or her tribe when they made speech rhythmic, flow, condense the life around them into a proto-song. I can imagine them delighting in the sounds of brand new lyrics, forcing them to dance, and then delighting in these new movements they had never encountered in themselves or others before.
 
Laughing. Grunting with joy. Perhaps mocking the less adept. Though, perhaps mockery came later and had not yet been discovered. Perhaps it took the first satirical poet to bring us that Dance, as the physical manifestation of their extraordinary surprise.
 
Dance, as the first physical manifestation of ordering the body to be at one with the heavens.
 
It is likely that we are pre-wired to want to do this, to want to construct images in words, stone, paint, sound and motion. It is likely that our hard-wiring provokes us into this maddening quest to make sense and order out of the chaos of our surroundings — and our inner lives.
 
It is very difficult to escape from this. It takes incredible practice to stop ordering and reordering our surroundings and internal flow. And even then, the practice itself is a form of ordering and reordering, a negative image imposed on the sunlit one we can’t avoid.
 
The mind itself is a Haiku, or so the mind believes, if we could but see from outside its structure. If we could but gaze upon it from the safety of the structures surrounding it — the order and context it must create.

 

Virginie Colline: Melancholy Haiku

Virginie Colline: Melancholy Haiku

Café by Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita

 

threadbare afternoon
the kerosene lamp hisses
like a rattlesnake
 

love simulacra
he can see the door through her
and the night ahead

they call her Sorrow
the woman in bombazine
by the blind window

 

 

 

 

— by Virginie Colline

 

Copyright ©2012, by Virginie Colline. All Rights Reserved.

 

Virginie Colline is a French trans­la­tor liv­ing in Paris. You can read her latest poems in The Orris, Bakwa Magazine, Blue Skies Poetry, Four and Twenty and Misfits’ Miscellany.

 

Form is Emptiness. Emptiness is Form

Form is Emptiness. Emptiness is Form

Spinozablue welcomes the poetry of Virginie Colline, Hilary Sideris, Changming Yuan, Kenneth Pobo, Joan McNerney, and the fiction of Shanna Perplies.

 

*     *     *     *     *

 

A tip of the hat goes to nnyhav for the link to Tim Parks’ excellent article in the New York Review of Books, The Chattering Mind. While most of the article is about modern literature, there is a section on the Buddhist quest to still the mind which I found brilliantly concise and relevant to past and future discussions here. The entire article being relevant, of course . . . .

 

Sitting for ten days on a cushion, eyes closed, cross-legged, seeking to empty your mind of words, it’s all too evident how obsessively the mind seeks to construct self-narrative, how ready it is to take interest in its own pain, to congratulate itself on the fertility of its reflection. That chattersome voice will even be pleased with its progressively more elaborate analyses of how difficult it is to quiet the mind and empty it of the very reflections it is making. But alas, you cannot sit cross-legged without pain unless you learn to relax your body very deeply. And, as neuroscience has recently confirmed, when the mind churns words, the body tenses. As if in a laboratory one is obliged to experiment the perils and pleasures of what the Buddha called the second arrow, the mind that brings energy to its own pain.

 

On the way home from work the other night, I listened to the radio and caught an extended instrumental embedded in a rock song. I forced myself to listen to nothing but the music as a whole and the notes making up that music. No words. No commentary. No language. I wouldn’t let them in. This heightened the beauty of the work for me and would have been sustainable if not for the vocals that finally kicked in.

I had never heard the song before, or the band, and that may be why I can not remember the names for either right now. Though because I forced out language, I also forced out names. Both may have worked in conjunction to rob me of memory and gift me with its absence.

Could I have emptied the auditory moment of words, if I had known the song or the band? It would have been far more difficult, because I would have heard more than the song. My listening would have been layered with all the associations already in the mind, all of the images that song provoked, all of the places it took me, along with the layers of opinions of this or that layer or opinion. Folding in on itself, unfolding, multiplied, extended, repeated – what would I have heard? That moment’s song or a thousand moments before and after?

Afterwards, commentary kicked in. The music was a strange mix of CSNY, ELP and King Crimson. A jam band, turning the focus over to individual instruments, one at a time, in waves — organ, guitar, bass and drums — in swelling crescendos and spontaneous bursts of energy. I placed it in the 70s. I placed it in a bygone era.

Why do I seek emptiness in form? It is not fear of mortality. It is the hope that I can strengthen muscles and someday control the jar of life. Not that jar in Tennessee. Mine is everywhere and nowhere.

 

Virginie Colline: Haiku la Nuit

Virginie Colline: Haiku la Nuit

Night Haiku

Full Moon at Magome by Hasui Kawase

 

 
black row of dumpsters

an errant dog laps the moon
in a cold puddle

he points at the sky
a hint of eternity
in this diamond night
time evaporates
behind the doors of shadow
moonlit Tsumago

 

— by Virginie Colline

 

Copyright © by Virginie Colline. All Rights Reserved.

 

Virginie Colline is a French translator living in Paris. She has recently been published in Fri Haiku, Literary Juice, Indian Review and Prick of the Spindle.

 

Recent Additions & Musings . . .

Recent Additions & Musings . . .

Spinozablue welcomes the fine Haiku of Virginie Colline, and the poetic works of Dan Corjescu and Neil Ellmann.

 

__________

 

As long as we are alive, nothing is complete. We define this or that aspect of art, music, religion, life itself, and we kill it. In some way, small to great. Yes, poetry can lift art; art poetry. But neither can define or limit or stifle the other. There is always more. Much more. And the best critics know this. The most attentive, aware, tuned-in admirers of all the arts know this.

Nothing is written in stone, literally and metaphorically. The stone does not last. It crumbles and becomes something else. The metaphors are a bridge to another place and time, another way of seeing. Ancient sages recognized the multitudinous quality of perspective and embraced that for centuries. But we lost that, until the late 19th and 20th centuries when revolutions shook the arts and sciences.

Those revolutions were made possible by a return, a sneaking, stealth-like return, of humility in a sense. Paradoxically, the masters of those revolutions, the Einsteins, Heisenbergs, Kafkas, Schoenbergs, the Picassos, the James Joyces . . . were not what most people would define as “humble.” But in order to pursue their ventures, they needed to recapture the ancient past (Buddhist relativity, African ceremonial masks, Noh Dramas and a myriad cultural complexes) to don “the Other”, to live outside themselves and their hand-me-down assumptions.

In short, they escaped their egos at least long enough to create dynamic beauty that shattered the present again and again.

All great revolutions are both a return to the commons, to our shared human roots, and an explosion of tired, dated, outworn egos. On the individual all the way up to national and international levels.

The winds and the sea, the animals and the green, all tell us it’s time again. Prepare the way for another return, another joyous, riotous humbling!!

 

From Paris, With Haiku

From Paris, With Haiku

Silver Lining Haiku

 

Le Corde Sensible, by Rene Magritte. 1960
Le Corde Sensible, by Rene Magritte. 1960

 

a cloud for breakfast
in my hand a pearl of dew
against the sultry day

 

 

 — by Virginie Colline

 

Copyright© 2012, Virginie Colline. All Rights Reserved.

 

Virginie Colline is a French translator living in Paris. Her poems have appeared in The Scrambler, The Asahi Haikuist Network, EgoPHobia, Mouse Tales Press, The Electronic Monsoon Magazine, Notes from the Gean, Frostwriting and StepAway Magazine, among others.