Jimmie Durham
Hu nose what beauty is?

December 17, 2016 – ...



Like the Orinoco, Amazon, or Xingu Morena<

“What are you thinking about?”
She asked that on the street
As she touched my hand and put my hand against her leg,

The way she does, and talked to me with her body, her hands.
“I am thinking about you touching me.”
We were talking in bed and i was touching her breasts
Solid and quick like the moon.
Look, her shoulders are tree broad, and solid.
Her hips flow broad like a quick river.

I think she is like river,
And she said as we took off her clothes,
“I don’t have much self-control.”
I thought, well, no, rivers have no need for such limits.

From Brazil she brought me coffee and cachaça
And a book about the Indians of Brazil
By the brothers Villas Boas.
I said bring me a parrot feather
And I touched her belly clear as sky.

Her eyes are like those that stare from photos
Of Indians of Brazil, “or like Japanese eyes”, she says.
Or like Jaguar’s eyes. I kiss her eyes and say
Looking into your eyes is like looking into a forest.
Her eyes go opaque like a river she has no need
For romantic nonsense.

Rivers need no limits no romance about rivers.
Men call names to rivers
Only from fear of drowning or of being carried to the ocean.
I touch the shore of her oceans.
I feel the power of her tides.

In the book I read the the Pingu, called Morena
By the Indians, overflows into the forest,
And fish with mysterious names swim among the trees
Eating fruit. Men try to guard their orchards
But Morena comes solid like the sky
And takes what she wants.

The Villas Boas also report an Indian story:
The first Indian woman was going to marry the jaguar
But she stopped and made love to the wolf.
Her first sons were the sun and the moon.
I think about wolf, my clan grandmother.

She talks about small town gossip in Brazil, and the fascists.
But she says there is a beautiful young girl
Who rides a horse to school, and two boys who run
As fast and long as horses.

I said “I like you” and she said “Of course you do”.
And touched me with lightning in her hand.
Earlier she had asked: “Do you love me?”.

The Indians of Brazil say that the first duck
Was afraid of the river, and had a canoe made of clay.
But when the canoe was dissolved and he found
Himself in the river, he discovered he loved it.