Iris - by David St. John - Vivian St. John (1981-1974) There is a train inside this iris: You think I'm crazy, & like to say boyish & outrageous things. No, there is A train inside this iris. It's a child's finger bearded in black banners. A single window like... Read more →

Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).


"Keep me fully glad..." - by Rabindranath Tagore - Keep me fully glad with nothing. Only take my hand in your hand. In the gloom of the deepening night take up my heart and play with it as you list. Bind me close to you with nothing. I will spread... Read more →

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Public Transportation - by Elaine Sexton - She is perfectly ordinary, a cashmere scarf snugly wrapped around her neck. She is a middle age that is crisp, appealing in New York. She is a brain surgeon or a designer of blowdryers. I know this because I am in her skin... Read more →

Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).


Christophe Laudamiel defies categorization. He is one of the most sought-after perfumers working today, but he is also an inventor, chemist, artist, educator, and fearless pursuer of his own ideals. I first became aware of his name in November 2006 when I read Chandler Burr's "Smellbound" article in the New... Read more →

Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).


The poem that we've been exploring for the last two weeks, "In a Station of the Metro," took Ezra Pound almost two years to write. I suppose, then, that it's not such a great shame that I am at a loss for words in response to the great outpouring of... Read more →

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Edgar Degas: L'absinthe (The Absinthe Drinkers) In a Station of the Metro The apparition of these faces in the crowd; Petals on a wet, black bough. - Ezra Pound - I went through a Lost Generation phase in my teens. And have always been a fan of Ezra Pound. These... Read more →

Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).


In a Station of the Metro The apparition of these faces in the crowd; Petals on a wet, black bough. ~ Ezra Pound ~ The first line "In the Station of the Metro" pulled up memories of the metro in Paris, London, New York and most vividly my birthplace, Buenos... Read more →

Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).


In a Station of the Metro The apparition of these faces in the crowd; Petals on a wet, black bough. - Ezra Pound When asked to participate in an "imaginative adventure” where I would get a short poem to translate into a fragrant picture, I was utterly enthusiastic because I... Read more →

Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).


- In a Station of the Metro - The apparition of these faces in the crowd; Petals on a wet, black bough. - Ezra Pound - Dear Heather, Since one of my major modes of expression is through aroma, I have created a fragrance that represents my initial impression of... Read more →

Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).


In a Station of the Metro The apparition of these faces in the crowd; Petals on a wet, black bough. Ezra Pound It’s hard to say what most appeals to me about this poem – the tactile and photographic impression it leaves in me; the rhythm of the words, regardless... Read more →

Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).


In a Station of the Metro The apparition of these faces in the crowd; Petals on a wet, black bough. My first thought upon reading the poem that Heather sent me is that I got very lucky. Not only is it a fun, jaunty little poem, but also the “Metro”... Read more →

Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).


(click on the graphic above for an enlarged version) Transport On a Theme by Ezra Pound Perfumes transport, trains transport: the movement, the moment of scent commingled, then dispersed. This image came to me in a dream. When I awoke after the dream and researched Ezra Pound I found he... Read more →

Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).


In a Station of the Metro The apparition of these faces in the crowd; Petals on a wet, black bough. -Ezra Pound- In a Station of the Metro Re:Mix, Real:Mix, Reel:Mix A gulping blackhole towards a shiny blackbody Only fourteen ingredients, top, bottom, no-body, Two dark ones, Twelve others dancing... Read more →

Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).


Fragrant Thoughts On: The apparition of these faces in the crowd; Petals on a wet, black bough. On "In a Station of the Metro" This is how Ezra Pound introduces his famous haiku: "Three years ago in Paris I got out of a "metro" train at La Concorde, and saw... Read more →

Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).


In a Station of the Metro The apparition of these faces in the crowd; Petals on a wet, black bough. - Ezra Pound - I imagine the author "scences" in each face A fragrance all its own, A beautiful signature Each unique, Content to stand alone. Sweet strawberries from the... Read more →

Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).


Ezra Pound: In a Station of the Metro The apparition of these faces in the crowd; Petals on a wet, black bough. With my very idiosyncratic process, the words (the poem "brief") create an image or images, as if they were visual pieces. From there I begin to interpret what... Read more →

Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).


In a Station of the Metro The apparition of these faces in the crowd; Petals on a wet, black bough. - Ezra Pound - I'm walking through Grand Central NY, I hear lots of voices speaking in many languages. I have a moment of déjà vu, and feel that I... Read more →

Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).


In a Station of the Metro The apparition of these faces in the crowd; Petals on a wet, black bough. by Ezra Pound The poem gave me a feeling of being underground and looking up through a hole. This underground space became a grave, six feet under ground. The Metro... Read more →

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In a Station of the Metro The apparition of these faces in the crowd; Petals on a wet, black bough. Ezra Pound My base would be built around tonka absolute and costus. Warm and sweet like caramel, tonka is the ultimate powdery note. Costus, with its complicated aroma of a... Read more →

Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).


In a Station of the Metro The apparition of these faces in the crowd; Petals on a wet, black bough. - by Ezra Pound - From Poetry, April 1913. Online text via Poetry Foundation. The current spacing of the text is from a later modification of the poem by Pound,... Read more →

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Pleasures - by Denise Levertov - I like to find what's not found at once, but lies within something of another nature, in repose, distinct. Gull feathers of glass, hidden in white pulp: the bones of squid which I pull out and lay blade by blade on the draining board—... Read more →

Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).


Ambergris - by Stanley Kunitz - This body, tapped of every drop of breath, In vast corruption of its swollen pride, Proclaims itself the very whale of death; Yet, I believe, the hand that plumbs its side Will gather dissolution's sweet increase. Exquisite fern of death--in nature, ambergris. Meanwhile, thinking... Read more →

Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).


Nothing is Lost - by Noel Coward - Deep in our sub-conscious, we are told Lie all our memories, lie all the notes Of all the music we have ever heard And all the phrases those we loved have spoken, Sorrows and losses time has since consoled, Family jokes, out-moded... Read more →

Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).


The Poet's Occasional Alternative - by Grace Paley - I was going to write a poem I made a pie instead it took about the same amount of time of course the pie was a final draft a poem would have had some distance to go days and weeks and... Read more →

Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).


Ode to a Cluster of Violets - by Pablo Neruda - Crisp cluster plunged in shadow. Drops of violet water and raw sunlight floated up with your scent. A fresh subterranean beauty climbed up from your buds thrilling my eyes and my life. One at a time, flowers that stretched... Read more →

Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).


Chlorophyl - by Ted Hughes - She sent him a blade of grass, but no word. Inside it The witchy doll, soaked in Dior. Inside it The gravestone. Inside it A sample of her own ashes. Inside it Her only daughter's Otherwise non-existent smile. Inside it, the keys Of a... Read more →

Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).


My Father's Hats - by Mark Irwin - Sunday mornings I would reach high into his dark closet while standing on a chair and tiptoeing reach higher, touching, sometimes fumbling the soft crowns and imagine I was in a forest, wind hymning through pines, where the musky scent of rain... Read more →

Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).


A New Poet - by Linda Pastan - Finding a new poet is like finding a new wildflower out in the woods. You don't see its name in the flower books, and nobody you tell believes in its odd color or the way its leaves grow in splayed rows down... Read more →

Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).


Human Beauty - by Albert Goldbarth - If you write a poem about love ... the love is a bird, the poem is an origami bird. If you write a poem about death ... the death is a terrible fire, the poem is an offering of paper cutout flames you... Read more →

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Taking Down the Tree - by Jane Kenyon - "Give me some light!" cries Hamlet's uncle midway through the murder of Gonzago. "Light! Light!" cry scattering courtesans. Here, as in Denmark, it's dark at four, and even the moon shines with only half a heart. The ornaments go down into... Read more →

Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).


unto thee i - by e. e. cummings - unto thee i burn incense the bowl crackles upon the gloom arise purple pencils fluent spires of fragrance the bowl seethes a flutter of stars a turbulence of forms delightful with indefinable flowering, the air is deep with desirable flowers i... Read more →

Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).


Why I am not a Painter - by Frank O’Hara – I am not a painter, I am a poet. Why? I think I would rather be a painter, but I am not. Well, for instance, Mike Goldberg is starting a painting. I drop in. “Sit down and have a... Read more →

Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).


Tangerine - by Ruth L. Schwartz - It was a flower once, it was one of a billion flowers whose perfume broke through closed car windows, forced a blessing on their drivers. Then what stayed behind grew swollen, as we do; grew juice instead of tears, and small hard sour... Read more →

Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).


To Earthward - by Robert Frost - Love at the lips was touch As sweet as I could bear; And once that seemed too much; I lived on air That crossed me from sweet things, The flow of—was it musk From hidden grapevine springs Down hill at dusk? I had... Read more →

Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).


Thanks for Remembering Us - by Dana Gioia The flowers sent here by mistake, signed with a name that no one knew, are turning bad. What shall we do? Our neighbor says they're not for her, and no one has a birthday near. We should thank someone for the blunder.... Read more →

Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).


Vespers ["Once I believed in you..."] - by Louise Glück - Once I believed in you; I planted a fig tree. Here, in Vermont, country of no summer. It was a test: if the tree lived, it would mean you existed. By this logic, you do not exist. Or you... Read more →

Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).


amateur: [French, from Latin am tor, lover, from am re, to love.] I love to use the word "amateur" in its original Latin sense, meaning "lover of." The classification of amateur sports in the Olympics originally carried this meaning - one who performs primarily for the love of the art/craft/skill,... Read more →

Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).


Some will recognize this blog's title, taken from the words of French Enlightenment philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau: "Smell is the sense of memory and desire." Later, these words were masterfully integrated into the opening lines of T.S. Eliot's poem The Waste Land: April is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out... Read more →

Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).


Grammar - by Tony Hoagland Maxine, back from a weekend with her boyfriend, smiles like a big cat and says that she's a conjugated verb. She's been doing the direct object with a second person pronoun named Phil, and when she walks into the room, everybody turns: some kind of... Read more →

Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).


Smoking - by Elton Glaser - I like the cool and heft of it, dull metal on the palm, And the click, the hiss, the spark fuming into flame, Boldface of fire, the rage and sway of it, raw blue at the base And a slope of gold, a touch... Read more →

Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).


The Best Cigarette - by Billy Collins - There are many that I miss having sent my last one out a car window sparking along the road one night, years ago. The heralded one, of course: after sex, the two glowing tips now the lights of a single ship; at... Read more →

Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).


The Cinnamon Peeler - by Michael Ondaatje - If I were a cinnamon peeler I would ride your bed and leave the yellow bark dust on your pillow. Your breasts and shoulders would reek you could never walk through markets without the profession of my fingers floating over you. The... Read more →

Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).


Handbag - by Ruth Fainlight - My mother's old leather handbag, crowded with letters she carried all through the war. The smell of my mother's handbag: mints and lipstick and Coty powder. The look of those letters, softened and worn at the edges, opened, read, and refolded so often. Letters... Read more →

Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).


Toast - by Leonard Nathan - There was a woman in Ithaca who cried softly all night in the next room and helpless I fell in love with her under the blanket of snow that settled on all the roofs of the town, filling up every dark depression. Next morning... Read more →

Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).


The Weakness - by Toi Derricotte - That time my grandmother dragged me through the perfume aisles at Saks, she held me up by my arm, hissing, “Stand up,” through clenched teeth, her eyes bright as a dog’s cornered in the light. She said it over and over, as if... Read more →

Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).


Soap Suds - by Louis MacNeice - This brand of soap has the same smell as once in the big House he visited when he was eight: the walls of the bathroom open To reveal a lawn where a great yellow ball rolls back through a hoop To rest at... Read more →

Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).


Passing Remark - by William Stafford - In scenery I like flat country. In life I don't like much to happen. In personalities I like mild colorless people. And in colors I prefer gray and brown. My wife, a vivid girl from the mountains, says, "Then why did you choose... Read more →

Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).


The Iceberg Theory - by Gerald Locklin - all the food critics hate iceberg lettuce. you'd think romaine was descended from orpheus's laurel wreath, you'd think raw spinach had all the nutritional benefits attributed to it by popeye, not to mention aesthetic subtleties worthy of veriaine and debussy. they'll even... Read more →

Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).