About Gloria Avner

Gloria Avner is a painter and poet living in Key Largo, Florida. She attended Berkeley in the days of the Free Speech Movement, lived in London and journeyed to Morocco and India. For many years she ran a gallery of tribal art. Now she lives with the poet David Gitin and the wondercat Yuli.

5 Poems by Gloria Avner

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YOKO AND THE NAKED BOTTOMS

I was recruited by a friend in London 1967 a publisher of first edition American poetry a friend of Tony’s her husband (before John) to be in Yoko Ono’s movie

she needed asses battalions of bare buttocks the camera would focus on the juncture where thighs cheek bottoms and ass crevice meet to make a moving sign of the cross

take off your clothes please step up on the platform hold on to the arm bar and walk the moving turntable giant record player automated pottery kickwheel just you walking and the camera focused on your crack

10 or 15 seconds each I forget how long or how many of us but I was number 27 saw the film just once and found the shifting faceless walking crosses fascinating focus shift from fat to skinny old to young flabby to rock hard and muscled five and a half minutes of Yoko Ono filmography disappeared

TANGANYIKA STRUT

lean as bean poles itching to dance they hang stiff side by side he with small penis she with barely wider hips sweet sculpted breasts both with inlaid silver pins centered in their lozenge eyes

tiny hands attached to long naked thighs hand carved wood as tall and black as the ones at home who would hold them

dance partners rhythm pounders keep time and company young men leap free from gravity in the arms of ancestors

not my tribe they shout silent pinned to this gallery wall

THE LIGHT

let’s have a new religion based on gratitude not fear

shift of focus from the blues of dying parents lost hearing aids and teeth menacing hallucinations in black fedora hats

to Fibonacci series June geometry spring green ficus leaves deep orange rainbows poinciana blossom crowns down the median strip of U.S 1 the scent and sight of fuschia frangipani blooms pure as sex on a stem

rays of blue grey sky in stripes and curlicues all my giant windows let in the light

THE STREET

there is no poetry in Wall Street no room for anything but want and rumor

If my dragon were home today I’d mount her toast marshmallows on her breath fling them into brokers windows swoop through towers stop the phones make the pissants and the giants pulling strings come down to earth plant organic squash and beans

SIT ON MY CARPET

Beluchi reds and black and cream hand knotted while the master sings an ancient pattern to nimble fingered girls

sit with me and fly past mountain ridges to the outer edge of Bedouin deserts Sufi dance halls without walls under stars dressed in a thousand strands of goulamine beads

naked footprints messages in sand lie with me ...{read more}

London 1966: I.T., the Camel, and a Song Named Me

International Times launch party flyer and debut issue / image credit: http://www.international-times.org.uk/ITarchive.htm

The camel’s unexpected appearance saved me. The raggedy texture of his fur, his massiveness, and his breath were all undeniably real, no matter how bizarre the setting and cast of characters. ...{read more}

Six New Poems by Gloria Avner

Six New Poems by Gloria AvnerCircumambulation

to walk all the way around Mt. Arunachala takes from dusk until dawn plenty of time to meditate touch darkness chant story sing in harmony with crickets

Tibetan refugees and Buddhists from every nation leave their shoes beside the entryway park flip flops and fine leather tread the wooden walkway barefoot circling Dalai Lama’s Temple just off Palace Road in Dharamsala

spin wooden cylinders giant tall or small copper ones handheld send scrolls of endless blessings prayers in Pali some in Sanskrit through the ethers to the rescue the relief of all who suffer

is it because we mimic movement of the stars around the earth the earth around the stars the blood around our bodies that the act of circumambulation becomes sacred in itself why Sufi dancers speed whirl

each of us a speck from the crab nebula mesmerized by moonlight sent here when the all male cast of Shakespeare’s Tempest was rehearsing at The Globe

Wednesday Night

twenty eight artists’ eyes caress your highlit cheekbone almost hidden by black hair you periodically blow out of your eyes

fingers trace your rounded shoulders shine your long lovely limbs with pastel highlights charcoal soft fuzzy darks make lines rub shadows quick decisions digital souls with hands who want to transform you and ourselves

New Years Day Ocean Sky

look up magnificent frigate birds share air space with brown pelicans nine foot wingspans long elegant forked tails beaks the stuff of ancient mystery birds that cannot land yet fly in stone on Nazca plains visible from stars and pointing to them

In Nepal

first night in Nepal worn out from border ride to village in rut bumbling oxcart third class train ride from Patan (passengers enter doors but also through windows)

terror on the nearly capsized ferry cargo of two hundred families and a quarter of the Indian army in pressed khaki shorts and knee socks moving lock stock pots and pans to summer quarters

(see the horizon shift if the boat turns over swim away from shore)

we huddle under mosquito nets humid hut of a mud-walled room fireworks and drums outside all night

festival of the living goddess gold and silk encrusted pre-pubescent girl treated like a queen feet never touch a floor paraded in a palanquin through streets and worshipped until the day she cramps and leaks bright blood between thin thighs weeps human tears of loss what she has done what will she do go home go out to pasture return retire regret as all goddesses must the day when purity and magic stain sheets red

Young David

he learned to type in 1959 last year in high school after hard homecoming

back from months away cross country hitchhike odyssey in lust for writer’s mind one night sleeping in a ditch one night in jail grateful for hot meal and blanket sometimes in a rented room a drop off stop and job anywhere between New York and California

Bennett High made him take driver education too so bored rebellious long tall skinny brainy boy could graduate

after school the Buffalo Public Library looming old stone castle narrow stacks running always running half gazelle half centaur up and down around the iron spiral stairs whirling sufi dancer finding bringing books to impressed librarians

he would run again to San Francisco stay embrace the Haight enhance it listen openhearted to North Beach jazzmen drive drink laugh all night with poets Ginsberg Corso Creeley McClure language love run rampant talking like typewriter waterfall

Thanks Honey

I have had plenty coffee but I am looking forward to a kiss

  ...{read more}

Gloria Avner’s Ten Favorite Books

The Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav

The Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

My Name Is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok

The Crack in the Cosmic Egg by Joseph Chilton Pearce

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon

Jane Eyre by Chalotte Bronte

Light in August by William Faulkner

The Theater and its Double by Antonin Artaud

The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell

Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy

You can click any of the titles above to learn more or to buy. ...{read more}

Seven Artworks by Gloria Avner

Collage by Gloria Avner

For years Gloria Avner has explored and taught ancient batik painting techniques using ink, wax, and watercolor on delicate Ginwashi ricepaper. ...{read more}

6 Poems by Gloria Avner

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End of the Sixties

this sea this sky not the winding bumpy road past Ararat, down Khyber pass by folding bicycle fear survived Swat valley snowstorm rescue on the way to India to Himalayan hermit foothills flapping tattered flag whipped prayers gone flying free from cliffs edge   before Lama Govinda welcomes all to tea talk cookies company before the fevered german jumps disappointed from the ferry splashes Bombay waters drops his wallet in alleged rescue pull out via fishing pole important papers turn to new wet bedding for starfish   men in uniforms want him to stop not walk wet away resist arrest for misinterpreted attempt at suicide men with uniforms without an ear for languages shoot holes into your tires

Can We

can we take a break from war breathe easy for a while let dads raise sons who can remember uncrippled lives and longer tempers

let England, France, and sporadic Spain keep their Guinness Book world record (for a 116 year long fight the size of New York beating up on Pennsylvania)

the world now still small villages on one side futuristic smart bombs tanks too big to roll down target streets on the other

imbalanced crazy ratios of win to loss when what is won is mostly military contracts

we can not speak of what is lost but wonder where the women are who will revive the perfect low-tech strategy of Lysistrata: no sex ‘til wars end

Numbers

it’s hard to believe  we said don’t trust  anyone over 30 brave and bucking tradition  we danced barefoot  wild free whirling with immortality  at the cusp of change alive to inner landscape  ancient cultures high on principles

but for goddess grace we’d all be jailed impaled or cold flash frozen    in stiff old fields like finance  yuppie Jerry’s leap from faith

hail survivors who stay the course  Leonard Cohen’s lyrics from within integrity maintained like Dylan  weaving strands Americana made his own both Joans Jerry Brown Keith Jarrett  Scorsese Spielberg Shepard artists all  unique beyond their generation Jean Houston Normandi Ellis Ram Das protean figures keep the flame alive

when the word for my favorite decade became my age I grew to love the label  sexagenarian  tasty word    inside my mouth and imagination  where are good words   for higher numbers coming soon closing toward the curb if ‘septo’ smells of downward spiral ‘octo’ will require help to fold sweet smelling fitted sheets if we don’t come up  with communes  like Marigold Hotel or the house in Jane Fonda’s French movie where five old friends  come to live together while a young man documents  their lives alive with sex preoccupation for his degree in anthropology   I still don’t trust the 30-somethings the ones who are not poets  who aspire to life on Wall Street

I trust Pauline 98 year old matriarch hospital volunteer  arrived at New York shores from Hungary at three years old who could not find her birth  certificate and had to wait  five years  to get a passport  so she could take a cruise   centenarian will be a good word if I can be like Pauline  when I grow up

On the Way (9/11)

gone through security boarding pass in hand I hear an announcement: our plane to Boston will be late now how to understand the next  announcement: pick up your bags at the luggage carousel and leave the airport immediately

a gorgeous day in Maine the road from Bangor back to Mount Desert Island lined with autumn flavored birch and maple mountainsides of patchwork reds and  yellow not a mourning color anywhere

Logan will be closed for weeks. ...{read more}