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Chalcedony's First Ten Songs
Chalcedony's First Ten Songs
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Clive gives an overview of the book:

("Cal-SAID-'n-ee") These poems are a vibrant call to body and spirit and earth through the sensory world. Extravagent, rich and powerful -it's as if Clive Matson's early voice lost its anger and returns to embrace sensual life in all its joys and pains.
Read full overview »

("Cal-SAID-'n-ee") These poems are a vibrant call to body and spirit and earth through the sensory world. Extravagent, rich and powerful -it's as if Clive Matson's early voice lost its anger and returns to embrace sensual life in all its joys and pains.

Read an excerpt »

Did the gods drop you from
a great distance
into my arms?

I was watching the ocean
and how indigo sky drools
lavender toward the horizon.

This world is a beautiful place.

Traffic hums along the road,
sunlight flickers across your forehead
and those uneven cheeks look like pages
turning, buffeted
by light and color.

Does turmoil erode your eyelids
from inside?
Corrode your pulsing neck?
Are you from another world
and wish to enter this one?

I hold your weight and all your long
knobby shape in the warm sand.
Wrap my arms around you
like petals
of a tulip around their stamen.

You're calm. Your eyes open
and they're dimensionless windows
all opaque pupil and
what
are those longate shapes
slithering around their rims?

Are those demons' limbs?
Are they beasts of Paradise?
Are they wormhole views to another planet?

Are you looking out and I'm looking in?
Are you looking in and I'm looking out?

Oh close those eyes! Go back
inside, block off those slowly
spinning orbs. Shut the windows
and draw the shades.

Let me lose myself in
trucks downshifting.

Lose myself in the sun settling
over a lazy beach, in orange-yellow rays
glancing off aquamarine grass and angling
toward your
drowsy face.

I'm not ready for big changes.
Not ready to jump off
cliffs.
Even if
the signs say "Happiness."
"Joy this way."

Why do I ache
if this is so fine?
Why do I feel an eye opening in my chest?

Did the gods drop you in my arms?

Your face looks ordinary,
jaw and concave cheeks
of a fragile and hot-eyed child.

clive-matson's picture

Chalcedony is a character in one of my unfinished stories. She loves her boyfriend with startling intensity, and she has big problems with him, too. She began writing songs in April, 2004, and put pressure on me to get her words on paper. I followed her bidding. This became an intriguing adventure, though it felt odd to be writing someone else's words. Many of Chalcedony's lines came across as placeholders for more involved thoughts. Journeying into the songs one enters a fluid and energetic universe I didn't know exists. Does this place emerge from a deepening relationship with my anima? If so, one wonders if a similar universe exists for everyone. The poems do seem to express more and more of what something, maybe my body, holds dear. At times I'll act purely on knowledge of the poems, because they feel more compelling than so-called reality. Chalcedony's world seems more interesting, more powerful, and, ultimately, more real.

About Clive

"Penetrating curiosity" is what his elementary school teacher saw in Clive Matson. Writing a poem about the wind -- in Southern California hills behind the avocado ranch where he grew up -- and reading the first page of Joyce's Portrait of an Artist ...

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Published Reviews

Jan.29.2008

"Anyone who's had the creativity beaten out of them at some point in our society's educational system - which may mean all of you - would do well to check out Oakland poet Clive Matson's creative...

Member Reviews

former member's picture
Jul.02.2008
by former member
Now look people, ya’ll know I’m just a country boy, ain’t been to them big colleges of ivory stairs and cut-glass marble floors, but you can bet that...