After Pina (for Wim Wenders)

Balancing branches
on his shoulders,
a man stacking
chairs, three
stories high.
Slide on water, swim
for your life.
Leap for joy, generosity.
Sacrifice.
Why this
yearning?

I wanted
to give her
lightness.
I forgot I was shy.
My fragility
was my strength.
She told me to dance
for love.

He wears demon ears,
sits in the last seat.
She stomps
the pillow.
They thrust hips,
buttocks bulge
through shiny dresses.
Little dog nips his nimble
tapping heels.

Ah to be old.
Ah to be young.
Words can only
evoke. That’s where
dance
comes in
again. At the edge
of
a cliff.
Very carefully, two floors
up…from the icy
windowsill,
the Traveler enters.

Dance, dance, or
else we are lost.

Under the flyway
on top of the glacier
restrained by a rope
showered
with dirt.
Where
does this yearning
come from?

O woman in the red
billowy dress,
dance for me.

Dance, dance,
or else we
are lost.

In the forest,
at the bottom
of the lake
in the mine shaft
hundreds of feet
below
the ground.
Tap chest
three times, nod
your head.
Give in
to gravity,
resist
hold back. Unwrap
embrace
spring up
again.

Dance, dance,
or else
we are lost.

January 14, 2012
-Louise Steinman

12 Responses to “After Pina (for Wim Wenders)”

  1. An absoultely stunning poem – way out on a limb on page 61. Glad I had the patence to delve so far. This poem made the trip all the worth while. A wonderful rhythmic ride from beginning, that unfortunately came to an end too soon – with a beautiful cameo at the beginning. Thanks.

  2. where does this yearning come from?
    JOY! thank you louise, a joyous response, can’t wait to see the film!

  3. Regina O'Melveny Says:

    My daughter (a dancer) and I saw the film last week, – what exuberant sorrow, what lingering joy, and now to read your wonderful piece, i could feel the heart of it all over again!

  4. Thank you for the memories off Pina.
    “She danced as if she had a hole in her belly.”
    x dorit

  5. If the film makes such good pieces to be created then I am booking the tickets for tonight. Thnak you Louise for this jurney within…

  6. bumped into wim at ifc theater in nyc
    going into “norwegian wood” him
    coming out from talk on “pina”.
    good zen coming & going moment…
    lulu
    your words are untranslatable blissblipblogbesos! tx jomafuji

  7. I read and enjoyed it, Louise. Thank you for sharing through this poem.

  8. Abbie Phillips Says:

    You did it. Adank.

  9. Waiting for the man with the balancing branches, the mine shaft, the billowy red dress–we just came home from the film, and all your images fell into place. Thank you for this….

  10. Lane Barden Says:

    Is this your photograph? …more on this please Lulu!

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