Monday, August 15, 2016

Mong-Lan writes

Leblon-Ipanema-Copacabana:  Rio de Janeiro

Blessed sand  form of glass  speckling clothes
insensate particle of time  you skirt
over the earth flitting  draping

O-cean  insatiate being  your salt waters divulge in our veins creatures from the depths

The energy field around your lofty-peaked
Mountains  accumulate over time  receiving sun’s rays

Trees  miraculous lush—beacon of greenlight   purespirit  cathedral of sounds      august  ethereal mindstrings 

Eyelashes  lips  earth  mountains of breasts    valleys of buttocks
           magnificent g-strings  entrusting all to look

Sun   lifegiver   entreat us to love the earth as we all should

Rio  the river  a name for a city mistakenly named  is tender
in the mornings

How to find the names of places visited never revisited?
How to shovel away at our lives to find the smallest particle representative of the
whole  what is dearest? 
Backs to sand  we listen to dreams and nightmares

The smells of ocean  sand  &
sex at the beach
samba heart  beating  Bodies
pulsating  gyrating
Such delirious happiness
Cariocas cavort in preparation for Carnaval
Samba music carries hips & buttocks throbbing at nanoseconds  Cariocas feasting
on lyrics & sweaty skin  one another’s
touch  beat within the beat   musicians bleating  throbbing
blowing  strumming 

So many colors under the sun so many suns:  Portuguese moonskin potatochipskin   mulatto skin  black skin & the world
sees itself a mosaic of flaming rain
Garota de Ipanema  a cheap joint where artists sit & drink
to death
next to hills that jut into air
of mist & men & women running  


Not of this earth  both dead & alive
closest to the gods  to God  crosses borders  walking on water  

A life led in many places

Image result for leblon ipanema copacabana


  1. Leblon is the most affluent neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with neighboring Ipanema, to its east, as the second most affluent. Ipanema is from the Tupi language and possibly means "stinky lake" (upaba ["lake"] and nem ["stinky"]) or "bad water; river without fish" (y [water] and panema [bad]). The word did not originally refer to the beach, but to the São Paulo home of José Antonio Moreira Filho, Baron of Ipanema, who owned most of it. Ipanema has long played a role in the city's culture, with its own universities, art galleries, theaters, and cafes, and it hold a separate street parade during Carnival festivities, the Banda de Ipanema, attracting some 50,000 people. Posto 9, a section of the beach around the #9 lifeguard station, has a long history of public pot smoking, police raids, and gatherings of left-wing intellectuals. Beyond Ipanema are two small beaches, Diabo ("Devil") and Arpoador, where surfers go in search of perfect waves, followed by Copacabana, the other world-famous beach in Rio, which also took its original name from Tupi: Sacopenapã ("the way of the socós," a bird, but was renamed in the mid-18th century after the construction of a chapel holding a replica of the Virgen de Copacabana, Bolivia's patron saint. In the 1930s, the 4-km Copacabana promenade was built as a large-scale geometric-wave pavement landscape designed by Roberto Burle Marx. The New Years fireworks display there is one of the world's largest, lasting 15 to 20 minutes and attracting 2 million observers; these celebrations started in the 1950s when Afro-Brazilian cults such as Candomblé and Umbanda gathered in small groups to worship, but the first fireworks display did not occur until 1976.

  2. Mong-Lan, writer, former Stegner Fellow at Stanford Univ, Fulbright Scholar, has published six books of poetry & artwork, two chapbooks, has won prizes such as the Juniper Prize and the Pushcart Prize. Poems have been included in numerous anthologies such as Best American Poetry Anthology. She is currently finishing a novel, with an excerpt forthcoming in the North American Review. Mong-Lan plays the piano and guitar, sings in five languages, and also writes songs. Her nine albums of jazz piano and tangos also showcase her poetry. As a visual artist, Mong-Lan has had her paintings and photographs exhibited in museums such as the Dallas Museum of Art and galleries in the U.S., and in public exhibitions in Tokyo, Seoul, Bangkok, Bali and Buenos Aires. Visit her website:

  3. Thanks Duane!
    This poem is from my latest book, One Thousand Minds Brimming: poetry & art. And also on my CD, Dreaming Orchid: Poetry & Jazz Piano. You can check it all out on my website, Yuurs truly, Mong-Lan

  4. Thanks, Lan. It is indeed a privilege to have you aboard. We all hope you can inundate us with writing, pictures, music.....


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