Monday, August 4, 2014

Poet in the Loop: Elina Petrova

Friendswood Public Library's off the page poetry series presents Poets in the Loop on Wednesday, September 17 at 7pm. Poets in the Loop is a Houston area poetry critique group with published and award winning poets. Join us for an evening of creative and insightful poetry. 

Elina Petrova grew up, studied, and worked as an engineer in Ukraine. She has a number of Russian and Ukrainian publication credits, as well as a book of Russian-language poems. Since she moved to Texas, her poetry has been published in the Houston Poetry Fest Anthology 2013, the Austin IPF “Di-verse-city 2013,” the 2014 and 2015 Texas Poetry Calendar, Harbinger Asylum, Spring 2014, Illya’s Honey, Fall 2014, and FreeFall (“Canada’s Magazine of Exquisite Writing”) Autumn 2014.


All that unites us is a chronicle of rays
and its mistranslations.
Moses depicted with horns by Michelangelo
for San Pietro in Vincoli,
but one example.
Then basics of quantum mechanics:
similar to the double-slit experiment,
thoughts strobe pearls of particles
through lonely pinholes to the screen
until they diffract, interfere –
now waves of interwoven patterns.
That’s how you reach me in 6000 miles,
sit on the corner of my bed and sigh.
Floundering on the edge
shapes a soul more sensitive
than the skin on a burglar’s fingers,
yet it’s nothing to be proud of:
a goldfish sees ultraviolet and infrared light,
butterflies smell pheromones from miles away,
a half-centimeter medusa can be immortal
in the polyp state, if not eaten.
When I think of you, the cat gazes in awe
at something slightly above my head.
I’m too awestruck - by prebiotic chemistry,
the illusion of blue sky over white light,
I’m touched - by people carrying on
like the illegal roofer who sends every dime he earns
to his children in Guatemala,
embraces them on Skype, for five years.
Complex and simple,
all that unites us is a symphony
by the One who told Moses on Sinai,
You shall not see me.

West Houston:
Light Over Neighborhood

At the hour of slack lounge chairs
and monotonous rotor blades
of a sheriff’s chopper circling,
colors become so intense
that tarnished driveways
glow like shist with apricot grains,
lawns float, unreal emerald,
through a pink haze of crape myrtles.
Garages are open: in a doorway
a neighbor stands in his shorts only –
a stout question mark
with a glass of carmine Thai tea.
The off-white, rheumy-eyed cat
walks through the quiet street and wails,
demanding his portion of tenderness.
Everything spellbound by last dabs of light
looks chokingly mortal
in its ordinariness.

~Elina Petrova

More poems by Elina Petrova:

Watch Elina Petrova read:
Kyoto Dolls & Lithuanian Elegy 


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