V. Ulea (Vera Zubarev) is a literary
critic, writer and film director. She has a Ph.D. in Russian Literature from the
University of Pennsylvania where she currently teaches. She has published ten
books of prose, poetry, and literary criticism. Her book of poetry, About
Angels, About God, About Poetry, has been recently released by Livingston
Press. Her book of poetry in translation was published in Switzerland (Pano
Verlog, 2003), and a new collection of her poems will be forthcoming the summer
of 2004. Ulea's poetry has appeared in various journals and magazines including
The Literary Review, RE:AL, Neovictorian/Cochlea, The
Eclectic Muse, Timber Creek Review, The Princeton Arts Review, Mind Matters,
and others. She has recently finished a full feature movie, Four Funny
Families, based on Chekhov's plays.
To see a sneak preview of the DVD movie version of About Angels, etc.,
you can click on this
link. If you decide to order the movie on DVD, please click the Contact
option, enter your contact information, and indicate that you want to purchase
About Angels, etc. The price is $15, which includes shipping. THT's
editor has reviewed the movie, and found it witty, charming and amusing. The
ballet dancers who portray Adam and Eve bring a whimsical artistic twist to the story
of phlegmatic Adam, exotic Eve and angels who are not so much fallen as
pre-programmed for disappointment.
"What do you get when you mix ballet, poetry, myth, philosophy, film and the
Bible?" To read Betty Jo Tucker's review of About Angels, etc.,
You can order About Angels, About God, About Poetry by clicking
To order Journey, a ten minute DVD video montage
of Ulea's photography and spoken poetry, with background music by J. S. Bach,
you can click this link. The
price is $10, which includes shipping.
To order Lunar Rhapsody, please click this
You can visit the Four Funny Families web site by clicking here.
Poems are letters forever answered.
Thrown in a drawer, still free to cross
Channels with dusty ancestors,
To observe through holes
Leaks in space through which time is seeping.
Poems are treasures, which no one is seeking,
Castles that always shatter,
Dances with one's own shadow,
Monologues in front of the blank page
Stubbornly offering resistance.
Poems are consonance, unlikely to match
Our rhymeless existence.
Cosmos leaks in the heart of the skies.
A fuss has abated. The soul is ready to listen
To the foreign language of stars,
Whose encoded wisdom
Flashes signals, unable to reach ears
Unequipped for higher frequencies.
The kitchen window fears
A view of eternity with celestial species
All that happens in open space
Has no relation to daily order.
The moon has looked through the window, faced
All discrepancies, and rolled forward.
Man yawns, blessing the end of the day,
Utters his usual "O, Lord!",
Regretting that above those who pray,
There is no one in the entire world.
Loneliness knows just one single sound,
But it constantly tries to squeeze a choir from it.
It rehearses late in the evening
when what goes around comes around.
And it's all night on the air, that lilt.
Loneliness is a master of terrific excuses,
Which let it knock on your door
And enter. It never loses
And wins your company with a lopsided score.
It's only you who are more lonely than loneliness.
Otherwise, you wouldn't let it in,
And cherish it as if it were your greatest bonus
That you'd prefer not to split between
You and mankind. That's how lonely you are.
And only your floorboards know more about it.
In the beginning it was you. And so far
Nothing has changed, since God
Also created this world,
presiding on the same premises
Of loneliness that even he couldn't avoid.
And now it teaches all of you its lesson
In the middle of night
when the moon tries on asteroids.
The distance between the earth and the moon
Is like between you and your closest neighbor.
Say something to see that you're doomed
To not getting feedback. The biggest favor
Of the echoing space that would hardly care
Is the receipt of your voice sent God knows where.
The Language of Poetry
The easier it comes at night,
The more it's painful in the morning:
Its shape and sound in the light
Are not the same. I hear a warning
In creaky syllables. Again
That search for the non-existent language
That brings all back to life as a rain,
And as a rain cannot be managed.
I recognize its luring speech
That flows against all expectations
And always makes its sudden switch
From three to multiple dimensions.
Its tongue's elusive, smooth and swift,
Its structure's supple and uncertain.
All day it's my desire and burden.
It comes at night as an easy gift.
I am forever. You are for a moment.
That's why you are so painful. What to do?
You're in my memory a burning ornament
That once upon a time has been tattooed.
It never heals, it doesn't grow old either.
It's always there for better and for worse.
When you are gone it will be a reminder
Of how all that's momentary hurts.
Moist evening air gets grounded and sparks.
The luminous insects cause its short circuits.
A momentary flash reveals the branching arches
Between the leafy waterfall and surface.
Again that fear of closing eyes to fall
To emptiness. A sleep like execution
Is now postponed to give the sentenced soul
A chance to sink into its last illusion.
A sleepy mind still struggles for its return.
The less it's able to, the more it's anxious.
It finally gives up. "You're going to be reborn"
A thought or a star flares up in it and vanishes.
God and Editors
In six days God created the world,
Six times He appreciated His own creation,
As if He had a general idea while pronouncing His Word
But wasn't sure how it would look in three dimensions.
If He were a poet, a nameless young guy
Naively seeking a literary agent
And hopelessly researching a literary guide,
What kind of criticism he'd receive
one can only imagine.
Indeed, "Where's the logic?" the editor would say,
Rejecting the manuscript, "You first created light
And then the celestial bodies only on the fourth day!"
And he would be absolutely right.
God wasn't obliged to participate in such a battle:
He managed to establish on time certain connections.
So they finally accepted for the Bible
His golden collection.
The Cobweb for the Sun
Two more weeks to watch the skies, to be idle
Like all other nature that knows no fuss.
Except for man there is no other
Creature knowing that August wouldn't last.
Reaching a crescendo, purposeless and aimless,
The summer shines through amber bumblebees
Constantly bothering their silent neighbors
All immortal unlike human beings
Suffering the knowledge of mortality.
You are given two precious weeks
To dissolve in thoughtlessness, starting
This particular moment and ending with
A pair of wings, velvet or gauzy.
Take off and glide in nirvana of lights
Refracted through the prisms of dew on roses
And through the insects' eyes
Playing, like gemstones, in the August sun.
But someone has whispered, and the summer's gone,
Squeezing the nectar of the last second
Into your dreaming mind, almost awakened
Eve as a Daughter-in-Law
Eve was the first one who experienced personally
How it feels to be a daughter-in-law in Eden.
"Under the wing" of God, she had only
The privilege to break even.
In that paradise Eve never felt O.K.
After tasting the Fruit, she realized that the heat was fierce,
And that she was difficult to sculpt, for she wasn't from clay,
And that only abroad she'd find peace.
Talent for Speaking and Creation by Word: Asymmetry
Though God had something to say,
He wasn't really eloquent.
He pronounced one phrase a day
And was silent the whole weekend.
The Velocity of Angels
Angels are tougher than in paintings, like soldiers
Are tougher than their portraits in the royal court.
Angels have well-developed shoulders
And they move with the velocity of your posthumous thought.
Time and Space
Feelings in humans
Are like time in space
(The former moves
While the latter stays).
Time is forever.
Space doesn't live that long
It requires updates.
Time is still wrong
Space is suicidal. It tends to an end.
Time has no goal
Like this evening that no one knows how to spend,
Or the clock on the wall.
Time never stops, it moves ahead.
Space loses that race.
Time never turns backward
Unlike your head,
And is aimed at space.
Space wants stability, tries to be fixed.
It works on the absolute.
Time is unsteady. It constantly leaks
Through space, which it tends to pollute.
Their clash is their factor,
Their meaning, their cutting edge
Like before comes with after
Or forever with the mourning for change.
They are far from agreement.
In them we face
Our weird design
That makes us dream and
Suffer like space
From acting like time.