Mónica Lou*

*Passionate about contemplation, Mónica Lou Mercadé (Zaragoza 1984) is an artist, photographer and Doctor in Fine Arts from the University of Barcelona and the University School of Design and Engineering of Barcelona ELISAVA (UPF). Dancer and freelance photographer specialized in dance photography, she has worked for renowned international companies, nesting in capitals such as New York and London.
Her work has been exhibited in outstanding national and international museums, such as the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, the Cervantes Institute in Naples, the Museum of Classical Archeology at the University of Cambridge, the European Museum of Modern Art in Barcelona (MEAM), Frederic Marès Museum of Barcelona, the Provincial Museum of Zaragoza and the Pablo Serrano Museum of Zaragoza. 
At the same time, she combines advertising photography with her work as a Master's teacher at Euruni (European Business School of Barcelona), where she teaches photography and design. Visit: http://monicalouphoto.tumblr.com​


Memory Fragment with Mirabai


After reading Bhakti poets 
most of the morning, I open 
the door to the street and 


sun, strong at the top of the huge 
eucalyptus in the park. I walk 
down Page, passing by the cherry 


trees portly with pink. I touch 
the flowers [moths float down 
off my fingers]. On the next 


block, near my car I must drive 
downtown to a meeting, I step 
under a willow just as a breeze 


blows. The leaves make a sound
of ease as if transporting us both 
from the city to a grassy river 


bank—his pale-blue rowboat, 
the slow rush of an old French 
waterwheel—“the beauty of this 


world is causing me to weep.” 



Macaw

Enchanted by the fat pink 
flowers of the cherry trees, I walk 
down Sanchez releasing the locks 
of lingering winter blues


            [the songbirds 
                         add a feeling 
             of freedom
                                       too].


A rap on an apartment window 
makes me stop and glance up. Perched 
on the back of a sofa, a plump macaw 
looks at me, tilting its head as if perplexed, 
trapped behind glass on such 
a liberating day . . .


               but I am soaring now
to Chiapas and the Lacandon—high 
squawks and bright scarlet wings—wild 
brilliance through dense 
jungle leaves.


Poetry by Virginia Barrett


Mid-June

I leave Goodwill with a book for 
you. On Haight and Cole a guy sings 


Cat Stevens, his old guitar plugged into 
a small amplifier. I linger to catch 


the chorus then walk toward the library 
on Page to see if Poetic Memory is 


waiting for me. It’s after 3pm and 
the wind is picking up. I can feel the fog 


creep its way over the park as I could 
always sense snow coming when I 


was a girl. Vermont has nothing to say 
to this West Coast weather—seasons so 


vague they end up being one 
continuous wave. A taste carried you 


back four decades this morning eating 
whitefish for breakfast. Grandma Gussie 


offering you the same in Yiddish at her 
Brooklyn table when you were a kid. 


Two generations nearly gone. I mourned 
my mother most in winter.

 
Waking to Emily 


Rain on the roof after so much sun
not rain but heavy fog dripping in the drain outside


Drain outside                
only sound 
                              sound arousing          you
                                                         somehow


                                        I drift off                     dream again
                       Your dress                 at the top of the stairs
                       a ghost dress      small and slim 
                                                     floating              white
                       the glass case                  a coffin upright


Arranged as if being worn without a body  
the intimate pocket                   stitched at the hip to hold 
paper and pencil should something come upon you 


                                                        Rapture perhaps
or only sound                    of rain
                            a note for a poem
dripping its slow                             slant-ache . . .



                   Opening my eyes 
                                 to the rectangle of window
                    the height of the old eucalyptus trees 
                                                            in the Panhandle 


Swaying slightly as you may have moved        composing 
at the top of the stairs             Morning’s finest syllable


Gray light of a daguerreotype


                             Your unattainable red hair

 
Circles Circling


             
 I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.
                                                     Frank Lloyd Wright


It’s a rare scorching day 
in San Francisco, autumnal equinox, 
as I eat saag paneer at Pakwan in the Mission 
sitting at a table on the sidewalk 
sweating but wanting the sun
while dreaming of the beach
              offering waves and sand
and that particular seagull freedom
of body and soul 


when suddenly I see
a large flock of pigeons take flight—swooping
four graceful rings over the Roxie theater
                                                      precise inspired circles
                                                                                              circling 
                before alighting again 
                             in four long rows
                 on the telephone lines


and I must remind myself that Nature 
dwells always in our hearts as 
these rock doves know
having adapted from life on cliffs 
to the artifices of urban existence
              even embracing the grime
pecking all day at debris

a man in a kilt walks by 
holding his boyfriend’s hand
both have shaved heads
               as monks do
              while traffic continues 
                           flowing on 16th
                           almost like the sound of surf . . . 

Virginia Barrett’s work has most recently appeared in The Writer’s Chronicle, Narrative, and Weaving the Terrain (Dos Gatos Press).  She received a 2017 writer’s residency grant from the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of Taos, NM. Her chapbook, Stars By Any Other Name, was a semi-finalist for the Frost Place Chapbook Competition sponsored by Bull City Press, 2017. Barrett is the editor of two anthologies of contemporary San Francisco poets including OCCUPY SF—poems from the movement. She holds an MFA in Writing and a MAT in Art.