Mystic Healing Art by Mystic Artist Mr Oscar Basurto

By Giovanna Coppola

your questions answered
another plane leaves, another arrives
the love alive in all places
red bracelets for the mother of love
red bracelets for the mother of love
yellow flowers marigolds
red tika, opening eye
song of stone and fire

--Janine Pommy Vega
from "Red Bracelets"

A Conversation

these fire signs. fireworks make me wild. whenever i see them, i need to jump and laugh and scream, an uncontrollable energy that takes over me where i am no longer in the present, never in the past, no where near the future. i just am. am giovanna.
so one night in mexico, in the bowels of a black mood brought on by the usual love and lust disaster, i sat on a terrace looking out over an old colonial town, the cathedral at the bottom of the hill. i was stone. no part of me moved, anger and rage and hurt stagnant behind my ribs. i sang a poem to the earth, sent it out to the night and just as my throat closed around the last note, just then, just then, just then three bursts of fireworks shot from the cathedral into the sky and i was lifted out of my chair. my arms raised over my head and i sang out a sigh, long drawn out full of breath. the hardness was gone, i could move again and light was in my black mood.


so we were sitting outside eating fresh fish. i could smell the ocean behind my eyes while looking at the green trees of the catskill mountains and i was dreaming about the all the places that she had been, the stories she had seen, the poems she had written, the bionic blasts of words she performed in hundreds of cities.
this was janine pommy vega, beat woman poet of the past, traveler and weaver of the goddess pattern today. we were in woodstock peacefully feasting on dinner after tornadoes and tumultuous thunderstorms ripped through the valley the night before.
janine first appeared in my life when i heard her read her poems at the woodstock poetry festival in 2002. it was just after i returned from italy, where in napoli i had an orgasm that turned my face into a fox. i was more sure than ever before that napoli was in the crease where the spiritual and physical worlds met. and i saw janine on stage reading a poem about napoli, about the mother goddess statues in the archaeological museum, how the mother was surrounding her in that tempestuous city.
and i thought, this was a traveler on the spirit current, this was someone whose work could help me fly and move and dance and scream. and when i read her book, "Tracking the Serpent," about her travels across the world looking for the female spirit, i wanted to explode over and over because this is what i had been looking for. this was someone else who took traveling, any kind of traveling, as a pilgrimage and who could answer why the signs and symbols screamed to me in the different countries.
"i think that traveling is a pilgrimage at many different times, in really small ways," janine said. "i think the thing you're looking for, that open ended thing that you're looking for happens pretty early."
and she told me how in 1982 she was in a head-on collision. and afterwards as she slowly healed, an owl would come to her window every night and sing.
and so after this "year of nights", it was time for her to go somewhere and look for more healing and she went to england. one night, on her way home, she had to walk through a hostile environment and she was afraid, but she heard an owl call to her from down the road.
"this was something telling me here that what i believe in is so. and that how i'm moving to find it is also so. and although i don't know which way i'm going, it doesn't matter. personally, if it goes along, i'll go along."
and that's the point she made in "Tracking the Serpent," published in 1997. traveling as a pilgrimage means that you don't need to know where you're going, just that you're going.

    My desire to slip away from the stories and the choices
    we make to secure our identity in everyday life has borne
    fruit again and again. To go on a pilgrimage, I discovered,
    you do not need to know what you are looking for, only
    that you are looking for something, and need urgently to
    find it. It is the urgency that does the work, a readiness to
    receive that finds the answers.

ultimately, what you are looking for is inside. and when you're traveling, the answers are easier to find because it is just you. all the other people's perceptions of you and your personality, no longer influence you when you are in another city or in a foreign country. you don't speak the language and no one gives a shit about who you are.
so what do you survive on? you are free, you walk around for days without speaking and you constantly observe. and when you do meet someone, what you both say is interesting and important. you learn more about yourself than you could have at home. you learn lessons to problems that have plagued you for years, you reawaken your spirit, you really believe, you know that something is surrounding you. the spirit within that flies around and touches everyone, comes out and dances in front of you.
janine said that traveling can be freeing because you are no longer holding up the personality that everyone in your familiar surroundings could relate to. so what you find inside of yourself is what you see in front of you.

"when you step outside of that, you see the things that you secretly and really do care about come to the foreground in your own consciousness. this is simultaneous to what the universe provides," she said. "and so when these moments come, when you are reaffirmed, something happens. you could be sitting on a bench having a talk with someone, and something resounds within you, something sort of celebrating inside…you were faceless enough to have the encounter."


there are places across the world that i consider home, that hold a piece of me, places that i haven't even seen yet, or know that they exist. it is frightening to leave everything that is familiar to me behind, in order that i search for the pieces of me that are scattered. to find the places of me where i am no longer giovanna, but just am.
moments where i am faceless. stand at the ocean and let it swallow me, my words, my voice. watch the blood moon rise and feel my first drop of blood. scream at the wind as it tears my clothes on top of the mountain.
i am no one. i am everything.

it isn't male it isn't female
it is fire
you can't touch the fire
the fire is stone
wear a ring of red string
found on the ground from a kite
a skirt, a goat's earring
red bracelets
for the mother of love
red bracelets
for the mother of love
red bracelets
for the mother of love
red bracelets
for the mother of love
--Janine Pommy Vega
from "Red Bracelets"


Publications by Janine Pommy Vega

Mad Dogs of Trieste (Black Sparrow Press, 2000)
TRACKING THE SERPENT: Journeys to Four Continents (City Lights, 1997)
The Road to Your House is a Mountain Road (Il Bagatto, 1995)
Red Bracelets (Heaven Bone Press,1993).
Threading the Maze (Cloud Mountain Press, 1992).
Island of the Sun (Longhouse, 1991).
Candles Burn in Memory Town (Sing Sing Anthol, 1988).
Drunk on a Glacier,Talking to Flies (Tooth of Time Press, 1988).
Skywriting (City Lights Editions,1988).
Apex of the Earth's Way (White Pine Press, 1984).
The Bard Owl (Kulchur Press, 1980).
Journal of a Hermit (Cherry Valley Editions, 1979).
Here at the Door (Zone Press, 1978).
Morning Passage (Telephone Books, 1976).
Journal of A Hermit (Cherry Valley Editions, 1975)
Poems to Fernando (City Lights Poet Pocket Series #22, 1968).


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