In The Beginning

April 16, 2016 § Leave a comment

In the beginning there was only the holy darkness,
and in that darkness there was a moment of chaos,
and the darkness shattered,
and a great buzzing occurred, a sound that was not there before,
and all the beings in the holy darkness thought that they knew
all about the accident, knew what, and why, and wherefore…
and they were righteous.

When the darkness shattered shards of light scattered
and the righteous believed they could see, truly see,
and they began to dictate, and rule, and control those who were born after
the days of holy darkness.

The righteous believed they could see
never understanding that the light was an illusion
and the noise was a lie.
The truth, the enlightenment, was back in the darkness
Where chaos always lived
where there was no sight
where the silence was as heavy as flesh.

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What Are We Doing Here

April 16, 2016 § Leave a comment

Even in the light of day the stars are shining down on us.

The sun cascades behind the horizon as if the earth is as
flat as the celestial mysteries hidden far beyond our clouds.

No one knows the mountain, shown in the half moon light that crosses
over the river, one passing the other like a mirror reflecting a casual glance; no one knows that mountain.

A dog barks.
I sight a deer in wild bamboo—

What is it doing here?

The Lunch Affair

January 31, 2016 § Leave a comment

It had always begun the same,
innocent enough,
it began with coffee.

Before you knew it
innocent strolls,
sidewalk banter and office breaks.

Office breaks turned
to confessions,
of love over lunch

Peruvian Chicken with steamed rice.
The chicken was good,
but the love was served too late.

It had made us sick
All of us, even
the ones not invited to lunch.

Art Lovers

July 26, 2015 § Leave a comment

1.

I straddle my lover’s lap and read Walt Whitman to him.
I whisper exhalations of “Song of Myself” like
talking dirty
and my legs tighten around his waist
because literature and poetry is our aphrodisiac.

My lover’s face is in my hair, his lips brush
the corner of my moving mouth
and his soft hush voice in my ear
repeating, keep reading, keep reading…
As “Leave of Grass” escape my fingers and hit
the floor with a gentle thud
my lover’s arms are around me with fingers
in my back up under my clothing
And Whitman is smiling
because he wrote about such wonderful naughty things.

2.
My lover paints me naked
he paints each imperfect curve
languid strokes of blue
hips, breasts, legs, and belly
round and rounder still
the painting always changing color
and never finished
This is the work we do together
being and being and being.
The paint never drying.

Sketching Poetry advice from Robert Hass

April 17, 2015 § Leave a comment

In my last post I had mentioned the first of my online classes through the University of Iowa and the Canvas project- did I mention this course was free? There is good in the world. I had really enjoyed some of the suggestions that Robert Hass had offered for coming up with ideas for poems and which are all apart of the beginning of the course of How Writers Write. I’ve been journaling/notebooking, scraping, and sketching since I was a teenager, but I had never really thought of it as a part of my writing process. Honestly, I’d never really been sure what I was doing and I definitely didn’t know what to do with all of the words, ideas, and thoughts. My notes and writing have always lacked discipline and I’ve gone months with out writing a word, so having this class is a nice way to start jotting down some randomness.

In my last post I also wrote out Robert Hass‘s breakdown of sketching. My understanding of it is that you don’t really plan out your thoughts or words but just let things fall as they may. It could be nonsense, it could be bad, or you could get something really inspiring, but the outcome at this point doesn’t matter. What matters is that you are generating some ideas, some words onto the paper.

  1. Start with a basic line
  2. write a second line: try the call and response- let the second line surprise you.
  3. Write out three lines which is the rhythm of the body
  4. Write out four lines- the rhythm of the mind.

His first video instruction was to look around your room, and your space and write a single line. I had stopped the video and wrote down 5 lines based on observations around me.

  1. This empty bottle waits for me to fill it.
  2. On my night stand I see a Chinese warrior with a bronze Japanese rabbit at his feet, and the bone of an ancient civilization safely kept behind a framed piece of glass.
  3. My laundry hangs like wilted flowers over an overturned bed frame and opened lockers.
  4. Oh these books these awful books.
  5. How I wish my lamp were a crystal ball.

Next was to write the second line. I could do either a call and response or whatever came to my mind. In the next following sentences I didn’t really take much time to think about what I was writing but just to allow myself to write- something whatever. The most important point that I’m taking away from it is not to critic what I’m writing but to just write it.

  1. This empty bottle waits for me to fill it
    but who will drink from it when I’m gone?
  2. Dear Chinese warrior with the bronze Japanese rabbit at your feet- do you know what is behind you?
    Ancient words carved into bone as fragile as glass and as clear as stone.
  3. Oh these books these awful books
    lies of little children.
  4. I wish my lamp were a crystal ball.
    And if it were, what would you ask for?

 

For the three lines he suggested another approach- one was to quickly write out a paragraph that came to your mind and then to pull the three lines from the paragraph.

  1. I awoke with a panic this morning. The same if not worse than before. There was drool, actual drool on my pillow, my heart was racing, and my mind was sunk into some kind of a hole. Where was I? What kind of anxiety was attacking my dreams, and what were my dreams telling me? There is no manual for this kind of suffering.
  2. I awoke with panic
    The same and worse then before
    dreams lost in the whole of my mind

Then for finding the four line poem he went back to suggesting that we take our ideas from the room that we are in. To use your observations and to just let the lines fall into place one after the other.

  1. I’m sitting on the dirty floor
    watching and listing to you read poetry
    We’ve never met before
    but I’m here, listening to your stories.

Anyway, something like that. Are they poems? No. Can they be? Sure it’s possible. Can I scrap them and toss them away? If I want- that’s my choice. It’s just the beginning. Only the beginning.

Blondie and The Six year old

January 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

This is very much a work in progress. I’m not sure how I want the stanza or the mood or anything for that matter. I was doing some imagery exercises and this game out of that, but there is a lot of work to be done on it.

Almost midnight,
Ten minutes till the Debbie Harry Interview.
mother is in bed
pressed against the boyfriend,
the one with the black beard, like a pirate’s.

The living room, my new bedroom,
holds the key to my mistress of music.
I crawl from the sheets, flannel,
pj’s spark blue and crack,
soft palms press against tweed plaid
couch, hard and rough on my skin,
but I’m young I can handle the couch.

White ghost feet, toes spread
to slip into the brown shag carpet
like sand slipping between my toes
and to my knees and hands
as silent as a cat on the
kitchen counter, I crawl
breathless to the black stereo.

The record player with the Am/FM radio.
I pinch the dial and carefully,
slowly, slowly,
turn the black metal knob.
The click is like bones cracking
and the rooms echos
like a scream into a cavern.
I lie still listening
to the sounds in the next
room.
New boyfriend does not
find my behaviors cute
and does not spare the rod, but she is worth it.
Crickets orchestrate classical melodies from behind
sealed glass, but there is no other sound except the exhalation of the house and my breath.

I slide closer to the speaker,
the hiss and crack of airwaves
tickle the hairs in my ear
as I press my cheek into the
soft but scratchy fabric that
stretches like a band over the
speaker. It is like a seal that
separates her from me.
I know if I could peel back the fabric and climb inside that I
would fall into the studio, like
Alice fell into the rabbit hole,
I would fall to her white pumps
and she would kneel down to
smile at me
her platinum blonde shag
falling about her delicate cheekbones.
“Why hello. I’m Debra Harry. Aren’t you up
way past your bedtime?”

I close my eyes at the first sound of her voice
and fall asleep like
a content serpent around a hot stone.

When I spend too Much Time at Work…

January 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

When I spend too much time at work,
I forget I am a writer,
I forget that it is words that feed me
not dollars,
but the necessity causes me to forget.

When I spend too much time at work,
I forget what my work really is,
craft, poetry, learning, reading, ascension
to language,
it’s easy to forget.

When I spend too much time at work,
I am lost, and my heart aches,
why so blue? “At least you have a job.”
Yes, yes, I have a job,
but I keep forgetting my true work.

Mary Oliver certainly pulls me back into the light.

Thank you to lannanfoundation for posting this to youtube.

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