Patti Smith’s Woolgathering

November 6, 2015 § Leave a comment

I just finished reading Woolgathering by Patti Smith. A tiny little pocket book more poetry than prose, and all truth. It’s a beautiful journey through bits of her childhood. She gently guides us into her childhood mind, and into her childhood world, and it is a lovely journey that I highly recommend.

I always imagined I would write a book, if only a small one, that would carry one away, into a realm that could not be measured nor even remembered.

I imagined a lot of things. That I would shine. That I’d be good. I’d dwell bareheaded on a summit turning a wheel that would turn the earth and undetected, amongst the clouds, I would have some influence; be of some avail.

-Patti Smith, Woolgathering

Don’t you want to write a little book? Don’t you want to be good? Go out and be amongst the clouds and help turn our precious earth. Go Shine.

Enjoy some words of advice from Patti.

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Untitled Poem/Black Dawn

May 9, 2015 § Leave a comment

A new poem, no where near complete. My mother died last year, and I’ve struggled to find a way to write about my feelings of loss and grief, to express my loss, and I just have not been able to. In fact, as far as writing goes, it’s been so quiet, or I feel too tired, or cliche– I’m stunted.
About a month or two after her death (which was an unexpected and sudden death) I had one of my very few dreams about her, and in this dream I woke up with the words: “black dawn she is silent now”.
I wanted to do something with these words; after all they came from my deepest consciousness. They were given to me like a gift, like a message, but more like a code that I have lost the ability to decipher. Today, was the first day that I made something, anything from those words. And, something, anything that can even chip at the surface of my grief is something to me. It’s not a completed poem, the same as any poem that is published here, but at this point to put anything on paper, and then to transfer it to here is an accomplishment for me. So as it is, it is untitled.

 

Black dawn

minutes before,

the cock crows is
blue luminous light, a blink
a slit, below the horizon line

of earth as far as
we can see

from our own perspective
but, our eyes are closed.

We are all sleeping
except for the ghosts

who watch us
wishing they could hold us

still.

I see her in my dreams

rarely,

As I rise from my living death
she returns to her death,
real death,

mother—
languid, somnolent, cries:
don’t leave me.

She is silent now,
and I’m awake.

The Last Painting

November 1, 2014 § Leave a comment

This is still an early draft of a poem I’m working on. I can’t seem to grasp what I’m trying to capture or how to say what I want. The poem at this point is visually interesting and uses many references to actual paintings, but there is a disconnect in this version. Who is talking and who are they talking to and why? These are the questions I still have around this poem. Why is it so important to write it, why not throw it out and move onto something else? Another question.

Fixed like a Japanese etching; He sat alone in his blue
painted room. In the smallest corner, a yellow bed frame.

one pale chair turned out waiting for a guest- any guest
perhaps another painter?
He wrote letters: “Dear brother, dear sister
they do not see what I see.
They do not see what I am showing them.”

In the wheat field crows
gathered around the lonely scarecrow.
Dutch, with an orange beard
a palette in one hand, a brush in the other
supplicating in a blue smock.

He painted thick strokes of yellow wheat.

Ocean blue sky, and a road
long, bending, and coming to an end.
Where are they going?
They had sat on his easel and cawed at his brushstroke.
They scatter like dark clouds spreading news.
The gunshot? Did he paint the expectation of sound?

They flew.
They are
still flying,
all of them,
from painting
to painting-

Over his yellow fields of golden sunflowers;

swirling starry nights;
past the harvest women
and their round full bodies bent

over rows of crimson and purple grapes.
Perched atop his maddened trees
soared over lavender lilies, and
 picked through tactile gardens.

Once the shot was fired they 
drank in his night cafes.
Poured one out for the fallen artist.
Triste! Triste! Caw! Caw!
A TOAST to an artist! CAW!

The crows the murderous ravens.

They love him now.
They covet him, now,
tour his history, now,
his home, his life, his pain.
They understand him now.
In life they never once 
reached
to touch his dark wounded face.

He must have,
before that moment,
silently swayed 
peacefully as golden wheat. His quartered ear
covered by orange hair the color of
a monk’s robe. Smoke at his heart, vermillion at his feet.

The Party Trick

April 16, 2013 § Leave a comment

To impress us
Crystal plucked a burning
coal from the fire pit.

Such a primal
thing, playing with
fire, Prometheus knew this.

We watched besieged
by battlements of
concern, contempt,and curiosity.

Coyotes howled
some distance away
as her hands trembled
with red heat.
Their songs were
not for us.

I turned my
ear toward the
deep woods waiting
for the echo of prey.
Prey never echoes.

Crystal’s palms lifted
night-ward bright, but
not seared. We
observed the flesh
ebb from pink to white.

Shadows danced
her visage stretched
her smile pulled
her face elongated
her black hair
a fire witch.

Cinder ash night
Fire scents, and
Coyote sirens
rising in pitch
our laughter tremulous
after the party trick
moments before a kill.

Dinner cowards beneath
trees and shrubs
as we are called
to the house
to feast.

Crystal applauds to us
to us all
the fire the food the great woods
and the night eyes glowing in the
dark.

(Rewrite from 2009 draft)

The Day after the Flood

February 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

I was in Copenhagen when I had learned that Carley was missing, that she had fallen in the Partnach River.

The dream is always the same.
Steel blue water, cold, silent, like a grave,
and it was a grave.
It had woke me, as it does,
at the point when I see her;
bloated and wedged between two erratic boulders,
ancient, tired rocks,
moved by glaciers, drowned by mountains’ rivers,
and left to press, and squeeze her
like rollers in an wringer washing tube.
Always the same bits of her flesh peeling away like dying salmon,
clouded lidless eyes,
and her name whispered, faint:
Carley.

Something from Anne

January 6, 2011 § 1 Comment

Thank God someone recorded this and someone posted it to youtube so that we could listen to Anne Sexton read this poem. In honor of the Confessional poets (since I posted something from Sylvia Plath previously) I found this youtube post. Her Kind is an amazing poem, but listening to her speak it sends chills through me. I wish I could have been alive to listen to her read it live.

 

Something from Sylvia

January 4, 2011 § 1 Comment

I love Sylvia Plath. She is the one poet I continue to return to. I think that even though she is not considered a beat writer and that she is placed in the category of the confessional poets, I find her to seem very beat. This is a clip that is posted on youtube of her reading her poem Daddy. I love to hear her read this piece. I had never heard her voice before and I have yet to listen to the other recordings, but the powerful cadence of her reading has drawn me even more to this poem that I had never really connected to until now after hearing it read from the poet herself.

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