Tag Archives: poetry train

3:15 AM – August 8, 2009

I decided to share this 3:15 Experiment poem not because its one of my favourites or for its fine literary quality, but because it is such 3:15 language… that and I don’t remember writing it!

I remember writing, I recall my hand moving by some force, but I don’t recall any of these words (and some I’ve had to interpret as they were illegible), where they came from, or to what they were referring – other than the fact that my husband went bike-camping on Mayne Island and saw views of islands.

This is something that continually fascinates me about the experiment, that I could actually physically write, but not be conscious while doing it.

August, 8, 2009
Vancouver, BC

I have frozen in this
finite heat.  the islands,
the islands have mass and must wait.
temptation.  the islands have both the
call and response.  we were there.
come.

Witnesses may always refuse -
then we’re stuck hungrily
hiring the land.

I started on land & ended on air
I swallowed the clues
ingested     as my own DNA

The island lines up
my timing near-perfect

Bring her in.  Bring them
all in.
time for a game
a test of time.

milquetoast

The pieces are mulled over
the den gone.  Civilized votes any
confidence
a circular witness : a time beast

The water comes.  The room is
occupied.  We have the presence
of salt to slow them down.

And eyes on the backs
of our heads.

My favourite thing about it is the random word “milquetoast” that appears in the middle of the poem. In my journal I had started a new page and written that at the top, then drew a line underneath it.

You can still JOIN in the madness… there are 20 days left to participate in the 3:15 Experiment.

The 2nd Official 3:15 Experiment Anthology

The 2nd Official 3:15 Experiment Anthology

HOW TO DO THE 3:15 EXPERIMENT:

* Begin at 3:15 AM on August 1st (so set your alarms on JULY 31) . Continue each day until August 31.
* You may write any length, style, form, content, voice, rhythm, etc.
* DO NOT EDIT your work. This is raw stuff, baby. That’s part of the experiment. You are welcome to edit, collage, break apart the poems later for whatever purpose you choose, but please SHARE THE RAW STUFF with the rest of the group here or on the website once the experiment is over.
* (Optional) Do not read what you have written until the month is over, except to skim the work to make sure everything is legible.

TIPS: Do not use a felt tip pen unless you don’t care about ink stains on your bed. Many a poet has fallen asleep in the middle of writing. If you can help it, don’t even get out of bed! The point is to ride that dream state, that precarious point between sleeping and waking and sleeping.

(This is the first year I have broken the “optional” rule and shared poems during the month. )

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Dropped Pages: solar strings

This was a poem dropped from Her Red Book. I still might include it in another book.

solar strings

dust is beautiful
it floats in the stratosphere
above the cumulonimbus
and diffuses the waves
making the sky blue
azuring the eyes
of the nomadic poet
who learns the names
of constellations
like pop songs
singing them in her head
without sound
with only light
electromagnetic rays
that bounce around the nape of her heart
because in the middle world
there is a such thing
as sunshine

Jump on The Monday Night Poetry Train

The words “middle world” did not appear in the original poem. I borrowed them after hearing this wonderful post on TED. If you have 20 minutes to spare, this will curl your brain:

Richard Dawkins Speaks on our Queer Universe.

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Dropped Pages: On the Night She Signed up for French Lessons

This is an odd little poem that was dropped from Her Red Book.

(I’m not sure how the title relates… I think I literally signed up for French Lessons that evening.)

~ ~ ~

On the Night She Signed up for French Lessons

The heat getting to her
she was hallucinating
one postcard from Gualala and she’s got
the Pulitzer Prize

Never mind the extra weight since she’s turned to
chocolate cigarettes from Holland
putting back everything she’s ever stolen

a glance
a minute or two in the executive chair
with her eyes closed

Funny thing was
every time she stepped out of the kitchen she was startled
by a man sitting at the diningroom table
turns out
it was only her raincoat and a potted cactus

She sees familiar names in NY magazines
and thinks I’ve got to get out of here.

It’s going to be a slow accent the kind you build
over time moving steadily north
she’ll practice first by ordering food or asking directions
she says
nobody really notices you anymore

except when you’re pinching fruit

~ ~ ~

Hop on The Poetry Train


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Dropped Pages: On the Night of the Flood of Ghosts

Dropped Pages is a series of poems that were originally dropped from my books and chapbooks. I have reclaimed them here.

Dropped from Her Red Book

On the Night of the Flood of Ghosts

He says we’re those kind of friends
some day
one of us will be at the other’s funeral
she pulls the death card    scythe and burning vardo

in Texas flooding takes their friend’s home away
and homes in Russia and the streets of Prague
as Nigerian women sit
on the dock at Texaco     and threaten
to remove their clothing

she says     the further we get
from the heartache
the more we
can love the ghost of it
recalling the decree of separation
that left her the Toyota Corolla darkroom
equipment piano and one cat named Quincy

They revisit old loves
who now have new loves they get
lost in the tarot deck     seek advice from kettles
and feathers and stones     she says
over his breaking heart
We’ll move to the woods
let everything around us grow wild

~ ~ ~

Time to ride The TRAIN

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Dropped Pages: On the Night of the Angelic Ellipse

Dropped Pages is a series of poems that were originally dropped from my books and chapbooks. I have reclaimed them here.

Dropped from Her Red Book

On the Night of the Angelic Ellipse

She confuses her back porch for
something wayward
circles the peeling paint and rusty cans
like wrinkles in a plan

The white of her new uniform
makes her smile while looking
into classmates eyes
opening their chests
fire escapes
overcomes
their beautiful round faces

The Korean instructor
places his hand over her heart
and when he moves
away     she still feels
presence     whispering
in a halo

She swears there are angels in
the room when the lights are
down    eyes closed
she senses     a pressure from across
the room and a voice counts to ten…

At home in post-yoga trance
a friend explains to her
the mathematic symbolism
of the ellipse
the center of which is equidistant
from two communal circles
a macrocosm   the voice delights
an architecture

I’ve always liked the word orbit
she admits     the voice nods
It’s good to travel around the sun

~ ~ ~

Hop on the Poetry Train

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Dropped Pages – Whale Calls

Late for the train. Let’s blame it on the time change, shall we?

This was a poem dropped from Every Day Angels and Other Near Death Experiences.

whale calls

clouds in two separate directions
     move overhead
skink on rock, copper head
world a smooth glass
the largeness
     of your palm on my ribs
I was going to sleep

before in the jungle your smile
I couldn’t help
but love that
every step gentle
     the way it should be
each stop equal to the last or next
balancing at the base or edge of something
I understand you

hanakapai beach milky way fired from pink
you take pictures of a young couple
celebrating by the shore
          like out of travel magazines
where the girl is perfect and the
boy so careful in her presence

I lost the shell I picked from the beach the one
you blew as a miniature instrument in the
rental car where I think I dropped it
nothing was coming home with me
not even you

and I knew this before we left for the journey
I was unstuck in time
and saw our parting as one
continuous moment
as I dreamt it always but kept
under a spell

your footprints in the sand I walk inside of
     forward     and backward
I watch you read or pick lemons

the way your feet turn in as you walk
the breath at which you
     confidently blow     sweet low music
whale calls

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

da train!  da train!

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Dropped Pages – On the Night She Left Her Form

Dropped Pages is a series of poems that were originally dropped from my books or chapbooks. I have reclaimed them here.

~ ~ ~

This poem was dropped from Her Red Book. I’ve been tweaking it for years and have never been completely happy with it. Who was it that said perfection is the enemy of done?

On the Night She Left Her Form

her form is an extension of content
so these spaces     the places she blows
     (heart beat)     taps her foot
these things are little character assassinations

she is     content to watch the
parade go by

marching band step
     arpeggio
a graceful dive     speak hours of
concentration
          the lonely
play bagpipes in soft November Vancouver
streets past the hash den past the
heroin alley past the Chinese pot
stickers to Commercial Drive hip hop
studio     where restless father poet
dreams     of NYC     everybody
dreams of NYC     even poets
in NYC dream of NYC

     in the city
formal kisses on the cheek
measure the place born
replace the content
of her mouth’s soul
          form a lightning rod
          shape a gun barrel

(There are actually more spaces in the poem then appear here. Tabs are a pain in the butt in html.)

catch the poetry train, yo.

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Dropped Pages: When I Lived in Egypt

Dropped Pages is a series of poems that were originally dropped from my books or chapbooks. I have reclaimed them here.

~ ~ ~

I wanted to find an older poem, something dropped from my first book, Traffic. I found this funny little poem in the rubble. I think it’s at least 15 years old. It was written as a “mistranslation” of Egyptian Hieroglyphs.

It’s odd how it suddenly shifts into another poem… I wish I had the original hieroglyphs.

You can mistranslate of any piece of foreign writing (as long as you don’t actually know the language, then you get stuck in translation). Russian, Greek, and Egyptian are fun to work with.

When I Lived in Egypt

I saw you down at the baths
toe cold stare
reptile eyes
hollow lips

You had a rose between your fingers
and were feeding slugs and fishes
little pink petals in a bowl

You stoned me with a stare
so I brought you trinkets
to appease your fiery needs
you waved me on
like setting a question free

This bird is a hawk
claws sink earth into
you
a cloudless wind
with teasing breasts
the ripple calls

let me navigate
your drowning

1994? 5?

Jump on the Poetry Train

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