Tag Archives: monday poetry train

Monday Potes on Tuesday: Retro-Pome

I’ve been wanting to write about the birds for weeks. We have character birds in the neighborhood. They are my confidants. But alas, the poem has not unwound itself from the glue-sticky of fresh wordness. So, I am posting a retro poem.

If you can call the early 90’s retro.

I was flipping through an old poetry chapbook I printed 16 years ago and found this funny little piece.

The idea of the poem was to write 3 stanzas using all the the same words, but in a different order each time. I notice that I stayed with the same 4 commas, semi-colon and tab space, too.

But I did take one small liberty. Can anyone spot it? It’s not as hard as you might think. If you do, I will mail this chapbook to you. It feels like freshman Danika Dinsmore poetry, but at the same time, I am surprised at my own young poet mind.

I.
the day is you, is meat
not feet, you are up my what: hunger
take a poem offering, a blood poem,
because it’s what keeps my appetite
at your parade      this is a love been
so full of moves you are always
its table

II.
my appetite keeps because it’s blood
at your feet      this parade moves up
a poem that is love, not
a full table you are offering, it’s
always you what my hunger is, you
are of a poem meat, so take
what the day is: been

III.
this is not a love poem, it’s a
blood poem because that moves,
my offering is what it’s always
been: appetite      you are
so full you take up the day,
you are a parade of meat
is what keeps, hunger
my feet at your table

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Monday Poetry on Tuesday

Cycle of Dizziness

I want to touch the matter in front of me
and say I am recording you
to reassure my science

when I go inside to have a conversation
to appear days later in a foreign place
with David Byrne singing in my ear

ginger is the new black

I’m getting old and all the things
the peace-resters told me are True

little bang little
bang            bang

my medication is grief
I make a tea with
get burnt and sober

sipping my choices

grind myself helpless and thin
or open up wider     to
fall limitless in

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Monday Potes: from 3:15

From this year’s experiment. This is the first 3:15 poem I’ve ever written from a hospital room. I had to take my husband in one night. (He’s fine, btw. He had a nasty virus.)

Aug 4, 2010

Vancouver General Hospital
Vancouver, BC

the moon is red
like a sci-fi planet
surreal in the night
out the emergency taxi window
three cats to the wind
then all windows vanish and replace
themselves w/white hum
disembodied voices test for cures
charts mark the anaesthetic blocks
to your hands and feet
you’re the patient under the sheet
you have a fever of 101˚
you ask if you are dead
not yet
on the TV a man kills
8 in Connecticut but you
are safe for one more red moon
rise             more red blood sun
the plasma rays reach out
touch earth skin
heat it like your neck
fevered and quiet
except for the occasional
moan                   what’s the occasion?
lying in a hospital bed
the familiar feeling of
a body breaking down
its limits
cosmic and uncertain

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Monday Potes ~ A Room of One’s Own

Moving my belongings into the old shed / new office space was overwhelming. I’ve uncovered things that have been boxed for over 5 years. Items I had thought lost or had forgotten about entirely, stirring both melancholy and joy.

Inspired by my own creation, I stepped back to write about the space, remembering the lines of Virgina Woolf’s essay A Room of One’s Own that I read 20 years ago as an English major: A woman must have money and a room of her own in order to write fiction.

I haven’t had a room of my very own in over 7 years. I know there are women (and men) out there who may never have this privilege, so I feel quite blessed. If you haven’t carved out a room (or a space if en entire room is impossible), I highly recommend it. And when you do, or if you have, just sit in silence with it for a while, then write whatever comes.

A Room of One’s Own

Virginia Woolf knew
how we would sacrifice our selves
daily to keep the world running
behind the scenes

The space I have staked has her ghost
prints all over it

Sometimes I shut myself inside
and cry for every injustice my world
has conceived

Sometimes I just breathe and watch
the imperfections of my cocoon
assume my humanity

I speak with inanimate objects because
I choose to believe gods are everywhere
one moment after another we choose and live
until we don’t

I have unopened every box
and scattered the remains of
lovers     punishments   and sin

I have ordered my papers and colours
by categories of want
instead of should and could

I have retread and retraced
every floorboard every pebble-path
of strangled enlightenment

In the quiet cold
every object stretches and
opens its eyes in a brilliant
cacophony of years

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Filed under behind the scenes, poetry, renovation, writing life

Spider Relocation Project – Casualties to Date: 1

There was bound to be a casualty sooner or later. Spider relocation is risky business.

I didn’t mean to do it, but I wasn’t exactly looking out for the little guys as I caulked the room. I was just caulking along and ZOOP, accidentally caulked a spider into a crack. Egad!

Condolences to the wee beast’s family and a tribute – an oldie but a goodie from my chapbook Her Red Book.

Days After the Spider was Dead

She knew that time of year
when trees invent new colors and the sunset
from a pacific Northwest train is an
angelic hole in an otherwise clouded sky

She’d been waiting for some appropriate
memorial for the dead spider
Big-as-Your-Hand leg span tennis-shoed
into a basement carpet as 40-year-old
schoolboys revisit songs they’d written
long before the world had bitten them in two
sent them separate ways with a melancholy glance

She sat mesmerized by her lover’s fingers
and his “forgive me I’m out of practice” smile
until the spider incident
knocked against her head
the spider later to be
reincarnated as a
deaf child whose parents grow frustrated
after years of misunderstanding
a deaf child who will only hear music
in her nightmares
as long fingers reach through webs like
musical notes and catch her
by the hair

The reunion is over now the basement graveyard
lights out cold fall streets
smear pages of leaves wet with timely rain
her lover’s hand takes hers during
Ave Maria in church on a Sunday and she thinks
I didn’t even know that spider’s name…

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Karlstejn

Thinking about hanging out in Plsen with Bernie and Phil made me a bit nostalgic. It was 9 years ago that I lived in Prague. Karlstejn is one of my favourite pieces I wrote while there.

Karlstejn
3.8.00

it was the injured grasshopper that finally
caught my attention, flanked by a wasp,
in the foot path, too late for you, buddy,
i said, too late. that and the 72 meter deep
castle well. a man poured a cupful of

dobra voda
down the shaft and we all waited,
watched as it finally hit the surface of the water,
sparkled for a good 2 minutes. below castle,
man fishing from canoe on the river. i’m lazy
i don’t take photographs. drunk, too. one

pivo
and i don’t know where i am. 40 minutes
early for the train so i walk around the quiet
block that smells of yesterday’s garbage
guarded by colorful flowers. study the leaves. i

could be anywhere
. tiger-cat in field stalks
butterflies until it sees me, i wave and it makes
off gazellish like never to be seen again. i
caught its green eyes. thought we made a
connection. i spoke. perhaps it didn’t recognize
my language. back to the train station i long for
a real companion. marigold, rose, you bright
nameless purple thing – yes, don’t you mock
my loneliness. we’re all pitiful historians.
it’s not true – what they told us at the castle.
we’ve always been here at this tourist attraction.
it was built for us. we can only walk away.
i walk away. man on the corner keeps
locked-up cockatiels. they can’t scatter
when he comes. every other thing
is a holy relic. and i am the suffering christ.

~ ~ ~

hop on the train.

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