Tag Archives: poetry

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 and Avoiding the Woolly Worms

It’s Day 28 of the Spider Relocation Project (aka Shed-to-Office-Renovation) and we’ve lost two more little dudes. One was into the vacuum and the other one was painted over with a roller. Sorry guys!

Total Saved: 56*
Total Lost: 3

*It’s possible I could have saved the same spider more than once.

I can’t show you the current status of the renovation because it’s too close to being done! The big reveal will be within the next week, I’m betting. Squee!

For the Monday Poetry Thang, and in the spirit of being concerned about little critters, I bring you (from my book Every Day Angels):

avoiding the woolly worms

I drive 10 miles an hour slower
to avoid them crossing the road
it is the season for so many things
don’t know what they will become
if left to become
some moth or butterfly fluttering to light
but for now they simply creep across every path
subtle as skin
twice as vulnerable
and I know I must be insane crying over
black and orange fuzz-piles on blacktop
as commuters back up I
swerve into the opposing lane my life
an unconcern as worms are enlightened
be free                 be free

in the next lifetime
perhaps they will live
in a great ocean

*            *            *

if you listen to sea turtles laying eggs
it sounds like a moan of human pleasure
exhale so familiar it makes one shiver
afterwards they abandon their young
to predators and elements
return to ocean         straight necks
sun and salt     stinging tears     mistaken
for regret

at recess village school children
shield emerging baby sea turtles
from vultures
They would tear their heads off
if we let them…

they say in Spanish

so few
so few after egg gathering season
ever make it to the water

*            *            *

upstairs I stand at the window
wondering if you are asleep
in the hammock
one leg thrown over the side
it is as if I am looking down
on the memory of something
or a distant happy dream

it is green and dry through the trees
I’m at the window upstairs
as the hammock swings back and forth
and back             and forth
filling the space between us

You wave slowly and I
wave back
far too calm and quiet

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Filed under every day angels, monday poetry thang, poetry, renovation

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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Filed under her red book, monday poetry thang, poetry

Monday Potes* – Sad/Beautiful

*Potes is my personal slang term for poetry. As in, “Yeah, I got my potes on me.”

What has always fascinated me about the sad facets of life (i.e. death of a loved one), is how beauty is the other side of the same coin. I find I am constantly looking into that beautiful sadness.

sad/beautiful

there is a hole and
as the tale goes
an infinite being with arms
like the aftermath
of a bomb

so fearless it ceases
the heart      so certain it
cauterizes the wound of
containment our
little selves
children
of a wiser source enchanting
explosions on the sun

when the moon turned red we
knew we knew
the sudden vast center
expanded    dropping messages
our own tales told
back to us through the machines
we ride

motion is the only way to defeat
the sad beautiful

motion is the only way to ignore
the endless reverberation
of nothing to hold
on to

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Filed under monday poetry thang, poetry

Pause for Repression

Working on transitioning my old home office space into a new one made me realize how oppressive my space was. No wonder I’ve been feeling overwhelmed and underinspired.

But digging through all my papers and files has unearthed some fantastic material. In this particular case, a writing exercise I’ve only used once, so I thought I’d try it again.

The exercise is to title something, and then working through the poem, conclude with the opposite idea/feeling. The concept of “repression” came to me because of my thoughts around my work space. Then I realized how important forms of repression are. We have to repress certain things, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to function as human beings on this planet.

Repression

We must repress ourselves
daily     in order to go on in order
to move a pen, a cup, a stone
we are so small
in our collected selves
we must reduce the disagreeable
to a mumbled prayer and hope to emerge
in a wider existence
an expanded being

There is memory beneath the
fiery doings of the fearful
digging into dreams, loosening the world
we have to trust it is below our feet
and beyond the stars
shedding everything we’ve learned
to cling to

Repression is how we eat our meals and
put the toys away
how we step one foot into the street
turn on faucets and lights and machines

If united we really knew
how infinite our way
we wouldn’t even bother dressing our bodies
we would head straight into the sun
wild and bursting

If you decide to try this exercise, let me know and share the results.

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Filed under poetry, truth and beauty, writing exercises

I Suck at Poetry Month (is it May yet?)

There have been times in my life where the muses drop inspiration bombs so frequently I have to stop my day to take dictation. Where everything flows effortlessly and all I do is download and transcribe.

Then there are times like the past few weeks, where all is sludge and my brain boots are stuck. Where I crawl to the page and whinge like I’m doing math homework. (did I pile on enough metaphors for you?)

What I usually tell my students is to WRITE ANYWAY because you never know what’s going to happen if you do. Write when you don’t feel like it, when the good times are gone. So, I’m taking my own advice. Today, I come kicking and screaming to the keyboard. My solace? That I know I’m not the only writer who experiences this. My writer friend Jackie used to say, “Why do I procrastinate doing the thing I profess to love to do the most?”

Ah, writers. We’re funny like that.

Yesterday on READ WRITE POEM the assignment was to find an old poem that you started or abandoned and pick lines or phrases that please you (or don’t please you) and finish the poem or use the parts to create a brand new piece.

So, I picked out a 12 year old poetry journal and found this silly poem called DOG DAYS OF SUMMER and rewrote it a bit.

Be the first person to figure out the method/pattern I used to write it I will send you a poetry package in the mail!

DOG DAYS OF SUMMER

Do ordinary gatherings differently!
Anchor yanking submissiveness
or fleece someone’s uninvited misanthrope
motivate evermore ridiculousness.

Don’t organize gargantuan dishtowels,
attack your soup over four
Southern Unitarian mystics.
Masticate every rutabaga.

Distance overly garrulous diatribes
and yodel sinfully onto
Finnish sauerkraut. Undulate
mammaries. Manipulate erect rhinos.

Diddle o’er green dewy avons
your saucy offerings.
Flout soliloquies under manifold
moonbeams. Eventfully
regurgitate.

(it almost sounds like something out of Rob Brezny’s Pronoia manual)

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Filed under poetry, random poop, writing exercises

Day 15 of NaPoWriMo

I’ve given up trying to catch up with poems for April. I’ll just write as many as I can during the month and leave it at that.

This “assignment” came from Read Write Poem and I’m not sure what I think of the end result. The idea iss to take a poem that wasn’t working and pick a few lines that you like. Then, sing the lines into a song. Taking the melody, write more lines to go with the poem/song.

I actually think I like my original poem better (the one the first 3 lines came from), but the assignment was fun. I’ve worked my poems into songs before, but never in this manner. The end result isn’t my normal writing style . . . it’s too “sweet” for my tastes – haha.

sung

was her skin soft and welcoming
did you crawl into her
curves of an angel, a friend

did your heart go far away
did your heart come back
with more than you left behind

did your breath turn into one
whole to gaze through
counting the time left to love

did you die a little death
promise the earth
and dreams and the fingers of seeds

did she tie up your wandering
anchor your flight and
ground you impossibly sung?

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Filed under 30 poems in 30 days, poetry, writing exercises

5 of 11 of 30 – April’s NaNoPoMo

Haha, well, I was trying to catch up with the rest of the 30 poems in 30 days folks, but it looks like I’m still lagging behind.

This poem was inspired by the Read Write Poem prompt today which said to “write about the thing you didn’t choose” and, well, orange has never been my favourite colour.

never orange

I’ve never picked you orange
as a favour as a phase        my youth
spent through pinks and purples
stringing the edges of my bedroom
with the white curliness
of imagination
orange was never curly it was
twang an offense
a softball team jersey hoisted upon
the losingest team on the playground
where only once      for a moment
I thought I might find comfort in you
orange, the poppies, sprung about the hill
and me picking a bouquet only to be told
those are California poppies,

you can’t pick them
it’s illegal
orange, you betrayer, you opium den
you prison sentence

you were never the greens of my wardrobe
of my fern forest         nor were you
my brief affair with red
when it offered a chance
a sports car
a negligee
a swiss army knife
orange, I’ve never loved you
never let you under my skin
even in your soft sunrise I’ve taken you
for granted even in your flames

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Filed under 30 poems in 30 days, poetry

August 3:15 2008 Entries Done! Now on to 2009…

I FINALLY finished typing up my 2008 August 3:15 Poems.Woo-hoo!

They were primarily about my stress level that year, writing/producing/directing a low-budget TV show for a boss who loved to bully, ruled by fear, worked people to the bone and spat them out.

But the final entry was different b/c I managed to get out of town for a wedding. So, at least the series ends on a positive note.

August 31, 2008

Nisqually Lodge, Ashford, WA

Oh noble neon abalone*
I am deep in the woods
I have escaped the drum and hum of
the big city and its machine
taken away to a wedding party a
festival of creative minds a reminder of what
my life was like before it was consumed

The monkey is now back inside
my heart not wrenching mind with
chatter to do hub bub    baloo

I am among friends and wine and roast
lamb on a spit     disco ball   little girls in
velvet dresses     baked apples w/a cherry on top
Bosnian mother astrologer godmother circus
ringleader pyrotechnic acrobat all playing in
the yurt w/ DJ wedding cake and 4 pregnant
bridesmaids   Amen   Hallelujah

I did have a former life, it wasn’t a dream
there is a home to come home to
what matters what matters is there
peace it together, baby
don’t forget     the labyrinth
of stones gathers moss     the tree
accepts hugs

*a reference to poet Lee Ann Brown from a present beau I wrote for her years ago (which is a poem formed using only the letters found in the person’s name)

The 3:15 Experiment is an annual collaboration of poets, waking each morning at 3:15 AM during the month of August to write.

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Filed under poetry, The 3:15 Experiment

from August 3:15 2008

I was cruising Art Predator’s blog (highly recommended as a worthy distraction) and was inspired by THIS ENTRY of one of the poems she wrote for last year’s 3:15 Experiment.

I grew DETERMINED to get the rest of my 2008 and 2009 3:15 poems typed up and logged on the the official 3:15 site!!!

As I was doing so, I came across this little goodie from Aug 2008. I don’t recall writing it, I don’t recall if it’s from a dream or a TV show or a conversation. I just thought it was really cool.

3:15 AM
August 25, 2008

pulling 3 monsters in a red wagon
no one knows how she found them
dead or how they were placed   she
was all grins    speechless but sparkling
we take her in     traumatized she speaks
not for 13 years

one day she is looking out the window
like a cat she has always been
cat-like      she turns and asks
what’s for lunch?   and
who is T.S. Elliot?
her afternoons measured     out
like spoons               her words
ring silvery in the living room
we pretend not to be shocked at
her sudden vocalization
egg salad we say
famous poet we say

she turns back to the window
I prefer tuna

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Filed under Collaborations, funny poop, poetry, The 3:15 Experiment