Archive for January 2015

Her Body Soon Following After (Heat-Seeking in 55)

January 31, 2015

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Her Body Soon Followed After (A Heat-Seeking Missive)

Her nose fell first, head over heel,
his smell of warmth so strong,
the opening of his elbow
a window to a long
sun’s day,
his ribs a heated clay
that no
other kiln could fire,
his loins a hearth she could feel
even from afar.

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Here’s a 55 (including the title, which some might feel has been deliberately lengthened) inspired by both the inimitable G-Man and Kerry O’Connor’s prompt on With Real Toads.  Kerry has given the added challenge of using a Robert Herrick style form for the poem.  Kerry  suggested breaking up the Herrick lines by a word count, which would equal 55,  but I’ve gone for a syllabic count, which is why my poem needed such a long title.  (Ha.)

The pic doesn’t really go with it, but since I’m still away from home, using what I can!

What I Might Hunger For (If I could Just Concentrate)

January 27, 2015

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What I Might Hunger For (If I Could Just Concentrate)

Sitting in a diner just outside of
Seattle,
trying to write about what I hunger for,
which is not (like my husband) hash browns–

when a large flushed (for morning) foursome
squeezed round the next table, says loudly
”there was this movie–”

but words
The Big Lebowski
words
“what’s in a white russian–”
(believe me, there was much more)
“anyway?”
(about the movie and kahlua, bowling) —
“Your sour cream pancakes–”
as I try to think about, you know–
“I LOVE Victoria”
words.

Words with an edge
(that, the locale of)
“like the sign at that hotel in Canada,”
(someone’s retirement party)
“that said: newly weds–the nearly dead–”

words that wedge meaning
“that rockstar with the name”
into meaning
“like the exit off–”
You know, meaning?
“Route 5.”

All punctuated by–
I feel my own face flushing–
the clink–
as I really do try–
cutlery,
to write
and the cluck
something
the cluck, the cluck
anything
chuck-chuckle
but not those words I–
“you know there are people in Arizona–”
hear–
“your scrambled”–
“who actually HATE”
lettered lenses
that carry me farther than–
I imagine a word chariot, I imagine it drawn by
“the Sea Hawks–”

Words, I want to scream
BE QUIET!
not even hungry
PLLEEASE!
for the eggs
please!
on rye
please!
poached.

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A little frustrated sort of poem.  Posted for the Tuesday Platform on With Real Toads, hosted by the inimitable Kerry O’Connor. This poem was originally inspired by Mama Zen’s words count prompt to write on what you hungered for–I could not get it down to sixty words, which was her limit.   (The Sea Hawks for those outside of the US are the Seattle football team.) 

I am using an old picture for this post–I do not have my iPad with its terrific drawing programs me, so this doesn’t really work–supposed to be a blank notebook–(and eggs)–

Night Feeding

January 25, 2015

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Night Feeding

As the baby nursed,
fingers opened like petals bloomed,
coaxing the breast

as if a huge bee–the breast,
being all the baby knew while nursed,
her mother in flushed bloom.

If flesh were cloth, they would be loomed
as a single weave, the breast,
the fingers, the baby, mother, nursed,

the shuttle sighing, nursed back, forth,
the pattern resting its bloom
against night’s breast.

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Here’s a tritina of sorts (like half a sestina) for Margaret Bednar’s Play It Again Sam on With Real Toads to return to a selected archived prompt.  I’ve used Kerry O’Connor’s prompt to write a flowery poem in an unflowery or uncliched way–this is rather flowery and rather a cliche, I’m afraid–but in writing it,  I was also thinking of Hedgewitch’s cascade prompt–a poem with repeating lines.  Repeating lines were too much for me, but this repeats words!

Essentially, I am saying that I cheated on both prompts, but since I use two–perhaps it adds up to one submission.  (The drawing like the poem is mine; I’m not much good at hands; still, all rights reserved.) 

 

Intimacy

January 23, 2015

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Intimacy

We move at nights as if through sliding sands,
hands cupped.  They’re true sands of a sort–time’s grains,
brain’s siftings–what shifts down from the dreams we man,
woman.  We’re close, yet sleep’s a lonely lane,
feigns, only, a residing populace.

You kiss me back, when I kiss you, surfacing,
pacing contact like swimmers pace the turn,
churn, of head, the breaths in crawl’s spacing,
hastening–but slowly (for in these dunes,
moon’s dominions, all snails glue-footed)–to sink,
unthink, unlink, ourselves, slipping down,
‘round, into, oblivion’s sole skin.

Gingerly, we reach–when self once more floats up
cup-palmed–to catch, to hold–but soft– but softly–touch.

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Here’s a sort of sonnet, inspired originally by the wonderful chained-rhyme Scrimshaw Sonnet, of Hedgewitch, Joy Anne Jones.  I am posting it also for dVerse Poets Pub Prompt, by the inimitable Brian Miller (!), called “breaking and entering” about using a form but also breaking the form.  In this case, I’ve used very poor slant rhyme at times, and there’s at least an extra foot or two in the last line!  Plus I’ve broken up the sonnet in an odd place–after the fifth line, rather than sixth or eighth.

This poem has gone through vastly different iterations.  The places that rhyme leads you are always quite surprising to me–and a few changes of words can and did lead to extremely different poems.  I’m not sure any of them quite say what I wanted!  Still, I rather enjoy following rhyme’s lead–it releases the mind from certain types of decision-making in a way that is quite freeing.  

I am actually posting this from an airplane–a long flight–so I am way too cramped to make a new drawing and re-did this pic I had saved.   I am not sure that the above really works–it’s supposed to be a couple lying down in bed!  (Perhaps moving through sand?) 

In the Soup

January 20, 2015

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In the Soup

The soup at the mouth of the river
is–broadly speaking–vegetable,
despite its heavy oil content,
(not fish chowder, not
bouillabaisse).

The ocean at the underside of the plastic wrap
has not preserved
its freshness.

Whales within range
of sonar waves
swim like the punch drunk
if the punch drunk were puppet-strung
to fall up.

Whales, falling up, surface
too fast; fail.

Even whales that get down again
after their falls up,
face failing.
A swallow
of plastic wrap
is a surfeit
for a whale.

The soup at the mouth of
the river
is like one of those dishes
made of leftovers that, constantly added to,
never diminishes–
octane a la king
heavy metal tettrazini
nitrate roulade
petro-chili goulash bisque
(sometimes with rice).

There are ever more buckets
of it, tons
and megatons.

Maybe as many
as there are drops
of plastic-wrapped
ocean.

Certainly more
than tears shed
for dead whales.

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Here’s another sort of drafty poem riffing on Kerry O’ Connor’s prompt to use a book title for a poem; I am posting this one for the Real Toads Open Forum.  The photo, modified by me, is subject to a common use license–originally made by Whit Wells (Wwells14). 

The Winter of Dreaming Bears

January 18, 2015

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The Winter of Dreaming Bears

It began with grubs,
which the bears felt, instinctively,
were the hub
of the universe.

Bears always dream at least a little
of grubs,
but this was a winter of
false starts, faked ends,
and the slips from freeze to thaw,
from thaw to bone
rawness,
the drips that sharpened into ice picks, then melted
to mud-dulled pools, unmanacled
the bears from their annual
mummification, nudged them
into a snail’s swim, where their ursine minds churned,
overturning remembered stones, snouts
salivating, paws miming a scratch
for those whose burrows they could surely feel
in their fur.

While the grubs, also disturbed
by the fits and starts of
damp, stayed far
from bear furrows, funneled deep
into earth and root–though neither did these sleep,
as trees upended by wind and mud mooned
the mountainsides, discs of rootball
sheared—moving the grubs, in a mote
of wriggle, to dream too,
excessively.

Only the grubs–they dreamed
of the dead; a corpse–be it rotted wood
or bird or mammal–a kind of copse to them, their homeland, godhead,
creating Brahma–

And the dead–what did they dream of?
They will not say; we can’t
surmise–only that when we walk the laced snow pierced
by persistent grasses,
under a sky heavy with new powder turning
to sleet, we like to believe that their sleep
envelopes us, that we too animate
their wintering subconsciousness,

for the dreams of bears do not only
house grubs, the hub
of their universe,
but apples whose rounds shine nearly
within their reach, skies that stretch beyond it;
the dreams of bears smelling
of stars and musk, desire and
bared earth, the dreams of bears,
like so many, following the steps
of a dark, warm, gambol.

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A freshly written poem (I’ll call it a draft of sorts only because it’s quite new and I’m still editing it) for Kerry O’Connor’s wonderful prompt on With Real Toads to write a version of a chosen title.  In this case, the title I used was The ________ of Dreaming _________ (from The City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moer.) (I’m afraid to confess I haven’t read the book.) 

The watercolor above is by Jason Martin.  (Unfortunately, my reproduction of it is a little askew, but it’s a very cool painting.)  

PS I have edited since first posting.