Thursday, November 30, 2006
If I did have one I imagine she would have a silver disc face framed by a dark shawl. Her eyes are misty green hollows, soft with having seen too much and dreamt too long. She has slender pointed nails and a slipper lip (rounded and slightly fuzzy).
She dwells in a forest among the roots of a Boab tree and she gathers wild flowers and lives on nuts and berries. Her hair is long, soft, wild, and white. She is part dryad.
She is very vague and communicates in half formed words and snatches of dreams.
Most of the time she seems very far away, but sometimes she is very clear and forceful.
Sometimes she has the voice of the wind sighing through the leaves. Sometimes she has the voice of branches snapping and crackling in flames.
into the nor'west,
all my ghosts
horde behind me.
The dusk is pink dust
rolled over the ocean,
the sun is a torch flame
licking the hill crest.
Everything seems serene
in the hot wind huff
along the shoreline,
but the black rainbow
bleeding down from the clouds
cannot be ignored.
My dead mother's voice whispers
from the brown plastic bowl,
the blue and white tin bread bin,
every fibre of carpet and curtain,
every glisten of paua
and curve of driftwood
in our old batch on the coast.
The moon peeps a blind white eye
through a chinked lid of sky -
and like memory
refuses to die.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
choose -- green
lime or shamrock?
paper moneyyellow -- quick!
in a shoebox
trite trite trite
that dead fox stole
on the woman's shoulders
in the Topper movie
wasn't that in black&white?
the fox stole the egg
with its yellow yolk
the muse works in mysterious ways
brrrinnng brrrinng brrrinnng click
SPEAK! !beep! _____________
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Deadline is December 5th.
The winner will receive this set of greeting cards -- ho ho ho.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
I try to ignore her sometimes, because she gets on my nerves and has a propensity to “keep me in check” which is bullshit. I mean, who (exactly) died and made her a muse?
I used to be more inclined towards her bits and pieces, but lately she has bored me. I have been bored with my muse for awhile. Sometimes she will hide away and then eventually come out, usually from a closet, with some weird messed up shit and then eventually, after scourging me properly, for no apparent reason, seeks short term reconciliation, at least long enough to build my trust and let me kick the shit out of her - she'll say - "that's bullshit you stupid bitch!" is the same as a kicking if you scream it loud enough
My muse likes things just so and is kind of like a fairy. She is bigger than a fairy, but that just might be illusion. I am never sure of such things. My muse is stupid, because she is caught up in ideals and thus is pleasured by mechanics of service. The physical favors of machines. The printing of money and the waking of dead things sometimes.
In the winter, she is really annoying. In the winter her one-tracked mind really kicks in. I am led to believe that she truly believes that what she gives to me is for my benefit, but I tend to assert that it is in fact for her benefit. “Shall I argue or be scourged?” I asked one day as I pled. She has never responded. It must be nice.
amidst delicious shadows gone outward after you whisp'ring body the moon joined through appearance crossing you daydreamed haply voice of monday
regards distances swaying together sweeping stranger two-syllabled let's lay each like wanting to light between november and december that desire drunk down we'll remember pleasing given having joy delighted fortune so telling the features flying magnetic silhouettes into excitement widening shaking commotion recombined
fluid upon fluid waves conspire sweet beauty rode nude prescription wildly over tomorrow evening
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Mother, a first grade teacher with muses of her own, later told me she was advised by the small town nose-pokers that imaginary playmates were a sign of mental illness. She was to ignore Baylus, to tell me that what glowed only in my inner eyes was not real. Fortunately, she didn't listen. She held the back door open long enough for Baylus to come through with me if I told her he was lagging and set a place at the table for him if I said he was hungry.
Through Baylus, I saw stories rise out of the woods, fall from the sky on angel wings, swim in the mudpuddles after a hard rain. As I grew older, Baylus no longer followed me around, but he has never left. I still hear him on the edge of a cello note and see him in a tear's reflection. He has never wavered in his determination to remind me to listen with a child's ears and see with a child's eyes, then have the courage to write it.
My Muse (or muse -- she's not one to stand on ceremony) sometimes comes and finds me and starts jabbing me in the ribs subtly. After several days of increasing irritable mood I begin to realize I need to write something. After another three or four days of this I can start writing. I've learned over the years to endure long dry periods alternated with periods of frenzied constant writing. It's one fanatical biorhythm we've worked out together.
Sometimes I have to go seeking after the muse. Sometimes I can find her if I look at the last evening light above the treetops, or if I listen to the crows calling at earliest morning light. Sometimes I can find her if I sit up late reading Lorca or Transtromer or Rexroth or Yosano Akiko or Miroslav Holub or Tom McGrath or Sharon Doubiago or Joy Harjo or Tu Fu or Sappho.
However one of the most reliable ways to find her is to go walking, slowly, the pace of slow ocean waves. This isn't easy living in the center of a huge land mass a couple of thousand miles from the ocean, though the lakes here have enough of a tidal rhythm (if on a smaller scale) to somewhat echo the ocean sound. Water helps but is not essential -- if I just walk at the slow pace, I begin to get the inkling of the muse, the slow walking rhythm which is the basic ground rhythm in most of my poems, I start feeling the tidal pull of the earth and the poems start to float to the surface, and if I'm paying attention I'll start to write.
The muse (or Muse, according to the common custom), or whatever else she cares to be called, has never told me her name.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
More after I meet the rest of the Muses.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
my muse tells me that i can live the life of at least one and a half normal people. he tells me this not in spoken words, but in a series of unconscious gestures. he mocks the way animals communicate. i can never be certain of his intentions, or whether what he says is intended as communication. he eschews absolutes. one day i nearly caught him in a mirror. he looked disturbingly like me. or perhaps i imagined this. the possibility i was simply projecting an image has occurred to us both. creating. this is what my muse wants. to trick me into an act of creation; to disturb the peace. i hate him. i gender my muse, make him a man because men are easier to hate. but on half-asleep afternoons he nearly tells me about his femininity. he makes me wear high-heels when no-one is around. he wants to have my baby. he promises the extra half-life i earn in his service will be of depth, not length. he lords both words and experience over me. he cries if i ignore even one performance. my muse is a devil.
My muse is winged. At first, I mistook her for an angel. She hovered above my bed when I was five. She told me my grandmother died. She told me that I was alive; she told me the dark was nothing to be afraid of; she told me that the dark was my friend. My muse reminds me to live when I forget or try to give up. My muse stops me in the middle of street and shows me a flock of pigeons swirling like fish. She shows me the shadow of the peregrine as it soars through the shadow of me. My muse tells me I can fly like that. My muse tells me I was born with wings. My muse insists I listen to the great horned owl asking the night for love before I go to bed. My muse forms my hand into the cup that scoops up the stunned mourning dove from the sidewalk and places it among the impatiens. My muse reminds me of the pulse in my throat fluttering like a moth; my muse reminds me how thin the skin of my wrist is. When I look into the mirror, I see my muse rolling over and through me, wave after grey wave. When I stand still in autum, I feel her pulling me, lifting my arms to the wind, promising that I am hollow-boned, that I have a soul, that I will rise. Up, she whispers. Up.
Here is what I know about her. She is a naked woman with long dark green hair, green eyes, and light green skin. Sometimes she walks around my home while I write, sometimes she stands behind my desk, other times she sits on my bed. She wears three Hibiscus flowers on her hair, usually pink, sometimes yelow. She drops subtle whispers here and there, words, sentences, titles, ideas. Rarely anything complete from start to finish. I have noticed that there are some words she’s drawn to. “Amber” and “Ecstasy” were two of the first ones I came across after reviewing old poems we wrote.
She often speaks of the moon. She's moody. She is not patient. She's bitchy most of the time. She is telling me to write this. She has asked me to capitalized the word “You” on occasion, saying that “You” should be capitalized the same as “I”. Who knows, maybe she’s right.
At first, I would only hear her voice when I sat at my writing desk. Years later, I saw her for the first time. It was a brief moment. I sat at my desk after a long sabbatical from poetry, and there she was, standing next to me holding out a pen. She whispered “Its time to write”, she then moved behind me and guided me through several poems by whispering words in my ear. From the brief look I got of her, she looked like this.
We’ve developed a working relationship through out the years. We now collaborate more. She has posed for me on occasion, as with this CD cover (on which she had to wear one of my old motorcycle vests for the band to avoid a “Parental Warning” label).
She has made only one request from me. I must mention her every time I raise a glass and toast to something. So, if You and I ever sit together and have a glass of wine, You will say “Cheers”, and I will say “To the Muse, to the moon, and to this moment”.
I want to be introduced to your Muse. Seychelles has been bothering me since yesterday to be introduced to you. She stood on top of the rim of the bear claw white bathtub as I cleaned the grout of the white sink. She sat in the back seat of the black Cherokee on my way to work. "Tell them where I came from" she said. I thought about it and let her simmer a while as I took out the garbage, put another load of laundry to wash, as I sat down and broke rosemary and olive oil bread with my children as I threw bits of chicken to the dog sitting at attention for a bit of morsel as I sat in the computer and uploaded audio as I built another web page. So anyway I will be happy to show you mine if you show me yours.
This is the first part of the December Poetry Challenge.
Tell me about your Muse. Please place your story on a new thread. Please make sure to state on the title that this is a submission to the poetry challenge. Once I have been introduced to at least 10 Muses, I will post the second part of the challenge.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
The deadline to submit to the Winter 2006 issue of Loch Raven Review is Thursday, November 30. The issue will post in December so you won't have to wait long to know if your work is accepted. (Reading period is November 15 - December 15.)
Check out our submissions policy http://www.lochravenreview.net/guidelines.html
Good luck! We hope to see submissions from some of you.
Christopher T. George and Jim Doss
Editors, Loch Raven Review
Loch Raven Review
Monday, November 20, 2006
is a pitiful act. Divest
the volume, skip the intro,
make maps out of your hellos.
Outtake your obeisance!
You have these miraculous
feathers in your throat.
You would like me to coax her
if soot were the probable cause.
Scope the pond for mind-over-leaf.
Mortician says: it will be a willful
display, for the skin is liver-marked.
Spotted among the drips, the crowless feet.
Bank left over the city. There's a stadium.
There you are dressed in pink, a lightning
robbed of its equation, foreground.
I have nonchalance as cover-up, no margin
for error, a felony in the plush peach
sans lips as my only ripe offering.
Beyond the vocal register, it is my sun
the one that rolls its Rs and expects
me to be frightened lifts its dress.
A tar roof, utterly sky. Constellatory.
She is sister, the younger, waif one.
The megaphone is shofar dipped in leg wax.
Et lux begins a descent, you can make it.
The net counts on her. Applause is
the dry laundry of rush hour.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
just never felt that the lobby could hold
You sleeping and me sleeping
Still in our chairs this much later
After the gondola light of downtown pullses
into the glass doors.
At ten o’clock. At 2 o’clock
The Porters’ carts
Brush by now and some are
Neatly arranged by the elevator
(burnished glow in the elevator
door,tallow,You going over/upsetting a lamp
I say now it’s no crisis
But the out-of-town couple ready to check in
for the day
They’re looking rather defiant. Happy
Everything is set
Give me that key junior
He has his hand on her neck.
She’s not backing into his knee, exactly.
Though we couldn’t tell, very well,
from this sleepy angle,
whether they were walking,
But 20 stories above
It’s Less confused
The clean sheets and the hot water
The good view
not a concern of ethics
Not many colors;sculpting
Reds and bronzes
Same in the tapestries on the walls
And on the walls
Which are just
a few feet away
like a dove returned home.
His hands fold like wings
against her back and raise her up.
In his kiss she feels the wild
flutter of sky, in his gaze
the quickening of lightning.
He is the nest
and the edge of the storm,
she's poised like a feather
on the rim.
Friday, November 17, 2006
was on my mind that night,
the one that destroyed all categories
into which everyone must neatly fit.
I know there were natives present.
But everywhere one goes, it seems,
there are natives. What was I thinking
that has broken barriers down?
Is there a word that transcends all difference
and sets me on God’s ground, unafraid
yet unable to forget those people I was
filing away? Was it in a dream?
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
a junkies palette of primary colours
reflects / green red orange / off the wet pave ment /
it's 3 am in the morn ing
& we are doing / the east side shuffle
the east side / getting high / getting
down / getting home scuffle
& that boy / with his tattoo skin /
cover ed in / ink / coat ed in / pain
keeps pace be side me /
a skate board under his arm
he looks at me /
& rain drips from his eye brows
his worn converse runners / slop a long
as we / trace the bus route / back to
the cock roach hotel / also known as
13th street / the place where i live
november rain soaks us
my hair stuck wet / to my face / &
my jeans are heavy / plaster ed to my legs /
& my hands are red / & my hands are cold
34 city blocks / fuck /
i wish i had a car /
& that boy
he smiles @ me /
& tips his face to the sky / his veins
are full / of sugar water & poison
& / i want to get him home to 13th street
to where i live / so i can taste his hands /
so i can press up a gainst /
his shiver ing body
rain falls / in never end ing streaks /
white lines spill thru the haze of coastal fog /
block after block / of orange
street light & white rain & we / keep walk ing
there is no end ing / only the middle of
the end / there is no / love / just attraction
we have / cigarettes & speed /
it's a mutual under stand ing /
there is no moral crisis / there is /
only me & the boy walk ing home /
in the rain
glob along beaches,
golden ovals on black shoals of shingle.
They bounce against the edges of cities,
quiver and wobble beneath the velvet cloth
upon which the moon glimmers a rib-bone.
Endlessly pining, they seek
to engage one another, never realising
the birth they long for is their own.
Slick, thick, oily membrane envelops them
repelling friend and foe alike.
They remain trapped in their aloneness,
cast about themselves for points of view,
for the blade of truth that sets them free.
Alas they bobble,
little bobbleheads -
one by one
down the streets of the enfolding years -
blind, deaf, dumb,
reproducing in brief mitosis,
storing data in streams of binary codes
to explain why they are alone.
A collection of knowledge, opinions
from this one and that,
in attempts at longevity,
the hope that accumulated chicken scratches
might someday illuminate -
never realising the perfect completeness
of their viscous egglike forms,
missing the white light that flares within.
it crept into a couple of things I had been messing about with.
In my hand I hold a desert rose,
chalk edges on petals of stone.
I am the moon,
dusted into your eyes.
The sound of your name,
soft as sands
flowing to the call
of the wind in the desert,
eats away the stone
bloomed in my palm.
In the hot breath of rose
we fade -
Monday, November 13, 2006
moon, silver, water, wind
voice that calls out rolling over the treetops.
moon, silver, water, wind, leaves, wings, night.
the light fails at the end of the year,
light of the heart, curled to a whisper.
sitting in your house we look at each other
with blank eyes. bare oracle a kitchen light.
october leaves in the yard. the rug
pungent with ammonia and salt. the cat
hops cinnamon-furred room to room
chasing lights that vanish, her eyes
crazy green comprehending. you streak
our faces with phosphorescent paint.
walking out into the dark we become
pale green skeletons, x-rays of ourselves.
we look to each other for solace, for promise,
and find shadow, bird bones, nothing.
at the bus stop i get on the bus
and you turn and walk back home.
mist that spills out rolling among the tree trunks.
car headlights along the lake. we speak
and our words pass through each other, like this.
night, silver, leaves, wings, wind, water, moon.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Don’t say that my heart is the moon;
you aren’t the earth and my love is not a distant
satellite, pulled. My heart isn’t that sharp curve,
a scythe that rises only under cover of darkness.
My heart is not that hole when the moon
is new and its light, absent. My heart is not full;
it does not call to wolves or signal harvest.
My heart is a witch. My heart is a dog.
My heart is a brick. My heart is a tornado,
a wind spinning back on itself. My heart can tear
a house apart. Don’t you get it? My love is oil
and straw. My love is a fear-filled roar. My love
is the red field that lulls. My love is heels. My love
is the road. My love is the impossible journey home.
Friday, November 10, 2006
why I found the Bolero to be so arousing
until this afternoon.
I was standing on the pier
that crowns the end of South Beach
listening to the tide come in.
That is when I realized
that the Bolero is a symphony
that depicts a sexual journey.
Its rhythm is a slow mantra like the sea
music balanced on the wave’s crest.
A subliminal audio aphrodisiac.
Ebb. Flow. The slow hammer
of the hip orchestrated in rhapsody.
The Bolero begins quietly.
A flute plays over the rhythm of a snare drum.
A reference to the phallus
and the heart’s response to sexual stimulation.
The melody is then passed
between different instruments
bassoons, the oboe, trombone.
An obvious allure to the importance of foreplay
and the worship of different body parts.
The accompaniment becomes gradually
thicker and louder until the whole orchestra
is playing at the very end.
Passion. Crescendo. Climax. A succession of Yesses.
The sound progresses from soft to loud
and just before the end,
there is a sudden change of key.
The sound descends from a dissonant
B-flat chord to a C-major chord.
And finally, it becomes that melody
you remember enjoying, but
can’t quite recall what its called.
You're out the door.
I stood a the pier at the end of South Beach
this afternoon and heard the tide come in.
I remembered a woman I made love to years ago,
she had long dark hair, and beautiful brown eyes.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
That night after the theater,
me and me crossed lives
a second apart. Tick.
I knew the tin man’s chest
would always be hollow. Tock.
You would find out years later.
We were in my car, the top was down,
I saw the moon pedaling
the sky in slow motion.
She sliced a yellow path
through the canopy of clouds,
her crescent edges sharp as hunger pains.
She was young and thin and her face
made mine glow like a moan.
I was falling.
Falling like a glass kite
on the sky's black painted bricks.
Lava flowed around my pelvis.
My skin burned like a witch.
I saw your dark mane swooping
up my chest, your anklet’s bells
reminisced of Pink Floyd’s “Money”
while your leg stretched below
the glove compartment.
You asked me if I loved you.
I said Yes.
Tick. If the moon’s crescent edge
had sliced my silver can,
instead of clouds,
you would have known the truth
much sooner. Tock.
raking our ground,
the dirt of our past.
to hang on to the things
we each grew out of,
laughing about the fires
that burn us away
to take us back
clean and bright,
calling aloud to us
Sunday, November 05, 2006
(not to be confused with Wolverton
Mountain)so while I was cleaning out
the garage I found a hand-scrawled
copy this poem which I posted on
my blog awhile back.
under her breasts
to hide the bulge
walks into the pizza place
and triggers the bomb.
There’s no sound,
That was easy,
everything became nothing…
They find pieces of her,
her hair, skin, brain matter
mixed with pizza,
stuck on a chair,
but they find that
is still intact
and lying on the floor.
for all to see,
but all of us, every single one of us
what she’s thinking.
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Friday, November 03, 2006
An international group of ecologists and economists warned yesterday that the world will run out of seafood by 2048 if steep declines in marine species continue at current rates, based on a four-year study of catch data and the effects of fisheries collapses....
-- World's Fish Supply Running Out, Researchers Warn (front page, Washington Post, November 3, 2006)
As a special treat I've ordered Pho Seafood tonight
awaiting my bowl I glance at the newspaper headlines
if marine biologists really have got things right
the bowl of the ocean is facing a treacherous deadline
the sea after all is source of an ancient breadline
the fisherman stands at its window beaming and bright
every day for a million years on these loaves he's fed fine
as a special treat I've ordered Pho Seafood tonight
evan dando wears a red rain coat
the door he hunches through chipped
& red too – any other night of clarity
you might feel walked over instead
stand soaking up a half-filled bar
a handful of students & quiet
schooners warding off a nervous edge just
cut from not eating / crowd-buzz aloneness
around these the times of going out moshpit
loose & relaxed though it befits: mellow
when stretched alterna-distant else
evan plays guitar as if
he wants to be wrapped up in bed
it’s nice it’s plaintive then solid
with pitch perfect distortion the
girl you’re pressed close to hums
to the knowledge & it rains; a boy
that calls for a drum solo gets one;
a car, a button, a cloth great visuals for
the let down evident as you curl up into
a floor-dark morning: no quiet sleep while
the seventy minutes of loss loops:
a stellar rendition of ‘break me’
always threatening to close
Thursday, November 02, 2006
of these blank spaces,
obscure and timid words
avoid my lantern’s beam.
They fear light like the undead.
They curse the writer’s day of harvest
and the prospect of slavery on paper.
Freedom ends when you are written.
My pen moves fast, my goal is simple:
Try to write as many as possible before they stampede.
I write fast, blotch the ink across the page
with the bottom my hand, like all lefties do,
and manage to capture three slow ones.
Legal size, readable, good color.
The school is fast, and most words scurry back
into the undefined darkness where they came from.
My three words lay there,
flat among the blue stains,
as I read them: “roses are red”.
I crumble the paper and let them go.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
sex with my wife on august 8th
felt very nice & has become as much of a baby as is possible in the months since.
it is the first poeHymn i have completed related to this subject matter.
feel free to give some props to the impregnated nic-o-la...
congrats baby! i love you and you are beautiful!! also, dear one, my hope and faith is that this pregnancy will be healthy, safe and pleasantly uneventful for the three of us. ......... also, when i knocked you up... ...my eyes were shaking all rolled back halfway to my brain. it was awesome!!! smoochie XOX
baby due out end of april 2007 -
Everyone else who posts poems here is eligible for the selection.
Okay who is going to step up to the plate and help?