Tuesday, July 25, 2006

vispo the easy way

This is not actually a cut and paste, but a powerpoint document turned into a jpg.

It's called Three Sisters Park, and if you click on the picture you can go to the larger version.

I was having a hard time coming up with a poem for my poetry group tonight, and then I looked at a map I had doodled on, and came up with this idea.

Not as dark as my usual stuff.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Feeling Better. I'm no longer hacking pieces of my broken aqua lung.

And I haven't been writing, but I made three mixed media pieces I'm pretty proud of.
Yeah, I'm getting alot of mileage out of my swallow stencil. And I got some really cool bird images from Aleah, who thanked me for blurbing her new poetry book, Badlands. You should really check it out; it's splendid!

Here's the collage/painting things:

Friday, July 21, 2006

Sorry for the long absence -- I've been very ill and am still somewhat pale, weak and fading, like a tragic Southern heroine.

Here's something to chew on for a bit:

Letter #6

Dear Inmate,

I apologize about the mess,
the state I left the cell in,
with the bacon drippings everywhere,
the still-living dragonflies stapled
to the ceiling and the fabric doll chairs
tumbled over from the toilet to the floor.

It's hard out here, too, dear inmate,
difficult to keep things straight
without the constant parallel bars,
the 90 degree angles of concrete and windows.

Living in a swamp has it perks, to be sure,
my skin has never been so soft and fully moistened,
and the misquitos have managed to bite my crowsfeet
(instant botox!) until they have plumped
like a nine-year-old girl's. An escape always
has its moment of clarity, the inevitable depressive
slump after the thrill of success: I have crested
the hill of barbed wire and old laundry!
I have lived underground in a make-believe coffin!

Anyone who has once worn stripes and an ankle
bracelet of lead will tell you the same: seeing
the full sky bores after a while, rubbing yourself
in fields of grass can only pleasure but for so long.

I miss the tastes of steel, the blood
under my fingernails, the bruises on my ribcage
from the guards, the pudding
(so like the mud under my feet!)every other wednesday.
I miss my little window and seeing the sun
for only ten minutes a day. What use is all this earth,
all this space?

Sometimes I like to imagine I can hear
the bloodhounds bay across the lake.
I pretend they are still looking, but
I know I'm low on the list of priorities
and that the alligator farm is still far from up
and running, despite all the inmates' work and losses.
The left hand is not so useful, and thumbs
are overrated, as I kept telling you.

I must go. It is time again, to sit cross-legged
underwater and fish with my teeth.

Wish you were here.



Comments for the little sick girl?

Saturday, July 15, 2006

My poem below, March 25th, 1911, just got accepted by Blue Fifth Review. That's crazy! All the poets I admire, including Rebecca and Daphne Gottlieb, have been published by them, and I've been rejected by them more times than I care to count.

I'm insanely pleased.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Comments are very welcome.

In a Small Country

stars fall into our thatched roof
the fire burns for years
my family too stunned to move

we watch the stars burn us
one by one
and one by one we burn away

my brother’s sneakers catch fire
then his tube socks

he cries out
curls into a ball
on the living room carpet

she doesn’t want to draw attention
my mother’s flowered robe
bursts into bright ribbons
the plastic buttons melt into her chest
she silently disintegrates to ash

the dictator and the rebel
only two of us left
we start to waltz
our own private dance
known only in this small country

we trip through the remains of the kitchen
where pots and cups still smolder

over shards of window panes
my father is humming and twirling
as the ceiling caves in on him

soon there is only me
my eyelashes singed
my soles blistered

this pen, too, burns

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

March 25, 1911

“One girl held back after all the rest and clung
to the window casing until the flames from the
window below crept up to her and set her clothing
on fire. Then she jumped far over the net...”
-- eyewitness report, Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

she had worn swallow wings
pinned to her hair,
a whole dark sparrow poised
and fixed on the crown of her hat

she had paid a months wages
for the silk blouse the exact
color of bluebirds hanging
above her broken mattress

when she slept through the chattering
of her three roommates, she ran
and ran and ran in the fields
of her father’s farm, waving her arms,
but she never got more then ten feet
off the ground, sometimes her bare feet
brushing the tops of the apple trees

now is her chance
poised at the open window
her long skirt smoking at the hem

the fire moaning and tearing behind her
the screams have almost stopped

the firemen with their too short hoses
15 feet below on useless ladders

some girls hold hands
as they step out
into the air

but this one, as in a dream,
closes her eyes and
takes to the sky alone

Monday, July 10, 2006

I was trying to play with repetition -- a sort of condensed pantoum.


whiteflies: small, winged,
strobes around her for a while
how vividly the moonlight then

the rustling of leaves, the accompanying insects
small deer, white-tailed, sailed from tree to tree
the frogs and insects sang together
a drip accompanied the soft distant music
how vividly, to his surprise, soft insects

tanagers sang from the dense green foliage
she trilled the feeblest notes
her crops vivid, soft and green

grass a brilliant color and insects
they sang it for the whole school
in the dense vivid jungle

to their surprise, she and he recalled
no insects singing
in the bushes and in the shrubs
vividly dense

Inspired, just a bit from the results, here --

Friday, July 07, 2006

Hey, I'm going to be on the Goodnight Show again in a couple weeks. Or maybe one week. I'm so flattered I got asked again. It's for the one about the husband a couple poems down.

Random picture because I'm feeling good:

Also, hungry like the wolf. (couldn't help it, just couldn't)

Also, I'm on 25 peeps. Click for pleasure.

Mine, not yours.
Letter #11

Dear Inmate,

I have your daughter here
with me in your old cell.
I can see where she gets her nose.

She is so light her tap shoes
barely leave scuff marks on
the walls. She practices
her dance for me, sliding and shuffling
as if her feet were being pecked by tiny
sparrows. I see those unkempt birds
in her eyes, in the way she flaps
her elbows. Our skirts happen
to match -- white ruffles with red
embroidery, men following men
with hammers, all along the hem.

When she stands close in the crook
of my arm, as she is now, I can
hardly tell where one frill ends
and another begins to fray.

Your daughter's tall for her age,
but still as thin as a cloud
stretched translucent. This spot,
here, where her jaw meets her neck,
where I can see her milky pulse
fluttering, is where I hold
the point of my pistol.

Awaiting your immediate return, yrs., etc.

Monday, July 03, 2006


"I am so unhappy." "I cannot play with you," the fox said. "I am not tamed."

I am so unhappy today. I am so unhappy.

I am so unhappy. And I blame myself for not trying hard enough.

I cry when I get home.

I am so unhappy with my relationship of 20 years, I really don’t love her anymore.

I am so unhappy that I drink alcohol and cheat on him.

If god loves me, why I am so unhappy?

I am so unhappy with Cingular.

The blacksmith looked at the stone carver and he shouted, "I am so unhappy . . . I don't want to be the sun anymore. ...

I am so unhappy in my home.

I am so unhappy when I should be grateful to have survived this long

I am so unhappy here, I thought about leaving the area altogether, but decided to look around first. I need two bedrooms.

I am so unhappy with myself, the way I look, and for letting myself get so lost.

I am so unhappy, as to know that what I am fond of are Trifles, and that what I neglect is of the greatest Importance.

I am so unhappy with the way that I am treated that I would leave if I could.

I am so unhappy. What more do you want?

I am so unhappy. I am not happy. I am so not happy.

I am so unhappy, and all that should have made me otherwise is so laid waste, that if I had been bereft of sense to this hour.

“She at least has done you no wrong, and I am so unhappy, so unhappy!” cried Madame Lavretsky, and she melted into tears.

A new form of expression for what was so unpalatable to him, 'this concealment, into which I am so unhappy as to have led Miss Spenlow.’

I am SO unhappy with the way I look. I'll give you a tour starting from the top and working down.

I am so unhappy. It is too late to become a ballet dancer.

‘‘I am so unhappy at leaving madre. What will she do without me?’’ Manuelita said, as the carriage drove from the door.