Self and reality. Symbol and language. Myth and image. Memory and consciousness.
Dream and unreality: locus communis.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

42/365

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Summer storms mumble
as chimney swifts spiral cross
the darkening skies.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

41/365

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Typically, these verses exist approximately 32 days in the immediate past—it was after developing an archive of poems I began publishing them here as an established project.

However, a majority of yesterday was spent reviewing in my head the developing stories within Austin and the University of Texas campus. Usually I take current happenings lightly; oftentimes, if not careful, a poet can date him/herself rather quickly if a steady notion of the momentary culture is maintained—and yet every once in a while a situation raises the need for a creative response.

Case in point, the drama at UT. It remains hard to fully comprehend the struggles individual students stress on themselves—and why they resort to voilent extremes. Commentaries and news updates will clog television stations and media outlets for the next few days analyzing the details. Situations like these leave me feeling at a loss for words or action—is it enough just acknowledging the unfolding drama, or are there steps as a teacher I can put into place myself?

And then sometimes, a respectful silence can be the only temporary answer. A waiting for further details.

Consequently, this is what developed on the page:


Take in the day. Breathe.
There is nothing one can say.
Events rest as stones.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

40/365

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First day of summer—
slowly she slips off old clothes,
brushes out her hair.


Monday, September 27, 2010

39/365

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Glowing in morning
sunlight, scattered silk nests of
tent caterpillars.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

38/365

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Fifteen minutes to midnight.
Wanting to sum up the day
in small syllables.



Friday, September 24, 2010

36/365

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Overhead, air vents
rattle like grey mice gnawing
on scraps of tinfoil.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

35/365

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Nothing new to write.
The sun skims the horizon,
low. A burning ship.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

34/365

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An epiphany:
just above my head— a moth
clings against the screen.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

33/365

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Mind locked in a haze
of alcohol—fog descends
encompassing all.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Current Project

Began a new poem recently to fit into the Quintet series. The full collection of poems consists of five voices, each interior monologue based off one of the band members: sax, upright bass, drums, piano, voice. In the current verse, the solo vocalist is the only female of the group. Her thoughts are more formulaic than the other members—in my logic, she thinks in structured lyrics. In this case I fell into use of the haiku formula, 5-7-5 syllable rule. I liked how the syllable count fractures my typical long lines— likewise, the appearance of the numbered stanzas encourage a further halting rythym to be placed on the full work.

And then too, I like how her story formed in my head to begin with—she echoes my own personal experiences slightly: the loss of my eighteen year old brother for example—

Debating at the moment if the repitition between 5 and 6 work muscially... or clash with a lack of harmony. In other words, does the discord sound intentional or forced?



The Falling:
vocalist solo
1
—and that’s all it takes,
(even mid-song) one slight glance
across a small room.
2
Or even mid-phrase.
Mid-word. And then the falling
into vertigo.
3
As casual as
slipping into mama’s dress,
stepping out to dance.
4
Nights of Latin jazz,
a time when I’d wear music
as a second skin—
5
all past sensations
returning from just one quick
glance of a stranger—
6
It is just too much—
when a full stranger mirrors
a past memory,
7
reflecting the face
of my brother: his earring,
his stance and movements,
8
a gentle haunting,
which clings, even years later,
as if time derailed,
9
as if this city
transposed itself to somewhere
else—to fractured scenes
10
stolen from the past,
before the epiphanies
or experience,
11
before changed notions
of self took hold, unfolding
paper memory.
12
His attention falls
elsewhere, seeking out someone
in this small grey room.
13
I close my dark eyes.
Step further into myself.
Acknowledge the past.
14
Across the tables,
the boy’s dragonfly tattoo
trembles, as he leaves.

32/365

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Settling into bed,
a full weight of sleep exists—
despite car alarms.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

31/365

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In the other room.
Lie down, watch television—
blue lights flickering.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

30/365

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Almost nine o’clock
and the sun settles beyond
the west garden wall.


Friday, September 17, 2010

29/365

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Walking across campus,
while passing gray underbrush,
a rat parades past.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

28/365

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Along the roadside
a discarded bundle sulks—
trash or animal?


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

27/365

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Across fresh cut grass
a circle of lazy eights:
continuous birds.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

26/365

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It only takes one
little blue pill to leave me
in a close dense fog.



Monday, September 13, 2010

25/365

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On the garden wall,
old crow sits, laughing loudly,
despite heavy rain.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

24/365

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The mailbox revealed
nothing but dry silence and
an empty gullet.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

23/365

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Only ten o’clock,
yet my body wears the hour
as a heavy coat.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

21/365

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Three possible haiku today; the last holds fast due to the unexpected analogy: was closing the blinds at sunset this evening, and for a flash of a moment, thought the overhead light was the moon in low orbit over the horizon, climbing the garden wall. Flash back twenty-seven years ago when the image first appeared to me for an early poem. Strong connection to the twelfth grader I once was—


The living room lamp
reflects off the back window
as a crescent moon.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

20/365

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Nothing comes to mind.
No words, images, phrases—
just a blank silence.

In Memoriam


Late in 2009, two poems of mine were accepted for publication in what was to be the summer issue of Ganymede—a journal edited and distributed by John Stahle. Sadly, without warning, he passed away mid-spring of this year. Through the efforts of Bryan Borland at Sibling Rivalry Press, a collection of Stahle’s last projects were recently brought together to commemorate his overall achievements and dedication to the creative process. The book, titled Ganymede Unfinished, memorializes Stahle’s endeavors in the publishing industry by gathering a diverse group of voices: essays, stories, poems. Within the text, my two poems appear: “To An Unnamed City” and “Herakles Burning the Pyre.”

I wish there was more I could say about John Stahle—but honestly I never knew him outside of the three short, formal letters we exchanged in December. He seems to have bridged the lives of many people —every so often I find a new reference to him by another poet or writer, people who were also influenced or inspired by his direction and perseverance. In hindsight, a lesson is to be learned here: produce more, share often, connect frequently.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

19/365

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A tarnished mirror
reflects back smoky landscapes
across my features.

Monday, September 6, 2010

18/365

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A glass of water
on the edge of the counter
sweats in shards of sun.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

17/365

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Midday. With my dad.
A time for gathering stones.
The wheelbarrow fills.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

16/365

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Silent spring evening.
No murmurs heard anywhere—
until— mosquito.

Friday, September 3, 2010

15/365

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Summer sun beats down,
splits apart rubble; a stray
sunflower opens.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

14/365

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From across the hall—

the cat—with lit eyes— watches
us lie—side by side.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

13/365

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Lying down in bed. Prone.
With arms crossed as a pharaoh.
Thoughts of the future.