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

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

75/365


Five ponies huddle,
cluster in a raw circle,
their nostrils flaring.
The almost-blue sky widens
with the moon shifting westward.

Monday, September 26, 2011

74/365


As flotsam, jetsam,
plastic supermarket bags
drift, then recede,
transforming themselves into
clutches of saltwater cranes.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Item of Interest || Decomposing Summer


Recently had the pleasure of seeing some of my newer work published on-line. I remember once being hesitant regarding electronic publishing. Often a greater (psychological? spiritual?) distance is put in place between the casual reader and the computer screen. However, the efforts put into producing Decomposing Summer proved me wrong. These pages do not lie still: they show strong design and awareness of the craft.

A strong feeling of pride exists to be included in this inaugural publication.

from but.if.and.that , editor Aaron Geiger comments:

[T]his publication is an exercise in dipping the toes in a stranger’s pond. What the collective “we” hope to accomplish is: 1) Bring literature to the public in a free and visually engaging format; 2) Bring joy to the English language; 3) Showcase authors and poets, artists and photographers, and assist them with their endeavors; and 4) Learn along our journey new ways of engaging with the “audience” of our peers, friends, readers, and the great unknown.

Read more at: http://www.butifandthat.com/decomposing-summer-e-pub/

Random || 71/365 - 73/365


I have nothing new
to add to this world tonight—
save for a loose scrawl
of ink on the page, hasty
scratches of ill formed ideas.

Sudden clarity
can arrive just by leaving
a room, the door shut
behind you with a firm grip,
closing out all memory.

A conversation
suddenly starts up next door,
just as you trim back
my hairline, down to the scalp.
Clumps of hair fall to their words.

A Humming || 66/365 - 70/365


Corner of the room,
a small fan hums patiently;
middle of the night,
his songs deepen, fill up rooms
with an assertive presence.

Even now the moon
lingers along the landscape,
hesitant as a
low humming on the edge of
the horizon— just waiting.

A small copse of pines.
Humming with a steady pulse.
Cicada chorus.
Continuous. Even with
the sudden downpour of rain.

Inactivity
hums in this small grey room; while
the unmade bed waits
for revision, the light bulb
burns out without a warning.

Subtractions gathered
at the crossroads, suspended
on telegraph wires—
a migration of darkness
humming, chattering loudly.

Tanka on Fire || 63/365 - 65/365


A mile from the house
fields are burning, spewing out
dense ash, as grass burns—
we watch a column of smoke
stretch over the horizon.

A yellow moon
echoes the pale front porch light—
but not even this
is strong enough to console me
as brush fires motion closer.

Ash drifts in the yard,
falling from nearby brush fires—
too close for comfort.
The air, heavy with silence,
hums with a strange emphasis.

62/365


Unexpectedly,
without any real warning,
words fall down on me,
grab hold, make obscene gestures,
rude demands— then flee— laughing.

Friday, September 9, 2011

52/365 - 60/365


Stumbling through the house
in the middle of the night
treading carefully
not wanting to wake baby—
yet all doors howl like a dog.

A metaphor hides
openly in tonight's storm.
You stand whispering
in the middle of the house
watching the dark with your son.

A poem of absence:
in the distance, no train shows.
Only a flat line
of the horizon spinning
forward into the landscape.

Twelve books remain closed,
as the outside settles, close—
and leans at the house.
Every light, in every room,
confirms the open silence.

For a brief moment,
standing outside in pitch heat,
you feel the earth shift
forward on its axis as
your father waters his plants.

The moan of a truck
passes as we lie in bed—
a shifting of mood—
slow whine of machinery
fades into the warm distance—

Slacked mouthed, a single
bloom opens out in the night—
an exclamation,
or point of witness watching
from the shadows of the room.

The back garden wall
dreams of being covered in
a heavy ivy—
to be consumed completely,
to become hidden ruins.

A poem of presence:
in my dreams you still enter—
an unwanted ghost
of the past. Firm. Persistent.
Waiting to be acknowledged.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

46/365 - 51/365


Within the bedroom,
on the edge of the window,
dead insects collect.
At night their ghosts haunt our dreams,
diving, buzzing in our ears.

The clock confirms ten.
Every light in the house burns
against the night's hour—
and I lie in bed waiting
for a deeper darkness.

Throughout the full night,
the air conditioner chirped
every five seconds;
I dreamt of fields at midnight,
a wide chorus surrounding.

Copper-blue horses
covered with clapperless bells
carry small children—
whose arms are filled with heavy
absence— to see dry rivers.

A surprise sense of
contentment emerges when
off of the back roads,
in the middle of dry fields:
one blue pony seen galloping.

Random hawks circling
tight spirals over backroads—
they coil summer winds
into a close braid of past,
present, and future tenses.

Friday, September 2, 2011

33/365 — a revision

The last few days I have stared intently at one of the past entries posted here recently. In the original posting, I showed a collection of twelve tanka verses, loosely grouped together by a theme of darkness, night. In particular the opening verse often stumbled with my reading eye, causing a slight irritation, an inner twitch. Up till now, I ignored the critical reaction, wanting to respect my primary objectives: to show a short verse as it first appeared on the page without an extensive over-editing process and without creating multiple revisions of the piece. This was a means of connecting to the impulse of a moment, even in a limited fashion, bridging back to the spark of recognition of the epiphany as it unfolded in memory. Perhaps realistically this concept is flawed in itself. These words after all represent my own creative compulsions; some minor refinement is not a bad thing.

Looking at the poem in question, originally I wrote:
      Front of the courthouse,
      making his proclamations
      as Martin Luther,
      a grackle shouted his speech
      to anyone who would listen.

My annoyance emerges with the sounding of verb tenses, particularly in line four. The utilization of past tense grates against my teeth. Instinctively I want the phrasing to fall into a present tense logic, to show the moment as it forms in a “now” sensibility, not as a past event. Which leaves me considering the point: why do I prefer present tense in poetry in the first place? For now, I am not going to belabor the point. Perhaps an essay can later derive from this questioning (?). However, it is important to note that with present tense in this case, this individual epiphany impulse lies exposed as a raw moment— as if the event occurs for the first time to the reader in their own time stream and sense of self.

The poem now reads:
      Front of the courthouse,
      marking his proclamations
      as Martin Luther,
      a grackle shouts out speeches
      to anyone who'll listen.