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Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

A Song for the Abused

Do you wake
back
on that cold concrete floor
in the dark
waiting
for a respite from the sound
of your lungs
and your stubborn heart
that got you here in the first place.

Do your digits ache
with that tired exertion
Trying to find freedom
Your neck bruised
from pulling at those chains.

(Why couldn’t they see those wounds
you half-heartedly hid?)

Do you wince
in the black
and see those dark eyes, again,
staring
and plead with them

–or rage and thrash–

and hope that either
–or neither–
will do the trick?

I wonder if you think
You deserved it.

And still do.

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In these past few years of my reading life, it has begun to occur to me that there are far too many words in the world. Paradoxically, I insist on adding more as I contemplate this idea. But there it is—the superfluity of words within nearly every book I open. So many pieces of writing must struggle to conform in length and quality of content, that they end up all sounding similar, repeating ideas, or fleshing out arguments that are already corpulent. Over-indulged. Excessive. Unnecessary, much like a convenience store on every other corner. I find myself skimming through books to find the meatiest tidbits. Why can’t we say much more with very much less? It seems to me that would be the most elegant way of getting a point across. I do want to throw my ideas out into the world, along with all the others; I don’t want to add to the glut of mediocrity that is contemporary literature. Not that I think that my ideas or expressions are in any way superior: I simply would like to find a short and poignant way of bringing them to the minds of others.

Poetry is a fantastic means of saying much with very little. But I am not confident that my poetry is, how do I say this—very good. And “poetry” is a word of such raging connotations, much like “vegan,” which can cause the average person to turn up their nose before they even give it a taste.

So how to reach an audience (it doesn’t have to be a large one) without blending in to the background before I even get a chance to speak? How can I get my words into other people’s heads?

Let’s try this: brevity; physicality; imagery.

I can combine short writing/poetry with craft and photography to create a visual conduit for my thoughts. The possibilities are staggering. In how many different ways can I leave a verbal mark on the physical world, document it, and then share it with anyone who might be interested to see? The physical nature might add gravity to the words I want to say. Elements of photography and imagery can add an element of mystery, by blurring out words, or adding context, etc. I really am excited to start this project. I feel as though it has so much potential. I can be serious or light-hearted. I can stretch my creativity within my chosen media. I can find clever ways to use new media to make an impression. I believe it was Jenny Holzer who created the truisms? I can emulate her style, using non-traditional ways to get people to look at my words, to remember them, to contemplate what they might mean.

A striking piece by Jenny Holzer

Consider how many times someone has said, “I wish I had that embroidered on a pillow.” It can be ironic. It can be controversial, even. It can be so many things, and I can’t wait to explore what all it can be.

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Eulogy

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Another two days have passed.
What else is there to say?

Sometimes I wonder
How I can have passed so many days already,
When it feels like they will never come to their end.

I’d consider it a success
If, from this point forward
I simply settle into my days passing,
Aging inch by inch here in this little house,
Achieving nothing more of worth in this world.

I have lived so many lives already.
What more could possibly be in store for me?
What else of wonder is there left.

Is it all maintenance from here on out?
All creation accomplished
Or the chance slipped by.
Coasting.
Getting by.
Killing time.
Waiting for the end.

Waiting for something to come along,
Which is the only thing keeping us around.

What else is there to say?

In fifteen years
A garden
A different set of cats
A new collection of lovers
Other jobs under the belt.
Anything else?

A gathering of days,
Hours woven together into some sort of pattern
But not without knots and snags and great, gaping holes.
I have no choice
But to continue adding threads,
Waiting to see what sort of regrettable image
Emerges toward the end.

Or just a tangle of string.

Is there anything left to thrill me?
If there is I cannot see it
I cannot dream it up
Delusional as though I may sometimes be.

I can only beat this path barren.
I can only keep planting each spring,
Writing each evening,

Keep paying each month
Until the debt is forgiven.

Keep reading until all the books are read
And their knowledge forgotten.

Keep eating for the sake of living.
Simply for the sake of breathing through another day,
Another two days.

anothertwodays

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Oremus

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Let us forget
the details of our past
So that our history
may repeat itself.

Let me forget
that passion is pain
So that I may brave
these same mistakes again.

And again.

Let me love you
As I did from the first
Even as you love another.
And another.

And another.

Let us ask
for Sorrow
So that our prayers
may be answered

And in so doing
That we may finally believe

in love.

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I.

She bleps.

I boop.

We both smile
with our eyes.

II.

The touch of a paw
Can bring my to my knees
In an instant
Begging
For another blessing.

III.

I open the door
and I gather you into my arms.

Your neck smells of brown leaves
gone up in smoke.

The morning frost
burns already
in your ears and nose
and thrills upon my cheek.

I kiss your feet
and taste
the last mown grasses
of the season.

The song of life
half-wild
and well-lived
throbs in your throat
and in my ears.

We see this world
and we love it
and live it
through the green
in our eyes.

FSCN9178

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Helianthus

Some things makes sense.

A seed
—this seed—
A tiny black teardrop
falling from a ratio
more golden than the rays
that shield your perfect face.

You salute the skies.
Air
and light
Make sugar in your palms.

Every breath that rises
pulls life
—up—
through your grounded dirty feet.

And the finch,
this yellow finch,
clutches that face
Calls to the wind
the same
beat
repeating.

Until she chooses herself
to answer.

By reason she grows
No fanfare.
No expectation.
Just knowing to make life.
To live it.

—Why—
then
do you sing to me
repeating:
“You are everything and all of it”

And then turn your head
As if you had not meant to speak?

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The Ripening

I’ve been wanting to write about how spoiled I feel lately;

and yet, “spoiled” is not at all an appropriate description of how I feel.

I feel cared for.

Protected.

Encouraged.

Validated.

Engaged.

And more than a little luxuriated.

But I’d like to think that these gifts haven’t ripened me past my prime.

I’d like to think, instead, that I am inspired to be a more gracious receiver,

and energized to give more:

To be a better friend/sister/aunt/partner/citizen/human/caretaker.

I’d like to think that my potential is limitless, as is my potential to help, and that in this manner none of us will ever come to think of ourselves as “spoiled,”

rather that we are perpetually budding fruit,

offering ever better things to this world.

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Today I discovered an amusing little activity on the website soulpancake.com.

Soul Pancake is co-created by Rainn Wilson (of Dwight Schrute fame), and is his attempt at a community forum where people can gather to discuss meaningful topics, muse about life and literature, and participate in quaint little creative pursuits like the one I am about to tell you about.

The idea behind Book Spine Poem is to stack your book collection to make a creative sentence or poem. You can then take a photo of your creation or simply assemble the words into a poem and post it on the page. This idea was inspired, or basically taken from, a few other projects already in existence. From these three projects I’ve chosen a few that are my favorites.

Of course, I decided to give it a whirl myself, and found my book collection to be woefully inadequate for the task. I first thought I would be lacking in prepositions, but thanks to the My Book House series I had plenty of those to go around. What I ended up really pining for were pronouns, and contractions. Not many book titles are started with those sorts of things. Here is what I came up with, along with my typed out poems for the sake of adding punctuation.

Boy, in shining armor

going solo

over the hills.

Girl, interrupted

wanderlust through fairy halls.

The earth moved.

I know why the caged bird

Sings Tailchaser’s Song.

Deliverance from the tower window.

Gone with the wind,

Alive.

**********

What do you say, gonna give it a try?

Here are the links if you need some more inspiration…

http://www.ninakatchadourian.com/languagetranslation/sortedbooks-sharkjournal.php

http://www.soulpancake.com/post/1519/book-spine-poem.html

http://100scopenotes.com/2011/04/01/2011-book-spine-poem-gallery/

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