Tuesday, June 29, 2010

virtuous women

girl never trusted
the slow
             comfortable
rhythms of
         my schemes

            even when i invented
explanations
              for scandals
               and shifted blame
       to virtuous women

                  girl protected what
           she wanted with
             energy from the
    tips of
                   her toes

she intervened when
               peace was
        torn apart
            and struggled to put it
back together again

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Day at the Beach









Friday, June 25, 2010

A Wrong Turn

      “Will you marry me?” The words echoed through Colleen’s brain as the corridor lights flashed by in a haze. Had she really heard those words? Did that night really happen? She was sure that it hadn’t. It was all a dream and she was going to wake at any moment and not find herself wheeling toward an operating room. Did she say “yes?” It didn’t really matter because it wasn’t real. She tried to convince herself that it wasn’t real.
      The pain in her side felt real. More real than any dream she’d ever had before. She couldn’t wake herself up. What if she admitted that it wasn’t a dream? What if it was real? It would mean he really turned and the car really crashed and he was really…
      No, it’s not real. It can’t be real. Something that starts out so beautifully isn’t allowed to end like this! It was a perfect night. The right spot with the right ring with the right words. Perfection isn’t allowed to end in a nightmare.
      She heard the words again. “Will you marry me?” They echoed through her brain as the anesthesia flooded through her body and she passed out.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I Bit Couch Boy

I am enrolled in a 4-week-long conceptual writing workshop that started this week. So far, some of the exercises have been really fun. I will post some of the more interesting projects on the blog to share with all of you.

There was a discussion on Oulipo this week. I anagrammed the first verse of “Ice, Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice. Each line has the same number of syllables as it's corresponding line in the song. I also, for the most part, retained the aabbccdd... rhyme structure that occurs in the song. The result is titled "I Bit Couch Boy." The title was created from the left-over letters.

I Bit Couch Boy

Wannabe feel mighty or betrayed
Darling hit hypo lost to a mace babe
Trollop valid lethal spawn crack-head
Liberate the pesthole hotly and wasted
Ill check leeching filth caught in the soul
Kill two geishas and I stroll
The phony is shrinking heavily invented
Yeah negative rep kicked-over, maxed and melted
Months of puking in opium rooms
Down playing loopy on familiar robot tunes
Madhouse looks from a bitchy kiwi rind
Oh I'm putty like weevils with no legit mind
You obeyed yet I'm the only flogger
A legend known to hit home wittier
I'll get ready a vehicle you don't outweigh
No ill solos just an extravagant lay

Monday, June 21, 2010

zero volume

there didn’t seem to be
much point in faithfully
observing the rules
when they realized they
were trapped in a region
of space time on the verge
of gravitational collapse

they were not expected
to survive long enough
to reach the crucial
question about beauty
and the process of
random discovery

frustrated about treasure
visible through peepholes
while securely contained in
shallow theories they
faced the ongoing problem
but limitations resulted in
significant failure

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Butterfly Garden

Log Cabin block quilt.  Hand stitched and quilted.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Happily Ever After

      Listen to your mother when she says, "You're not getting any younger, Patty. No man will want you if you’re old. Find someone before it's too late."
     Remind her that you have plenty of time. Pretend that you secretly don't worry that she's right. Convince yourself that life will be good, even if she is. Alone doesn't necessarily mean lonely.


Y Y Y


     Panic slightly when your best friend gets married. Panic even more when she starts having children. Have a complete nervous breakdown when your younger sister gets married and gives birth seven months later. Do the math and realize why she got married.


Y Y Y


     Try not to feel rejected when your friends don’t have time for you because they have plans with their husbands. Convince yourself that you can go to the club alone. Sit at home instead and watch An Affair to Remember. Remind your self that "alone doesn't mean lonely." Question the sanity of the source of that statement. Remember that you are the source.

Y Y Y


     Meet a man at a bar. Decide you could marry him if he changed a few minor things. Is there any way to change his eye color or get rid of the skull tattoo on his forehead? Secretly tell yourself there is no one who could possibly make a worse husband. Openly declare that you love him just the way he is. Register for china and flatware three weeks after you meet him. He’ll learn to agree with your taste once you're married.
     Move in with him. Work two jobs and pay all the bills while he stays home to work on his music career. Believe that he could actually become a famous musician, even if he doesn't play an instrument and the deaf neighbor threatened to call the police if he ever sang again. Listen to your mother when she says, "He won't buy the cow if he can get the milk for free." Wonder if you should be insulted when your mother compares you to a cow.



Y Y Y


     Stay in the dead-end relationship for three years. Worry that you’ll be alone forever if you leave. Keep hoping that one day he’ll get down on one knee with a diamond ring. Realize that the only way you’ll get a ring is if you buy it yourself.
     Decide to not bail your boyfriend out of jail. He claimed that he had nothing to do with the llama and eggplant, but the video contains all the gritty details. Anonymously send the video to the D.A.’s office. Move to a new house and change your phone number.


Y Y Y


     Go through a series of random, meaningless relationships. Freak out if a guy shows any signs of commitment.
      Go to the doctor after vomiting for three weeks straight. Get angry when she suggests the possibility of pregnancy. Refuse to believe the doctor, even after the test comes back positive. Take two more tests. Wonder who the father is.
      Go out to a bar to try and drink away the problem. Feel guilty when the beer bottle brushes against your lips. Put it down and order a soda. Meet a man with the perfect shade of blue-green eyes. Choose not to tell him about the baby. Fall in love. Get your hopes up when he starts talking about marriage and family. Finally tell him about the pregnancy. Try not to be too disappointed when he walks out the door and tells you to never call him again.


Y Y Y


     Hide from your mother for the next four months. Ignore her phone calls, even when she resorts to leaving guilt-ridden voice messages. “Patty, sweetie, this is your mother. Normally I wouldn’t identify myself on the phone but I was worried that you might have forgotten what my voice sounds like. My voice. Your mother’s voice.” Hit delete. “Patty, honey, are you there? I wanted to come see you but you moved again and forgot to tell me. At least, I hope you moved. I met a woman with spiked purple hair at your apartment yesterday. Patty, are you a lesbian now? It’s ok if you are. You just need to tell me so we can fix it.” Hit delete.


Y Y Y


     Accidentally run into your sister at the grocery store. Try to convince her that you’ve just put on some extra weight. Bribe her when she threatens to tell your mom.
     Go home and find your mother sitting on your front porch. Mentally plan how to get back at your sister for giving her your address. Distract your mother with cute baby clothes when she asks who fathered the child.


     Give birth. Give your daughter your last name. Do everything you possibly can to avoid being like your mother. Swear never to compare your daughter to a cow.


Y Y Y


     Console your sister when she discovers that her husband has been cheating with your best friend. Console your best friend’s husband after your sister tells him about the affair. Fend off his advances when he swears that he is going to get back at his slut wife by sleeping with you.
     Do everything possible to keep your sister from self-destructing during a desperate attempt to recapture her youth. Avoid spending time with your sister and friend together. Wonder why your best friend’s ex-husband and your brother-in-law are now living together. Decide that you are better off not knowing.


Y Y Y


     Watch your daughter grow older. Record her first steps, first words, and first date. Attend her high school graduation. Drive over five hundred miles to take her to college. Insist that she call home three times a day. Settle her into the dorms and slowly walk away. Let loose the tears that you’ve been holding inside for years.
     Drive home. Unplug the telephone. Lock the door. Enjoy the quiet. Finally understand that alone really doesn’t necessarily mean lonely.


The End.
YYY

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

locker stories

the problem with the
skeleton king is that
he always takes over
and then crashes into
the corn field or the
pile of human remains

he gets distracted by
golems telling him
hard, dark secrets about
the farmer drowning
aliens and wearing
their dead, scaly skin

it’s better though
than before when he
sat around all day
ranting about advancing
hordes and spitting
seeds all over the ground

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

high resolution

i’m still shocked that he
made that jump over
Mango Falls even though
things like that are easy
for him and a first-place
finish was guaranteed

being with him was a
departure from my usual
close-to-home indie party
but he insisted that i
get easy with danger
and run through the
forget-me-nots to find the
king’s missing theory

stepping over paving slabs
scattered by the little girls
who dream of flat-footed
spontaneity i pushed forward
and kicked up dust particles
mixed with dimly lit fireflies

Monday, June 14, 2010

Shadow Poetics


This is an interesting read. All writers, in my opinion, benefit from instruction and mentorship. Even those with the greatest amount of natural talent find discipline with instruction. But the rising cost of university tuition is making college-level study increasingly difficult to attain - leaving more and more students in debt when they graduate. I love the idea of trading jam and publishing services for literature and poetry classes.

Rethinking Poetics on SwoonRocket

Friday, June 11, 2010

I WANT TAHRASH BAAAGS! TAHRASH BAAAGS!

I love The A-Team and I'm really excited about the new movie. This is one of my all-time favorite A-Team scenes:


Just a Job

      “By the ankles?”
      “Yep,” replied Vince. He flicked his cigarette off the deck into the sand below.
      “Off the side of the boat?” She cringed as she pictured him falling into the shark infested waters. Chum for the would-be fishermen. “He didn’t deserve it, ya know.”
      “Didn’t he? He read the contract. He knew the rules.”
      “Yeah, but he was nice.”
      “How do you know? You never talked to him. Right?” Vince stood up and walked over to where she was sitting.
      “It’s just—”
      “Just what?”
      “He…he had kind eyes. I could just see that he was nice. That’s all.” She finished her margarita, the third one in less than an hour. She stared out at the ocean. The water was almost the right shade of blue. It needed just a bit more green.
      “You liked his eyes?” he said, looming over her chaise.
      “And no one’s ever come to you like that before. Usually it’s just a job. Cold. Calculated. He was crying, Vince. He was heartbroken.”
      “He was weak, that’s what he was.”
      “No, look, if you really knew him—”
      “Like you knew him, darling?”

Thursday, June 10, 2010

all the basics

the argument started
when he reached across the
dinner table uncomfortably
and handed me a book

one of those glossy how-to
books that replaces
intelligent conversation with
clich├ęd photography

like a birds and bees manual
with a lot of weirdness
and little significance given
to the power of discovery

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

(gravity)

if she goes, i will go
not quite sure where
but for now it’s
enough to hope that
gravity will slow the
movement of time
until she realizes the
imprint she leaves
on her surroundings

Saturday, June 5, 2010

actual practices

in confidence he told us that
it was acceptable to eliminate
the origins of fate while
moving at termination speed
to avoid coming together

as long as we stayed within the
generally accepted boundaries
established by the architects
of misunderstanding

we struggled to lay down a
framework of self-interest
benefiting our desires to
avoid real relationships

but a strong sense of longing
buried deep under decades of
contact termination made it
impossible to make peace
with the necessary omissions

Friday, June 4, 2010

Morning Coffee

Lucy ran from one machine to the next, pushing buttons, pulling levers, and pouring hot liquids dangerously close to her body.

“Grande, non-fat, vanilla latte,” Aaron called to her, as he shoved a paper cup into her hand.

Think, Lucy, think. Come on. You read the book. You know this one.

Lucy froze. She couldn’t remember. Aaron grabbed the cup and made the drink for her. Lucy grinned sheepishly at the customer who was pounding his fingers on the countertop, waiting impatiently for his coffee. Red hair, black-rimmed glasses, New York Times. Lucy didn’t know his name, but she did know that he was the last customer of the morning rush. He always was. She hadn’t even been there for a week yet, but she was already recognizing the patterns of the regulars. He snatched the drink from her as she handed it over the counter and smiled. She studied the stitching pattern on the back of his loafers as he hurried out the door with his drink in hand.

“I suck at this.”

“Lucy, no. You’re doing fine. It takes time to learn all of this stuff.”

“What was I thinking? I was thinking that I really need a job, that’s what. You and I both know that I have no business working in a coffee shop, Aaron. I’ve never drunk a cup of coffee in my life. I don’t know what any of this stuff is.”

“Well, I’m still glad you’re here. Even if I did have to do both your job and mine this morning.”

“You’re just saying that ‘cause you know I’ll tell mom if you’re mean and she’ll get mad at you.”

Lucy stuck her tongue out at her brother and blew a raspberry, just as the red-haired guy walked back in.

“You forgot the chocolate sprinkles.”

Thursday, June 3, 2010

down on penrose

the whole exchange took place
down on penrose but it
could have happened anywhere

we were desperately looking
for the conditions that led to
the compression of rational thought

but all we found were bodies
collapsing under the weight
of the universe gradually
disappearing into emptiness

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

unraveled

i get a little paranoid about
listening to unsolicited advice
especially now that
the demons are starting to
emerge from the water

i tried to say someting
about them coming but
it was pointless
people called me crazy

now they are here
pouring their opinions
into the minds of the masses
part of the preliminary plan
to take control of the androids
and meteorites

they will use poisonous clouds
and solar flares to
unravel the stratosphere
and weave it back together
miles under the ocean
in the realm of killer jellyfish
and sea urchins

Other places

Even though I publish most of my work through Sweet Lozey, occasionally I also send stuff out for submission. Shockingly, sometimes it even gets published. Some of my work is published in a couple of other places this month.

Some of my hiking photos are featured in this month's issue of Negative Suck. This is one of my favorite journals. The content is consistently good.

I won first place for my poem, "dry spell" in the Ed Versluis writing contest this year. The poem is currently posted on the Cognito blog. Cognito is managed by students in the writing department at Southern Oregon University - my alma mater.

rain falls down

i have this theory about rain
and the imprint it leaves
on desiccated souls

drops collide against earth
and plants and skin

inciting wet bodies to
slide in grass and mud

teasing pleasure out from
winter hibernation and
reawakening desire

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

chapter 12

we were affected
by his song and dance

but we had no means
to pay him and no

fundamental criteria
by which to judge

some days it felt
like we were finally

in the vicinity of
progress but still

a long way from
understanding the

consequences of
delicate prodding