Poetry: Finding Inspiration in Dreams

Last night, I dreamed I wrote poetry that was so beautiful it brought a dear friend to tears.  A group of close friends and I crowded around a blackboard which my words were written on, each of us with a good pint of beer, and I gave a reading.  I remember imagery of the sun and moon, and the soul, but the line that made my friend cry was a line about a girl named Penny Royal.  In the dream, I remember thinking “I need to remember this line!” but I woke up with only her name.

I think I’m going to try and write something with Penny Royal in it.  Poetry series appeals for obvious reasons, but part of me wants to try and write a short story in the form of her journal entries, and see how that goes.  It’s not something I’m used to doing… stay tuned, and we’ll see how this goes?

[In the same poetry dream, I then talked to a very wizened cat, black with grey whiskers and a jaw that didn’t sit quite right, who spoke some English.  I wanted to adopt him, but he directed me to a beautiful, delicate cat, mostly white with brindle patches.  She was beautiful, and I did not care I was allergic to cats.

The other dream I remember, I was parlaying with a group of coelacanths (yes, the fish) for peace in some dispute between them and my hometown, and their leader fell in love with me and pursued me through a rope course across my town… yes, fish can do rope courses, apparently.  Why coelacanths?  Things to ponder.]

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Philosophy: To Live

Can an idea or a time be dead? Perhaps more so it is in stasis.  It lacks a chance at a true revival, so it casts an aura around itself that begs to be studied, analyzed until it is so overdone it surpasses being overdone, it ebbs back to simplicity again.

It is encapsulated by a sphere of work which magnifies the evidence surrounding its circumstances, and every thread leads us deeper into its labyrinth that tries to tell us we will never fully grasp what we’re looking at.

We cannot go back and live it. To live is to be present, and to be present is the best way to understand the primal element involved in living.

Poetry: Reclamation

I felt the fickle muscles strain with ache
Of constitution, like a poorly worn
Dress that adorned them in dust for one take
On that day long ago where we were torn
Cell from cell and with little promises.
Like we could build our destinies in such
Relief without a glance at how life is,
Raw and straining though we never may touch
Those dreams that left our childhood in red.
The former denizens have left us debts
Which fill the mind with existential dread
And deal us hands without a winning bet.
And if we say our words that prove us wise,
We’re shouted down for lack of tact and lies.

~~~~~

Just keep saying it.  Maybe someday, we’ll have repeated ourselves enough that even those in the back of the room won’t be able to deny hearing it, regardless the state of their conscious.

By then, our healing will be so far gone, they’ll find to deny it will cause them more grief than they ever caused us.

Poetry: Gradient

Hung in gray unseen that
Stretched for miles around
Trunks that thought they might see spring

Ate everything around
Engulfed in the hunger
Of all of us who could finally breathe

Humidity so welcomed
Though the lack of visibility
Caused multiple accidents during evening rush

And the snow melted
Into the rolling mist
That greedily kissed the tree tops with succor

Hiding the squirrels
That thought they might
Give their stash another mouth to help feed

The crow grimly perched
In shrouded branches knowing
That her sight would not be productive today

Heartwood that shook
A slow sigh out through
The tiniest twigs like new grass shoots

All of us eying spring

~~~~~

Wednesday and Thursday were deliciously humid, and I took three walks yesterday after work.  I walked around the park at work, got coffee and went for a walk around town, then walked around the block a few times when I got home.  I had to enjoy it before we had a rain -> sleet -> ice -> snow event today.

Anyways, the drive home Wednesday night looked very surreal as everything just kind of… bled into each other in a mass of grey.  As more and more grass appeared though, I didn’t care much, because it felt like spring was just around the corner…

I’m sure when we go out tonight I’ll  come back down from the optimism, but for now, I’m preserving myself indoors, with the dream that it might be warm again, soon.

Poetry: I Feel Numb Through

When I was a 90’s kid proper
Christmas Day swept in at a balmy 65 and
Bicycle tires rode at 65 to a freshly 10 year old mind
As other drivers nodded at me with their helmets off
On pavement crooked and so free of snow

And I know that global warming isn’t good for us
But exultation found in the sound
Wrapping paper makes when you rip it carelessly
Might be more easily enjoyed if
It were 65 outside and I could have any number of hopes
That the horizon line spreads itself thinner
Over hours every day on the march of time

Now winter is so cold I cannot stand up because
There’s so much not around me and the mind doesn’t reconcile
Great expectations with how dormant the ground under thick boots is
And so many blankets that never quite keep me warm

~~~~~

My SO is currently helping me play “how many layers do I need to stay warm?” and we are both failing spectacularly.  I am presently in long underwear and wool socks, footie pajamas with a hood, sweatpants and a wool sweater, fingerless gloves and a furry Woolrich hat with flaps snug under my chin, sheepskin slippers, and under two blankets and… I am still cold.

It will be 50 and rainy on Thursday here, and you bet I’ll be standing out in it gleefully for a while because it will be comparatively WARM.  Spring cannot come soon enough for my tastes.

PS – I’ve submitted to a few places recently.  I expect it to be a bit before I hear any word (if I hear any word), but if I do, I can’t wait to let you all know!  Fingers crossed…

Philosophy: From the Mouths of Babes

Raiding my slush pile, trying to find something, anything to spark inspiration in me right now, I found this blurb, written many years ago (ten is many when you’re mid-twenties, right?).  I tweaked the wording just a little, but it is exactly what I needed to hear right now, going into 2018.  I thought I’d share the love with you.

And much love it is, XO.  Happy New Year to all my readers, and stay safe out there!  Here, it is bitterly cold, and we are staying in with a pot of chili and some Civilization IV, probably.

Without further adieu…

~~~~~

If we have any duty while we live, it should be to take care of ourselves, however that may be.
If our energies are merely defined in a permeable shell, our foremost thought should be to be good stewards of whatever energy flows through us at a given time.
We are vital, and take part in our allotment as long as our mortal coil persists.
What comes through may be good or bad, light or dark, or a shade of grey, but whatever comes our way, we should tend it, be cognizant of it, and take appropriate action.
Energy flows, and sometimes what you interact with may be unpleasant.
Demonstrate sound stewardship, and if you need help, don’t be afraid to ask.
Some souls have done this many times before, and most seem wiling to offer constructive criticism, though presentation may vary.
Learn and listen.

 

Life Update: My Season of Discontent

I can’t remember ever being this tired. I think I think too much. I’m past my birthday and Christmas now, so we’ll see if I have anymore energy in the tank.

I’ve been doing some poetry reading. Mary Oliver, David Biespiel, and one of Caffeinated Press’s newer releases, Isle Royale from the AIR. The latter is a birthday present, and I read through it peacefully on Christmas Day. I think read through #2 will involve annotations, and it absolutely makes me want to go camp out in a park and just write for a few weeks. I told my mom today that when I come down to see her in April, I’m going to be treating it like a retreat, as much as possible. An escape from the world to write in my beloved mountains!

Winter is consistently my worst and least favorite season, so if things get rather maudlin around here, you’ve been warned. I could easily hibernate from New Years to the third week in February (when I have a convention to go to).

I did pick up yet another notebook to write in today, with shiny pink crystal motif on the cover (I collect rocks!), so we’ll see if that can help me kick off 2018 right.

My dreams have been super vivid and I’ve been taking notes too, so stay tuned for potential poetry or flash fiction from those. Wild dreams, where I time traveled via an elevator from a shapeshifting dragon war to modern day JFK airport. The elevator ride felt real, and the panic of having NO CLUE what was going on also felt real, as a non-modern person coming to modern times. That could be an intense story to write.

I can tell I’m feeling a little better, because it’s time to wash out some teal hair dye. I figure if this goes badly, my coworkers only have to put up with it tomorrow and Thursday, before I have five days to shampoo the hell out of it to get it back to normal! But this brand’s burgundy has looked very good in my hair, so we will see!

Much love, expect something more poetic by the end of the week, XO

Off the Cuff: Charlotte’s Lament

Minutes bleed through cracked ribs and our sieve. A spider’s web of caught glances stronger than the Empire State or a mountain pass or canyon’s stream, though few and far between.

The echo across the crevasse to you scares me.

Anchor points at attention as they sway in the wind, hung on words you never say, pine boughs heavy in thick snow that vehemently stays.

I try to clear my throat, but the feeling sticks fast.

Move my legs like these gaps are by design, but I am tired of being Charlotte to the masses.

If I could only get perspective, our fragility is a thing of beauty I’m sure.

Sometimes Wilbur, I feel a silken slip, and I dread how we become undone.

The muscles strain, and the blood pumps on and on.

Flash Fiction: Mine

This is a story written in two pieces, four and a half years apart.  The first half came out of me just after leaving a bad relationship, and it confused me.  It stopped abruptly, with a question.

“So what happens now?”

And I didn’t know, then.  I left it in a folder on my computer to languish.  Sometimes, I’d come back to it, and wonder where this bit had come from.  Where it was going.  I only ever saw fog.  I could never give it a voice, or rather, an answer.

“So what happens now?”

Tonight, I wanted to address something philosophical, but this damn snippet got opened first, and I just… there were suddenly directions it could go.

The second half had taken center stage.

One direction was a bit sinister.  It made me shake to contemplate it.  The doctor, male, took advantage of the situation.  Now lying on the table and having placed my decision and trust in his hands, he takes my precious choice and throws it out.  Gives me something of the world’s making, new and shiny and wrong, to take the place of myself.  There is nothing I can do about it in my weakened state.

Given the state of the world, I chose not to take that route.  I’ll never heal if I keep opening up old wounds in that manner, reliving through words and media and the world at large such travesties.

I chose the more compassionate direction instead.  I chose love.

And I choose love.

~~~~~

The weight felt firm in my hands, as I traced one of the more prominent ridges with my thumb gently. It pulsed, tepid and peaked, in much need of nutrient.

“Are you sure it’s mine, doctor?”

“You know the anatomy better than I do, Agatha. Each scar bears the eternal reminder of that blossom of pain, in whatever form. Do you not remember what caused that particular wound right there?”

Caressing the ridge sent shivers through the hull that echoed gently in my mind. I knew alright. I just didn’t want to acknowledge it quite yet.

“So what happens now?”

“Well,” She tapped a pen against her clipboard with no attention. “Do you still want to exchange it for a new one?”

That damn ridge moved again, this time of its own accord. Even though it no longer resided in my chest, its hollow ached and something in me couldn’t bring to even let it out of my sight, my hands. I did know it, too well I had thought, and that perhaps now that you could exchange organs rather safely, that I would replace it with a fresher model. Something that hadn’t been hurt.

But that didn’t change what had happened to me, did it.

“No,” I said finally, the sentiment taking an eternity to figure out how to use my vocal chords. “No, I think I’ll stick with what I’ve got, doc. It’s perfectly functional.”

With a raised eyebrow, she made a few notes on my chart, before coming over, and helping me lay gently back down on the table. Washing her hands and pulling on a pair of smart blue gloves, she went to take it, but let me have another moment when she caught my eyes. I must’ve needed it, holding the pulsing being close to my chest, close to that ache inside.

I won’t give up on you, I thought firmly towards it as she pulled a screen between our line of sight, and carefully worked my heart back into its castle, no longer a ruin of crushed bones and whimpering in the corner of the room, but a proper structure tempered from its abuses. These scars will fade with time, and love.

And it sighed and beat as it meant to beat once again, in its home.

Update: Life

Hi all,

Just wanted to update and say I still exist! I’ve been down with a nasty bout of stomach flu, and have slept so much this past week I feel a little ridiculous in retrospect.

I should have a new actual post up tomorrow sometime. For now, know that I’m halfway through reading Poems of the American South edited by David Biespiel, and it’s making me crave a trip to the mountains, the ocean, and everywhere in between. Different pieces are bringing up different memories of time spent with Granny on the farm in Tennessee, and it’s been a thoughtful and intense read so far.

See you tomorrow with something more substantial! If you’re in Michigan with me, stay warm and off the roads if you can!

Much love, XO