Friday, December 30, 2011
I shall be spending New Year's Eve in Puerto Vallarta and starting January 1st will participate in the River of Stones, few words of observations, little stones in the river. I am excited to spend the first 12 days gathering stones from old friends and favorite places. Then return to Seattle to figure out how to get back to paradise again.
Thank you for reading.
Saturday, December 3, 2011
If the absent proprietor neglects the trussed up trees much longer
they will be no good for Christmas…
their arms pressed so tight to dark middle
crippled-like, unable to relax, unfold;
Sad branches unwilling to be adorned
and support shiny stars from tinseled fingers.
will turn color
thin in some places
thicken in others
no longer suitable for Christmas
not fitting for joy, pleasure, presentation
A smell will emit
now akin to casualty, rotting from inside to out
no longer cedar, pine, life
instead mold, must, morose
They called you Mr. Christmas
pride, splendor, wit
those were your gifts
given and got
some things made so much difference to you
new to your journey
you embraced those traditions and transitions
made them your own
Ornament collections now like key chains;
Full of questions, vagaries, whimsies, loss.
A live tree or a fake?
One is not alive
having been cut down and bound like an animal
and the other is still a tree
neither is it alive
How steadfast, how loyal are the branches
How steadfast, how loyal are the branches
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
It’s the late 1960’s. Robin, a pregnant runaway in Los Angeles meets Davey, a darling British boy who happens to be gay. Davey proposes marriage to Robin so he can stay in the US and work; continue his relationship with Enrique, the son of a Venezuelan diplomat; and Robin can keep the baby she has pledged to give up for adoption. To muddle their lives and create complications of the ordinary and inane, Robin engages in an adventurous relationship with a dancer who turns out to be enormously wealthy but less available as time goes on. Robin and her friends, who live together in a house by MacArthur Park, become involved in the sticky web of Scientology, connive against the INS and protest the war in Viet Nam. NOT, ACTUALLY takes place at the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, when young people grew up quickly, altered the world they lived in and changed the meaning of innocence.
Friday, November 25, 2011
Giving their thanks with no ordinary feast
Americans from coast to coast
Shamelessly devour food enough to cause complaint,
Which quite often puts them to sleep
So they may
Store energy for the equally traditional
Black Friday shopping on the following day,
When consumers boost the country’s economy
And push the red ink over the line,
Turning it magically to black.
Doorbuster Deals to entice the post-Thanksgiving shoppers
Was not a concept taken seriously by Jdimypai Damour
Until the entrance bulged, snapped and overflowed
With eager New Yorkers
At the darkened hour of 5 a.m.
Seeking a most important supreme Christmas gift.
The blood and bones of Jdimypai Damour
Remained on the floor
Of the Wal-Mart store
As checkers scanned the treasures of holiday shoppers,
Who went back home to eat leftover turkey sandwiches
With chilled cranberry sauce,
And watch the 6’o’clock news
Of the California shootings that left
Two people dead in the aisles of Toys-R-Us,
For the sake of one sought after toy,
Giving new meaning to Loss leader.
(Based on actual events Black Friday 2008)
Thank you for reading.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
The Secret Life of Jasmin Garcia Guadalupe
Halfway down the steps close to the church
behind the merceria
where she bought thread in late afternoon
after she tells her papi her stockings need mending,
Jasmin Garcia Guadalupe
spreads her skirt into a fan,
folds it across her behind
first left, then right,
this for a little cushion
keeps her tender skin
from the dusty, cracked cement.
Her lips gather the corner of one small plastic bag
filled with water, nectar, jarabe,
sucks like a baby.
Leans her cheek on warm rough wall
watches buses rumble below,
going places she will never know.
Jasmin Garcia Guadalupe
dreams of a seat
in the window
of the big blue bus...
Jesus painted on the back
arms spread wide
with rusty centers.
Jasmin would say
if anyone asked her
that the Bus Jesus says
“Why follow me?”
eyes rolled up to heaven
oily black smoke blowing out his feet.
Lovers steal kisses in shadows;
Señora Diego leans out her window, pulls at her moustache;
niños plucking mangos over a broken fence…
juice runs down their chins, between fingers,
laughing, cussing, shoving, “Animo!”
Ignacio makes the knees of Jasmin Garcia Guadalupe tremble;
bent weary, he comes up the stairs,
work shirt thrown over shoulder
dangling from wiry hanger
he keeps it spotless 'til he gets to the sizzling café.
Ignacio's undershirt with soaking armpits
so white the sun lives in it.
He comes to where the girl sits
whose father would like to kill him,
and stops to find his breath.
“You are the delicious peach.
I think to sink my teeth into your skin.
I think to lick your seed.”
church bells clang.
Monday, September 5, 2011
On Labor Day Monday I can acknowledge that I have momentarily put my labors to rest. After months of editing, my novel is ready for the scrutinizing eye of the eager agent. The title, having been changed from MOZO to SEVEN WAVES, takes on a bit of a new light with this identity.
Here is the pitch I gave at the PNWA Conference:
Rachel Lawrence is a woman without a midlife crisis. Married young to the right man, mother of successful adult children, her life is financially secure -- Rachel leads an enviable existence. Without warning, circumstances rip her stable foundation away, forcing Rachel to rethink her identity and future. Rachel moves restlessly between Seattle and Puerto Vallarta, discovering the full scope of her options until she makes a well considered decision to live in Mexico. She is wise enough to recognize danger at sight, but human enough to follow her passions as she witnesses violence, deceit and the upheaval of a cultural core. As she stands on her balcony on the Mexican Riviera, watching the small tour boats turning toward shore -- "It is the seventh wave that will bring you in " -- Rachel realizes that she must develop her own instinctive timing to navigate the years ahead.
No, it is NOT autobiographical. I have, of course, been able to write this story because of my own experiences living and loving in Mexico.
I’m excited to announce that I’ve begun to work on my next novel and long to devote my waking hours in front of my computer as I once was able to do. Alas, that is not possible at this time in my own personal story. But I fervently believe in myself and remained convinced that a change gonna come, oh yes it will.
Recently JK Rowling told her readership “No story lives unless someone wants to listen – so thank you, all of you.” A woman of great wisdom, that one.
I cannot give enough thanks to Enoch Anderson for his diligent and faithful editing. To my friends who have read SEVEN WAVES and commented, criticized, added, deleted, I am infinitely grateful. Your enthusiasm and encouragement have given me the boost I’ve needed to convince myself of the worthiness of this project and the possibilities that await my future.
Thank you for reading.
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Last three days spent at PNWA Conference in Bellevue. Left early tonight so I could spend the evening with my girl. Daughter Number Two took all three kids to the Lake City Pioneer Day’s parade so we could have some time. We parked ourselves at some little bistro in Juanita and covered many wine fueled subjects including my aforementioned conference. I have great hopes for the contacts I have made and feel a certain contract by the end of the year. New name for the book is Seven Waves, which is receiving good reviews. Major highlight of the conference was the discovery of Gary Copeland Lilley, of whom I heard lectures regarding poetry and prose and how well they work together. I am looking forward to taking a workshop from him in the future. Putting my novel away for a couple years and concentrating on my poetry had an impact on my writing in the most constructive way. Also tonight Emily and I discussed the tragedy we witnessed on July 24th (my stone of July 27th). I will long remember the feeling of knowing I was in the presence of a leaving at that time. I am convinced that when death comes so suddenly, souls linger in confusion. You don’t need religion to teach you that.
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Friday, July 29, 2011
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Monday, July 25, 2011
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Friday, July 22, 2011
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
“meat cooked in an approved kitchen”
food vendors can now sell on the street
commence with some serious bitchin’
imagine your taco with pre-cooked meat
Morning news announced Seattle legal eagles have finally approved street vendors with food carts. They must, however, have their meat cooked in an “approved kitchen.” And -- can only be located 50 feet from an established restaurant. Is there any commercial street in Seattle that doesn’t already have three restaurants competing with one another, with over-priced victuals on miniscule plates? Buena suerte, vendedores.
Monday, July 18, 2011
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Friday, July 15, 2011
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Monday, July 11, 2011
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Friday, July 8, 2011
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Monday, July 4, 2011
Sunday, July 3, 2011
Saturday, July 2, 2011
Friday, July 1, 2011
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
While bitter complaints run rampant in other communities
Neighborhoods of Starlings don’t much mind the rain
They tear into my pansies and infant tomato plants
As if to avenge some unforgotten rude offense
Yet the Hummingbird makes an appearance
So fleeting as to nearly be missed
My petunias, a rest stop
A taste of honey
In a busy day
Saturday, April 30, 2011
This is a repeat from last year. Because it is the last day of the month, the last day of the poetry challenge; because I worked a 9 hour day and am fending off an evil bacteria that seems to be attacking my sinuses; because it is a Saturday night and I must give up the ghost and head for the hay; because my poetry nickel is spent...I present a poem some missed in last year's posting. Thanks for reading.
Your hands with all their sadness,
Cradled in your lap,
Have long toiled honestly your entire life;
It’s time to rest then.
You pushed with mighty strength,
Expelled from your body
An entire human being with an uncontrolled destiny;
So you can rest then.
Your legs pumped with relentless vigor,
Drawn from unknown depths
And the victory is yours now;
You can rest then.
Your heart sang like the thrush,
A sacred melody of love until your very bones
Ached with joy;
It’s your turn to rest then.
You fought the unknown enemy
In darkness seared with only blinding light.
Weariness takes you in its arms
And you can rest then.
And found the resources to give more.
You never relented and encouraged others to go on
Take time to rest then.
Friday, April 29, 2011
Today is the second to the last day of the PAD challenge. Thank you to everyone who has read my poems this month. I’ll be posting again in July for the River of Stones (very short poems that reflect the doings of the day.)
April 29, 2011
Write a poem using today’s headlines as a prompt.
Butterflies passed through Alabama yesterday
Elsewhere wedding veils were being prepared
And subjects slept on pavement
With beds left cold
The sun rose in the morning
A tornado with two minutes warning
Left wings shred
And a prince was wed
More people died
In faraway Iran
Football fans booed
Crowds listened to Ryan’s plan
Someplace the weather was good.
Some babies struggle to survive
While one proves birth in doubt
Astronauts don colorful suits
Prepare for a blast
A blind sea lion seeks residence
Two convictions rest on evidence
Rape victims request peace at last.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Today's prompt is to write a poem while pretending to translate from another language. Since I have the choice whether to follow the prompt or post a different creation of my own, I have chosen to give you Espérame, a poem actually written in a different language. I won't pretend I have perfect Spanish skills either.
Ti, la magica en mi selva
Ti, las mensajes en los nubes
Ti, los cuchicheos en el viento
Ti, el dulce en el beso
Ti, la promesa en mis sueños
Ti, mis canciones en la noche
Ti, la risa en la lluvia, la risa grande, la risa pequeña
Ti, la fuerza en mi mar
Ti, el champaña en mi cabeza
Ti, la miel en mi luna
Ti, el amor que se queda en mi alma
Ti, ti, ti…
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Write a poem using your least favorite word.
No, you can’t.
No, that’s not possible.
No. That’s just not the way it is.
No. We are closed.
No. I don’t have the money.
No. You can’t win.
No shoes, no shirt, no service.
No, you’re too late.
No…you’re too early.
No, there’s not enough.
No, you can’t go.
No, you can’t stay.
No. You can’t come.
No. You must go.
No dogs allowed.
No children allowed.
No, it’s too short.
No…it’s not short enough.
No. You can’t have it.
No, it’s not yours.
No, it’s mine.
No way out.
No, it’s too dark.
No. It’s not dark enough.
No. It’s not right.
No, that’s incorrect.
No, you must be mistaken.
No, that’s your perception.
No, I don’t see it that way.
No, it’s done.
No. It’s not finished.
No. No. No.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
I was supposed to use spam from my junk mail to write a poem today but I don’t have any…(“greetings of said porphyry unicorn proposal” from “Honor Hornwoofter” was part of the suggestion.)
Instead I decided to go back to exactly three months ago and a stone that I wrote on that day, which never got in to the River of Stones (knowing how way leads on to way...) I started to turn it into a longer poem and then realized que es como es. (It is what it is.)
It was a bus ride
Through clouds of dust
Out of nowhere
The prompt for Monday April 25 is to write a Riddle Poem. Let me know if you can figure out what the answer is. Thanks for reading.
I love you, I love you
I hate you in the morning
You love me, you love me
But never give warning when
It’s a kick, it’s a kiss
It’s a kiss, it’s a kick
And the ride, and the danger
The thrill, the contentment
The rose and the thorn
The pain and resentment
You arrive with a pop
And leave with a thud
You twist my words
You mess with my blood
Sometimes you’re a brut
At times I’m a lady
Sometimes we’re in love
Other times we’re just lazy.
The law can get after you
Your alias betrays you
Illegal or lawful
You make me crazy
Monday, April 25, 2011
Easter Sunday, the challenge is to write an autobiographical poem.
With my belly full of restless child
I paid the closest attention to
Rose as she held my hands, palms
up, gazed from my face to the lines and creases
and back again.
Spoke of visions of cowboys and sailors,
called my life a circus in three rings and said
“you rely on your children too much.”
She later, when asked, corrected this wording to say
“dote. devote. give. too. much.”
I was 26 then
and weeks later would birth my first planned child
one of the only things I planned in my life.
How could this little gypsy lady,
wizened, wrinkled, rasping,
and I would discount one and then another;
end up here in some other springtime
still full of wonder.
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Today’s prompt is to write a bouts-rimes. The bouts-rimes is a sort of poetic parlor game: you write a poem using the rhyming end words from another poem. They’re usually done with sonnets in English. So today I challenge you to write a bouts-rimes sonnet, using the end words from either K. Silem Mohammad’s poem You White White Teatime Teen, which was itself constructed anagrammatically from Shakespeare’s The Silken Tent. My end words are: rage, doom, age, tomb , sighs, breast, thighs, west, mad, blues, plaid, shoes, fail, mail
My skin betrays me in its apathetic rage
While I face my future with a sense of doom
I cannot deny although I detest my age,
I’ll hold beyond arm’s length the sight of tomb;
Though witness conceited youth with heaving sighs
And those I nurtured at now withered breast,
Weary sit with elbows propped on tired thighs;
Watch while autumn sun drops in the west.
Some think and perhaps are right that I am mad
But I think suffer from a simple case of blues;
Cast away all things laced, buttoned and plaid,
Shuffle to meet you in my orthopedic shoes.
Make one thing clear, Ponce de Leon must not fail
To send me drops of elixir in the mail.
Friday, April 22, 2011
The double-dactyl is a short verse form invented by the American poets Anthony Hecht and John Hollander in 1966. The poem consists of one sentence containing forty-four syllables that are distributed over eight lines and fall into two four-line stanzas. The first three lines of each stanza are dactylic dimeter; the last one is a choriamb. The two stanzas end with a masculine rhyme on the last syllable of the choriamb. The final feature of the form is found in line six of the poem: a single, six-syllable word which is a double-dactyl. Most start with Hiddledy-Piggledy, but there are some variations.
The arrogant Donald
Threw his hat in the
Be aware that Trump
Has tossed hairline into
The line of fire.
This was a lot harder than I thought it would be and took me more than a day, so now I’m behind, when I thought I’d just caught up.
The prompt was a Cento, which is a poem composed entirely of lines from other poems. Danielle Pafunda tweeted the lines all day yesterday. The poem doesn’t need to be long and there is a grand prize for contestants at Academy of American Poets. I’ll let you know if I won! (Don’t anybody hold their breath. The competition will be stiff.)
Someone stands and weeps in the glass telephone theater.
I stand on the porch in my bathrobe,
Implicit with stars in active orbit;
Let silence drill its hole.