Tuesday, July 25, 2006

"Mind Rest Metaphors"

“Mind Rest Metaphors”

The aesthetics of beauty
Confound me
And according to an old man
Are worth tipping for:
Quarters in a cup,
On his half of the table
I work for.

My mind rests
On a sink carpeted
By floating tomato heads
And the red, red, red
That begs a picture, bobbing,
In a frame of stainless steel.

And my mind rests
With the sleeping
Girl-child, the firstborn,
Tuesday, love-of-our-life,
Black-haired treasure.
My parents crept in
Every night, several times
Sliding a finger beneath my
Nose, holding their own
Breath to check for mine.
Is she sleeping?
Is it death?
In fear, (or is it love?)
The stillness
Always feels threatening.

My mind rests
On a Great Exhibition
In a London I will never know
For I am not my grandmother’s
Grandmother, after all.
I can see the glass
Hall, framing sky,
Probably grey and rainy,
In keeping with the city way.
Amongst the dials and dapper suits
There would have been a carriage
Pulled by kites.
And the marvel
Of a metaphor (so well suited
For dreams!)
Visits me, amidst my mind-rest.

And I find that beauty
(Upon which the mind rests)
Is floating tomatoes,
Is a girl-child,
Is a carriage
Drawn by kites.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Relief that the words hammer back in my brain...

"Word Flood" ("Stitch the Seams Together")

Stitch the seams together
If you can
With thoughts of
Withered, winter trees
Nothing to do with
The summer breeze,
My windows down
Grey storm-sky
Chased by bowing leaves
And a thousand thousand greens.

Stitch the seams together
If you can
With the words that finally
Torrent down from my
Sea-soaked hair
Dripping to the brain
From a page,
To a page, singing
My way home.
Ah, the relief
Of the many-tongued mind,
Of the urgency
With which the words
Are pressed upon me.

I no longer feel
That I have nothing to say
Or that my story
Is poisonous.
I go out,
Fresh with words,
Walk the dog
In the rain,
Think about the woman
With one closed eye
Who rules my days,
And the story of Chinese
Enchantment that swells
Until sleep’s closing,
With twilight-threading,
Hems words with oblivion
And ending.

"Chaos and the Water-Whisperer."

This one is unedited, inspired by a character I met under odd circumstances after a long day at work. I went home and scrawled these shortly before falling into a hard sleep. May they make sense, or have at least one image transpire...

“Chaos and the Water-Whisperer”
(written 7/12/06)

I met a man today
Who speaks
To his water.
Whispering to the clarity
Allows it to
Absorb intention (illumination)
And attention (like the direction
Of the illuminant).
He became a minister
For legal reasons.
He laughs in all

Looking in his eyes
Revealed less
Than what I thought
To find behind
The poncho-covered
Breast and longish hair.
The eyes were not old
Enough, though he
Told (through) me
Much of “Suffering
As the Character of Life.”
(in the blue pools danced
His drugged, injured brother,
Comatose, and visions
Of the flipping, fiery car.
What shock?
And what Redirection of The Universe’s

His peace was disarming,
Striking, unnatural,
Not at all
Like the snake:
Twirling viciously with
Struggle (mighty
And frantic)—
The snake cuts loose its own tail
To the dog’s mouth.
(Let The Injury scar the being,
But let it also
save the being.)
Life is

His was an understatement
Too gentle
To be natural,
Not at all like a heaving
Green-glass sea, or
Brazen orange moon.
(like my spleen chakra
Nor was he the overstatement
Of a storm cloud,
Rolling violet and gray,
Drenching, then
Piercing white,
Or a painted bird
Flitting and diving,
A bunny hunched and

My universe looks
Is it truly

Cascade of poetic thoughts --random, at best-- and recovered from late May.

In my foolishness
I cleansed the body of one man
With the body of another

I began to tally my human contact.
Twice a week
I pay a man to put his hands on me
Professionally, not sexually
He rubs his brow, widens
His eyes, runs his mouth,
Fingers pulling my arms
Holding my hands
Running down my spine,
Around my neck
Across my buttocks
And hips

My beads, threaded
Are tangled in a heap
On my dresser, where I
Have left them for weeks.
My fashion halted,
Creativity suspended

I am starting to wonder if
I was groomed to carry
This disease.
You can overdo it in both ways
Too involved of a mother
And I am suffocating
I am strained, and strange.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Things are as they should be. (?)

This is going to be a sort of hodge-podge post, I think. I have been itching to write here for a while, but have had nothing uplifting, nor particularly (positively) inspired to contribute. The world has been a bit too perplexing and cruel for my understanding in the past days. In a poem entitled "Wean Yourself" Rumi gets at an essential truth: human beings have difficulty believing that which they cannot perceive through the senses. Reality exists that we chose to ignore, out of blindness.

I went to see a movie tonight: Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth...you know, the documentary about Global Warming. I went with my mother. She squeezed my hand and cried at the ruination of our earth. Image after image of ice floes rifting and crashing into the ocean, floods, cracked deserts, hurricanes, tornados, graphs, maps and charts...are woven with the touching (private) story of a (very public) man who cares deeply about this cause (acknowledgeable, no matter your political affiliation). It rips you from the inside out.

We are blinded.

We are out of harmony with our world.

Try clicking here, for starters:

(Please, take a moment, and listen to Rumi's words:)
"Think how it is to have a conversation with an embryo.
You might say, "The world outside is vast and intricate.
There are wheatfields and mountain passes,
and orchards in bloom.

At night there are millions of galaxies and in sunlight
the beauty of friends dancing at a wedding."

You ask the embryo why he, or she, stays cooped up
in the dark with eyes closed.
Listen to the answer.
There is no "other world."
I only know what I've experienced.
You must be hallucinating.
(excerpted from "Wean Yourself")

Also, if you have positive, healing energies to lend, I ask that you send them to the family of a man named Steve. He was a lifelong friend of my fathers with a wife and two sons. Steve died this morning in an auto accident.

Om. With right understanding, things are as they should be.
Things are as they should be.
Things are as they should be.

Perhaps soon, when I get some time off from my menial job, I will edit more and publish a few original poems to the blog. I know it's been awhile...hang tight.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

WOW!!!!!!!!!! (the poetry of Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi)

Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi was a Persian poet living in the 13th century, in modern-day Turkey. His poetry is absolutely AMAZING...and is only now being translated into English, some eight hundred years later.
I just found it, at the recommendation of a new friend. It is completely off-the-charts, out-of-this-world, beautiful, and essential...the simplicity and profundity are staggering. It is incredibly spiritual, without being heady or overwhelming... It is unlike anything else I have read.
He taught Sufism, and once he attained enlightenment, he could speak only in poetry for years, according to legend. A scribe followed him around, writing down all that he said. Read it for yourself (there is a poem below)...and if you are interested to know more, I suggest the Wiki article about Rumi:
(If you read this blog, maybe Rumi is enough to make you want to jump up and down too. Ah, the beauty of the human mind and heart and soul and body...)

"Spring Giddiness"

Today, like every other day, we wake up empty
and frightened. Don't open the door to the study
and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument.
Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don't go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don't go back to sleep.

I would love to kiss you.
The price of kissing is your life.
Now my loving is running toward my life shouting,
What a bargain, let's buy it.

Daylight, full of small dancing particles
and the one great turning, our souls
are dancing with you, without feet, they dance.
Can you see them when I whisper in your ear?

All day and night, music,
a quiet, bright
reedsong. If it
fades, we fade.

Monday, July 10, 2006

"She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain." (1873) ~Louisa May Alcott

When I look back, I am so impressed again
with the life-giving power of literature.
If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of
myself in the world, I would do that again by reading,
just as I did when I was young.
~ Maya Angelou ~

(*le sigh* if only i could make reading on the beach a lucrative enterprise, i would be happy... needless to say, my first day off in a while was splendidly spent doing exactly what i love. now is one of those times i wish i were a cat, because people can't purr.)

Sunday, July 09, 2006

intuitive illumination.



Satori. Satori. Satori. This is a new word for me. It is one I encountered today while reading, of all things, a book on personality disorders. (i read whatever doesn't read me first.)

I like it a lot.

Rather than a goal of "enlightenment"...a state of enduring euphoria, understanding, peace, what-have-you, satori is everywhere, in everything, at everymoment. And, it seems approachable. Doable. I have experienced it, in the small moments of clarity, of peace, of harmony. Hoorah! Buddhism approaches me after all.

Here is a Wiki on "Satori": (enjoy!)

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

An (Un)Eventful, (Un)American Celebration.

The poetic embrace like the carnal
while it endures
forbids all lapse into the miseries of the world.

(Random-esque thoughts...
I enjoy fireworks for two reasons:
1) the rattling of one's ribcage...the mimesis of death, the feeling of sound...is both mildly terrifying and exhilerating...
2) i don't like the way the colorful, lighted display itself looks, so much as the smoke-spiders that linger in the air after the flames have extinguished...)


Happy Independence Day, and all that jazz. My July 4th was blissfully both uneventful and lucrative. I spent the night sitting in a delicious house, set a couple blocks off the river downtown, admiring the grainy wood floors and antique light fixtures of every room. I watched the sunset, and twilight set in, feeling the house's personality out. It's the kind with such a lack of "yard" that one feels completely enclosed inside of a birch tree when in the house; branches and vines brush every thick-glass window, scattering light. My little charge was a (mostly) sleeping 10-month-old girl: Sophie. When the fireworks began assaulting the house, she blinked her brown eyes at me, rolled around and "Ugh-ughed" until I swung her up on one hip and did a walking-tour of the house. She quieted, then drifted off again.

Between exploring the house and watching the baby, I finished reading Black Dog of Fate, Peter Balakian's memoir. He is of Armenian descent, and the book vividly captures his suburban childhood, his poetic conquests in academia, and then a crashing awareness of the Armenian genocide. He got inside my head and spoke. When I finished it (I have spent the better part of (all of) today reading the last half of the book), I felt startled. Also, I felt his person absent. That, in many ways, is the measure of a good book: if you miss the narrator, the way you would miss your closest confidant upon a sudden, total absence.

With the booming fireworks, the startled baby, the sensuous house, and the closing book, I feel I have had an eventful and satisfying holiday, if not a traditional one.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Writer's Block, (blindly crawled over.)

“Words Come in a Orange, Plastic Bottle”

Late evening, summered light
Warm, wet, dark hair,
Browned shoulders.

(Rattle, rattle,
Like the pacification
Of a baby—
The sweetness of soap
Becomes powder and soured milk.
Put your first finger in her mouth
Jostle her a bit,
She will sleep. )

Twenty years passed.

Rattle, rattle, still—
Her hair tracing floral scent,
Rivulets of water
Map a basin down her back—
Trace grace—
nape of the neck to tailbone.
One hand out, craning like a
Tentacle-beaked bird.
She reaches, for The Rattle
of Less Innocence:
a pair of bottles,
on the blue glowing
(beside The Books
That Measure Time.)

Open the bottle!
Swallow your impetuousness,
Your intemperance,
Your fear.

Eat the words!
Pill the eats! Word the pills!
(No wonder they’re retreating.
inside you’re head.)

My love for Louise Gluck grows.

(go, buy a book. this one.)

From The Wild Iris (Ecco Press, 1990)

"The Wild Iris"

At the end of my suffering
there was a door.

Hear me out: that which you call death
I remember.

Overhead, noises, branches of the pine shifting.
Then nothing. The weak sun
flickered over the dry surface.

It is terrible to survive
as consciousness
buried in the dark earth.

Then it was over: that which you fear, being
a soul and unable
to speak, ending abruptly, the stiff earth
bending a little. And what I took to be
birds darting in low shrubs.

You who do not remember
passage from the other world
I tell you I could speak again: whatever
returns from oblivion returns
to find a voice:

from the center of my life came
a great fountain, deep blue
shadows on azure sea water.

not convinced?
here, follow a link:

This is only one of my most favorite volumes of poetry of all time...:o)