Tuesday, March 21, 2017

a whale for the almighty

has a whale ever been trapped
in the carcass of a volcano?

an atoll in the middle of the pacific?
or does it depend on the reef

and the dunes and the way the sun
shines off the surface of the solar panels

that speckle the beaches
and modest rooftop of the

Tokelau town hall? and would it
take all the people there to get the whale

back out to sea safely if it had
been trapped in the first place? and would

there be enough time for the whale
to survive, swimming past the sharks

hidden in the surrounding shallows
as they wait for fishermen to leave

and the remaining fish to settle back
into tight schools for better hunting?

or is all of this irrelevant
because a whale knows better

than to get stuck anywhere at all
unless it planns to make such a sacrifice

in order to keep mystery and science alive?

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

The Lincoln Macomber

it takes just one turnip
pulled up by a bored fella

under a clear sky
in south eastern Massachusetts

one turnip deformed
by a rock in the soil

looking an awful lot
like the 16th president

to set the imagination of a fella
ablaze with fantasies

about a Kentucky turnip
fighting for the freedom

of turnips everywhere,
and unifying the great

turnip nation.




Friday, February 24, 2017

Population

bustle. now there's a word.
bustle. in the square. in the leaves.

constant bustle. bustlement.

bus-t-le. busetele. bustling beetle.
beetlement. so it's easy to get lost.

lost in the bustle of the city.
the city state with a curious

lack of pigeons. and women.

weaving. winging. pecking.
protecting and bustling.

well manicured. but a weevil.
a little beetle. can get lost

in the bustle. the city bustle.
and dodge the eyes of bishops

caring for the olive trees.

an olive weevil. a bustling.
a leaf eating. a stealth agent.

in a city with a population
this small. but with this many

bustling visitors.

a weevil gets away with a lot.
a lot of leaves. bustle from tree to tree.

a weevil in vatican city.



Tuesday, February 07, 2017

new standard

does anyone else feel this tired? all the time.

does anyone else feel tired even when they are dreaming? deep in sleep, my persona is too tired to jump off the building, so she just falls.

does anyone else feel too tired to take care of themselves, because we're trying to take care of ourselves. our civil rights being pressed like apples into cheap cider.

does anyone else feel this tired? so far and deep that we feel it in our organs and bones, but the fever is not caused by a virus.

does anyone else feel this tired? and yet unstoppable?

does anyone else feel this new standard of living, this new drive, this new guilt for not having felt this way before?

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Katy's Top FOURTEEN Films of 2016

Yeah, I know these sorts of lists are meant to be top 10 or 20 or some more conventional (yet still, let's be honest, arbitrary) quantity. The fact is, though, of the 47 or so movies I got to see at the cinema this year, there are 14 which I consider noteworthy, and would recommend you see if you have not yet.

Presented in nearly the order I saw them, here are my top 14 films of 2016.

THE VVITCH

This is a quiet film. There are lengthy shots of the wind blowing through the trees. The place it takes you is the confines of this family juxtaposed against the massive undiscovered world beyond the tree line. The era it takes you to is simple, punctuated by the chaos and rage of fear and suffering.

It would be very easy to draw parallels between what the oldest daughter in this film goes through to, say, a lesbian girl coming out to her family even today.  In alienating the girl from her family, the film throws shade on every member of the family; from screeching twins who may or may not be possessed to the questionable behavior of the father to save his family from complete damnation.

For me, the film gave me the space and time to question every character. I lingered in their reality for long enough to think myself in circles. By virtue of all this space, the film builds tension in tandem with distrust. I found myself questioning every character (including the livestock), and continuing to be anxious for and surprised by the answers.

You're going to need a dark room, the darker the better. You're going to need it to be very quiet. Turn your phone off for 90 minutes. Engaging fully with this film is how it should be seen. I had the fortune of a very quiet audience in attendance while viewing this film while friends of mine have not had the same pleasure, and the difference in experiences seems to make or break the film.

THE FINEST HOURS
















 
"In tha coast gAud they say ya gatta go out. They don't say ya gatta come back." -Bernie WebbAh
 
Reason one for my affection for this film: Chris Pine, you darling man, your accent was... astonishing. I love how much your performance made Ryan laugh. The trailers alone for this film endeared me to it thanks to the litany of goofy voices.
 
Accents aside though... let me tell you why I like this movie so much: The crew of the SS Pendleton. While the movie is split pretty evenly between Bernie Webber's plot at the Coast Guard station and the back half of an oil tanker, it was the crew of the back half of the oil tanker that I found most compelling, dramatic, and interesting. The oil-slicked, brawny crew is composed of a wide-range of complex personalities. Cassie Afleck's character is emotional married to the Pendleton. The chef is outwardly jovial for the benefit of his staff while inside cowering like a sheep. The boy that the captain can't understand when he speaks is smart and careful even when he's frightened. Everyone cast as a member of this crew clearly took time to round out their character and the relationships between them all come through in their half of the film. Ah, all while rushing around in greasy water, might I add. This is great writing, great direction, great acting, all working hard together to make me care for these men stuck at sea in the back half of an oil tanker.
 
EDDIE THE EAGLE


















I don't remember the real Eddie's performance. I was just a bit too young to appreciate anything other than The Muppets at the time. Even if you don't know who Eddie is, this charming biopic is still valuable on many levels. First of them being the adorable, clever, talented Mr. Taron Egerton. Taron instantly makes Eddie sympathetic despite the insanity of the character's actions. From the very beginning, you're rooting for Eddie.

Eddie's mother also endeared me to Eddie himself. She is presented as a gracious, proud, strong, encouraging, loving woman who works as hard as she can to help Eddie out from under the discouragement from his father. I love her as much as I love Eddie in this film.

And as far as story-telling goes... this movie hits every beat. I laughed, I clenched my teeth in fear, I cried tears of joy.

There isn't a whole lot more for me to say other than GO SEE THIS MOVIE! It's a triumphant tale in a new world where triumph will come in many shapes and forms. Eddie may have been a one-Olympic wonder, but his efforts reshaped the sport of ski jumping and the definition of victory.

10 CLOVERFIELD LANE










Goddamn was John Goodman great in this film (sorry for the terrible angle in the pic, John!).

There are a lot of spoilers that could come out of a review of this film, but part of what I loved about it was that I knew so little for certain about the universe in which this film is set. I had a lot of ideas... it does have Cloverfield in the title. Remember Cloverfield? That shaky-cam kaiju flick? So I go to see this movie that I know is set in a bunker from the trailers, and I *think* is set in a world where monsters are real. I don't know when it is set compared to it's fellow film (not sure if it is a prequel or sequel or simultaneous-el or alternate reality-el). I don't know who these people are or why they act the way they do.

Here is what I do know... they are all in a bad situation. Some worse than others. They are all questionable characters based on their actions (although we follow the thinking and discoveries of Michelle, I still can't figure out why she left Rocket Raccoon at the start of the film).

This film pits the bad-bunker-buddies against the fear of the unknown quality of the world above. Is it worse to be trapped underground with a mentally-unstable, overpowering, and potentially murderous man as a companion or be torn apart by the radioactive climate and giant monsters that *might* roam above ground? Do you fight the certain threat, or risk the uncertain one?

Either choice, it's a scary one. And a scary film. And an exciting film. And a lot better than that other Cloverfield movie.

GREEN ROOM














I hear a lot of people, specifically fans of the horror film genre, complain that there is a lack of originality or that "they" only make remakes these days or whatever other bogus mumbo-jumbo. Sorry, friends, but you cannot complain to me about nothing new hitting the screens if you haven't been paying enough attention to seek out horror films put out by studios like A24 and Annapurna. Both are mid-sized studios who are distributing quality films with quality casts. And these are exactly the studios fans of genre films should be seeking out and supporting. Don't complain to me, movie goer, if you think the only movies being made these days are by Marvel Studios. It doesn't take a whole heap of effort to open your fandango app every once in a while and see what's playing and who funded it. Even on film-remote Cape Cod, we have multiple cinema options. We didn't get to see Lobster or Swiss Army man this year, but we did get The VVITCH and Green Room on the big screen.

Okay, enough fan-bashing... this movie is hardcore. This movie is scary. This movie is gory. This movie is believable. These characters are tough as nails. These characters cry. These characters are not easy to predict who lives and who dies... or at least, hard to predict in which order they die.

Nod to Patrick Stewart's super understated evil in this film. And damnit, Anton is such a great talent. I already miss him so much. Maybe the actual greatest loss alongside Bowie this year. He had so much going on, so many performances in him... so much potential lost to a seriously freaky accident.

I also LOVE when a story teller is brave enough not to give everything away. I LOVE the very end of this movie so much. It ends on a simultaneous pay-off and sting. So good.

KEANU














In an attempt not to get too hyperbolic in my praise of this movie... WHY ISN'T THIS AT LEAST AS POPULAR AS HAMILTON!?

This is a movie about a GANGSTER KITTEN.

Gangster.

Kitten.

You read it right. A. Gangster. KITTEN.

Great qualities of the film: lots of love for George Michael. No supernatural bs (I do not count that one scene as supernatural, it was a vision). No talking animals (yeah, you can make a film about a gangster goddamn kitten without making it talk other than meowing). John Wick quality gun shoot outs.

Also... IT IS A MOVIE ABOUT A GANGSTER KITTEN!


CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE














It didn't make my list because of the cg rock (which was genuinely awful). It didn't make my list because of the plot. It didn't make my list because of Kevin Hart. It didn't make my list because of Dwayne Johnson.

This film made my list because Kevin Hart AND Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson are comedic soulmates. Thank goodness they finally found each other and are making movies together now and forever.

These two have magical chemistry. Just looking at this picture of them makes me smile.

I adore them. I will see any movie they make together.


THE PURGE: ELECTION YEAR














The Purge Election Year came out at a time in American politics when I was able to laugh at satirical content. Now... and this might sound dramatic, but it feels a bit too real. A film franchise built on economic inequality as its central protagonist to the world in which it takes place, is too true in a real world where one of the wealthiest cabinets in American history is now only 20 days away from taking office and taking control.

The NFFA - the New Founding Fathers of America - are a bunch of wealthy, old, white farts who make bank on the damages done during the annual purge. They are too powerful for the rules to apply to them. They are too wealthy to suffer. Their power manifests in a few poignant ways throughout the film.  One key point I thought was particularly telling was that the shop owner featured in the film can't afford the sudden and extortionate spike in his purge insurance that comes just days before the purge. The rich get richer, right? Right. Up until the point that the underground bad-asses come for their asses!

Aside from political commentary, the film also has some fantastic scares, creative designs (rock on costume and prop departments!), and some really likable characters who develop throughout the story.


GHOSTBUSTERS














I loved this movie. I need to watch it as many times as I have seen the other two Ghostbusters. I love Kate McKinnon. I love that Ecto is now a hearse (seems wildly appropriate for a ghost busting vehicle). I love that they kept the logo. I love that little girls and boys now have a team of badass women to look up to. I love that the film plays with all conventions by casting a hunk of beautiful man-meat in the secretary role (although to be fair, Janine was never as brainless as Kevin). I love that almost the entire cast of Other Space made appearances in the film. I LOVE the scene with Kristin Wiig's Erin is being dragged out of a fancy restaurant screaming and crying at the Mayor. I love Kate McKinnon. I love what Paul Feig does for Melissa McCarthy on a performance level. This and Spy were so much fun and so sweet.

The cg was stylized and mesmerizing in 3d. The gags were fun, funny, and charming. I don't have anything deep or complicated to state here. I don't have any complaints other than how jarring some of the cameos were (but I kind of expected that to be honest). I just enjoyed it. And girl power! Am I right?


STAR TREK BEYOND
















I really like the entire new series of Star Trek films, with and without Benedict Cumberbatch. I love Bones played by Keith Urban. I love Spock played by Zachary Quinto. I love Kirk played by Chris Pine. I love Uhura played by Zoe Saldana. I love Chekov played by Anton Yelchin. I love Sulu played by John Cho. I love Scotty played by Simon Pegg. I love it all.

And in this flick, I really love the female lead, Jaylah. She's compelling, beautiful, strong, clever and independent.

My overall opinion of this film is in keeping with my opinion of the other two. It is fun, colorful (visually and contextually), action-packed, pretty, very pretty, and smart. While I don't expect a high emotional reaction to films like this one, I do expect to be entertained. And I was.

Plus, the film created the space for a stupendously cliché moment, and basically gave the audience the bird for even thinking it would do such a thing. I loved that. Idris Elba was also, by the way, great in this!

KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS














Laika did it again, folks. From the masters behind Box Trolls, ParaNorman, and Coraline, comes Kubo and the Two Strings. The stop motion animation is beautiful and captivating. Laika continue to break new grounds in animation. The story is sweet, heroic, complex, and compelling. The MUSIC is phenomenal!

Here I am going to go again and tell you... if you are one of those folks who claims that nothing new and original is being made... go buy a pair of Nike shoes or go buy this movie on bluray or do both.  (Nike foot some of Laika studios' costs for their films. Pun intended!)

Kubo is a new fairy tale. A NEW one. And it's beautiful!


DON'T BREATHE














Trapped in a house with a blind karate wizard master man, bitter and angry about what other people have done to him, is a bad place to be. But, it is a great premise for a film. Especially if, like me, you get claustrophobic.

Beyond the premise, the film delivers motivation for each character believable enough to have created the situation of the film. The scars got me. The tension got me. The desperation and hopelessness of the situation was felt.

My favorite part of this film was how evenly matched the main woman and the blind man were matched. She was smart, but desperate. Good scary movie if you want to be scared. And in my opinion, making someone feel scared for as long a duration as this film did a great work.


FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM












Here is another film for me wherein the characters are what endears me to it. Oh, the human/wizardy characters AND the animal ones. The beasts were indeed fantastic.

The non-heroic male figures, the somewhat diddling but proactive and vibrant female figures, the complex and distant figure of the wizard president lady, the awkward and suppressed children, they all fit into each other's story lines like weirdly shaped jigsaw puzzle pieces. Rowling knows how to write a story, no doubt about it.

My favorite part of this film is the contrast between it (where and when it is set as well as the encapsulated story) and the Harry Potter films. Most significantly, the wizards of old timey New York are much more overtly isolationist, while the Hogwarts adults work strongly against their own racism for the benefit of the children - especially those with part or all muggle parents. Racism and discrimination is still a convention of the wizard world in both films. In Fantastic Beasts, our muggle or Nomage is the affable baker, Kolwaski. He doesn't voluntarily entangle himself in the world of wizards so much as he is sort of smuggled into it by Newt (who I genuinely think needs and wants another outside friend to give him courage and perhaps even show him how to "normally" react to certain things, because I think Newt doesn't conform to social norms on all levels). Kolwaski is loved by all - in and out of the film's reality - and his story is probably the most beautiful and emotional of all the characters in the film. His role as the outsider is even more powerful than that of Harry or Hermione who both come from a different place than most of the other characters in Harry Potter, because Kolwaski ultimately, even though he is desperately in love with a wizard lady, decides not to become part of the wizard world. I feel that this choice is not out of fear or cowardice, but out of bravery.  For Kolwaski, he has the option to let his wizard friends take care of him, astound him, and protect him, or he can face the world head on and make his own way. Newt undermines Kolwaski's strength of character at the end, but I believe that Kolwaski was prepared to grit his way to success if he had to. I believe that although he would not remember what he'd experienced, he knew more about his true character from the experience and had faith enough himself to carry on through his own world of struggle and make his dream of owning a bakery come true. That, to me, is what Fantastic Beasts is all about, I guess. I hadn't thought as deeply about it as this until just now... need to go re-watch this film soooooon. Also, I think I just made this my favorite Harry Potter franchise film...


MOANA












She might still have the insanely big eyes of a bratz doll, but aesthetically, Moana as a character design, takes Disney a huge step in the right direction towards all-body-type-inclusive. The film still suffers from the all-female-characters-faces-are-the-same while all-men-have-weird-and-interesting-shaped-heads problem... why is that!? It's almost like we hold women, all women, to a uniform standard of beauty, even when we are consciously trying to do the opposite.

That being said, Moana's character/personality/role is progressive. She's in line to become chief. Heck yeah! And at no point does the film make any excuse for it. It just is how it is. She isn't perfect, she isn't flawless, she can't do it all alone, but she tries, and that's awesome. Aladdin was nothing without the genie, so I have no complaints about Moana enlisting the begrudging assistance of a demi-god.

This film also made my list because, well, I am still a bit high on Lin-Manual Miranda, so...

Oh yeah, and, the tattoos on Maui are fun and a great little story device: how to say a lot without saying anything.


Actress of the Year: Amy Adams
Batman vs Superman, Arrival, and Nocturnal Animals























I felt compelled, after seeing Arrival and Nocturnal Animals, to include a top/favorite actress in my list of favorite films of 2016. Amy Adams is incredible, but you knew that already. She was the second best thing about Batman Vs Superman (second to Wonder Woman, of course), and she was the centerpiece for both Arrival and Nocturnal Animals both aesthetically and narratively. 


Actor of the Year: Mads Mikkelsen
Doctor Strange and Rogue One























Because I decided to chose an actress of the year, I thought I should even things out with a bit of Mads Mikklesen. Like Amy, he was my favorite part of several films this year that weren't over-all good enough to make my list. Namely, Mads rocked the most stellar eye-make up this side of the galaxy in Doctor Strange, and he played an epic role in the new Star Wars movie. His death in that film was the most compelling part of Rogue One for me - possibly because Felicity Jones as Jyn made me actually care about him as a person and not just a plot point.



Finally, to give some context to my list, here are all the films I saw in the Theatre in 2016 (in the wrong order, but whatever):
  1. The Witch
  2. The Finest Hours
  3. Hail, Caesar!
  4. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
  5. Deadpool
  6. Zootopia
  7. Zoolander 2
  8. Eddie the Eagle
  9. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
  10. 10 Cloverfield Lane
  11. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice
  12. Hardcore Henry
  13. Captain America: Civil War
  14. Barbershop: The Next Cut
  15. Green Room
  16. The Jungle Book
  17. Keanu
  18. X-Men: Apocalypse
  19. The Nice Guys
  20. Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising
  21. Me Before You
  22. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
  23. The Conjuring 2
  24. Central Intelligence
  25. The BFG
  26. The Purge: Election Year
  27. Ghostbusters
  28. Star Trek Beyond
  29. Sausage Party
  30. Kubo and the Two Strings
  31. Don't Breathe
  32. Morgan
  33. Blair Witch
  34. The Magnificent Seven
  35. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
  36. The Accountant
  37. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
  38. Doctor Strange
  39. Arrival
  40. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  41. Moana
  42. Allied
  43. Nocturnal Animals
  44. Lights Out
  45. Rogue One
  46. Assassin's Creed
  47. imp man 3


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Fog

after the fog cleared
they found and empty school bus
in a cranberry bog

a woman wrapped in a shrub
found three unlit cigarettes
though she'd only dropped two

and a small dog got the upper hand
on the neighborhood bully
the dalmation from number 8.

it was a dense fog.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

lean into gratitude

lean into gratitude is an expression gifted to many by the late Kathleen Burkhalter. if you knew Kathleen, you likely already understand the value of the phrase. for those of you in the world who missed her, she was the most genuinely accepting person i have ever known. she opened her arms, her home, and her heart to everyone.

i miss her. i cannot imagine how severely her dear husband, David, and her six beautiful children - Mercy, JM, Ana-Maria, Seraphina, Kiko, and Rosie - must miss her every moment. but, i feel so grateful that i had a chance to tell Kathleen just how powerful her message was for me. i miss her, but i feel grateful for her. i lean into gratitude.

it gives me strength.

lean into gratitude has a similar meaning to the phrase "look on the bright side". but what happens when you lean instead of just look?

to look means to picture, to imagine, to watch from afar.

to lean means to acknowledge, to accept, and to use positivity for support.

it gives me so much strength. it forces me to know what i am grateful for instead of simply imagine. for me, it makes gratitude and positivity real. it makes gratitude and positivity something i can use to take action.

like a sail leaning against the wind.

lean into gratitude also offers a delicate balance. to lean, not to fall, not to engulf, but to lean. to hold yourself up with the help of gratitude. this powerful phrase allows me to stand and be strong with support of my thankfulness.

perhaps someone else could articulate the phrase's meaning better, but i offer this as an explanation of how i have felt for the last month, and an explanation of how i have coped with much over the last month without collapsing, as hard as it has been.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Nathan

I have this friend. I know for a fact that he considers me a friend.

His name is Nathan, but his friends call him Nate.

His grandmother invented Oreos. They are a secret family recipe, you see.

Even though I have known Nate for a while, I don't know where he lives. No one else seems to know, either.

Sometimes he goes to Maine. Thinking about it now, I am not sure where in Maine he goes.

He goes there to speak to animals.

Nate speaks to people the way they speak to him. Short, quiet sentences or long, excited sentences. He can make any type of sentence.

He is an old, wise wizard in his youth. Nathan the Wizard.










it has been 18 days since leonard cohen died.

Friday, November 11, 2016

2 minutes

for 2 minutes every morning
i let my toothbrush do the work

let the bristles vibrate the plaque
off my tea stained teeth

and i think about cleaning
the grim off the door

about one foot off the ground
where the cats rub their cheeks

and i think about whether
i should have responded to that

facebook post about abortion laws
or if should have let it be

and i think about your voice
and how much more i like

the words on the page
and how guilty i feel about that

and i think about all the extra calories
that i should have said no to the day before

and then my tooth brush stops
the built in 2 minute timer is up

and those three teeth
that i mindlessly held my brush to

are really clean.



it has been 1 day since Leonard Cohen died. i think i will be okay.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

day zero

the lights are going out
clink. clink.

i don't know how to make them stop
clink.

clink.

today, Leonard Cohen died.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

pri(s)m

the way the cat sees it
the fractured light

is an erratic and chaotic
intruder through which

irradiation is only achieved
through diligent and aggressive attack

to yield the desired dispersion
of the light creatures.

strange though it might seem
that the efforts by the cat

, no matter how fierce,
take exactly the same amount of time

as it takes the sun to move
from ground to sky and back again.



Wednesday, September 14, 2016

interesting things you can do with sandwiches

a poem for MeeSherr

there are many things you can do
with sandwiches, but

there are only so many things
exclusively interesting

interesting without being gross
or childish or contrary

pure interesting is a talent
a special skill, honed

by those with love for the craft
and dedication to their work.

it may seem interesting
to put a sandwich under your bed

but most beds harbor dust
and fuzzy carpet

this is gross.
would you eat a furry sandwich?

it may seem interesting
to cut off the crusts and carve

your sandwich into fun shapes
like dinosaurs or hearts

but children do this to their food;
therefore, it lacks the exclusive allure

of being interesting simply
by being interesting.

it may seem interesting
to put chips in your sandwich

and it does taste great if your chips
are delicious and they go

with the flavor of your sandwich
but how many people have to do it

before it is no longer that interesting?
it may seem interesting

to substitute your bread with other foods
like lettuce or waffles

depending on your diet,
but we have seen this done

by large food chains now,
and so the interest is disappearing.

so how can one be truly interesting
and do interesting things with a sandwich?

perhaps the most interesting thing
one can do with a sandwich

is be completely normal with it.

her story

sitting down outside drinking something
hot from a paper cup

an old woman
skin like chocolate bark

except for pink fingertips
and white scar tissue

in the shape of a clover
under her right eye

you want to know what happened
curiosity tingles, motivates

you ask nicely
what happened to her

she doesn't look at you
she gets up

she walks away
like she never saw you

...

shrug it off. she's old.
maybe she's def?

Monday, September 05, 2016

how they met

they could have grown up together
and shared a short walk to the bus stop each morning

until he learned to drive and honked his horn
when he passed her, to make her jump every morning

until she started anticipating it with a middle finger
and a forgiving smile.

but there are many ways they could have met...

they could have gotten trapped in the same
broken elevator, or under the same awning

during a torrential rain.

they could have passed each other
for hundreds of days on the street

smiling each time, maybe wishing each other
a happy holidays or a sheepish wave

until one day he gives her a carnation
that he stole from the open front shop

around the corner.

they could have tried to adopt the same dog
or reached for the same jug of milk.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Mind Me

The mind, my mind

It doesn't always.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

at the stern

leant over the rails
at the stern

of the passenger vessel
bound for an unbound land

lush with hope and rich
with the stentch of opportunity

there she was
hair wafting in tandum

with the windsocks
admiring the wake of the ship

the back of her dress
constantly threatening

to reveal some flesh
unintended for peeping passenger

the girl at the stern
is the only one thinking

about the world left behind




Monday, June 06, 2016

stinger


I am stuck on an impossible idea
which is typical, at least for me

and not just an idea of impossible measure
but a mud-caked wreck of an impossible concept

lovers of O'Hara will appreciate the risk
of ending up in a knot of an unpunctuated triptych

it simply cannot happen
it cannot be formed into something you see

in a world where you are the most possible
the impossible flutters around you like a bee in heat

and it never lands.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

the mark

hard to hide it from some. those who know you already, those who think they do.

when all of a sudden
you start treating someone
someone you just met
like you've never treated anyone
before.

hard to hide it. because they know you.
they know the mark.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

a planet with long views


IMPROMPTU #7
with the Found Poetry Review for National Poetry Month

The Prompt
The Brazilian poet Manuel Bandeira created the cento “Anthology” (see below) using lines from his own poems, instead of employing the traditional method of cento-construction (in which you build a poem entirely out of lines from other people’s poems). Following his example, write a cento that is a self-portrait, or anthology of your life, utilizing lines and fragments from your own work.
Or, alternatively, create a “self-portrait” cento using lines and fragments from
  1. other people’s poems (the traditional method), or
  2. song lyrics, or
  3. prose (fiction and/or nonfiction)
*To see the basic stipulations for writing a traditional cento, see http://myenchiridion.blogspot.com/2008_08_01_archive.html

The Poem


dan woke up
he is six years old
and he lives in a house with two cats

humans built the kitchen
bacon, eggs, mushrooms,
whipped cream, earl grey

she made them all
some elderly woman
every sunday afternoon at 5am

down the road ben woke up
to find his kitchen in a cloud of bread flour
Muriel and Beatrice created this great blizzard
they called it a donut shop

outside, three teenagers pulled beets
from the garden
they dreamt of opening a tapas bar
and calling it Norman's

a curious neighborhood
from the cats' perspectives
but the raccoons paid no attention.






Saturday, April 09, 2016

Greater

IMPOMPTU #5
with the Found Poetry Review for National Poetry Month

The Prompt
Ok, here’s the prompt: pick a song that you find dynamic. Track its moves. Try to replicate that movement with a poem.

The Process
Sarah's awesome prompt is... well, very involved. I am taking a baby step towards the goal, by taking a song's lyrics and replacing them. I asked my husband to pick a song. He chose "The Greatest Man That Ever Lived" by Weezer.... I am translated part of the song.

The Poem

Greater
I fit to keep it neat like I just won't dance
But soon you'll be stitching in a signature

We're like a team with a magical dream
I howl like a wolf when You fill the moon

You get the moon and I get the ground
We've had the plot to take on the world

We've taken this all the way
and Curse on them for trying to take us down



Thursday, April 07, 2016

retraction

IMPOMPTU #6
with the Found Poetry Review for National Poetry Month

One of the Prompts9.
Write a prose poem of five sentences. The first sentence should include a pronoun ( not “I”) doing something that itself includes an image/object. The 2nd sentence should have a different pronoun doing something else with the same image/object. The 3rd sentence should be a statement about this image/object. For the 4th sentence, write a simile that is unrelated. In the 5th, use “I” and relate part of the simile to the original statement. I know this all sounds rather clinical, but here by way of example is one I wrote:
The Problem
A woman accidentally walks into the men’s room. A man deliberately walks into the women’s room. I don’t believe in dialectics but abide by them nonetheless. It is like a painting of someone sheathing a sword. The problem is it is also like a painting of someone unsheathing a sword.
 
 
 
The Poem
 
we retracted the comments about the fish. they took the fish back anyway. the fish was not what was asked for. it was like getting a futon instead of a table. I wouldn't know what to do with it, I already have a bed and a couch.
 
 

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

wonder market for monsters

IMPOMPTU #4
with the Found Poetry Review for National Poetry Month
Prompt: WordBlocks
Words have multiple meanings. Meanings have multiple words. I think of wordblocks as a single-word stand-in to express multiple meanings, or an ambiguity of meanings. I use them in my writing all the time, and often generate them as a warm-up exercise before I write.
  1. Write a word.
  2. Make a list of other words that are related to this word, in meaning or in spelling.
  3. Combine these words into one wordblock sharing letters. (See pictures for example)
  4. Keep rearranging, adding, or subtracting words until you have a wordblock you like aesthetically both visually, and linguistically. A wordblock rarely looks great on the first try. Wordblocks have vast potential both handwritten, and typeset either digitally or with moveable letterpress type.
  5. Your wordblock can stand alone as a one-word poem, or be placed in a sentence. Try stringing multiple word blocks together. The result is a sentence that provides multiple ways to navigate it.

See Examples Given Here

so i made this thing....





Monday, April 04, 2016

L A N G U A G E

IMPOMPTU #3
with the Found Poetry Review for National Poetry Month

Prompt
Stare at a word until the letters start to discorporate. You will find that letter cohesion, the letter glue that keeps letters stuck inside a word, is disrupted and dissolves. Fragments of letters will dislodge too. You are then free to visually interpret or document the life of letters outside their word existence as loosely or succinctly as possible.



L A N G U A G E

language

languish language language languish land squish land switch

i immediately heard the word language. and i immediately heard the limitations in it.

i only know how to say thank you in seven languages. there is so much more to learn.

learn language. learn limits.

and our learning has limits and our length has breath. and this too is in the language of things.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Letter from the Illuminati

IMPROMPTU #2
with the Found Poetry Review for National Poetry Month
The Prompt
This prompt is modeled after that project. You can start with any piece of junk mail or advertising, or any legal document or bureaucratic form (it’s tax time!). Choose a few sentences. Remove the nouns. Replace them with:
  • words from a poem you’ve abandoned
  • words from one or more poems you love (by anyone, yourself included)
  • any other source that works
From there, work what you’ve got into a poem.


Note
My husband and I just renewed a particular policy. Can you guess what kind of policy from the poem? ....




LETTER FROM THE ILLUMINATI

With respect to the Majority,

You may claim that abandonment benefits loss.
You may call your local House.
But you have Selected.

So now you have Reflected?
You cause Volcanic Eruptions to Damage us?

To expect your best is your business.
Only your obligation is our priority.

And you will Pay your Share
when we pay for the glass roof and hidden rot.

This was made clear upon signing. You have already
Paid in Full.

Your obligation and Your risk, these are our Delight.

We know You will renew your policy.

Thank you.
The Trampoline Dog of Law

Friday, April 01, 2016

--REFORMERS--

IMPROMPTU #1
with the Found Poetry Review for National Poetry Month

the prompt:

 
 

the pages:
 
 
the remainders:
work done is by master. eleven were in on the government. according to the mechanic undergoing storm assembling. complete steam undergoing repairs and work and work and two and thirty-two repairs machinery. found all the coal approximately. making consumption. all used for the power. at the three men, one man, each man acting. were during making the consumption total water. to which chargeable. consumption, adjustment, attention, the end. adjustment, the attention, which the government of the occasion of country. enough has to end in view, the three big indicated in this. and need is this and need as now the whole is necessary as to quick unhealthy. healthy if the interests changes are going change. country government will be through the community. some will be merely the methods. minds need and goods we keep. heads and these things in a little army. the task of everybody out by labor four asked the government the sum. press principle in the construction for construction for operation. for made in construction the dock state. France sailed from France the two other. the battleship and five peace of powers is remains until in and terms to second this determination to press the past will wagon. funds for operation a necessary expenditure for the country. line is as a remedy for the slow when the refund to consequence expiration of the resolution without excuse is urged to present aid. to secure government, government between a necessary and improving condition based on that than any to know wagon and government. bad and by during stormy November. cleared in the week.
 
the poem:
work done well is by a master.
 
eleven were in on the government. according to the mechanic --
which is undergoing stormproof assembling.
 
complete. reformers steam ahead. undergoing repairs
and work and work and work and work and two and thirty-two repairs --
 
machinery work. or so they found all the coal --
approximately.
 
making consumption for government. all used for the power.
at the three men, one man, each man acting.
 
as if power were working.
were making the consumption total.
 
to which the men are chargeable.
consumption, adjustment, attention, --
 
the end. adjustment, the attention,
unto which the government  --
 
of the occasion of country
is enough  and has the end in view.
 
the three big indications in this.
is this and need  --
 
as now the whole is necessary
as to quick unhealthy.
 
healthy if the interests of men
change and are going to change for good.
 
country government will be through the community.
some men will be merely become the methods.
 
government minds need --
and goods men keep.
 
heads and these things --
as in a little army -- these are the tasks of everybody --
 
out by labor.
 
four asked the government
the sum. press principle --
 
in the construction for construction
for operation. for made in construction --
 
the dock state of France
sailed from France to the two others.
 
the battleship and five peace of powers
remains until --
 
in and of terms to second this determination
to press the past will of men like a wagon.
 
funds for operation are a necessary expenditure --
 
for the country. line is as a remedy  --
for the slow when the refund to consequence expiration --
 
of the resolution without excuse
is urged to present aid.
 
to secure government,
government between a necessary and improving --
condition
 
based on that which more than any
to know the will of men as if by wagon --
 
and government.
bad and by doing so during a stormy November.
 
but cleared in the week.
 
the notes:
upon lifitng the text, i inserted my own punctuation, namely the period. in the manifestation of the text as a poem, words were added to benefit the narrative, and breaks were added to benefit the breath. as this is my first erasure piece, and outside my comfort zone, as it were, i brought the content into familiarity via couplets, of which i am very comfortable.
 
 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

crow

i watched a crow
move in a spiral


from the outside
of the cul-du-sac


to the center where
it spun in place


before burring its beak
in discarded candy


that had been buried
under snow


since Halloween.


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

surely

molded to a dress, to a belief,
to an event, and to a legacy.

from the outside, a statue
of perfection, but on the inside

surely

butterflies flutter out of control

however fueled by certain conviction
in a vow, she would not waiver.

because her vow lasts longer
than a moment.

revolution

once around

all the gears are in motion
lubricated against grinding
so the sound of creation
is cool. you can hear the hum.

once again

the gears are getting older.
with every revolution
they lose some of their iron
and the teeth don't fit as neatly together.

once around again

the pieces don't fit well enough
to justify them any more
so they are replaced by new,
younger pieces.

and the revolutions begin anew. repeating themselves. around. and around again.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Monday, December 07, 2015

heart rate rounder

fit to the flow
fix to the follow up
lips up
close
closer


heart rate running
rampant
risk of failure
rumbling in your chest
churn
churning


don't take your time
speed up
stretch
the lips
until they touch


heart
beat
met

Monday, October 19, 2015

on Los Angeles

kale and avocado crazy;
it's in the ice cream,
on every plate;
and all the cats here
work for the cops.





Monday, June 29, 2015

happy loneliness (6/29 title by Emilie Noetzel)



watching your favorite reality tv show

dressing purely for comfort, screw fashion

eat the whole thing

with your hands

and laugh when you say "excuse me" out of habit.

theft

Stolen from _fernbeds_
https://instagram.com/p/4f6SazBRwg/?taken-by=_fernbeds_

 
take the carcass of the thief
dismantled as it ever was

stolen from the nests of albatross
and plover for structure among weaker fibers

take the chance encounter
with the larger birds

to bring home the bones of a wasted life
that was coveted none the lesser

fore the value of any other
it is relative to the life and the one living it

but you can't explain that to the birds

pride.


just a bit of Jack


albatros

is the albatross a brave bird
or just a big one?

does it eat whatever it wants
or whatever it can find?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

it's june already??

no wait... june is almost over already!!

the boundary of envy

we cross the river again
murky with sludge
and banked by stagnant pools

the net cast is catching it all
the slime and filth
the lies and dead fish

to the other side
looking back we notice
our selves in different shapes

the eyes matching
the lips curling down
the reflections staring back

our time is over
to look back, now
we must press forward

to the valley
where wolves await
starving for meat

to the valley
where we will find
ever more and more

different versions of our selves
as we shed each layer
at each boundary

Friday, June 19, 2015

unfinished

projects piling up, unfinished.
attentions thwarted, distracted.


this is a summary of me, of my work.
to detail it all would take too long, and I may never finish it.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

always and forever (5/29 title by Meaghan Hughes)

from http://www.juvenile-in-justice.com/ o

I am over and over
I reoccur.




my wounds have their own scars
my tattoos have stories.




I cannot speak
I only repeat.




until the thin skin that protects me
haunts me. That itch never goes.




it's here and here and here.
it hurts.




over and over. And I scratch.
and the itch remains.




and I start over.
again. I reoccur.




always.
and over and over and forever.








Monday, April 20, 2015

If I was everything you thought I was (4/29 title by Nicole McLemon)


everything I am, you know,
you thought you knew.

from pearls to pointe
with curls and curves

and minty fresh retorts
to your boring anecdotes

i am everything you know
and i am more

than you could ever imagine.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Lemon Wednesday (3/29 title by the staring man)

http://jeffhayesfinearts.blogspot.com/2015/03/print-peeled-lemon.html

the stitch stings
like lemon juice
in a paper cut
on a cloudy Wednesday
when no one is in the mood
to give any sympathy
and spans the length
of my entirety

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Yeast. Bees? Geese. (2/29 title by Evan)


Part 1: Yeast.

... don't give my any of your
nano-brewery bullshit

it was made in a bathtub
wasn't it?

Part 2: Bees?

... those aren't sweaters, that's...
just the color of their fur.

... or whatever.  fuzz.  i don't
know what bees are made of, do i?

Part 3: Geese.

feathers and monocles.  right.
and nick frost is going to jump

right out of this whoopee pie
that is really some cake

in the shape of cookies
sandwiched around... stuff.

nothing to do with pie.



stop looking at me.

luscious frustration (1/29 title by Daniella)



the way your whole heart warms up
at the sight of him, making stupid faces

at a friendly stray cat
when he doesn't know you're watching.

fun, cute, you think you can do the same
so you make a stupid face at him

and the only reply is a scowl
when you know he can be just as dumb

and fun as you want him to be.

but stray cats get all the looks.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Poetry Month


I am not participating in any special poetry month projects.  That's not a very good reason why I shouldn't try to write more this month than my recent normal amount. 

Poetry forthcoming. 



Saturday, March 28, 2015

the pull through

watching a fat cat
pull itself through


a tiny space.



Sunday, February 22, 2015

dark river


our feet tucked in socks and winter boots
slipping on rocks

algae covered and eroded
the smooth surfaces, no edges,

left nothing to grab
but each other

as we clumsily crossed the dark river
from one galaxy, snow covered and bare

to the one we will conquer
and warm with the blood of our foes.


 
[inspired by the dark river]

Sunday, January 18, 2015

the sun

one cannot trust the sun
as bright and beautiful
as she shines

to look upon her
is to turn your eyes
into liquid gold

burnt forever
by her stunning visage
blinded by her light

and overcome
by her beauty
her radiance

her wrath.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

in the dream

in the dream
i was brave enough

and strong enough
to hold him down

but when i woke
i could not even reach him

Saturday, January 10, 2015

and you'll never guess

a funny little brown book
wrapped shut with leather twine
the same color as the book

and on every page
is just

one

word.

the secrets to the universe
written in a funny little book

one word per page.

and you'll never guess how many pages
in that funny little brown book,

because that

is a secret.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

long back

the mess of stitches
that make the matador's costume
so elegant in appearance

 the gold and the teal

fitted tightly

powerful

are not revealed to the spectator

the same way the mess of stitches
that make up his wife's troubled heart

cannot be seen by anyone looking in

elegant, she waits


Sunday, January 04, 2015

end of the weekend

the groceries were stored away in cupboards and containers

decaffeinated sodas in cans littering the small table
alongside empty plates where enchiladas once laid

he plays a colorful shoot-em-up
while she rests her head on a shoulder

reading the alchemist, sucking on a candy cane
stolen from the Christmas tree, doomed to come down

this time next week.

Friday, January 02, 2015

the death of Harriet

this is not one of those stories about Harriet, whom everyone knows.  rather, here is the story, the mystery, if you will, of how a Welshman and a well bred Canadian met in a dilapidated café under a bridge in the city of London.

it was a white-box, a pop up, it was under a bridge in London.  the sort of little café tourists only end up in when they're lost or it's raining the sort of rain it rains in December when thousands are out doing their holiday shopping.  heavy.

the tea served so hot that no one left with all the taste buds they came in with.  and not the sort of place you usually find a handsome Welshman dressed in a tailored suit with a matching coat, nor a woman in pearl studs and shiny brown pumps.  certainly not one as fine as her, not Canadian anyway.

so it was hard for them not to notice one another, of course.

he was opening tiny milk packets and sugar packets and pouring them into his foam cup.  packet after packet trying to mask the taste of burnt tea.  a head nod to the lovely young lady.

a smile.

then a turn.  among half a dozen strangers, she cried.  openly.  weeping.  a damsel in unabashed distress in such a way that only a finely dressed Canadian woman could get away with in a dingy London café under a bridge in the rain.  it may not have been raining. 

so he comforted her, naturally.  handing her tissues and there-there-ing her. 

that's how they met, you see.  it must have been 2006, the year that Harriet died.  but we still don't know how the Welshman and the Canadian ended up in the same café in London, or why the tea tasted so burnt yet people still paid 98p for it.

it is estimated that Harriet was 175 years old by then, yet even of that we are not so sure.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

the mudroom

the mudroom
became a sea of flowers
spanning the color spectrum

and just as the delivery truck left, a small brown rabbit appeared

followed by a tired man in pajamas
who poured himself a mug of tea

and gazed across the sea of color
only to find his wife, trapped on the other side
of the tiny room
meant for dirty shoes and umbrellas.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

sparks

that look

across the lobby of a gaudy hotel
on par with the grand Budapest

big and open and yet

reeking of the same stuffy stench
as a small hallway in an old woman's duplex
in somewhere like Cornwall

as if the carpets haven't been cleaned
since the last great war.

that look

that look that penetrates the mire and murk

that look that breaks your pace

forces your pupils to grow big
in an effort to absorb more detail

that look that breaks you

at the end of a long story, that you thought wouldn't end.

at least,

not like that. 





well read

she doesn't want to do anything today.

and no one else does

either.

Monday, December 29, 2014

if her eyes

if her eyes were the same color as yours
would you trust her more
or less?

because you know all the things
your eyes have seen.

would you want her to see the world
like that?

we are made of stuff

i have a few days off.  off from one of three jobs, anyway.  so as far as i see it, i have 35 hours to myself.  in that time i have a few objectives.  one of them, to do a little bit of blogging.  why not, right?

day one:

i made a lot of progress on my jigsaw puzzle while watching season four of portlandia and eating cinnamon rolls.

i watched cloudy with a chance of meatballs 2, and hung out with my three favorite cats.

i made vet appointments for two of those three cats (just routine visits).

i also got my free fitbit in the mail.  i work for weight watchers, and while they don't pay great, they do give their meeting-room staff a few good perks.  so tonight, ryan is going to help me set it up to sync with my phone.  to make the device worth while, i am also going to get a gym membership.  so one of my objectives this week will be to get to the gym a couple of times. 



my objectives for this little bit of time i have off includes four books.  okay, i am in the middle of half a dozen already, but the four pictured are the ones i hope to delve into this week.  i won't finish them, but i will get into them enough to want to continue them.  or, maybe i'll just finish one.

A Brief History of Time by Steven Hawking
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami
and Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow

some poetry may occur. 

some online shopping may occur.

some sit ups, some episodes of The Cosmos with NDT, some cleaning of the house, some sleeping in...