Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Peine fort et dure

They fall
Your words dull and dense.
Initially there is PAIN
The small black stone ripping into the slippery tissue.
But, afterward I feel nothing
Except perhaps the
heaviness -
As I adjust to the extra weight.
It is a good way to kill someone you love
Effective but


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Friday, February 13, 2009

The Muse as Frustration

Part of what I want to do here is not only record and archive some of my work but to also make notes and observations about my process. Something interesting happened recently and I just wanted to record the chain of events. I'd been feeling restless and blocked. I'm not even sure that at the time I would have been able to tell anyone I was feeling blocked. I just felt a general overall feeling of frustration and agitation. Then I talked to my sis one day and she mentioned that Nikki Giovanni had been to her campus to speak. That in turn led me to check a collection of Nikki Giovanni's poems out of the library because it had been a long time since I had read any of them and I imagined I would have a new perspective on them. Reading them excited me right away. I read and re-read them. Laughing, getting angry, nodding in agreement and having conversations in my head with the poet. Still there was this restlessness within me as if something wanted to break through - but I couldn't name what it was. Then suddenly, one day in the shower, the poem to Nikki Giovanni arrived fully formed and 911 followed shortly thereafter. That day and for several days following I felt joyful, buoyant and full of inspiration. Recently, however, that nameless restlessness has returned.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


The melting snow forms dirty black rivulets along the road
And the sparrows are singing April songs.
It’s only early February
This sweet reprieve unearned
This fierce defiant sun too easily won
But, like the birds, I can’t contain myself
And answer hope’s call when it comes
Some primal pull turns me toward the sun
And I shoot myself out
A dizzying tangle of green
Fresh roots and stems
Buds and leaves
Too tender
Too soon
But I can’t stop
This mad sap dance of joy.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


i am suffocating
under all this need and expectation
the grasping hands
and questioning eyes
The “will you”s
and the “can you”s
certain of their “yes”
even the inanimate objects
the laundry
the phone
consume me with their
relentless need
all of them
all of it
clawing at me
with their want
i am so filled with it
i can’t hear the cry of my own heart anymore
just a quiet clenched whisper

to Nikki Giovanni

Hey, Nikki -
this IS a poem
because sometimes I want a poem
sometimes I need a poem
sometimes I crave a poem
a sweet silver sliver
in the grey weight of my life
so, this IS a poem
because sometimes
the cooking
the laundry
the dusting
the dishes
the cleaning
the crying
don’t let me see the sun
the bill collectors get so loud I can’t hear the cardinal sing
and even when I ignore it all
it gnaws at me with all its expectation
so I need poem
I need Maria Callas
and Mozart
and Van Gogh
and Pollock
and Ella
and tap shoes and paint and trumpets and poems
sometimes, Nikki, I need a poem
this is a poem.

My own little place to explore my creativity and imagination