Tuesday, November 30, 2010
these are my sins: (and their true meaning)
sin (with; truth)
sincere (of one growth, sound, pure, whole, with the crescenting moon)
sinecure (without care)
since (in the evening)
sine qua non (an indispensable condition)
sinews (to bend)
sing (voice, oracle, incantation)
single (individual unbroken)
singular (remarkably good, unusually rare)
singultus (a sob)
sinister (more useful, more advantageous, veering leftward)
no no i mean these are my syns:
syn (together with)
syncopate (to shorten)
synergy, synergetic, synergistic (to work together, cooperating)
syncopy (to cut through)
scintillate (to spark)
synaesthesia (sense with)
synapse (clasp, fasten, junction)
synaptive (connected, copulative)
synchronized (same timing)
sinclinal (to lean together)
syncretic (reconciling different beliefs)
synagogue (to gather together)
syndic (publically advocate)
synecdoche (part for whole)
synechia (continuity, to hold with)
synonymous (having the same name)
synopsis (to see all together)
syntactic (ordered, arranged with intention)
synthesis (put together)
succulent (to suck the juice)
snuffaluffagus (shaggy lumbering goddess)
sesquiquadrate (two celestial bodies separated by 135 degrees)
cinquant (fifty; homonym: 5 aunts)
please praise my sins/syns/scins/skins, for they are magnificent and holy, praising creation
Friday, November 26, 2010
pay handsomely for the privilege,
borrow, in fact, more than we’ve ever had
just to slip our necks inside the noose.
Yep, we cook our own goose,
fry up golden eggs while we’re at it
and invite our friends to dine
as if it’s a joyous occasion.
We buy objects that no one needs, in bulk,
unpack them into cabinets, cavernous,
and lovingly recycle the plastic bags
by tying them tightly around our necks.
We shop so carefully for our poison,
hire experts to help us estimate
exactly how much to consume each month
so we can die alongside the neighbors,
lawns as perfect as cemetery plots.
We buy our chains. We buy our locks.
We save our pennies in a box,
fretting about where it’s cached
while dreaming of a larger box.
for each and every debt is less
a measure of pleasure in present tense
than memory of a past defense
against that which awaits each of us
regardless of interest or last address.
Held through two rock valley,
past the nude sheep and singing lambs,
through shafts of light offered only
after the dead have fallen away,
past deer carcass, skunk, barn owl,
offering, as they must,
roadkill married to moment’s glory.
It is never one thing
in the aching span between
in and out, pausing
at the tip of the tongue before
creation, again, saying,
How about this?
And then this?
One breath, shotgun wedding of truth
that this is your life, choice
to linger at the nectar of nothing,
the intermezzo before another starts,
the making of worlds
in the bellows of your sweet accordion
Think of it as a kind of palimpsest:
|Example Palimpsest: Codex of Ephremi|
Keyword labels: poem, palimpsest
Thursday, November 25, 2010
bring your candles
bring the lantern of your heart
and strike the flame high
we are beloved friends, so long
warming each others' homes
come I will kindle the coals of you
and you will flare the fire of me, my life, my heart
this is the truest gift, vibrant, brighter
than spring air or bloom—
in the middle of cloud lid and winter's promise
of silence, of grey quiet,
we break out in lanterning, in frolic
this is why they call it housewarming.
friend the gift of your presence is a lantern
whose light will stay with me,
ever resuscitating, alive,
a beacon in memory and
kindling the skin, the fiber of me
my heart and health,
a full moon smiling, then wax and waning,
ever replenishing, visit and visit again,
brighter than bright and wholeness creating,
bright and beaconing again,
infinite and warm.
providing guidance, surefooted, dancing.
ever replenishing, visit and visit again,
brighter than bright and wholeness creating,
bright and beaconing,
infinite and warm.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
what comes is what brings itself to this
what rests there and what moves on
these are both a part of the same stuff
the stuff of emergingrecedingpausing
bring your feeling sense to what I am
pointing to if you will, if you feel to
there is an ‘empty’ state or open, spacious,
receiving, nothing being grasped for or at
that pervades the formerly preoccupied
ground such that ground becomes being
being breathes just as awareness is quietly
cascadingshoweringbathing itself ever anew
things get done yet no doing ~ on and on
spontaneously refreshing, involuntarily,
with and without innocence both
nothing you can or need to do about it
but be in and as the receiving,
the flowering of this, engaged in this
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
If I were you,
I could snap open the moment,
an impatiens seed pod ejecting dozens of tiny eyes
into the corners of this personal sensation
as it happens now
one eye to watch a sky so inviting
through blinds beneath the eave,
an aching toward sunshine and the way breezes
open the throat to drink,
and colors rise in my face
one eye to fly up, to see the rolling surface
of land and sea, two to sink
into the depths,
drift from eddies to roots
to sky again,
dancing between terrestrial chambers
like blood through the heart's mansion and
the hallways between moments,
the causeways that plant you in plains,
and bog me in the marsh for now,
and roll us all up again
into one skypod
and the longing, the longing
throat longing as though
to emerge burstingly
to sky beyond sky,
to your seeing
and to seeing beyond you,
to the reverse of shutting,
to swallow, to stare
stretch and plode
proto-birth verb spasms
Theo onomastic moving picture thingamabob
Wash theo eyeball ofay theo blackboard.
[This poem was composed by taking each word from the first stanza of Wallace Stevens' "Twenty Ways of Looking at a Blackbird" and replacing it with the very next word in the dictionary.
"Among twenty snowy mountains,
The only moving thing
Was the eye of the blackbird."]
Friday, November 19, 2010
Explore the connections and shared energies among all poeming. You might pick a poem by another IMUNURI poet and offer a harmony part. You might take an ancient poem from another language and translate/update it. You could make a solemn or a playful nod to the entire body of work by a poet who has influenced you. Or Google "poem," find some random sample and delve into what you find there. There are as many possibilities as there are poems, or maybe more.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
with a red and black thin-legged monster.
i am protecting a young cross-eyed girl
from the dream spider's scorpion whiptail.
she is screaming and scared, it's on her head
in invisible, quick, lethal gestures.
it comes after me, mad now, tail poised up
only thing not moving, graceful arrow
of death. i begin to skittle skattle
as if quicker than death: i'm not. in greece
they danced to sweat out poison, a rite
of exorcism for the convulsions of the bite.
now in italy a dance entrances:
whether bit or not, we become spider.
but in the dream, i am not fast enough
(and that's saying a lot).
is being a workaholic like dancing
tarantella 24/7? i wake
to the poison of this day, brightly
and innocently, calm light proclaiming all
is well, dream's over, whether it is or not.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
The architecture of my dreams: hallways.
Red velvet or broad as betting parlors,
the spaces signal transition—always—
and sometimes I come to a subtle door
that opens into a dark and small maze.
It’s familiar but not particular.
I begin squeezing down the labyrinth.
It is as wide as I am. Yellow earth.
Unease rises. I crouch. Ahead, the depth.
I know the secret—I have all my days!
I backtrack from the anonymous earth,
shut the basement door, return to the hall.
Hors d’oeuvres. The opera. No way to assert
what was...where I went. Must wake to recall
the dark, the door, the secret I forget.
Through that grave, I wonder if there’s a caul.
I think through the nothing there is the all.
Monday, November 15, 2010
You sauntered up, all legs, and calmly said,
“Just dance,” so I held you close,
head high, hips sly, tossing off bon mots
while keeping your sleek body
between me and that goon with the gun.
I ignored the nuns in the casino,
letting you sit in my lap for luck and black jack,
snapping your garter with each new card,
a surreptitious little superstition
that made you smirk
but quickly attracted the eye in the sky.
“Slide the winnings in a suitcase and fetch my car,”
I told the cage, flipping the dealer six chips as a tip
while surveillance cameras swiveled
to see the seams on your stockings
strut out to the street.
It’s remarkable anyone could drive
after all that cognac and champagne,
yet such a relief to know
you’d never slip something in my drink,
except maybe an organic lychee.
I went straight back to the cave,
not bothering to blindfold you
or take fake turns or
even worry about a tail.
Sure, they chewed me out the next day —
but I knew what I was doing.
The boys down in the motor pool
keep filling in the bullet holes and banging out the dents.
The lab has scrubbed the interior so many times,
our history could be told in a series of cigar stubs
and strands of hair in tiny, labeled plastic bags.
They even installed that baby ejector seat in back.
It’s been a long road,
with our share of ugly scenes, bad dialogue,
and more than a few continuity errors,
yet you’re still there
when I have to drop the top and hit the gas.
And before I even ask,
you’re elegantly passing me the pistol from the glove box.
You freshen your lipstick. I talk to my watch,
then we exchange familiar grins.
It’s going to be fine, baby.
It’s going to be just fine.
Friday, November 12, 2010
I dreamed I was awake, and driving
on the very same freeway
on the very same day
and every driver in every other car
knew me and waved as they passed.
Some honked their horns and smiled.
Small children pressed their faces against the windows
and gestured wildly.
It felt good to be known and recognized.
Everyone drove safely,
and gave me lots of room.
I did not recognize a single man, woman, or child
though they seemed to know me very well.
I wondered - had I known them in some other life?
A taxi driver wearing a turban
rolled down his window
and motioned for me to exit.
I pulled off at the next freeway offramp.
I found a place to pull over beside
a field of golden barley.
I waited for him to come to my window.
It took a while, for he had but one leg
and he had to walk with crutches.
"Do you remember me?" he exclaimed,
smiling broadly but with tears in his eyes.
"I'm sorry," I said, "I don't remember you at all."
"I am Mansi, your son in law," he said.
"I married your daughter."
"I don't have a daughter," I said.
"Your daughter Gloria, with the beautiful voice."
"I'm sorry," I said, "I don't remember a thing."
"It's okay," he said. "Remembering
He embraced me then and I woke up.
I was still driving, but on an unfamiliar highway
that seemed to stretch on forever
between foggy rice fields
without another car or farmhouse in sight
and no way to remember
from where I had come from
or where I was going.
Write about a dream, as if in a dream, or through the image of a recent dream.
Write of a nightmare or an image of sanctuary.
Or write the poem as a dream interpretation, as if you are each of the characters in a dream.
Loosen your edges, defy gravity, roll between realities, as dreams do.
Tag with "poem, dream"
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Guys with clipboards herded us into teams.
My team, the Ravens, chose me to start.
My mission: to hold my head submerged
longer than any other teenage fool.
At the whistle, I plunged into water
cold as space, silent
as a whale's womb.
How could I not taste death?
My team shouted words from far away.
Loneliness embraced me like a ghost.
I hid there for what seemed like hours
beneath the stones of duty
until my lungs heaved, grew wings,
lifted me back
to the world of the living.
One other child endured Sheol
two seconds longer than I.
I felt deeply for her.
in a strong Korean accent.
His stethoscope pressed cold against my chest.
In a frame on the wall, his medical license
butted up against a print
of the lovely Mona Lisa.
"Why is she smiling?" I asked.
"Why is who smiling?"
"The young woman in the painting," I said,
"on the wall behind your back."
"I can't stand that painting," he said.
"Everytime I walk into the room
it's as if she's smirking at me.
She's thinking, 'You call yourself a doctor?
You're just a quack."
"Well, are you?" I asked
as he looked into my ear
with a strange device.
"Well she sure thinks so," he said
in a brusque physician tone.
"She's the Mona Lisa. She must know."
From an examination room across the hall
I heard an old man scream.
The doctor tapped my kneecap
with a tiny rubber-tipped mallet.
"I don't think you're a quack," I said.
"I think you're very competent.
You did a great job on my ruptured spleen."
"Do you really think so?" he said.
"And remember that band saw accident last year?
I thought I'd never write again.
And here I am, on my third novel."
"You're very kind," my doctor said.
"I need more patients like you.
What color bandaid would you like?"
"I'll take green," I said.
"I want to prescribe some medication
for your invisible nose," he said.
"Whatever you think is best," I said,
although I'm okay with it, actually."
By the way," I said, as he wrote my prescription down,
"why don't you replace that painting
with something a little more uplifting?
Leda and the Swan, perhaps,
or maybe something by Warhol."
"I've considered that," he said.
"But at this point in my life
I just don't want to make big changes.
And besides," he said,
"Mona Lisa keeps me humble."
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
office computer blacks out—walk then
even as the static rain glazes
what’s now a perfect day
insomniac worry how health
is worth the price, but now
before the phone call,
a snoring family
(cost per inhalation)
return on investment.
save on breath in bulk—Dow
Jones in dust
down some points
heart suffocating staccato as though
wrapped tight in comforters
panting for the call
sculptor knows how i feel—
painter, dancer, engineer,
horse, axlotl, plumeria tree—
job done and done well
pump pant dance and sore
wild wind on the floor
shoes are on—and gone
door wide open hinges
on faces, feet, dirt—
the hallway from here
to the dimly lit room
she burns energy
like gunpwder on blacktop—
the gates open
the highway to the sun
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
just a regular sweet motion,
waves lapping on a lakeshore
aura light blue, you don't even notice.
until there is a jagged tear
or the timing goes all wrong,
breath too slow, too quick
startling the birds from the trees.
like if you lose your pregnancy
in an 8 hour rush of blood
all by yourself on a long road trip
soaking through five pairs of pants,
pooling the seat into a red lagoon of despair
and your air comes in a panicked rush inoutinoutinout
trembling all your appendages for lack of oxygen,
transforming everything into the wrong world of crimson.
but there is nowhere to stop -
you can only
slow your lungs into the draft of a warrior,
breath is the umbilical to spirit they say,
which is how we know
that your body is part of every god
since breath is umbilical also
to your very earthly life.
best to notice it
while everything is right in the world.
Monday, November 8, 2010
Running, in bodies no longer built for
running, in wing tips, in heels, gasping for air,
uncertain even if we’re running away
or running after something, sitting,
merely sitting at desks and
drowning in our chests,
running, we suffocate in stress.
An entire office inhales and holds its breath.
An entire industry, afraid to exhale.
Running toward deadlines
with nothing save adrenaline for lunch,
running to stay ahead,
and a million brilliants coming up behind,
running on and on in electronic sentences,
sitting only yards apart and never speaking
except to scream. Running out of time.
The system is running but fragmented
and prone to fatal unexpected error.
Shut down. Restart. Running,
at last stumbling into the street.
How did it get so dark?
Running for cabs and buses and trains
still dealing with messages and claims,
running toward a receding line,
legs twitching helplessly,
lungs grabbing at nothing,
how is it that we're still singing,
as the life runs out of us,
singing for more, more, more?
Sunday, November 7, 2010
These are times of listening within
along with the expanding out,
into the field where all things
pure and clear. Our familiar states
we stop on in mid-air
to move, no other option. How do
when our true state of pure beingness
the very ground, the matter and
every breath and non-breath.
and simultaneously also conjoined.
Friday, November 5, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
vaulted me sideways
clickety clack track wise
into a hurried suitcase jumble,
don't even know what is in it
(all the wrong clothes, a smooth red stone,
two napkin poems and a wind's worth of autumn leaves)
and off to the station
for a whir of metal to wild me away.
i am jetsam on a leaping wave, forth and back
between a nimble rise into
the nectarine taste fuzz on her almost cheek
and the visceral return clunk
to this echoing room, someone's cigarette dank jacket,
the blue news hum stare of wayward strangers.
but, wait for it....
another minute and gone again,
lifted all the way to cirrus clouds -
on a wing of future touch
belly butterflies fly in formation,
eagerness drinking deep
train station limbo
between very right here
and oh so soon.
Today you will be removing your clothes.
Ladies and gentlemen. Captain. Seat belt.
Carry-on luggage. Overhead bin.
Be sure to wear socks that don’t have holes.
Flight attendant. Mobile phones.
Navigational equipment. 10,000 feet.
Choose shoes that slip off easily.
Tampering with. Disabling.
Prohibited by law.
Select an outfit without a belt.
Television monitor. Seat pocket.
Full attention. Safety features.
You will be undressing in front of other people.
Metal fitting. Loose end. Strap.
Release. Buckle. Turbulence.
They won’t care much how you look.
Emergency exit. Floor lights.
They won’t slip tips in your waistband.
Air pressure. Decompression.
Firmly over your nose and mouth.
Just strip quickly and move on.
Unlikely event. Cushion.
Life vest. Pull firmly on the cord.
Keep nothing in your pockets.
Uniformed crew member.
Inform you when it’s safe.
Present your documents and think before speaking.
Seat backs. Tray tables.
Full upright position.
Avoid being ethnic.
None of this is personal.
except for plastic or round-bladed butter knives.
Meat Cleavers. Razor Blades.
Sabers. Scissors. Swords.
Baseball Bats. Bows and Arrows.
Cricket Bats. Golf Clubs.
Hockey Sticks. Lacrosse Sticks.
Pool Cues. Ski Poles.
Ammunition. Compressed Air Guns.
Firearms. Flare Guns.
Flares. Gun Lighters. Gun Powder
including black powder and percussion caps.
Parts of Guns. Pellet Guns.
Axes and Hatchets. Cattle Prods.
Drills and drill bits. Saws.
Tools (greater than seven inches in length).
Billy Clubs. Black Jacks.
Brass Knuckles. Kubatons.
Self Defense Sprays -
one 4-ounce (118ml) container of mace or pepper spray is permitted in Checked Baggage provided it is equipped with a safety mechanism to prevent accidental discharge. Self Defense Sprays containing more than 2% by mass of Tear Gas (CS or CN) are prohibited in Checked Baggage.
Night Sticks. Nunchakus.
Stun Guns/Shocking Devices. Throwing Stars.
Blasting Caps. Dynamite. Fireworks. Flares (in any form).
Hand Grenades. Plastic Explosives.
Realistic Replicas of Explosives.
Aerosol. Fuels. Gasoline. Gas Torches.
Lighter Fluid. Torch Lighters.
Flammable Paints. Turpentine and Paint Thinner.
Realistic Replicas of Incendiaries.
Chlorine for Pools and Spas.
Fire extinguishers and other compressed gas cylinders.
Liquid Bleach. Spillable Batteries -
except those in wheelchairs.
Spray Paint. Tear Gas. Vehicle Airbags.
Gel-type candles. Gel shoe inserts.
Flammable liquid, gel, or aerosol paint.
Snow globes and like decorations
regardless of size or amount of liquid inside,
even with documentation.
The city slips away in the wrong direction,
a breath-stealing, helpless realization
that takes place too late,
like discovering one’s manners
vanished with one’s drink.
Having boarded the incorrect train,
leaping off at the next station
is not always the best solution…
Yet eager to rectify an error,
who stops to think?
The reward for decisive action:
a desolate platform, the squat, dark stationhouse.
Shattered windows, dangling doors.
No schedule of future arrivals, no one to ask,
no relevant vocabulary even given the chance.
Disembarking is as momentous
as departing — or should be —
but we heap the glory
on an audacious beginning, and on the journey,
taking for granted a safe, if haggard, return home.
Tar-dipped telephone poles,
now wireless, recede into humid thickets.
The afternoon buzzes
with a pilgrim’s silence,
alarming to any still in transit.
Solicitous, suspicious, hostile, indifferent,
the entrance of any eyes would be welcome,
would likely dictate the day’s outcome,
except the only occurrence more intuitively improbable
is the blessed spitting of another train’s brakes.
Rash decisions can leave one stranded
in burgs served, revenue permitting,
by a limping, subsidized local.
Prop up the legs of that splintering bench.
This is not an island
of sirens, witches, giants, storms.
This is a place,
alone, to wait.
Which may be the most fearsome adventure yet.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
bound far to south, at height of cranes,
and higher still, our oared bird flew.
To my core all sundry selves drew
in hope of flying whole, no strain
greater than ancestors' refrain:
"bring us back to earth" - in great pain:
the roiling clouds, cumulus brew,
before the long last breath.
The sky opens. Sudden and plain:
a blue coherent height. We gained
ancients on wing, steadfast, and grew
to thousands, passengers and crew.
Ghostly, winged, by window framed,
before the long last breath.
Near Hallowmas 42010
we stop. Smoke anticipation
butts. Pretend to read. Check the screen.
Everyone sits paused mid-careen
toward disparate revelations.
We pine for our destinations—
homecomings or recreations—
clutching our phones and magazines.
When we arrive
all thoughts of our hesitation
will stay here for the time being
to sit with all who pass between
now and the gratification
when we arrive.