Sunday, January 30, 2011


Hurry up and sleep, we need
the pillows
A liminal start three nights
in a row, remembering
my Ruby slippers, clicking.
The way home is easy,
but somewhere back and back
I forgot the cradle
of my diaphragm,
its rocking

Now, my pedal to metal,
I can barely pause to tell you this...
last night I remembered
that crucial thing I’d forgotten:
my third arm,
or that I’ve always spoken Cantonese,
or that my flute master
is still waiting for me, twenty-three years later,
in her mahogany parlor
It slapped me awake, bright and insistent,
then hopped back onto the ferry, disappearing
with all of its rigging, into the mist

Across the night sky,
my mother rises
at 3 am, stumbles around the house,
every moment, now, a ferry she has just missed
trying to remember what she has forgotten,
crib sheets tucked into her sleeve
with the names of the children
who cracked open her rocking pelvis
seven times,
this boat too, taken back
downriver, this life, an overripe berry,
dissolving, on the tip of her tongue

This Week's Prompt: Imunuri Round 1 Riff Harvest

Congratulations, we've crafted, provoked, and birthed over 60 poems!

As we bring the first Round of rousing writing with Imunurians to a close, plucked up in Autumnal Equinox 2010 and finding closure as Early Spring '11 next week greets us sweetly, here is an invitation for the final of writing in Imunuri Round 1 to be a praise-song or riff and inspiration. Write a poem sparked by a line that someone wrote this season. Or name some favorite lines. Or put favorite lines together in a new poem. Here's some picks to spark you, or dive in and pick your own:

"Sometimes I cough up a ziggurat built by germs,
a fever of tribes who all try to breathe and burn."
From Daniel's Poem "Lung Ghazal"

"Singularity becomes disentangled
and simultaneously also conjoined."
From Janice's Poem "Simultaneity Disambiguation"

"Bow to the stone people. There is a seat waiting for you. Take it./
Put the Spanish moss on top of your head. Not a peep from you."
From Cicada's Post

"check your blade for sharp up against the sun
any dull bit, too wide to splice light,
will glint and sparkle and needs attending."
From Pandora's Poem "A Sharp Remembering"

"This is not an island
of sirens, witches, giants, storms./
This is a place,
alone, to wait."
From TK's "One Stop from Warsaw"

"stir me, furnace of stars, see through my dense and transparent center.
generate something that shines in the night of me
opalescent, generative, possible."
From Scooter's "Coreshine"

"Walk across town barefoot
in search of the burning bush.
Gargle with baking soda,
brush your cat's teeth.
Wait for a moment when your heart is quiet,
then grab a pen and paper
and quickly scrawl"
From Ed's "How to Write a Poem"

An alternate prompt would be to write about this Imunuri experience. How you changed or grew or something you learned or realized. A new direction or insight. Let's raise our praise songs for this fabulous adventure!

Keywords: poem, riff

(thank you, door)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Lung Ghazal

Eighteen thousand times a day, I breathe in and burn
without ever questioning: “Why breathe in and burn?”

I’m too busy to ask silly questions—or to
take a moment to thank the sky. Breathe in and burn.

Some days I feel cellophane-wrapped, crazed to inhale
for gasping, as though two flows vie: breathing, burning.

Sometimes I cough up a ziggurat built by germs,
a fever of tribes who all try to breathe and burn.

Or maybe out the window, I see white herons
in their patience as they hunt, eat, fly, breathe and burn.

The substances that sustain us all kill us, too.
The factions of ours bodies fry, breathe in and burn.

The tasks we take in coming to vibrate are to
oxygenate and oxidize: breathe in and burn.

My name is Ari, and I’m addicted to air.
Let’s all share a collective sigh, breathe in and burn.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

breathe deep

in the sucking depths at the tickertape
of my lung sacs, the little bitty ends
that are like clouds on mountains
inside me

in this interchange where the soup
we walk through daily
turns into little cup holders
and cups of air in the soup
of my blood

at this little cash register of oxygen
a convenience store counter where
product becomes energy
(and people buy cheetos relinquishing small
green spotted cloth squares)

at this matrix
of creation,
where we make peace with our ocean origins
no more womb-gills to replenish us
in this ruddy suckup
inward, i acknowledge
my defiance of ocean origin
and my terrestrial, upright

with this deep breath, i praise my defiance
my land-living, earth-stalking strangeness

and my body glories as it
passes the little coffeecups with lids on
of prana at the corner stores overloaded with
micro super grandes of air
carrying them through the blood
to the thrilled cells and
their vitalizing membranes

this is a coffeeshop of air
i cannot resist,
not too picky, shade grown or organic,
pastoral or cityfumed,
a requisite addiction
life-giving, animating




Scooter Cascadia

Monday, January 24, 2011


Pardon me, ma'am. Would you mind too much
if I took one deep breath
of your fresh laundered blouse
that smells so sweetly of the sea?
Or if I buried my nose into your damp hair
so recently rinsed and shampooed
and clinging to your neck in lovely ringlets?
I've been standing in this crowded commuter train
for three long hours now
in tight black shoes
with nothing to read but
a red computer manual
and could use a little reason
to live.

Friday, January 21, 2011

This Week's Prompt: Deep Breathe

My friend Noël coaches me to write in shorter sentences, that to read the writing of run-ons is like listening to someone speaking who forgets to breathe. It is exhausting. Only unlike conversation, we don't know they've stopped listening to us. They just close the book or click on a different link.

Let's use this week of Sun moving into Aquarius to breathe in the water-bearing circulation of the air realms.

Artwork by Melanie Weidner - Listen for Joy
Write    about    or    write    as    if    

                 spaciousness    and     breath     

         filled   the    lung  

    of    your    voice    


            the    breath   of    your 

                       pen    -    How   can   

                           your    writing   


              and      breathe     deeply? 

                                        Tags:      poem,    breathe

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sonnet Inspired by the Oxygen Concentrator: Ocean Home

I was with my mom writing poems and the sound of the oxygen machine dominated our poetic silence. Here is a poem inspired by an oxygen concentrator, a sonnet also, so for me, doubly completely different.

Ocean Home

Seahorse glides to glittering bottom
where float, like ships in space, long velvet rays
softly, darkly zooming in abysm's craize:
stately descent to Neptune's tomb.

Imagine the sultry depths filled with gloom,
mermaids with fangs guiding our kelp-filled gaze.
The looming, lurchless, steady downward laze
into the lapping gravels-- velvet, subsumed.

The mesmer of oxygen concentration
is a different kind of submarine.
Our bronchioles are round fish in a roundly swarm.
They love pure breath as culmination:
A voyage in darkness. Or are lungs
and ocean depths secretly bright and warm?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The View, the Ride, this Home Inside

Between Dr Suess and Human Design,
I woke up this morning feeling just fine.

My mind had been racing as minds often will do,
it had gotten all tied up, frustrated, and blue.

My mind was saying, "Watch out! You must!
"If you don't control where we're going, we simply might bust!"

Sometimes I suffer my mind being Queen
and I a lowly subject, her demanding I clean,

"Clean up this mess, the mess you've made of this life.
You simply must listen and take my advice!

"We wouldn't be in this mess if you'd surrendered to me.
And now look, it's as if you are stuck up a tree.

"You've no way out now, you're out on a limb.
You must listen to me, I'll guide you back in."

But something in me felt, "No, don't buckle under!"
It was a still clear sense that filled me with wonder.

It was if as it said, "Just wait and you'll see,
things will unfold, although quite differently."

So I waited, just me, just as I am,
waited one...
waited two...
waited three...


And wow, did things happen!
No one else might have noticed anything happening, you see,
because it was all happening to everything while inside of me!

Within what once had me hopeless, confined, and upset,
things disappeared, effortlessly shifted, dissolved
and before I knew it, I felt again resolved.

So the moral of this story, if moral's the word,
"Find the type of knowing that lives in just you
and don't buckle under until you have That in view!"

For the Queen or King of your mind will certainly have other plans,
but plans are not made of the living stuff of life.
Life is being lived as we relax and find ourselves, even admist strife.

And, anyway, my mind really has something important to do!
She's just not here to run my life, she has her own significant ware,
there is creativity, unique awareness, inspiring insights to share!


My still clear knowing, the one that is true,
lives in the listening tissues of my body and is ever new.

I celebrate that today with the help of this poem,
as I recognize on shifting ground that within me, I am Home!

Reader, thank you for reading, for rhyming with me.
And may your own ride finds its unique vitality.

Thank you Dr Suess and Ra Uru Hu,
the gifts you have proffered have opened up this View!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

"Junk Drawer"


I saved a couple coals from a significant fire. Some unusable keys
remain on photo keychains, freebies from Las Vegas weekends
long past.
Boxing gloves rest on top with “HITMAN” written on them in
The gloves float
on old journals, several tarot decks, a box stuffed with at least
a thousand fortunes from cookies,
some mushroom-shaped ceramic stands, a banana-shaped pipe
for pot—
I have two cubic feet of such things, each with an invitation to
wait here.
Even the motes
settled into the bin’s bottom corners
have their stories.
This is what I call a junk drawer.
The one near the kitchen is the utility drawer with its markers,
tools, pushpins, flashlight, scratch paper and keys.
The keys are the telling detail: those in the junk drawer have lost
their doors.
I don’t know why they’re still around. This may mean
it’s time for the ritual. With a junk drawer, you have to visit
every so often, recommit to the objects you’ll keep.
You have to adjust
the collection you retain to guard your secret identity.
With a trashcan on hand, you redraw the boundaries around
those miscellaneous matters of trust.
Maybe some you save for your son or granddaughter.
It’s poem-like, how you must
decide what to abandon and which things to contain in their rust

Friday, January 7, 2011

Something different

Happy turn of the year, IMUNURI. For this week's prompt, throw yourself a curve ball. Try something you don't usually do or something you have never tried before. Write your poem in a different notebook—or a different language. Take a perspective you never take. You can go in many directions with this. You could write a poem called "Something Different," or write a poem about how there is nothing new under the sun.

You might put yourself in a space where you've never written a poem before and then write a poem there—on a Ferris wheel, while stuck in traffic, in total darkness, on the comments page of a political website... Or your direction may be subtler, such as trying a poetic form you've never tried, or writing in rhyme when you hardly ever do, or writing in prose.

Consider sharing your process in the comments section after your poem.

Labels: poem, different

"And now for something completely different."

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Quiescent Bless

Morning rain, rose mist for face and spirit,

morning, sitting with all that has come before

open to quiesence of self, bless self seen,

bless, touch, and cherish all self unseen.

The cycle of work, support, listening, attending

to all those needs, finding a voice for someone

else's words and vision with care and respect,

this is coming to a close; there are soon endings.

This past work calls for blessings, needs cherishing,

as do I, that self, pining at quiescence, still bleeding

of misbegotten wendings and woes. Now

touch heart and ground, lay it down, close.

These years in the making, years seen or honored

by the other impartially; not wholly evident to me.

Is this but a razzle dazzle afront by that one, who

clearly knows from behind the scenes, emptiness ~ all.