Poetry Remix Exercise Circa 2009

ImageBelow you will find the first poetry exercise I did at university. Embarrassing, yes. But it is also proof that I’ve moved on – grown a lot as a writer. We were instructed to take our favorite book (I was 18, I didn’t really have a great reader record at this point) and pull lines to build a poem. At the time I was reading a collection of poetry called ‘Paint Me Like I Am’ – a compilation of work by inner-city high school students. I was also reading The Woman In the Dunes by Kobo Abe for my Buddhism and Literature class (Awesome course!).

How She Bleeds

The desert is full of women,

Women go to bleed tints of roses and smoke

Growing like pine trees, such graceful execution

Fingers stink like melted gold,

Words translating in their hands

Arms twisting with bone and ropy muscle

Primal screams, “The war is real”

Unforgiving life, such innumerable causalities.

The woodcutter’s daughter

Hearts of hammers, diamonds of the night

Sorrow strung from their faces

Creaking crutches and dead souls

The right to live

A symphony of lively spirits

Swirling tide pools in a sunken sea

The friendliest god, but this is not your city

The seams of your coat

Beige pantsuit, constant vigil

Roots down to the deepest places in your heart

Paint me like I am

What you are shrieks so loudly

I cannot hear what you say

Just paint me like I am

“Abita Springs” Found a home at Synaesthesia Magazine

Abita SpringsChildhood in LA

I grew up green granny smith appled,

an acre behind and in front

that Daddy taught me to drive on the John Deere.

We rung-round the fat bottom branches,

heads avoiding headaches.

The rails lay two large leaps from the chain link,

beyond the sticky Pines;

lay pennies out—kinked keepsakes,

next to a week-old possum ribcage.

I grew up black-footed; trampoline tinged toes—

Blackfoot Indian, like Paw, except self-made.

Summer screened porch nights and tales

of the Jabberwocky slide me under the sheets,

too scared to sleep,

and the Cicada’s screaming lullabies.

I grew up blanketed by beads,

swallowed by flaking chains

of plastic jewelry that rained

off street parade floats.

That year Chris got ashes in his eye

and Mama couldn’t get out of the crowd quick enough.

Daddy‘s shoulders like a pedestal

I’d never be able to stand on any other time;

fingers spread to ring them, drape them

like medals around my neck.

I grew up saving crawfish

from Styrofoam cases, running

them to a dry ditch, thinking they were free.

I remember the spices and screams

of those that didn’t make it.

Sneaking thirds of the King Cake sure I’d find the baby first.

Johnny-Lynn soaking me in OFF!

Nona painting me into a fairy.

The powdered beignets so light and sweet in my hands.

Look for “Abita Springs” in Synaesthesia Magazine‘s forthcoming ‘Cities’ issue. 

Posting love to the States

photo (75)I stack postcards on my desk, already addressed to you. The fronts are prints of book covers published by Penguin. The covers are intentionally chosen. I stack postcards on my desk, collect lines from writers I wish to be. The postman carelessly covered part of a line with the stamp. It’s a Dahl quote. Please say you still get the meaning. It costs 88p to send a postcard that doesn’t leave much room for writing. I don’t sign them because I know you know it’s me. I fill red corner postboxes with cardstock bits of myself, sending all I can from here, for now. When I arrive I’ll stand next to the stack, just able to glance over the top. Will you see the resemblance of the me on the page and the tangible, fleshy me?