cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (lennon cat)
Fickle Spring has set her lightning hand upon Iowa, drawing worms up from rain-soaked soil to gasp and die on sidewalks and roads, by bird or burning light. At night, we sleep with windows open...until dogs still unaccustomed to sleeping out of doors startle at owl hoots and shadows. We know not whether short sleeves or sweaters are best suited to the day. Also, rabbits.

When not playing hopscotch over earthworms, I've been following news of the Arkansas tar sands spill. I wonder when I'll be cynical, paranoid, or wise enough to no longer be surprised that these things happen: that the rich and powerful are so careless of the rest of us, that corporations destroy our homes and lives with impunity, that the government allows the perpetrators to command airspace and control the media... Honestly, I write about this stuff and it's called science fiction?

(On a related note, I discovered this weekend that the used blu-ray of The Crazies I bought from the Blockbuster belly-up is scratched. Is it true I can use Turtle Wax to mend the disc?)

As for writing, yes, I'm doing it, but I'm shoulder-deep in novel revisions, discussion of which would only bore you. Trust me. But on the topic of writing, [livejournal.com profile] alankria has a good post on using "they" as a singular personal pronoun. It is a position I've come to share over the last couple of years. Copyeditors are not generally known for flexibility, and newbies especially enforce "rules" without considering the ethical implications of those rules. But as I've become more educated about gender issues and more familiar with genderqueer folks, I've discarded any stickliness/illusions about singular "they" being grammatically incorrect. I hope more people accept this usage moving forward.
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (coffee spoons cucharillas)
A rare, unlocked poem from my poem-a-day project. Enjoy?

________________________________


Lesson from the rain:
trying to fill a hole
only carves it deeper.

_______________________________
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (Default)
I'm delighting in this, our first real snowfall of the winter. It's been seriously, uncannily warm. Earlier this week we had record-breaking highs. Now we've got a good three inches to five inches on the ground, and it's still blowing around. It's reassuring. Also, it feels good on my feverish skin.

For about an hour now, this hawk has been hunched in our front tree, picking at a meal. I thought it might be a bird, the way s/he kept looking over its shoulder. (Incidentally, the house in the background looks almost exactly like our house, except we've got more going on in our yard.)



I sat watching and tweeting in awe until [livejournal.com profile] asakiyume asked if I had a camera. I took these photos from our front window because I worried if I opened the front door to get a good shot, the hawk would fly off. But the zoom let me get a better look at his meal. 


Looks like a rodent after all. And now hawk is gone, having stripped all the good stuff from the bones.


cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (hammer head)
~


storm-tossed toys
a wiffleball buoy
befuddles fish

~

Yesterday was a Very Bad Day. Not because of anything that happened, just because of my brain and its peculiar programming. I actually cried. Then I had a couple of drinks, which disconnected me from the pain but left the anxiety. I spent much of the night working on a jigsaw puzzle and trying not to fly apart. I had to remind myself to breathe.

Today is a Deceptively Good Day. By which I mean, I feel great, but I know much of this feeling is due to brain chemistry, I am bouncy and chatty and my mind flits from one fine idea to another. I am very happy, nevertheless. I've really missed this euphoria. It will (I hope I hope I hope) give way to milder contentment and true productivity, but for now, it is a pleasure.

I spend all winter telling myself that once spring arrives, I will even out, that the fog will lift and I will be my better self again. Then spring hits and my mood goes wild and woolly as the weather here. So now I look forward to warmer weather. It's always sunny in June, right?

~

snowdrops crisp and yellow
earthworms cramp like icicles
on a frosty March

~
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (drink me)
~


misty morning
the world a glassine envelope
contents unclear

~
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (happy pug tongue)
~

pink August blooms?
crab apple confusion caused
by trickster winds


~
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (neon sign)
~

This brain-bleaching
color-leaching
bastard of a summer sun
renders all a hardpan sepia
of dun and dust and bone

All that competes
with the Texas heat
is a Mexican tabloid splash:
a starburst of blood, steel, and broken
glass seized by camera flash.

~

Still not happy with this one, but I have a tension headache and I'm hungry, so I'll live with imperfection. (I should be used to it by now.)

Solubility

Aug. 11th, 2010 11:25 am
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (neon sign)
~

like mercury blobs
they struggle to merge
blood + air
inside + out
saturating the border
obliterating this thin membrane
of skin and self

~

The Haze

Jul. 6th, 2010 02:14 pm
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (drink me)
~

grey goddess draped
over the sleeping city
her embrace a spell
One child chokes on her fogged breath
One man wakes in a cell

~
cafenowhere: teacup brimming with mysterious violet liquid (psychedelic tea)


~

man, dog, macaws:
evening stroll, double-time,
lest the creek repeat.


The flash flood waters have snurched back to the creek's banks, and a man walks his trussed pug along the muddy once-upon-a-time (not so very long ago) tide line. The pug bulges around the edges of his nylon safety harness but doesn't seem to mind, crab hustling so his paws don't get sucked under, while parenthesizing the man's head, a wary blue-and-gold macaw perches on each shoulder. Their interrogative beaks tick; their heads swivel like security cams; their talons clutch his ill-considered Hawaiian shirt. Quartet on guard, exit strategy set: if the waters rush back, the pug will jump, the man will catch, and the birds will rise, winging all to a realm where the wet stays put.

~

The Inspiration )
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (happy pug tongue)


~

extra tree limbs flex
a brown tangle in the breeze
skinned knees instead of petals
keds instead of leaves


~

I "saw" this poem on Thursday, before the storms. Now I read it and remember that idyllic calm while half a pin oak sprawls across our backyard.

Friday morning, Tweetie and I were doing art at the kitchen table. The wind rattled down a bunch of acorns and I looked out our sliding glass doors. I'd never seen wind like that before. I mean, I could almost actually see it, not just the debris it was throwing around. I thought it might be a tornado, so I started herding Tweetie to the basement. And then the pin oak...broke, right in front of me. A wall of green and branches slow-motion collapsed.

Fortunately, the ash tree I've always worried about coming down and taking out the power lines caught the oak and kept it from demolishing the fence and power lines, despite the 60+ mph winds.

Now J is calling tree services and is bemused by how few use email or have websites. Duh, J.

cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (happy pug tongue)


~

Two canine castaways
take refuge in a purse.
They've never liked the boho look;
they think they might be cursed.
"The flood was bad enough," says one.
"But this rescue's even worse!"


~

This poem inspired by our flash floods earlier this week, specifically a picture in our local paper (second in the slideshow), which is actually pretty sad. So of course I had to make it funny. Perversion or self-defense mechanism, IDK. And is that a demotivational poster frame or what?
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (bruised)
~

An avalanche of thunder
echoes off the bluff
ricochets 'round the river bend
and, window rattling, wakes me
beaches me on the shore somewhere between
dreams and omens
Quilt-curled, I join him on the couch
and we watch the world's layers
obliterated by rain
first the rubbed-charcoal horizon
then the liquid-iron undulation of the river
next the coastline and, before long,
the shaggy backyard
As if inspired, he begins shedding secrets
I don't want to hear
and I wonder how long I will listen
unwilling, like a cat caught in his lap,
just because he held my hand once
in the ER, and in three years of friendship
he's never yelled at me
Outside, the day lilies shiver,
oblivion encroaching,
and I would do anything to join them
but I can't even ask him to stop.

~

title from Marcel Proust
cafenowhere: teacup brimming with mysterious violet liquid (psychedelic tea)
~

rain slips between stars
and shushes courting crickets
I wake, ache for you


~

ETA: I usually don't explain how/why a poem came about because I find myself really annoyed with some poets who do that. I might love the poem, but then they blather about what it "really means" and it kills any affection I had.

But I'm wondering if folks might feel more inclined to comment on these poems if I *did* talk about where they came from? Because you could talk about the experience that brought one about even if you didn't feel comfortable discussing the poem itself...?

Please tell me.

~
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (happy pug tongue)
(Bear with me, please. Trying something out here.)


~

rain-drenched peonies
droop like pink shar peis
mourning May's loss
of sunshiney days

meanwhile helicopter seeds
raft down white-water graves
clogging gutters with the dross
of spring in retrograde

and catkins like clock springs
lie sprung and dazed
littering the sidewalks
with birch spunk and worm glaze

~

I had the wacked-out shar pei/peony simile and I had to use it, but if I left the poem as one stanza, it would've been mistaken for too-cute doggerel, so I glomped together as many mixed metaphors as I could to make a whole that was as dingo-ate-my-baby crazy as possible.

Wow. Me, manic? Don't be radicchio.

~
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (writing)
~

purr of thunder
the storm curls 'round the city
tail over nose to nap

~

Overheard

Feb. 25th, 2010 08:52 am
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (drink me)
~

a piano note
rises, inquisitive
among icicles

~
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (Default)
~


Snow banks, melting, paint
the sidewalks with secret maps.
I wish myself away.


~
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (FML)
~


trampled snow:
echoes of epic battles
on the playground

~
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (happy pug tongue)
~

Jinglebell wreath ripped
from the front door; I hereby rescind
winter's invitation.


~

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cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (Default)
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