Sunday, October 02, 2016

Postcard 32

"Lit up in a blaze of glory as if
Suddenly slapped by an angry angel."
My rage was incandescent
Burning through my cells and
Radiating from tip of each hair
Standing out at attention
It came on fast and shot through me
Dragged me while I hung on
Enjoying the ride though the
Destination was a mystery
Until we reached it and I was
Doused, smothered, stopped
Put out, shut down, ended
Empty where the fire
Flamed, barren and bereft
Until the pain moved in
Announcing that what had come was merely
Prodromal preview for what comes next

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Postcard 31

Stretch new skin across your face
Draw on some eyes and paint pink lips
Disguise and dissemble and distract
You'd be surprised how much you can
Get away with when everyone is looking
In the right direction, but still they cannot see
The oppressors give you the
Tools to beat them at their
Own game. Yes it takes
Work and time and effort
There will be days when
You wonder if it's worth it
That's just the system
Beating you down
Trying to get you to reveal.
Keep your true self
Hidden behind the fake one they taught you to
Create. Your reality is yours and yours alone
They never need to know what is underneath

Friday, September 30, 2016

Postcard 30

Gold and Titanium
Clicks and Chirps
Messages in a bottle
Traveling through waves of radiation
Buffeted by solar winds
Tossed out with only hope
This sea is so vast, infinitely so
Our act of faith gets lost
Or maybe just adds to
Noise we cannot hear
This lifetime is too short
We will never learn
Another language, we don't
Even know all our own, but
We believe we will be understood
Such confidence. Such hubris. Such despair.
Still children we are, afraid we may be
All alone in the dark

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Postcard 29

Cut me a slice of chaos pie and
Box it up for me with all the world's ills
Tell me again how we invented the
Gods to serve as mirrors of ourselves (and
Tell me again why women are always the
Conduit for all the bad things the
Gods pretend they did not create). Yet
Still we are surprised, aghast, when they seem
Small despite the power we have gifted to them.
The ability to shape shift which Zeus uses to
Rape a girl after appearing to her as
Golden rain (perhaps he was just really kinky?)
Lord of Destruction and rebirth, but
Shiva lacks the impulse control to deal with a
Child saying, "Let my mom have five minutes
Alone in her bath," and then after his tantrum
He can't even find the kid's head,
So here is an elephant's,
Ganesh won't mind, right? All of them so insecure they
Constantly create tests and
Blame us when we inevitably fail.
The snake knew the score all along, he knew
It was rigged from the start. Like the movie said,
"Strange game, the only way to win is not to play."

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Postcard 28

Last night, Aphrodite and Zeus came so
Close to one another, some would say
They kissed while all the stars were watching.
Just a trick of the distance, they were
As far from one another as ever, it was an
Optical illusion and our own desire to
Find connections where none
Exist, pattern seekers that we are
We draw pictures in the
Sky. Connect the dots
Tell ourselves those
Disconnected points of light can
Predict our futures and
Explain our pasts. Help us
Find love and understanding in an
Otherwise ambivalent universe which would
Freeze us dead if we ventured out without
Protection. We pretend it cares by
Calling all those spots the names we gave to gods

Postcard 27

Among a certain group of friends I am
Known for being glamorous. Which is
Really just another way of saying
I am invisible. They cannot see me
So they slap a label on me and then
They no longer have to try, the word is there and
Serves to cover me like a shroud, except
I don't even leave a ghostly image of
Who I might really be
What I might really look like
Where I might keep my soul.
Hidden underneath the layers I
Gave up even trying to
Reveal myself long ago
I play along and pretend this is real and
Suspect this is what we all are doing. Playacting
A role for others until we tell ourselves we aren't
Until the fake becomes so second
Nature and we no longer question
We no longer doubt

Postcard 26

I wrote of false prophets and the
Rainbows of disorders pretending to be
Holy Men (and yes, it is always men, the
Women who are hucksters aim small, they only promise
They can tell your fortunes or read the stars) then
You talk to me of apparating shaman, glowing
Citrusy shades of halo corona and the look of
One who as seen the Truth, or at least truth. Do
You believe or are you just
Playing along, hooking up with
This god until something
Better comes along? Careful
Who you give your faith to as
Deities have a way of taking
Advantage even when they
Believe their tales and truly think
They show the light. Something about worship makes
An entity insinuate itself into dark corners of
Addiction and demand more from those who follow. So
Beware and be aware and be wear

Postcard 25

We blamed Bukowski, Miller, Nin when we
Try to find reasons for the way we
Tolerated the hard drinking, street fighting
Chaos of our youth (which I am tempted to
Mispronounce as that makes it sound almost
Pastoral-a childhood filled with ill-tempered
Friesans, bad ass Holsteins, and punk rock Jerseys)
The writer who has gotten off scot free in all this
Is the one hiding behind his hermit-like denial of
Fame, Power, Wealth, Celebrity, Attention, Love
We thought he was so noble
And we drank his koolaid down
Grew drunker on it than any
Concoction of liquor and codeine cough syrup
Didn't once question the way
He presented mental illness and
Spectrum disorders as the
Signal of divinity, Suicide as the
Act of a bodhisattva, a
Nervous breakdown as pregnant with meaning. But
Now we are older and we See More Glass

Postcard 24

Paint my tale in shades of dark
In midnight licorice charcoal jet
So only the most discerning of viewers
Will distinguish the shades and details
Paint my story in shades of glamour
As camouflaged charmed chameleon chimera
So what their eyes say confound
What the brain believes to be true
Paint my name in shades of invisible
With veiled transparent inconspicuous clarity
So I may hide in plain sight
Waiting, watching, wondering
Paint my life in shades of mystery
A puzzling enigmatic obscured secret
Let me be the question left unanswered
But I will know why they asked

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Postcard 23

The crystal desert air is telescopic
Brings the stars so close they cast
Shadows of their own. The cactus
Keep silent watch, bear witness to
All that unfolds both above and below
There is no horizon and the sky goes on
Forever. You could get lost up there
Drown in the Milky Way haze cracking the shell
Down the middle, then
Get scooped out when
Snagged on Mali's Hook
(Which reminds you there
Are scorpions in the underbrush
So keep your wits about you)
The distance is at once
Obvious and ridiculous, those
Pinprick twinkles are too
Glittery to be so complicated. You memorize their
Patterns and wish they knew your name

Postcard 22

The low hanging fruit isn't ripe yet
Hard, green, not rewarding even
For minimal effort. Climb to the top
Grasp the soft, sweet, red flesh between
Teeth and suck down the juice, then
Hop back down to earth. Remember you will
Burn if you stay up there too long
The sight you see takes your breath away and you can
Grow drunk on the sugar, along with
Your giddy glee at your good fortune
Bask in the knowledge
You won't have to work as
Hard tomorrow, for the
Sunshine will trickle down
Slowly burnishing rewards
Closer to earth until the
Moment you just raise
A hand to the heavens
You won't miss the thorns
But you will miss the view

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Postcard 21

Metal armored war dragons screech
Overhead, ripping the sky to sonic shreds
They're just practicing now. Playing.
Showing off for us and preening as they
Loop and dive, separate and in formation.
They aren't going to rain fire on our heads,
Not today or tomorrow or, we're told, forever.
They are our protectors. They are on our side,
These speeding, airborne creatures of death.
What choice do we have? We
Must believe, for they are
Our children, our creations.
The DNA of our ancestors
Lives inside their skins. We
Can't conceive they could be
Used against us. So we
Ignore the booms we hear from
Far off lands and pretend our
Peace will extend into infinity

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Postcard 20

There is no line from then to now and no way to
Measure how long it takes.
Straight is a fiction, a collection of
Disorganized points we choose to see as
Ordered by ignoring information we find
Inconvenient and by stepping away to a
Distance which renders any detail or dissent
Invisible. Meter is inconsistent, blurry and
Indistinct, just add more heartbeats until it all
Becomes one drum. Not to mention, we allow ourselves
Amnesia, we defense mechanism away
Uncomfortable truths which impede our ability to
Pretend events unfold
According to existing narratives
Lies we tell ourselves like
Time is linear, forget the
Twists and turns and spirals it
Takes as it careens us to
Dangerous places, or that
Minutes pass in a consistent
Fashion, deny that some years are
Mere seconds while some decades, like
The 50s and the 80s seem to last
Over a thousand years, for some periods are sticky and we
May never leave them behind completely

Monday, September 19, 2016

Postcard 19

Otherworldly strangeness of insecta
Well, not so much not of this earth so much as
Utterly foreign to us in every way
Too many legs and inside out bodies
See-through wings and copper green blood
Aliens which dwell among us, outnumber us
Consider Hymenoptera (or don't if you want your dreams
Nightmare free) where each individual is more
Cell than separate entity. One death, one thousand
Is unnoticed by the whole, the loss is not a factor
In the collective's unrelenting quest, no point wasting
Time mourning the loss, they
Don't even slow down.
Consider the larvae
Moist and gelatinous
Impossible to love and
Then they are pupae
Asleep and changing
But always in contact with the mothership

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Postcard 18

The ostrich does not strike me as bitter
So much as generally bad-tempered
Like camels, but with less spitting
And, let's level with one another,
Wouldn't you be too? How would you feel?
You have such a round befeathered orb atop
Two spindly tall legs and you must run
For there you are
Smack dab in the middle of
Serengeti Plain surrounded
By predators, of both the
Toothed animal and
Camerad tourist variety
Can you blame a bird for having a bad atitude?
We should be congratulating it,
But it a drink, tell it it's our favorite, and,
Above all, never suggest it should fly

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Postcard 17

On a cosmic scale, size defines a body
What species of object you are is
Determined by the amount of
Mass you have managed to accrete
Is there enough there to make you round?
Are you small and rocky or large and gassy?
Have you passed the threshold of thermonuclear fusion?
Can we call you a Giant or are you a Dwarf?
But none of this matters from
Our vantage point, here
We are so far away that
Everything else is a tiny
Pinprick twinkle twinkle overhead
The rules are rendered irrelevent
When we look with our naked
Eyes and open our hearts
To the sky. All of it fills us
With awe. Every object, small or large,
Informs our understanding of infinity
We see its perfection and forget
The definitions and limitations

Friday, September 16, 2016

Postcard 16

Who would have guessed that a near quarter century later
All I would remember of that beautiful film
Was the excavation of dreams?
I'm afraid to watch it now
It feels like going backwards and, besides,
Who has the time?
I suspect it would feel dated,
Embarrassingly so, as it tried so hard
To be about the future. Instead,
It was filled with fin-de-siecle angst and
Mirrored that brief period of flux
When we all thought the world
Could change into something greater,
Something more. It was the beginning
We could see the energy fields and
Networks that would link us all
But it was still an infant then
Jelly soft and wet from birth
The isms hadn't yet dried it to a hard
Shell of cynical sameness. We still imagined, or maybe we just hoped,
Our dreams might hold all the answers.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Postcard 15

As beautiful as that pile
Of splintered, shattered sparkle
May be, it is also unlucky
It lures you in with its twinkle
And shines the world back at you
In ways you never saw
You go closer, wanting more
But beware, do not touch
Do not dive down into
Its depths. You lack the
Exoskeleton necessary
To navigate its edges
It will tear you up,
Bleed you dry and
All you will have in your ands to show for
Your sacrifices is some silver foil and clear glass

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Postcard 14

Thirteen is my favorite number
I like the way it feels as it rolls
Past my tongue and around my teeth
And dares the speaker to smile at the end
Those double eeeeees play tricks
Never letting on that the coupling
Of two primes will create a third
Pretending to be unlucky
Only revealing its secrets
To those willing to look
Like black cats and broken mirrors
The superstitious will remain
In the dark. Afraid.
Never knowing the beauty
Hiding in plain sight
Right there between
All we have learned and that which we dream

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Postcard 13

I've spotted you twenty-two times
Out of sync and moving in the wrong direction
You rebel you
A puzzle I can't figure out
Problematic, because you reveal
How little I understand the universe
Like the pea buried beneath
A thousand mattresses
You irritate my need for order
Though I can't say I am not intrigued
The word why, after all
Is the best way to begin any conversation
Ask any two year old
So my curiosity is piqued
Please tell me all your secrets

Monday, September 12, 2016

Postcard 12

Raspy Scream Cicada Song
Rippling overhead
A disturbance through the canopy
Look up and expect to see
The leaves shuddering
Shaking to the rattle
Shimmying as the sound
Yet all is still
No movement of branches
No rustle of limbs
Those waves that crash
Build, recede, from tree
To tree to tree to tree,
Is not solid. It has no weight
Its thingness is ephemeral
Its existence cannot be touched
Fades with the wind

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Postcard 11

"Importance always meant
one thing in relation to another"
It is just another
Taller, Smaller, Bigger, Faster,
Lesser, Larger, Slower, Lighter
A means of comparison, a way to describe
Relationship. A system of order and organization
The judgment of importance
Of value, is in the eye of the beholder
There is no objective standard in the individual
One is not lonely though it is only
One is like a cat in a box
One is all things
Tall, Small, Big, Fast,
Less, Large, Slow, Light
Until another crawls in
And observes.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Postcard 10

I am reaching for the threads of a plot
Or a through line, some sort of story,
An explanation for how I got from
There to there to there to there to there.
Instead, I only have snippets, collages,
Tableaus of experience and high emotion.
Water stairs to deep libraries
Trains which begin
   under cities and
   disappear in the dark
Boxes of socks, the
   unmatched and unloved
   finding new uses
                          I perceive I did not
achieve              anxiety                  I risk
resentment                        fate

Friday, September 09, 2016

Postcard 9

Navigating the transition
From images to words
Is easier on some days
The switch occurs so quickly
   one moment the eyes are closed
   an eyeblink later, they open
   and words begin to collect
   grains of sand filling the hourglass
But other times
The crossing of the frontier
Is longer and harder
Each step forward seems
To make no progress
Leftover tableaus snag
Against my face, but
Melt as I try to grab them
I am left with a sense of unease and
A fear I have lost something important

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Postcard 8

I dreamt we were watching
The next Star Wars film on VHS tape
No, not the one that is coming out
This year, the one after that, VIII
Though the medium of recording device
and the hairstyles would suggest
It was one years ago, a lost scene
From my childhood and not a
Vision of the future.
But I was grown up and
So were you, adult and
Filled with knowledge of
What might come next
Foreboding, Premonition
The tension was too great
So I pulled the crocheted Afghan
Over my head, to hide from what I knew
Could happen, and to find
Safety under blankets from my past

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Postcard 7

The terror of silence
Of negative space
The panic that bubbles
Out from the lizard brain
At the base of the skull
When confronted with
The vast expanse of
Nothing and the knowledge
It cannot be filled
No amount of configuration
Of atomic particles
Can ever fill that void
At the moment when
One thinks one has, the
Scale shifts and the
Distances stretch out
Beyond one's comprehension
But still we try for nature abhors a vacuum

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Postcard 6

The atmosphere just collapsed
As it does every afternoon
Darkness falls and then a
Phase shift from vapor to crystal
Drags down the air to earth
We are blanketed by frost
Until the sun returns
At which point it all reverses
Goes back to gas
Sublimation of solid
Floating out to the
Edges of the envelope
Until tomorrow

Monday, September 05, 2016

Postcard 5

The first rule of orbits is
Never question the center
Do not doubt the validity
Of that around which you spin
Have faith that your planet
Has mass and will continue to
Exert a gravitational pull
You must not stop believing
There is a there there
For it is that which keeps
You moving through space
What you hold in your head
Will guide you even if the
Laws of physics and
Time-Space Continuum
Let you down

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Postcard 4

Invent a secret language
   just for us
Whisper it to me in conspiratorial tones
Let the sound barely touch your tongue
As it dances past your teeth
I will have to listen closely
So I do not miss a single word
For every last syllable
Must be recognized
Else the meaning is lost
To the wind that blows
Between the space that
The border of me from
The border of you

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Postcard 3

There used to be more fireflies and stars out in the night
More points of light to wink at
Glittering spots of distraction
To make us spin in circles
Go down foxholes and alleys
Or sometimes just stand still staring up
We once had dark to comfort us
Before, in childhood, long ago
Before the concrete and sodium glow
Blanketed us in false security
Made promises of solace, but instead
Shines so bright it hurts the eyes
Sometimes turning our tears into twinkles

Friday, September 02, 2016

Postcard 2

There is always the moment before
When I know, or at least, I believe
                                         I could just walk away
                                         I could not take that sip
           The wine would remain in the glass
           My heart would remain in the body
But then I always say yes
Plunge head first into the action
Consequences set aside, for now
I swim through the liquid and let it permeate every last pore
Drink down the kisses and bloom with the
Rain like a flower on an arid plain
(Though that suggests drought which has not been the case)
Tomorrow never considered in the moment of today, it is always the
Unexpected yet predictable day of reckoning hanging over my head,
But too far away for now

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Postcard 1

Distance Softens
       all one's imperfections
The span of many miles
                or many years
Renders our Everests flat
Fills in our trenches
Allows the myth of attraction
             the law of gravity
      and the forces of atomic nucleii
             to take hold
So then all we see is
             a beautiful planet
                           of blue and clouds 
             a smiling girl, carefree and

Read this if are wondering what is going on.

What I Did This Summer-August Postcard Poetry Festival

Many of you are aware that I have been writing poetry for a few decades now. Often it isn't intentional and as someone with a lot of ideas about what is and is not "real writing", my ability and affinity for poetry has sometimes been personally embarrassing for me. When I rhyme, I worry I am plagued with the knowledge that I learned well before college how uncool naff and uncool rhyming can be (not to mention, I feel a bit like having Tea in the Sahara with Sting). When I don't pay attention to rules of rhyme or meter, I think I am a huge fraud. Basically, no matter how feminist my brain may be, in my heart, I carry around the fear of the cool boys' disdain for "girls who write poetry." But I still write it when the urge strikes.
As some of you may know, I have a fairly extensive postcard collection and, as many of you may recall, there was a period in the early part of this century when there was a kiosk at many bars/restaurants which were filled with advertisements masquerading as postcards or postcards masquerading as advertisements, depending on how you view capitalism and art and the intersection of the two. As a collector of postcards, I tended towards the latter, at least from a collecting standpoint, as even if they were advertisements, they could be addressed and mailed, so they were postcards. Some of the artwork on these postcards was really great and I often acquired more than the one or two I would need from a collecting standpoint which means I have boxes of duplicates. 
Naturally when I found out about the August Postcard Poetry Festival back in May or June (spring was so long ago) I had a bit of an epiphany. Poetry and postcards? Dude, that's like getting chocolate in your peanut butter! 
The rules of the festival are simple: sign up, get a lis of names and addresses, write a poem directly onto a postcard with as little planning/editing as possible, send the poem to a different stranger from the list every day in August.
Of course, when I actually delved through the boxes of duplicate cards, I was overwhelmed by how, well, commercial the advertisements were. Even with the ones with super cool images, there was no way of getting around the reality that they were all selling something. And I started to wonder if I was on board just sending out sixteen year old ads to strangers and what that might say about my poetry. Then I started thinking about the stack of Allure magazines I have not yet thrown away because "I'm saving them for an art project." Could it be that the art project for which they had been saved might actually have arrived? 
Armed with scissors and glue and giddy with the possibility that I might not only create art, but I might finally prove to everyone in my house that I am not a hoarder, I embarked on my project.
I made a lot of collages and I wrote a lot of poems. I did not attempt to relate the image to the poem, tough I imagine that a connection can be found simply because I created both. Some days were easy, some days were impossible. 
It has been a compelling and interesting project for me. I needed to be reminded that I am a writer and artist. I am sad that it is over as it was an incredibly satisfying yet low risk way to flex those muscles and gave me an outlet for my work. A part of me thinks "I could look at the other lists of participants and mail them postcards" (I was in Group 7, which means there are 192 other people to whom I could send postcards and poems. However, I also feel relief that September is here as the unrelenting pace was starting to wear me out-I need some time to refresh my thoughts and work on something different. Maybe I will send some postcards and poems to friends-I already sent a card to Tracy, but mainly because the poem I wrote was so perfect for her, I couldn't stand the thought of sending it to anyone else.
The festival requests we wait a month to post any of the work, so I will be posting one a day as the month of September passes. There will be very minimal editing of the cards and poems because if I start to make little changes and adjustment, it will never stop and part of the reason I am doing this is to challenge my perfectionism. Obviously not everything is great (in fact, some of these I look at and know there is no way I would have sent them out now, which shows how fast aesthetic growth can occur). I welcome feedback as I can submit up to five poems and five pictures to the 56 Days of August anthology, so hearing your thoughts on the ones you like will help me narrow it down.