Friday, October 31, 2014

A Crypt Swings Shut

"The Apparition"   Digital Art Photo Manipulation

An eerie howl
Swings past
The moonlit shadows,
Hangs its dancing
Macabre specters
By the lighted poles
Of midnight lanterns.
College kids sway,
Strangely-colored scarecrows
That roam their
Silly, kissing faces
Among the cemetery,
A hallows eve playground.
They sit amongst
The old stones like chairs.
Harmless, they think,
The dead don’t know.
But the owl does,
And he does not budge
His smoky-eyed perch
From the crypt
That groans,
And does relent.
He watches a party-full
Of strange treats
And childs-play hocus pocus.
Soon they’ll all be dead,
Only, no one knows it.

**I created the artwork myself  a long time ago  (total beginner back then, so don't judge lol).  I hope all you fellow poets and blog-goers are having a ghoulish halloween!!

Written for prompts at Warning The Stars and Toads.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Fall 1889 (a six word poem)

'Fall 1889'  Digital Art Photo Manipulation

Nothing's been right
since daddy died.

Inspired by a prompt at Poetry Jam.  The idea was to write about 'broken,'  I thought I'd ponder the prompt for a while and play with Photoshop in the meantime.  I didn't really know until maybe halfway through, but I realized I was creating a piece of artwork for the prompt.  The poem just came to me as I gazed into the artwork...I felt a forlorn sense of mourning, perhaps an innocence lost, the heart of a young lady broken.  And there ya work AND a poem.  This is the first time I've ever created artwork and a poem that go together. I hope I can manage to do this more often.

**Resource used:

street lamp
girl on fence
ice texture

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Still My Enemy

'Still My Enemy'  Digital Art Photo Manipulation
I found this ghoulish zombie and knew I had to use her for something...she's just dug a grave to behead the corpse of a mortal enemy.   If that' doesn't frighten you, I don't know what will!

Created for the 'Take Fright' Challenge at Three Muses.

**resources used:

creepy tree
zombie hand

Driving Into the Fire

Artwork by Eugenia Loli

She was a blonde astrologist
Back in the fifties,
Jaded by a feminist mother
And the townsfolk
Who called her a ‘witch,’
She took tarot-reading appointments
And hung out with the ‘cool kids’
Who threw back Jack
And smoked pot-laced cigarettes
In the back halls of town dances,
Wishing they could live
Like Kerouac and Ginsberg.

He was a magician
In a traveling freak show,
A child from the backstreets
Near the Coney Island carnival.
His father was a womanizing drunk,
His mother died giving birth.
He lived a childhood-full
Of Peter pan and stale toast,
Creaming his bad memories
Into a paste that held his heart together.
He loved the work of Poe,
The fast cars he rode in with rich friends.

They came together one night,
chance meeting at a train station
Somewhere past Memphis.
She’d stolen her best friends
Red Barbie convertible,
And he was tired of being paid
For lying to the dirty faces
Of kids who couldn’t afford
‘the real thing.’
So they stole out of town,
New love blazing as strange
As a new morning turned pink
As the tulip stars
In a town just west of Jupiter.
And laughing like
Wild flower children of the sixties,
They drove straight into the inferno.

Written for a prompt at Margo Roby's Wordgathering.  

Monday, October 27, 2014

A Witchy Revenge

'A Witchy Revenge' Digital Photo Manipulation

 from Macbeth

'A dark Cave. In the middle, a Caldron boiling. Thunder.'

                Enter the three Witches.
       1 WITCH.  Thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd.
       2 WITCH.  Thrice and once, the hedge-pig whin'd.
       3 WITCH.  Harpier cries:—'tis time! 'tis time!
       1 WITCH.  Round about the caldron go;
    In the poison'd entrails throw.—
    Toad, that under cold stone,
    Days and nights has thirty-one;
    Swelter'd venom sleeping got,
    Boil thou first i' the charmed pot!
       ALL.  Double, double toil and trouble;
    Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
       2 WITCH.  Fillet of a fenny snake,
    In the caldron boil and bake;
    Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
    Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
    Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
    Lizard's leg, and owlet's wing,—
    For a charm of powerful trouble,
    Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
       ALL.  Double, double toil and trouble;
    Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
       3 WITCH.  Scale of dragon; tooth of wolf;
    Witches' mummy; maw and gulf
    Of the ravin'd salt-sea shark;
    Root of hemlock digg'd i the dark;
    Liver of blaspheming Jew;
    Gall of goat, and slips of yew
    Sliver'd in the moon's eclipse;
    Nose of Turk, and Tartar's lips;
    Finger of birth-strangled babe
    Ditch-deliver'd by a drab,—
    Make the gruel thick and slab:
    Add thereto a tiger's chaudron,
    For the ingrediants of our caldron.
       ALL.  Double, double toil and trouble;
    Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
       2 WITCH.  Cool it with a baboon's blood,
    Then the charm is firm and good.

Created for the 'orange and black' challenge at Sunday Postcard Art.


Morning Yogi's

Late October lays a frosty dawn
Across the windowpane.
I awaken to the drum-beat
Of a space heater,
Metal dream-siren
Of an antique tea-kettle.
And, gathering my feet
In fluffy fleece
Like two young bunnies,
I step my 8 am swanker
Across creaking floorboards
To the kitchen counter,
shiny as a make-shift Formica.
I kiss the cold nose of my lover,
Yawning and sleep-bland
As the maple oatmeal,
yet sugarless as it roils 
a boil that spits
Its damp steam to dance
Shape-shifting specters
Atop the stove bulbs.
We heat our freezing hands
With too-hot cups
Of vanilla bean cappuccino,
Moon-moth of my morning,
She rolls across my tongue
Like a brown mamba.
Together we eat,
Silent and straight as yogi’s
While the sun rises,
Quick light of her breath
Casting a fall glow
Into stiff-backed night shadows,
Each waking color
Thick and creamy
As Nutella and warm toast.

Written for a prompt at Magpie Tales.
Shared for open link at Toads.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Downtown Night Train

The ten o’clock train stop
Is a neon side-street carnival,
It glares and blinks,
Twists the feet of jazz artists
A grotesque crack in the pavement
Where young girls
Drop their dreams like weed seed,
Each of their bright eyes blooming
Like yellow harvest moons.
They roam the downtown square,
Legs as limber as bent willow branches,
They tease old men with fishnet legs,
Drink fine wine and wear perfume
Into bars where middle-aged women
Cackle bathroom gossip
Like wrinkled crows in old clothes,
Women who dread the nighttime
Windows of their high-rise walls,
The kids who’ve grown and gone,
The men with their matchbook numbers
Who never return the call.
Women who pull all-nighters
Playing pool and taking shots,
Tonight they roam residential avenues
In winter boots, dark and sliced
Into the gray shapes of footsteps and shadow.
They know each front-stoop
Is a proverbial doorway,
An invisible party invitation
That slams it’s entrance shut after midnight.

Written for a prompt at Warning The Stars Saturday.
Shared at dverse Open Link.

Friday, October 24, 2014

'Love Poem to the Printed Text' by Lisa Bernstein (and my commentary)

I loved you because you appeared to me privately,
always waiting between the covers,
filling the pages my thumb riffled.
After I shut my eyes, you billowed across a dark field
like a sheet slashed with hieroglyphs
which let through the starlight.
The royal ball, the fox-boy,
her foot sliding into the slipper-
these you only pretended to describe, distractions
from your own procession, as transparent as black lace.

I wanted to bite into you, as into a wafer
where the first words were written. I knew
you were a single scroll ripped apart.
A piece flew out of reach. It was the moon.
No one could explain why you kept returning, imprinting
white rectangles throughout the world. One pair of hands
to hold you again, make you whole.

At first you spoke of my sadness, and the emaciated man
on the New York corner, the red leaves scattering
the grass. You become a woman
twirling in veils and a sequined bodice
and in the snow by the window hunched a wolf
into which her figure dissolved.
Her shoulders sloped like the letter f,
his black haunches bent
in a pair of g's,
The stone walls went white
to the edges of the page.

Every day my eyes scan this snow,
A figure walks silently, looking to either side.
I can't see if it's a man or a woman. Black footprints extend
between two lines of poplars, I glimpse
your arched neck, your fingers entwined beneath mine.
The sunlight fades, but I keep writing in the dusk,
trying to cover this surface, its sudden
flatness, like a face turning away.

I found this poem in a book I recently read by Lisa Bernstein, The Transparent Body (1989).  And though it was written twenty-some years ago, I found bits and pieces of myself and my own life (as a woman and a writer) sprinkled all throughout her words, stories, and recollections.

Yet, this poem really jumped from the page when I read it.  I saw myself in each stanza, the transient of each syllable...falling across my bed, a book between my hands.   How many times have I done this, thus far, in my lifetime?  Laying in bed surrounded by the natural, meditative glow of a crowd of the bathtub, on a park bench whilst the world just floats by (though I'm unaware), knee to knee beside a stranger on a bus, atop the clouds in a plane with cloud mist outside the window, sprawled across the couch with my coffee and my highlighter, the many high-backed chairs of libraries and bookstores.  Let's not forget the cafe chairs and bar stools, the restaurant booths and backseat rides.  

It seems at every pit-stop of my life, there's always been a book beside my lap, the weigh of my purse-string, the primary necessity of my backpack or overnight bag.  The piece of my travel luggage I prefer to carry in my hands.

Books have crossed the country with me.  And vise versa, I have explored alternate realities, worlds yet un-traversed until I pulled the covers apart.  The text-gift to myself.  The solitary experience of so many separate lives I have lived in the books I have read, the poetry and stories of other people that have allowed me to delve into the depths of my insides while simultaneously swimming the air of this earth.

Does this sound melodramatic, manic?  It very well might be.  Perhaps only a true, kindred bibliophile would understand...or a fellow poet, maybe an avid reader from the other side of the earth who happens by this post and says, 'aha, so we must share a piece of the same soul.'

I love my books, my poems, poets I meet, authors long-dead before my eyes ever graced their words. And I think it is the human experience, the essence of blood and vein and heart and the soul (a mere visitor), the hardships of our lives, the bitterness, betrayal, hurt, happiness, tranquility of turning each page (and the brave vulnerability it takes to even put a thought of one's own on paper) that drives us each to read and write (rather one or both).

I guess what I'm trying to say is that books are my friends.  Quotes are a lifeline.  And each separate poem is transcendence into another's life.  And so I read well, heartily as a hungry child...and am never full enough!  Hence, the poem and the title, I do believe I have a rather obsessive love affair with the printed text.  And I'm totally okay with that dysfunction.

On a side note...I really, really love the accompanying picture....that is totally me...practicing a yoga pose against the headboard as I read....later complaining of my aching back!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Spinning End of a Solstice

Early winter was a warm couch
In a cold room,  vintage shrill
Of a tea kettle breaking
The still air of my kitchen,
When I began to piece
The parts of myself together.
The ink across the inside
Of her left wrist, now meaningless.
November begrudgingly became
A fall shadow, butterflies
Disappearing from the wildflower
In my backyard into the secretive,
Electric buzz of hives not yet
Touched by the sin of human hands.
I met her by the smoky wood
Of a winter solstice, my lips
Brushing hers beneath a twilight
Of candied  street lanterns,
How they shined the glow of
Their sugared globes across our faces,
Bathing my front steps
an ethereal illumination.
Time would soon close the
Last door of December as
A secret no one could know yet.
She became a shiny shadow in the
Soap bubble of my evening dishwater,
The rising sun of a summer equinox,
As brazen to my skin as the
road rash of each midnight,
the red of her car chasing the moon
down a strip of back-road
Like a lone alpha fox.
The soft of her skin was fine dining
Compared to the sticky stubble
Of men I could never love.
And on a bitter new years’ eve
As the wind spun the stars
In circles across the moon
Like a string of fairy lights,
Drug-store wine burning my pallet
While I drank alone
I imagined her at the night café,
Its rustic signs and the smell of alcohol
Reminding her of a pub somewhere
Off an interstate in Georgia,
When I realized it was the touch
Of her hands I’d been missing
For most of my life.

Written from my prompt at 'Warning The Stars' Saturday.  

Sunday, October 12, 2014

An October Moon Walks Me Home

Each night, like clockwork
At a little past eight
I leave the café.
I walk alone, where shadows
Throw the side-street
Into a mud-streaked illumination
Of rearranged mortar.
As I pass windows
Of ice cream joints and
So-called five-star diners
Where strangers keep post
At their vegan plates
And medium-rare steaks
As if the hungry old beggars
At the corner  
Might steal a taste,
I feel a strange
Disconnection from humanity.
My feet slide on past
The slippery bricks
Of the public library,
Isolated at this late hour,
It’s glass doors flashing
Orange from the lone, sad
Jack-o-lantern, all electric.
I think to myself sadly
That at least he’ll never die.
The sidewalk spins
My stride between bare trees
And the moon beams
Her invisible dove feathers
Through my hair, glowing white,
My fingers that become
Silver strands,
One swimming the atmosphere,
At my side,
The other clutching
A years-full of my thoughts,
A gentle breeze tickles my chin
And chills my arms
A series of skin-pricks
As a chilly October night
Walks me home, my belly full
Of warm tea and poets-talk.

Written for prompts at Toads and Red Wolf Poems.
Shared for open link Poets United.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Book Release!! "Deeper Than Pink" Now Available for Purchase!

Back Cover Blurb:

This cunning collection from Stacy is bold and reminiscent of women everywhere. Unafraid to out-step boundaries and stereotypes, she has written each line with a brilliant determination to have her voice heard. From the trials of motherhood to the modern-day tragedies of teenage angst, Stacy will take you on a journey through a childhood of esoteric beginnings into a blossoming young woman on the verge of finding her place in this world. She speaks of losing (and finding) love, family devotion, maternal instincts, women's issues, and personal demons in words so rich you'll feel as if you've fallen into the pages of her world. This is a collection of poetry that everyone (especially every woman) can relate to. Miss Mar speaks of life and transgressions with such a brave, confessional voice that you'll feel you've accidentally overheard someone else's private conversation. As brutal as it is beautiful, you'll remember the words and life lessons of this piece of work long after the last page is turned.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

"Coffee Shop" by Jewel (And My Commentary)

 "Coffee Shop"

Young girls wrap themselves tightly
in bright smiles and denim,

no more patent leather
and pigtails here.

They suck on coffee,
with great indifference,
their young thighs
weapons they have cocked,
hardly comprehending
the potency which lies
in suggestion.

Tight, dark, dark blue
wrangler jeans
and lonely smiles like
latent prophecies.

I first read this poem from Jewel's singular publication of poetry A Night Without Armor years ago.  Actually, I was just breaching 'adulthood,' at the tender, inexperienced age of barely 18 when a fare-weather friend gave me the book as a parting gift.

I loved this poem back then,  it gave me silly-girl daydreams of exotic cities and homely coffee-shops, artists niches where (once I moved my life to somewhere like Seattle) I would soak myself into a creative atmosphere and morph into some other girl.  Perhaps a girl who knew enough about life to actually write something legible.

I recently reread this collection of poetry (at the tender age of 33) and these words (though I still love the poem) resonated with a completely new view.  Maybe I'm more 'worldly' or 'experienced' or 'distinguished'  or maybe just 'bitter' enough to read these words and apply them to the history of my own girlhood, my own growth into the woman I've become.

I can remember my first visits to campus coffee shops.  I'd languish, elbows propped against fancy marble table-tops, arrange my notebooks and pens, and then await enough inspiration to write.  I suppose this is when I began to observe other people.  I'd sort of steal details from their lives:  the way they looked, floating pieces of conversation and random words they spoke.  I'd weave them into pieces of poetry/prose.  Some days I'd merely take notes, other days I'd write so fervently, words of poems I never knew could come from inside me just blooming from the hands of strangers, intellectual girls in glasses who nodded their heads at my notebooks as if in understanding.

And we can't forget the long-haired boy who sat across the cafe one evening, haphazardly strumming the guitar and singing boy-band love songs for a group of admiring females who gathered quickly.  I was not one of those girls, though I smiled at him from across the room, understanding his ploy for attention, aware his lack of talent and creativity.  I think he knew I knew as he winked at me while probably simultaneously trying to make a mental decision about which of these silly chicks he'd sleep with.

I guess back then (as I roamed Borders and studied the 'real' poets, devoured books and learned to brew my own coffee) I began to mentally piece together what I perceived the 'poets' did.  I fervently read memoirs like The Only Girl In The Car and Lucky, the book Summer Sisters and The Journals of Sylvia Plath.  The stories within the walls of such books made me feel as if there were really other girls out there like me.  Other creative, book-wormish girls who dreamed with their books and their pens, who wanted to be sophisticated but probably looked more like posers dressed in tight jeans and black shirts, hipster beanies sweating their hair wet.

But I believe knowing such people existed, and reading their works (I devoured Anne Sexton, Sharon Olds, Sylvia Plath and dived into the lyrical genius of Ani DiFranco and Tori Amos) gave me enough courage to inhabit this eccentric, often-times weird, other-worldly woman whom was pushing herself from my insides.  Even if I had trouble finding women in my immediate atmosphere who shared these characteristics with me, even if I stood out like a sore thumb in a roomful other students, even if I was misunderstood and felt so deeply that everything either elated or deeply scarred was all okay.  I was okay.  I would be okay morphing into the crazy, all-over-the place poet/writer/artist/ twenty-something I was meant to be.

So, while re-reading this poem,
I see myself in the tight bell-bottom jeans,
totally oblivious to the fact that
my young curves might be provocative,
occupying a bar-stool,
nursing my first bitter cup of espresso
and wondering if I looked cultured enough
to even belong in a campus cafe.
Now-days I walk in like I own the place.

Saturday Prompt #2: Starry Skies and Strange Faces

I'd love to credit the creator of this image, but I found it on a wallpaper app and was compelled to write with it.  

For this week, use the visual above as inspiration for a piece of writing/prose/fiction.

If you're stuck, here are a few things to help get you started:

-Think about what's going on in the picture...
-Who is that strange person?  Where did he/she come from?  Where is he/she going to?
-The piece of art is quite whimsical.  Look into the background, what do you see there?  Is it trees, cactus, stars, a fisherman's village?  And what is the significance?
-What type of story would this 'snapshot' tell, were it a real, live photo?

Use the prompt now and leave a link below, or save it for later.  Just be inspired, that is the purpose!

Here is my contribution that was inspired by the image:

"Stars and Strange Faces"

Nights were rather damp,
the windows of their upstairs apartment
Too wise and dingy to discern
The separate faces of strangers
From the busy inner-city below.
Her lover was a patient man,
His chin a collection of breakfast crumbs,
But she knew the heart beneath
His old plaid shirt was mechanical.
He worked for the postal service
To support them, a shadow-man
Dressed in proper blue,
Hands full of car keys and
The paper bag lunch she arranged
Like a boring habit each morning.
And when she was alone
She would strip herself
Before  the many-mirrored bathroom
Like a swaying shower curtain pushed apart.
She’d collect the anti-depressants secretly
In colorful bath-salt jars,
Those little beads of forgiveness
That would free her thoughts
When no one else could understand
That it wasn’t about love or loneliness,
But rather an itch no drug could scratch.
So she wrote letters to dead feminists,
Copied recipes for success
From the life of Dorothy Parker,
and cooked supper for her husband
Like a good wife should
While patiently knitting mittens
For children she’d never have.
Every few weeks she’d consign
A soft batch of her fingered creations
To the corner thrift shop
For a cheap five bucks per pair,
then stop at Greg's Diner for chamomile tea
A pretty girl nodding
At the smiles of strangers,
unspoken dreams rolling around
between her cranium like a marble.
She knew one day she’d have
Enough money to buy the stars,
To leave the city.

Anyway, enjoy the prompt.  And happy writing!!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

October is an Incantation

I am an itchy witch
In a black-star hat.
On the eve
Of each Saturday
I wear a magicians’ cape
Stuffed full
Of small-town secrets
And potion-treats
For the toads and bats.
I swing from the rafters
Of bayou shacks,
Converse with rats
About stealing your soul,
An unsuspecting old lady
Who walks the avenue alone.

Written for a prompt at Toads.
The rule is 53 words or less, I think I managed 56...a feat for me, as I'm usually long-winded.  :)