Thursday, December 29, 2016

Just a Little Dose of Poetic Commentary

Photo of a Girl on the Beach
by Carmen Gimenez Smith

Once when I was harmless
and didn’t know any better,

a mirror to the front of me
and an ocean behind,

I lay wedged in the middle of daylight,
paper-doll thin, dreaming,

then I vanished. I gave the day a fingerprint,
then forgot.

I sat naked on a towel
on a hot June Monday.

The sun etched the inside of my eyelids,
while a boy dozed at my side.

The smell of all oceans was around us—
steamy salt, shell, and sweat,

but I reached for the distant one.
A tide rose while I slept,

and soon I was alone. Try being
a figure in memory. It’s hollow there.

For truth’s sake, I’ll say she was on a beach
and her eyes were closed.

She was bare in the sand, long,
and the hour took her bit by bit.

I adore this poem.  The parallels of time to the ocean, the metamorphosis of the young girl into something different, something more, until the old is completely undone...gone?

I fell into this piece of writing as if the words, themselves, were a photograph.  An emergence of sorts.  

Perhaps what endeared me most to this piece of work was how well it pulled me back into the oblivion of my own childhood!  The young girl.  The harmless girl whom the world reformed in time, with experience, into perhaps a woman who is gazing back to this innocent time as one looks beyond the peripheral vision of a shoulder glance.  As I read I found myself also looking backward, the picture out of view, but the fact of what once was remained a vision in my head made whole by the memory of these words.

Monday, December 12, 2016

What's on Your Mantle?

I absolutely adored this challenge!  I had so much fun decorating my mantle.  :)

Created for a challenge at Sunday Postcard Art,

Red and Green

Lots of shades of red and green.  I'm in a very 'Christmas' mood this year.

Created for a challenge at Take A Word.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Open Sleigh

I had fun with the idea of the wine bottle in her hand.  I wonder if this constitutes as drunk driving?  Haha.

"It's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you!"

Created for an art challenge at Digital Whisper.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

A Little Something For Thursday

I love magnetic poetry, but today I was inspired to do something a little different.

I came across a vintage image of a girl writing on a retro typewriter and wanted to write about it.  So...I just opened Photoshop and began writing across the photo.  Here is my result.  I think I may make this a regular thing as I love old vintage photos and oftentimes find myself inspired by them.

"Girl, Writing"

every morning she assembles herself, black fabric and colorful shadows.  shes loves the earth but covets the stars by the verse of Ginsburg.  she picks daisies and gathers words.  and her heart is a boxcar, it's destination unknown.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Winter Scenery

I think winter is my favorite theme to work with, particularly because of the livid, bright colors I can so freely integrate.  I also really adore the snowy scenes and pale skylight horizons.

"Winter Birds"

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, "Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.” 
― Lewis Carroll

Created for an art challenge at Sunday Postcard Art.

"A December Eve"

“I love you because no two snowflakes are alike, and it is possible, if you stand tippy-toe, to walk between the raindrops. ” 
― Nikki Giovanni

Created for an art challenge at Digital Whisper.

Monday, November 14, 2016

"Against the Evidence" by David Ignatow (And My Commentary)

Compartment C, Car 293
Edward HOPPER (1882-1967)
Against the Evidence
by David Ignatow

As I reach to close each book
lying open on my desk, it leaps up
to snap at my fingers.  My legs
won't hold me, I must sit down.
My fingers pain me
where the thick leaves snapped together
at my touch.

        All my life
I've held books in my hands
like children, carefully turning
their pages and straightening out
their creases.  I use books
almost apologetically.  I believe
I often think their thoughts for them.
Reading, I never know where theirs leave off
and mine begin.  I am so much alone
in the world, I can observe the stars
or study the breeze, I can count the steps
on a stair on the way up or down,
and I can look at another human being
Judging a Book
Robin Cheers

it is for the sake of politeness.
Nothing must be said of estrangement
among the race and yet
nothing is said at all
because of that.
But no book will help either.
I stroke my desk,
its wood so smooth, so patient and still.
I set a typewriter on its surface
and begin to type
to tell myself my troubles.
Against the evidence, I live by choice.

I think we live in an age of separation.  Too much connectivity and the ease for which we can communicate has, perhaps, sequestered the need to really communicate meaningfully.  Social media and online chat Apps have turned communication into more of  superficial conversation.  We connect via cords and Wifi signals, yet we fail to connect on a deeper level.  If you disagree, ask yourself:  when was the last time I had a true heart-to-heart via Snapchat?  (I personally never have!)

I recently completed Selected Poems by David Ignatow.  This particular selection of poetry seems to mirror urban city life.  He often demonstrates how well the paved streets connect us to each others doors, yet how easily they walk us into opposite directions.  Published in 1975, long before the internet (and the general use of computers) opened gateways of communication (which were probably unimaginable back then), it seems that the author sensed an oncoming separation between people.  

How sad some of the classic great authors would be had they known that one day email would replace the need for letter-writing.  Even the interpersonal act of writing and mailing letters is considered a lost art these days!  Doesn't that make you sad?

No wonder so many of us (myself included) turn to great works of literature to find pieces of ourselves.  To understand and converse and interact with a world which really speaks (even when that world is imaginary!).  I've also wondered if, just maybe, the world is losing more and more (or creating less and less) of the deep thinkers.  Entertainment is so easy to get these days, distraction is paramount to deep mental reflection.  Maybe we have entered a time when the only thing left to connect us, truly by the heart and mind, is the arts!  

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Super Moon in Gloaming

A big-moon sky has set the hills afire.  My window pane shades the world a slightly-gray panoramic view.  I watch a black-tree horizon grow long; the many-fingered branches of dogwood and dusty milkweed glisten against early dew.

My red-black glass of wine is but a planet all its own.  Shiny and bulbous as an unclaimed Pluto.  I place its nectar to my lips and taste the stars.

Harvest moon dips low
Earth spins her blue-gray gloaming
a slow shadow dance.

Inspired by a poetry prompt at dVerse.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Noteworthy Links

I know I'm not consistent on these Thursday posts.  Life get's busy.

Anyway, here are my recent favorite internet finds.  Enjoy!

1)  Literary Hub - 'Literary Hub is an organizing principle in the service of literary culture, a single, trusted, daily source for all the news, ideas and richness of contemporary literary life.'

Learn about authors, books, and a whole other plethora of interesting facts related to literature and writers.

2) Soul PanCake - Their YouTube description simply states.  'We make stuff that matters.'

Find uplifting and enlightening videos pertaining to the bigger questions of life, new age creators, happiness, and informative news.

3)  New Age Creators - 'New Age Creators is an international creative collaboration aiming to bring people from all across the world together through the power of creativity.'

There's some really great guest videos among a select library of videos pertaining to creativity.  It's definitely worth a watch.

Friday, October 14, 2016

My Lyrical Ode to Bob Dylan

My poem was inspired by the following lyrics

The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow
Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves
Let me forget about today until tomorrow

as well as the complete article found HERE.

Even Sand is Sacred

The ocean was toiling
its same old
one-thousand-year song,
and two together, yet alone,
we squished the sand
between our toes,
those stiff beach stones,
pressed the backs of our eyes
into the gloaming hour
of a dark-cloud night.
Drunk on young
but never dumb,
We skipped pebbles
and drank cheap wine,
a steeple against the
sorrow of some tomorrow,
spoke to the pigeons and
other shore-swine,
a bridge to gap the hours
and I spoke subliminally,
pity for the harrowing life
in each lost feather, and he
rolled his eyes toward me
like two blue roaming runes,
whispered softly between the
firelight of each ticking second:
"You've got it all wrong,
as long as the stars are
on fire and the heart still moves
its steady beat-groove;
as long as we're alive
and still here, there's nothing
to lose, nothing to fear."

this poem was inspired by a prompt at dVerse.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Snow on Broadway

I know, October is a little early for snow.  The poem wasn't really inspired by weather, but by a strange mid-afternoon dream.  My head was full of migraine and so I slept.  I had the most serene dream of a snowstorm.  It was so ethereal and magical.  I stood at my bedroom window, staring into the black and white vignette of the most awesome blizzard I'd ever seen (well, outside a dream anyway).  The flakes were like these huge fist-sized shaped ice balls that exploded like frosty dandelions as they swam the air.  It was so magnificent that I had to write about it when I woke up.
And so here we have the poem.

Perhaps it was
the early October cold,
or my body full
of three-day headache,
but I dreamed of snow;
A headful of gloom,
Shiny white sky pieces as full as
the hugest dandelion bloom
shed their frost-flake into
windows like drunken-bugs
or dizzy moths swimming headlight.
Gray-black clouds stirred the sky
like a cauldron full of
black ice and snuffed the
rays of moon the way death
stifles a last, quivering breath.
I watched between curtains
spun of silk, mannequin-shiny
against the light-globes
of my townhome, a sort
of background halo, the stop signs
shaking their metal vertebrae
in the aftermath of wind,
thunder striking the edges
of street-light poles,
thick jackets of pedestrians
bellowing like fat capes
amidst the most ricocheting
type of silence, a mere murmur
against the whipping white-stone oblivion
as if the tail-end of some misty
apocolypses' rash scream
were sliding against the pane of glass
where my forehead rested
before the siren-wake
of realities telephone ring.

Shared with the Tuesday Platform at Imaginary Garden.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Consorting With Stars

Original Digital Art

The moon hung
by hinges, it's beams
swung the sky.
The wind sang a song,
a winter-bird cry.
Dead trees waved thin
fingers, a dead-root dance.
Time walked my heart
across a silver-spun wire,
stuffed my cheeks
full of clouds
and I swallowed stars.

Written for a prompt at dVerse.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Micro Poetry

"She Reads Romance"  Original Digital Photo Manipulation

October Rain

Fresh croissants 
and too-hot coffee
have claimed the glory.
My knees are whisker-warm
and fleece-born.
The cat mews in the sleep
of his mouse-brown dreams.
I'm a red-eyed half-read
Joyce Carol Oates fantasy
and two lattes deep
in an early evening.
Clouds roll past
the window, a slow-motion boil.
 A storm teases the edges
of a blue-moon sky,
an October kind of rain.

Written for a lovely prompt over at Imaginary Garden.

A Witch-Black Night

the fallen leaves in the forest seemed to make even the ground glow and burn with light” 

The only black/orange themed elements I have are of creepy, witchy, scary things.
Created for a challenge at Take A Word.

Home After Dark

"The wind outside nested in each tree, prowled the sidewalks in invisible treads like unseen cats.
Tom Skelton shivered. Anyone could see that the wind was a special wind this night, and the darkness took on a special feel because it was All Hallows' Eve. Everything seemed cut from soft black velvet or gold or orange velvet. Smoke panted up out of a thousand chimneys like the plumes of funeral parades. From kitchen windows drifted two pumpkin smells: gourds being cut, pies being baked.” 

Created for a challenge at Digital Whisper.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Noteworthy Links Tuesday

I haven't been around for a few months (sometimes life gets in the way of one's hobbies) but I'm trying to resume the regular 'Thursday Links' postings.

I used to make this section quite long...full of journals, zines, self-help reference and such.  Perhaps I'll do that later when I have more time to peruse the internet.

For now, here are some really interesting links I think you might enjoy:

1)   The TypeWriter Project - 'The Typewriter Project is a series of site-specific literary installations which invite passersby to join in a citywide linguistic exchange that exists in both the analog and digital realms...'

A typewriter booth, equipped with a 100-foot scroll of paper, is placed inside a booth.  Passerbyers of all ages and walks of life are welcome to partake in writing.  However, the project is also equipped with a USB Keyboard kit which allows entries from a plethora to of people to appear online as distinct pieces of writing which can be viewed as a collective whole, or in part.

I love this idea!  I wish my city had a project like this.

You can find a collection of the writings HERE.

2)  I Choose Beauty  is the way one brave, creative lady chose to battle chronic depression.

With the winter months lingering, her therapist suggested she start taking photos and documenting all the things in life for which she was grateful.  What proceeded was a vast collection of beautiful photos and a distinct collection of gratitudes posted via Instagram.

She Says:  I’m a very visual person, so I decided I would document the beauty I saw each day with a picture,” says Aker. “After only a week, I noticed a difference – I started to feel hopeful. Days went by, and I was hooked. So much so that I didn’t stop when winter was over. I kept going. I’m on Day 1,000 now

Her story totally inspired me to take more photos in honor of all the wonderful things in life I have to be thankful for.

3)  Epic Exquisite Corpse is a cute online app I found.   When you're feeling creative (or bored or restless or stressed), you can compose your own poem/drawing on their blank page.  It works sort of like an online Paint program.  By using your mouse as a pencil, you can write, draw, and express yourself, then save and share your drawing via their gallery.

It's great to relax with when you need a coffee break!

4)  You can watch Vincent Van Gogh's work come to life in THIS video.  It's a short video, but amazing nonetheless!  And while you're already there, why not go ahead and watch the full documentary of Vincent Van Gogh's life.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Sea Dances in Moonlight

a move of broken glass
black as polished leather,
burnt wood, the big shifter
that trembles steel under us,
the horizon hides above,
a curtain made of holes,
with stars around
the lost language of wind
howls of salt, tide at night.
~Leslie Philibert~

Created for A Digital Art Challenge at Three Muses.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

'No Go' Wednesday

I was dazzled by the sky more than the date...

We dined inside an old Italian
place with chipped Spanish tiles and
walls stained from the
dew of some other woman's
'better days.'  A place with
leather seats stiff as old rags,
yet our ankles found the warm bone
of one another and I smiled
into his eyes, two spotlights caught
between a reflection of the
brightly-lit window panes and
the old phantom ache of some girl
who'd gambled his last eight years
for the bright lights of a
New York City night.
It was a tearful glassful of wine,
a story he wouldn't allow me to forget.
I stifled the double-edged swallow
of my throaty comebacks with basil,
ate a Gelletto made of Spain
and nervously twisted my fingers
into a fresh fistful of bruise
and bid the bore a Shakespearean salute
before walking my stilettos past
a maze made of concrete and stoplights,
corners where young girls smoked cigars,
flashy as something newly born
as the cold evening oozed it's dead-weight fingers
between the holes yarn left in my knit sweater,
my whole being a chest-full of headache,
wishing I could rewind this day
and waiting for the jingle beat of a message
for which I'd just as easily press 'delete.'
Tired of busy conversation,
meaningless as talk-show drone,
I turned my wayward eyes toward
the window of night and awaited the dazzle
of my old friend Mr. Crater Moon.
October born the sky a bedful of stars
and I had no other choice but to
walk the elbows of my thoughts
across the sharp, silk reverie like
a double-crossed heart on old knees.

written to a prompt shared at dVerse.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Of Bulbs and Stars: A Haibun

Fall is my favorite time of the year, particularly the most enjoyable for walking the city.  My favorite time to explore is early's light when I walk into the city, and darkly mysterious against the streetlights as I meander my way home against the backdrop of bulbs and stars.

Here is that moment, captured in the words of a Haibun.

Early evening turns the city into a universe of streetlights.  The smoky alcove of each lamp showcases a cast of shadows, playwright directing light.  Inside the crystalline void of a lone bulb, a firefly beats his wings into the wire.  He spins, an ethereal glow against the first wink of the moons edged smile.  Translucent as a wood nymph, I am but foot-stepped bone matter amongst the backdrop of bulb and star.

For a moment I dance into the light
infrared as a still-life photo
as I walk into the infinity
of a brick-and-mortar horizon.

Written for the Monday Haibun prompt at dVerse.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Happy National Coffee Day (2016)

"Java & Keats"  Original Photo Manipulation Art

I love coffee.  Of course, I drink it every day.  Every.Single.Day.  Yet, I wasn't ever quite fully aware of just how much of a mainstay that coffee (just as poetry) is in my life.  I think I incorporate coffee into my artwork almost as often as I do with my writing.

I wrote the following poem for the weekly Poetry Pantry.  

However, in celebration of National Poetry Month, I've also included some additional photos and links.  So pour yourself a cup and enjoy! 

"Another Cup of Java"

I'm a mid-morning
of last night's dreams
and Arabic black bean.

You are conversing
with napkins, keeping plight
with the wrinkly-edged leaves
of Fall's new tablecloth.

Everyone's speaking
but I'm too busy
drinking (coffee).

-Stacy Lynn Mar-

The java has
Turned my brain
Into skittish text,

"I"m a slow motion accident lost in coffee-

rings and finger-prints..."

-Frou Frou-

She’s a 6am fray of fleece slippers, unraveling.  She wears coffee-stains on the left shoulder of her shirt like a metaphorical holster.  Coffee-black and pen poised, words have been haunting her all night.  Syllable by rank, impulsive syllable and thrashed from slumber, they summon her to the click-click of her pen-drip no matter a Wednesday or Sunday. 

A Mocha Iced For Everyday

She always had an appetite for coffee, house blend was her favorite.  A morning cup meant bliss, but, really she'd drink it all day long.  She would enter every cafe she passed, flamboyantly flashing her silver rings and the jangly doo-dads of her bracelets.  She loved the sound of the percolator, a whistling teapot, liquid creamer dripping.

The ice-clink of her coffee calls for drink as she bends her head, a silent prayer to Kerouac and Ginsberg. 

She sits center-seat,
Mess of café-talk and words;
World outside the world.

“I don't know where my ideas come from. I will admit, however, that one key ingredient is caffeine. I get a couple cups of coffee into me and weird things just start to happen.” 
― Gary Larson

She walks slowly,
Feet a leisurely echo
Amidst the earthquake shuffle
Of a morning commute,
She wears her raincoat
Like the robe of Christ,
Coffee stains dangling
Toward her fingers,
early winter wind whipping
A knitted scarf across her face,
Tickling her throat like
The bitter taste of chocolate.

It's already getting chilly here in Kentucky.  Not complaining, though, I love me some Fall weather!

She spills the coffee of herself
All over the room
Like a stubborn stain.

I am sun-bleached book covers,
Blank journal pages and
Colorful magazine clippings
Glued across a notebook at random.
I am insatiable of words and sugar,
Oatmeal and black coffee,

...have consumed my share
Of cappuccinos in village
Coffee shops, dazzled by
The dance of book dust
Amidst candlelight and
Starched linen in fine restaurants
Before driving the evening
Through a fading post-storm twilight...

Inside this room, it’s always evening,
there’s always coffee
On the stove, familiar as old lips.

Night feels like a wet beach towel
Across the back patio, umbrella swimming
The atmosphere like a ghost coming home,
My house smelling of coffee,
Microwave-roasted, and still sublime.
The cinnamon and brown-sugar of a
Sweet roll, my gift offering
To the God of my empty pages.

She bought imported coffee
Stored in fancy porcelain pots
For the unused cupboards,
Filled her desk drawer
With empty notebooks,
Their covers adorned of sheepskin,
And lit candles along the
Edge of a corner stand,
A constellation all her own.

Chestnuts and yogurt
With a side of black coffee,
Street-lights and high-rise windows
Winking like stranded supernovas,

And the coffee-stained pages
We exchange as if sharing secrets:

Coffee, brown mother
Of my daydreams,
She keeps me from my sleep.

My heart full of beach-glow.
I fed it with coffee and cake,
A wormhole void of sacred touch,
Until one day it left me