Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Vintage Beauty

"Beyond the Moors"

I imagine she's taking a leisurely stroll.  Captivated by her colorful beauty, the parrot has followed.  In the distance a tiny road through the moors leads to her little red paradise beyond the edge of a shimmering, cerulean-green sea (just out of eye-shot).

Created for a lovely art challenge at The Three Muses.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Retro Writes (Tuesday) #11

The Rules:

Welcome to my new writing challenge!

Every other Tuesday I will post some lovely retro-era eye candy as inspiration (think 50's-80's decades).  I will be posting photographs and advertisement ephemera that, perhaps, is quite different from modern day photography in hopes that it may inspire us to come up with parallels and concepts we might not otherwise make with modern art/photography.

Simply write a piece of poetry, fiction, flash fiction, or even create your own art-work.  Anything goes so long as you create/write something original!

Leave a link to your post so I (along with others) can visit and comment.  Please also link back to this page in your original post so others can find it.  

Most of all, have fun creating!

And now, for the prompt.

Retro Writes (Tuesday) #11

Look at the advertisement photo for a few moments and allow yourself to be inspired.

Here is my contribution:

The Songbird

Bettina would have
made a bad housewife,
for days on end she'd wrap
hours around the Edison Phonograph,
writing and rehearsing lyrics
to songs none other would
ever hear but her mother.
While the neighborhood girls
learned to churn butter
and swaddle-wrap young babies,
Bettina sang the yellow-faded
wallpaper to sleep, invislble
doves between her fingers as
she wept between the words
until one day, bless her soul,
the song finally delivered her
unto the gray-bearded sky-man
in a choir among the angels.

Friday, May 5, 2017

NaPoWriMo Day #30

So I finally have arrived at the end of NaPoWriMo for this year.  I'm five days late but it's a feat, in and of itself, to even partake.  I'm relieved to do my last poem for the month.  I think my poetic muse will probably hide out for a few weeks after this.  And I'm really looking forward to returning to all the great weekly digital art prompts.  I have missed my Photoshop something terrible these last five weeks, as well as all the kindred souls I meet via the art blog community.

Anyway, the last prompt at NaPoWriMo for this year was:

Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem about something that happens again and again (kind of like NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo). It could be the setting of the sun, or your Aunt Georgia telling the same story at Thanksgiving every single year. It could be the swallows returning to Capistrano or how, without fail, you will lock your keys in the car whenever you go to the beach.

I decided to write about morning.  After all, it happens everyday!  

In the a.m. of Everyday

Every different morning,
yet the day always tastes the same,
Robbins swing from tree to tree
like high-strung marionettes,
school buses and big rigs
choreograph their signals
at cross-ways where businessman
pause on sidewalks to shift
the heady hands of their briefcases.
The elderly man across the street
allows his dog to gallop along
the rivers edge, Spring breeze
lifting cloud from the edge
of the sun like a pagoda-shade
pushed to the wayside of the window
where I watch the world wake up,
coffee spilling across my lips
as the cat murmurs in his feline language
and licks my ankles as if to say
'we were meant to greet this day together.'

NaPoWriMo Day #29

The prompt over at NaPoWriMo today was :

Today, I’d like to challenge you to take one of your favorite poems and find a very specific, concrete noun in it. For example, if your favorite poem is this verse of Emily Dickinson’s, you might choose the word “stones” or “spectre.” After you’ve chosen your word, put the original poem away and spend five minutes free-writing associations – other nouns, adjectives, etc. Then use your original word and the results of your free-writing as the building blocks for a new poem.

The word I chose was 'brochure.'

Of Real Folks and Brochures

Appalachia in Spring,
most locals dream to leave
these hills where the moon
streams between thick trees
like a translucent wedding veil,
others dream of days grown
short by a drowsy autumn sun;
folks like me who live by
the season of night,
a world grown orange and bulbous,
the worldly folks who flock
to downtown benches where
they feed pigeons just for
the sake of the old poets' lost habits.
We dream neither of glamour
or beaches, not of tanned toes
or hot purple Lamborghinis.
We rendezvous by moonlight,
illuminated by visions of make-believe
and kisses made of bodies
real enough not to smear at
the rough grip-edge of one another..
If I must be real, I will proclaim
that I explore my lover with bare hands,
weave his memories of my words
with the same ink-stained fingers that
broke a slippery morning dish before
strawberries on the back patio
where the stream speaks his ancient
wisdom between the cat-call of
a lone red beetle, his wings floating
him into the same old small-city crevices
my feet creep past come evening.

NaPoWriMo Day #28

Couldn't really think of anything to use for the prompt at the official NaPoWriMo today so I just did a free association/free verse.

Might As Well Swim

I never asked to love you.
In defense of you,
you also never asked me to.
You blew into the door of
my life like an old memory,
an Indian gift best left unopened
but I couldn't resist the sharp
crave of my fingers for your skin;
I held them in my pockets for months
to avoid my fear of opening
something I innately understood
I'd never be able to will myself to shut again.
Like a twisted-vanilla Pandora's
box of erotica, you weaved your face
into the chain-braid of my daydreams
and for some time I vowed
I'd leave you there, a shelf in the corner
where dust could mar the half-meaning.
I promised myself never to love
anyone again with the excess of such desire,
cup-full of kisses overflowing, and
the simple part of your lips against
words, the only aphrodisiac I needed.
I sit, pardoning with the pieces of myself,
awaiting this river I know will wash
me away whether I wish to jump,
or greedily take that first swim,
though I'm sure it doesn't matter anymore
'when' if I'm already wading into the fire.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

NaPoWriMo Day #27

Although I did steadily write throughout April, my posting fell to the wayside of real-life responsibilities.  I am almost caught up though.  Only three more poems and I will have completed the National Poetry Writing Month for 2017!  It will be a relief!

The prompt at NaPoWriMo today was:

Many poems explore the sight or sound or feel of things, and Proust famously wrote about the memories evoked by smell, but today I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that explores your sense of taste! This could be a poem about food, or wine, or even the oddly metallic sensation of a snowflake on your tongue.

Cups Upon Cups

The kitchen was my safe place,
a world away from the world
where hands were always busy
butter-dipping or bean-breaking or
cake-mixing a vanilla-bean concoction
that, even at age seven, tasted like
a dream when mixed with the coffee
I would sneak from my grandmothers
pot in the dining-room where a
white dish cabinet rested old-fashioned
perfume bottles and vintage trinkets
I dared never to touch for the
memory-sake of my ancestors' preservation.
Yet there was always the hot smell
of coffee, Folgers in a red can, and
I remember well how my father
would dip his measuring spoon
into the grounds every morning, like
a magic that would repeat itself, then
again each evening after-dinner
we'd all drink as the day broke
into night sounds and gray cloud.
Unbeknownst to me, I became a
connoisseur of the coffee bean; it became
a mainstay for my memories.
I failed to realize this, until recently,
how well I acquired the taste:
stopping by random campus coffee shops,
stepping into every franchise cafe
that crossed my route between small cities
and buses and cabs and temp jobs, and
how, with each cup-grip, I was
sipping the proverbial nectar of some
days gone long past, the coffee a mere
emblem of comfort, a piece of the
innocent calm my life once was,
a time that can never again return.

NaPoWriMo Day #26

I was not inspired by the prompt at the official NaPoWriMo page, so today I just did a short free-write.

Late-Night Retroflection

On these sultry
pre-summer days,
I like to roam
the downtown district,
my belly empty,
dreaming of sixteen.

NaPoWriMo Day #25

The prompt over at NaPoWriMo today was:

In 1958, the philosopher/critic Gaston Bachelard wrote a book called The Poetics of Space, about the emotional relationship that people have with particular kinds of spaces – the insides of sea shells, drawers, nooks, and all the various parts of houses. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that explores a small, defined space – it could be your childhood bedroom, or the box where you keep old photos. It could be the inside of a coin purse or the recesses of an umbrella stand. Any space will do – so long as it is small, definite, and meaningful to you.

Where Country Roads Claimed Me

I suppose I'll always be
fond of country greenery,
of whippoorwills and red-breasted robins,
the smell of bacon and garden beans
and tiny little hillside kitchens
where raspberry bushes grow at
the edge of purple wildflower,
so many colorful flowers whose 
names, to this day, I still know not.
And, although the inner city blues
have claimed me 'otherworldly' in their 
magnificent trade of street lamps,
an illuminating dance of moon
against telephone wire and bird-speak,
somewhere inside me there's still
that girl who squeezes her own lemonade,
who warms her toes by a stream
where tadpoles swim their magic and
squirrels mate in the distance where
bright green leaves shimmer in the 
sun like glitter for all the young girls
who still enjoy a summers-day dream-sitting.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

NaPoWriMo Day #24

The prompt over at NaPoWriMo today encouraged us to write a poem about an art piece.  I decided to write about some of my favorite art:  the vintage pulp horror/gothic romance book covers!

Dime-Store Cover-Art

Sometimes I wonder
what they were thinking,
all those women running
from the blurry silhouettes
of overtly-dark houses
that rise in the background
of leafy-green trees on moors,
or rocks atop mountains
meant never to be scoured
by the mortal hands of man.
All those houses with one
bright window like the
eye of night, invisible
mouths of doors ready
to swallow screams,
those dark and silent
vintage pop-art tombs.

NaPoWriMo Day #23

The prompt over at NaPoWriMo today was:

Our prompt for Day Twenty-Three comes to us from Gloria Gonsalves, who challenges us to write a double elevenie. What’s that? Well, an elevenie is an eleven-word poem of five lines, with each line performing a specific task in the poem. The first line is one word, a noun. The second line is two words that explain what the noun in the first line does, the third line explains where the noun is in three words, the fourth line provides further explanation in four words, and the fifth line concludes with one word that sums up the feeling or result of the first line’s noun being what it is and where it is. There are some good examples in the link above.
A double elevenie would have two stanzas of five lines each, and twenty-two words in all. It might be fun to try to write your double elevenie based on two nouns that are opposites, like sun and moon, or mountain and sea.

Three Sheets Between

my erotica,
you lay awake,
a seed between my sheets.

your touch
sears a burn
beneath my breast-bone.

NaPoWriMo Day #22

I wasn't really inspired by the prompt over at the official NaPoWriMo page today, so I just enjoyed a quick free-write.

Last-Chance Cafe

I imagine it's a place
with vanilla-cream paint,
Formica counters and
a footpath carved
by people who return
for the taste of
bitter java and one last
dream-wish to awaken.

NaPoWriMo Day #21

The prompt at NaPoWriMo today was:

Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that incorporates overheard speech. It could be something you’ve heard on the radio, or a phrase you remember from your childhood, even something you overheard a coworker say in the break room! Use the overheard speech as a springboard from which to launch your poem. Your poem could comment directly on the overheard phrase or simply use it as illustration or tone-setting material.

Mid-Morning Resolve

Hand-in-hand, I walk
my daughter into the only cafe
in the historical downtown district.
Giddily, she is immediately taken
by the colorful array of stone-dish
photos of cheeseburgers
five-layer deep and the variety
of busy-kitchen aromas.
As I half-heartedly finger the menu
I can't help but particularly oversee
a conversation between two
middle-aged gypsies, their long skirts
whispering together beneath
a tall table beyond the dusty
picture window they bend their
heads toward the eye-gaze of
one another like conspirators,
their faces pinched with a serious
severity that I dare believe can
only arrive beyond a certain physical age.
They complain of how an unexpected
frost stole the beginning buds of
a precious garden, their unwanted
premature patches of gray, and I
observe the way a deep dissatisfaction
pinches at their faces.
How they fail to notice the drizzle
disappear, a wavering sun blinking
his eyes behind the city-building horizon.
I pity the resilience of their quiet anger
and resolve never to be an old grump
as I throw my daughter an air kiss
over thirsty soda-pops with extra fizz,
then we walk back into the world,
across the threshold of an early afternoon,
each of us tipping our heads back
with the laughter of life, mouths parting,
swallowing little yellow,
invisible particles of sun.

Monday, May 1, 2017

NaPoWriMo Day #20

The prompt at NaPoWriMo didn't really inspire me, so I decided to use one from Poetic Asides.  It went like this:

For today’s prompt, pick an object (any object), make it the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles could include: “Toothbrush,” “Rake,” “Pilot G2 Premium Gel Roller Pen,” or any number of other objective titles. Have fun with it.

Metal-Wicker Deck Chair

This spring I've been spending most of my leisure time in a deck chair, beneath a turquoise umbrella that spins its metal pole each time the wind bends.  But I've been traveling quite a bit whilst simply siting there.  The wicker-edged table is usually heaped with books, journals, and the ever-trusty Bic pen.  There's plenty of Espresso and a panoramic view of the two-way lane of intersecting roadways that lead into the historical downtown district.  This sitting spot is a utopia of sorts when the shade drops and the day breaks.  I stuff moments stolen from pedestrians and overheard parking-lot conversations into the pocket of my notebook, a pantomime of self-expression.  A sort of expansion of my own life, if and where I choose to weave these random snippets into characters and stories proclamations of daily life.

NaPoWriMo Day #19

The prompt at NaPoWriMo today is:

Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that recounts a creation myth. It doesn’t have to be an existing creation myth, or even recount how all of creation came to be.

An Account of Creation

The whole idea is sub-par.  Lacking in scientific detail as much as a proper metal dialogue, minus language.  You simply cannot claim that, in anger, you painted the sky red in three days yet fail to deliver the simple equation of paint-pails divided by the time each brush-stroke stole.  I refuse to believe that human-kind was just rolled out like a baker flour-dusting before his cookie-cutting.  I also refute the idea that particle dust was of no essence.  Only those innocent, most feeble and sheeply-minded could defy the fact that the universe spun star-matter and moon dust in the cauldron of its empty guts for eons, until some magnificent combustion came to fruition.  A general mutation that mutated for a billion years into the cells of myself, the pigment of my hair.  Yes...everything alive is a positively-charged collection of atoms.  We are but the reincarnation of dead-star.

NaPoWriMo Day #18

The prompt at NaPoWriMo today was:

Today, I challenge you to write a poem that incorporates neologisms. What’s that? Well, it’s a made-up word! Your neologisms could be portmanteaus (basically, a word made from combining two existing words, like “motel” coming from “motor” and “hotel”) or they could be words invented entirely for their sound.

Midnight Poet-Talk

The poet-cry
is but a steadily-wavering
slip of candle-burn,
the sum of a small sun,
inferior to the worldly
mechanics that soil
like old blacktop
come morning.
You find them culdesacced
against the corners
of dusty bookshelves
where Byron's talk of lust
still sizzle the fingertips
and redden the cheeks
of those often-awkward sub-folk.
We are wordy, otherworldly;
I suppose I self-identify.
But spare me a moment
with the moon, I'm yearning
to rewrite a lullaby.