Friday, April 24, 2015

P A I N - P O E M By Marion

Etymology of the word PAIN:  First attested in English in 1297, the word peyn comes from the Old French peine, in turn from Latin poena meaning "punishment, penalty" (in L.L. also meaning "torment, hardship, suffering") and that from Greek ποινή (poine), generally meaning "price paid, penalty, punishment".  It also exists in Frisian as "pine" which in turn is related to the English verb "to pine" which means to long for. - From Wikipedia

By Marion

Just when I think I cannot stand one more molecule
of pain, physical or otherwise,
along comes a motherfucking
cold hearted, empathy-impaired doctor
with sharp needles in hand & lies foaming down his chin:
'This will sting a little' he says as he inserts said needle into
the most sensitive part of any woman's life.

Then he carelessly lets fall the word, biopsy,
barely pausing to rip not one, but two slices
of my aching, brittle soul from the bone.
(Fuck yeah, it's connected!)
No kind of anesthesia offered, local or otherwise.
I hear heart-rending sobs & a horrifying scream (mine)
as he twice punctures my severely inflamed, infected body, saying
'Why are you screamingthisshouldnothurt?' WhatTheFuck, I want to
say but I'm too horrified/blindsided by the ferocious, fiery, searing pain
where only pleasure should abide...

I can't breathe, I want to hide
but I just hiccup & cry---not even a tissue
or sympathetic smile offered from the coldly watching nurse.
I stare at the water-spotted ceiling,
my legs violently trembling
& wipe my tears on my sleeve
& watch the doctor leave
me sobbing & sitting
in a gathering pool
of bright red

April 21, 2015


Psychogenic pain, also called psychalgia or somatoform pain, is pain caused, increased, or prolonged by mental, emotional, or behavioral factors.

Sufferers are often stigmatized, because both medical professionals and the general public tend to think that pain from a psychological source is not "real".

However, specialists consider that it is no less actual or hurtful than pain from any other source.

A 2010 study published in the Journal of Neurophysiology revealed that emotional and physical pain share neural pathways in the brain.

Self-esteem, often low in chronic pain patients, also shows improvement once pain has resolved.

Pain motivates the individual to withdraw from damaging situations, to protect a damaged body part while it heals, and to avoid similar experiences in the future.

Sometimes pain persists despite removal of the stimulus and apparent healing of the body; and sometimes pain arises in the absence of any detectable stimulus, damage or disease.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

My Mama Moved Among the Days by Lucille Clifton

My Mama Moved Among the Days
By Lucille Clifton

My Mama moved among the days
like a dreamwalker in a field;
seemed like what she touched was here
seemed like what touched her couldn't hold,
she got us almost through the high grass
then seemed like she turned around and ran
right back in
right back on in 


By Edna St. Vincent Millay

To what purpose, April, do you return again?
Beauty is not enough.
You can no longer quiet me with the redness
Of little leaves opening stickily.
I know what I know.
The sun is hot on my neck as I observe
The spikes of the crocus.
The smell of the earth is good.
It is apparent that there is no death.
But what does that signify?
Not only under ground are the brains of men
Eaten by maggots.
Life in itself
Is nothing,
An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.
It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,
Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Nick Cave, My Muse, Has New Book Out

#AmReading #Poetry

"The Sick Bag Song" by Nick Cave. Unique, shimmering, simmering poetry/prose as light as a moonless night & dark as the sun at noon.  Soul food for the poetheart & relief for the pain of living.

Excerpt from the chapter, "Nashville":

“A young boy climbs a riverbank. He steps onto a railway bridge. He is twelve years old.
He kneels down, under a harsh sun, and puts his ear to the track. The track does not vibrate. There is no train approaching around the bend on the other side of the river.

The boy starts to run along the tracks. He arrives in the middle of the bridge. He stands on the edge and looks down at the muddy river below.

On the left side is a concrete pylon that supports the bridge. On the right, a half-felled tree lies across the river, its branches sticking out into the dark water. In between there is a small space about four feet wide.

He has been told that it is possible to jump in at this point, but he cannot be sure, as he has never seen anybody do it.

The stones beneath his feet begin to tremble. He crouches down and again he puts his ear to the track.

The track begins to vibrate. The train is coming.

He stares down at the dark, muddy water, his heart pounding.”

“The boy does not realise that he is not a boy at all, but rather the memory of a boy.

He is the memory of a boy running through the mind of a man in a suite at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, who is being injected in the thigh with a steroid shot that will transform the jet-lagged, flu-ridden singer into a deity.

In three hours he will burst from the hotel room. He will move through the empty city, crossing vast rivers, driving through empty prairies, along tremendous, multi-laned highways, under darkening skies, like a small god, to be with you, tonight.”

Excerpt From: Nick Cave's excellent new book, "The Sick Bag Song". Canongate Books Ltd. iBooks. 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Lonely House By Emily Dickinson

By Emily Dickinson

I know some lonely houses off the road

A robber 'd like the look of, —

Wooden barred,

And windows hanging low,

Inviting to

A portico,

Where two could creep:

One hand the tools,

The other peep

To make sure all's asleep.

Old-fashioned eyes,

Not easy to surprise!

How orderly the kitchen 'd look by night,

With just a clock, —

But they could gag the tick,”

“And mice won't bark;

And so the walls don't tell,

None will.

A pair of spectacles ajar just stir —

An almanac's aware.

Was it the mat winked,

Or a nervous star?

The moon slides down the stair

To see who's there.

There's plunder, — where?

Tankard, or spoon,

Earring, or stone,

A watch, some ancient brooch

To match the grandmamma,

Staid sleeping there.

Day rattles, too,”

“Stealth's slow;

The sun has got as far

As the third sycamore.

Screams chanticleer,

"Who's there?"

And echoes, trains away,

Sneer — "Where?"

While the old couple, just astir,

Fancy the sunrise left the door ajar!”

From:  “The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson.”


*portico - a porch leading to the entrance of a building.

*chanticleer - a name given to a rooster, especially in fairy tales.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Meanwhile By Mary Oliver

Thank you, Laura Sorrells, for telling me about this poem! xo

By Mary Oliver

Lord, my body is not yet a temple,
   but only one of your fair fields.
   An empty field that nobody wants, at least not yet.
   But even here the lily is somewhere.
   Sometimes it lifts its head above the grasses,
   the daisies, the milkweed, the mallow.

And sometimes, like us, it sleeps, or at least
   leans below the blades of the grasses.
   Lord, I live as you have made me to live.
   I bite hungrily into the peach and the turnip.
   I bite, with sorrow, into the calf and the lamb.
   I drink the tears of the clouds.

I praise the leaves of the shrub oaks
   and the pine trees in their bold coats.
   I listen and give thanks to the catbird and the thrush.
   Meanwhile, the fox knows where you are.
   The bees leave the swamp azalea and fly straight
   to the shadow of your face.

Meanwhile my body is rustic and brash.
   The world I live in is hedges, and small blossoms.
   Lord, consider me, and my earnest work.
   A hut I have made out of the grasses.
   Now I build the door, out of all things brash and rustic.
   Day and night it is open.
   Have you seen it yet, among the grasses?

How it longs for you?
How it tries to shine, like gold?


Many years ago I was walking in deep woods on a narrow dirt trail. I was depressed, crying and praying. I was seeking God. I sat on a log on this beautiful Spring day, right there by the trail, and asked God to give me some sign of His spirit. I was broken, emotionally. And I sat longer, soaking the peaceful stillness when suddenly a tree beside me began rustling by a breeze. It was the one tree blowing in deep woods. I gasped and fell to my knees.  Truly, it was an encounter with God's spirit. I recall that day like it was yesterday and not 30 years ago.

Blessings, Peace & Love,

Monday, April 6, 2015

READ THIS BOOK: The Stories of Breece D'J Pancake

There are stories and then there are STORIES!  Somehow I managed to miss one of the greatest writers of my generation: Breece D'J Pancake, until about a month ago when I stumbled upon his book in someone's "must-read" list on Twitter.  It was fate.  Tragically, he committed suicide at the age of 26, leaving only a handful of stories collected in this book:

"The Stories of Breece D'J Pancake"

If you Google him, you can find several of his stories online which were published in "The Atlantic Monthly" magazine. There's also a fine review by Joyce Caeol Oates and a few articles.  But mostly his life and death remain a mystery...

His stories are pure poetry/art. He paints with words so vividly that I became lost in them...I vanished from my world directly into his, blinking and disoriented when each story ended.

If you only read one book this year, make it this one. You won't regret it.


"I effing love books. It was books that saved me & made me. I'm nowt but the residue of books wrapped in skin."   #MarkOneInFour, from: Twitter

Thursday, March 26, 2015

More Music to Collect Tears in a Glass Jar

Jonathan Jackson

First you fall, then you fly
and you believe that you belong
up in the sky.
Flap your arms, as you run,
every revolution brings you closer to the sun.
You fall asleep in motion, in unchartered
and you wake up with the stars
fallin' down around your ears.
And when they hit the ground,
they're nothin' but stones
that's how you learn to live alone.
That's how you learn to live alone.

Bit by bit, you slip away,
you lose yourself in pieces
by the things that you don't say.
You're not here, but you're still there
The sun goes up and the sun goes down,
but you're not sure you care.
You live inside the false,
till you recognize the truth.
People send you pictures,
but you can't believe it's you.
Seems forever since your house
has felt like home
that's how you learn to live alone
that's how you learn to live alone.

It don't feel right, but it's not wrong.
It's just hard to start again this far along.
Brick by brick, the letting go,
as you walk away from everything you know
When you release resistance
and you lean into the wind,
till the roof begins to crumble,
and the rain comes pourin' in,
And you sit there in the rubble,
till the rubble feels like home
That's how you learn to live alone
that's how you learn to live alone
that's how you learn to live alone

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Sound of Silence

Oh, for silence & velvety darkness & painless peace---

The most beautiful lyrics on silence ever written. Take a listen.

Marion, melancholy today

The Sound of Silence
By Simon & Garfunkel

"The Sound Of Silence"

Hello darkness, my old friend,
I've come to talk with you again,
Because a vision softly creeping,
Left its seeds while I was sleeping,
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence.

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone,
'Neath the halo of a street lamp,
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence.

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more.
People talking without speaking,
People hearing without listening,
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence.

"Fools," said I, "You do not know –
Silence like a cancer grows.
Hear my words that I might teach you.
Take my arms that I might reach you."
But my words like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made.
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming.
And the sign said, The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls
And whispered in the sound of silence.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Trapeze By Deborah Digges

I posted this a year ago, but it's one of my favorite poems, so I'm reposting it on this fecund, rainy first full day of Spring.  My flowers are blooming wildly. The bulbs I planted have every single one come up, eagerly, a miracle.  I also recommend an amazing book of beautiful poetry, "Cloud Pharmacy" by Susan Rich. When I first bought it, I sat and read it straight through.

Happy International Poetry Day. Read a lot of poetry today and every day.

Marion ����������

by Deborah Digges

See how the first dark takes the city in its arms
and carries it into what yesterday we called the future.

O, the dying are such acrobats.
Here you must take a boat from one day to the next,

or clutch the girders of the bridge, hand over hand.
But they are sailing like a pendulum between eternity and evening,

diving, recovering, balancing the air.
Who can tell at this hour seabirds from starlings,

wind from revolving doors or currents off the river.
Some are as children on swings pumping higher and higher.

Don't call them back, don't call them in for supper.
See, they leave scuff marks like jet trails on the sky. 

from:  Trapeze


"What I am is all that I can carry." ~ Deborah Digges


"We are what we don't throw away," ~Daniel, Rectify (Act As If, Season 2, Episode 5)


Friday, March 13, 2015

Fairy-tale Logic by A. E. Stallings

In Memory of Sir Terry Pratchett  (April 28, 1948 - March 12, 2015)
R.I.P. Gentle Author & a moving quote from his Twitter account:

@terryandrob: Terry took Death’s arm and followed him through the doors and on to the black desert under the endless night.

Fairy-tale Logic

Fairy tales are full of impossible tasks:
Gather the chin hairs of a man-eating goat,
Or cross a sulphuric lake in a leaky boat,
Select the prince from a row of identical masks,
Tiptoe up to a dragon where it basks
And snatch its bone; count dust specks, mote by mote,
Or learn the phone directory by rote.
Always it’s impossible what someone asks—

You have to fight magic with magic. You have to believe
That you have something impossible up your sleeve,
The language of snakes, perhaps, an invisible cloak,
An army of ants at your beck, or a lethal joke,
The will to do whatever must be done:
Marry a monster. Hand over your firstborn son.

Source: Poetry (March 2010)