Sunday, February 28, 2010

When Somene Deeply Listens to You by John Fox

This poem is for my Annie-angel.  Thank you for always listening and never once judging.  I wake up happy just knowing you are in this crazy, fucked-up world....  xoxo


When Someone Deeply Listens To You
by John Fox

When someone deeply listens to you
it is like holding out a dented cup
you've had since childhood
and watching it fill up with
cold, fresh water.

When it balances on top of the brim,
you are understood.
When it overflows and touches your skin,
you are loved.

When someone deeply listens to you
the room where you stay
starts a new life
and the place where you wrote
your first poem
begins to glow in your mind's eye.
It is as if gold has been discovered.

When someone deeply listens to you
your barefeet are on the earth
and a beloved land that seemed distant
is now at home within you.


When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares. ~Henri Nouwen


True friends stab you in the front. ~Oscar Wilde


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

In Memory of the Great Poet, Lucille Clifton

I was heartbroken to learn that the amazing poet, Lucille Clifton, died on Saturday, February 13, 2010.  She is one of my favorite poets and I'll miss her amazing poetry.

When I read her poem, "Praise Song" I thought, 'Damn, this woman knows some of my relatives and is writing about them!'  I was inspired to write about my own three crazybeautiful alcoholic aunts.  That's what good poetry does for me:  it makes me pick up my pen (razor) and write (slice) from my heart (my wrists) and let the ink (blood) pour onto the page (floor). 

Does reading inspiring poetry do that for y'all?  What inspires you to write?

I wish I could recall when I first read a Lucille Clifton poem, but I can't.  I think it was "Homage to My Hips" because I remember printing it out and sending copies to many of my women friends and we all laughed with joy that a poet was writing the truth..... I also remember that her poetry deeply affected me and freed me to write more openly.  She truly wrote from her bruised and battered, beautiful poet-heart.  Below are a few of her poems.  I highly recommend her books. 

Love & Blessings,



homage to my hips
by Lucille Clifton

these hips are big hips
they need space to
move around in.
they don't fit into little
petty places. these hips
are free hips.
they don't like to be held back.
these hips have never been enslaved,
they go where they want to go
they do what they want to do.
these hips are mighty hips.
these hips are magic hips.
i have known them
to put a spell on a man and
spin him like a top!


praise song
By Lucille Clifton

to my aunt blanche
who rolled from grass to driveway
into the street one sunday morning.
i was ten. i had never seen
a human woman hurl her basketball
of a body into the traffic of the world.
Praise to the drivers who stopped in time.
Praise to the faith with which she rose
after some moments then slowly walked
sighing back to her family.
Praise to the arms which understood
little or nothing of what it meant
but welcomed her in without judgment,
accepting it all like children might,
like God.


Blessing the Boats
By Lucille Clifton

(at St. Mary's)

may the tide
that is entering even now
the lip of our understanding
carry you out
beyond the face of fear
may you kiss
the wind then turn from it
certain that it will
love your back may you
open your eyes to water
water waving forever
and may you in your innocence
sail through this to that


seeker of visions
By Lucille Clifton

What does this mean.
to see walking men
wrapped in the color of death,
to hear from their tongue
such difficult syllables?

Are they the spirits of our hope
or the pale ghosts of our future?
Who will believe the red road
will not run on forever?

Who will believe a tribe of ice
might live and we might not?.


won't you celebrate with me
by Lucille Clifton

won't you celebrate with me
what i have shaped into
a kind of life? i had no model.
born in babylon
both nonwhite and woman
what did i see to be except myself?
i made it up
here on this bridge between
starshine and clay,
my one hand holding tight
my other hand; come celebrate
with me that everyday
something has tried to kill me
and has failed.


the mississippi river empties into the gulf
by Lucille Clifton

and the gulf enters the sea and so forth,
none of them emptying anything,
all of them carrying yesterday
forever on their white tipped backs,
all of them dragging forward tomorrow.
it is the great circulation
of the earth's body, like the blood
of the gods, this river in which the past
is always flowing. every water
is the same water coming round.
everyday someone is standing on the edge
of this river, staring into time,
whispering mistakenly:
only here. only now.


"People do not die for us immediately, but remain bathed in a sort of aura of life which bears no relation to true immortality but through which they continue to occupy our thoughts in the same way as when they were alive. It is as though they were traveling abroad." ~Marcel Proust


Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me.
The Carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality  ~Emily Dickinson


Sunday, February 21, 2010

To Anais Nin On Her Birthday

(February 21, 1903–January 14, 1977)

Anais Nin was a prolific diarist, novelist and poet.  She is one of my favorite authors and I wrote this little poem in her honor a few years back. (Her name is pronounced "ana-eese Neen").   Her diaries are works of art and voyeuristic trips into the mind of an amazing, unique woman. 

"We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection." ~Anais Nin

 To Anais Nin on Her Birthday
By Marion

I was hungry for a muse,
starving for inspiration,
when you came to me
and fed me,
filling me with your words
expanding my little world
changing me

Queen of artifice,
keeper of the gates
of feminine mystery,
I thank you
for having the courage
to have lived your life
as no other woman has
before you
or since.


A few of my favorite quotes by Anais Nin:

Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born. ~Anais Nin


I postpone death by living, by suffering, by error, by risking, by giving, by losing. ~Anais Nin


A leaf fluttered in through the window this morning, as if supported by the rays of the sun, a bird settled on the fire escape, joy in the task of coffee, joy accompanied me as I walked. ~Anais Nin


And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~Anais Nin


Dreams pass into the reality of action. From the actions stems the dream again; and this interdependence produces the highest form of living. ~Anais Nin


It is the function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it. ~Anais Nin


Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death. ~Anais Nin


There is not one big cosmic meaning for all, there is only the meaning we each give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person.  ~Anais Nin


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mugged By Poetry by Dorianne Laux & What Are Poems by Marion

Mugged By Poetry
By Dorianne Laux

—for Tony Hoagland who sent me a handmade chapbook made from old postcards called OMIGOD POETRY with a whale breaching off the coast of New Jersey and seven of his favorite poems by various authors typed up, taped on, and tied together with a broken shoelace.

Reading a good one makes me love the one who wrote it,
as well as the animal or element or planet or person
the poet wrote the poem for. I end up like I always do,
flat on my back like a drunk in the grass, loving the world.
Like right now, I'm reading a poem called "Summer"
by John Ashbery whose poems I never much cared for,
and suddenly, in the dead of winter, "There is that sound
like the wind/Forgetting in the branches that means
something/Nobody can translate..." I fall in love
with that line, can actually hear it (not the line
but the wind) and it's summer again and I forget
I don't like John Ashbery poems. So I light a cigarette
and read another by Zbigniew Herbert, a poet
I've always admired but haven't read enough of, called
"To Marcus Aurelius" that begins "Good night Marcus
put out the light/and shut the book For overhead/is raised
a gold alarm of stars..." First of all I suddenly love
anyone with the name Zbigniew. Second of all I love
anyone who speaks in all sincerity to the dead
and by doing so brings that personage back to life,
plunging a hand through the past to flip off the light.
The astral physics of it just floors me. Third of all
is that "gold alarm of stars..." By now I'm a goner,
and even though I have to get up tomorrow at 6 am
I forge ahead and read "God's Justice" by Anne Carson,
another whose poems I'm not overly fond of
but don't actively disdain. I keep reading one line
over and over, hovering above it like a bird on a wire
spying on the dragonfly with "turquoise dots all down its back
like Lauren Bacall". Like Lauren Bacall!! Well hell,
I could do this all night. I could be in love like this
for the rest of my life, with everything in the expanding
universe and whatever else might be beyond it
that we can't grind a lens big enough to see. I light up
another smoke, maybe the one that will kill me,
and go outside to listen to the moon scalding the iced trees.
What, I ask you, will become of me?


I wish I'd written "Mugged by Poetry" because it perfectly describes how I feel when reading poetry.  I'll read one poem that will lead to another and well, it goes on all night.  I highly recommend all of Dorianne Laux's books.  Her poetry is awesome.

I'm here for poetry.  I blog because I want people to love poetry and to give it a chance, to read it, write it, breathe it, drink it, buy it and support other poets. 

What Are Poems?
By Marion

Poems are things. 
Poems are living, breathing things with bloody, beating hearts. 
Poems are salvation, damnation, birth, death, loss, life, rebirth, love, and hate. 
Poems are endlessly ticking clocks, broken watches and treacherous friends.
Poems are why I'm alive, in this moment.
Poems take you out of a painful existence and give you peace and hope. 
Poems transcend and uplift.
Poems are fiercely burning desire and ashes of unrequited love.
Poems save us from ourselves, then destroy us with their power.
Poems gently hold our angst and carelessly hold our joy.
Poems are razor sharp knives and cloud-soft sighs.
Poems are destructive storm clouds and bright blue skies.
Poems are guns and bullets and bombs.
Poems are windows and doors and cracks in the walls.

Poems make love to us, then leave us, never bothering to call.
Poems take us out of ourselves and show us who we really are.
Poems tear our broken hearts out, then tenderly stitch them back together.
Poems are our teachers, friends, counselors, gurus, saviors.
Poems are.

I wish you all Love, Blessings & Poetry,


"The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say." ~Anaïs Nin


"It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment? For the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone. That is where the writer scores over his fellows: he catches the changes of his mind on the hop."  ~Vita Sackville-West


"Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass." ~Anton Chekhov


Monday, February 15, 2010

And The Days Are Not Full Enough by Ezra Pound

A butterfly in June.  I'm longing for my Zinnias and Butterflies.

Another Butterfly in June.  I'm still longing for my Zinnias, Moonflowers, Sunflowers and Dragonflies, too.  I'm sick, sick, sick of this cold weather and the bitter wind.

My kitchen window in June.  It looks totally different now with different flowers and colored bottles.


And the Days are Not Full Enough
by Ezra Pound

And the days are not full enough
And the nights are not full enough
And life slips by like a field mouse
Not shaking the grass.


Wishing you peace, love and health.  Please, please, please pray for my dear blog friend, Renee. She's in the hospital and needs our healing thoughts and prayers desperately. 

Love & Blessings,


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Trapeze and Doors of My Heart by Poet, Deborah Digges

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

Doors of My Heart
by Deborah Digges

The wind blows
through the doors of my heart.
It scatters my sheet music
that climbs like waves from the piano, free of the keys.
Now the notes stripped, black butterflies,
flattened against the screens.
The wind through my heart
blows all my candles out.
In my heart and its rooms is dark and windy.
From the mantle smashes birds’ nests, teacups
full of stars as the wind winds round,
a mist of sorts that rises and bends and blows
or is blown through the rooms of my heart
that shatters the windows,
rakes the bedsheets as though someone
had just made love. And my dresses
they are lifted like brides come to rest
on the bedstead, crucifixes,
dresses tangled in trees in the rooms
of my heart. To save them
I’ve thrown flowers to fields,
so that someone would pick them up
and know where they came from.
Come the bees now clinging to flowered curtains.
Off with the clothesline pinning anything, my mother’s trousseau.
It is not for me to say what is this wind
or how it came to blow through the rooms of my heart.
Wing after wing, through the rooms of the dead
the wind does not blow. Nor the basement, no wheezing,
no wind choking the cobwebs in our hair.
It is cool here, quiet, a quilt spread on soil.
But we will never lie down again.


"Poet, Deborah Digges, a renowned poet and memoirist whose work often sprang from private adversity, died on April 10, 2009 near Amherst, Mass., apparently in a suicide. She was 59 and lived in Amherst.

Ms. Digges apparently jumped from an upper level of the Warren P. McGuirk Alumni Stadium, on the campus of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  She was found on the ground outside the stadium and taken to Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, Mass., where she was pronounced dead."  from:  "The New York Times", 4/16/09


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Photograph by Andrea Gibson


By Andrea Gibson

I wish I was a photograph
tucked into the corners of your wallet
I wish I was a photograph
you carried like a future in your back pocket
I wish I was that face you show to strangers
when they ask you where you come from
I wish I was that someone that you come from
every time you get there
and when you get there
I wish I was that someone who got phone calls
and postcards saying
wish you were here
I wish you were here
autumn is the hardest season
the leaves are all falling
and they're falling like they're falling in love with the ground
and the trees are naked and lonely
I keep trying to tell them
new leaves will come around in the spring
but you can't tell trees those things
they're like me they just stand there
and don't listen
I wish you were here
I've been missing you like crazy
I've been hazy eyed
staring at the bottom of my glass again
thinking of that time when it was so full
it was like we were tapping the moon for moonshine
or sticking straws into the center of the sun
and sipping like icarus would forever kiss
the bullets from our guns
I never meant to fire you know
I know you never meant to fire lover
I know we never meant to hurt each other
now the sky clicks from black to blue
and dusk looks like a bruise
I've been wrapping one night stands
around my body like wedding bands
but none of them fit in the morning
they just slip off my fingers and slip out the door
and all that lingers is the scent of you
I once swore if I threw that scent into a wishing well
all the wishes in the world would come true
do you remember
do you remember the night I told you
I've never seen anything more perfect than
than snow falling in the glow of a street light
electricity bowing to nature
mind bowing to heartbeat
this is gonna hurt bowing to I love you
I still love you like moons love the planets they circle around
like children love recess bells
I still hear the sound of you
and think of playgrounds
where outcasts who stutter
beneath braces and bruises and acne
are finally learning that their rich handsome bullies
are never gonna grow up to be happy
I think of happy when I think of you
so wherever you are I hope you're happy
I really do
I hope the stars are kissing your cheeks tonight
I hope you finally found a way to quit smoking
I hope your lungs are open and breathing you life
I hope there's a kite in your hand
that's flying all the way up to orion
and you still got a thousand yards of string to let out
I hope you're smiling
like god is pulling at the corners of your mouth
cause I might be naked and lonely
shaking branches for bones
but I'm still time zones away
from who I was the day before we met
you were the first mile
where my heart broke a sweat
and I wish you were here
I wish you'd never left
but mostly I wish you well
I wish you my very very best

From:  Pole Dancing to Gospel Hymns


Andrea Gibson is an amazing, award winning poet.  If you've never seen her perform, I highly recommend you look her up on Youtube performing her poetry.  She's a hurricane with words, a force to be reckoned with and one of my favorite new poets.  I own this book, "Pole Dancing to Gospel Hymns" and it's awesome and inspiring.  I also have 2 CD's of her performing her poetry:  "When the Bough Breaks" and "Bullets and Windchimes" and they're fabulous.  She's unlike any other poet I've read or heard. 

Here's a quote I read that describes her perfectly:    "Andrea Gibson does not just show up to pluck your heart strings. She sticks around to tune them. If being floored is new to you, ya might wanna grab a cushion. Whatever the opposite of fooling someone is, Andrea Gibson does that. Beware of the highway in her grace and the crowbar in her verse." --Buddy Wakefield

It's bitter cold here again in swamp country with more rain on the way.  Stay warm and read a great book of poetry today.  I'm gonna do just that.  Blessings!


"Reading - the best state yet to keep absolute loneliness at bay."  ~William Styron


"A poet's work is to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, and stop it going to sleep." ~Salman Rushdie

Monday, February 8, 2010

February Winter Reflections

I caught Gir getting a drink of water in my bird bath.  Luckily, no birds around.


Our flag and some leaves reflecting in my wagon full of rainwater.

Same wagon of water from a different view reflecting trees and blue sky.


"The reason women don't play football is because eleven of them would never wear the same outfit in public."  ~Phyllis Diller

Love & Blessings,


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Ex-Boyfriends by Kim Addonizio

by Kim Addonizio

They hang around, hitting on your friends
or else you never hear from them again.
They call when they're drunk, or finally get sober,

they're passing through town and want dinner,
they take your hand across the table, kiss you
when you come back from the bathroom.

They were your loves, your victims,
your good dogs or bad boys, and they're over
you now. one writes a book in which a woman

who sounds suspiciously like you
is the first to be sadistically dismembered
by a serial killer. They're getting married

and want you to be the first to know,
or they've been fired and need a loan,
their new girlfriend hates you,

they say they don't miss you but show up
in your dreams, calling to you from the shoeboxes
where they're buried in rows in your basement.

Some nights you find one floating into bed with you,
propped on an elbow, giving you a look
of fascination, a look that says I can't believe

I've found you. It's the same way
your current boyfriend gazed at you last night,
before he pulled the plug on the tiny white lights

above the bed, and moved against you in the dark
broken occasionally by the faint restless arcs
of headlights from the freeway's passing trucks,

the big rigs that travel and travel,
hauling their loads between cities, warehouses,
following the familiar routes of their loneliness.

From: What Is This Thing Called Love

Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash. ~Leonard Cohen

It is the job of poetry to clean up our word-clogged reality by creating silences around things. ~Stephen Mallarme

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Entrance by Dana Gioia and Entrance by Rainer Maria Rilke

Moon & Tree by Marion

"Interrogations at Noon" by Dana Gioia

By Dana Gioia

Whoever you are: step out of doors tonight,
Out of the room that lets you feel secure.
Infinity is open to your sight.
Whoever you are.
With eyes that have forgotten how to see
From viewing things already too well-known,
Lift up into the dark a huge, black tree
And put it in the heavens: tall, alone.
And you have made the world and all you see.
It ripens like the words still in your mouth.
And when at last you comprehend its truth,
Then close your eyes and gently set it free.

(After Rilke)

from: Interrogations at Noon, 2001


by Rainer Maria Rilke

Whovever you are: step out in to the evening
out of your living room, where everything is so known;
your house stands as the last thing before great space:
Whoever you are.
With your eyes, which in their fatigue can just barely
free themselves from the worn-out thresholds,
very slowly, lift a single black tree
and place it against the sky, slender and alone.
With this you have made the world. And it is large
and like a word that is still ripening in silence.
And, just as your will grasps their meaning,
they in turn will let go, delicately, of your eyes . . .

I always enjoy reading poems that other poets have written, inspired by another poet's poem.  (Did that make sense?)  This poem by Ms. Gioia is one of my favorites. 

It's a dreary, rainy day here in the swamps, but we're all looking forward to seeing our New Orleans Saints play in the Super Bowl on Sunday.  The entire state has gone Saints crazy.  It's fabulous and fun.  I'm in a winter funk.  I think I need to color my hair and get it trimmed to cheer me up. 

I'd like to ask you all to pray for my precious friend, Renee, today.  She lost her beloved mother after a long battle with cancer. 

Love & Blessings,



"For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?" ~Kahlil Gibran, from "The Prophet", On Death


All say, "How hard it is that we have to die" - a strange complaint to come from the mouths of people who have had to live. ~Mark Twain