Friday, November 29, 2013


"I have lived on the lip of insanity, wanting to know reasons, knocking on a door. It opens. I've been knocking from the inside!" ~Rumi

"At night, I open the window and ask the moon to come and press its face against mine. Breathe into me. Close the language-door and open the love-window. The moon won't use the door, only the window." ~Rumi


"I believe cats to be spirits come to earth.  A cat, I am sure, could walk on a cloud without coming through."  ~Jules Verne (Gir and Debbie, hiding in the roses).

"I don't create poetry, I create myself, for me my poems are a way to me."  ~Edith Södergran
We had an amazing Thanksgiving with Mama and all of my sisters and brother and their families.  I think we had over 30 people, some we hadn't seen in many years.  I'm grateful for my crazybeautiful family.  I had so many hugs, I got hug-drunk.  I hope your Thanksgiving was as fun as mine.  Today, I'm grateful for the warm sunshine and you.
"Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all."  ~William Faulkner

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Against Devotion by Olena Kalytiak Davis

Photo from my bottle of "Queen of Hearts" Chardonnay.  Review:  "Our Queen of Hearts Chardonnay offers up fresh and zesty ripe fruit flavors like Golden Delicious apple, Bartlett pear, honey and flowers." 

Against Devotion
By Olena Kalytiak Davis

It’s just the same old raving
condolence.  The same old wild sympathy
pulled up to prove you’re not
without a heart.  The fevered understanding
offered from the barstool, from this side
of the confessional’s grate.  The ardent
I’m-so-sorry, the willing I-hear-you,
as the gentle Samaritan you are

inconspicuously leans away from the crazed
whisper:  My life’s so fucked up.
It’s just someone else’s violent
dying.  It’s just your childhood friends stuck
in an oversized world.  The crippled
talking.  The exhausting
confiding.  The not really
caring.  It’s the simple fact that
what’s most touching
is the angle at which some old roof leans
against the sky.  The shockingly thin
trees, the stunning mosaic
of light.  The way the stars keep
arranging themselves
into constellations.  The way the moon’s
always somewhere
in the sky.  What’s most heartbreaking
is this rib piercing this lung.  That I’m
as breathless as this
over nothing.  Wanting everything
bending, layered and resilient:  the parquetry,
the click of heels like the stove
setting itself on fire:  My friends,
it’s our hearts, we should be
walking around grabbing our hearts,
for what could be more burdened,
more efflorescent?  Tell me, what’s
as unfolding, as spiked and as shooted
as this, our dissilient heart.
From:  “And Her Soul Out of Nothing” by Olena Kalytiak Davis

parquetry - Inlay of wood, often of different colors, that is worked into a geometric pattern or mosaic and is used especially for floors.
efflorescent - Abloom: bursting into flower.  A gradual process of unfolding or developing.

dissilient - bursting open with force, as do some ripe seed vessels.

One simply cannot have too much Olena Kalytiak Davis.  She's one of my favorite contemporary poets of all time.  I went hunting in my poetry books (no small feat) for this book and couldn't find it.  I know I have two hard copies, but they was nowhere to be found, (I tend to carry it around with me) so I had to use my Kindle copy (tee-hee) to post this.  I know, I'm an addict.
I just returned from the library where I had a heated discussion with the librarian (fruitless---I know it's the 'higher ups' who decide which books to purchase) because there were like five books of poetry, mostly ancient, in the poetry section which used to have three full shelves of poetry.  I had a horrendous vision of a future without poetry...  So I keep buying it and hoarding it. 
I saw a news piece last week about a bookless library (an oxymoron, right?) in San Antonio, Texas.  It was a vile, cold, contemptible, scary-looking place with only row upon row of computers.  I shudder thinking about it.
For those of you in the U.S., have a Happy Thanksgiving.  I know I have much to be grateful for every moment of every day, poetry, books, friends and all. 
Ah! on Thanksgiving day....
When the care-wearied man seeks his mother once more,
 and the worn matron smiles where the girl smiled before.
What moistens the lips and what brightens the eye?
What calls back the past, like the rich pumpkin pie?
~John Greenleaf Whittier

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Late October by Dorianne Laux

Last Morning Glory, Late October, 2012

Late October
By Dorianne Laux

Midnight.  The cats under the open window,
their guttural, territorial yowls.

Crouched in the neighbor's driveway with a broom,
I jab at them with the bristle end,

chasing their raised tails as they scramble
from bush to bush, intent on killing each other.

I shout and kick until they finally
give it up; one shimmies beneath the fence,

the other under a car.  I stand in my underwear
in the trembling quiet, remembering my dream.

Something had been stolen from me, valueless
and irreplaceable.  Grease and grass blades

were stuck to the bottoms of my feet.
I was shaking and sweating.  I had wanted

to kill them.  The moon was a white dinner plate
broken exactly in half.  I saw myself as I was:

forty-one years old, standing on a slab
of cold concrete, a broom handle slipping

from my hands, my breasts bare, my hair
on end, afraid of what I might do next.

From:  "What We Carry", page 11


I am this woman, have been this woman, will probably always be this woman.  Even my children think me a crazy cat lady (one of them is the same, but she also has dogs, chickens, a mule, pigs, geese, etc.).  We have 6 rescued cats, 3 boys and 3 girls:  Gir, Garfield, Catfish and Sophie, Little Debbie and Tigger).  They go outside in the daytime to climb trees, run, kill mice & snakes and play...and we bring them in every night because we live by the woods which are full of predators. 

So right before dark, every night, I begin calling them in.  It begins with "Here, kitty, kitty, kitty..." in a nice, normal tone of voice.  Then I wait a few minutes.  No cats come---ever.  I get a little louder:  "Here KITTY, KITTY, KITTY with my hands cupped to my mouth!"  then I wait about 15 minutes.  A couple of the cats come in, always girls.  I imagine the other cats sitting together, licking their paws, grooming and saying, "Hells, bells, let's make her crazy and ignore her---again.")

My husband then says, (every night), "Marion, why do you have to be so know they'll eventually come to the door."  I do my famous eye-roll, then go back outside to call louder.  It's now a matter of principle.  This time I use the names of whichever cat is missing (always Garfield-the-hunter, sometimes crazy-Gir).  I'm sure our neighbors are thinking, oh, shit, there she goes with her batshit crazy cat-calling.  I really don't care what the neighbors think...that's why we have a tall wooden fence around the yard:  privacy.  (Ha!!)  Finally, after about an hour of calling, chasing them around the yard, throwing sticks under my truck, at times climbing a ladder to get one off the roof (always crazy-Gir), I get them all in the house.  They find the softest spots and crash out for about an hour, then wake up and party until dawn and it starts all over... 

That's a long story to say: that's why I adore this poem.  I see myself in it, but clothed (most of the time). 


"I had been told that the training procedure with cats was difficult.  It's not.  Mine had me trained in two days."  ~Bill Dana


"A cat pours his body on the floor like water."  ~William Lyon Phelps


My favorite cat book.  I cry my eyes out every time I read it, thinking about Ramone, my 20 year old Siamese who died a few years back.  It's awesome, as is the author, Cynthia Rylant.  Her book, "The Van Gogh CafĂ©" is magical & amazing.  Sometimes children's books are the best.
Crazy-Gir walking on the roof yesterday.  He got himself down somehow.
Catfish - who never passes a soft blanket.  He's 21 pounds of kitty-love.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Tyler Knott Gregson, the Typewriter Poet



Saturday, November 2, 2013

Interiors by Stephen Dunn

Shadowscapes Tarot - The Queen of Swords (Artist:  Stephanie Pui-Man Law)
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"With her blade the Queen of Swords slices through lies and deceptions to the heart of truth. She is honesty and inner knowledge, sending forth her winged seekers into the world. They are an extension of her being and her soul.   The blinding white is the color of purity, honesty, clarity, uncompromised balance; but also of distance, and sometimes death, for sometimes to get to truth one must cast off the old to discard pretense and guile.  The Queen of Swords is an intelligent woman, loyal, witty, and humorous in her forthright way. She is valued for her accurate perceptions of the world around her, and her experiences.  In the language of flowers, purple dragon lilies are symbols of inner strength, and white chrysanthemums of truth." ~from
Shadowscapes Tarot - The Hanged Man (Artist:  Stephanie Pui-Man Law)
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"Letting go and surrendering to experience and emotional release. Accepting what is, and giving up control, reversing your view of the world and seeing things in a new light. Suspending action. Sacrifice." ~from
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By Stephen Dunn

In New Orleans, a Bed and Breakfast in a seamy part of
town.  Dentist’s chair the seat of honor in the living room.
Dark, the drapes closed, a lamp’s three-way bulb clicked just
once.  I’m inside someone’s version of inside.  All the guests
looking like they belong.  Muffled hilarity coming from one
of the other rooms.  Paintings everywhere, on the walls, the
floor.  Painted by the proprietress who, on the side, reads the
Tarot.  In her long black gown she doesn’t mind telling me
things look rather dismal.  Something about the Queen of
Swords and the Hanged Man.  I wake early the next morning
for a flight.  5 A.M.  She’s sitting in the dentist’s chair, reading a
book about the end of the century.  Says a man like me needs
a proper breakfast.  Wants to know everything I dreamed.
This, I tell her, I think I dreamed this.
From:  “Good Poems, American Places” selected by Garrison Keillor, page 125

Shotgun House, New Orleans
Heartbreak & betrayal.