Saturday, January 30, 2010


Here's a not-quite-Three-Word-Wednesday story. The words were Grieve, Beacon and Kindred. I got one word in the story, one in the title and the last is left implied.

They told her it wasn’t a normal way to grieve. She stretched out on her brother’s grave, languishing in the grass. Last year it was dirt. The feel of the cold grass under her back reminded her of days when she and Rick played under the big tree; there was one like it in the cemetery. She liked to put her feet on his gravestone, the smooth cold rock cooled her soles. Sometimes she traced his name with her big toe. She read him her favorite books; once a whole novel. She was there all day and her parents came there even though they hated coming there and demanded she get in the car, it was late. She left the book on the stone and said she’d be back soon.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Anybody can get in

Had so much fun with the first TV-fragment poem so here's another:

Here’s a quick check on what’s happening
You may not be seeing the whole picture
So many things are happening
There’s a synchronicity going on here tonight
Nothing written, nothing planned
It’s time to stop hesitating
They’re watching and they’ve got signs
She studied them while they were studying her
You’ll be looking in her eyes
What you’ve given us is hope
You’ve got to know the difference
You need a cool head
Anybody can get in
Who can afford one? Well, now you can!
You’ve certainly made this look easy
But some feel we lost something
Inspector Clay’s grave! But he ain’t in it!
Having mechanical errors here
They can see the two survivors on the floor next to the counter
The flesh was cut with a scalpel but the bone was cut with a high-speed saw
Don’t throw it away; protect it in the freezer
Restoring this is quite a hobby
Or you can just let that patient die; that’s completely up to you
You’ve got to be crazy
Just so you know I find your lack of puritan modesty very refreshing
Give me back my syringe
Get out in your area
They oughta get these birds and put ‘em to death; the sooner the better
I love the show
Oh, I don’t like that
Life goes on
I wrote that

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Instant messaging

The other night I was flipping through the channels in that absent way we do and became aware of how many messages we're hit in a small fragment of time. How strange they sound when taken out of context. So I tried a project -- I flipped through all the stations (we get about a dozen) several times, writing down the first or second phrase I heard. I rearranged the phrases below into another poem thing:

Oh, I didn’t mean to startle you
It’s a great atmosphere; we’re having a lot of fun
Double bubble all the time
That was incredible; you were like a bond girl
Love me? More than anything in the world
But you’re on your own
The face that finds sanctuary behind this mask
It stands up to stress; it stays flawless all day
Thank you so much, that’s perfect
We didn’t want anything too extravagant
You only owe $8,400
Hey, hold on a sec
Check out the hub caps that they try and pawn off as flying saucers
Gobble gobble gobble gobble gobble
That’s enough
Sunday I really have my hands full; that’s bath day
It’s a pretty somber locker room
Do some of the things you want to do
Drinks and passing out raffle tickets
It should be a welcome haven for visitors
She just can’t wait to get home to it
Small companion animals
Stay free every day
Then we found out that it wasn’t a drill
Evidence placed him at the crime scene
Definitely feeling a little blue tonight
To realize how easy it is to get lost here
Never returned to the jungle
What we had today was just a shame
You guys really don’t have anything else to talk about

Monday, January 18, 2010

Midwestern montage: Iceland

Photos really don't do justice to the landscape here. We've had the kind of weather where it warms up enough for fog and then the temperature drops and all the moisture freezes onto the trees. Everything looks a little fictional.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Everywhere it seems there are ghosts

Trying something different today. I've been keeping a dream journal for the past month or so and I've taken one or two lines from each dream, rearranged them and created a new dream below. Not sure if it's a poem or a cross-genre something-or-other, but here it is:

Last night I dreamed of a winter place
A beautiful cold lake surrounded by tall pines
Some kid in a picture I’d never seen
But it wasn’t me
I run through a maze of buildings
I pass houses that have too many rooms and not enough windows
Digging through my bag for something to wear, I change naked in an abandoned doorway
People gathering inside but first I want to see the storm clouds
Stash my keys by a tree in the rain
The cold lingers
The shacks are shells only
The table is full of dishes but I don’t recall food
A lot of people were there following me around
In a house with too many other people, strangers
Different creatures with different needs
So go, I tell him
Everywhere it seems there are ghosts
Chairs that move themselves
Spooky messages on a typewriter
Younger girls I don’t know are trying to sleep on the floor
We are all tired and fall asleep amid the chaos
Mermaids come back from the sea in various states of decay
Something haunted them, they cannot speak
Bodies underneath the surface
We’d been driving over them all this time
I bought a classic Mustang that needed paint
The cop tells me to drive from the front seat
Police on horses run by
Saving Grandma from wolves but they like pepper spray
I tell her that there’s a training program to put her Bassett hound in the FBI
She says I must choose
The beautiful boarded up houses that stand in a clearing
A next door neighbor who’s lost her mind
Slipping on bodies under a giant sleeping bag
Skeletons buried in the yard
It’s happening for real
Killer in the room
Gristle and blood
A few of us have escaped
Trying to get everyone out but people going in instead, long lines of them
I yell at them to leave
Pieces of my ear tear off easily
Nothing burns down
I decide there’s a better course of action
I buckle in for a landing that’s really a takeoff
I turn over and over in the air and then I see the bird
Fear of falling causes me to carry the banister with me
I wait in line to report the problem
Men in suits want something from me
They’ve been stuck on the planet for a while now
A girl and a cowboy are the only other ones who wait until the last minute
We’re moving on; there’s not much time
The guitarist opens his case, plays a familiar tune
It feels right to dance, like I should’ve been doing it all along

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The art of conversation

Here's a belated story for 3WW. The words are drain, epic and nibble.

One person says something. Maybe it’s important, maybe it’s not.
There’s a five-second pause. The sound is traveling through space and time, traversing generations. The words are churned and processed and ultimately accepted or rejected or held in limbo awaiting more information.
Words repeated lose momentum. People talk underwater. Thoughts drown with the weight of misperception. Lifelines are thrown but rarely caught. Epic ideas dissolve. More things go unsaid. Drained by the effort of explanation.
A spilled glass of wine become every mistake, every failure.
No one bites, only nibbles.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy day

... to friends far away.