Saturday, July 14, 2018

It Is Time to Shout into the Void

Time to dust off the ol' blog...

Annnd it is a time for writing. But it has been for a while. While the pen-and-paper method is satisfying texturally and textually it lacks a certain flexibility and communicability.

The void calls.

The words need to be shared.

The heart is sore - it has been put through the wringer lately, beaten on by a confusing mind and also filled-to-bursting with positive sensations. It aches, some of it hurts but some in a good way. The soft ache of muscles used productively in ways they haven't been used for a while, or ever.

I don't know how to say what I want to say. Not saying anything has lead to some physical symptoms I'm uncomfortable with. Literally. I haven't been physically comfortable for a few weeks now.

So it's time to express. Self-expression being my main hobby, I have found many other outlets for it in recent times. Not to avoid writing, but it's having that effect.

There's a spotlight on me, shining light on feelings and secrets I thought I was keeping to myself but that are being Seen...I feel exposed. I feel relieved. I feel sane. I feel grounded. I feel like I am floating away on a breeze full of warm thoughts. I feel like I've never been in love before. Or, maybe more accurately, that I've never let all of me be loved before. And I will be working on keeping less of myself all to myself.

For now that will be enough. And there is so much more to come.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Gleaming Spires...

So I'm in an advanced poetry class this semester. We were assigned to pick one of the five or so poems we read during the first class and write a poem inspired by that...and this line "the spires of that gleaming kiln" stuck with me, kept coming back to my mind over and over, much as it did to Gretel in the poem "Gretel in Darkness" by Louise Gluk. Anyway, here is what I've got so far. I foolishly volunteered to be one of the three people who's poem will be workshopped today in class so I'm a bit nervous, but on the other hand I'm pretty excited too. I'm not feeling that great about this poem, other than there are some strong images in there, for me at least, and I am interested to see if any of them got across.

Also I haven't thought of a title yet.

We circled up as the smoke rose
above gleaming spires of fire,
burning logs spelling out our names
with thrown sparks and embers.

Our names were free,
set free, let loose,
we loosed ourselves into the wind.
We followed each other,
the spires of that gleaming kiln followed.

I can’t think well enough
of that day turned into night,
the night that seemed to last all day.
Strangers sharing substances unnamed
and nameless—new communities
joined for twenty-four hours and no more.

Looking at glass crafts—seeing the spires
of that gleaming kiln through mind’s eye—
we connected to each other, felt our hands
without looking, and held conversations
without speaking.

I close my eyes and see spires of smoke and light
rising up. They seem to go on and on without end,
touching the clouds that shield the stars
from our view. This memory has happened
so many times I can’t tell if it’s from last weekend
out in Idaho wilderness with a few hundred friends
and family gathering to buy, sell, trade
items and stories, or if it’s from any of the Labor Day
weekends spent at the Gorge with thousands
of fans, all gathered to see DMB play
on the cliff’s edge—lights and fog
filling the stage and floating ever up and out.

Lights and smoke draw us in, moth-like,
and we are enchanted. We keep these memories
the way smoke and lights kept us close
during the dark nights.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Peer Pressure

Another assignment--the last one actually--from my intermediate poetry class. It's a sestina so there's a pattern of repeating end-words. And POOF. I'm mostly posting this because my friend Eve was there while I was working on it and wanted to see the "finished" product. Don't read into it too heavily! Haha.

When entering my veins it sets me free
from worry and embarrassment, save
the kind that follows alcohol. Only
those never bother me, and my friends
need reminding now and then. Alcohol
will be your greatest friend till dawn--

No, I'll keep the parting going, even dawn
can’t stop me when I'm rolling free
of inhibitions thanks to my pal, Alcohol.
Although the bar is not the place to save
your money, if you’re cunning you can ask a friend
to buy a drink or two. Tell them only

one if it helps. Or find a stranger, only
for a few if needed. Don’t forget to ditch at dawn
unless you want to end up “more than friends.”
For now, stick around and drink for free.
With the right plan for the night you’ll save
your cash. Reserve it for more alcohol.

I think of my first taste of alcohol--
I was just thirteen, but it was only
for the Seder. I learned to save
my appetite. That day starts not at dawn
but sundown. Those stories show us how to free
each other, remind us not to leave any friend

behind. I still won’t forsake a friend
even when we’re in the throes of alcohol.
Who would’ve thought a liquid could free
you from concern and constraints, though only
temporarily? At least before dawn
arrives and contrives to save

you from yourself. I'm trying to save
everyone now. Acquaintance or friend
I'll stay or walk away at dawn
as needed. Especially when I and alcohol
socialize--we want to save the world. Only
it’s too far gone. It already thinks it’s free.

In this strange yet familiar dawn, sobriety arises to save
us, always, from being free. I say my goodbyes to friends
and my farewell, for now, to alcohol. The morning-after full of if only.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pantoum Diagnosis...

Loosely emulating "Pantoum Evangel: Billy Sunday" by Gabriel Calvocoressi for an assignment in Intermediate Poetry. I highly recommend her poetry to anyone! This is not as metaphoric and is more narrative than her poem, but I wanted some of my family to be able to read it easily so there you go. This is not quite the final draft either so maybe I will update this when the poem is really finished...

Pantoum Diagnosis: Renal Cell Carcinoma

My dad is the strongest man I’ve ever met,
but that autumn we could all tell his headaches
were driving him crazy. Our family never saw doctors
so I knew it was serious when he made an appointment.

That autumn I could tell these headaches of his
were getting in the way of managing his life,
and I knew it was serious when he made an appointment
with a doctor to find out what was happening.

What could get in the way of his expert managing?
He must have been in so much pain to let
doctors try to find out what was happening.
They said it was anemia: a kidney tumor.

He must have been in so much pain to let
them schedule a complete nephrectomy
to stop this anemia by removing his kidney and tumor.
They even gave him morphine for the pain.

They scheduled a nephrectomy for December
 so he would be okay in time for Christmas.
The morphine they gave him seemed too much.
One day he could barely get out of bed,

but we needed him to be okay in time,
so they did another test. An MRI when it snowed,
the same day he could barely get out of bed,
and by evening his eyes were empty ghosts.

After the other test, the MRI, while snow piled outside
mom started packing. She asked me to sit in the car
with Dad. I could hardly meet his eyes--empty ghosts
looking blankly at me from under drooping eyebrows.

Mom finished packing and came back out to the car
telling me they had to go to Spokane right away.
Dad’s eyes staring blankly, under drooping eyebrows,
I asked “Why?” Tears contained she says: “Brain tumor.”

They had to go to Spokane right away
or he might not make it. He might not make it?
I ask myself why and cry over the words brain and tumor
haunting my mind all night. I went to school

thinking he might not make it, he might not make it,
while smiling at friends and teachers, waiting for a call
haunting my mind all morning. I'm at school
while everyone else is at The Sacred Heart with Dad.

I keep smiling at friends and teachers, waiting--
the call comes in the middle of English class.
While everyone else is at The Sacred Heart with Dad
they call me and say “He made it through surgery.”

The call came in the middle of English class
and I had to start talking about who it was
that called me, and say who made it through surgery.
We never thought the hospital would give life and infection.

I had to start talking about Dad’s cancer
and the surgery coming up in December,
except the hospital gave him a staph infection.
Then they gave him I.V. antibiotics for eight weeks.

With the surgery pushed to early spring,
or whenever he could rid his body of the staph
his eight weeks on I.V. antibiotics was too much.
His strength began to melt off his bones.

Whenever he could rid his body of the staph
was enough for a nephrectomy during Spring Break.
His strength had melted off his bones
but somehow I thought the worst was over.

His kidney was removed during Spring Break,
and they gave him an infection there, too.
Somehow I thought the worst was over
before he spent three days in the I.C.U.

They gave him an infection in his blood
and it all could have ended right then,
but his three days spent in the I.C.U.
let him come home for a while.

It all could have ended that spring,
but even though we kept looking for cures
that let him come home once in a while,
we had to start accepting he might leave

even though we kept looking for cures.
His body now weaker than the mind could handle:
We had to start accepting he was leaving.
My dad was the strongest man I'd ever met.

Friday, October 19, 2012

SUPRISE! New typewriter soon!!

I love the interconnectedness of everything.

First of all, I know this woman who used to be the Image Studios office manager when my dad was still alive and boss of everything--she was also a staple at Christmas Eve dinner, and a lovely person to run into unexpectedly working in one of the engineering offices at the university when I was working there.

Well, her eldest daughter messages me on FB the other day...
"Hi there! I have an odd you still collect typewriters?"

I'm thinking, welllll maybe. Depends. And then I read on.

"While cleaning out my grandma's house we found an old typewriter in a black box/case...a Smith~Corona. I'm not sure what year it is or anything, but it looks to be in pretty good condition. I looked on ebay and similar ones seem to sell for about $30. Would you be interested in it at all? I thought of you when I found it so thought I'd check and see. If you want a picture I can send one when I get home from work. smile

Hope all is well with you my dear!"

So that sounds pretty cool. Could be a nice machine, but could be one I already have...but for $30? Sure I'll take a look! (that's what I was thinking, not what I actually said to her which was much more polite)

So she sends me this picture:

My response: (this is pretty accurate, I was looking at it at work with my friend/colleague Eve, who rolled her eyes profusely at the excitement)

Whaaaaaat!!!!!! OMG. WUT IZ DAT. I want it! Oh yeah!

I'm really excited. She said it was in pretty good condition, and as long as there's no mechanical malfunction I'm pretty good at cleaning, and have new ribbons if needed! AND nobody has to pay postage or risk the damage of mailing this beautiful machine (even though she is in Post Falls) because her lovely mother is going to bring it to Moscow sometime in the next few weeks! It'll definitely get some NaNo use if all goes well.


I'm ridiculously excited about this.

Life is wonderful. Even if it's cold, raining, and I have no raincoats and no umbrellas.

Why can't it be a couple/few weeks later already!?

Oh right...exams, homework, and other things have to get done too. I guess I need more than a millisecond between weeks. SIGH

Satchmo Weezel signing off.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hey Typospherians! It's Hanx at those keys again...

Not sure if any of you had seen this yet...pretty neat though!
It seems some folks from Nerdist sent Tom Hanks a neat typewriter as a bribe an incentive for getting an interview.

And hey--it worked! Haven't had a chance to listen yet...but after school today I'm all over it.

Yes, but now time for Calculus. Mmm, series......