Sunday, January 30, 2011

Its All In What You See

Three years ago I wrote 'Silk Stockings' from what a friend said to me. A sultry piece I do with Flora Newberry and her trumpet. Did it last night at Dr. Lou's Open Mic, and all memory. I almost want to pass out cigars and bourbon before I perform it. Get the room smoky I say.

So, here is another 'Said So' style piece...when Pasquale called me from a Philly neighborhood...needs work, I was putting Pearl's assonance to use...I may have gotten carried away on this train...heh!

Backseat View

A brick house with Groucho Marx eyes caught the attention of a gray and dark January day   speaking with his funny cigar smile down steep allies when shots rang out blocks away  police lead a young boy away in cuffs  past the old factory lot where confederate soldiers tame picket lines   electrical inspectors always intended to move families further north where legacy of grass is a lighter shade of green houses are colorless and everyone knows crime pays   hear the buildings whisper through bleeding eyes   journey through the burning brain smells fame  worker ants do not build them like they used to headlines claim   those fancy Groucho Marx eyes and funny cigar smiles

[Artwork Photo- Cheryl Tall]

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Nighthawks by Jim Knowles

I have been wanting to talk about this delightful book I purchased a few weeks ago. Not just because he is a new poet friend, but because this book is fun. Insightful. No fancy artwork, just a white book, with lots of shorts to ponder. Great to have around to spark inspiration. Clear out those moments of blank thoughts. Okay I have senior moments. Some call it writers block.

Here are a few examples of his work. Jim says it best, "radiates a supernova of the unsaid"...visit his site to purchase your copy! Ribbon of Intonations, take a look around at his great pics and information.

Parking Lots

Pass the trails gate,
a large parking lot,
this end barely used,
except for leaf races.

I feel that we always have things we think in our heads, but often, there is no one around to hear these clever thoughts. Pieces of maybe a greater puzzle. Pieces lost. Jim however has kept them like little notes to oneself, and then collected them in Nighthawks. Gems. I like Gems.

This is one of my favorites, well, because of the bitter cold going on outside right now...


luck smiled down on me.

I forgot to watch
as it started to sneer.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Wash, rinse; repeat

I wonder if I should put it up on my dashboard somewhere...


Only serious pieces that could grab attention anyway...

Because I notice a few people come over now and then and leave comments. I am in serious edits and re-writes on my first book of work, so I test a few out. Also another book in the works with my poet friend Pasquale Varallo.

We spent the afternoon going through files and emails of stuff we have sent back and forth. He has much more sitting in files than I do. He is 80, and been writing for more than ten years strong. Me, I only began to go back to the works from ten years back (I read in the eighties to nineties), and some of it stinks. Some is fine left alone, but I have less than most of you writers and poets who have been at it for years.

My commitments laid else where. Sick kid for fourteen years. Phew, do I have my work cut out.

Did I mention working with a conservative (navy carouser at his best) who is eighty has its challenges? His beliefs change from moment to moment, I have to stand my ground, and listen. Hmmm...

Thanks to all of you who give encouragement. My audience also tells me what works and doesn't on paper or in reading. Funny how that works...



PS- The photo above is a prompt pic I used from T, a former and fellow, This Town Blogger Photography group I was part of the past year...I have not taken as much pictures as I usually do, but will pic it up again, since I have been noticing such oddities in the snow the past few days.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Another Mother's Arms Are Empty

This poem is going to be in my book, 365DaysXTen, a poetry book of mine about the ten year journey of healing after my daughter's death.

January 8th, 2011

I lay back in the dentist chair anticipating
ordinary pain- a news reporter said
a nine year old girl passed, she was shot
point blank. A

life cut short
by a twenty two year old
gunman. A special birth
for the world 

born on September 11th,
2001. Does a life have meaning
before or after death
when it happens just after the New Year

begins? The first world tragedy.
Maybe one day, her mother, a fellow life
giver, will stand on the opposite
side of a window

with her hand raised up
to mine. Glass separating
our fingers, our states,
reasons not the same

as we feel the pain
of loss rushing through
our blood, as we struggle
to see deaths purpose.

For Anelisa, Christina, and all the other children taken away from a mother’s arms…

I was about to get my teeth clean when the news program up on my dentist's television was showing the interview with the Green's. As they spoke my own wounds opened up, and I asked the girl to turn it off. Tears began to flow, not for myself, but for the parents. How they would have to begin the journey I had ten years ago when Anelisa passed. Once you lose a child, to a bullet, an earthquake, drowning, or heart disease like mine did, you feel all of their pain. The wounds open up and you want to reach out and hug them.

I saw myself on the opposite side of a window reaching up to place my hand on her hand, Mrs. Green, and we became two mother's strong.

I wish them peace, though the walk will not be easy. Pain will resurface and resurface, over and over again, but you find your way back. Just today I felt my Ane sitting beside me on the bed, maybe to hug me as I began to cry. I miss her, as I am sure Mrs. Green longs to hold her Christina.

Elizabeth Stelling

Friday, January 7, 2011

Burnings by Ocean Vuong

If you have never tried ordering an eBook, then you should at least try it once. My hands crave the feel of bound paper and its cover, as my eyes crave seeing the front artwork, and each page from inside. Including publishing credits of my newly publisher friend, all the way through; like bending corner pages, to flipping the last blank page before you set it down. I am compelled however to be somewhat green, and try to do my part.

Therefore your fingertips can still push the keyboard arrows as you savour each electronic page touch in Adobe Acrobat. I know some of my friends have gotten Kindle and the other new paper free book electronics, and they are happy. But looking at your collection of chapbooks on the shelf makes you so nostalgic. Right? Decided- both can have their appeal.

Okay on to MY new eBook. I was shopping around and had put some books in my on-line cart for a few months, and was anticipating my gift certificate. I love these kinds of Christmas presents. However Burnings, one of the newest Sibling Rivalry Press publications was not to be found. I headed over to SRP's website and found myself staring at three options to buy the book- 'Buy Digital File' caught my attention. Well you know the rest.

Taking my time reading each poem over the past few days, I began to think about some of them while driving to the gym- like Bono, who crones us with swagger lucidly across open air on songs; Ocean drifts us motionless and with caution over memory lands. He slips us into water as if we are helping keep the boat afloat, and plants serious kisses on our cheeks with his poetry.

I am also proud to be living in a time when sexual discovery can be spoken aloud on a page like he does in his second section of his book. Having friends since childhood, especially in the south, who felt sharing their sexual preference was too dangerous- now can openly express themselves without great fear, and Ocean does it well.

An old friend of mine from cosmetology school in Texas, Jessie who came across the water on a small refugee boat back in the late 70's comes to mind. Lost memory, this opens up my mind to his stories, I realize I miss our time together. I am drawn in, and want more.

I shall never be able to totally feel Ocean Vuong's pain or experience the holes that lie in his heart, but knowing he is willing to share the experiences through memory and verse with us will suffice my desire to know the human condition. My pain in life is most certainly different than his, or yours, but we all hurt. We all long. We all bleed. Somewhere along the road, we may even cross a big body of water to begin, discover a new life.

This book is highly recommended to all. I look forward to reading more of Ocean Vuong's work!

Ocean I hope I do your work justice, and Bryan Borland, kudos to you for recognizing such great talent- but it does take one to know one right?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Welcome My Friends...

Where the party never ends...oh something like that...a song in my head, but the lyrics escape me...circus tents should be left up all around for the curious...

Photo compliments of Jim K... and it brought on a poem prompt idea...add yours if ya like!

Worth Every Penny

Listen to the silence rumble
like subways trains
beneath your feet
stirring the subconscious

in early morning they come
more frequently in summer
yards are packed
with weekend people

eyeing potential
potentially lonely when
snow and rain drape
every inch of space

bringing beauty to the eye
combined with the quiet
noise felt in the bones
a surreal symphony rises

playing to those who chose
whose time slows down
a gift a feast
Faustian settings

Sunday, January 2, 2011

'Follow Me' or you will...

When we begin blogging do we realize what a commitment it can become? We notice others who come over and make comments, so often we begin to follow them. After a while, at times around a year or so we drop off from site. Not because we do not like them, but because we realized there are so many in our readers, ques, or even in our email.

Jessie Carty speaks often about how she tries to keep up with her in box que, but can only follow the people who come make comments on her site, but that does not seem fair (not reality I know). When I follow someone I have done it because I really enjoy ALL of them. So I try and get to them all at some point and time. Even the ones who are following me. If I show up out of now where I hope they realize I am lurking, and try to find time to say hello now and again...

While spending some down time today going to my followers sites, I decided to go back to one in particular, The Impression That I Get. She has only begun blogging for the past year, so I decided to go to the very beginning and go all the way through her post. Why? I am not sure, I guess curiosity. I genuinely care about people. Through the years, good or bad experiences, I like to know about people. What makes them tick, and if I can learn from their experiences or journey in life.

Why did I pick her...she mentions 'loss' in a post. To be nosy I guess. Since I have experienced loss, maybe I will learn something.

Try it, and tell me what you learned, or felt, or see, or whatever floats your boat...I also may begin doing this once a month, highlighting a blog for you to visit...more human interest and creative than food.

JL Snyder is an Alabama girl (southern like me), cares about people (notices homeless woman and writes observations), sports, writes about trying new things like movies she would not normally watch, TV shows, and so much more. She also remembers peoples birthdays and what they like. See she cares...but I have so much more to read...

(Photo above is property of JL Snyder, and from her Day 49 post...hope she did not mind me borrowing it...)