Archive for May, 2010

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Random Things, Before and After

May 26, 2010

First random thing, a poem:

Desert Eve

born of a cactus rib
tongue like a needle
that first man stood
no chance beneath your
pitiless glare
no apple        this time
                                        a prickly pear

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A couple of quotes I came across yesterday and today, which bring me back time and again to the final episode of Lost:

“By the truth we are undone. Life is a dream. ‘Tis waking that kills us.” — Virginia Woolf

and

“He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” — Douglas Adams

And, yeah, I cried. The Lost death music, it creates such a beautiful sadness inside.

Before and After, amusing differences in one month:

One gets taller, one gets shorter.

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Copper, Gargoyles, and La More

May 20, 2010

Bisbee, Arizona, was once — like in the late 1800’s — a thriving copper-mining town; in the last several decades it has reinvented itself as an artists colony, of sorts. In either incarnation, it is, was, always a wild western town.

On one of our last visits we stayed in a supposedly haunted hotel, the Hotel La More (actually, we’ve stayed there twice). I do love an old hotel — like a hundred years old.  No ghosts, but I saw this from our hotel window (ooo, spooky!):

We did go down into the Copper Queen Mine — a guided tour — we’re not going exploring alone in a defunct mine! Above ground, around town, we encountered some interesting little architectural adornments: the Gargoyles of Bisbee.

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Out of the Shadows, Masks

May 18, 2010

often birds lining the rooftops dream
me back into being much
like a flag popped by an impatient wind
so many stars sewn across my breast
I am a confederation a union of all
things stirring beneath eddies of dust
in the stillest of corners
of all creatures wearing furs
and masks kissing in the rain

(An excerpt from my longer poem, “Often, Sometimes, Hardly at All“)

Wouldn’t it be fun fun to make up names for nail-polish colors, or movie posters:

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Light and Flowers in Surprising Places

May 16, 2010

The morning and late afternoon light is especially beautiful this time of year in southern Arizona, both inside and outside.

This afternoon while walking along the Rillito River bike path we came across a colorful surprise:

And here we found flowers, growing in surprising places:

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All Apologies

May 15, 2010

I’m all apologies this afternoon — recently discovered it wasn’t Joss Whedon who put an end to the “Once More with Feeling” sing-a-longs, but 20th Century Fox (via Wikipedia):

“In October 2007, after a dispute with SAG over unpaid residuals, 20th Century Fox pulled the licensing for public screenings of Once More With Feeling, effectively ending official Buffy singalongs. . .”

Ah, nothing like a coterie of old dweebs in expensive suits to ruin a good party.

Well, here’s the fourth of five Spikes:

An image which makes me think of Abney Park’s “Stigmata Martyr” — if you don’t know the song, listen to it there. A steam punk band with a belly dancing member — can’t beat that with a stick.  (what?)

And now for a completely unapologetic poem:

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In the Garden of Moonflowers

This is the time to linger,
when the heart like an overripe plum
is full to bursting:
twilight in early Spring;
the white flowers in the garden
with their phosphorous radiance,
the warm air lapsing into coolness.
Welcome, fleeting kingdom!  A gentle fiefdom
existing between the reign of the sun
and the domain of the stars.

This, too, is the time
to most dread, the interval
clocks cannot keep;
an intermission in the play
for looking behind
our gilded mirrors.
In this hour I cannot close
the eyes of my soul,
yet I cannot look away.
All things assault the senses;
I cannot bear such sentience:
the coolness of water on my fingertips,
the lilt of birds hidden
in the shadow-laced limbs of trees,
the murderous stab of memory.

I was driven into myself
like a dog beaten into viciousness:
I bared my teeth and raged
at the end of a choking chain
against the towering trompe l’oeil
who wielded the whip.
In my heart I have known his murder,
and the freedom such a death brings;
not for him —
his soul will fall to the frigid depths
and an anchor loosed at sea —
but freedom for the one
who wields the knife: a sigh released
as when a treacherous bridge is crossed,
the rapture as one unearths the ancient
jewel-encrusted dream
of beginning life anew.

But like this lavender twilight,
our dreams are just thus,
and quick to elude us
in noon’s practical light.
In the intimate embrace
of this evening’s air, I’ll wait,
choosing my dream
like a primitive
selecting the slender limb
to shape into the sleekest spear.
I will whittle my reserve
into a most pointed and deadly device;
and when the nightbirds take wing,
I will hurl my well-worked dream
with a savage’s sure aim
into his slumbering, unguarded heart.

This, then, is the time to linger.
The air is most sweet
between breaths.
Consequence
is out of my hands,
like a hawk released from the hunter.
The decision has been made.
Astronomy is a science
of ignorance:
the world turns not
of its own volition,
but under the impetus
of average men
driven to great feats
of madness.
But look —
how the flowers open to the night!

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(Published in Illumen, Autumn 2009)

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In the Mood for Vamps

May 12, 2010

Been listening to the “Once More with Feeling soundtrack again (obsessively); so much fun to sing along to! Especially in the car, in traffic. Alone. We went to the Buffy Sing-A-Long at the Loft Cinema a few years ago — yowza, such fun! (My husband gave me both the CD and the tickets to the Sing-A-Long — he’s the most wonderful man I know!). Goody bags and costumed folk and everyone singing! A splediferious event, indeed. I was hoping to go every year, but . . . Joss Whedon has since put the kibosh on those Sing-a-Longs.   Sad Face : (

Now I’m doubly glad we went.

I still have my goody bag.

So I’m in the mood for vamps these days (surprise, surprise). Here’s another vampire poem, a love poem, of sorts:

The Kiss

Help me drive these iron stakes
into the unyielding earth, help me unroll
coils of spiked wire
across arrowed heads,
help me keep the woods at bay.

In the shadows of trees,
they move like natural things,
graceful and fleeting,
their brassy eyes lanterns swaying
in a windless night.

We move inside the house, feeling the locks
on doors and windows, leaving
garlands of prayers,
building great smoky fires
to obliterate the stars.

Through a broken mirror
one has entered
among us. I touch my own vein.
I will lean into your shadow
for this kiss.

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(originally appeared in Dreams &  Nightmares, December 1994, No.34)

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Below is the third in my series of five Spikes:

And here’s a pic of my grapevine winding its way around my yard:

Isn’t it romantic?

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A Present, A Postcard, A Wish for Luck

May 9, 2010

Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers of sons out there. I’m sure having a daughter is a wonderful thing, as well. But I believe there is something particularly unique about the mother-son bond. So glad I don’t have to fight fashion battles, or wage war against the beast that is hormone-screaming female puberty.

Every one else in the house is asleep right now, and I’m feeling sentimental and loved. So I give you these: a present, a postcard, a wish for luck.

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Postcard

I sit at this desk
in this mirrored building, and see you
across the rancorous Atlantic Ocean
your face before me clearer than any impulse
surging through cables buried
under a thousand tons of sea water.

The corners of your postcard curl
around vignettes of vineyards
(stooping vintners in loose indigo blouses,
faces sun-creased, contented) and Greek
gods photographed, rapt in their own history:
in them I heard
your voice

laughing, imitating accents. This
is what you tell me:
you are pregnant with a boy-child;
he is an acrobat on your belly,
tumbling through the warm currents
of your married love.

And this
is what I long to tell you:
he will be the distant star
on your morning’s copper pink horizon;
he will carry the book of what you are
in his heart, never reading the end.
He is a woman’s sigh, lucid and round,

a glass pear, bending the branch to the ground.
Pluck him and wrap him in velvet folds;
his soul will spark like a diamond
born beneath the crushing depths
of the earth, his image persisting
even as our vision fades.

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(originally appeared in Poem, November 1995, No.74)

And here’s a little luck — because we all need some: