Monday, December 31, 2007
This festive season and as we make our way into another spiralling year, the latter rather than the former predominates in my life. Sorry if I've been absent, a family crisis has created shifting and buckling and reconfigurations... and both of my beautiful children are by their choice now living with me.
Wishing you all a great year ahead, loving, warm, successful, and especially feeling good about mostly everything, yourself, your family, friends, colleagues, work, health, finances, art, the whole marvelous and spinning wonder.
Remember there is nothing, ultimately, but our love for each other.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Voiceless, I spoke. The unheard words. Deep pressure of language pushing at my throat.
The man who couldn't speak came. I heard words that aren't spoken.
The chords couldn't vibrate in my vocal folds. A laryngitis, inflamed, swollen larynx, a temporary absence of speaking. The air from my breath couldn't sing on my words.
Uttering inaudible, squeaky synechdotes of words, charades, finding sign languages. Or forcing articulated sound through. What shapes into words that string their sentences over the landscape of plants and carpets. I enjoy the silence, resting in soundlessness.
My tongue, lips and mouth pantomime sultry words, my dear, but you can't hear. Listen for resonances. In the silk of the red Poinsettia blouse that I wear. And the tinsel of the season, green and red globes where we are reflected, cherry and gold ribbons tied into bows, sparkling prisms hanging from green pines, strings of lights lit, teasing at what's unsaid.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
And not a sniffle since then.
Until this week. And how quickly it developed into laryngitis! It's punishment for yelling. Whenever I do, I suppose.
Hubris and Punishment. And they sprayed Lysol around me at work, laughing, after the coughing spell, after I tried to eat my hot chili pepper spiced stew, after which I lost my voice. It's fun losing your voice when you know it's the punishment for the hubris of boasting before the Gods of the Flu.
Can't say I'm enjoying it too much though.
So I slugged codeine-laced cough syrup for the rest of the afternoon and no longer cared.
Monday, December 17, 2007
The bug that's going around caught me, sore throat, coughing a bit, etc., first cold in 3 years, time for sure, so posting a little pic of ma doggie taken on Saturday morning...while I was talking to ma son on the telephone while ma daughter was out getting us something to eat. That was before the blizzard. And before I came out from my shadow, though that's another story. I'm not a good sick person - I don't like getting sick! Grumble grumble. Back ta bed wit' ya! Rest the best medicine. xo
Sunday, December 16, 2007
A blizzard. Predicted to be the coldest Winter ever having begun. Snow crews out in force tonight.
How many angels on the way home stopped to help me? Such gallantry, men and women. 'Do you need help?' 'Yes... thank you.' Me, who is stubbornly independent had to admit I couldn't carry my load. Why'd I buy more than I could carry? Why didn't I know the snow would render my wheels useless? How could we not chuckle, the helping angels and I. And how many blessings did I give?
Someone set out to film cold, uncaring Torontonians, and found us rather the opposite. We generally go out of our way to help each other.
Toronto friendliness is something I missed when I moved away. It was so good to come home to. With my badly constructed, over-full, precariously swinging basket and its ridiculously attached wheels, oh even the blizzarding snow must have laughed at me, I received much appreciated warmth from the people of this city today.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Click for larger size. There is so little time for the hours a photopoem takes that surely it's not quite, but then maybe. On the other hand, the next day now, I see the colours are not so good - it was taken with the camera on my phone & maybe should re-do with a better camera. The little poem is also part of a larger stream of thoughts that I recorded during meditation and which drifted into the strangeness of time. The clustering of molecules and why motion and life/birth/death occurs. Oh, and then how our solar system's magnetic field is warped, asymmetrical, which was in the news. And then I thought, maybe time is issued forth from the great burning fields of the sun itself. And I saw photos of sun spots that were so large the entire earth could fall into them. And how close-up images of the sun resemble Van Gogh's last painting, of the wheat fields. That's how the sun's surface looks - like Van Gogh's burning fields of light. And in the movie, Sunshine, how the crew die rapturous deaths in the sun. And how I've always been a worshipper of the light, mystical and real. And it's all intriguing and thus very exciting to me. But to weave it all into a prose poem! Oh, la!
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Sunday, December 02, 2007
a whole room jumping, jabbing
kicking, cutting air
falling gold bands
then the red
......vision, blood, shirts on the backs of
floating discs, cut, fresh green
.....eyes that see
horizontal lines raised
red banners, orange tigers
blue bricks, pink band, luminous
control your destiny
labyrinth, blue-black hair
smoke, the floor disappears
a dragon of virtue
immensity of primordial waters
jump from stone to stone
on the ying-yang, muscles flying
opening of the passage
incense, the moon
the hooded men
striped tigers, white satin
entryway to the past
......create the future
Vishnu Visvarupa, Preserver of the Universe, Represented as the Whole World | Unknown
19th century | watercolor on paper | 15 1/4x 11 in/38.7 x 28cm |Victoria & Albert Museum, London UK
Thursday, November 29, 2007
the red and golden yellow leaves;
when it melts,
bare limbs climb into the sky.
I want to lie on those whorls of wood,
like mastheads of stately Nordic goddesses
or my tender frozen ancestral grandmothers,
dreaming of Daphne, firey gowns
stripped by solar winds to stark
nude greys of Winter.
Thick ridges of weather
in the bark.
Visit Riverside Rambles for the 18th edition of the Festival of the Trees, where this little poem is included among many great entries.
Monday, November 26, 2007
'Despair....invokes beauty only to pour the void into it. The emptiness of the soul is so vast, its cruel advance so inexorable, that any resistance to it is impossible. What would be left of paradise if it were seen from the viewpoint of despair? A graveyard of happiness.' E.M. Cioran, Tears & Saints.
We cannot merge. Are we are in love with each other's absence? Our holy madness is our love, founded on renunciation.
I am emptied in my love for you. I have no desire to possess you - desire emphasizes lack. Even in this violent wrenching towards each other where we are alienated and jubilatory. When we are empty of ourselves we take joy in the sweetness of the other.
If I could tell you a story, I would. There are no avenues of magnolia trees here, though I wish there were.
'Loneliness means I am at last whole.
Only with him could I be lonely. Open up to him. Completely open, completely for him. Welcome him completely into myself. Surround him with the labyrinth of shared happiness. I know it is you.' Peter Handke, Wings of Desire.
I am alone with he who is alone. Seul á seul.
I'm looking for the essence
that I can drop on my tongue,
until I am suffused with the
scent. Until my kisses are
........soft white petals of perfume.
Imagine the magnolia trees where Venus is born aloft on the shell blown by Zephyr.
Where writing comes to an end and sinks into its
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Rubies In Crystal is a reference not only to mystical caves of jewels that are the colour of the vibrant life force but to wine and the full enjoyment of life as expressed in Sufism, and The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, one of my geologist/geochemist/scientist father's favourite books (perhaps I'll try to elaborate in another post sometime). I like the simplified look of the site now, the ease of the addition of the red accents as well as the ability to put the banner in a red background, and the way the font appears. The template still needs tweaking - like why are there question marks before the archived posts (which seem to work nevertheless)?
Forays into html for another day...
Saturday, November 24, 2007
The very best image of the sun, and it's nearly a decade old! What was I doing 10 years ago? Oh -?! Gasp. Never mind. SOHO's sun of three-wavelengths was far better.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Without the natural laws, I couldn't rest.
Have you noticed how clean the microscopic world is? Blood platelets hang together like little solar systems of planets, each with space. Fierce dust mites look tidy.
The four forces, electromagnetic, the atom-binding strong force, the radioactive-controlling weak force, and gravity dependably weave our universe.
Or the four humors before them, but never mind.
It's a relief. The regularity of process. Eating chocolate, as I am, produces sweet heaven on my tongue. It always does. Chocolate can be trusted.
Perhaps you are like creativity,
I don't think about anyone else.
I'd better come back in,
where stars sparkle behind my eyelids.
At the deepest level, there is no chaos. It's troubling. An insane waring bloodbath is a neat and tidy microscopic world of platelets suspended in solution. Or the decay. Molecule by molecule. Lovely chemistry, that's all. Electron microscopes are revealers of the secrets of matter, I tell you.
Love wherever it happens is the most extraordinary of all.
Friday, November 16, 2007
"On Nov. 13th, Europe's Rosetta spacecraft flew past Earth, swooping a mere 5300 km above the southern hemisphere....Rosetta also took some spectacular pictures of Earth's nightside, capturing city lights and possibly some auroras, too: annotated image. Inside one of those dots of light, a team of Italian astronomers (Giovanni Sostero, Ernesto Guido, Luca Donato and Virgilio Gonano) were looking back at Rosetta. Here is the view through their 18-inch telescope; Rosetta is the dim streak of light cutting through the starry background. Bon Voyage, Rosetta!" SpaceWeather.com
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Self-care, how important this is.
Most of my thankfully minor injuries take about six months to heal fully. Often I overdo and re-injure. In the high octane of the dance it is easy to forget that a part of your body needs constant TLC.
TLC, for myself.
Ah, should we not all do that more often, and not just when we're injured?
An expansion on something I'd written in the feedback for the 5Rhythms dance workshop I attended last August.
wet, each pore
fire suffused, open,
bones like wind
sunlight of the Summer, free
asking where the words went
when they rained, drenching the heart
the beat of the circle, writing on drums
words flashing in air, lightning.
that connects us.
Blue paints the tops of the clouds,
Waves across the world.
August 26, 2007
Written at the 5Rhythms workshop Taeji and Shara held at Dovercourt House - towards the end of the 2-day event, we were each given paper and pen and asked to write something that would be sent to us a few months later: received in the mail from Taeji today.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
reds and oranges
the fallen sun
a street carpet
of fragmented light
sodden endless rain
paper garden bags,
of collected leaves,
raked and packed
my heart, enfolded
an economy of words
no fixing it, either - if it's
not there in the first sweep
it'll never be
I was on a pathway
before I arrived
the large wood-wet oak
a shiny canopy of leaves
held by powerful branches
bright yellow lanterns
slivers of sun
On November 8th, browsing radio stations I came across Don Jackson in his nightly spot, "Lovers and Other Strangers," and found him presenting a marvelous Autumn show composed of November-inspired poetry and music, that, hmnn, has obviously been inspiring...
1While I couldn't work it into the poem, I was also playing with an origin of the universe metaphor with a reference to the point of the "last scattering" when, in the diffuse plasma of ionized atoms, particles and anti-particles annihilated each other for the last time, leaving about a billion photons for every particle of matter, thus making the universe transparent. I wanted this reference to echo the emotional underlayer of the poem where fragmented light leads to a naked transparency of the heart, a clarity.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I paint on the floor, whenever I can summon the courage to let it go, or when I manage a zen-like state. It's always a risk. It's the most nerve-wracking thing I do.
Once the canvas is dry, I can move it upstairs where there is light in excess and work on an easel.
Some of my best paintings have been done when it's almost dark and I can barely see what I'm doing. It's not about the amount of light but the state of mind.
I'll try to take a photo later and add it to this post.
Later: Ok, so 4. And so what if they're a bit silly. You get the picture.
My doggy wondering.
Fun wall shot. Oh, whateva, then.
What's still to do. Sort of Arrgghhhh....
Friday, November 09, 2007
The cave, and the chained, and the muted light, this I remember. Or the city of perfect people all with their perfect roles. The split of the soul into two halves each forever seeking each other. Transmigration of souls. Pure forms. And Socrates and the hemlock, oh yes. Plato really is two men anyhow, not one. He never was one man. Any philosopher would laugh at me.
This morning carrying a large chocolate-dipped apple that I was given for answering three silly Insurance Company questions (what might insurance be good for? is there a difference between an agent and a broker? oh ho ho my) and getting my picture taken I saw it, I'd never noticed before, down by the vault. Whoever uses it? The way the morning light rested on each of the horizontal lines. It looked like an industrial strength plastic flooring until closer and realizing it was marble. Light shone ethereally down those stairs, surely a representation of pure forms. Why do we have to find representations of what we're thinking about? Is that called pathetic fallacy? Walking by walls of marble tile and on floors of marble, it could almost be a cave. Not quite, but if you thought of the tremendous industry, hauling it all from the earth, cutting and polishing it, cementing it in...
Writers read everything, and readers of writers read everything, and I was doing a graduate degree in English Literature and was tired of references to basic works I hadn't read and so embarked on a wide-ranging and varied reading project... that went on for 10 years at almost a book a day - totally different to Fine Arts, which I also did a degree in, where mostly what you had to know was Art History, at least back then. I'm sure it didn't begin with Plato... so why is He popping up? And on marble staircases of all places.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
The concern of the French genre of récit is retrospective - it does not follow the unfolding of events like the novel, but looks back musingly upon them, allowing what has occurred to return in various ways, to the extent they can never be said to be completed at all. It names, thereby, a genre characterised by reflection rather than action, bearing on a single episode, or group of episodes as they present themselves as an occasion for meditation.1 Lars Iyer
enfolded in the heart
lines beating like blood vessels
this book of words
Do I resist the pull into the past? The way it swirls in me. How much of my heart remains in that vortex of love?
Decades pass silently.
I didn't know where,
or even if
you were alive.
Looking but not searching,
for an essence of what we shared.
but words, like billions of capillaries,
Flow of the aorta.
Writing renews itself for you.
From beyond, risen, returned.
Kaddish to The Rite of Spring,
a funerary dirge becomes a blossoming landscape of love.
Which I barely recognize, our aged selves.
Where did you go?
And where are you now?
The neon blue calligraphy of the skies, where the plane was swallowed, where you went.
When he came out of the past, I wasn't sure it was him. The elegance of his language, that lexicon, I knew it had to be. Always I had difficulty putting him to his words, the latter an outflow of the former but the clarity of his intelligence, how it definitively appeared, neatly without difficulty, on the page.
The elegant calligraphy of a mind borne through the heart.
Only from where it is deep, searing,
vulnerability of the self.
Only if my writing pours out,
the blue blood of veins.
I am your lover;
I write as a woman who loves you.
Who speaks to you in writing.
I surrender to you in the flow of the text.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
You haunt me. Is it that we fly together where it mingles, rebounding off each other, an undulating pattern of togetherness that's different to the separateness that's ongoing?
Who are you as the hours unfold across the tableau of time? When do you come bounding from that sky of vivid pastel colours?
This coalesquing of ours in various patterns and never stopping and always moving and reconfiguring, our agile dance across the expanse.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
That re-lived hour changed everything.
Take both forks in the road. Try alternatives, side by side. I lived the first hour trapped, obsessed; then went a different way when the hour started again. In the dark hours, a resolution to the dilemma, and I became free in a new way.
Or explore it multiply round-the-clock & superimpose the hours until time is like Comet Holmes expanding.
All day I re-live each of the hours when I pass clocks, the large blue-rimmed one that ticks loudly on the kitchen wall, the yellow-lit numbers on the stove, the travel clock on the bathroom shelf amidst coloured stones strewn around a conch shell, my electric bedside clock with its red LCD numbers, and my tiny silver watch, some are changed, and some aren't, absurdly I like it like that, playing with time, repeating each hour.
I envision changing my watch on the subway platform in the morning, stale underground air, crowded, turning the dial and watching the hands unweave the forever spiralling forward of time.
Today, the 25 hour day, when time repeats itself in the shift towards the light.
I hadn't realized before, anytime through all the years of exploration that began, perhaps, during my Jungian phase and obsession with the animus, the divine masculine.
When I am obsessed with a man, I write for him. Or is this too simple? Over 30 years of writing, I'm not talking about very many men. Those I've fallen in love with. Those few jewels sparkling in the light.
What I clearly understood today is that a woman writer has models, the man on whom the poem is dressed, but that the model is not the muse. The muse is the man to whom the poem is addressed.
The one, the figure; the other, the inspiration. The one, the man one might have become involved with because it worked for one's art, and was rather fun; the other, a man one rarely was involved with because he's, oh, how to describe, brilliant, knowledgeable, talented, huge in his capacities and achievements, and thus fearful. One is vulnerable before one's muse.
Yet one feels understood by the muse, for whom one pushes oneself to produce the best one is capable of; the model barely understands what one's working on, and only sees it in terms of themselves. The muse is hidden, the glory underneath, and for whom everything is propelled, created, while the model perhaps gathers an arrogance from the attention. It's an odd thing, this model/muse.
Perhaps the one is like Helios, who drives the sun across the sky each day; the other like magnificent Apollo, the ancient Greek God of Light. Rarely have the model and the muse been the same man. Though sometimes I mix up images of both: hopefully, it's cleverly done and goes undetected. I write about one as a model for the other's imagination, and pleasure.
I would never consider a serious relationship with a man who's a model, though I might with a muse. But I stay away from my muses. It's easier.
Or so I surmise: I haven't landed anywhere in the last 10 years, since my marriage ended. But there've been some wonderful men who've inspired me greatly; and I've had perhaps one or two wild rides with fascinating models.
"This is a composite image of exploding Comet 17P/Holmes. German astrophotographer Sebastian Voltmer combined various exposures taken through his 4.1-inch refracting telescope and processed the composite to highlight the comet's bright golden core (with jets and streamers), its gossamer green halo and an emerging faint blue tail. It's one of the strangest and most beautiful photos of a comet ... ever."
(click on image for larger version, and take a look at these from photographers around the world -magnifique!)
Friday, November 02, 2007
Ancient and barbaric tongues, a music, mystical, meltings, crossings, of decay into other forms.
Are our metaphors metaphors of the metaphor? Composting into earth; or the ocean sweeping under.
A warmly cool wind blew over me after a hot humid night. Later, my feet caressed by sand, I walk to a nearly deserted beach. The pale-sapphire lake, remnants of mist like writing rising into the blue sky, infinity brought close.
Signs. A blond-haired young woman ambling the beach who stepped into the water to catch a tiny flap of orange and who freed the Monarch butterfly in the shrubbery. Or the man with wiry white hair who dozed on the wood brown-shellacked picnic bench, his dark tan, like a toasted chestnut, kayak a pod beside him.
Emergence, tumescence. Unendingly, cycling, one following the other, appearing and disappearing, jarring, the punctuations of this rhythm.
Lying on a blue striped beach towel, brushing the sand with my flat palm, my fingers touched a stone, small, perfectly round and flat, slate black. I knew it was hers, a philosopher's stone, and I would place it with my Australian dream-time stone on the alter of abundantly flowing memories and mementos composed of everyone's love for her.
With the upcoming memorial dance, I took a taxi to the subway, arrived home, showered, blended bananas, nectarines, peaches, strawberries in milk with soy powder and honey, put on a black dance leotard, some sports capris, filled a bottle with spring water, and hurried out.
The day blossomed into a flower, rich and hot and curling at the edges, crumpling. Its redolence like ripeness bruising to a deeper hue. I had barely known her. In the room where we gathered there were many tears. It was her blue Pilate's ball that submerged me as I clung to it. We cannot navigate through grief; it is grief that navigates us.
A room full of dancing for her. Already she is an apocryphal story. Auspicious. A little dizzy, sitting, eating pizza with her partner on the porch, happy, content, she died suddenly and unexpectedly. Without resistance, she went. A heart murmur, perhaps. It wasn't an aneurysm, no direct cause clearly discerned. Writhing, crying, leaping, sliding, we danced for her, her absent presence.
It was massive, the dancing of grief and joy. Our bodies moving through the hours like love writing in the air.
Afterwards in the circle we held the black twine passed around, coming in tighter, all connected, and we each took a blue glass bead, and when the scissors came round, we cut, cut the thread holding us, separated our life lines, and strung the bead and tied it around our wrists or necks or ankles.
In the evening at home, I ate a mixture of seeds and nuts, fed a neighbour's cat, warmed a little beef bourguignon, watched The Sea Inside by Amenabar, tears, copious, finally finishing the evening with sweet dried pears, hazlenut and currant dark chocolate, cheese and red wine. The night, still soft, Summery, by morning a cold front moving in, with clouds and rain.
With many thanks to Taeji, our 5Rhythms facilitator, for holding the memorial dance on September 8th; and to Rhodda for creating the black twine and blue glass beads ritual at the end.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Alone, I continue preparing my table, perhaps for dinner for my family, although underneath are art supplies, brushes, tubes of paint, a disposable palette, primed canvas; it's on wheels.
The building disappears and I find myself on a spit of land in the room whose windows have now dissolved so that the air pours in.
The area around where I am setting up is becoming wetter and soon will be impossible to reach. The room has disappeared and I am standing on a low-lying bank beside rising water. The ground is muddy and grassy, soggy. I continue setting the table until I realize my family won't be able to get here.
When I look out towards the water, I understand how vulnerable my set-up is. One storm, one lash of water, and everything's gone.
I am considering how to move inland but slowly come to wakefulness in my warm bed in the pre-dawn darkness.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Making my way through the crypt-white skin and deathly black lips, hair, eyes, nails and clothes of vamps combing the streets looking for treats, I look up and see clouds looking like bruised blood in the sky, with a faint purple tinge over by sunset.
Black silhouetted trees are torn of their leaves by ravaging winds,
shadowy fat leaves fly like bats over the streets.
The clouds broil and the rain comes in,
a fierce spitting snake sliding across the sky.
Ghouls unite! It's time for Gothic Romance
or Zombie Undead Heaven!
Later I walk somnambulantly through the night after my howling dog, and see a bank of dense black cloud moving under the whitest of moons, which sheds light on the upper ridge of the clouds so it's like a stripe rolling along a great skunk.
It's eerie to see the world projecting itself in animal forms.
It must be the influence of those ancient Celts and their (listen for the wail) Halloween.
Really, dear Readers, every word is true! Whooo.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Or those who are paranoid about the judgements of others. Who carry self-pity around like a Lockness monster risen from the deep. But it is a form of narcissism, this continual focus on the self and on how ungreen one's grass is. And manipulative, most certainly. Who will tend to our wounds?
We should guard against excessive negativity towards others or ourselves, even if indulging feels good sometimes. Keep the teeter-totter even. Not a game of excesses but of balances.
It's the professional ones who are remarkable. No hidden motives; no judgements; fair play all round. Let's just get on with it.
The latter my preferred, but stable and perhaps not as interesting as the slightly unhinged who see the days as varying degrees of battle.
Monday, October 29, 2007
continuous rail of
armrests and around
the back when you sit
it presses against
your spine, saltwater
stays in the right spot
to bolster you upright
designs of seaflowers
and seaweed and shells.
that go on.
decisions. Streams, waves,
floods of noted notes. Tallying
churning world of finance.
Accounts formed the first
written records1 we have,
Numbers flow like riverwater,
bracken in the ocean.
1pictures of goods traded
drawn on clay tablets
in 3100BCE by Sumerians
in ancient Mesopotamia
-here's a link
Thursday, October 25, 2007
What I cannot envision. There were too many then; now there are none.
Probably they were all imaginary.
What do I want anyhow?
The reflection of the waterfall in the glass that protects the basalt-style concrete stairs. Sand melted into clear transparency and bounded by stainless steel, a continuous handrail.
I watch people walk up and down the stairs, like mirages. Or drifting over the sidewalks, catching their images in windows.
The clothes hanging loosely in the breeze waiting to be filled. Clothes imagining the people who will wear them walking up and down the stairs. Like that.
I must stop it now. All of it. My neck aches from the angle of the computer where I work. The mundanity of the days that pass without significant events anywhere in their hours. Plunging like a race in water that cleaves while you rush through.
Only, the truth, it is a season later and I am sitting in the library working at a terminal, having taken a streetcar to write during lunch.
Extrapolate the time; never mind ruminations on what wasn't. There are thin green lines with coins hanging at the ends of the scarf I'm wearing today. The lighting quivers harshly. Pages turn noisily. A librarian is retiring this afternoon; I overhear her tell a borrower that's she's not going to help him with any extraordinary means. If it works, fine; if it doesn't, I'm gone.
Not me. I work hard and never leave. I've come every day and now the system inexplicably locks me out early. I have 1 minute and 22 seconds left to write.
If I don't write I might go crazy. That's the way it is. She has greying pink hair and black fingernails and her clothes are large and black and animated. Look, I wrote in my book, on those days, in those places. June, August perhaps. In the plunging of time. And it was just like that. Certainly there were stories that I didn't tell under the purple halogen lights with Ella playing. But how are you to know that from the writing, which curves without revealing whereabouts.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
You are angry at me and I don't know who you are, or why. No, I'm not waiting for an answer.
Somebody knifed people a few blocks up, stabbing two women's faces, a man in the back, someone's hands, at downtown street corners, or boarding a streetcar, randomly; no-one knew him.
Answers are meaningless during these flood currents when the bays and estuaries are swollen.
Sometimes the water rushes in a few kilometers an hour. Then you must run, the roaring. Do beware of the perigean tides, when emotion floods us.
You wouldn't know from the cool, clear, serene day with that clarity in the sunlight.
The current full moon, located on the nearside of the ellipse, the biggest and brightest this year.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Friday, October 19, 2007
I'm presenting Saturday, a chapter I wrote for my thesis on the maternal body that I didn't complete. The chapter was the 'grounding in the body' and is about the process of conception. It took months to write, if I recall, between medical accuracy and writing it as a love poem of what happens deep within our bodies when we create new life. After finishing it, I intended to continue on with the 9 months of pregnancy, but it seemed such a daunting project I didn't get started. And a more difficult task - for me to humanize pregnancy by bringing the poetry back into the medical view would mean writing it from my vantage and my pregnancies were, of course, different to the experiences of any other woman's and I foresaw problems with issues of essentialism were I to embark on writing it.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
A cream coloured maze over the pale purple, reminiscent of ancient Greek motifs, that's upraised, embossed.
My attention on the groups of five squares in the upper configuration, one on each side. Their borders are fine gold lines. The interior is vibrant turquoise, what I lust after in jewelry of the semi-precious stone, or the colour of the Caribbean ocean, where I always want to be. The turquoise in contrast to the staid cream marble of the rest of the foyer.
In the centre of the turquoise squares, gold suns. The ten stars radiate out from central gleaming circles like crystal balls in twelve rays tapering to points. Fairy tales can come true under such a ceiling of shining stars.
Did the interior decorators go wild way above? Who looks up, gazes?
Before me letters are carved into the marble, large and elegant with serifs, inlaid with gold, they are perfect, curved, crisp. Once I thought that language was a symbolic representation of objects and actions. But look at that wall. Language carves and shapes reality, creating the world as we know it. It collects our memories and forges our future, shaping us as it shines through us.
Under the light-echoes from the stars I see you. An empire builder. There's substance behind it; resources to enable sustenance in abundance.
The muted dark veins of the cream marble race over the huge walls like maps of territories.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
This is the recognition he has wanted all his life, the one he dreamed of when we were together so long ago. It's really great news.
Governor General's Literary Awards finalists
Margaret Atwood, Toronto, for The Door: Poems (McClelland & Stewart)
Don Domanski, Halifax, for All Our Wonder Unavenged (Brick Books)**Brian Henderson, Kitchener, for Nerve Language (Pedlar Press)**
Dennis Lee, Toronto, for Yesno: Poems (House of Anansi Press)
Rob Winger, Ottawa, for Muybridge's Horse: A Poem in Three Phases (Nightwood Editions)
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
Thursday, October 11, 2007
My little collection of images will find their way into a prosepoem, shifted, buckled, smoothed out, layered; however it is, they become part of the fibre of the prosepoem, expressing the nuances of the complexity of the underlying emotion.
In this way I am not an Imagist, nor a Minimalist, nor a Zen writer of haiku. I like to think that the little images keep their integrity of simplicity despite becoming part of a larger more complex thematic pattern.
When I hadn't any images collected for today, and not knowing what to write about, I thought, oh, ok, a post about creative process...
ps Click on the photo to enlarge. Not that I always write this way! I thought those lunar images would cohere around the 'settling into the tedium of what is' but instead something else was more urgent and about which I cannot directly write but which formed the emotional underlayer of the piece that I posted. And I can see from the little notebook that, working on a computer in the library during lunch, when I was composing the writing from various sources, I forgot to include that image of the clouds that are grey up top with choral undersides...
Now that was beautiful! Though I couldn't decide whether to leave the "h" in choral, or not. It was a coral colour, but a symphonic movement through the sky...it fit more with "cadences of the voice" which I used elsewhere, so a dangling image, and where will it come to be?
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
In the pre-dawn the moon fell into dark clouds rising over its floodlit. Whiteness dipping in and out of black veils.
Later striations like shredded tendons grazing the moon; in the distance dark thundering clouds of muscle.
Then, stillness. Mist, veils of light, white-gray, bright, shadowless. Obscuring the upper atmosphere, upper stories gone, the unshadowed light, stark clarity to everything below, where we are.
I wait. Navigation that should have didn't fit; I am lost. A familiar cycle, yet the drives and their effects, different. What I saw in the shadowless clarity was a map that wasn't grid-based. When evening came it became a moonlight of mist clinging to the falling leaves I pass under.
In the beginning of the turn-around, a fragility of time. Take me slowly through the awakening. I am unfamiliar.
The remnants of the Summer's heat when a harvest moon the colour of apricots rose, and the feasting of Thanksgiving to come round the overlaid table, at the mid-point of the equinox, a cold front came and the weather turned towards the new season of the year.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
# 1 in Poetry (highest position was 1). Total songs: 1,242
How do artists make money? Ahhh, another topic...
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
My daughter's returned home, weary and weepy, and I am much relieved.
She says the dog and I have both lost weight, but she may not exactly remember us in our volume. Or it could be our 5km hefty hikes at night.
I went out and bought a futon frame for her mattress, the one we agreed on just before she moved to her Dad's in early June, lugging it back through an alley on a heavy-duty luggage rack (who'd pay for delivery when it's a 3 minute walk?), and then, strong women that we are, we carried it up the stairs. Next I'll get out my electric drill and put it together.
Maybe tomorrow this blog will return to its Rubies In Crystal prosepoetry...
Yeah, there's the Bloch™ leotard with the black lace sleeves, a portrait-in-the-mirror-type arte shot, which I took on 'chatty Sunday'...
Sundays... when we have our 'Word Painting' soirées, where we gather and drink white wine and nibble on hors d’oeuvres, and, dressed like flagrant muses, flirt and discuss our art... We’ll celebrate each other as the afternoon shimmers into evening in the lavishly rich studio you're welcomed into.
# 1 in Poetry (highest position was 1). Total songs: 1,242
# 13 in Talk (highest position was 13). Total songs: 5,363
I'd like to thank all my readers and listeners for such beautiful support. Blessings all round. Love every one of you. xo
Monday, October 01, 2007
Words are easiest, as long as you've kept earlier versions, it's possible to go back, or follow a thought forward to something else, to change the piece of writing entirely, or add to, clarify, work on it until the words sit still (this can take a little time, and only happens after the words stop nagging you with their undoneness).
Paint is a less forgiving. If you go too far or not far enough the paint will give you some leeway, but there's a point where overdone is overdone and there's no going back. Paint has a Rubicon, and I go in fear of it. It takes a long time to plunge into paint for this reason. Gathering the ideas, sketching, this takes time, erasing is possible and I do it often, buying or selecting the paint, this is important, like creating a little medicine bundle against what is to come. It's all laid out on the floor, one is in one's overalls, hair tied back, no phone, the jars of water, the tubes of paint in a row, the palette awaits. It's what I imagine it's like to get into a racing car, or to climb to the very end of the highest diving board. You wait. You steady yourself. Then you go into a Zen frame of mind. You let everything go, you hit the accelerator, you dive. You trust your body will know what to do. You are fully present and completely alert. It is not time to hesitate. The flow begins. I paint with my fingers, my hands, and I can't see what I'm doing in that everything is so wet and sliding that form hasn't begun to emerge. That comes later, as it dries, and there is a paradoxical sense of disappointment, discovery, and a newness, accepting what's emerged, and working with it more slowly, with a paint brush, to make things go in or come out, to echo colour or form, to balance or unbalance, the finishing touches. It's like letting a tornado spin through you. It's the most utterly fearful thing I do, putting my life on the line like this.
A recording of words are the least forgiving of all. A run-through, it has to be all of a piece. Due to the cadence of the voice, which keeps changing, each moment it changes, the air or the particular openness of the glottis or the emotion pushing up or disappearing make the voice different, and so you can't add a word or a phrase here or there and have the piece maintain it's consistency. Subtraction is possible, but again, tricky. The listener will hear it. The momentum is lost. And so with my recordings I find I grate at sections, like other bits, and have to go with whichever version somehow is 'listenable,' that I can bear to live with. It's hard to say what the criteria for this 'listenability' or 'bearability' might be because in a year I might feel very differently.
Unlike with words, where you can diddle endlessly, going over and over a piece, leaving it, coming back, rewriting, polishing, or with paint where it is possible to work patinas over the original whirlwind, you can't with a recording, not the particular track that captures the cadences of the voice, but you can record the same piece over and over.
Perhaps the process of writing is like creating a medicine bundle that you can contiue to compose, add to, pick away at, shift or change; whereas, the process of painting (for moi) is like throwing the contents of a prepared medicine bundle onto the canvas to do their transformative work; and the process of recording, with the ability to re-record, like endless medicine bundles of the same, until finding the one that holds the spirit?
As I speak of these processes, it seems that they move towards the performative.
With all three forms, the final criteria is 'Can I live with it?'
If so, it's bearable.
A recording, the text here. I did feel like I was riffing a bit, but then not really, the chords fairly well laid out in the end. This woman is NOT a Minimalist! Rah! It's been almost a year since I've recorded anything, but this piece insisted on it. The recording I've posted is the first run through, there were a couple more, but they lacked the quiet building that happens in this version, where the movement of words, a gliding multi-coloured school of words or like a display of flecks of coloured lights, the words stream, I hope, prisms in a spectrum, or at least this is how all the "new music" I was listening to that night felt, the momentum, perhaps finally overtakes the listener (who is me imagining you, ah so, forgive me for being so bold), hopefully taking the listener (can we merge? can we? can we?) to another level of, of ...consciousness of language, of the deep connection through our body of words, love...
A question I'm often asked, Who, who is the~
And it's no-one specific. It usually isn't. An imaginary muse. An almalgam of the men I've loved. It's hard to say. So I would say it is you, dear reader.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Perhaps an index is in order?
The Contents therein...
On the disc thing in thine neck...
On the Grind & Brew (a sad story), and the Saeco™ (a happier story)...
On the SuzyShier™, Malabar™, Block™ shopping expedition...
On the contents of my freezer (don't ask)...
On the slightly surreal trip down Duncan Street...
On the olde King streecar...
The back of my neck and shoulder still extremely sore, since Friday night, I think it's the stuff between the discs that's been stretched, or squashed, or bruised: let's say stressed. Sharp pain alleviated by pressing hard with my fingertips on the offending spots. Not too bad now that I'm up, but I may have to forgo my afternoon at the beach, sob! My dog pulls hard on the leash, and then there's stuff to carry since I buy nothing there. Toronto has many beaches, the water beautiful.
And my beloved coffee maker died last night - I rinsed it with the hand-held shower in the bathtub and then stupidly ran it through a cycle. It must have been wet and short-circuited. Usually I do it the other way around, run it through a rinse cycle after the de-scaler and then rinse it out 3 or 4 times in the bath, and by the next morning it's well dry and working perfectly. One of my neighbour's said he can fix anything electrical, and I wonder if I can ask him?
I'd just go and get another one (Cuisinart™ Grind & Brew with a metal thermos carafe), they have them for half price at an electrical outlet store just around the corner, but I'm short this week since I bought my daughter a lovely grey pencil-style dress and a white shirt, and a teal one at half price for myself, because I had a $5.00 off coupon that had to be used, and then I get 10% for being a member (SuzyShier™). Then I had it in my mind to purchase a long-sleeved black leotard that I could wear under jackets at work and to dance in cooler weather, so I checked out Malabar's™ (a costume and dance-supply store) website and found some in the $20. range, okay, so I rushed out at lunch, up to Queen St., caught the streetcar, got off at McCaul's, an area in which I owned a house for 20 years, many memories, all my dance gear from that store over the years, and went through racks of leotards, not finding any of the ones advertised on the NET. But there it was, black lace 3/4 sleeves, a black nylon bodice cut on an angle so that the lace covers the top of the shoulders but tapers to the underarm, gathered a little at the bust so it's not the usual round cut but more of a "v" and not too low at the back, meaning I could take my jacket off at work when I get too hot. Oh, not what I was looking for
The journey back to work from Malabar's was a little surreal. I had 20 minutes, and waited at least 5 and no sign of the Queen streetcar, so hurried down Duncan to King St. where the streetcars run more frequently. Firstly I stepped over the outstretched legs of a man sleeping upright on a concrete tree planter, his legs entirely taking up the sidewalk, his head against the spit of a tree, and then was stopped en-route by filming-in-progress. All pedestrians had to wait while a scene was being shot, a guy sitting on a director's chair on the other side, tons of huge lights all over the street, the great gray concrete blocks of the buildings are emblazoned on my mind, you could see the actor's make-up from where we were standing, mouthing the words of the script, which we were too far away to hear, and we couldn't slip by on the opposite side of the street due to the effect of shadow on the lights. I was impatiently waiting, and then a bright red fire engine roared up the street into the lights and sirened on and they stopped the shoot and let us through. Why I rush I don't know. At King the traffic was heavy, meaning faster to walk than take a streetcar, but I was tired, so waited, and arrived on time. I'm usually so frantic about time that I get back to work after only 50 or 55 minutes, and I'm not paid for the hour that is lunchtime, so I should have lots of time saved up, but it doesn't work that way, and who cares about such trivialities anyhow.
Why have I taken to posting such chatty things on Sundays? Splices of life, the ongoing daily stream. Often I come by and take them back down.
Forgive me, dear reader.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
A recording (2:49min):
voices, buzzing paths on the expanse we walk through, the dark, hoverings in the distance like our hidden thoughts, climbing the insides of our minds, echo chambers, repetitions, stress points, gasps, retreats, revolving around and around, circling,
spinach and feta cheese and pink salmon, sanpellegrino limonata, juices, absorbing, digesting, flowing to all cells, hollow drums, rain sticks beating on the inside, slipped discs, swollen tissue, torn hearts healing,
voices, fragments of conversations, hearing pathways, following lines of letters, words randomly interspersed, little collections of refuse, humming things, what's being said and what's being thought at variance, then laughter,
a music, endless conversations in all minds in all buildings, streets, films, televisions, computers, books, magazines and newspapers, sitting absorbing lying, string-theories of words accompany the activities of the world, thought flying through the words, fleshed words, graced words, like balls flying far beyond the baseball bats in the floodlit diamonds, and racing running billowing in the green grass blue sky up into outer space,
billions of constant conversations, without stopping, the telling, others, ourselves, reams, naked skin of words making love, a love of words, conceptualizations, significations, words that are concrete, actual, sensual, rolling, synaesthetic experiences, how our tongues love to form sweet angry hot explanatory seductive smart gossipy sophisticated kind compassionate judgmental searing truthful words just for speaking, writing, dreaming,
and when yours and my words meet, from my lips to your ears, from your lips to my ears, in the air trance entrance where ringing cymbals grow ever more sweet crystal singing sounds ethereal and divine where utterance who cares what we say ecstatic light levitating through space our tongues interlinking the whispering our longing our souls on fire our hearts speaking,
I was describing the speaking I was listening to, oh ok partially, it was an inspiration, on Canada Live - With Patti Schmidt and then The Signal - With Pat Carrabré.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
These words emerge like a refrain. Of what carries us in its stories. We shape ourselves through it. It's not like any natural processes, yet it is. More than a reference system. Living. An amorphous alphabet living through us. The grammar of our minds. Velocities and productions. Marks that remain, moving on. How can you use it to fathom what is? How can language describe itself?
Language that carries us.
At one time I wanted to collect theories and embody them. I never developed a mistrust of concepts. Yet the theories and approaches I once knew are like ocean foam, appearing and disappearing on the vast water. Traceries, all that's left. Without understanding how fully immersed we are. Can a watery mirror reveal itself to itself? Or only reflect?
Language that carries us.
It has no weight, language. It doesn't exist unless there are those who understand its signs and references and grammars, its codes and systems, the whole referential ocean of letters that language buoys. What floats to the surface is my sentence: sentences that play with grammar and meaning. They aren't even me; I am quite different, sitting in the library in the depths of the city writing in my mermaid colours.
Language that carries us.
Not that language escapes the telling of it, not at all. When we utter, we are the "I" of language. Can language reflect on itself from the position of subject? Can language even be a subject? I am the speaking, or the writing, or the reading, or the thinking, therefore I am? I am that which proposes memory. I am the bank. I am the money of words. I am the currency through which we. And now I go blank. The vault is full, and spins on the ocean current.
Language that carries us.
Ponder it, carry it like a mantra, a thought, to sift through, resonate in, drift with. What is language that it can carry us? I am a system of language, an encyclopedia of possibilities, an array of alphabets, a lexicon of meanings; and you are yet more. Were our minds created as vehicles for language? Words open doors of meaning; hatches in galleons of knowledge sailing on ancient seas.
Language that carries us.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
This photo, taken a few hours ago, shows the Harvest Moon rising over rural Bolu, Turkey, by photographer Tunç Tezel.
To sing love,
love must first shatter us.
It wasn't until later, one leg solid enough for the earth, held by gravity; the other, swinging wildly or gangrenous or amputated.
It might not be noticeable, the one-legged dance. Balance is difficult. The stunted leg in ekapadasana pose: straight out in front, swinging it behind, holding steady. This strengthens the ankle, point of pivot.
It doesn't matter which leg is atrophied; they switch, changing strengths and weaknesses daily or hourly.
Tree pose is favoured. One strong leg straight; the other bent, with the foot tucked against the groin. Stand like a flamenco; balance as long as you can.
Hopping about on one foot is not easy and very tiresome. Artificial limbs don't replace what's missing, not in this realm of riddle and metaphor.
Is it possible to re-grow bones and tendons and muscle? To bring the spastic flap of limb back to life? Or it is all denial?
The hardest is padangustasana. Tree pose, but kneeling, and on one set of toes.
It's possible; practice perfect balance on one leg. Don't move or you'll falter. It was never stable.
Despite the red flame flowers and yellow suns and pink cornucopias and dragon powers and torch blue sky and trillions of stars and mantle of earth thick with soft insects and fur and spark-lit cities and roads like snakeskins and upholding trees and brimming populations and untold connections, it's all grounded, like I said
millions of times.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
To write like that! I watch light glossing the water, overflow of foam as the whitecaps spill near the shore and lick the sand, placid on my beach towel, caressed by clear sun, cool breeze, a seamless oneness. And we're shifting one way, to the indoors, in the months ahead. Though the yachts, white sails leaning into or away from the wind, merging and parting, lyrical white paint brushing to a tip on the blue, seem possibly like the movement in a sentence of both directions at once. But then I am looking for images in the scene to act at metaphors for the concept, aren't I? Though when you find an image, and the evocation of the intended metaphor, the language finds a corollary, a grammar that allows it.
I find myself considering those who split their tongues, two-headed snakes and other Janus-faced phenomenon, Piscean fish who swim oppositely, paradox and ambiguity, how subjects and objects can interchange through the verb, Coltrane's chords and the way his music searches, running in veering directions, adding coils and back flips, trills and a highly charged sexy line, the serpentine one, even while it swings eccentrically, starting in the middle and playing in both directions at once, and I'm not sure it even matters, the day is gorgeous, and I've been teased by delightful men my age, one of whom asked if I'd like white wine or a martini, and he'd bring it by on a tray, and others who offered a canoe ride, or even to let me take it for a spin if I liked, my laughter rolling down the beach as I said, "Ha, those waves would push me back in even as I tried to paddle out!"
It was fun, though I moved to sunbathe by the distant rocks, and now I'm home listening to Blue Train, feeling the pink heat over my body from too many of the sun's kisses.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Quivering, gentle, strong, we are flames in the wind, precious, too easily extinguished.
Sensitivity, oh, complex, nuanced response to the world, and fragility, what I rest my being on. Moments of feeling vulnerable, and fragile, it's exquisite, open with gentle reverence for the self.
I am passionate about honesty, and believe the truth frees you.
Laughter, silliness, mutual respect, enjoying joy in each other.
Love cannot be an illusion.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
just a final moment.
Who could say in the jangling bells what could have been?
The business-suited stomping down stairwells in hoards.
How many of us are there? Clattering.
Only I stayed away, my late lunch tied to the fire drill;
I imagined it.
Nothing's severed yet, and perhaps never. The jangling
in the centre of the world like a prearranged
fire alarm, a practice session for when the planes fly
into the buildings or when the bombs ignite.
Oh not here, never here, where we are a peaceful country.
With the inability to schedule ourselves indefinitely, due to
the indecision of death looming; we will die, but who knows
when, living our private moments not listening to the
Outside I saw the change from the arboreal splendour of
earlier: leaves no longer gleamed, trees let them
go. Flaming, browning.
Our over-riding thoughts determine our way through.
Like steering winds in the trophosphere, that drive swirling
volcanic dust, creating an "eye" of stillness.
The phototrophism of fire.
The drill that ended us.