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untitled love poem (see comments, suggestions welcome)

I

You rise out of flat stone
the shield
of your heart.
The moon crosses the sun.
Do we
become light
when we dream?

The folds of your corduroy
like ridges and hollows
furrows where the Spring runoff
sculpts a geology
in a landscape of tundra.

"passageways and connections that
happen deep within us when in relation
to another..." Nancy Otto

In our Klondike, cross and beams
hold the tunnels we dig through
to find the gold in each other,
rich veins tracing through the rock
like sunlight.

II

Spring is a tendril
of green;
the leaves a papery mass of veins unfolding.

Cliffs of grass by the old mine ripple
in the wind.

We are like those two trees
ancient, weathered, yet
our roots thoroughly
intertwined.

What is
underground
is what holds us.

The deeper passageways
and connections.

III

I wear the crescent moon in my hair,
the cold northern air;
you are the sun buried in the land,
illumined from within.

The sharp edges
in each moment
bind us.

My Adoni, my Aholi,

even in this harsh typography
you are a landscape of love,
a cartograp…

Update on my life...

A few days ago, I spoke to the company that moved us from Vancouver to Toronto last year. Very good news. What I can afford the moving company will accept. Negotiations couldn't have gone better. Now my kids don't have to carry guilt over returning to TO (they did not want to stay in Vancouver, even for another year and even though I had a job), which is the only important thing, and the only real reason I'm picking up my burden of possessions and continuing on.

I just have to figure out housing, meaning more space, a lot more space than my daughter and I have at present, to move it all into in the next couple of months. Even if housing doesn't happen as soon as that, I'm still okay with the storage company and the monthly rental we agreed on (the original amount, not the $200./month they tacked on once my stuff got to their storage warehouse in Mississauga, a suburb of Toronto).

Do I feel a sense of relief? Not really. More like I'm putting my heavy turtle shell…

Alpha Beta of Scripts

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We writers love our scripts. The shape of the letters that form our words are delightful in themselves. Don't you love the sensuality of writing little figures on paper and having them grouped together into meaning that someone else can read, meander, slide, buckle, careen off on? The sounds that those little scratchings correspond to is amazing too.

Our natural landscapes lie behind our alphabetic typographies. The fonts of our language reflect the pure forms of nature:

...scientists have pooled the common features of 100 different writing systems, including true alphabets such as Cyrillic, Korean Hangul and our own; so-called abjads that include Arabic and others that only use characters for consonants; Sanskrit, Tamil and other "abugidas", which use characters for consonants and accents for vowels; and Japanese and other syllabaries, which use symbols that approximate syllables, which make up words. Remarkably, the study has concluded that the letters we use can be view…

Dancing Clock

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This inexpensive but clear clock gets a hammock of intricate interlacing metal filligree to tick in. The belly dancing belt that I bought at Dancing Days in Kensington Market has a place to hang.




And the next time I dance to the earthy sounds of African drumming, I can become a tambourine and jingle can't I.


A Story of Butterfat Cream

Pulling the tab on a small coffee cream, the last of the four I grabbed as a handful from the box in the fridge, my stainless steel half litre coffee mug sitting in the slot where it is receiving an individually brewed Columbian coffee, it breaks. I look at it in my hand, a butter yellow container of 10% cream, and think of getting a knife to pierce it. Instead I use my fingernail, pushing in one edge. The cream explodes, milk-white drops splatter the arm of my black jacket, slurps of thick cream slide across the faux green marble counter, and over the dark tile floor.

I think of the udder of the cow, of pastures, of bees, of lazy country days, even though I know the cows are milked by machines in highly proficient dairy farms.

Of Krishna, the butter thief who would steal and eat this cream by the thimble-full, even though I know the gods of India don't belong among the fierce warrior gods of capitalism.

Of the greening world flowing over its boundaries and seeping into the corporate…

Recycled, a hypertext

A whimsical but quite brilliant hypertext I found on my search for hypertexts:

RECYCLED by Giselle Beiguelman, 2001.

Postmodernim at its recycled, self-conscious re-construction of rubble (when the text is fully deconstructed surely we finally find the alphabet). A Borgesian script of cyberstream poetry. Everything is second hand, open source. I could play all day in this playground.

I found it through the Electronic Literature Organization:

In “Recycled,” Giselle Beiguelman has taken an “artifact” of electronic technology, the object-follow-cursor feature, and transposed it into a moving metaphor. Across a field of bright yellow, the letters RECYCLED enter the screen, track the cursor, disappear if gathered, and finally clump together and vanish, only to begin migrating, again, from the margins. The letters, then, are constantly being “recycled” — and the reader is the agent in effecting the transformation. Beiguelman’s piece is an example of the way in which minimal text can join with t…

Hypertextualities of Web Browsing

(just diddling where I'm temping this week)


an exceeded body

nodes
subnodes
internal links
a map of possibilities
on an ocean of connections
can I write in this
dislocated place

remember
a sky swept
blue by clouds

non-sequential hypertext
departures & links
pixelated pages
of information
on randomly
connected
topics

a web of links

an abundance without
any centre to hold it

but my inclination to anchor

Eostre, Or Cross of Sheer Light

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I found myself ebbing
away, and so I fasted.
When my commitment to
life renewed itself, I broke
my fast.

If you've ever been dead and come back to life,
been hopeless and found a way to continue,
thrown yourself into nothingness to find meaning.

An elusive tune,
slender wash of light,
bare opening in the wall,
a sliver, crescent through which.

Or what's a moment but a casting through.
If you've been too tired to get up and then you get up.
Filled with silent despair and then the will to.

Nothing's even, that's the problem. Many impermanent states.
All taking turns or colliding. Interpenetrating or scattering.
Flowing or stuck. Constraining or freeing.

I like to have clean thoughts because then I can live in my mind.
Sometimes the dust, anger, grime.
Throw what's scathing out.

I feel your bright and beautiful presence
even if you feel like you've disappeared into nothing.

The edges of the sky hang like an aurora borealis of silk.

The trompe l'oeil of the moment. Discreet packet…

Where, or The State Of

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Undo History:
openrotatecropauto color correctionlighting effects (style: flashlight; light type: omni; intensity: 46; properties: matte, plastic, exposure -27, ambience -23; texture channel: none) replace color color cast

The clipped post

On the post that was up, I didn't think it a good idea. Nothing yet. I'm working tomorrow and all next week, so I'm not sure when. I'll let you know the outcome, however it goes.

Go read Justin Whitaker's blog on the self and other, love and aversion, being and freedom and possession: 'Sartre on love, with Kant, and Buddhist rejoiners.' Now if I had my library, I could (re)read the section, "Concrete Relations with Others," in Being and Nothingness... ah. Somehow it will work out, I know it.

On Why I've Chosen the Hermetic Path...

When I'm trying to fathom a relationship, especially the romantic kind, where I have a sustainability problem, I use multiple approaches. Besides what's said and done, and the feel of bodies, I carry on a dialogue with angelic beings and plummet my dream imagery, which are often at obverse variance. It never lasts anyway, so it becomes a continuing inner story of love that gets told through multiple fallings-in-love, most of which are never fully realized. Perhaps it's because I'm fickle by nature, or deeply afraid of vulnerability, or that no-one's quite figured out how to deal with the multiple levels of my personality that are attached to the multiple viewpoints. Paradox and ambiguity don't bother me at all. But what can you definitively say when you are saying entirely opposite things? And how confusing is that to the other person? I'd like to flow in one direction, to know what that's like, instead of a general current with trajectories flying off…

Mint Tea Leaves

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On a gorgeous Spring day, why would I post a photograph that's on this side of 'abject'? Something slightly unsavoury, that you draw back from? Perhaps I am in minor rebellion, posting an image of wilted flowers amidst the massive blossoming of flowers in the blogosphere, and now of used mint leaves, drenched, bleached-of-flavour and colour. They hardly look appetizing. I could have asked you to guess what it was. But didn't. Instead I'm going to share some of my process in creating an image.

Barely a meat eater, I do need some meat now and then and bought some lamb chops from a local butcher. He brought out an entire diaphram of ribs, which caught me in surprise, standing behind the counter watching, feeling the size of the lamb whose life had been cast for this. I silently thanked the lamb. After he wrapped six thin chops in brown paper and I purchased them I ambled to a small grocery store. My daughter's been on a vegetable and fruit diet, and I, too, have be…

Trajectories in Photoshop

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With Photoshop, I can play with an image, adjusting the colour, lighting, adding and taking out bits, layering, and doing and undoing sequences at an alarming rate until I get something I can live with. The route is impossible to reproduce because it is full of possiblilites and wrong turns, undone histories, duplicated and deleted layers, filters pushed to 100% opacity or retracted to 25% transparency, and there's no master memory of the process. A single photopoem takes an average of 4-5 hours to produce, once the rough draft for the writing is composed. Those hours are spent trying this, and trying that, just to see. It's all exploration, there isn't a 'effect' I'm after; preferring, instead, to trust my aesthetic intuition. Sometimes I make notes of where I ended up in case I want to change something (as in the one on the left for A Dozen Cherry Trees), but that's rare.

The crucial point in the process is where I reduce the size and resolution to post. I…

Drawing Down the Muse

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The thing is, I sold Disappearing Into Each Other, and promised a print of this too. Only I took and played with lighting on the image last Summer when I was without a computer and didn't save the original, and large, version. Meaning I can't get a clear 7" x 5" print out of it. So I spent 3 hours today trying to duplicate the lighting, approaching it, but...

Not quite. Should I try again tomorrow, or is this good enough?


Older Version, popular, downloaded nearly 900 times at another site, but not enough resolution for a print










Newer Version, in a high enough resolution for a print

Discussion on the muse for a woman artist

In response to the two comments from the last post on the muse:

Thank you, Laurieglynn, and MB. You've both enabled me to see that my concept of the muse is in need of drastic revision. For me, yes very definitely, my muse is connected deeply to the man I'm in love with. He's my connection to the world, I guess. I write for him, whoever he is, because if I didn't, I wouldn't write. Am I then chauvinistic? A female 'Picasso' sort? My relationships colour my writing, most certainly. But then, I am a lyrical poet, and I work best with the I/Thou structure. Perhaps I ought to work on freeing myself from this muse-addiction, and find deeper roots, as you so eloquently indicate MB, and a place alone from where I can write, as you say with such deep wisdom Laurieglynn.

Who we write for, besides ourselves, is a crucial topic for me and any insights you can offer are welcomed.

When there is no relationship I can dry up. Someone I talked to about this years ago said th…

My Muse Man...

A muse is important in a woman's creative life. He inspires her to do her best work, to produce her finest pieces. He is the embodiment of the man who she can love fully, openly and with complete trust. A woman is passionately open with her muse man. She'd write epics for him; fill books of lyrical poetry with him. She loves his sensitivity and his strength. She loves how he attracts her, makes her frenzed with desire. She is enamoured with how soft and gentle she becomes with him. He gives her total freedom to create, to think, to be. She only wants to adore him, fully, completely, without reservation. She'd like to be his muse too...

Red Chinese Silk

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An experiment in informal writing...

Where are you gonna run to? Type and run. The word as bullet?

Screeching off into the distance... license plate just out of reach... oh, those words.

It's been a long time since I've thought of a particular metaphor for what words are.

Words are always reaching into what is disappearing.
Or perhaps are expelled at the last moment from the ultimate mystery.
I'm writing a poem, how about you? It's fair if we use our own words in other words but not each other's words...

They flirt, promise, offer, take you almost all the way there, and then slip off into silence, perfume left by the moment that just passed.

Words tumble, collide, roll, quiver, they never STOP.

They slide under the tongue, sweet as .............. oh, okay. You talk.

Later, we can retrieve them from this rough draft and polish them into bracelets that we can wear while we dance.

The Peahen Peacock Mannequin Lady

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Reading of this poem (2:05min): Hi-fi (high speed internet); Lo-fi (dial-up).



click on the image to enlarge

The meme of 39 things

Joining Tamar and Jean: this was fun!

1) Who is the last person you high-fived?
My dog; she shakes my paw whenever I ask and she’s good about high-fives too.

2) If you were drafted into a war, would you survive?
I’d never allow myself to be drafted into a war. If I joined the medical corps, I'd suffer hugely from PTSD, but that's the only area I'd go if absolutely forced. I don't think I'd do jail.

3) Do you sleep with the TV on?
I’ve never had a TV in my room. I need quietness and darkness to sleep, use earplugs actually.

4) Have you ever drunk milk straight out of the carton?
I may have once tried from a small carton; the milk on the edge of the waxed cardboard wasn’t very appetizing.

5) Have you ever won a spelling bee?
Never been in one; I’m not a great speller.

6) Have you ever been stung by a bee?
No.

7) How fast can you type?
Probably around 60 wpm – not fast (self-taught typist, lots of mistakes).

8) Are you afraid of the dark?
Never been afraid of the dark, that I can rec…

Five words to describe ourselves

My friend Prudy had a most interesting dialogue at her site. She had her readers pick five words to describe themselves. And in the next post she responded to everyone's description, see here. Relationships in the blogging world can be as rich and complex as day-to-day connections!

My five words were hard. I wanted to describe my life at present, my state of mind. But qualities are more fixed, stones in the sweeping current, places where you can safely put your feet as you cross. The five words feel vague and, oh, here they are: responsible, careful, creative, compassionate, sensual.

Prudy's response: "I know this woman pretty well, as I've read her closely for about as long as I've been on here and I've talked with her several times. I was surprised by her description and she's the first one to do so. There isn't anything this woman can't write. I prefer her in first person but she is stubborn. And I know I'm supposed to pick five words and …

Prayer Ribbons

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MP3 recording of this poem: Hi-fi; Lo-fi.

Where your prayers are, hidden on the inside, invisible. Between you and your God, or the life force itself. Prayer is because of what continues. Prayer is not disruptive thought, fragmented living, but the song of it all. In the quietness of the intimacy of the holy.

devotionals
offerings
requests
a peace tree
where the wind moves
pieces of woven material
lanterns of love

And then I lifted myself, and it was bright.

And I saw them flutter
collected against a plum wall
a rainbow of ribbons, banners
prayer flags, lungta.

Weavings of spirit and meaning, desire and effort, care and consideration, and tears. Knot us, our dreams and hopes and those we love, together; please don't separate us...

Here is my prayer ribbon, gentle reminder to the great spiritual forces that I am here, needing too.

On trees all over the world, prayers for peace. I tie white prayer flags onto the trees out back. For all the wars, conflagrations, battles, arguments, violences.

I pray…

A Neckline of Beads

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click on image for a larger, readable size

Carework and Caregiving: Theory and Practice

Two abstracts were accepted for the upcoming Carework and Caregiving: Theory and Practice Conference at York.

This one's at 9am on May 6th, a Saturday morning:

Caregiving and Evolutionary Ethics: The guardians who undergird culture.

"For a moment, during their conversation, feeling the desperations they spoke of, the difficulties, she felt connected to millions of women over the globe who struggle with poverty, grief, racism, violence, but who keep going. Women who are the emotional centres for their families, who are anchors, who place food on the table miraculously out of almost nothing, who somehow dress their children, their spouses, themselves, who clean and maintain their homes, who work for menial wages, where they are essentially labourers, who never allow themselves to succumb to madness, or drugs, or a furious destruction of the world around them, who keep loving their families in profound ways. They grieve, yes, there is sadness, but they have hearts of compassion. It…

Engagement

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Last night I made some really hot curry and just had some for lunch, and whew, blow...

Today I'm considering engagement. It's important. Sometimes you do things without really doing them. Meditation this last week has been difficult because I've done the meditation without really doing it. If you know what I mean. It's about engagement. In meditation and in my work. By focusing some good intent on my book, and even having it beside me while I sleep, seems to have re-charged my relationship to it. I finally have an ending, and not the one I expected, but it is congruent with the text. As I re-read, editing, how painful the narrative is. Yet with so many unfinished manuscripts and thesis's (two and two), bringing something to completion is of particular importance. That's a meditation in itself: the hexagram of completion.

Engagement isn't completion, they're two different processes with two different purposes. Engagement is being in the present, fully part…

Why Do You Write?

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MP3 recording: hi-fi, or lo-fi.

How can I take the reader's perspective into account when I write? I write from excess, from overflow, from abundance, a plethora, a cyclone of words. Aren't we all on journeys, discovering our way as we go? Mine isn't a journey of logic, nor do I know the path or the map that'll finally result from it all. I don't have a specific set of interests to write about. Though I do favour prose poetry and exploring emotional landscapes. My lifewriting is often hidden in metaphors, obscured with fictions, offered as a tie-dyed garment of brightly coloured silk, fragile and soft as the morning sun, or as dense dark broadcloth heavy with grime and flung before you. For I don't know who you are. I can only guess. With your writing at your sites, in comments, I create a sense of you that is surely only a part of who you are. We dance together, oh, yes, we do this, in our writing, our interconnections, and it's fun, most enjoyable, but I w…

Abandoned Bouquet

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Push-pull confuses me. Especially the push-away. We hurt each other with rejection. The force with which we can expel each other. Turning the other into an object of non-importance, an unwanted essence. The ability to savour, to honour, to love: the self, others, the world, damaged. But love doesn't happen in isolation. Maybe some have their lists of good and bad. But it's not that easy. It's not that this person, or people, state of mind, area of interest is safe, acceptable and all else needs to be distanced. Isn't that possession? And possessions can be lost. If they're people, they can leave; if they're belief systems or areas, we can become profoundly disenchanted. Then where are we? In angry rebuttal to the world that we clearly divided between acceptable and not. Between people who counted and those who didn't. Between an arbitrary definition of the good and the not-good. So what do we do? Do we cling more tightly to our safe constructed categories …

Rose Mandala, or the Whorls of Angels

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An MP3 recording of this piece:
Rose Mandala, or the Whorls of Angels: Lo
Rose Mandala, or the Whorls of Angels: Hi

I am with you like an angel. Can you feel kisses, a caress of breeze perhaps, or a sudden warmth that lightens your spirit? I hold you enfolded in my wings when you weep, inconsolable, disappointed. Can you sense a blessing of radiance about you? My wings, woven of sun and moonlight on veins like leaves. Surely you see their shimmer breaking through what separates us. You are my prayer, my vigil.

But I am an earthy woman who laughs, storms, cries, rants, pesters, and loves.

And I am unable to settle, come into being in one place, crystallize. Can I play in the garden palaces of the heart? And retire in solitude when the day is done, to rest?

Even as I sweep across the sky of your consciousness, a roseate sunset, mandala whorl of sun, the choral clouds, like a hymn, a sacred song, something ebullient and therefore holy, I am racing away into the night and disappearing.

I offer y…

Fundamentalism

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One set of beliefs though which you define yourself. Is this fundamentalism? That set of beliefs is also a formulae. A code in a sacred text; the ordinances of the ordinated; a belief in the reward of rightness. Happiness to be on the one path to salvation, whatever it may be. In every movement, surge of social beliefs, group with a purpose, religion, are fundamentalists. Those who place whatever doesn't agree with their creed into a category of evil to be opposed with all force, vehemently. Fundamentalism is the opposite of acceptance. Fundamentalism takes the complexity out of living. It replaces a sensitive tuner, an ethic of compassion, a cognizance of difference, shades of infinite grey, with certainty. Instead of the vast and perplexing mystery of living, one set of beliefs through which a person defines themselves and others. One path to walk. One goal to achieve. One perspective on those who follow the "illumined path" and those who don't. Fundamentalism is a…

Epigenetics

We always knew it was a mix of what you were born with and the life you lived: genetics and environment. In a world of perpetual change, of nature's endless recycling of everything, how could there be any absolutes? It turns out that even our DNA is not absolute. Our genes have switches that respond to our living in the world and in turn affect our lives, their unfolding. If we didn't have philosophical underpinnings, a knowing that we're born with certain predispositions but that our environment shapes much of what emerges, would our epigenetic scientists have known what to look for? This is exciting research; I was riveted: even when an environment has not been conducive, a smoker's lungs, toxic metals in the water system, and there is disease, it might still be possible to heal the person by fixing the genetic response to the maladaptation. To go in and 'fix the operating system.' Turning back on the gene switch that stops tumor growth, thereby preventing me…

How did we meet...?

A meme, at Body Electric, which I couldn't resist:

If you read this, if your eyes are passing over this right now, (even if we don't speak often or don't really know each other) please post a comment and tell the story of a COMPLETELY MADE UP AND FICTIONAL memory connecting you and me . It can be anything you want - good or bad ("good" is better for me, however) - BUT IT HAS TO BE FICTION. When you're finished, post this little paragraph on your blog and be surprised (or mortified) about what people DON'T ACTUALLY remember about you!

I'd love to meet you all! Imagine stories for us...