Showing posts from August, 2006

Could Be A Disruption by Solar Flares

I look out
under a heavy, concrete sky.

What do you make of that?
A day when the clouds are made of concrete.

So I heaved
with my chisel and hammered
chipping away at the
range of mountains
like breasts
in the sky.

Some days meditation
is like that.

Turbulence in green
under a
clear cobalt sky

when I finished

I sank into a
warm corbeau lap
of hills.

Anything can exist,
why not?

Think of
visionary space.

Why substitute
symbolic systems
for reality-

isn't it enough that
the world inhabits
the world?

Cut the Net With Your Fire

Browsing an old journal I came across something my daughter, when she was little, in the deep night and deeply asleep, said, emphatically, "Mommy, cut the net with your fire."

Cut the Net With Your Fire

I know about being entangled in nets, who doesn't
those impossibly knotted ropy traps
we tie our hearts and minds with

and the nets we get caught in
places we oughtn't be, and swoosh
captured tight and tighter
until it hurts
the loss
of freely moving, living, having our being

perhaps our years of living are learning
how to be free

of any expectations but our own
and trusting our own fierce love to see us through

I tip my crystal glass with its ruby red wine
salutations, darling, and may you always

cut the net with your fire

Sketch, Celestial Dancer III, 2003

(post originally written on June 27, 2004)

The 'new' profile pic...

The new profile pic. Okay, so you've seen it before: but not 'collected.' Ahem. This is the large version of 'how much can you fit into a postage-sized profile pic'?

Dancing of the Selves...

"As my father lay dying": remembering a time of uncertainty.

This was originally a comment at 100 Days, but the system was down. The topic in the comment thread (look at Day 34 & 35) was uncertainty. MB, Lorianne, and Stray have written eloquently on uncertainty. I thought this reminiscence, this understanding of uncertainty might be interesting, perhaps inspirational.

I've had two major periods of uncertainty in my life. The most recent is the near loss of everything I've accumulated, all my books, paintings, furniture, objects, the other one was when my father lay dying. He had emphysema and caught pneumonia in hospital and had stopped breathing and was manually resusitated and the interns and nurses ran, wheeling him through the corridors to Intensive Care. When we were allowed into ICU, he had multiple tubes in, multiple tubes out, was unable to talk with the tracheotomy. For six months the doctors refused to say that he had another day to live. 'Any moment', 'We can't say beyond today', this psychic and emoti…

Flame of Love

For Sparky's Illustrated Poem Marathon.

Flame of love,

I gave myself

to Love Divine.

click here for larger size

Art influences I would say are Bernini of course, Dali, postmodern digital art (especially in the clumbsy photoshop cut-out making it not commercial art), and something obscure, a Tarot deck called the Secret Dakini Oracle Deck, by Slinger & Douglas. I have long loved mystics, of any religion, creed or belief system. Sainte Thérèse d'Avila was a wild, beautiful and divine woman mystic.

The model? I don't have to pay her.

A day in the life of

Sleeping and waking whenever I felt like it was a bust. I'm regulating, night-time sleeping, daily meditation/nap (which is entirely different to sleeping: the former for physical rest; the latter for spiritual sanity).

Up this morning at 6am, coffee, emails, bath the dog, brush her, shower, dress, jeans, shirt, jean jacket, off to Kensington to meet Theo, an old friend and sculptor - we met in 1982, he was eating dinner at the Queen Mum's on Queen Street and was a good friend of my ex, who introduced us. It took a long time to get to know Theo, years in fact; it wasn't till after my marriage ended in 1997 that he and I became good friends. He's one of my most loyal friends, too. It is through Theo that I have understood that loyalty is one of the most important qualities to me. That's another topic though.

We chatted for a couple of hours, then he went off his way on his bike and I my way. Dropped into Gwartzman's discount art store to get a rip-off Moleskin loo…

Looking back aways...

Not a trip down memory lane, but sort of. I discovered my daughter had taken these photos out of the albums we recently excavated to show her friends, and I was touched. In the process of scanning...

In 1977, at 25 years of age. Ah, the world ahead! My first relationship of 5 years that had become a marriage was ending. A late bloomer, I didn't go to university till 21; I was working on my second B.A. and getting straight A's. When I look at these photos, I think I knew more then than now.

Did we all start from a position of surity that has gradually crumbled away? Leaving an essential glimmer in the unknowingness?

light like colourless smoke

Freshly edited for Sparky's Illustrated Poem Marathon.

larger version here

Marigold Moon


Muse Calling

One of those days, where I've meditated almost without choice, pulled easily in, and where I keep trying to enter the external day. I am tired. Is it because I've only eaten fruit, cheese, antipasto, and toasted multi-grain walnut bread for the past few days, and my body needs meat even if I don't get around to cooking it more than once or twice a week; or is it financial, I expected to be working more this month than I have; or is it emotional, with some strange responses from women to my output that leaves a discomfort that requires rest to heal; or, as I reach down deeper, is it creative? Is my muse pulling me into somnambulance, the place from where I write, even though today is not a 'writing day.' As I wander about, intermittently laugh or argue about writing with my daughter, I have an odd sense of writing emerging. Why can't my life go on when this happens? I have so many things to do...

An image of a great frozen polar cap shifting, the voluminous depth…

Ecdysis Recording (1:41min)

A recording of my poem, Ecdysis, which may be found at qarrtsiluni.

Take a listen; comment over there.

Does it work? This little poem was difficult to record, not sure why. The short length? How many times did I try, each time finding a different intonation, which led to a different set of referential meanings in the cadence of voice.

In the cacophony of recordings on my screen, I just chose one. For better or worse.

This one: DSL/Cable, or Dial-up.

African Angel


Miss Muffet

It clung to the inside of the jar not understanding liberation. It was content above my bed, awaiting flies. I banged the Mason jar again on the door frame under the moth-flicked light, not out of kindness, I just didn't want squished spider in a tissue. Holding an empty jar, I called my dog back in, and shut the door.

I could say, not after Woody Allen's Scoop, after all that laughter and the 71 year old icon that he is despite the magic tricks, or the Life Salad at Fresh with organic carrots, beets, sprouts, spinach, lettuce, basil and a tahini dressing, or the mango, coconut milk and banana shake, or the fine Summer evening spent with a friend. I could say that the last time I tried to squish a spider it dropped fast onto my daughter's bed and disappeared. I could say it's because, well, that's just the chance a spider takes, and it lucked out tonight. But then it might have suffered a concussion being rudely knocked out of the Mason jar on the way down to the gr…

A Day for Bastille

A recording of "A Day for Bastille"... high speed; dial-up.

A Day for Bastille

Hard couple of sweaty hours. Time, incorrigible, leaden. Like a rusted French crown.

Beer holes, bag moulds
stuck on tacks.

Empty boxes
of styrofoam

Leaned over the small cupboard, over a hot plate. Pushed back the tacked table cloth. Pulled hundreds of bags left by the previous tenant out that my dog would never use; let's face it, the cornstarch will evaporate the plastic first. Collapsed boxes saved for a move that hasn't happened. Hauled out a picnic blanket, a folded umbrella lawn chair, a large backpack on wheels with one wheel broken.

A collection of cardboard tubes line the back like fallen soldiers.

Then shoving
the full cardboard wardrobe
with its dried blood smell

Thinking about ontologies,
multiple trajectories,
about events that disrupt,
about Alain Braidou's
Being & Event.

About how French postmodernism bursts critical space as I seque from area to area of impossibl…

The Editor

She was a good editor. She delved so deeply into manuscripts that she could write revisions seamlessly: linguistically, no-one would be able to tell the author's original words and her extra phrase, or sometimes whole sentences or paragraphs. It was a talent for mimicry perhaps. When she was finished editing a book, it was an indissoluble whole, with her words etched in like tape, like patches, like embroidery over the holes in the arguments, the lack of logical connectives sewn over, conclusions woven clearly from the evidence of the material, the indisputable truth of the argument, she sewed and sewed, using invisible thread, using thread that exactly matched the original, so that nothing appeared amiss, it didn't sound like two voices had written the book, the author and the editor, but only one, improved on, and the other, hidden, and whose invisible mending is ultimately forgotten.

Writing in someone else's voice depleted her. She worked on non fiction books, and many …

Cream Silk Pajamas

Unable to find my navy blue cotton pajamas in the chaos of boxes and piles of clothes, the loose ones, with the top of stars, I washed the silk ones I've had for seven years and never worn. Cream-coloured silk. Found wrinkled in the bottom of a large cardboard wardrobe box. The "Marilyn Monroe" set on sale at Simpsons in the Eaton Centre after working in a nearby office. The top is more like a shirt, and had a large red heart for its single button, which I removed and replaced with a pearl-coloured one. And then never wore. Silk seems too fragile and precious for constant wear. But this is thick, durable, and sleek and soft against my skin. I sit in the lake-blue Director's Chair with plant-green designs that I unholstered once, in front of the computer, typing, sipping coffee, wondering, should I go out and buy dancing clothes at Dancing Days?

Another sarong in golds and browns and oranges and a sheer top with small tangerine moons and shimmering lines like longtitud…

Then Post

Cut it, and cut it, until the meaning's almost lost.

Dreams remain,

Pain runs up my left shoulder blade
through my neck into the left throbbing side of my head
and curves over my forehead like an iron claw
until I am nearly blinded.

Take away what you don't want.

Textual note: I spliced a headache (which is now gone, thanks to Ibuprofen) with remarks on editing. Some of this was taken from a BBC interview with Italian director and screenwriter Emanuele Crialese on his "ethereal masterpiece," Respiro: “When we were editing the film we started from knowing what we didn’t want,” says Crialese. “Then we took away things until we were afraid that we’d almost lose the character. It’s like a piece of rock. You cut it and cut it and cut it...”

I saw the film last night, and loved it. A school of fish forms a central imagery, though none of the online reviews I read mentioned it...

She was stunning in the part of Grazia, too.

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The Wind

The wind
is a dancer;
her flowing silk shawls
rustling the trees.


The wind
is a dancer;
her silk veils and petticoats
rustling the trees.


The wind
is a dancer;
lyrically streaming
sweeping with dervish whirls
and fine silk sarongs
rustling the trees.


The wind
is a dancer;
bangles and bells
drumming racing gale force
from nowhere, to nowhere
singing in the trees.


The wind
is a dancer;
softer than kisses, a
Genie sprinkling rainbows
over the sky after the storms,
whispering in the trees.

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Salvia Sclarea, a most interesting perfume

It's a small raised red mound on my forearm. Because I've scratched it with my nails, nails that no longer break now that I drink fluoridated tap water, it hasn't healed. It's a tiny hot spot, like someone's running a faint electrical charge through it. I hold a bottle of essential oil over it and watch a drop of thick amber liquid seep over the redness. Clary Sage Oil, I swear it takes the itch of insect bites away and they heal. How often have I been good about not scratching only to give in in the morning in bed and vigorously rub one ankle with the other toe? And find I've drawn blood?

I read the bottle. Salvia sclarea eases mental fatigue, isn't that also good?

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An Outing

Eventually we leave. It takes a long time to dress ourselves. I iron a nectarine red rayon skirt with bouquets of yellow and orange flowers with green stems, then change to an Indian silk wrap around skirt. I worry that the heat of the steaming iron will melt the delicate fabric. The patchwork squares are an array of colours and designs; each one singular, from floral to geometric, vivid colours of flowers to earth tones. A cantaloupe orange camisole surprisingly matches. She spends an hour changing behind her closed door. When we leave, she is wearing black pedal pushers and a crunched cotton empire sun-top the colour of the tangerine moon. Afterwards, she said men looked at her on the streets.

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Heliotropic Coda

Unfinished Fragments

In the zeal to post a "sentence" a day sometimes I put things up before they're ready.... still working on this. I think what I mean to say is there's always stuff going on under the surface, so reading beneath the lines...
encrypted first draft of a poem

Evoked from the last scene in Kurosawa's, Rhapsody in August

Go backward along the path
to go forward.

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The Wind

The wind
is a dancer;
her flowing silk shawls
rustling the trees.

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Lottery lore; Anniversary of the atomic bomb; Shamanic vs group-based religious rites; Unstructured time; Samsara...

As far as I understand, profits from Ontario lotteries goes to fund programs in sports, recreation, culture, the arts, education, health care, the environment, charities, as well as gambling addiction programs. If I discover this not to be the case I would, of course, stop buying tickets when I occasionally do. When I've succumbed and bought a ticket, I've never felt that it was money wasted: half of it goes to winners, a tiny bit to administration, and almost half to the wide variety of programs I've mentioned, many of which would cease to exist without this funding.

Nah, I wasn't 'bargaining,' just usually I never buy a ticket when the prize is that big because I wouldn't want the responsibility of all that money, nor the publicity. Still, buying a $2. ticket, even with no odds at all, one needs to be prepared, just in case... Zimbabwe is my mother country, and the country is in tragic condition, that's why a foundation to Feed the Children of Zimbabwe…

All because of last night's lottery...

Woke too early and sat, my futon couch propped at one end, chaise lounge style, bolstered with pillows, staring out the window. For hours. At noon I meditated, clearing my mind, and lay flat and came to around 2pm, forced myself up and into a shower. I just accidentally broke a 4-cup Pyrex measurer, hundreds of pieces of thick glass on the tile floor, it seems to be almost a safety glass, which was when I realized I was having a bad day.

It's all because of last night's lottery. It was a 22 million jackpot. I was out shopping on one of my 3 hour walks, my grocery cart heavy, when I gave in and stopped at a small convenience store and bought a ticket. I scratched the numbers without reading glasses so I couldn't see what I was doing. On the radio in the store was a play about a woman being informed by the police that her husband died of a heart attack, and I heard the actress gasp, and start talking about how he always took his pills.

From the moment of the purchase of the ti…

Flush of Air

Flush of air reflushing itself. The concrete that girders strains under its own pressure and sings in a flatulent tone. A ceaseless rush like a hum. It is everywhere in the building, the offices, the hallways, the bathrooms, even the elevators with their pneumatic brakes. One day these towers will fill other planets, the moon, Mars, over on Alpha Centauri, and they won't smell or sound any different. When the world got translated into numbers it became money. It's the future of mankind, man.

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The Nectarine

Are the day's edges golden
curving in to red
at the centre?

On this pressingly hot day I amble
down the long city block trailing my cart for
oranges, bananas, strawberries, apples,
green beans, cauliflower, broccoli, onions, mushrooms, carrots;
without a penknife, I pass the mangos, squeezing
the nectarines, red
almost brownish, brushed with bruised
colour like a Cezanne painted
from the inside out, the pulp held
intact with a peel
of sunset hues, outlined with dark scent.
Oh, promises, but I expect a flavourless,
crunchy thing like an apple, like all the other
nectarines the past few years.

Starting back, dragging the cart, I stop under
the shade of a maple, slip my hand
into the cart and pull out
the nectarine,
never mind if it isn't washed,
rubbing it on my blue-hued sarong,
I bite.

Drippingly honeyed. Juicy and rich,
the colour of a ripened sun sinking on the horizon,
massaging my tongue with ecstasies, covering
my nose, cheeks, chin with a delicate
layer of nectarine syrup
that I wipe on my h…

Her eyes are smoky, dark...

Her eyes are smoky, dark. It is as if clouds swirl over the moon. I see flashes of an unusually high intelligence, even across the train where I stand holding a pole swaying to the motions of gliding and stopping. She reaches down and slips a sheaf of papers into a large lawyer's briefcase that has wheels. Her ring finger is studded with diamonds that shimmer in the underground light. When she stands in her ruffled short black skirt and pressed white suit jacket, of a nylon and satin blend, she looks diminutive, her blonde hair tied back, perhaps sprayed into place, preparations of a night's intense research filling her mind. The sense of an obscuring moontide about her that originally drew my attention disappears. I see her pull herself straight; breathing confidence into her gait, she steps off the train on her way to a fierce day at court.

(Note: these little pieces started with qarrtsiluni's current short shorts, and then I read somewhere of an author who writes books s…

Sultry Dark Air

These little lyrical pieces in the first person continue (one sentence a day, I can do it, I can do it, and it expands too)... with apologies to those of you who find the heat unbearable :) I have enough of these small prose poems for a suite now and I'll try to do a reading over the weekend and post it for you.

Heat presses like a great Turkish steam bath. I lie on my back contemplating hotness; on sand yellow cotton sheets, the soft aquamarine silky nightdress a wave that partially covers me. Soaking in warmth without resistance, so unlike the rigid response to the cold Winter air when I am retracted, conserving heat. This is the season that I await, these are the nights that I await; the air thick with the steam of a sweat lodge, I sprawl open, the incalescence that pervades the air an insistent masseuse. Breathing the torridity, the loves of my life flicker like heat lightning in a slideshow of memories that reach into the past, and in the deep and fragile night, smiling, my g…