Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Help! Below is a poem I've been working on since I got back from ACA. If anyone would read it before I ruin it, I'd love you for it. Also I will reciprocate. Joanna read my sestina and was nice enough to suggest I post it, so I will. Both of these are for the book loosely based on the ancestry research I've been doing for what seems forever now. My paternal grandfather's family were French Canadians.

I Hear Marie Agathe Speak from Her Hospital Bed at the Hotel Dieu, Québec; Her Husband’s Confession to Père Jean-Baptiste Interrupts

“Louis came to us from God ten months after I married Robillard. Our bright boy was seven when the purple fever picked him out. He went back to God in 1777.

Marie Marguerite lived two years. Maurice lived three. My life has taught me to dread the hot months when disease creeps from house to house while we sleep. None of us know what to do about this.

Genevieve came next and she is mother to three strong children.  Tonight she lies in the bed next to me, red with the same pox. The priest has given us Last Rites and left our ward. My daughter sobs.

We named the next baby Marie Genevieve, to borrow from her sister’s healthy nature and to honor the Holy Mother, but she was born without breath.

Marguerite Lambert, same thing, no breath.”

I am a sinful man who prays that my wife be spared from her duty to give birth. I would not touch her again but she begs for another child and I cannot resist her.  We choose the names of saints as soon as she feels quick with life, hoping these holy ones will look out for the little one in her belly. Genevieve, ma rose, is two. Joseph, our newborn, cries with lusty vigor, five children lie in the cimetière. On our wedding day my young bride danced to the fiddler longer than anyone else, sang the old songs from France for our guests, came to our bed with trust. Seven times in seven years she has been with child! I pray we not be blessed in this way again. You have not seen your wife faint at a gravesite, have not lost your firstborn son, (who had your name, your black hair, your wife’s eyes, blue as the September sky) turn hot and purple, then cold, rigid, lost to us. What do you know about family, Priest? You, who preaches that God wills every French family have so many Catholic babies. More than I hate the Protestant King, I hate the screams of Marie Agathe every time she struggles to give birth. Eh bien. Give me my pennance. I will try to pray with a humble heart that rage leaves me before this howling anger in my soul frightens my sweet wife again.

“Joseph lives on as do Charles, Francois, and Marie Felice. Three fine sons to help on the farm! Our daughter is an Urseline, lives in the convent, nurses the sick here, at the Hotel Dieu. I have seen her!

Louis, yes, another Louis, became a soldier and so died at twenty.

Marie Joseph pushed too early! ‘Not yet, not yet!’ I could not hold her back and her heart stopped after one day.

Marie Archange gave us two granchildren, then died in childbirth. Aussi le petite.

God gave me Marie Judith when I was tired and old. She was our laughing baby for one year and one month before the deadly rash stole her from us in 1790. I was not blessed with child again.

When I see God I will ask him where in Heaven to find these nine children. I’ll try to die still holding poor Genevieve’s hand. Sister Angelique does not know if this will help us stay together when we go (Le Ciel doit être si grand!) but I think it is possible that it will.”

1664: Fourteen-Year-Old Marie Grandin Paces the Apple Orchard, Talking to Angels and Trees

Holy Angels, help me. A cruel man now possesses my Papa.
He has taken the King’s silver. In return, I’ll be sent to New France,
cross the vast sea, marry an émigré, bear the children of a stranger!
I belong in Normandy on our farm. I don’t want to drown in the ocean!
I’ll say, “Mama and Aunt Nicolette always need my help and I will obey
quickly. You’ll see it my Papa, only do not put me on that terrifying ship.

The priest thinks waves might rise as high as the church spire and crush the ship!
Make the avocat tear up the paper that has your X. Give back his coin, Papa!
If you do I will marry Alphonse who smells like his goats, and never disobey
his mother who some think is a witch. I will have his babies here, for France,
be a farmers wife here, for France. Who will love me, there, across the ocean?
The King can find 800 other girls for this place of wolves, bears, rude strangers.

The priest said sailors fight, speak bad French or the garble of strangers.
Tender girls become greasy, skinny crones from months of no sleep on a ship, 
only biscuits hard as our pony’s hoofs to eat, salt water to wash, bucking ocean
beneath boots. All this only to reach wild men with tangled beards, Papa!
Keep me at home and if you wish, I will marry even the ugliest man in France.
I’ll be a kinder big sister to my brothers who act like toads, who refuse to obey.

Pity the Filles du Roi, who are not Kings Daughters! How can a true father obey?
(Today I’ll talk to sour apple trees, tomorrow, Papa, who’s like a fierce stranger.
Rain soaks the orchard, but I do not hate this mud; it is the fine mud of France!)
Mama and all her sisters cry, pray to the Virgin to keep me from this ship
sailing so many nights without candles. Suppose I turn yellow and die, Papa?
King Louis XIV, so great, cannot need a small girl like me to cross the ocean.

Jules talks of monsters bigger than ships that leap from the night’s black ocean,
steal maids off the decks to drag them deep. If Jules had riches would you obey
our King’s mad plan? Jules will have gold soon. He reads and writes, Papa!
True, he has no farm, cow, chickens, or hateful geese, but has the friendship
of the priest, goes to school, has been to Rouen, has met many strangers,
and thinks I’m pretty. Oh, not a rough man who fights pagans in New France!

I am not brave! I beg you to deny this white-wigged King of France,
bejeweled, powdered, rouged, who bribes the poor to cross the ocean.
The priest will praise you in church if you tell the king’s man that a foul ship
that sails, sails, sails to a place without women is no place for me. But, obey—
the village will think you no better than a Spaniard, a Dutchman, a stranger!
Even your loving wife might fight you and kick you from the bed. Papa!”

Eh, bien. Good-by my own France. Daughters must obey.
Your Marie will cross the ocean, lost in a passel of strangers.
But if I die on that ship, my ghost will come terrify my greedy Papa!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Dancing in Cassadaga

So here is the poem I wrote about Cassadaga.  Really just for fun, but free to edit, nicely!

Dancing in Cassadaga

"Baby, fools pay the price of a whisper
In the night in Casa Dega*"  Tom Petty

The bear rises up on her back legs
warning intruders
that crossing the line may
involve intricate encounters with poetry.

My medium, Torre`, who has a
weekly radio show, Venus-in-Velvet,
tells me the bear will ward off
such intruders.

She stops, mid-sentence, raising her
purple-painted nails:
"This bear is your totem animal, your protector."
She informs me my turtle totem is in retreat.

The smell of patchouli permeates
the made-in-India drapery.
She draws a small brown bottle of oil from a basket
on the table, holds it at eye level:
"Oh Lakshmi, you are strong and elegant."
Sounds good to me.

When I ask about my children,
she tells me my son is caught
between two worlds and that
he must decide what he wants
to put out "out there."
She assure me the two worlds
can co-exist, but repeats,
"He must decide."

And that my daughter has been around
a time or two.
She is, according to Torre`,
a natural mother.
Really, I did not reveal that
she just bore my first grandchild.

"White suits you," she tells me inspecting my jacket.
"The color of healers.
You were once in Egypt, a ruler of some sort,
a teacher, a wise one." Her eye roll upward.
"It is your voice behind the power of male leaders."
I do not disagree.

I clutch to be sure my jacket is fully zipped,
not wanted to reveal the Emily Dickinson tee I am wearing.
"You must write it down, you are guided by a divine voice.
Open yourself to your gifts, listen to your seers."
Her incantation is mesmerizing, inviting.
Did someone tell her I was here with
ten other poets hoping for an invitation to their own gifts?

A hollow ding sounds, technology intrudes.
The stick of incense lies in ashes on the table.
Her fat, breathy voice admonishes me to
stay in the Light and listen well.

Out on the street in downtown Cassadaga
Sheila, whose last name I do not know,
and I listen to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers,
"Oh baby, now I think I'm starting to believe
The things I've heard
Cause tonight in Casa Dega*
I hang I every word."

* The actual spelling is Cassadaga. Tom Petty chose to spell it Casa Dega.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Bryan's event @The Anne Frank Center, Jan 17, 2015

Hi everyone,
Had a good time today at Bryan's event at The Anne Frank Center here in NY, downtown Manhattan (44 Park Place, <>). Bryan talked and read then invited some of his contributors to do the same. A visual artist he has published also gave us insight into her work. Bryan then kindly signed copies of the Amsterdam Quarterly for audience members.
Thanks, again, Bryan. F, E and I were happy to have been invited.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

I made it home without much ado and I am hoping so did all of you. How about a "check in" from everyone? xxoononnie

Friday, January 9, 2015

Documentary Poem

I could have taken (and may still take) observations from our afternoon in Casadaga (the subtitled hypnotizing Elvis movie above the hotel's faux fire place and all the chatter about "where I was/what I was doing when Elvis died" around me) sprinkled some historical facts about the town and my medium who hails from a place called Edgar Cayce, Canada.

But I must confess that in order to take a real stab at this, I have gone into a piece of prose written last year on the anniversary of 9/11. I have a couple of reasons for this.

One is I stopped writing for 8 years post 9/11. It wasn't a conscious decision, it just happened. And that is a story or poem in and of itself.

Another is the movie I saw here this week for the first time: Poetry of Resilience, in conjunction with  the introduction to Carolyn's "Poetry of Witness", something I encountered here for the first time as well.

The event of that Tuesday in 2011 probably shaped more lives collectively than anything else I have lived through --more than the mental illness and abusiveness peppering my childhood, more than the addiction rampant in the lineage of my children's father, more than a day trip to a town of psychics and mediums while on retreat.

As such I feel compelled to resurrect this piece and attempt the format of documentary poetry in it.


September 2001
(Suffolk Street, Lower East Side, NYC)

I stumble into an affordable
sublet by sheer chance and luck,
once my luck begins to return,
that puts me in the midst
of a small artists haven


around a watering hole called
The Lotus Club. This Lower East Side
enclave is part of the last gasp of NYC
bohemianism that becomes forever
stamped out after the events surrounding

one week in early September of that year.

"Did Parisians 
ever have 
the feeling 
that they were 
living through 
the last days 
of an era - what 
we know of now 
as La Belle Epoque? 
I doubt it. For one 
thing, the expression
 "La Belle Epoque" 
- which, after all, 
doesn't mean much 
more than the good 
old days - wouldn't 
even have occurred 
to them. The phrase 
doesn't appear until 
much later in the 
century, when people
 who'd lived their gilded 
youths in the pre-war years s
tarted looking back 
and reminiscing" 
( 2014)

At my dead end place of employment du jour,
a sweatsuit clad, overweight and disheveled
young woman wanders into the upscale
Greenwich Village bath products shop

where I have been trained
to enumerate the glories of
Italian toothpaste and English shaving
soaps. It is a stunning cloudless
blue-sky afternoon, and the carcass of

The                                                ehT
Twin                                            niwT
Towers                                     srewoT

smolders (a mere shade or two darker than my only
customer of the day's sweatpants) profusely
in the background. The name on the credit card
handed to me is 'Monica Lewinsky'.

“Sure, my 
boss took 
advantage of 
me, but I will 
always remain 
firm on this point: 
it was a consensual 
Any ‘abuse’ 
came in the 
aftermath, when 
I was made a 
scapegoat in 
order to protect 
his powerful 
(M. Lewinsky
Vanity Fair.)

It isn't what I will 'never forget'
but what I have been able (perhaps
chosen?) to remember:

A zombie migration
of soot covered office workers

marching up 2nd ave.
Those nice new autumn

Century 21 or Filene's Basement
ensembles hanging from bodies

in lopsided tatters - man made upper
soles distorted and misshapen from scorching.

One impossibly, brilliantly azure
sky marred only by twin ceaselessly

hemorrhaging black plumes.
Having the main East/WestHouston

Street artery to myself, despite
the southern skylines rupture,

on roller blades. High: adrenaline,
sattiva, space, whizzing smack dab

down its center (holy shit i think,
i will never be able to do this again

in guilty exhilaration) past police
barriers, and the culmination of these

meaning movement finally, in
one direction or the other- it is still

too early to tell. Swivel chairs,
desk calendars and formica hall

bathroom countertops, the new coffee
machine a girl from reception brought

in (in mid-brew even) all no doubt molten
with the possibility that decomposition

brings. And all like components
in an impeccable string section

harmony, contributing distinct scent
northward, silently, in a larger

whole's noxious breeze. The plumes only
look vague and like part of our island's

aura after dark, like something you may
have seen wafting out of Nell's

"Perched on a red leather banquette, squeezed behind a hand-painted cafe table in the nightclub named after her, Laura (Nell) Campbell raised her arms and waved them from side to side. "This is what I've heard they do," she said, "those rave people. They're all doing ecstasy and whole rooms full of them do this for hours on end."She feigned a happy trance and swayed her arms for a moment, then dropped her hands demurely into her lap and said, "I really have to go to one sometime."There was a time when all the raves were for Miss Campbell and Nell's... night life was once a monarchy, and Miss Campbell was queen" (Feb 27, 1994 NYT)

or Limelight once, now suddenly
another lifetime ago, something now

from an entirely past life- especially
on this first night when the

boyfriend I am not so crazy about
and I lie in his moldy Greenpoint

basement studio, and he tells
me he’s going to enlist, that everything

is different now, and that we
will have to stick together

even though he is not sure if he will
have to get up to drive the truck for Edgar

tomorrow. Several days later when a stranger
offers me, like a piece of bread,

with kindness in his heart, a small
white mask for shielding respiratory

orifices, I tentatively accept,
give it a try. And only then do tears

come. I wonder if they have the
same burning asbestos smell that

everything seems to have. They certainly
don't flow with the same ease I recall,

when tears encounter that first downward slope of
cheek. I don't know, they seem a bit laden.

I remove the mask and brush
a tear away with an index finger,

inspect it. Looks the same although
I wonder if a microscope might

reveal black specks. I taste it.
Slightly acrid. Stuff mask in bag

and wander around in search of friends
congregating in dazed clusters on

East Village streets. The rest, I am sorry,
I may have (for now) chosen to forget.
It turns out I must be at least a bit psychic because my Notebook Poem, written on Wednesday night is slightly documentary. I love you all it has been a fabulous, Forché week, five days and nights that I will not forget unless my gods get crazy. xxoononnie

Notebook/Documentary Poem

In Paris cartoonists were murdered today. Soldiers of the pen and ink drawing, black and white or multi? Mufti? a Muslim legal expert who is empowered to give rulings on religious matters. So.

No fair. Unfair. Foul. Took my breath. I lost my breath twice today—once reading about murder, once rushing toward a place I wanted to be, only faster than was wise.

Shoot the Piano Player, shoot the cartoonists, Shoot. Cartoon. Oooo sounds. Bad moon rising.

I giggle when I am nervous and I wish I wouldn’t do that. I wish for aplomb. Always aplomb and that rhymes with bomb and will there always be more bombs? Would you plant a bomb? Neither would I.

Kalashnikov: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A Kalashnikov rifle is any one of a series of automatic rifles based on the original design of Mikhail Kalashnikov.
Kalashnikov may also refer to:
Kalashnikov rifle (e.g. AK-47)
• Kalashnikov Concern (where they make Kalashnikovs)
• Mikhail Kalashnikov (1919−2013), Russian small arms designer, designer of the AK-47 assault rifle
• Maxim Kalashnikov (born 1966), Russian writer and political activist
• Victor Kalashnikov (born 1942), Russian small arms designer, son of Mikhail Kalashnikov
• Viktor Kalashnikov, Russian journalist and ex-KGB officer
• Oksana Kalashnikova, a professional Georgian tennis player playing in the ITF Women's Circuit
• Marina Kalashnikova, a Russian historian and freelance journalist
• Nicholas Kalashnikoff, a Russian writer whose books include Jumper, Toyon, Yakub and The Defender

Patience born of dependency.
Patience, dependency, patient, a dependent person with impatience.
Bourne Supremacy. Jason Bourne shoots his Kalashnikov in Paris, London, would even in let it rip in New Smyrna Beach if the need arose.
I am not a political poet. We are all of us political poets. Take a breath. Take several. Take away the K-guns from all soldiers who grip them.
Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. Isaac Asimov. Not Kalashniikov, Asimov.

Meditated Word List Poem (in class 1/8)


Now memory resound and unfurl
with resilience like bell of prayer bowl
across time's space continuum!

I may hover at her attic window
or dwell near an earth scented coffin
seducing me to burrow closer.

Yet the border remains porous
between girlhood ruin and
grace of acceptance

These shards of unrequited possibility
cease to be ghosts of samsara bound tragedy
but playing cards of sage scented cinder

I pick one, knave of spades lets say,
and in its powdery wake
a tine white blossom endures.

Now wind resound and unfurl
with resilience like passage of prayer bowl
across time's space continuum!

I may hover at her sorrow's window
or dwell near an earth scented cloud
seducing me to burrow closer.

Yet the city remains porous
between girlhood break and
despair of acceptance

These shards of unrequited possibility
cease to be ghosts of samsara bound tragedy
but playing cards of sage scented smoke

I pick one, knave of spades lets say,
and in its powdery wake
a tine white open(ing) endures.

Hello fellow and fella poets and writers,

In the swirl of notes from Paris, the pounding of the surf outside my window here in New Smyrna, I cannot muster the creation of a documentary poem. I value the form and so appreciate Ann's post.
Thank you all for an amazing week. You have brought so much with you and shared generously. I am grateful and grateful for vehicle with which to stay connected. I hope we will.
Thank you and best to each of you.

You would all be welcome guests in Asheviile.
You Are Not Lost
Permutation on a Forche

This filed of memory takes me
across your sorrow-
a passage of blossoms
that lifts me beyond
the childhood
where you once lived
and I tended
a garden of leaves
blown in by seasons of light.
Now is the night of
your becoming.
I cannot find you.

You are not lost.
Grace will find you in the end.

This country of ice takes me
after your light into
a music of forgiveness
that breaks me beyond
the childhood
where you once lived
and I tended
a garden of cinders-
cinders left from fires I also tended.
You walk through the fire
I cannot see you.

You are not lost.
Despair will find you,
wrestle you from
clouds and, like Jacob,
bring your angel.

From the notebooks

From the notebooks

" I Am Open To All Annunciations"

Sleep writes itself on the backs of my eyelids   Outside, the ocean catches the moon.

"A falling star is God's eye, drawing closer to earth so as to see better." AK

All night the wind pounds the palmettos, surf boils the moonlight
taking her deep below the surface.

In the morning, the moon slightly torn,
sails casually south over buildings as though protecting herself
from the north winds. Sands stings my face, my legs. Who knew there were
so many shades of gray?

Sea foam peels itself from the dark sand, floating...

My stomach turns with the force of the storm, jolted by the unease of your silence.
"All is ok, Ma." You text. I feel your distance as you move into your own dark journey, where
I cannot go.

"Love never loses its way home." Tattooed on my ankle before you left for Africa.

The wind continues to rip the sand from the beach. It is 0 degrees in Boston. Terror strikes Paris.
Center, center. I am here.

"Where do your fears nest? Do your hungers enter your throat? Does the spoon of hunger moan, your funny hares, your timid fawns, your quiet doves, where do they sleep? The planet dropped from your hands. All your paths in a single pocket." Anna Kemienska

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Hi everyone,
I am trying to treat myself to one early night this week, before heading back up north to regular life schedule, so I am attaching a documentary poem I have already written. I am a big fan and always have been of mixed media creations. This is a form that fits me and some of my objectives. Please note that I cannot get 1909 picture that should appear with caption: "Little Spinner" to upload.
I have enjoyed thinking, creating, socializing, and psychic-alizing with all of you this week. Thank you for your input. I hope a bit of mine has proved helpful. I look forward to reading more of your work. My best for all hopes and endeavours.-Ann

Birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution

Slater Mill is accredited by the American Association of Museums and is the cornerstone of the Chafee Blackstone Valley National Heritage Corridor. It is of exceptional value in illustrating the heritage of the United States of America. The Site was designated a National Historic Landmark District by the Secretary      of the Interior and the National Park Service. Reservations are not required during museum operating hours.


A National Historic Landmark, Slater Mill preserves, interprets and researches the birthplace of Industrialization in America and its collections for the benefit of all. The Mill develops an informed understanding of American heritage in innovative economic, industrial, cultural, artistic and social terms. Slater Mill provides high quality, relevant experiences designed to educate,
entertain and inspire.

symptoms include: breathing difficulties chest tightness wheezing coughing, lung scarring, death

US Department of Labor, OSHA

Textile industries involve diverse operations including fiber synthesis, weaving, manufacturing, dyeing and finishing. One of the oldest industries, textile operations have been studied extensively and many workplace standards exist.

There are numerous health and safety issues associated with the textile industry. They include: chemical exposure from the processing and dyeing of materials, exposure to cotton and other organic dusts, musculoskeletal stresses, and noise exposure.

Textiles are addressed in specific standards for the general industry.

Take a step back in time and live in turn-of-the-century surroundings that have been updated into incredibly chic apartments and amenities

Workers who are involved with spinning cotton are exposed to cotton dust as well as particles of pesticides and soil. Exposure to these elements is known to lead to respiratory disorders among the workers. The fatal condition known as brown lung is prevalent in this industry and is caused by excessive exposure to cotton dust.

The Slater Mill was the first successful water-powered cotton-spinning factory in America. Because of its success, numerous mills were developed in nearby areas that copied its style and management protocols, including the construction of “mill villages,” and the employment of entire families as mill operatives. This became known as the “Rhode Island System” of manufacturing.
Over a long period of time, exposure to noise has been known to cause damage to the ear drums as well as hearing loss. Noise has also been known to cause fatigue, anxiety and a lack of productivity. High levels of noise have been documented within the textile industry.

You will love the aged brick and rugged appearance of the sturdy timber framing. The oversized windows flood our apartment homes with sunshine and warmth

symptoms include: breathing difficulties chest tightness wheezing coughing, lung scarring, death

In 1909, workers appeared to be twelve years old or less. Usual report of hands and fingers severed by the machinery, insufferable heat, dust inhaled causing the fatal condition brown lung. Laws were rarely enforced, and small children in the factory were explained away to the inspectors - they were visiting the mill to bring meals to their parents (meal totters), or helping but not on the payroll (helpers). Wages were good: $2 a day in the mill v. $0.75 on a farm. In the south, Blacks were not allowed to work inside a mill; had they been the need for child labor would have been eliminated. Child labor stopped due to the change in the machinery brought by the Great Depression, which required greater height and skill.

symptoms include: breathing difficulties chest tightness wheezing coughing, lung scarring, death

Original reclaimed wood floors add to the charm of Slater Cotton Mill apartments, providing the perfect blend of modern convenience and luxury loft style living

A little spinner


“Just happened in”. Repeat. Mills full of youngsters who “just happened in,” perhaps to “help sister.”                                                                                                                                                                                                  Witness: Sara R. Hine

in the early 1900’s children were working 54-hour weeks

Issues such as unstable furniture, bad lighting and poor ventilation have been noticed in the textile industry of developing countries. These units provide a workspace that is dangerous and unhealthy for workers. They are at risk for occupational disorders such as musculoskeletal disorders.

you will love calling Slater Cotton Mill your home

Multiple area air samples were analyzed for total elutriated dust concentration (range: 0.15 to 2.5 mg/m3) and endotoxin (range: 0.002 to 0.55 microgram U.S. Reference Endotoxin/m3). The cotton worker population was stratified by current and cumulative dust or endotoxin exposure. Groups were compared for FEV1, FVC, FEV1/FVC%, % change in FEV1 over the shift (delta FEV1%); prevalences of chronic bronchitis and byssinosis. Linear and logistic regression models were constructed. No dose-response relationships were shown comparing dust concentration to pulmonary function or symptom variable.

symptoms include: breathing difficulties chest tightness wheezing coughing, lung scarring, death

And don’t forget, Slater Cotton Mill is a pet friendly community too

Gram-negative bacteria and their endotoxins are present on all parts of the cotton plant and occur in large numbers after rain or frost. Endotoxins activate pulmonary macrophages that then recruit neutrophils into airways. Platelets accumulate in pulmonary capillaries. These cells allows for the initiation of acute and chronic inflammation. Dose-response relationships have been shown between endotoxin and fever, chest tightness, and bronchoconstriction in cotton workers. Data suggest that after cotton dust exposure, airway hyperreactivity and chronic inflammation, are also related to the endotoxin exposure.

Byssinosis: also called "brown lung disease" or "Monday fever”, is an occupational lung disease caused by exposure to cotton dust in inadequately ventilated working environments.

addendum: the term "brown lung" is a misnomer, as the lungs of affected individuals are not brown

Rents range from $1025-$1825 per month. Subject to Change


Space Fans -- Updated launch info.

The SpaceX launch is now scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 10 at 4:47 a.m., so you'll have to be a true fan to catch it!  My husband assures us it would be worth seeing a 20-story high rocket full of space station resupply materials lift off into the sky.  I rather agree.

On documentary

Dear Poets,
    I realize that the Page for Documentary Poetry is fairly detailed, and might be sufficient. It is impossible to really produce a documentary poem in one night, but it is something to think about, and perhaps you can do a page or so on a subject that is important to you, mixing quotes, poetry lines, information gleaned from various sources, etc. See what you can do. We can talk about this a bit more tomorrow.
Best wishes,


The bath

There was the bath and its tub
filled with lavender and water.

The difficult placement of my
rounded body into it.

My flesh warmed in increments.
Back sinking slowly into it.

The twitch then a heated head.
I pulled the drain cord out

and my body explodes as a cork
from a champagne bottle,

rockets to the same drain and you
say: those were your waters, non?

Our two baths done, I lean on you
to climb out of deep tile

and you lead me crouched over
to the living room’s futon couch

splayed open last night and still
speckled with eggshell bits of plaster

from the pregnancy cast. The baby’s
black head already there, I push

the body out. You cut the blood-soaked
cord and he comes to my chest. Tininess

Filled with soft bones and exposed brain.
Our cries imprinted into the walls.



Exercise in Class, Jan8, 2015, for the purposes of this blog, known as The Forché.


The cast-iron bell, lip rimmed with ice                                                                                              did not ring in winter.                                                                                                                              Swirls of snow blew around it as it                                                                                                   became a shrine to stillness                                                                                                                     a silent shelter housing stray                                                                                                            clouds and words                                                                                                                              caught in the cold.
Hollow mouths and bellies waited                                                                                                      for the relief                                                                                                                                          when feet would no longer freeze                                                                                                exposed and blue would no longer                                                                                                           be a sign of danger.

As spring’s thaw crept across ruined fields                                                                                 people trekked in mud                                                                                                                              to hear the chime.                                                                                                                                Open hands took hold of its dome                                                                                                     and in its sway the words                                                                                                                         it had gathered all winter long                                                                                                              could be heard again.


The cast-iron music, lip rimmed with memory                                                                                 did not ring in winter.                                                                                                                              Swirls of snow blew around it as it                                                                                                 became a shrine to stillness                                                                                                                     a silent sorrow housing stray                                                                                                             photographs and words                                                                                                                    caught in the cold.
Hollow mouths and bellies waited                                                                                                      for the relief                                                                                                                                          when feet would no longer freeze                                                                                                exposed and blue would no longer                                                                                                           be a sign of danger.
As spring’s thaw crept across broken fields                                                                                 people trekked in mud                                                                                                                              to hear the chime.                                                                                                                                    Blossom leaves hands took hold of its dome                                                                                       and in its sway the words                                                                                                                         it had gathered all winter long                                                                                                              could be heard once.