Sunday, July 5, 2020

Ringlets and Waves

Champagne, 1920s. Atelier Manasse was a legendary Austrian photo studio that captured the golden age of cinema and cabaret in Vienna of the 1920’s and 1930’s. The studio, active in Vienna between 1922 and 1938.

It has driven the universe since it passed through her hair
Leaving an echo of emptiness on the plate,
Already gone.

And that's it. Weirdly. Not quite a poem; not an American sentence. Sort of the only verse of a song caught in passing. Maybe there will be more later or it will show up in this month's Camp NaNo project (a self-indulgent science fantasy just because, well, I'm still having trouble imagining the future) or it will just be the image that got away, as some of them do. There were fireworks last night and we were up late as one of our pups is nervous and managed to chew part of a notebook during the evening between perching on one or the other of us like a nervous crow. Actually, I'm not having a hard time imagining the future at all. I'm just starting to believe it's being written by a bored and suddenly supernaturally powerful Edgar Allen Poe. There's no Netflix like America, always eager for the cameras to roll...

Sharing today with The Sunday Muse and Poets and Storytellers UnitedHope you're having a good week, staying safe and finding hope. 
-- Chrissa

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

The Grain

Word Crafters Wednesday Prompt:
The Big Things/The Little Things

Ocean vs. A Grain of Sand

The Forest vs. One Leaf

Write about the ocean or a grain of sand. Write about the forest or a single leaf. It can be anything great or anything small, and if you want to fancy write about both.

The Grain

I give myself permission to slide over others; 
To fall through narrowness; to be buried by others.
There is nothing but waiting.
There is nothing but a slump,
Then sliding, then sifting beneath.
A narrow neck; it sometimes hisses
All is silicate, time is clear as glass.
I give myself permission to be Time itself
Its body, its breath, its blood.
Over and over, 
I forget the stillness in motion,
Forget stasis in a slide.
It seems that I have become
As small as any eternal second.

I'm usually the one that uses EVERY SINGLE PIECE of the prompt; not today. There is something satisfying about sand, its sharp softness, its weight, the way it retains heat and shape. And time, if the hourglass has its use. Back in the day when telephones were firmly attached to land lines and often to the walls themselves, my parents bought a phone timer. It was an hourglass encased in a thick layer of acrylic (or glass) that was intended to keep you from staying on the phone and running up long distance charges or just taking up the single family phone line for hours. I can remember the weight of it, the sharp edges of the acrylic, the silent slither of the tiny sand grains through the narrow waist. I'm not sure if we ever used it for the phone, but I know that I was mesmerized by the falling sand in a completely different way from the anxiety of a timer counting down. 

-- Chrissa

Saturday, June 27, 2020

I Have Come

I have not come to lay the dust.
Oh, there is a sorrow for that,
Cracked like the horizon's fire
Running through park and tundra,
Memories of bones I'll squeeze
Bright against my marrow.

I have not come to press thorns
Through my palms or forehead,
Angels in the smoke blown out
Of life running through the blood
Marking me with those stories
Smelling of dead bonfires.

I have not come to remember.

I have come to breathe
Your past deep and release
The sweet, ashy exhale
Of our future.

So there are probably less melodramatic times to sit down to write a poem...but there is literally a Southern Gothic sky out there right now, the damp grass is practically warm as bathwater, and a haze of dust has draped itself over us like the concrete to which we're addicted in the puddled suburbs along the highway out of the City Itself. And the heat. And the creeping panic. And the stay-at-home orders competing with the mad laughter of those who are aggressively free. And the heat. And the concrete sky...

So, yeah. Melodrama it is, folks. Which means that I'm looking forward to all the ways this will be interpreted and set to words across The Sunday Muse this week and all the ways in which Poets and Storytellers will see the world differently so that I can change keys as another week becomes this present and I crawl closer to finishing? Drafting another section of? In Thornish, wringing out the melodrama before it becomes part of the story. *gasp!* *sigh* *evil chuckle*

Hope you're having a good week! 
-- Chrissa

Friday, June 26, 2020


That old umbrella frame
I thought would be
Moonflowers, mini pumpkins;

That I imagined a cave of moths,
October poetry readings,
Finger food, fire pit smoke

That skeleton--
Lizard road and reflection
In the rain-filled anchor pot

Holds an empty season
Like a scarecrow year
In the water that waits

To be inhaled, wept out.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Stories We've Already Forgotten

Belinda hasn't received the message


She still feeds the pigeons and whispers
That her sojourn in the apartment 
On the corner, midway up, with the closets
Where the suitcases lurk
Is the best adventure she's had. 

No bird's gentle burped coo 
Is louder than her story
Of watching neighbors 
Float in their windows
Profound in their unnoticed slippage
From one decade to the next.

She checks the cases when it thunders;
Still locked, still smelling of cedar, lavender.
She spilled the rose elixir on the train
On a landmass these pigeons have never seen.

Maybe they never leave the park,
Maybe they've chased away the last message,
A harsh scrabble of feathers,
From this neighborhood
Because they like her familiar whisper. 

Maybe they keep close
To keep away
The pigeon's lonely ghost
And the long faded code.

Image and bold words are this week's WordCrafters prompt. I'm sorry that I didn't use "cahoots"...although I feel it lurks in the background of the poem. :) Also lurking is the idea that some of the stories that sustain us fade over time, however often we retell them. Not sure where I'm going with this, just thinking about the way change leaves many of those stories pruned and blooming in odd corners. 

-- Chrissa