Sunday, November 17, 2019

It's Just a Short Walk to the Post


She knows things that I should know--she's generous
There's an offer; she can feel my fear beneath her arms
While she calms horse and passenger at once.
Calls the motion, tells me to breathe.

But there are things I don't want to know.

I prefer the image to the motion; prefer to live
In the kind of harness that stables never keep polished
A dream that broke some years ago
That I've taped carefully together.

There are things that I don't want to know.

Greetings and good wishes, fellow poets/poetry readers. So...hoofed animals and my fear thereof. Let's call it the irrationality of the contagiously anxious. I'm generally happy to see cows, horses, donkeys, deer as I'm driving by, preferably well away from the road. Once we're in close proximity, I'm convinced a {{{Stampede of Epic Proportions}}} is about to begin. Probably with me. 

-- Chrissa (currently not stampeding)

P.S. -- NaNo updates next Sunday, after the Festival of  Lights. On a totally unrelated note: Is the rider a wizard? Is she contemplating the creeping developments she can hear beyond the edge of the frame?  Also, sharing with The Sunday Muse and with Poets United, both of which are excellent places to find more poetry and stories and to see what other writers have discovered in the past week. Come, share. Poetry stampede!!!!!!

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Conjure Path

Photography by Sarolta Ban
View website HERE

A master's garbled voice uprooting the thinner stumps
Music swells like acorns in the crackle of the leaves
Let the deer be silent as the old rebirth squeals.

Beneath the waxy spirals we have found the conjure path
Slip up, down, contrary; wake the boars by the nose
Or settle anxious hooves upon the softer grass.

You can't see the land or the slope spun underneath.

Thanks to Carrie & The Sunday Muse for the wonderful prompt for this week's poem which I am also linking to Poets United Pantry of Poetry and Prose #3 And it's Sunday, so it's time to take stock of the previous week's writing. I am on track for my NaNoWriMo project and yet...completely frustrated. Although I enjoy the community of writers that NaNo brings, I'm not competing for a word count or intending upon something that is immediately consumed at the end of the month. This story is something that has to grow steadily, as makes sense for my longer writing in general. As a result, I'm finding the emphasis on word count and on working faster than I normally do is getting under my skin. This is far from a bad thing--it lets me know that my writing has changed over the years as I've started a more consistent practice. While I'm always up for a small group of friends meeting to reinforce each other's productivity, I'm not social enough for large gatherings and competition over extreme word count. Looking forward to seeing where I am toward the end of November--will there be a beginning, middle, and end to rework?

-- Chrissa

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Nothing Through Me

 Photography by Oladios
"I can't see the end of me."
Photo source

Fear is a sight, the sight--the one that scans horizons
Where the monsters lurk in the brightest depths of day's end
Where I will sail, where I am going, where I fade
On that line where the day cascades so deep you see the rays
Flatten and melt, render the water unswimmable,
Thin.

I've been sitting on this edge until I can't feel myself!

Fear is a sight, the one you catch of yourself, gone
Down, into the pool of ended days from a cotton bedspread
Legs hanging over the sides as if into that water
Feeling the cataract of all that light, splaying out heavy,
Shaving me away, rays gaping wide, cloaking,
Bent.

Sharing today with The Sunday Muse. Also, using this space to vent--NaNo didn't start all that well for me. My characters and I don't get along and they're not all that confident that I am capable of handling their story. And unlike most of my other drafts, this feels uncomfortably close to Not My Story To Tell. Which is totally weird, because I would have told you before I started that it wasn't based on anything in particular save for some oddball YouTube obsessions of mine. Seriously, someone needs to convince me that dead malls aren't something you need hours of content about. Or, someone in the Houston area needs to point me in the direction of a group of the nearest local enthusiasts. Anyway, I'm also trying to read The Library of the Unwritten to guilt myself into stop creating yet more unfinished manuscripts. And if writing and reading aren't provoking, there's always the need to  keep Arthur from chewing all Merlin's tail ruff off.  Not that he's the type of dog to do that...see totally innocent face, at right. That dog takes a better author photo than I ever will. :)  

On the very, very plus side, cool weather has finally arrived in our part of Texas! Open windows! Candles! 

As you can tell, I'm a little scattered this morning. Hope this is a beginning to a lovely week of writing for you! 

-- Chrissa

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Some Other Light


I almost get the picture but my brain and thumb
Are out of synch, one dreaming, the other balancing stuff.
It's an old dream in a new-ish city, oil leaking skylights
Across the entire dome of tomorrow until we see
The universe and the blue sky in the same puddle;
Until the flight that carries and the flight that punctures
Are the same thing, explosions and ribbons
Ripping and lacing the sky open and whole simultaneously.
We are dreaming in gloves and calipers, only a little
Star stuff and gunpowder before the colors rend
Our sight from darkness and give us light.
Daydreaming in the city already smothered
By creeks and bayous and rivers dreaming of salt depths,
Of the deep darkness where islands are born,
Some other current, some other light
One facing the heart, one facing the heights.

Sharing today with Poets United for Poetry Pantry #498 (sorry it's not a Halloween poem!) and with The Sunday Muse for Sunday Muse #79

NaNoWriMo is coming up and I'm going to be going for the 50K (words, that is) this November, so I might be erratic in my poetry. While November looms before me, I'm thinking of a writing class I recently attended and how I want to approach the project this time. There is a piece that's gnawing at me, asking me whether the other pieces are dodges for the things I could say but don't. Someone claimed today that responsibility was restricted to what you do...you can't be responsible for something global (like pop culture) or for sins committed in the past...but I'm feeling like writing has become...something that shows more blindness than insight for me. And so, perhaps, this November, I'm going to pick a project I don't like and remember what it means to write about the things that bite. Or...maybe not. See you on the other side of November, when I know what I've written. 

-- Chrissa

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Where is My Answer?


There should have been a beginning:
There never is, of course
There is edge of darkness, sight of the ceiling, settling of the spine
Before the motor catches, deep like a breath.
I've never believed in anything like this,
This road that narrows and drops, its skinned edges,
Pinched asphalt leading to places
You're going to have to leave--sooner,
Faster.

There should have been a moral;
There can't be acidic crystals below
Titrated sharply from all the mistakes, flickering live cave paintings
Because it ends abruptly, interrupted
As if it isn't a story and I'm not warning
Myself that there are turns ahead on this
Path.

Sharing today with The Sunday Muse and Poets United. I've been putting notes on paper for November's NaNoWriMo draft and thinking about places that become more and more placeless and that restless undertone of "time to move, time to move." Love the way the picture chimes with the idea of movement without any of the mundane needs of going. Where would we migrate if our dreams were geese and we had to chase our flocks? 

-- Chrissa

Sunday, October 6, 2019

My Whole Body



My whole body becomes chest and throat; October raises me, like a forest sliced and glued and soundboarded, to his neck. He will bring the wind, the last heat, and the sudden fall of night. Until this concert, I had always imagined my ghosts drifting in robes. I am varnished with a formula only necromancers and beetles know. Everyone says the instruments are electric now; we are cyborgs so that you won’t fear when the night breaks into inhuman traffic; we are all electric shifts, spots of shadow and cold. Or that is October. In his tuxedo and with those dark shoes polished so that I am looking at the limelight below...or a streetlight, beyond which the stars are blank and silent.

My whole body is chest and throat—you think he plays a special effect. A game of wires and electronics. A game of hunting for the soul in the buzz of a human house, humming to itself and letting its doors drift open. Like the game we play listening to the static of the stars, already turned between channels. Too much light pollution on the stage to see them in the midnight leather, they are only pieces of all of us, in the dust.

My whole body has become chest and throat and it is my voice that threads your nerves, plucks your stomach, and seems, almost, to form words in the goosebumps trailing beneath your formal attire. I sing in muscle. I linger in the drift of honey-crusted pine sap scraping across strings you’ll never quite see. I sing in the taste of the forest October remembers like an old score, long settled.

My whole body has become chest and throat. A song moans in the rafters.

Sharing today with The Sunday Muse and with Poets United, provided this passes their threshold for prose. :) I'm glad that October is here and I'm hoping that the rumors of a cool front next week will prove true.

-- Chrissa

Sunday, September 29, 2019

We Forget So Much


My grandparents tell me about the scientists, late at night
When the heat sighs under the door
About how the world believed that thinking and caring
Could be given over to others
But that world drowned and we play on the floor
Of the ocean that was
All of us, while the adults polish the last bright dish
Filling with hope from somewhere
Else.

The scientists knew about water, about oceans, fish
But none of that belongs to us
It was paid for to be hidden, to be resold to us
By the hope whispered
Into the dish we keep clean...as if there were gods
Say my grandparents

My parents say that we need to be careful, to walk
The sands with them, slowly
That the water will come when the disk is perfectly cleaned
Like a sun rolling down to us
It will shine a path directly through our eyes and wrists.
Height won't let them forget, nor will they abandon us
To the myth of scientists.

For me, poetry isn't a full conversation. It's the spark that will land upon what tinder exists in the reader. So what this isn't is a full and careful philosophical proposition that a certain thing is good or bad and what we should therefor do. Maybe it's something that worries me.

Sharing today with The Sunday Muse and Poets United.

-- Chrissa