Poem: leaking family trees


radiation-sludge


leaking family trees
by Debi


energy from the light
glowing paint
Day-glo thread
the visible emerging
from the invisible
when the final darkness comes
still glowing

circles of death tanks
feeding the ground
the rivers, the homes
the families, the future
a secret, a cover-up
20,000 turns around the sun
until Spring

the children unborn
carrying on the family business
cleaning up the waste
from the death beds
of their fathers


 

Inspired by Ginnie Hebert, Leaks, 2013
Cotton quilt, glow-in-the-dark paint, glow-in-the-dark thread

 

 

Upside-Down World


upside down hanging lamp

This is a short excerpt from a project I’ll be working on during the month of July for Camp Nanowrimo. This work currently has no name.  It will be a cross-genre work of fiction blurred with non-fiction, poetry, memoir, prose, stream-of-consciousness, epistolary forms.  And whatever else may work its way in there.


Upside-Down World
by Debi


Friends become enemies. Lovers, exes. Families, estranged. What the hell’s happening? The world is upside-down. My world is upside-down.

I’d lie on my back, hang my head down over the edge of the bed—down over the edge of the world—and the ceiling of my childhood home became the floor. The floor, the ceiling.  Magic.  This was Upside-Down World. A charmed world peopled by people similar to my people. But altered. Different. Stronger. Bolder. I was younger. Ceiling Girl older.

Upside-Down World was sparse. The only décor, an occasional floor lamp (the hanging lamps of right-side up world). The floor (my ceiling) was white, flowing-from-room-to-room. White. Always the same. Uniform. Level. Steady. I sensed something serene about those sparsely furnished and simply colored ceiling spaces. I knew nothing of Zen. But felt the truth. Less was more.

Lying on my back in this house, this home of my grownup years, the ceiling’s slanted. Unsteady. Yes. So is grownup life. No level surfaces. No easy answers. No sure footing. An upside-down world.

Dear Ceiling Girl …

You’ve watched. What did you see? What do you see? Does it make sense? You’ve followed me forever, looking down. A witness. Seen the highs. The rockbottomness of rockbottoms. Can you trace the path, the twisted journey, that led here? I’m lost. I’m here, but lost.  Confused.  I miss the surety of childhood’s future. The hopes. Dreams. Imaginations. Magic. Witchcraft. Wishcraft.

Are you still there, Ceiling Girl? Or did this upside-down world shake your footing, too?

~Me


Technological Autobiography: My Life with Home Appliances


My Life with Home Appliances

by Deborah Taylor-Hough


“Technology serves as a Rorschach over a lifetime, a projective screen for our changing and emotionally charged commitments.”[1]  – Sherry Turkle, Inner History of Devices


my freezerBack in the days before modern appliances, the work of keeping up a home was a full-time job.  From the need to replenish meats and vegetables on almost a daily basis due to a lack of safe food storage options, to washing clothing and diapers at the riverside, housekeeping was a never-ending chore.   I will examine the history of modern work-saving devices, looking at how the development of these items saves time and effort, focusing on stories from my own life and my family’s history and also discuss the role of appliances in the liberation of women from the solitary role of housewife. Continue reading

Poem: Night Skies


by Debi


dark arch of sky
millions of stars
mysteries of the cosmos
blazed in darkness
gleaming jewels
of rose or crystal hue
beauty overhead
a clear night
without a moon
alone with the stars
patterns of constellations
standing out
bright and clear
misty river
the Milky Way
drink in the beauty
a blazing planet
low on the horizon
look up at the sky
breath-taking glimpse
observant
clear-eyed
the night skies are alive

Poem: Dragging the River of Memory

(In case this poem looks/sounds familiar, this is an updated version of a poem previously posted on this blog.)


cropped-grafitti-3.jpg

by Debi

dragging the river of memory—
.           in search of her younger self
it’s already too late

her life was her torture
she was capable of imagining
.           a life outside of housework
that sense of youth
and immortality disappeared
.           in the destruction of the old familiar

the river hurtled toward the sea
inevitable
.           foretold
.                      foreshadowed

re-seeing herself
creating multiple mirrors
dreaming again
re-writing her life

don’t look back
.           or you lose her forever

Erasure: LISTEN


I’m currently working on an erasure poem of an entire book. Is there such a thing as an epic erasure? That seems to better describe this undertaking.  I actually completed the book’s erasure and now I’m working to format and edit it.  I’m sort of excited.  It’s been quite a project.  🙂

Here’s a brief sample of a small part of one of the poems I found hiding in the text of the book I’ve been erasing. Stayed tuned for more on this project.

UPDATE!  The book is now in print!  Click on the book cover for details!


by Debi

31m2vqk1gvlyour       freedom
distressed
people

LISTEN

you         learn
significant
truths

BAD THINGS HAPPEN

you         read
you         know
you         think
you         do

LISTEN

Poem: at fault

by Debi


I sat alone                with them all
my greatest fear        realized
.

alone

 

I would’ve been
.                              less alone
if I’d stayed
.                              home alone
.                              brokenhearted
is it
.                   my       fault
.                   no        fault
.                   his        fault
.                   her       fault
.                   their     fault

 

when     everyone’s
.                 at           fault
who’s    to                  blame?

 

I would say
.               our            fault
but there seems to be
.                               no our

 

is it no one’s fault?

 

I’ll take the                blame
sometimes                 it’s easier to be
.                               perceived as
.                               the one wronging others
.   rather than             convincing others
.                               you’re the one wronged

 

if it keeps the peace

.                               then

 

it’s my fault

 

(does this make me a doormat?)

Writing Prompt: The Freezer


This was written in response to a writing prompt given in an MFA class last year:

“Write from the perspective of a common home appliance.”

I found that if this is read without knowing who or what the “I” is, it’s quite unnerving.  Serial killer, perhaps?  I stumbled across this on my computer today and had forgotten I’d written it, or even what it was about.  Creeped me out.  It brought to mind for me “Psycho” and someone a bit like Norman Bates.


The Freezer
by Debi

Darkness, total and complete.  Bone-chilling cold.  Stacks of frozen carcasses.  Solid ice.  The never-altering, eternally freezing, condition of my life.  Waiting.  Always waiting.  Quietly humming tuneless songs. Wondering when a flash of light and heat will signal the entrance of The Family, disturbing my solitary, frozen existence.

My downstairs neighbor receives frequent visits from The Family throughout the day.  Although my neighbor’s darkness is also complete, the blackness never lasts as long as the darkness I live in.  His cold environment isn’t enough to form ice or frost.  The fluids are chilled but still liquid.  The carcasses are preserved for a time, but not eternally frozen.  The Family worries when the small glass bulb which provides light burns out in my neighbor’s apartment.  My living space has no light source of its own.  Only when the door opens do I see the contents of my own interior.


Notebook Cento #5 – now is a now and this is a this


Sometimes I go back through my notebooks from Graduate school and make centos (collage poems) from phrases I find in the pages.   This is the fifth of a series of centos from my notebooks.


now is a now and this is a this

Notebook Cento #5
by Debi

a now is a now is a now
creating space
.                        between self and outside
.               inside and out
1st person and 3rd
disjunctive
.                  disruptive
find a place, not a position
not an either/or
.                    but an and and an and and an and and …
respect the thing itself
this is this, is this, is this—
.                 rather than this is that