Poem: be aware


Short excerpt from the new book-length erasure poem, BAD THINGS HAPPEN.


31m2vqk1gvlthe evil
in this world

troubled
human history

call for help

LISTEN

in confidence ask
begin to understand
discern wisdom

LISTEN

open your eyes

BAD THINGS HAPPEN

be aware

BAD THINGS HAPPEN

they have been
deluded
they bought into
deceit

words
deluded them

LISTEN

you were captive
to traditions

you were buried
you were dead
you were hostile

you judged
defrauded
your mind

BAD THINGS HAPPEN

your freedom
distressed people

LISTEN

you learn
significant truths

BAD THINGS HAPPEN


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Just messing around with format

Sometimes I play around with different ways to present the same words on the page.  This is a redo just out of curiosity to see how it works in block format rather than more traditional lines.   If you’re interested in seeing the original, you can find it here.  I realized I haven’t really shared much here lately, but I have been working on some things, but not ready to show the newest projects yet.  So I think I’ll just starting showing some of my “process” of writing the assorted things I’m messing around with these days.


inspired

neither god nor muse on a train in a nasty mood coming from the outside from the inside the source is unimportant the poet is the poet is the real thing Yeats is Spicer’s ghost father the poem drives the poet parasite dictating to us (the Martian) Yeats’ wife possessed by spooks “I’m here to give you metaphors”


No future


Yesterday, I found this in a notebook I kept about a year ago.  Don’t even remember writing it.  Must have been half asleep at the time? Such a nightmare vision that, unfortunately, has the potential to become reality in the not-so-distant future.


I don’t want to live in a world
of survivalists sitting on their
porches with guns across their laps
ready to shoot starving refugees
escaping from urban horrors as the
forests and ice caps die.

I felt saddened by being the end
of the genetic line of my ancestral
forefathers and foremothers knowing
the line stops here with my children
and their choices not to reproduce
which at first felt overwhelming, bleak.

But now, I wouldn’t want any future
descendants living in the world we
have been actively creating for the
future, a world without diversity, and
without balance, and possibly, eventually
without even life.

I have a growing sense that it’s time
for the human race to put our affairs
in order and prepare for a desolate
future without us, a future that belongs
to only whatever survives the coming
mass extinctions.

I am glad my descendants won’t be here
to see the end.


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


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

Random Word Experiments


When pigs fly
In pig’s eye
Don’t deny
Win pop fly


Junk is no good, baby.
Is no junk good, baby?
No good baby is junk.
No baby is good junk.
Junk baby is no good.
Baby junk is good, no?
No junk is good, baby.
Is baby good junk?  No.
Good baby is no junk.
Good junk is no baby.
No, baby. Junk is good.


the earth
the heart
here that
thee hart
tree hath
there hat
here that
hehe tart
tehe hart
he, the art
he, the tar
he, the rat
the hater


In the mysteries of Earth.
Of the Earth in mysteries.
Of mysteries in the Earth.
In the Earth of mysteries.
In mysteries of the Earth


Poems: Found poetry from “Down”


51UpSd5xOiLThe following is a selection of found poetry from Downa book of found poetry by Sarah Dowling. Dowling’s found poems into my found poems. It’s a bit organic.

The constraint I used was to find repeated phrasing, and then make a list of those phrases. The phrases are in the order I found them, more or less. Not the greatest poetry, but it was fun to do.

I’ve been finding whenever I read anything these days, I end up jotting down notes and looking for potential centos, found poems, etc. I think I’ve become a phrase addict.


by Debi


1

if I can’t
if I’m not
if I can’t tell
if you tell
I’m not but
you can’t tell me
I’m not but
you shouldn’t but
if I promise
if I let you go


2

it’s by
it’s cold
it’s cold outside
it’s linked
it’s the trembling
it’s cold
it’s linked
it’s the trembling cold outside


3

what could make
what could make me
make me feel
make me better
make me we
what could make
what could make me
make me us
make me matter
make me one
what could make
what could make me
make me feel


4

I don’t need
I don’t need to
I don’t need no
I don’t need us
I don’t need any
I don’t need


5

feel this
feel anything
feel we
feel this one
feel this expressed
feel this in the way
feel this
feel us


6

these days (days)
see tears (tears)
secret place (place)
my prey (prey)
for days (days)
to prey (prey)


7

I’ve got this
I’ve got serenity
I’ve got existence
I’ve got disarray
I’ve got sunshine
I’ve got attention
I’ve got a relationship
I’ve got the same
I’ve got by
I’ve got us
I’ve got so much
I’ve got a person
I’ve got excesses
I’ve got a thing
I’ve got that


8

I may
I must
I guess
I guess
I guess and expressed
I guess we
I guess between
you’d say very
I guess each
you’d say this
I guess any
you’d say not
I guess histories
you’d say never
I guess
I guess very
I guess disorientation


Experiment: An American Story


by Debi


My first word was boat.

My first word was boat as my grandmother pointed to their wooden yacht.

My first word was boat as my grandmother pointed to their wooden yacht upon which my father as a boy traveled to Alaska.

My first word was boat as my grandmother pointed to their wooden yacht upon which my father as a boy traveled to Alaska where his father was a fisherman.

My first word was boat as my grandmother pointed to their wooden yacht upon which my father as a boy traveled to Alaska where his father was a fisherman like his father before him.

My first word was boat as my grandmother pointed to their wooden yacht upon which my father as a boy traveled to Alaska where his father was a fisherman like his father before him in Anacortes where the family settled.

My first word was boat as my grandmother pointed to their wooden yacht upon which my father as a boy traveled to Alaska where his father was a fisherman like his father before him in Anacortes where the family settled after moving up the Coast from Coos Bay.

My first word was boat as my grandmother pointed to their wooden yacht upon which my father as a boy traveled to Alaska where his father was a fisherman like his father before him in Anacortes where the family settled after moving up the Coast from Coos Bay near the spot their family landed after sailing the Plains in a Prairie Schooner.

My first word was boat as my grandmother pointed to their wooden yacht upon which my father as a boy traveled to Alaska where his father was a fisherman like his father before him in Anacortes where the family settled after moving up the Coast from Coos Bay near the spot their family landed after sailing the Plains in a Prairie Schooner who were descended from Puritans who crossed The Pond on the second boat to Plymouth.

My first word was boat as my grandmother pointed to their wooden yacht upon which my father as a boy traveled to Alaska where his father was a fisherman like his father before him in Anacortes where the family settled after moving up the Coast from Coos Bay near the spot where the family landed after sailing the Plains in a Prairie Schooner who were descended from Puritans who crossed The Pond on the second boat to Plymouth whose ancestor was a second son of royalty who came across the North Sea from Sweden.

My first word was boat as my grandmother pointed to their wooden yacht upon which my father as a boy traveled to Alaska where his father had been a fisherman like his father before him in Anacortes where the family settled after moving up the coast from Coos Bay near the spot where the family landed after sailing the Plains in a Prairie Schooner who were descended from Puritans who crossed The Pond on the second boat to Plymouth whose ancestor was a second son of royalty who came across the North Sea from Sweden who was descended from Vikings who circled and settled the Norwegian Sea from Norway to Iceland to Scotland to Ireland and possibly Greenland and even America.

My first word was boat.


Writing Prompt: Where would you be if you hadn’t left your hometown?

This resembles the landscape in my recurring dream.

This resembles the landscape in my recurring dream.


Where would I be if we hadn’t moved? Who would I have been if we had stayed? I’m not sure I would’ve been alive for long.

Moving bought me time. Time to live a life removed from the places and people of childhood. Away from bullies and abusers. Away from those who still haunt my dreams and waking moments.

But then, no escape. Nowhere to run.

Bullied at school. Bullied on the street. Those ever grasping, groping hands in back lots and clubhouses. Insanity at home. Everywhere I turned, I saw only myself and my screaming face of desperation—like being trapped inside a dead-end House of Mirrors.

Let me out! Let me out! But no one hears. No rescue comes.

Help me? Please?

No. Hush, child.

A child left in the care of mental illness. They were blind. Deaf. Dumb. Numb to normal feelings.

The recurring, on-going dream of my childhood was about being buried alive. By my family. Every night. Every night beginning where it left off the night before. The nightmare that perhaps told the story of my childhood.

It went like this:

For far too many nights, tied down in a cart full of hay. Pulled by an old horse. Up and up and up and up the winding unpaved cart path.

Past the homes of friends, homes of family. Past the school, the shops, the weathered farms. To a field of grass and flowers. And a gaping grave.

They took me down from the cart, setting me quietly into the hole in the ground. Throwing clods onto my tiny child body. No! Stop! Please? Please don’t! Was I unable to make a sound? Or were they unable to hear? Or did they choose to continue despite the pleas and cries.

They were silent. Ever serious.

One handful. Another. Covering my legs. My tiny torso. My arms and hands. My face. The dirt collected in my ears, my mouth, my eyes, my nose.

The earth is cold and smells of damp. Smells of earthworms. Beetles. Clover. Grass tufts. The silence covers, envelopes, crushes me.

The lens of my dream retreats from inside my earthen grave. New scene: My family all walking away back down the hill. Silently.

The shot pans through the grim parade. The parents. Grandparents. Aunts. Uncles. Cousins. Single file. Returning from the hill.

The shot pans once more. See the empty field? A freshly dug space, no larger than a child. A view of the mountains. The soft touch of gentle breezes on wisps of grass and weeds.

The dreams ended then. The burial was complete, haunting my waking and dreaming moments.
For the rest of my life.

Who would I have been if we hadn’t moved? Still buried. Still silent. Still watching.

Without leaving, there would have been no future. No me. There is nothing to see or imagine in that alternative timeline.

It would have been

The End.

Experiment: Sirens


by Debi


police lights

Ooooooh, dammmmmn … red lights blue lights heart racing shit shit shit he’s moving in behind me what did I do I’m not speeding tail light burned out tabs expired no all good what the fuck does he want I didn’t do a thing but there he is and here’s the panic crap the panic shit breathe normally it’ll be okay sirens scare the crap out of me just pull over stay calm stay calm stay …

Oh, wait.
Somebody else. Some other call.
Breathe. Just breathe.
False alarm.