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Christine98 Profile
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Re: Kat's Corner


Yes. Happy Birthday! I remember when my own grandmother, Ida, went to live in a very nice assisted living place. She had her own little apartment with a small kitchen. She shocked me by choosing to eat in the big dining room, stating she was relieved to never have to cook again. She was such a good and prolific cook, I couldn't envision her not cooking for and feeding everyone. I'm really sorry to have had such a limited perception of her. She was the last one of my grandparents living at that time too. It was my great-aunt Sadie who was the afghan maker. She made me a red and green, chevron-patterned afghan. It's still around with loads of others. Funny how so many things keep reminding us of them, huh?

Love your poems today, thanks,

Chris
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Chris, it looks like you inherited your cooking skills from your grandmother and your knitting skills from your great-aunt. I love it!

Before my grandmother went to live in the assisted living center, my mother invited us kids to come down and "take" what we wanted. My sister and I went there, rented a U-Haul and basically wiped my grandmother out. She was thrilled. (What we didn't take was going to the Salvation Army.) Now I am surrounded by my grandmother's things: everything from the kitchen table to a rocker in my bedroom. I took pictures of every room to show her how I had incorporated her favorite things into my life and sent them to her. It's wonderful to have so many of her possessions, except when it is time to clean. So much furniture to move and knick-knacks to dust. My stepmother would hate my apartment; she despised mementoes of any kind, but a few years ago I was pleasantly surprised when a friend's daughter stopped by and remarked, "I really like your apartment!" Well, it really is my apartment. Too each her own, and Goddess help me when I have to move. I think I'll try to give some of it away to my sisters and nieces. Then I'll probably have to have a yard sale. . . .

Last edited by Katlin, Jun/13/2012, 11:02 am
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Christine98 Profile
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I'm not anywhere near the cook or knitter those ladies were. Your apartment sounds lovely. The night stand and dresser in my bedroom belonged to my grandparents. Probably between 50 and 100 years old-- good, solid furniture and I love that they were bought in New York, moved to Ca. and served so well. I wouldn't have valued them when I was younger; I'd have wanted new stuff. Now I cherish the old,

Chris

Last edited by Christine98, Jun/13/2012, 1:35 pm
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Re: Kat's Corner


I wouldn't have valued them when I was younger; I'd have wanted new stuff. Now I cherish the old,

Me too!

For today's post I am going to linger a little longer in the poems on poetry category:

Assignment

Next time you’re sitting
down in the study, running
the fear tapes:

     I have no talent.
     I’ll never be published.
     You have to be born a poet.


Get up, walk outside,
pick up a stone or,
if you‘re the industrious
type, a rock. Carry it
back inside. Then write.

Let’s see if
you’re a poet
or not.


Advanced Assignment

Next time you’re sitting
down in the study,
and the fear tapes
are running you:

     My spouse left me.
     I have talent.
     I’m going to die.


Don’t bother
to get up, just pick up
a knife. Hold it
to your jugular,
and then write.

You’ll see if you’re living
or not.


Last edited by Katlin, Jun/16/2012, 7:45 am
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Christine98 Profile
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Re: Kat's Corner


So your last two poems remind me of something I posted in "right words..."

[sign in to see URL]

Sorry for repeating myself, it just felt so fitting,

Chris
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Katlin Profile
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No, not repeating yourself, Chris, making connections. And, yes, very fitting!

I've been resisting posting poems from my college years, but maybe it is time to plunge in:

On Trying to Write a Poem
          -or-
Pregnant Thoughts for an Empty Page

Opening the notebook, I turn to a new page and sit staring down at the blank lines. Several moments of silent contemplation pass as fragments of words slip unharnassed through my mind. Emotions jumble and rebound again as a new thought is born, having somehow evaded my abortive hand. Drawing its first breath, the new child-thought goes crying uninhibited through the sterilized atmosphere of my hospital-safe intellect. There on the operating table, I see my naked self born and die and born again. With each new delivery come birth pangs and a slight shock--physical sensations for a thinking being. It's really the feelings I want to get down on paper and not the thoughts. With head propped and pencil poised, I catch glimpses of myself as bare as the pages I long to fill. A page no amount of words can clothe.

Last edited by Katlin, Jun/16/2012, 7:24 am
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I'm too tired tonight to type up any of the college stuff from scratch, so I'm going to go with this poem, which is seasonally appropriate:

Indigo Moon

There is no synonym
for hope.
T.C.

It’s cool for early June,
rainy too, as I lie naked
and sleepless beneath
the cotton comfort, hear
wet patter on pavement.

Furtive footsteps?

Through the cracked open
window, you sense movement
in a thicket near the pines.
My body stills, instinctive,
but fear won’t save me.

There’s an odd
splash, now the crimson
slash of a siren
plunging by. How

foolhardy the dreams
of adolescence, midlife
longing, the rush of a reckless
rescue might seem.


Last edited by Katlin, Jun/16/2012, 7:23 am
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vkp Profile
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Oh my! Kat, I am so so happy I am back and that I found this thread. Having read it I do not know where to start. Yikes! So much going on.

First -- the stories of your teachers are hugely moving to me. As a teacher, I can so relate to the subtle way you were lured to read that article and have your mind opened (and he knew how ready it was to do that). A teacher who encourages, really sees and hears a student, listens to her and reads her... lives are changed. I know this because of incredible teachers I was lucky to have, through elementary, high school, college -- and to a lesser extent grad school. Have you ever gone back to tell them what they meant? Just wondering. Teachers never get tired of hearing it.

I love Poetry Practicum. I also love Relinquisihing Spell. Relinquishing Spell has all the magic of a spell being cast and every line is so incredibly flawless. I love:
quote:

Now I sit by the fire and coax
grief onto my lap—sharp claws,
rumbling.

What an image -- it rips at the heart, with those claws. The ending of the poem is searing....

So much here! I am jealous that you have all this work from the past. I lost so much that was in the keeping of my mother and has since been scattered to the winds.

Oh, that reminds me of the mother story you told. Chilled me up the spine -- and that poem is damned good, by the way. Bravo 17 year old you. Not only to write something so true, and well, but to have the awareness to peel open the scab to show what was there. An early mother/poetry story for me: When I was small, I did not so much fear bedtime as hate it. I had to be separated from my single parent mother, and I was used to keeping an eye on her -- so worried that if I did not, she might vanish. I was a writer even then -- and would compose poems in every quiet moment. Bedtime was an obvious time of quiet and I did write in my head every night. I'd lie in bed, looking at the sliver of light that came through under the door from the rest of the apartment where she was, no doubt, utterly craving a few solitary hours. One night I must have called out to her. Maybe I was worried I'd forget the poem in my head. She came in. I told her the poem. She went out to her desk, came back with a pen and wrote it down. That's when I knew. I could get her undivided attention that way. I'm sure I became a menace... calling her back in to the bedroom (there was only one in the apartment and we shared it) at night, after I was to be sleeping, to tell her I "had a poem." She could hardly resist -- I don't know if she ever did. I know that I was the kind of child never to push an advantage and probably did not succumb to the urge more than once a week. I remember it as an addiction -- a craving. To write, and to get her back. I kept at the writing for a long time. I never did get her back, not really. You know what I mean.

In any case -- I have mentioned a few poems and stories in this thread that stuck with me, hit me hard, but there are more. I am just powerfully moved by the whole idea of what you are doing and so grateful. What a leap. I believe we should all feel honored. I do.

vkp
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Terreson Profile
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I'm a little, more than a little, blown away by what you are doing here, Kat. I almost feel as if, when reading, I've entered what Native Americans could call Ceremonial Time, a time frame, set, or opening in which all the tenses, past, present, and future co-responsibly participate. Inhabit is closer to that sense.

I know real writing when I encounter it. I can smell it and taste it. This is real writing. Cocteau said a thing I've mentioned before. What you are doing brings it to mind.

~We are worried when we cannot make comparisons. Our whole system of pleasure is based on comparisons. If we are satisfied with our own work, it is probable that it bears some resemblance to other works with which we are preoccupied. But if we produce something really knew, as this novelty is not based on any definite recollection, it leaves us as it were, with one leg in the air, alone in the world. We are as much disconcerted and disappointed by it as the reader will be. (italics mine)

This is my sense of your intentions. Maybe I'm wrong. But this peeling action of yours is as if you are going for something essential. In so doing you are taking a certain lead. Like a psychopomp even, a leader of souls.

These are some of the thoughts your poems and stories ellicit. Too many really fine and startling images too enumerate. But above the images, even the close-to-self syntax, there is this peeling action.

Tere
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Katlin Profile
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Hey vkp,

What a terrific comment! Thank you for taking the time to read and register your encouragement and support. I loved hearing the story about writing poems in your head and telling them to your mother, who in turn had the good sense to write them down. I think what I unconsciously learned from that experience of my mother reading the poem about her in the kitchen is that I could say things in poetry, that I couldn't say anywhere else, and get away with it.

I never thanked Miss O for being such a good teacher, but I did exchange letters with Mr. M several times when I was in college and got the chance to express my gratitude for his inspiration and encouragement.

Hey Tere,

I almost feel as if, when reading, I've entered what Native Americans could call Ceremonial Time, a time frame, set, or opening in which all the tenses, past, present, and future co-responsibly participate. Inhabit is closer to that sense.

What a cool idea! I had planned to follow a linear timeline in this thread but that ended up not feeling right, so I started posting what did feel right and just hoped it would make some kind of sense. You've given me reassurance that it does and the courage to continue. Thank you for being such a close and caring reader. Every writer needs a few of those, and I am lucky/blessed to have you, vkp, Chris and a few others, online and in real life.
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Katlin Profile
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Yesterday was Father's Day, and in my world the grandfathers, fathers and uncles are all gone.

Here's a poem for my father:

Family and Friends

My father died a thousand miles
away without my knowledge
let alone my blessing. When my aunt
called with the news, I spoke in syllables
like a child, My fa-ther is dead?

Tomorrow would be his birthday,
the anniversary of our final conversation
five years ago. He said, Keep writing poems.
You’re good at that. Don’t forget:
We’re direct descendants
of Robbie Burns.


I once told that story to a friend.
She said, Oh, Scotland is
small. Everybody there
is related to him.


This same friend explained
my father never loved me
and claims I’m in denial.

Once when I was visiting,
my stepmother introduced me
to a neighbor. He said, Hello!
I didn't know Bill had a daughter.


I didn’t attend the funeral.
None of our blood relatives
did. Sometimes an absence
becomes a presence
that comes and goes again.


This poem is for my stepfather:

Last Call

The minister at your funeral, Pastor Dan,
was a college classmate. I didn’t tell
him I don’t believe in heaven—
beachfront Marriott on eternity’s black sand.

Which still leaves me
with the question of where you are.
Where are you?

Do you recall the cinder-flecked
snowballs I hid in the freezer
one February, then watched melt
away on a hazy July afternoon?

When I asked too many questions,
you’d say, Are you writing a book?
Then leave this chapter a mystery.


Or you’d reply to my repeated
requests, People in hell
want ice water.


Don’t worry, you’d respond to my
latest woe. It’ll be better
before you’re married.


Here’s to you, Dad,
and to hoping when it
comes to life after death
what we get
is a snowball’s chance.


Last edited by Katlin, Jul/3/2012, 9:39 am
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Going back to my college years to a poem written when I was 19 or 20:


       scraps, too:
a sequel for my sister


Not to make too much of a good thing—
but now they dine on you.
Cut away your eyes and hands
and nightly devour the tender cuts of your heart.
They cannot chew up you tongue though,
that tasty morsel slashing back at them
when they bring their greedy fingers near.
Be red meat where I was fowl;
be gristle and fat where I was bone.
Feed them on your excess,
but bleed, bleed, bleed
and when you cry out
make it a scream
and not a groan.
If my love could save your hide,
I’d cook up enough to season
every inch of your baby body
now grown up
and bitten off as it grew.
I’d rescue you from the butcher’s knife
and from the skillet on the stove.
I almost wish you were a rancid child
       who’d make them puke,
instead of a boned delicacy
       that goes down smooth.
Jun/21/2012, 4:07 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
vkp Profile
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This is very powerful -- incredibly raw. I am impressed with your early work, Kat. It cuts right to the bone (sorry about the pun given current topic) and yet you were so very young. Here is my comment: WOW.

In this poem the I and the you (I and thou...) may be two different people but when I read it, I kept thinking it was the same person, in different guises, different stages of life, different manifestations of selfhood -- whatever. Again, may not be true to your intent, but makes for a very interesting reading experience.

And the extended metaphor. Always risky, but in my opionion, it works here. Psychological cannibalism will stop the heart, for sure.
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Katlin Profile
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Hi vkp,

I think you are right that some of this early work is raw. I didn't know any better back then, ya know? That was before I went and got me an education, which I reckon Tere would say schooled or scared or shamed the duende right out of me. I recall when my two younger sisters studied poetry in junior high and were asked to bring in examples of poems they liked, they both brought in several of my poems. I was surprised but also pleased that what I had written spoke to them in some way.

Here's a little poem from my college years I don't remember. I must have written it in between bouts of my required weekly chapel attendence. Hmm. Maybe I wrote it during one of those chapel services. Ha!

On Needing God Again
 
like the bittersweet burp
of a long since digested soft drink,
the God concept of my past
rifted into a gassy afterthought
and burst abruptly
in the mouth of my memory.
     


Last edited by Katlin, Jun/30/2012, 3:46 pm
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Christine98 Profile
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"a gassy afterthought" Mucho hilarious. I prefer to think it was written during the service, accompanied by a subliminal belch,

Chris
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vkp Profile
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My grin of the day -- courtesy of Kat.
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carolinex Profile
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Hi Kat--

I was wondering where you were, do you write or only comment on others. So glad I explored more and I found you! In your private corner.
I'm reading in my slow way, backwards.

Wow, really can relate to the father poems. The idea of not attending his funeral seems so huge.
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Katlin Profile
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Hey Chris and vkp,

Fortunately for me, in English classes I got to read writers like Nietzsche, who made for a refreshing contrast.

Hi Caroline,

Yep, you found me, hiding out in my very own cubbyhole. Not going to my dad's funeral was huge. For years his death was unreal to me because of it, but something positive did come out of the experience (reposting this from elsewhere):

Dad's Memorial

When my father died I did not attend his memorial service or funeral. None of his blood relatives did. I won’t go into why this was at this point as it isn’t relevant to the topic. Instead, I would like to tell the story of my first tentative steps in the process of grieving for him.

I knew the date and time of my father’s memorial service, and I also knew that I needed, wanted, to do something to acknowledge his passing and honor his life. My stepfather had died six months earlier, so I knew how important a ritual of closure was to the beginning stages of the grieving process. I wanted to do my memorial ritual for my father in a church setting, and since I didn't belong to any church and many churches are locked in the evenings, I decided to go the chapel at a local Catholic hospital, which was open around the clock.

It was a rainy October night, so I was relieved when several friends offered to accompany me. I took several pictures of my father, the Bible he had given me for my seventh birthday and one of the long-stemmed red roses a friend had sent me. When we arrived at the chapel, it was empty and quiet. We sat down in one of the pews, and I proceeded with my ritual, which consisted of looking at my father’s photographs and reading favorite passages from the Bible. I was grateful that my friends where with me, but I couldn’t help wishing there was someone to share the depth of my grief--the way so many had at my stepfather’s funeral. Although my friends had met my father on several occasions, they didn’t really know him, so their sorrow and concern was more for me than for my dad.

At one point during my farewell service, a young man came into the chapel and sat down in an adjacent pew. He watched as I took the rose, laid it at the base of the Jesus statue and then knelt down. When I stood up, the young man was gone. A few minutes later, he returned, walked up to the statue of Jesus and placed a man’s brown wool sweater and a red cellophane flower in a Styrofoam cup at His feet. The young man then knelt down as I had done.

I began to feel it was time to leave, so I told my friends they could go and that I would join them in a few minutes. I took one last chance to say good-bye, sort of the emotional equivalent of taking one last look into the coffin, and then I rose to go. The young man was still kneeling at the front of the chapel. As I walked down the aisle to the door, a voice inside me said, “You should go to him.” I was conflicted because I didn’t want to intrude upon a stranger’s grief, and yet the young man was all alone, as I had not been, and had no one to comfort him. Finally, I decided: I will go up to him and say, “I’m sorry for your loss,” and then I’ll leave. Something about the depth of his sadness convinced me someone close to him had also died.

The young man did not hear me approaching, and it wasn’t until I laid my hand on his shoulder that he turned and looked up at me. “I’m sorry for your loss,” I said. With that the young man stood up, and we went into each other’s arms. “It will be alright,” I heard myself saying.

After a moment, the young man stepped back, smiled a little and said, “Thanks, Mom.” I wasn’t quite sure what he meant, but I smiled too. Then he asked, “We’ll see them again, right?” “Yes, I think we will,” I surprised myself by saying. I smiled again, “You take care” and went to join my friends.

In a way I could never have anticipated let alone arranged, I got what I wanted, but I almost missed the universe’s gift by being reluctant to disturb a stranger.


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Katlin Profile
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Second guessing myself and over thinking things has been a lifelong problem:

Screen Credits for the Grade Report

This is official.
The semester has come to an end.
16 credits and thousands
spent on an undeveloped film.
The movie cranked out
through autumn
and now falling
from a reel
that continues to spin.
So send me on official pink paper
a computerized summary
of where I’ve been.
I wish the numbers
were a code for rewinding.
I’d like to rerun
my string of images
and see for once
the scenes I’ve lived.
I didn’t watch, you know.
So lost inside
the blindness
of my head—
that ominous projector
which doesn’t allow
the action to begin.



Dial-a-Poem
  or
Speak Into the Mouthpiece, Please:
You Are Being Trapped


communicating over the telephone
wires
of nervous ganglia.
a running inner conversation
with myself.
who called who?
who picked up the receiver?
the lines are always open
& I can’t hang up.
I could get an unlisted
if I could figure out
who owns the company,
what part of me runs the show.
the dial tone
buzzes relentlessly—
I have nothing to say
& yet I try to say it.
call up my brain
& get a busy signal.
when the bleeping stops,
a voice cuts in:
the sweet monotone
I can not get at.
At the sound of the beep,
leave your message
along with a name.
damn it!
listen to me!
answer me!
I am asking you a question I can’t ask.
Thank you for calling.
no, wai-
Please call again.
but-
This is a recording.
           -click-



Last edited by Katlin, Jul/3/2012, 9:52 am
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Here's another, more recent poem that approaches the topic from a slightly different angle.

Hologram

The thoughts you had
today are the same
thoughts you had
yesterday.

           Deepak Chopra
 
What did I think
of all day?

Whole worlds exist
which I do not see.

Electrons and galaxies,
cold dark matter and capillaries,

the largest and smallest,
nearest and farthest

all that is inconceivable
or unconceived.

Camouflaged realties
just a breath away—

quail in the underbrush,
pheasant in the reeds.
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Christine98 Profile
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These poems are so accessible, clear and conversational, their elegance is hidden in plain sight. Much to appreciate and admire,

Chris
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vkp Profile
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The poetry of technical difficulties -- both inside and outside the head. And this:
quote:

So lost inside
the blindness
of my head—
that ominous projector
which doesn’t allow
the action to begin.


...yeah. I get that. Similar but different to the idea of the constant narrator-in-the-head -- all the action taking place (otherwise known as "one's life") is kept at a remove by the voice-over in the head. That's a trippy kind of technical hiccup along the synapses that make up identity....

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Katlin Profile
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All I can say about my college age self is that she/I sure liked extended metaphors. emoticon

When the Warranty Runs Out

Heed this warning:
           This product comes equipped
           with a limited warranty,
           no lifetime guarantee.
           Therefore, it is possible
           that the internal freezer
           will someday self-defrost.

During the course of the day,
in the dust free atmosphere
of her temperature regulated apartment,
she anxiously waits
           for the eggs to boil,
           the laundry to cycle
           and the cake to brown.

Yet all the while
she is unconsciously tenderizing,
through age and neglect,
the undomesticated slice of herself:
preserved and stored,
frozen out of season,
packed in plastic to avoid the burn:
her sealed top container of heart.

At night on dime-taut sheets,
she lies awake
bound in an old-fashioned flannel nightgown,
reciting without revision
motherly epistles and nursery rhymes.
Holding close only her pillow,
she has fallen in love
with a hard
           clean
           baked good
           commodity of
           soul.
          


Last edited by Katlin, Jul/5/2012, 3:57 pm
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The Marriage Requisition

On racks in the bathroom,
monogrammed guest towels
hand like good Sunday suits
in a closet.
Down on my hands and knees
looking up at them—
like a prisoner
assigned to permanent latrine duty—
their golden letters spell
out my name in forms
I can not read.
Comet has scoured
my fingerprints almost off,
and this green sponge crumbles
to little balls at my feet—
the missing pieces of a cookie
a child loses when he bits.
Every day I squeak
of wiped out bathtub rings
and trying to stay clean.
I’d welcome even the callous touch
of worn-out bath towels on the floor
or a stubborn ring of shaving cream
stuck to the sides of the sink.

Can you tell I took a course in Women's Lit, which I loved and that affected me greatly? emoticon

Last edited by Katlin, Jul/5/2012, 3:59 pm
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Those two 20-something poems reminded me of one I wrote many years later:

Almost Domestic Urges

I could say it was his
mind, which is fine.
Or that it was his heart
right from the start.
I don’t believe it was
his soul, although it‘s good
and deep—for a spirit.
Truth is when I’m near
him that small, sleek
animal inside of me
rolls over on her back
and stretches. I tell her
No, but she’s just
untamed enough
to be persistent.


Last edited by Katlin, Jul/5/2012, 4:05 pm
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Yeah, I recognize that last one, it's still terrific. So how does it feel to review the older ones? I was writing a lot back then too. I wish I'd kept what I wrote, wonder if I'd recognize or want to hang out with the person who wrote it,

Chris
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Kat, yes, I've noticed your penchant for the extended metaphor and love how you've played with it in warranty poem!

Especially enjoyed Almost Domestic Urges and how it addresses that body urge, almost DNA-driven, to choose to trust in order to demand to be touched where one wants to be touched. It just is what it is. The internal carnal feline....
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Hi Kat,

I just read your Dad's Memorial. Very touching. Thank you for posting this.
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Hey Chris,

Some of the older poems make me wince, or a few of the lines in some of them do. Sometimes I'm tempted to edit them before I put them on the board. The only reason I have the poems from college is because I have copies of the school literary journals they were published in. There is one poem I remember a few lines from but can't find in of the volumes, so except for a few wayword lines, that poem is lost to me. I wish I could talk to the woman I was back then, wish I could encourage and support her.

Hi vkp,

...yeah. I get that. Similar but different to the idea of the constant narrator-in-the-head -- all the action taking place (otherwise known as "one's life") is kept at a remove by the voice-over in the head. That's a trippy kind of technical hiccup along the synapses that make up identity....

Yeah, you do get it. I've always loved it when that narrator is silent.

Hi Caroline,

I always think of that stories as one of my little miracle experiences. There's a second part to the story that I've never written. When I got home from the chapel that night, I tried to watch a program on angels I had recorded. I must have programmed the show time wrong, so it started up in the middle of the show with someone reading a poem, this poem:

Do you need Me?
 
I am there.

You cannot see Me, yet I am the light you see by.
You cannot hear Me, yet I speak through your voice.
You cannot feel Me, yet I am the power at work in your hands.

I am at work, though you do not understand My ways.
I am at work, though you do not understand My works.
I am not strange visions. I am not mysteries.

Only in absolute stillness, beyond self, can you know Me
as I AM, and then but as a feeling and a faith.

Yet I am here. Yet I hear. Yet I answer.
When you need ME, I am there.
Even if you deny Me, I am there.
Even when you feel most alone, I am there.
Even in your fears, I am there.
Even in your pain, I am there.

I am there when you pray and when you do not pray.
I am in you, and you are in Me.
Only in your mind can you feel separate from Me, for
only in your mind are the mists of "yours" and "mine".
Yet only with your mind can you know Me and experience Me.

Empty your heart of empty fears.
When you get yourself out of the way, I am there.
You can of yourself do nothing, but I can do all.
And I AM in all.

Though you may not see the good, good is there, for
I am there. I am there because I have to be, because I AM.

Only in Me does the world have meaning;
only out of Me does the world take form;
only because of ME does the world go forward.
I am the law on which the movement of the stars
and the growth of living cells are founded.

I am the love that is the law's fulfilling. I am assurance.
I am peace. I am oneness. I am the law that you can live by.
I am the love that you can cling to. I am your assurance.
I am your peace. I am ONE with you. I am.

Though you fail to find ME, I do not fail you.
Though your faith in Me is unsure, My faith in you never
wavers, because I know you, because I love you.

Beloved, I AM there.

James Dillet Freeman

I am not usually someone who would like a poem of this type, but that night, under those circimstances, it really struck me.
      
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Earlier today when I looked up Freeman's poem, I discovered the following:

He had his work taken to the moon twice, a distinction he shares with no other author. His 1941 "Prayer for Protection" was taken aboard Apollo 11 in July 1969 by Lunar Module pilot Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr. Aldrin had the poem with him when he made his historic moonwalk! Two years later, Jim's 1947 poem "I Am There" went to the moon with Colonel James B. Irwin on Apollo 15. Irwin left a microfilm copy of the poem on the moon.

[sign in to see URL]

The article also says:

In 1995, "I Am There" was featured on the television program, "Angels II; Beyond the Light," on [sign in to see URL]. In talking about the poem, which is probably his best-known work, Freeman said, "Of all the things I have ever written, 'I Am There' has meant the most to the most people. I wrote it in great anguish of spirit, out of a deep personal need. It has been reprinted many times and people have written from all over the world to tell me how much it has meant to them."

I decided to see if I could find the journal I wrote in the year my father and stepfather died. A few months ago I started going through my old journals and throwing them away. As it happens, I had tossed out the one for that year, but as it also happens, I ripped out and saved a few pages that made mention of Freeman:

"These are the poems I heard on the angel tape the night when I came home from St. Francis chapel after praying for my father."

It turns out there were two Freeman poems on that tape, not one. Here is the other one:

Look With the Eyes of Love

We lay close, close to one another
and angel came
with its wings, put out the flame
and caught us up from hell
and wrapped us round with a wild tenderness
I have not found again.
We clung close as to love's own breast,
love's heart,
and in our torment were at rest.
You cannot awaken hell
without bestirring heaven
but let demons out and you start flights of angels.
This is so,
although why it should be, I do not know.

It tickles me to know that Freeman poem I loved is on the moon. And now to lighten the mood a little, here is a poem I wrote about the moon:

Mini-Greenhouses on the Moon

Vegetation is coming to the moon, they say.
Plants can grow in zero gravity upon
the lunar sway, imperial, mysterious
in amorous array.


Yes, moonbeam, you must eat
your broccoli, but moonlight can’t
live on Brussels sprouts alone.
Upon the lunar sway,

there will be beauty: marigolds and
bleeding hearts, chicory and shooting stars,
imperial, mysterious, in amorous array.

My dear Man-in-the-moon, the cow may be
on to you soon, and the little prince will
laugh to see such a sport as cabbages
and caraway upon the lunar sway,
imperial, mysterious, in amorous array.


Brassica is coming to the moon, they say.

Italicized lines are from
Leonard Cohen’s “Democracy”

Spark for this poem came from:
      
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Cohen's "Democracy:

[url][sign in to see URL]

 

Last edited by Katlin, Jul/9/2012, 7:14 pm
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