no. 111

pulled from a delicious lethargy

(that of course can only be found in this microcosm)

a blanket burrow, fibrous with polyamide and cotton

swaddled until that moment

when, marshaling all the breath of patience that abides,

bhudda-like, within that bubble

of stale but comforting air

a sweet but mewling timbre

that at first calmly coaxes, but quickly becomes

more and more urgent

when, with the demands of morning just below the slip of sunrise

(that orb also struggling to heft itself from soft but heavy restraints)

a hand, small fingers curled, stealth-be-damned-now, brazenly yanks

oh, the sear upon skin liberated to the gray of pre-dawn light!

that is when defeat becomes precursor to movement

wood meets toes with icy welcome

hands greet eyes with increasing vigor

hope fills nose and belly with the promise of that which occupies

kitchen cabinets and soon sizzling pans

(that those thoughts trump all else, now, is paramount)

when, legs scrambling for purchase on the counter-top

suddenly find place around hips and arms around neck

that no-longer tiny body, all limbs and curls,

plasters itself unabashedly to the form which birthed it

too long ago for comfort, but not long enough for the space of maturity

when, nestling a lanky head between the crook of chin and neck

(that last bastion of sleep’s warmth and afterglow)

mouth receives the repast from mother’s feeding fingers

(written 2 january 2019)

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…and 200 came and went

dearest readers,

thank you so much for continuing to take the time to follow my poetry blog.  as of late, posting as been a struggle–life is hectic and full of the usual day-to-day that happens when one is fully submersed in the mundanity of things.  and that is what and where i am.

yet i press on, writing on the margins of my calendar, fervently typing in the few minutes i have between pressing needs of the hour.  most days i do not have it in me to ponder much more than whether i have had a cup of coffee, the first sip of which is a momentary exercise in much-needed self-absorption.

and so i write this note to express my continued pleasure at seeing that you’ve read, perhaps liked, perhaps commented.  the last post, no. 110, was the 200th post i have made!  i hope to add more regularly again, especially as the reprieve of summer holidays is just around the corner…

until then!

 

no. 110

the reason for faith is not one of the need-to variety

 

recently, i became fossilized

i glanced in the mirror, and the creature reflected therein

was bones and petrified skin, still standing because of its

biological integrity, bolstered by methods of internal and external beautification;

wisps of hoary, curling hair, preserved for years by a haphazard regimen

that ignored all contrarian advice

 

strangely, in this moment i also saw my own impermanence;

bile rose in my throat, the soft tissue of which fell away

revealing the stacked bones of my cervical vertebrae

the mast to the ship of my shoulder girdle and rib-cage rudder

musculature barely there, deteriorated to a patina upon my frame

 

still, my heart beat–i could see it there

a reminder of faith

the reason for which is not need, but want

the desire to believe, that like a fossil,

a marvel of epochs existing in scientific imagination,

i will be unearthed

(written 30 may 2019)

no. 109

today i feel green

i take this pen and shoot sprouts from its tip

the roots travel up my arm and into my veins, finding their

way to my heart.  it is almost too much,

re-entry via pulmonary vein–especially when

the words don’t find the correct path to

come out again.  instead, they infiltrate my

organs wrapping themselves tightly–an impossible

knot, to which there is no end of beginning.

thus i am compelled to permit the roots’ growth

until, like tip of the pen, they sprout

flowers from my mouth

(written 27 november 2016)

domestic(ated) bliss

i.

is domestic bliss just a state of

brain-spun confusion?

a mindset in which we’ve convinced ourselves

there is a paradigm of false perfection

we’ve domesticated our minds

roped them in to those everyday tasks

that the bliss is just a stupor

down to the cellular level

happiness is found in a tear storm

inducing mundanity

 

ii.

you infuriate me with your love of

the brilliant boredom of bliss

you sound so contented and i want you to be restless

i want you to be like me

to be messy on the inside

i want to share those secret disappointments with you

but you smile through your saccharine words

the one-liner that reveals nothing

the photo that is so preternaturally perfect that

i must send a twinning one of my own

the smile doesn’t reach my eyes

i imagine that yours is the same

 

iii.

never thought my domestic life would be

like an old hollywood musical

a lot less sparkle, a lot more dusty-dingy

not entirely devoid of self-made melodrama

i find myself strangely breaking into song

a fugue state in which i dance an 8-beat phrase

to the pop-hits of the day

to fill the space between loads of laundry

and emptying the dishwasher

reorganizing props for the millionth time

setting the stage for cereal box reality

 

 

(written 13 april/8 may 2018)

Book Review: Kindra M. Austin’s Twelve, by Mariah Voutilainen

here is my latest review on another amazing labor of love by Kindra M. Austin. if you haven’t read any of her work yet, you must!

Indie Blu(e) Publishing

Kindra Austin’s Twelve continues where Constant Muses left off, rich and intense.

By Mariah Voutilainen

After having read Constant Muses, I eagerly awaited the release of Kindra Austin’s Twelve.  I expected more of the imagery of Muses, with its cigarette smoke and endless cocktails.  While those common threads are there, Twelve favors the much more potent darkness of decay and memento mori.  In Twelve, Austin further exposes the connection between the corporeal and spiritual that she began to explore in Muses, through an emotional dissection of the year of grieving on her mother’s death.  And I felt it was a grieving ‘on’, not ‘over’:  she rests upon each painful moment of remembrance and exposes it to us fully, unapologetically.  It is that straightforward voice, plainly truthful, that compelled my own visceral response—and while I cannot fully describe in words how I felt, I do know that…

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no. 108

buried under the sun

the sun glinted off the pit of their souls

blinding them to their own horrific

imperfections

genuflections

they made to deities whose homes

were found in temples

made of skin and bones

they saw them in the mirrors

stroking plumped plumage

gilding their own lilies

edging away from

discovery

recovery

they saw themselves in mirrors

and were pleased with the reflections

content with their

insatiability

culpability

no insurrection

where is their rage?

at the bottom

buried under the sun

(written 26 november 2018)