Monday, April 30, 2012

A Double Dactyl

lived Poor Peter Palate.
Licking a porcupine
when he was young,

tragically rendered him
mumbling, stumbling
over his tongue.

A poetry prompt from NaPoWriMo

A Time To Die

I die to feel the blaze of the sun
Beat down on me, I wish to sizzle
Like the fuse of a firecracker brick
Consume me, chew me up by chisel
Along wooden grooves to come undone

Layers melt too slowly for ice pick
Chip away, unleash a new vision
Like inventing a new world without skies
Unbind me, I ache for collision
With space spinning I aim to be sick

Of insidious ingested lies
Purge me, I want to live something true
Like a story that's always just begun
Crave me, I am yearning for you to
Wake up it's time to say your goodbyes

A poetry prompt from:
the imaginary garden with real toads

This is an Envelope Quintet, with the last stanza linking back to the original envelope.

The Three Little Pigs (pg 1)

Yesterday I rode my bike to a bookstore I stumbled upon a few weeks ago, because I wanted to buy some children's books to help me learn Chinese. I am figuring out my own language learning styles or preferences throughout this whole process, and it's been pretty enlightening. That's why I want to keep trying all kinds of different things instead of relying only on advice from others who have learned the language. They've given me great advice that I've definitely put to good use and am very appreciative, but different people learn languages differently of course. I learned that I need various tools and methods to keep from getting bored or frustrated, and need to switch between them frequently, which also seems to be helping me acquire things more quickly than when I first started.

I was hoping to find some books that had both the Chinese characters (called hànzì) as well as the words spelled in pīnyīn. One of the women who works there speaks a little English, and she was extremely helpful. I ended up getting a great beginner's workbook style of book that seems to be at a kindergarten or first grade level, a few beginner writing practice books (the kind where you trace the pieces of the Chinese characters in the correct order of how you're supposed to write each stroke, which I hear is pretty important), and a few story books that have both hànzì and pinyin. Just what I was looking for!

So over the past day since getting my books, I've been working through the workbook while using my Chinese-English dictionary to look up the words, and just now I attempted to translate the first page of one of my story books, using the dictionary of course. It was a really fun exercise. I got a kick out of the strictly literal translation, so I wanted to post it here for fun's sake. It's amazing how much is lost in translation, or rather how much you truly need to hear and speak the language with other people to really learn the nuances :)

The Three Little Pigs
(the very very very strictly literal, dictionary translation!)

To be one far far of little mountain village, lives pigs mother gentle she of three children. Old big call hu hu, old two call lu lu, old three call du du. They relate with each other blood relatives relate with each other love, born alive very fast happy.

I'm sure just about any English speaking person can catch the drift of this, especially since just about everyone has probably heard the story :) So here's a translation that adds in some of the smoothness, since I've heard most of the words on this first page in conversations.

There once was a little mountain village far far away, where a mother pig and her three children lived. The oldest was called Hu Hu, the next oldest was called Lu Lu, and the third oldest was called Du Du. The family loved each other, and they lived very happily.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Lost In The Rain (Reunited At Last) ((A Love Song))

Yesterday I took a bike ride around Haikou, and on my way home it started to rain, heavier and heavier until it was so hard to see that I got totally lost. After finally finding my street again, I spontaneously wrote and sang this song as I rode my bike down my flooded street toward home as the rain continued to pour down. This is the raw version, unedited, in all its magnificent glory. I'm going to clean it up and give it to my friend Jen who wants to make it into a real song with her awesome guitar playing...

Lan Tian Lu
Oh how I missed you
when I got so lost today
in the heavy rain

Lan Tian Lu
Oh Look!
You're all flooded!
Just like you're flooding my heart
with love

Lan Tian Lu
I missed you
and the way you look
and I missed the way you smell
but not all the time
because sometimes you smell
really bad

Lan Tian Lu
Oh how I missed you
and the crazy drivers
driving on you
the way they swerve
without even looking
and the way I almost die
every time
I miss you

Produce Love

It's Monday morning and I have today and tomorrow off for May Day Holiday, and since I usually would be inside a super hot and humid classroom right now, I decided to take a little walk in the morning sun and light cool breeze before it starts to get really hot. My definitions of what "hot" means has already begun to change (cuz really it's already freakin hot out there)... And I stopped to buy some fruits and veggies because the vendors are setting up their stands for the day and they all look so good...I got some super long green beans and a big bunch of bananas, all for about 75 cents. So fresh, so cheap!

Stranger in a Strange Land

I posted the following few things to Facebook over the past couple of days, and just realized duh, I have a blog where I should be capturing these things. Years from now I want to be able to remember what it was like being a stranger in a strange land...

Saturday, April 28th, 7:32pm
It's funny how this place is starting to feel more and more homey... I'm starting to recognize people on the street that I've met in random places, and am able to hold simple conversations with them in Chinese, and am actually making some friends. All of the fruit and veggie vendors that I visit help me practice my Chinese and laugh (kindly) at my poor pronunciations. And I get a kick out of my neighbors who are sitting outside when I get back from buying fruits/veggies... they always grab at my bags, open them up and look inside to see what I bought, and then they either make a thumbs up and tell me "mmm" or "hao hao hao" (good good good) or sometimes they make an icky face and shake their head to tell me they don't like it. It's hilarious. I love how it's totally acceptable to put your hands all over someone else's food here, because they know everyone washes the heck out of whatever they intend to eat. I'm always seeing people dip their hands into the big bags of rice at the market to feel the grains. Reminds me of the scene in Amelie with the beans (it was beans, right?). You have to admit, it feels pretty darn good.

Sunday, April 29th, 1:00am
Just got back from my very first karaoke night at KTV (Karaoke Television) with a bunch of my Chinese teacher coworkers, the first of many I've been informed. And it was a blast. KTV is an interesting place…it's a pretty big building full of very small rooms, and you pay to rent a room for you and your friends, instead of having to sing your heart out to a bunch of strangers. And they deliver beer and snacks to your room for however long you're there. They do have some songs in English, which I was coerced into singing (I learned I can totally rock the "head shoulders knees and toes" song since I do that at school with the kids from time to time, and "Stand By Me"), but most of the songs are in Chinese of course, so it was fun to listen to my coworkers sing while I followed along trying to learn the words for each Chinese character on the big TV screen. The other popular thing to do while you're out with friends at a bar or wherever is to play this dice game (not sure what it's called) but it's a dice drinking game. Thank goodness the beer here is very very light. After everyone was full of beer and singing, we walked down the street to an outdoor late night "restaurant" which is just a big open sidewalk area where they set out a bunch of tables and chairs and a few food vendors roll their carts up and dish out some food, so we all had various types of rice porridge. Yum!

Monday, April 30th, 6:30am
The kindness of strangers keeps surprising me and making me so extremely happy and thankful. Yesterday I was out riding my bike and it started to rain as I was making my way back home, then the rain became heavier and heavier until I could barely see. Then I realized I was lost. I pulled over to the curb to ask a stranger what street we were on (since most of the street names are in Chinese characters only) and he was on his cell phone and sort of standing under this big sign for shelter, so I just waited there a few feet away, hoping he would be finishing his call soon. I think I waited about ten or so minutes and the guy was still talking, and there was no one else walking by who I could ask, and I'm pretty sure the guy on the phone was probably saying to his friend, "Dude, just keep talking…there's this foreigner standing out in the rain just staring at me all creepy-like…just keep talking…" Thank goodness a woman walked nearby and I shouted hello in Chinese and she shouted back in English "hello, can I help you?" AHHH YAY! How lucky is that?! She led me inside a nearby shopping center and even drew me a map! She even insisted on writing the Chinese characters for all of the street names. Thank you, kind stranger!

Friday, April 27, 2012

There was an old turtle named Mister Bleen

There was an old turtle named Mister Bleen
Who had a bird buddy named Hugh
They loved to play checkers all the day long
As if they had nothing to do

Then one day the weather began to turn
From sunny to cloudy to EWW!
And then it was raining and got darn cold
For Mister Bleen shouted ACHOO!

What do ya know, he flew out of his shell
And landed in somebody's stew!
The sneezy winds sucked Hugh into the shell
Now he's called a birtle named Blugh!

A poetry prompt from NaPoWriMo

Bicycle Shopping in China

Holy cow, my mind is blown, yet again, by the efficiency of this place. Yesterday I tried to ask my neighbors, the people who work in the security booth at my apartment building, where a nearby bicycle shop is because I'd like to buy a cheap bike. I'm not sure exactly what they said back to me, but I thought they said the Chinese words "tomorrow" and "1 o'clock", which I thought meant one of two things, 1) at 1pm they would show me a used bike in the building next door because that's where they kept pointing, or 2) at 1pm they would somehow show me how to get to a nearby bike shop, so I said "Ok, tomorrow, thanks" in Chinese.

So today I went downstairs to the security booth at 1:03pm and the man called up to his wife in the apartment above the booth (I guess she's his wife) to keep watch, and then he motioned for me to hop on his electric scooter with him. Alrighty then! So I hopped on and off we went.

I had no clue where we were going, but I was hoping it was a bike shop. I had looked up the word for "bicycle shop" yesterday and was hoping they understood what I was looking to do, because my pronunciation is so terrible. We arrived at a little bicycle shop a couple of miles from where I live. They showed me the bikes in the 1,700 kuai range but I said I would like something around 500 kuai, which is about $80 US dollars.

Yesterday my coworker and I went to the large Carrefour to look at bikes, so I had a rough idea of the quality to expect for this price range. I didn't end up getting one there because all they had were women's bikes, and of course being the gigantoid human that I am, I need a men's bike with an extra long seat pole, at least by Chinese standards.

So anyway, the bike man shows me the bikes in the 500 kuai range and I was surprised at how much better of a bike you can get there versus the Carrefour, because my coworkers had told me otherwise; i.e. that I was likely to get a better deal at the big shopping center. I was expecting to get a cheapy beach cruiser style of bike, but this little shop had full on mountain bikes with gears and nice tires and full suspension, WHA!? The guy told me it would cost 550 kaui and my neighbor man gave him a stern look and said "No, 500!" and that was that. Thank you neighbor man! They also threw in a bike lock.

Oh, and the best part? I was back in my apartment by 1:44pm, a whopping 41 minutes!! That included waiting for the wife to come down to keep watch, the scooter ride over to the shop, the actual shopping and test riding the bikes, the jimmying with the seat over and over to get it to the highest height, the wrenching of all the bolts to make sure the bike was put together properly, airing up the tires, mounting my bike lock to the frame, paying for the bike, riding it home, thanking my neighbor man profusely and trying to conjure up the words for "how can I ever repay your kindness" and failing, and him waving me away and telling me in Chinese "go take a nap!" and then maneuvering my bike into and up the elevator and into my apartment. WHEW! 41 minutes!!!

Now, as with most things here, I'm told the quality of products isn't so great, so I should probably expect this bike to fall apart quicker than other bikes I've had in the past. But the upside, as I'm learning, is that it's super quick and easy to find someone who can fix just about anything, and fix it darn fast and cheap.

So now I'm all set to explore my new home on my new wheels. I can now venture out farther than walking distance, hooray! Tomorrow at work (we have to work this Saturday due to the May Day Holiday; we get off Sunday, Monday, Tuesday instead) I plan to ask my English-speaking coworkers who know Chinese and have lived here for years, what is the best way to thank someone for this kind of favor. The neighbor man totally went out of his way to help me, and I really want to show him a huge thank you. But I don't dare try to do it uninformed, because I'm finding that it's very easy to offend people accidentally or make them "lose face" so I want to be extra sure I'm showing the proper thank you.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


a season of death, you try to remind yourself
that it's all relative, it's all about proportions
really, not inverse relationships
unless it's a strained relationship
between all of this new life, and your ability
to absorb all of this new death

when a child runs to you with an overwhelming pride,
a yearning for praise and admiration,
and a jar of fireflies, of course you say well done
of course, your heart aches for innocent creatures
trapped in jars, there's a bit of time left, a bit of air
to enjoy while it lasts, this Spring of life

when a small creature can feel triumphant
over other creatures, can overcome fear
of the unknown by scooping it up
in hand, feeling it wriggle and beat and pulse
and place it under inspection, observe
its behavior in unnatural surroundings, is a curiosity
not easily satisfied, and not so easily found

later, when the tables are turned
the creatures are coaxing each other into jars
and that's when the fear returns, when few bother
to punch air holes
or drop a leaf inside

A poetry prompt from NaPoWriMo

I guess an elegy is supposed to end with consolation and solace, oops... so maybe I'll write a new ending for this at some point.

Thursday, April 26th, 2012, 4:12pm

With eyes closed we see
there is nothing, between us
we see with eyes closed.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

O Lov grow old

O Lov
grow old
on long
            long roots
sown low
by glossy moon

of frothy cool
blown by
     too slowly

my lord
strongly, boldly
hold thy sword


croon of
orb forlorn

A poetry prompt from NaPoWriMo

The only vowel I used was the letter "o" ... I didn't count 'sometimes Y' :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Thinking of Shrubberies In Honor of Earth Day

The Knights
Who 'Til Recently
Said Ni, oh keepers of gibberish
and antlers, and deep love
of leafy things, demand a sacrifice
of the utmost foliaged proportions
before you shall pass, you must
visit Roger, he who maketh shrubberies
alas is called The Shrubber
and he shall bestow upon you
a shrubbery that's quite nice, but
TKWTRSN will be only somewhat
satisfied, they will demand
a second shrubbery, one slightly higher
so you get a two-level effect
with a path down the middle
and if that wasn't enough to appease them
they will try to demand that you cut down
the mightiest tree in the forest with
a herring
but all you ever had to do was say...

Monday, April 23, 2012

I am not here

The scooters scoot by
The trucks truck by
The people peep by
The flies fly by
The clouds cloud by
While I try
to be here
It is Monday

Sunday, April 22, 2012

If the lines in these palms were reliable

If the lines in these palms were reliable, you'd say
we're headed for a happy ending
but which hand, the one with a progression
of lines leading to hatch doors, in white corners
at the end of long painted hallways

the secret is not to freak out, the secret is
to kick

the door
is a backup plan, the backup plan is a door
that was thought up before
the executive of this flashy enterprise decided to outsource
the human side, script readers
make better use of the language, listen for the cues
make the right sounds
at the right times, like an alarm clock

you look at the other hand, they're different you know
the secret to seeing straight, lines like strings
cinching steadily
narrowing your focus.

A poetry prompt from naming constellations

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012, 3:17pm

I like my women
like I like my French fries, hot
and extra salty.

This started out as "men" but I needed one more syllable. I stopped by McDonald's today to get my fix of non-Chinese food, and this came to mind as I was enjoying the delicious fries. I would call these things I write "haiku" but I think I must be totally disgracing haiku aesthetics.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


by bullet-
exploded air tank,

voltage under-
water power line,

r e
na d e,

impulse triggered
explosive/bowsprit stabbing...

quadrilogy did
I watch today?

A poetry prompt from NaPoWriMo

Oriental Cockroach

Most dreaded creature
the Oriental cockroach
it flies OH MY GOD!

I've been sleeping with the lights on ever since I thought I saw a flying cockroach in my apartment a couple of weeks ago. Well today as I was doing some Spring deep-cleaning, the flying cockroach flew out of my bathroom sink! I screamed and ran for a shoe, but when I returned, it was gone. I wanted to cry, it's the creepiest bug ever. Later as I worked up the courage to re-enter the bathroom so I could finish mopping, the cockroach was nowhere to be seen...until the mop must have spooked it and it came flying right at me! I screamed again, it fell to the ground, and I jabbed the hell out of it with the mop. It stopped moving, so I jabbed it some more for good measure. Then I stepped on it, then I jabbed it some more. Then I scooped it up with the mop and drowned it in the bucket of mop water for a good five minutes. Then I drained the bucket into the shower, scooped up the cockroach carcass with a sponge and squished it, just to be sure it was extra, extra dead. Then I threw it in the trash and took the trash to the dumpster, far far outside of my apartment. (I'm still going to sleep with the lights on.)

Some teenage love

Remember riding in your car on the weekend, talking about our future
and you would say
          what's mine is yours
and I would say
                  and what's yours is mine
and we'd laugh at how clever we were
and how much we loved each other.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday, April 20th, 2012, 10:07pm

slapping your fists be-
can you hear a difference
-tween punching your palms

A white bed frame

You think how lovely the metal bed frame is
as you tap out jesus loves the little children

with your pen, you wonder where it came from
and how much lovelier it probably was

before it was painted
red and yellow black and white

you cringe, the clanging vibration
suddenly sounding harsh, you make excuses

for so many layers of paint
hiding a true shine

for humanity
guiding some things along more slowly.

Another Uncertainty

Since time began, turn away the tangible, in this moment you hold dear
The wedge of beast's disbelief, you will never be
Heavy-minded as a snake, and die by hopelessness.
You lose her out the surface of your skin,
You fall deaf sometimes to her thoughts surrounding.
vertical solid center
The enormous haystack never forgets the South,
The enormous worm forgets her silence,
And that imbecile that surrounds you always succeeds.
You always withheld from it what it withholds from you;
At times you lead, when you are unworthy.

A poetry prompt from NaPoWriMo

Curious how it would turn out, I chose opposites for nearly every word, instead of choosing opposite meanings of the entire line (sometimes there's a difference). And here is the original poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson:

Self Reliance

HENCEFORTH, please God, forever I forego
The yoke of men's opinions. I will be
Light-hearted as a bird, and live with God.
I find him in the bottom of my heart,
I hear continually his voice therein.
horizontal dotted line
The little needle always knows the North,
The little bird remembereth his note,
And this wise Seer within me never errs.
I never taught it what it teaches me;
I only follow, when I act aright.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Cocooning of Questions

Does the caterpillar dream?
Does the butterfly remember?

Does the caterpillar understand why
he feels compelled to weave? Does he
know he's about to bloom, or
does he think he's building a tomb?

Does nature's silhouette
shining through the cocoon's net
appear as beautiful vignette
like a sketching of outlines
for the metamorphosis of design
of the beauty to be seen
on the budding of the wings?

Does the butterfly feel brand new, or
is she prone to deja vu?

And when their paths intersect
in a wild flower field
will they pause long to suspect
a great mystery revealed?

Dear Light, Shifting--

Across my window, you break
into pieces prism'd and spilling
into me, I pull my breath
to hold myself captive
while the curvature pulls you out
and on your way, down Five Finger Mountain
I imagine you fighting all alone, with yourself,
with yourself, along these immeasurable degrees of latitude
to defy all you've ever known
to break yourself, whenever, wherever you want
to chart a new trajectory, while the dragon eye winks
you'll remember
even black death can find its way along roads of silk.

Forever grateful,

A poetry prompt from NaPoWriMo

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Moonlight Breaking (a lullaby)

Moonlight breaking
on the window
wash away the day

Moonlight watching
gently over
go to sleep sweet baby

And when you dream
of ships on oceans
drifting far away, you see

There's moonlight breaking
on the water
wash away the day

A poetry prompt from NaPoWriMo

Free in know why we lie

We long function, no
June sea, ye ruin a
lone yawn, deep shadow
drawn who choose way, draw
one song from me, and I
cheat, may she run, why
ye gun, you won't hunt, you
touching milieu

A poetry prompt from naming constellations.

This is another homophonic translation (the first one I tried is here), this time from a Chinese poem called "Thinking of Li Bai at the End of the Sky" by Du Fu (杜甫). I found the poem here, which gives the simplified Chinese, pinyin, gloss and English translations (the pinyin is pasted below since that is the version I used for the sounds). I read the poem in pinyin, pronouncing the words correctly with the tones, and then took liberties on choosing English words that sounded somewhat similar or had a similar rhythm. I left it pretty choppy sounding intentionally, but maybe next time I'll add in some words that aren't necessarily sounds in the original poem to sort of round it out more. Playing with a poem in this way is a lot of fun, and sometimes offers up little surprises and words I probably never would have thought to put together.

tiān mò huái lǐ bái

liáng fēng qǐ tiān mò
jūn zǐ yì rú hé
hóng yàn jǐ shí dào
jiāng hú qiū shuǐ duō
wén zhāng zèng mìng dá
chī mèi xǐ rén guò
yìng gòng yuān hún yǔ
tóu shī zèng mì luó

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Good Morning Song

in your role as teacher
of three-year-olds, you forget
it only takes one second and three fingers to count out the breadth
of their experience, they already seem so wise
that you focus on the importance of learning, more and more
you catch glimpses of their depth, it reminds you
like this morning, when a little girl named Sky, in a pink dress and cheeks so big her mouth works overtime to produce her signature smile,
stood cry
as children and teachers rushed by her to their classrooms
you walked over to her and knelt down as she looked up
you held out your arms to her and she held out her arms to you
she put them around your neck, and you wrapped her in a hug
as her tear-drenched cheek brushed your cheek, and your mouth
rested just beyond her miniature ear, it struck you
how perfect a fit
she was, you were, together
you felt like one entity, big and small, joy and sadness
completing each other, perfectly
you sang The Good Morning Song for her, softly
but more deeply
so that she could feel the music coming through you, right then
you tried to fathom
if this

just this

     is like this

then how
             could you ever be a mother...

it would break you

                          w i d e   o  p    e      n

Savagely Bad Poetry

recent green, now mush
these bananas are such jerks
laughing fruit vendor

Inspired by bad poetry written by Savage Chickens...

Also inspired by frustration at really wanting a good, firm banana (that I bought yesterday, green!), and finding a peel-ful of mush. Thanks to The Dad Poet for the reminder of how brilliantly fun these sticky note comics are. And another one I can identify with...

How can you call yourself a ninja

How can you call yourself a ninja
if you don't crouch

if you don't hold your arms out
from your sides, no one will realize
you are capable of holding back the air

when you stand in place, beating
like a spider

you wonder, if I face straight ahead
and look side to side, will I achieve
the effect of a covert mercenary, infiltrating
the 15th century, deviating
or will I look like one of those cat clocks, instead

you wonder
if you could have any integrity at all, you would
pay your respects to the warrior of the noble class, embrace a death
of honor and timeliness, if only you knew
what any of these things mean in the 21st century

is having a good posture
such a bad thing, to let the moment you should die
pass you by, like stars hurling through space

you imagine silently fading backwards into the dark
or maybe that's the illusion
when everyone else steps forward

Monday, April 16, 2012

If I could lift my arms

If I could lift my arms, I think
I could carry on like this for hours
     west, middle
west, east
I settle, pushing my shoulder blades down my back
as the yoga woman says
she knows horizontal comfort, like the back of her
eyelids, five a.m. the city workers are sweeping
sweeping, with long whisky brooms on concrete, sweeping
my eyelids open, to think of instant coffee
is to think of finding fault
lines in my morning biscuits, I love
to say biscuits instead of cookies, it seems
so proper-
ly understated, but maybe it's perfect, the way
these biscuits are just sweet
enough, dipped and soaking
up the bitter brown through pores, until
it's time to decide, do I reel it in
or go fishing after the earthquake

Monday, April 16th, 2012, 8:59pm

earlobes rubbery
ripe summer dandelions
slightly moist petals

All of this humidity keeps bringing yellow dandelions to mind.

Walking in a black-and-white somewhere

I think we were walking
in a black-and-white somewhere
that smelled of yellow-green
dandelions growing
in unseen graveyards
of trains, you said

you love the rust, abandoned
boxcars, empty
save the metal echoes

of the hobos, you admire
their fascination with handkerchiefs--
you can really do anything
with one of those-- my mind turned

to the bend
a ways away, I thought
I too love rust, but I love that bend
even more, because it bends
into the unknown, steady
geometry with a twist

your shadow rippled
lazily ahead of you down the tracks
as the sun hung heavy at your back
and I thought, this is why the world turns
for you, because you ripple
when the sun's almost gone, you look like heaven
I think, there's not enough rippling going on down here, god:
damn it all to hell, you don't say

you think how fitting it is
that railroad ties are called sleepers

because of the effects they have
on the senses,
silently entrusted

to connect parallels
to create space between

A poetry prompt from:
the imaginary garden with real toads

Crime Scenes

You think a pretty terrible crime would be
to strap someone's mouth shut tight
and hand them a new balloon, empty
unable to breathe
life into

you tilt your face to the sky
place a button on each eye
and think of
masking tape
on a worn wooden floor
and grow repulsed
at how we love to slash each other
to two dimensions.

A poetry prompt from Poetic Asides

Casting Call

Characters, in alphabetical order:
the astronomer
the sky
the star
the telescope

the astronomer, commands
a quiet respect
with an intelligence curious

the sky, aspires
eternal and fleeting
to stay out of the way

the star, arouses
overwhelming reverence
and adoration, through and through

the telescope, draws
distant beings
closer by magnitude...

Casting call
the director reassures

There are no small parts,
only small actors

clamoring for a role
before even the title is known.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Monday, April 16th, 2012, 6:35am

Beautiful sadness
I sure do miss the sadness
Sadness you bleed blue


There was a girl at a counter
with her back to you, you made a noise.
She turned to face you and made
a different noise. You made more noises
with a lifted tone at the end. She stared,
dull-eyed and silent. You repeated your noises
for the desired effect, you even rubbed your hands together
to show her you meant business. She shook her head
in confusion, you wanted to cry.
Another girl overheard the noises. She came over
and made the same noise you had made.
The dull girl lit up and pointed to your answer.
You wanted to punch her dullness away,
like a scientist, you say,
punching only increases dullness.

You're trying to recreate everything
on microscopic levels, you think
if you punch the air fast enough
you might hear tiny sonic booms
but your elbows start to ache just thinking about
the empty locker next to yours and
a wispy boy named [hay-SOOS]
who no one could save
despite his chosen name and the drowning reality
that you'll never punch fast enough
to travel far back enough
or breathe deep enough
to feel strong enough.

When you think of absurdity, you think
of the time clock, man's most insidious invention
of man pretending
he can stamp out another man's presence
on some thing, a degree
of mutual belief that time is made up
of digits and gizmos
forgetting the shadows, crawling
low and slowly along curved lines
you want to punch your time
over and over whispering
I was here
and now I'm not,
I was
here and now
I'm not.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Something Grunge

Poetic grit
through minds
born into negation
a generation of Screaming
The Trees of the unruly, rooted
in subcultures of spunk
emotion, like pearls jammed and wrenched
through the heart, through the guts
and delivered
on the wings of
silverfucking rock cherubs
after a decade of lithium-induced
electronic keyboard
and the stench of teen spirit
a sound garden of unintelligible lyrics
creeping through vaseline
like the repeated shuffling
of a rooster in the dirt
erasing and changing its tracks
to suit its mood
as if honey from mud
you know you're right
to look up at the sun as a black hole
to come as you are,
to rocket into sweet oblivion, into
the super unknown beauty of going unplugged...
Nevermind, now
all apologies for tonight,
there is a man who is selling the world.

A poetry prompt from Poetic Asides. This one is a work in progress...something to keep playing with.

An empty can

You're a realist. It's just
an empty can
in the center
of a room
when a chair became a table
in the forever
of an orange afternoon where
no one breathes
blanketed words
dull, the air
is just air
other air.

First three words taken (borrowed? stolen? repurposed?) after reading Arda Collins' poem "Department Store"

Sunday, April 15th, 2012, 5:19am

charmed beyond reason
basketful of flattery
tipped~~ hissing vengeance

Friday, April 13, 2012

Nonsense, really

All of this is too big
to fathom that we are here
I can't believe I have two eyeballs
someone was looking out
for sure, not just because
they each work in concert with the other
but also because we were given
a backup plan, how genius
is the inventor of this man-
u-script of infinite randomness
and we hope whoever it is, hmm
let's not say he, or she, or it...
let's say WHEE! Anyway, we hope
whee never stops writing, I mean
re-writing because really
who wants to be a final draft? Wheeeee
loves to write pages upon pages upon
the mountains and the tippy tops of trees
where whee sees a ginormous
web of strings, in the fray
of confusion whee occasionally writes
a line and scratches it, scratches it
out of existence before it even took form
from a spark of atoms, I pretend
I even know what an atom is
or that it has to make sense
cuz I've been told I have some and
with my atoms I try to locate the buttons
on the upright fan with my downright big toe
as I lie on my favorite serenity of yellow orange
and I wiggle, wiggle, wiggle all five
like I'm playing the middle range of a fan clarinet
in a symphony of useful devices
for modern living, I value the spoon
and its ability to stir.

A poetry prompt from Three Word Wednesday

Untitled tanka

playing dress-up as
persistent goals, self-imposed
limitations, fail --
more achieved in letting go
of the reigns on boundless dreams

Friday, April 13th, 2012, 4:07pm

as curious as
a cigarette sampler pack
who needs peer pressure

Friday, April 13th, 2012, 3:33pm

When he gives mad props
none are quite as grateful as
crazy puppeteers.

Friday, April 13th, 2012, 1:54pm

pale-breasted and wise
full-feathered she flies beyond
moonbeam silhouette

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Pass-- Ahh Do, In Claw, Rowww

O-- does crone the llama
Pass mental, is the mosque of so many bras
Some bras delve benzamine into the mosque pass
Pour, come in, O the day echoes
Queue the lame, more to invent a bore, a
Sin came in, nor came in, and
So brave is the tea whore a plenty
Ten deeds to enter in electra you try.

A poetry prompt from NaPoWriMo

A homophonic translation from the first part of an Octavio Paz poem (I've posted twice within a few days about Paz, as he's one of the only books of poetry I brought with me to China, very good company) :

Pasado en claro

Oidos con el alma,
pasos mentales mas que sombras,
sombras del pensamiento mas que pasos,
por el camino de ecos
que la memoria inventa y borra:
sin caminar caminan
sobre este ahora, puente
tendido entre una letra y otra.

and the English translation:

A draft of shadows

Heard by the soul, footsteps
in the mind more than shadows,
shadows of thought more than footsteps
through the path of echoes
that memory invents and erases:
without walking they walk
over this present, bridge
slung from one letter to the next.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Conversation

You used to be so in love with me.
and you, with me, no
What happened to our infinite days?
maybe time, perhaps
And what about our passionate flame?
a self, consuming
I tried to give you plenty of space.
a little too much
But the distance grew beyond my reach.
now empty we drift
And I do fear the unknown expanse.
between words unsaid
So I'll be waiting right here for you.
my unanchored love

Merriam-Webster in my inbox

Emote ironic
Word of the Day expression
seems so robotic

A Lecture From Heidegger

In a book on the essence of truth
I read, in the soul there is an aviary
or more generally thinking, a container

quiet and still, completely empty
it becomes gradually filled with the stuff of time
oh, and birds, various kind, of color and song

resonating in flocks far apart
from the rest of smaller and looser gatherings
and the solitary flitting hither and there

pondering Plato and possession
of knowing versus calling expressly to mind
subtleties, having-present or making-present

a longing to learn of what would be
found in philosophers view upon setting sights
on the space where birds once flew, through a cage door loosed.

Walking home at high noon

Walking home at high noon you think
the air is reminiscent of
soupy peat moss, slowly mulching
your pale pores, composting the muck
of the millennia, you plow

slowly past the idle vendors
of vegetables and days yielded
to simpler times. The sidewalks reach
out in all directions, but one
carries you back to childhood

in the midst of midwest summer
when your brother grew potatoes
in the crevices of his neck
and your mother's adoration
was the soil of eternity.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


I flowed at my body's edge
She said, like a snail drawn to salt mound
Daring to be vaporized

When the ether denied her
She made a pact with the bamboo trees
To sway strong in brilliant winds

I'm breaking, she said, seeking
Prudence distilled from time's crude counsel
A concentrated effort

To dam the raging within
She erected walls of frosted glass
And insulated passage

Lost in her cotton center
I am meandering through murmurs
of featureless flock, she said.

A poetry prompt from NaPoWriMo

The first line is from Octavio Paz's poem "Release":

Beneath the rain of drums
The flute's black stalk
Grew, withered, and sprouted again.
Things cast off from their names
I flowed
           At my body's edge
Among the unbound elements

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012, 2:57pm

Chewing sand she does
cherish soothing shards of glass
gritting grotesque gums.

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012, 1:08pm

markets shine filthy
hands dipped into bags of rice
separate my husk

Monday, April 9, 2012

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012, 10:15am

Filtering sunlight
Twisting old oak trees obscure
Lingering shadows

Rilke's Elegies

I fell in love with Rilke's Elegies a few years ago, especially #8. I get more out of it and it speaks to me in new ways each time I read it...

The Eighth Elegy

A take

A mate once told me:
     You've gotta have an opinion on things!

I was pretty young
and feeling pretty new
to the world,

and I felt ashamed and
embarrassed, to appear so


I didn't feel empty.

Since then, a question from somewhere
buried deep in my marrow
has always haunted me...


Why do I need to have one?
Why am I obligated to speak one?
Why should you care if I own one?
Why do you need to hear one?

I never felt comfortable
identifying myself by my opinions,
     only in the way that they're always changing.

There were times I tricked myself
into believing I needed some. To prove to the world
that person wasn't empty.

So I tried some on for size
now and then, speaking them boldly, and
almost as soon as they slipped off my tongue
     that person had slipped away.

I've always secretly identified myself by my addictions.

But addiction is a bad word,
so I can't tell people that

my addiction to surprise
is overpowering.
To surprise myself, to surprise others,
     to let myself be surprised by

my addiction to proving myself wrong
is to learn universal truths. Never to have been summoned
if not for taking a first step
and a microscope, to discover

my addiction to the unknown
makes me tiptoe. My addiction is
not in revealing it, deconstructing it
or putting it on display with my flag stuck in it,
but for giving it a smile and a wink
and time now and then
to play in it.

It seems opinions are cooly suited for the known,
the tangible. Contributing a take
on an event, something someone did or said
that incited a feeling,
an urge
     to contribute

songs of sorrow
and broken blood. Staggering stories
of dusky destiny.

Maybe opinions are another kind of addiction,
and at times a pretty useful one,
     if you ask me.

A poetry prompt from The Sunday Whirl.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Our Love Story

We met on a wave of passionate decision,
grand visions of us bubbled up into the wind.

Despite our stark contrasts and flushed crimson desire,
our love was so shaded by the hue of the wind.

Simmering affection and dreams of defection,
I often fantasized of the new of the wind.

When love's foggy descent left a haze near my heart,
I found myself dreaming of a view from the wind.

Your version of love, suffocating consumption,
trembling, I cried out: I'd rather chew on the wind!

Amplified, tensions swelled part-way through the last act...
as our curtains fell, I took my cue from the wind.

To glide with a strength, a freewheeling renegade,
I had convinced myself that wings grew from the wind.

Improvising encounters of consequence with
unyielding stubbornness, I flew into the wind.

Through tumultuous night, to the mist of the morn,
I learned of fragility from dew on the wind.

While in the rapture of hearing my voice, I found
inspiration to listen deeply through the wind.

And although you've moved on by now, my friend, please know:
I glide on our love story in lieu of the wind.

A poetry prompt from naming constellations (Ghazal poetry form)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Lay Low, Baby Please

When the dawn is breaking, breaking
All of those truths that you behold
In the quiet of your aching
Baby please, lay low, baby please

When walking the garden you learn
To see the fruit you want, go slow
Waiting for sweetness to return
Baby please, lay low, baby please

When you search your heart and a friend
Appears advising how to grow
Your invention to rise again
Baby please, lay low, baby please

When the dawn is breaking, breaking
Baby please, lay low, baby please

A poetry prompt from:
the imaginary garden with real toads
A partially unrhymed Kyrielle Sonnet with rhyming pattern: axaR, bxbR, cxcR with R being the repeated line.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Riveting Rains of Revelation (AH! I love alliteration. And cheesy blog post titles.)

I was sitting here thinking about how imagination and curiosity seem so different, and how I feel like I'm a bit heavy on the curiosity side and could use a little more imagination now and then, and that's when I heard something. Outside it started to pour, so hard and heavy that it sounded like thunder in the mix. So I jumped to my feet and ran to the bedroom window and saw the biggest downpour I've seen in at least 15 years, not since living in the midwest. I took off my cotton pants and threw on my silk mini skirt and ran out my front door, down the hall, down the elevator, and out into the rain. I walked from my alley out into the open parking lot, arms outstretched, palms up, turning my face to the sky. I stood like that for awhile with eyes closed and a huge smile, until I heard laughter. I looked to my right and saw the older gentleman security guard at the gate of my apartment building, the one who I practice my Chinese with every morning and afternoon, and the happy man who is always in the chef's button-up white long-sleeved jacket and tall, tall hat from the restaurant next door who always smiles real big and yells HELLO. The two of them must be friends from lots of long days, long hours passed together like that, I could tell, by the way they laughed together at me. They motioned for me to come inside their little booth to hide from the rain, and I motioned back at them to come join me. They laughed even harder and waved their arms and yelled no no no in Chinese. I looked back to the parking lot and street in front of me and saw dozens of people opening umbrellas and running frantically to escape the wet. I could have stayed inside, dry, except I couldn't help imagining what a warm Spring torrential rain in China must feel like. And I thought yes yes yes, maybe imagination and curiosity aren't so different after all.

The Label Maker

Have you ever reflected on years gone by
and titled each year as if chapters in a book

a witty little phrase
packed with the punch
of an inside joke

On The Move

Diving Deep

Sh*t, I'm Sorry

And what would I title this year?

The Great Escape

Nap Ketchup!

Drawing Lines In The Sand?

But you can really only give it a name after you've lived it.

To label something
a potentiality
is like drawing with an eraser
the image never comes
just a bunch of torn paper.

Or like getting your hands on a P-Touch
and gripping it with the pressure
of your legacy, and finally
after much deliberation
your label spits out

words failing to describe
the pleasure of pushing that lever down
to separate your words
from other words

As you realize two things:
1. There's nowhere to stick this label right now,
          even if I did want to peel the backing off, and

2. There will never be a suitable resting place

these are dreams...

Even a morning person can sometimes feel this way

Have you ever awoken too early
your chest still possessed with sleep
a yawn
so big, so deep
writhing, body in stretch
between teems of demons
in the letch
of a morning expulsion

A fondness for red birds and backflips

I think my love for sports retired
in the eighties, a decade of Americana--
the only time I don't feel completely stupid
using that word. I wonder if all Americans feel patriotic
when daydreaming of youth, and baseball, I dream of
driving South on I-55
windows down through corn fields knee-high
on the fourth of July. Growing up in Illinois, it's natural
to think that we would be Chicago Cubs fans, but
rebellion runs deep in these genes
or maybe we were simply riding the high
of a 1982 World Series Championship.
But I like to think it was the anticipation
of backflips
in the outfield, those snarky red birds
perched on baseball bats,
small plastic hardhats filled with ice cream sundaes,
an old man
wearing the largest pair of glasses I'd ever seen --
his voice still the backdrop to most of my nostalgic
play-by-plays --
and a surprise visit from Mr. T
throwing the first pitch
before leading us in The Wave and a chant of
root, root, root for the CARDnuhhllls,
emphasis perfectly placed to drown the cubbies,
a song that ranks right up there
with The Star-Spangled Banner, when sung
makes my chest swell from a mysterious well
like when I see that bright red logo of the
S - T - L

A poetry prompt from NaPoWriMo

Ozzie Smith, Willie McGee, Vince Coleman... To simply hear these names brings back so many feelings of being a 10-year-old in the 80s!

The best of intentions

To set out to explain
to a child
joke versus lie
is the best of intentions.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Rain Song by Led Zeppelin

Thank you to Nick for posting this on his Fb page, my eyes and ears were happy to have stumbled across it. And to kick off NaPoWriMo Day #6, I wish I had written this...

This is the springtime of my loving - the second season I am to know
You are the sunlight in my growing - so little warmth I've felt before.
It isn't hard to feel me glowing - I watched the fire that grew so low.

It is the summer of my smiles - flee from me Keepers of the Gloom.
Speak to me only with your eyes. It is to you I give this tune.
Ain't so hard to recognize - These things are clear to all from time to time.

Talk Talk - I've felt the coldness of my winter
I never thought it would ever go. I cursed the gloom that set upon us...
But I know that I love you so

These are the seasons of emotion and like the winds they rise and fall
This is the wonder of devotion - I see the torch we all must hold.
This is the mystery of the quotient - Upon us all a little rain must fall.

Tracks That Measure Eight

I'm still not even sure
what an eight track is, or
is it 8 track, or 8 trax, no
the X seems too modern
for a sound recording technology
invented and popularized
over a decade before my time, or maybe
there's a hyphen, 8-tracks, like so.
I've seen this contraption, I think
it looks like a big fat plastic piece of bread
or a big fat plastic
iPod (just kidding!)
or maybe it's like a fatter version of
a Nintendo cartridge, and
I wonder if 8-trak owners had
to blow in the end just to get it to play music
when worbly lines of static appeared
in the speakers. And like most tapey things
I think it makes sounds like
k a c h u n k   k a c h u n k
when you push it into
the dashboard? the radio?
the eight-Trak player?
I bet my mom would tell me
I've even heard an aterack
probably in the womb, I imagine
that's why I love Pink Floyd
so much. Freewheeling, interlocking
tape-tens i  o   n    i     n       g,
quadrophonic, endless loops
of magnetic millimeters, oh
how the mind reels!

A poetry prompt from Poetic Asides

Sometimes I like thinking of silly life analogies

If you think of life
as an amusement park ride
like one of those octopus rides where
we each sit in a separate container
as we whirl around, up and down
in seemingly random directions, I'm the one
who stays on for a second go
after eating a huge funnel cake,
hurling it over the side of my container,
and I spend every day apologizing
to the unfortunate carnie
who operates the ride.

(Actually, I think this was a real-life event from my early teen years.)

I like your coffee

I've heard you like your coffee hot and sweet
Yeah, I've heard you like your coffee hot and sweet
And baby come see me when you're ready for cream

I hope you don't think that was too forward of me
No, I hope you don't think that was too forward of me
Baby, I got the silky smooth lovin' is all I mean

Somebody done told me in the morning you get up early
Boy, somebody done told me in the morning you get up early
So when you rise and see me there, baby slide back down next to me

A poetry prompt from NaPoWriMo

Also inspired by my favorite blues band I used to go watch in Denver, Colorado, The Delta Sonics and the way they sing and play "I Like My Coffee"

Danger, danger

There's a whole lot of death
in the phrase
curiosity killed the cat.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


I just had one of those beautiful moments of coincidence, or happy accident or synchronicity, whatever you like to call it, as I sat down with my coffee and computer to catch up on some Facebook posts from friends.

A good friend in New York posted a link to YouTube to a song he has stuck in his head, so I clicked the link and listened to it, "Power To The People" by John Lennon.

And when the song was over, I was thinking, hey, you know what song by John Lennon I really wanna hear now? Yes, "Imagine"...

And as the song was playing in the background, and as I was scrolling through Facebook reading friends' updates, a good friend in California had posted this picture...

I can't imagine a more perfect way to start the day.

100% Scared of Umbrellas

With their pointy protrusions
threatening my eyeballs
at every turn,
I'm not fooled
by the makers of musicals
and their insistence that umbrellas are
the harbingers of happiness
when I know
that a spoonful of their medicine
goes down in the most frightful way
and I'm still
screaming in the rain
just screaming in the rain...

A poetry prompt from Poetic Asides

To lose is to find

In the throes of life
you yearn to find yourself, but
the genius of death
is in the interest of time
and that's when you lose yourself.

A poetry prompt from Poetic Bloomings

Unsolicited Singing Telegrammer

is my future job title.


And tiny hotel soaps in the shapes of seashells

A mild infatuation is pleasing
in the way some things
are pleasing, like
sugar cubes
and tea bags, and
big pink erasers, and wine corks
stained red, pomegranate seeds
and incense cones first lit, glowing
fireflies in the dark, as you speed
down a country road, streaks
of dried mud on your shins, just because
tiny boxes of matches with clever designs
and the toothpaste aisle, so many
identical things, the artistic principle of repetition
and handi-wipes, the word
and your favorite towel.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I love to lie on hard surfaces

I love to lie on hard surfaces
to feel all of the hardest places to reach
connect with the ground
as I look up through the ceiling
through the sky, through the blackness
surrounding the stars, and ask questions I know
I don't want the answers to, like
what's next?

To let my eyes wander a little
to the left, to connect with the light of a star
is to look backwards in time, and something
prevents me from doing this
for too long, I see
enough to witness balls of light
forming a string, like planes
preparing to connect to earth.

And my eyes wander back
to the darkness, to the silence
where infinite possibilities are born
with a blast as big as a bang, I say
wait, wait… don't tell me...

A poetry prompt from:
the imaginary garden with real toads

Also inspired by the title of NPR's weekly hour-long quiz program, "Wait Wait… Don't Tell Me!"

Bye bye, avatar

I left the states, and my belongings three months ago, and since then I have been very, very slowly tying up loose ends. Like canceling memberships, recurring donations, car insurance, etc. etc. And today I remembered my xBox Live account. It is set to renew in August, so I logged into the site and turned off the automatic renewal, and I found my little avatar there to greet me. And so now I say goodbye to my little xBox Live avatar. I'm sending you off to the island of Abandoned Avatars (somewhere in the vicinity of Misfit Toys, I'm sure).

Bye bye, sexy, mini-skirt-wearing, spiky-haired rebel...


When I think of you
     and what you do to me
I think of my favorite word


expectant lips

a balloon in flight
     losing itself



Your magic
tricks me
into believing I'm alone with myself
our quiet, a dreamland
learning you slowly
along an infinite future

The shine in your eyes points
to oceanic depths, but
that metaphor has lost its gravity

and besides,
caves are more suited for the task
of telling your stories

I want to venture inside
with my lantern and my parakeet
in pack, to pet the shapes
of the smooth and jagged walls
to find my way by tasting
the cool wind that blows from the dark, ahead
a smell so sweet
the fairest feathered friend faints
and yet something draws me deeper
softly pawing my way along a string
that was cast
along with a wish

A poetry prompt from The Sunday Whirl

A conversation between friends


Do not mistake
my childlike questioning
of the universe
for naivety,

And I will not mistake
your sarcastic knowing
of the world
for insecurity

While we travel
the same continuum


Mahjong Mystery: Revealed

I made a post almost a couple of weeks ago about finally learning what was in the building next door...

Mahjong Mystery

Well, after taking a long walk today I stopped at the restaurant next door before heading home. After eating, I went to the restroom which was in the back of the restaurant, down a long hallway. And guess what was also down this long hallway??? Yes, the Mahjong Mystery rooms, revealed!

I snuck a peek...

And a closer peek...

And a closerrr peek...

And then I looked out the window and saw my own bedroom window across the alley!...(kinda creepy)

And then I came home and took a picture out of that same window and into the Mahjong Mystery room I was just in five minutes earlier...

I think I can now rest peacefully.

oh noetry

My friend sent me this link, and I laughed out loud until I nearly cried. So many funny shirts. Here are a couple poetry-related t-shirts that make me giggle...

Monday, April 2, 2012

June 26, 1977

If I could stop laughing long enough
to put to words this feeling
that's coming up from deep within
about to send me reeling

into bottomless oceans of metaphor
and plenty of cooked up cliche
but I should probably stop the rhyme
lest this feeling get led astray.

And so I leave you with someone else's words
to better tell my story
a song that reached its utmost height
on the birth of this allegory.

Trying hard now
it's so hard now
trying hard now

Getting strong now
won't be long now
getting strong now

Gonna fly now
flying high now
gonna fly, fly, fly...

A poetry prompt from NaPoWriMo

Chinese movie experience

Today I went for another long walk and stumbled upon a movie theater. All of the signs, posters and marquis were in Chinese, so of course I couldn't make sense of anything. I couldn't really tell what movies were playing on this particular day, or what times, etc. etc. etc.

And I couldn't even communicate (or mime) the question for "What is playing today?" I tried. And failed.

Luckily another girl came up to the counter to purchase a ticket for a movie, and she understood I was having troubles, and she spoke a teensie weensie English, just enough to help me understand which movies were playing and what times. THANK YOU MYSTERY GIRL!

I had two options. One was a Chinese movie with Chinese actors and the other was Blitz, a movie with Jason Statham...

I chose Jason. I thought the movie would be dubbed over in Chinese, but I didn't care...I thought, hey, Jason Statham is Jason Statham in ANY language ::insert repetitive eyebrow raise motions here::. The movie was in English, with Chinese subtitles. As a fun learning experiment, I tried to read the subtitles and figure out what the characters meant as I listened to the dialog. I don't think I figured out much, just some basics like "good" "no" "what" and some characters that reference people in ways like "you" "them" "we" etc. Oh, and the movie was as you would probably expect. Jason Statham being over-the-top cool and rebellious, with a revved up soundtrack and lots of running and beating people up. Fun times.

Oh and guess what! There were no previews for other movies before this movie started! I'm not sure if it's like this for all movies here in China, but it was great just jumping straight to it. Way to go, China. Sometimes I do like to see previews, but today I wasn't feeling it...previews would just add pointless time before my eyeballs could be blessed with Jason-ness.

In the theater lobby I was super excited to see this poster (I sort of hate to admit it)...

Titanic in 3D, hello! I will definitely be coming back in a couple of weekends to see this, and I don't care what language it's in since I know every word (SIGH. I know, I know).

Oh, the madness!

I have no control.

Ever since arriving in China, I can't walk by a little cute Asian notebook and NOT buy it. Here are a few I've accumulated in the last two months...

"Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf" (C'mon, how could anyone resist this?!)

"Happy Cute Lamb"

And this one says on the lower left corner:
Shadow of the Shadow
About Some

I love carrying around little notebooks for jotting down ideas, words that come to mind that I like and may want to use, and little poems. It's the only justification I have for continuing to succumb to this new addiction.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

We are born to tell stories

We like truth but not too much
The sun rises, the sun sets
Oh look how we pretend as such
We like truth but not too much
Marvelous tales woven in the clutch
Where correctness fails the muse begets
We like truth but not too much
The sun rises, the sun sets

A poetry prompt from NaPoWriMo

Time for a new game

I've played the game for 20 years
since the time that I began to question
What do I want to be? but

is not a what

do you want
to be
when you grow up

To ask
we of youth
stops us dead in our tracks

A sandwich
is a what.

Endless summer days
is a want.

Infinite love
is a thing to be.

My soul
is a grow-ing.

I played the game for 20 years
and sometimes it was fun
and sometimes it filled me with pride
     the emotion that comes about when we break ourselves against someone else
     and we realize the damage isn't all that bad
     the emotion meant for defining ourselves by the measure of others
     the emotion with a hard candy shell, and a vaporous middle
and sometimes I had fun
and sometimes I made new friends
     out of partners in enterprise
and sometimes I made those green things
     the invisible things that sometimes accumulate in the invisible container
and most times I spent those invisible things
     on toothpaste
     on pizza
     on things, things, things
and sometimes it worked the other way
     I spent myself
My invisible self
     accumulated in the invisible container
And each day I nervously checked the balance
afraid to find it less
than the figure I had brought to mind

A poetry prompt from NaPoWriMo

Sizeable Ham Jet

My favorite anagram of my name, discovered here:

I guess this is what happens when you don't drink wine for months on end

Something just happened that I wish had been recorded, a lesson on how NOT to open a bottle of wine. The wine shop threw in a free wine opener since my apartment doesn't have one, so I screwed it into the cork, but the cork wouldn't budge. After about 20 minutes of messing with it, the cork budged a teensie bit, and then a teensie more, and then I had to break off the cork as it was very old and dry and there was no more budging. So then I took a butter knife and tried to pry the cork out, and it came out a bit and then I broke off a little more. So then I said forget this, and started jamming the rest of the cork down into the bottle with the butter knife. I pounded and pounded and then all of a sudden a massive spray of red wine spewed out of the bottle and into my eyes, face, hair, arms, shirt, pants, socks, kitchen floor, kitchen walls, and somehow out the kitchen door and into the living room! As the wine was stinging my eyeballs I couldn't stop laughing at the absurdity. Happy April Fools Day to me! (I'm now really thankful for the mold splotches on my kitchen wall, because no one will ever notice the wine spray when I move out.) Ok, now time to pick all the cork pieces out of this glass of wine, and celebrate!

Stream of Consciousness Uncensored

I stood in front of the bathroom mirror
and it struck me
like my eyes were seeing a new world, a new truth
for the first time, before the idea of first, or last
that I am an accident, a miracle, a chance
to explore beyond the constructed boundaries of this existence
I can do anything
I am without limits
I am a stream
of magical life
finding the least resistant paths
to myself, through myself
my eyes filled with tears
and they fell
streaming down my cheeks
into my mouth
down my chin, disappearing into my neck
These moments we have
define us
and I discover myself in them
We are amazing
clusters of star stuff
a form taken
by chance
and what a beautiful, limitless form
of consciousness
I will never be the same.

You make me feel like a planet

You make me feel like a planet.
I don't ask to be probed
Just swirling in my own orbit
my own rhythm
invisible gravity
I reflect
The only reason you see me


There are plenty of reasons why
or stars in the sky
of fish in the sea
or these things to go 'round.
There's plenty more where that came from,
     says the most vague statement in the world.
Only the genius of a child is allowed to ask,
     How do you count to plenty?

This was inspired by a friend's little daughter who asked her this question.