Cat Bones in the Flower Beds

this feels good

A (sweet) Ghost is Born

On July 25th, my new chapbook, Sweet Ghost, was officially released. WOW. The release date culminated with a reading and magic showcase of some of my favorite musicians/human beings. The evening also marked the release of Annie Girl and The Flight’s new self titled album. Annie Girl is making some of the most honest, important, heart charged music that there is, it would be smart to listen.

For the last year or so, I’ve been collecting images and sounds that I’ve felt best communicate the heart of the poems in Sweet Ghost. Four years ago, I was gifted a tin box of 8mm film strips that my mother and father shot in the ’70s. Most of the footage is of our family. Birthdays, Christmas, playing in the yard. I was 0-3 years old during the production of these films. The color, grain, and strange rituals documented, woke up a series of literal and metaphorical ghosts/memories for me. By weaving the images of these film strips with images and sounds that I have created, I tried to construct an alter, a spell, a re-creation of memories real or imagined.

The video here is a portion of what I projected/used as a backdrop/sound collage for the inaugural reading of Sweet Ghost.

Sweet Ghost Projections

Axl on an Airplane

I flew into Boston last week, and thought Axl Rose was sitting three rows ahead of me. I immediately imagined writing an entire book of poems about (for) him, and also wondered if he was still alive. I came up with a few titles: The Ghost of Axl Rose, Living with Axl, Axl on an Airplane, and my favorite, Contemplations of Guns and of Roses.

I really hope I follow through with this project.

Here are the first few poems.

1.

Sweet Child of Mine

You are bloated

and smell like Dexedrine

Why aren’t you sitting

in first class?

2.

Welcome to the Jungle

Your album art

made me feel

complicated

3.

 Patience

You can’t find your belt

and we’ve run out

of leave in conditioner again.

Your Grammy is missing

4.

Paradise City

None of the girls

wear bras.

And the boys

read books

and take you to the movies.

Everyone is fucking

And everyone feels free

There are no mice in the house,

not ever.

Don’t You Know Someone

A couple weeks ago, I purchased a flex-a-tone. I love it so much, and vow to record weird sound poems with it, forever. Three strange wind chimes/bells also surfaced in the house. They are from France, and are rocking my world. This is a video poem, showcasing these new awesome sounds. The images are from the living room, the text is the last line to a poem, “To Leo, on his Lunch Break,” which is featured in my forthcoming chapbook, Brave, Wicked Sailboat.  “To Leo…” is a separate poem, having little contextually to do with this video. I like to think of the two pieces flowing into each other. The last line of “To Leo…” becoming the first line of this new poem. A sort of call and response.

http://vimeo.com/36055115

 

To Leo, on his Lunch Break

 

Old man, in your powder blue suit,

I adore you. Eat your eggs

and think about the Dodgers.

Save your orange for last

and watch the trains go by.

You have a book about birds

your name’s Leo.

Let me think about you

at the ocean. Let me think about you

with an old friend,

with a lightning bug,

with a woman wearing panty hose

and red hair.

Let me call the woman Helen.

Come here Helen.

Tell me not to be so sad,

to see you eating alone.

This is a diner, remind me.

People eat alone here.

Everyone is alone, even you.

And aren’t you a little happy?

Don’t you know someone

who can make you twist and glow?

Bury My Heart

This fall, I dug into Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. It was hard for me to read. I didn’t finish it. Hardly started it. This is a reaction/intention/release that I wrote after reading a particularly difficult passage. I wanted to somehow prove, that the way we love and live presently, can somehow honor the past, undo a portion of the pain. I want to believe this is possible. These images came together last night.

Quiet Lightning

This November, I read with Quiet Lightning at Chez Poulet. Quiet Lightning is magical, check them out.

Here are some links to the performance, and their Sparkle and Blink publication.

Quiet Lightning is performing Monday, January 2nd at Club Deluxe in San Francisco. Check it out.

A Surprise Phone Call, on Day of the Dead

A Surprise Phone Call, on Day of the Dead

For Helen 

After the afternoon dishes,

Sara drove to the cemetery,

she was looking for you

but couldn’t find the stone,

sat down beneath a tree instead.

She wasn’t surprised

when the birds came.

Dozens of them,

appeared out of nowhere

and shot up

to the five-o’clock

east coast moon.

She picked up her phone.

The sky

is purple orange,

she said, and it’s dangling

like a dream catcher,

above all the dead bodies,

and all the living ones too.

Sweet New England

Headed east for a wedding last week. Just got back this morning. Reminded me of a poem I wrote a few years back, inspired by a Jonathon Richman tune. I wanted to write an opposite, and a truth. A coming to terms with the coast I was born to. An attempt to articulate everything I love and fear about it. I’m still learning how to best articulate this. Here are some images from my recent trip. I stalked the neighbor’s clothesline, thinking of this poem the whole time. The napkins and table cloths that were hung out to dry, had tiny crimson crosses stitched into them. It really was terrifying up close. Again, the sound is an issue. Press mute:) And imagine an old woman reading the text, or a young girl, or me. Imagine the text stitched into the linen. That would have been something.

The history of New England is full of the horrors

that have turned life into gloom, joy into despair,

naturalness into disease, honesty and truth into

hideous lies and hypocrisies.

Emma Goldman


Sweet New England

Look at you there

all stately,

ghost towned

all blueberried

all bare.

You built libraries

for us to sit in,

memorials for us to kiss.

You have bugs in the summer,

whales in the spring.

Your country stores,

thunderstorms,

your universities,

make us want to go driving.

We forget about

the women you’ve burned.

We turn our heads

to the stones you once threw.

Like this one here,

used to split and bruise

baby skin.

From you we learned guilt.

From you we learned lying.

Look at us watching

all cross legged

shoeless

all brave.

Tall and long necked

as an apple tree,

we wear a black dress.

We picture a light house,

an orchard, a steeple,

a mill.

You like it best

when we picture these things.