April 16, 2011
Postcard from a Dream: I Watch His Wings Unfurl
Sitting on the impossibly green lawn,
I jump as the eagle lands beside me.
I inch farther and farther away
from his beating wings, his terrible
claws. I try not to make
any sudden movements, as my heart
pounds in my chest.
I watch his wings unfurl
and I can only speak in single syllables.
He cocks his head and repeats
each word, watching me
with his one black eye.
I think this dream/poem is a hold over from Palm Springs. When I was in Palm Springs, I stayed with my father and his girlfriend. They live in a house with a huge backyard and numerous bird feeders. In the afternoons, I would sit in the pool and watch the birds, mostly hummingbirds and doves, eat. I think that I was in this backyard, in the dream.
April 15, 2011
Postcard from a Dream: I Must Jump
Of course, I am in high school.
Again. This time, I broke in,
after dark. The halls
are just as circuitous as I remember
and I am still running
room to room, trying to find
the right class. This time
the stories are connected
not by stairs, but by ladders
with missing rungs.
I must jump
from floor to floor. Even as fear
slicks my palms, I take
a breath and leap.
Of course I do.
I have a version of this dream over and over again. I am in college again, or high school, because I’ve missed a very important graduation requirement. I am older than everyone, I can’t find my room for class, and I get lost in the hallway. This was the first time that I have ever had to traverse an actual obstacle course, though.
You’d think I would get over this anxiety, since I have a master’s degree. But nope, I still dream about this every few months.
April 14, 2011
Postcard from a Dream: At a Lutheran Church Potluck
I drift from table to table
listening to the pastor’s echoing
mic’ed voice, grazing on globs
of fluorescent Jello salad
sprinkled with raisins.
At the Lutheran potluck, I stop
long enough to politely listen
to the woman’s memories of potlucks
twenty years past. I cringe
as she thrusts her taloned hand
into my meal, scooping herself
a handful of quivering, sugared slop.
I work at an ELCA-affiliated school, which I love. However, since I am decidedly not Lutheran, I often feel like a stranger there. I am wondering if that is where this dream (and poem) is coming from.
April 13, 2011
Postcard from a Dream: From the Other Side
I trace my fingers
across the rough stone walls, follow her
as she disappears
after every blind turn.
From the other side, I cannot recall
how I escaped. I only call
her name (so close to my own)
to guide her outside.
Her response, a whisper.
Lately, I’ve been having incredibly vivid dreams. My dreams have been so clear, real, and easy to remember, that I’ve been giving my husband updates each morning about my dreams. Finally, he encouraged me to write them down, just because I seemed so jazzed by them. And thus, a series of dream postcards were born.
Now, it’s been months since I’ve written poetry, so I’m feeling that these are pretty rusty. But in the spirit of NaPoWriMo, which I am clearly not participating in, I am posting them anyway. Take that, writer’s sludge*.
* Writer’s sludge is the after effect of writer’s block, which causes the writer to write kind of crappy work. Sort of like clearing out the system. My friend Kate and I developed this definition when we were young’ens. I still use it today.
April 10, 2011
Since around December, I’ve been grappling with a pretty hardcore writer’s block. I found it difficult to find the time and energy to write, when I was working so hard to promote Blameless Mouth’s release. And then I got pregnant and any sort of physical energy that remained flew out the window.
Now that my fatigue is subsiding, I desperately want to get back to writing. However, I feel like I don’t remember how to practice writing. I know it involves pen, paper, time, and ideas, but I feel like I was lacking the time and idea. Also, my last journal was getting full.
So, last Monday, I spent some time making a new journal. I had a lot of images going through my mind, but I settled on the colored squares. The phrase on the lower right “Remember Every Little Piece” is a reminder for me to record this moment in my life, as I’ve recorded so many others. Instead of writing, I’ve been living a lot in my head, without any output. I would love to be able to look back and have a physical record of what was going on in my life at this time.
Hopefully, this reminder will serve me well. The journal has already worked it’s magic and I’ve already written two and a half poems, which I’ll post over the next few days.
April 4, 2011
*More pictures are up on my Flickr.
Last week, my husband and I took a spring break trip to Palm Desert, California to visit my dad. As luck would have it, my brother and his girlfriend had an overlapping trip, so I got to see a big chunk of my West Coast family all at once. It’s so rare that I get to see them at all, let alone at the same time, that I was truly grateful for the time.
One of my requirements for visiting this year was to take Aaron to Joshua Tree National Park. When I visited my dad about two years ago, we went to Joshua Tree. It was the middle of winter and nothing was in bloom, but it was still beautiful. At the end of March, with wildflower season approaching, it was breathtaking.
The desert landscape is (now) so foreign to me, so I felt like I was visiting another planet. The cholla cacti, boulders, and mountains looked alien to me, since my part of the country was still covered in snow. Aaron and I traveled from the northern part of the park, through to the south exit, so we saw both cacti and wildflowers in one trip. I love having the opportunity for these kinds of trips with him.
Despite the extreme heat (101 degrees on the hottest day – 60 degrees above Minnesota weather), we both had a great time. Now that we’re back to wearing hoodies and scarves, I am craving a little more time in the sun. Hopefully, the Minnesota spring will start…any day now.
April 3, 2011
While many poets on the interwebs are committing to NaPoWriMo this April*, in celebration of National Poetry Month, Dave Bonta of Via Negativa is engaging in a different kind of poetry celebration. As he did last year, he is reading a book of poetry every day and posting his thoughts on the book.
I learned yesterday that he read Blameless Mouth and wrote quite a lovely review, which you can read here. I am so grateful for this review, because I respect Dave’s aesthetic and his work on his blog, qarrtsiluni, and his Woodrat podcast. I’m also excited, because this review was a total surprise. It was fun to comb through my feed reader and read a review of my very own book. I hope that you’ll read his review, as well as follow along with the other books he will be reviewing this month.
*Personally, I haven’t decided if I am going to jump into NaPoWriMo this year. I haven’t written poetry in months, so I feel like I need the practice. Yet, for the past three days, I’ve told myself that I can always start tomorrow.