My good friend and inspiration Dan Peccia will be presenting this KING SIZE piece featuring my “Poem for Shante” at the Oregon Potters Association Ceramic Showcase this weekend on May 1st, 2nd, and 3rd next to the Moda Center at the Veteran’s Memorial Colliseum in the exhibit hall. As you can see, it is a beautiful, ceramic birthday cake illustrating the sentiments of the poem. The back is also very cool (see below). This piece along with many other’s by a HUGE variety of extraordinarily talented artists will be for sale. I look forward to stopping by the showcase this weekend and bringing something new home with me! I am super honored to be a part of this amazing event.
Monthly Archives: April 2015
I’ve let go of purpose:
living, dying, dreaming.
My ego can no longer
sort out my unconscious
and barely knows
what my heart wants. But,
I think that in dreams
where I’m falling, it must
be death. And if he’s there—
I dream that the man
I used to love is falling, but
I haven’t pushed him.
The television flickers beneath
my eyelids when I wake: blue
static flashes, and laughter
buzzes like flies. Every time
he falls, it jars me just as
I’m jumping after him. I turn
off the tv, then silence—
an awful feeling like cleaning out
mouse traps in the morning.
The standing lamp in my
living room gets long or short—
depending on the sun’s
position. (I’m certain) And,
all day, I’m crouched behind
couches under tables. And,
I’m telling that silly lamp that I’ve
no persistence for keeping up
with the mice on the floor, or their
shadows. (I’m lying.) I’m trying to pick
them all up and throw them away
without gagging. I tell him I
ingest seventy-eight of someone else’s
truths and ninety fluid ounces
of Coke in a day. That my dad says
the government put something in it,
to fatten us up, our apple-mouths.
As I drop another shadow-mouse
in the trash, I tell the lamp
it’s no matter:
Though, when people
tell stories, I blink at the wall.
I heard love songs once,
guitar strings in my ribs. Until,
I listened from outside
and heard a joke. I turned off
the music and saw a spectacle—my face,
in the mirror, all quivering—Picasso.
(That look has since settled). When
I clean out the mouse traps,
I tell the lamp. Or I used to—until
I felt like he wasn’t
listening anymore, and
I turned him off. But I always
turn everything off.
I now know what I
know, in the thought of life and
the feeling of life
and I know that I am free.
When I start to see
the good in things, good things keep
happening to me.
And then, when I stop
seeing the good in things, good
things remind me to.
Last Wednesday I went and saw Harold Johnson read at the Pond House at 2215 SE Harrison Street by the Ledding Library in Milwaukie, OR, as part of the eighth season of the Milwaukie Poetry Series. Harold Johnson is a local Portland poet. He published a full length poetry volume in 2014 called Citizenship. Harold’s poetry was full of his life experience, family history, political history, black history, and baseball. Mostly, baseball…
I kid. Harold had a lot of different experiences to share and to lend his creative insight to. Harold has a bright spirit and a lot of talent. Beyond the poetry itself, which was incredibly powerful and moving, the moment that struck me most in the reading was the moment when someone asked Harold when he started writing poetry. I cannot quote his exact response, but he said something along the lines of that he would memorize poems in junior high and was very good at it. And when he started writing poetry in high school was when he realized that no one cared about it–poetry. He said this matter of factly, not indignantly or sulkily. It was such an interesting thing to hear a poet say, especially in a room full of people that had just listened to him read, haha. However, I do very much understand what he means in the sense it is not given as much stock in a way, as prose is. And, also, it just is not a cool art form in the way that music or movies are considered cool. Now I myself am not fit to explain why that is. Personally, I have read many poems that have been just as pleasurable and exciting and enthralling to me as a good movie. Poems that felt like roller coasters and poems with images that flashed through my imagination like moving pictures and sounds that echoed in my brain in surround sound. I guess maybe it’s the whole reading thing that makes it uncool… and yet we’re all such big readers nowadays with the internet. It can’t be that either. So I wonder.
I am extremely grateful to have found out about the Milwaukie Poetry Series. I found out a little bit late, unfortunately, but there are still two more readings!!! Lisa Steinman reads on May 13th and Annie Lighthart on June 10th, both on Wednesdays at 7pm.
Here is a link to an article I am mentioned in for the Southeast Examiner! You can’t really see it, but the poetry-pottery box also contains some of my poetry.
Fall Down Alice
The rabbit with pink eyes is
calling you now, away from the dingy
ol’ gutter, the crowd, from the ticking,
the chores and the grayer of things,
from your dimes and your diamonds, from
have to’s and needings, to wander
a night, into something so dark
and so deep you might think
you don’t know where you are… did you
drive? No, you followed the rabbit and
fell, where he went with his pocket-watch
I’ll never tell…
Down, down, down, you will go…
It’s a dream and a show!
Come now, take a sly bite or a small
little sip, eat me, drink me, you shrink,
you grow gorgeously big. Let’s all
run in a circle, and eat tiny cakes
hear the music and see all the flowers
and shapes, let our story take over,
as you take your tea and the mad hatter’s
riddle echoes in our frenzy. We dance
til the queen stands up with her face
red and she turns to us all and says
“OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!”
Let’s sing “Beautiful Soup” and
play games with the gryphon
surrounded by creatures incredibly
vivid, with big eyes and ears and
with smiles so wide you’ll see
galaxies in them and tumble inside.
Play a game of croquet with the king
of the hearts, you can play with the
queen, but you can’t steal her tarts.
Let us smoke with the blue caterpillar
and dance with our limbs changing
size in kaleidoscope trance. Take
a stroll through our garden, our
Refuge, and see what a whimsical
wonderland Portland can be…
Oh the Cheshire cat’s King-unsettling grin
will expand and contort in the radiant din,
a transfiguring smile makes pleasures unreal,
unless you can recapture your power and
kneel to the creatures unknown and
the mystical presence. And watch Alice, fall down
with the wide eyes of innocence
into the rabbit hole, sealing her youth
come fall down with our rabbit, discover your truth.
Down the Rabbit Hole, hosted at Refuge by Living Prism Productions, and created by my friend Dar Sernoff was an incredible night of musicians, dj’s, performers, dancers, jugglers, and artists, all working around an Alice and Wonderland theme. I could not have been more pleased with how it turned out. Around a thousand people attended, I went with a great friend from PCSL, who had never been to a Living Prism event before (all of which are incredible) and I danced for hours upon hours.
It was also a big step for me creatively, as I wrote a poem to honor the theme and also collaborated with my friend Dan Peccia to contribute some coaster pottery to the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party at the event. The pottery project as well as the poem were new territory for me, as I had never endeavored toward either such thing before with the intention of creating something for a specific event, purpose, and theme completely outside of my own body of work. It was a ton of fun and a huge opportunity for creative growth. This poem was inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Adventures in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass. The photos are of the pottery and event. Cheers!