Monthly Archives: April 2015

My “Poem for Shante” in the Oregon Potters Association Ceramic Showcase

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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.IMG_97291

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To Save Electricity (written February 16th, 2011)

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.

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April 18th Haiku – Epiphany

I now know what I

know, in the thought of life and

the feeling of life

 

and I know that I am free.

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April 15th Haiku

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.

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Milwaukie Poetry Series

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…

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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 exp20150408_203147lain 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.

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Also, you can read Harold Johnson’s poem “Smell Theory” through The Oregonian. And you can read a few others by him through KBOO.

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Feature in the Southeast Examiner!

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.

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Down The Rabbit Hole 4/4/15

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!

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