In the Oven

Nov. 2nd, 2010 01:33 pm
raoin: (little me)
In the Oven

I suspect,
yes, suspect is a good word,
as I push the dates around on the calendar,
eye-balling them, daring them to differ with me.
A staring match with a calendar is a loosing proposition;
may as well bite my lip now and declare defeat.
I let my finger slide down the page in surrender.
I can feed myself a line of bullshit
but time, and its passage, could care less how I feel.

It’s a hunch;
like those furtive notes passed with boxes, requesting check marks:
Do you ask because you know or do you know because you ask?
Sure as rain and spring yield bud and seed,
some things are true before you know them
and will be true no matter when you know them.
But some things, like a pie, aren’t really pie until they’re done.
Before that its all parts of a whole, pieces juxtaposed but not united;
not yet imbued with the suchness of themselves.

I can page forward through the calendar,
but I wont find any answers there, just more indifferent time.
A day is just a placeholder for something bigger,
even if it’s the day I’m on right now.

I can make pie after pie,
but I cannot resurrect fresh cherries from the cooked whole.
Its not that I’m cooked or uncooked,
its that I may be cooking.

in point of fact, i am not.
i waited to post this until i knew for sure.


Jun. 23rd, 2010 03:05 pm
raoin: (water snakes)
Not much fits at the bottom of a glass.
A world full of portholes.
It's like only ever seeing yourself from the waist up in a mirror,
reflections are all smooth and blurry lying bastards,
but then you go and find a full length mirror
so there's nothing to hide behind.
I couldn’t identify who that was if I had all night and pile of flashcards.

Light gets sharp, brightness cuts and shatters.
Peering into a mug
the world is a vibrating haze of pilsner and lager.
Through the glass you could say everything you always wanted to say
Being here is like forgetting to breathe.
You ask yourself how hard can it be, I almost never think about it
Should be easy to forget the things you never think about
Like the rest of the soft-edged person frowning into the mirror;
the rest of the person not enveloped in currents of stout and pale.
It’s the portions you never let yourself think about
Always there – they are the hardest thing to forget.
raoin: (i want to believe)
by Elton Glaser

I like the cool and heft of it, dull metal on the palm,
And the click, the hiss, the spark fuming into flame,
Boldface of fire, the rage and sway of it, raw blue at the base
And a slope of gold, a touch to the packed tobacco, the tip
Turned red as a warning light, blown brighter by the breath,
The pull and the pump of it, and the paper's white
Smoothed now to ash as the smoke draws back, drawn down
To the black crust of lungs, tar and poisons in the pink,
And the blood sorting it out, veins tight and the heart slow,
The push and wheeze of it, a sweep of plumes in the air
Like a shako of horses dragging a hearse through the late centennium,
London, at the end of December, in the dark and fog.

from Winter Amnesties
Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale, IL

commenters on this poem remark that it includes in its subtext a caution against smoking.
i like this poem because it is a person alone with themselves,
enjoying the moments in their life as exactly as they can.
its a love poem to something banal, ordinary, to something that will one day kill them
- although human life is short and anything could kill you - it doesnt have to be the cigarettes.
raoin: (across the universe)
Across Velvet

Like sliding bodily through deep pile carpet;
gazing through the thick rain of a summer storm;
the blurry breath against a winter window:
sit still and look.

A momentum not of my making moves me forward
and i am afloat - detritus on a stream.
Or more so,
it is the water
coursing to the lowest point, the farthest point we can reach.

Distant, i reach back, cast back
- find only myself -
slick to the touch and i cannot hold on.
i go because i go.
irreducable, i dream:
shadows could pass me, lift me, pull me.
beyond, this sum of our parts
echoes all around me
create ripples in the water.

I cannot ever wholly know, cannot taste
yet you flow into the sea with me
what choice do you have
those who have been, those who will be
many parts, one, acting.

if i had a wish: cast me up into the spray.
If i land on the bank, on the shore
i have been there, will be there -
have never been there, could never be there.

Hold the breath you are not breathing -
pass through.

written in response to the art theme for April 26th through May 3rd.

(an excerpt from )
Hand Shadows
by Mary Cornish


"beneath a star that died a little every day/ stars were born/... linked
by a thumb, they flew one following the other..."

i know i was really late responding to this one.
i just had a bunch of shit going on and sometimes my headspace doesnt mesh up with poetry.
i dont know if i'm wholly satisfied with this one, not like Lost in the Orchard which i liked a great deal.
when i get into the brass tacks of talking about how i feel about time, metaphysics, and relating to others, i sometimes get tangled up in the ineffable qualities i ascribe to some of those problems.
raoin: (watch the garden grow)
this week's art theme:

(an excerpt from )
Hand Shadows
by Mary Cornish

"beneath a star that died a little every day,
and from a nebula of light diffused
inside Orion's sword, new stars were born.
My father's hands became two birds, linked
by a thumb, they flew one following the other."

from Red Studio, 2007
Oberlin College Press

feel free to look up the rest of the poem if you want.
as per usual, anyone can join in and you dont have to post your results.
although i will say, i love to see the results of others.
any kind of creative output is acceptable.
raoin: (watch the garden grow)
Tidal Breath

I look through slots -
chubby, overexposed rectangles of green and yellow
lead up to angles of blue matted with white.
Increase the saturation - small spots flash and sparkle
and back in the grayscale dimness I ponder:

What if our ceilings were floors?
What if you had to actively climb into rooms?
Would the passing of our lives hold more meaning
if our light came from below, not above?

I spend fifths of a minute, indefinitely, just tracing
the dry rot of mini-blinds and household mold -
those sporangia look like trees to me;
deep within the canyons of these cracks.

the high tide and low tide compresses a sigh;
I shut the blinds.
raoin: (light a flamethrower)
today's theme is the phrase that's been stuck in my head for 48 hours:

"Tidal Breath"

feel free to play along.
create any kind of art - paint, draw, sculpt, write, cook, sing, play, perform.
just so long as it has to do with this theme.
then record it, and post it to this journal or your journal.
or heck, dont post it at all - just feel pleased to have done something.

get involved.
get motivated.
get creative.
raoin: (water snakes)
with acknowledgements to Stephenson's Cryptonomicon

What Keeps Me Up At Night

The soft pressure of your hands in my hands.
My pulse quickens as if I am running as fast as I can towards the horizon.
My thoughts flash to the shoots of bulbs pushing through soil,
Vines climbing up against the sky,
Bright green buds emerging from the bough.
You seem a long way off, my heart is pounding.
The entire world seems bright and sharp.
I wonder if my pupils are pinpricks in a sea of hazel and gray.
And I lean towards you, for I am certain no words could bridge this distance.
My hands within your hands,
As if my every ridge and whorl is interlacing with your every arch and curl.
Your hands are warm and i feel a steady pulse push back at me from your wrists.
As I focus the edges crumple grey and foggy.
My teeth seem to be vibrating in their sockets,
I have had three cups of coffee and nineteen cigarettes.
I have had half a bottle of Benzedrine.
I have been strapped to the nose of a V-1 rocket.
I lean towards you, my lungs might burst from the exertion.
Your hands in my hands,
And closer now, still closer,
the flecks of gold in your green irises are stones among the lilies in this country,
your pupils are the clear stratosphere of a chill October night,
the light around us casts alien constellations against those impenetrable concavities.

Your mouth is smooth like fresh fallen leaves,
I am interred in the wet warm reality of tongue and teeth.
Your lips crinkle as lush grass under my feet as I come running back
And I feel as though I have been swallowed whole into the vastness of space.
raoin: (crossroads)
Fiona Apple's "Never is a Promise" and "Slow Like Honey" and John Doe's "The Golden State"

The Hole in My Head

There are voices calling you
- the washing stumble of rain against the windows.
Just another herald.
Just another moment prolonged – over-extended.

Look to the too-brief too gentle kisses
You drop them subtly into my pond, they barely ripple the surface
They raise my water level and I lie there still and unrumpled, unknowing.
Look to the familiarity of small phrases,
I’m going, I’m going
Temperate calls - the clock chiming the hours - regular and unregarded.
But would you hear me.
Would you see me.

I am losing you in the toothpaste, the grocery lists, the mopping of the floor.
I am losing me among the detergent and the laundry and the recycling.

I do not want our life to be the played out rehashing of chicken leftovers;
The repeated betrayal of day-old steamed vegetables and unimaginative gravies.

Be my cliché.
I am yet still aware of what might be.

Look to the scent of rotting leaves and recent rain,
that chill in the air should mean autumn
but your hands were always warm and sure.
Don’t let them go cold with doubt.
Don’t let routine box you away from me -
we are not Christmas ornaments, pretty paper and wrappings taken out once a year.

My everyday jolt of lightening, stark against the stars of my life and dreams,
I would burn you deep into my retinas, scratch you daily into my skin.
Remind me.

Worn ragged and faint,
beneath deadlines and bills,
amid meeting ends, we have courted finality and let it end us
and the selfishness of separate worries is merely the consequence.

Your blood, my blood.
Your name, my name.
Count, breathe, and jump with me
that fire, this broom.
Let us be always each instant
Wholly ourselves together.
Be with me
full and flowing.
raoin: (little me)
"where are you going? where do you go? are you looking for answers to questions under the stars?" --Dave Matthews

The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed. --Stephen King

I Am My Own Map
I never held my breath.
My faith was strong, like stepping
out into sunlight.
And I always just knew.
So, when I see the endless blue sky, cloudless stretching
over rolling waving rustling wheat fields
the wind of my memory moaning to itself
about the end of summer - the crisp moment of fall -
I know that each breath is my own
an unconscious exhale reaching into oblivion.
And I know when it is time to go.
You are my laughingweeping ache
- my perfect acceptance of truth -
my moment when my sight is as clear and cloudless as the sky above me
and when i wish now
when i inhale and squint out into the world
it is to ask not what road i have taken
but, where do these woods go and how far are those mountains?
raoin: (watersnakes upclose)
Something to Remember Me By

"I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas." --T.S. Elliot

I waited for you, each moment like holding my breath -
each breath fluttering from me a startled bird returning to its flock.
I've seen these moments take wing and migrate far from my reach
and all the little rituals of my day
the small sigils that mark the paths i have taken or yet to take
are incremental parts of the numberless ways, the numberless breaths, that i have spent looking for you.
If you come you may yet rest your hand against the window pane and feel the warmth from my startled breaths, each longing to return.
If you return, you may yet see the small flocks of trifles and trinkets which make up the well of all my memories of you:
this pebble from that beach
the blurry Polaroids of half dark rooms and dim candles
old ticket stubs and crumpled receipts for places to go and things to eat

I expect i have forgotten you as i forget the exact whorls of my finger prints each time i look away.
I breath out and the next little bird insists i know you in my heart.
My heart aches with the breath i hold, rusts and turns over in its sleeping wait.
my vision is cloudy, fogging this window, and the shape of you is my vision -
an elusive cloud, fading even as it is transgressing the sky.
I concentrate amid the depths of this flotsam and you become essential:
warmth rising up from the ground beneath me
the parabolic trajectory of flight
the wind pushing a hurricane up river
wind in my hair and light on my face and i breath out again
my breath fogs the glass and flutters the candles of my Polaroids
where you are tonight, there too shall i be.
raoin: (dont you look smart)
Along the river bank,
against the Gothic backdrop of church spires and great stone bridges
the artists and the farmers sell their wares.

I stroll amid the clusters of well-dressed locals and tourists:
past women with small woven baskets filled with the makings of dinner,
past young lovers who walk with locked hands,
their heads bent in the private susurrous of gossip shared,
past the jumble of workers seeking sustenance and spectacle.

The early summer day is cool with tiny whispering breezes
pulling scents of cool water, distant oceans, new mown hay -
and the sun seems like an easy and welcome friend playing between the leaves of Poplar trees
glinting off of the steady pace of the river.

I will know it when I see it, I think
as I drink in the heady smell of new bread from a stall I pass by,
the market and the river seem to stretch far into the horizon.

The near palpable flavor of fresh fish rises from another stall
and I pause to admire the rainbow of the scales, the crisp whiteness of the ice,
and the affable patter of the stall owner selling to the crowd.
His jokes about the one that got away are tried but still manage to elicit laughter -
he is glad to be here today, his world is right and true.

I smile, he has teased it from my face like a earnest suitor, and continue walking.
I feel out of time, a star amid planets;
set apart and yet immersed, I am a whole grain lost in the pounded flour.
The people around me could be speaking a hundred different languages,
I feel I would hear only the sine-wave rise and fall of humanity,
their sounds curl around me, I am a stone in the river and they pass me by.

At a soap-maker's stall
jasmine and gardenia hang and flow in the air like kites.
I scent one then the other and more beyond that,
like a flock of birds, I pick one scent out and it is replaced by yet another.

I have felt myself slowly pausing, have felt my legs -my feet-
seem to grow reticent to move on. To root where I stand,
to pull me to the side a tangle of tendrils and vines.
The grass, the patchy cobblestones, the trilling fountains tucked in small garden alcoves
hidden shady patches occupied by benches stone and wood - open and inviting.

Full - all the market is the whole world and I am present to all of it -
known and knowing.
Rich with the time and tempo,
this moment is a storehouse filling with seven times seven years of grain.

I find a stall selling new plums
they shine darkly, their gradations of color
evoking ancient kings and sunsets, death by violent hands and the bleeding force of new life.
I choose the first one my hand lands on.
Paying, I feel as though i have traded a small burden for a great joy.

I continue on, palming the plum from hand to hand. Rolling.
I feel it polish and snag beneath the skin of my thumbs.
My shoes scuff the soft ground beneath me, the ground is going to swallow me one day
and the dust rises languidly as I pass along this path.

my first bite is gentle.
I hear the rip of skin, feel the tear of flesh against my teeth -
the tart tang condensing into smooth swelling sweetness.
The sun shines, I hear a guitar softly tuning up ahead.

I am now only one week behind. this poem-story is based off of the chosen theme:

"And he was rich-- yes, richer than a king--"
from Richard Cory by Edwin Arlington Robinson

If you want to participate see this entry and this entry. If you are not a friend of [ profile] guessthejess you should be.
raoin: (through the mirror)
"We are making a cake." she said.
Home from work, I had walked into the kitchen towards the intermittent sound of pounding.
I could tell by the hunch of her pale shoulders as I entered the room
by the twisted whisp of errant hair, by the flour spilled on the floor:
she didn't want me to ask any questions.

The sun through the windows cut hard squares of yellow light
against the counter-top, the floor, her form.
Despite the heat, all the curtains were drawn back
and I could see the streaks and smudges from past rainstorms on the panes of glass.

I felt a sudden urge to run;
the sense that I had wandered somewhere I was not meant to be;
the primal feeling that I was alone in a room with a dangerous animal.

"What do you want me to do?" I asked.

She stood there, her back still turned to me,
I could tell she was crying, and had been crying when I came in.
The smell of almonds hung heavy in the air
and I knew I should reach out,
I knew I should place my hands
-warm, rough and strong -
upon her smooth, freckled, and slightly shaking shoulders
but I could not will myself just then to move.

Instead I asked, "What kind of cake?"

I could see the recipe book, with it's white&red checked cover,
lying open on the counter,
the sun making a hard delineation across one page,
and I could see that she was making an almond cake,
but some part of me felt the need to ask.

Small motes of flour rose in the sunlight.
The air in the kitchen was otherwise lambent and still.
She shifted her weight from foot to foot
and then continued pounding fresh almonds into pieces.

Her hands suddenly stilled, as if she had remembered something,
and seemed to be spotlighted by the unyielding light.
I began to form another question, one final unwanted question.

I took a step towards her then, as if my feet had a will of their own
and I was no more than a hands-breadth from her, reaching out -
she spoke, "You dont need to help."
- my hands frozen in mid-action hovered just above her shoulders,
I retracted them slowly.
My mouth was suddenly dry and I felt the need to lick my lips.
She said, "I'll be ok on my own."

I took a step back,
then another.
By the time I reached the door,
I was running.

despite the fact that i am two weeks behind on other art-theme projects, this week's theme seemed to draw my focus more than the others. this poem-story is based off of the chosen theme:

"White as an almond are thy shoulders;
As new almonds stripped from the husk."

from Dance Figure by Ezra Pound

If you want to participate see this entry and this entry. If you are not a friend of [ profile] guessthejess you should be.
raoin: (through the mirror)
if you are participating in the [ profile] guessthejess's Art-theme project, here's this week's new entry:
This week's theme for art buddies is:

"like blood against the eardrums, paints a mist"
from Blue Juniata by Malcolm Cowley.

see also here and here.

get involved and have some fun!
raoin: (water snakes)
Lost in the Orchard

Pear and Persimmon pass from my lips
Your love is cruel and grainy, tart and snappish.

Yet, I crave you, my succulent, cloying and heavy, a ripe fig,
I fall for you each time, clean and dripping.
You pluck me from my intents, divert fruitful content to richer passions.

When you coax me with apples, thick and heady,
Full with the sweet sharp crunch, a velvet ripping between my teeth,
I tarry over resins and tannins, over the prolonging rush of nectar.

You cozen me, deep drunk with blackberry wine,
which pours Inky and Stygian, and the scent of you wafts thick.
Your aftertaste is Dandelions and Magnolia,
Sweet and bitter, a reversal; a volta.

Alone, I find the scent of you is on my hands, on my skin,
I feel you rough upon on my lips, licking, lapping,
Lingering I taste your taste upon my breath,
I feel I cannot wash you from me.
My ablutions caress as your caresses, you are with me.

Golden honey, drip away from me.
Slick sweet, still I press you against my tongue.
Slip-slide away from me,
strong and viscid against my teeth, you elide the truth,
I would devour you: I am consumed.

want to participate? go here and here. not a friend of [ profile] guessthejess? why not introduce yourself?
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