Message in a bottle. (Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 8)

I’m a Missed Connections skeptic. I don’t believe that people recognize themselves when they read Missed Connections, and I’d bet that the writers know their messages won’t be found by their intended recipients. A Missed Connections posting seems to be more like a message in a bottle, doesn’t it? The writer throws it out there and hopes that anyone finds it and reads it. It seems like a lonely kind of thing to do.

Woman in the Porche with a nail in the tire from Vegas

I love how the writer tells us so much here. We have a woman in a car, and we know what kind of car it is. There’s something wrong with the car, and we know what. We don’t know whether the nail in the tire is from Vegas, or if the woman herself is from Vegas (dangling participle problems), but regardless, Vegas is involved and named as a location. That’s a lot of info in just twelve words.

For those of you unfamiliar with my Exquisite Corpse series, here’s my standard explanation:

To create these poems, I skim through the list of Missed Connections entries on Craigslist and pick out the subject lines that I find intriguing in some way, and then I arrange them into a shape that pleases me.

Credit goes to those strangers who unwittingly dropped wonderful bits of poetry in Missed Connections.

 

Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 8

I’m tired
Goodwill cashier and vinyl lover
Dark hair woman with skeleton mask
Cute woman in the hazmat suit
Cute guy who walks around the park
Hotel pool
Pain Clinic

You changed the creamer for me
You waved at me at our apartment complex
Exchanged glances while you jogged
You were getting gas on 3rd St and Thomas at 1130pm
Let’s go fast

Woman in the Porche with a nail in the tire from Vegas
I Saw You
Dancing in Gold Canyon

 

 

 

Sign of the times. (Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 7)

For tonight’s post, I come bearing a little collection of subject lines gleaned from the Missed Connections section of Craigslist. If you’ve been here a while, you’re familiar.

It was in April, my last Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse poem.

For this seventh poem in my “Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse” series, I expected to find more of the wistfulness that came through in April, but rather, there’s more desperation. I tried to side-step that. I still wound up with the mood you’ll find in the lines collected below. It’s important, though, this mood.

For those of you unfamiliar with this series of poems:

To create these poems, I skim through the list of Missed Connections entries on Craigslist and pick out the subject lines that intrigue me in some way… then I arrange them into a shape that makes sense to me. (My standard explanation)

Credit goes to those strangers who unwittingly dropped wonderful bits of poetry in Missed Connections. (My standard disclaimer)

Also, here’s a reiteration of April’s note: I left all punctuation (and lack thereof) exactly the way I found it. I felt that letting the lines stand alone and untouched made the final poem feel more apt for the times.

I do want to say one thing in particular about this curation! The Missed Connections subject line I chose for the opening intrigues me; in the Before Time, “phone girlfriend” didn’t have the pandemic application that it does today. These lines created a short poem that invokes doom, desperation, and the past. It’s a mood, as I said. It’s a time capsule of a sort.

 

Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 7

Phone girlfriend wanted
Music at bar
6Blocks away

Before the gyms were closed
We both saved two dollars
We shared the room last time I was in town

i was next to you high limit blackjack wild horse casino
Sarcasm, whiskey and ink
I doubt it

you told me something was hanging from my car
Hearse with the WATERBEDS signage
Still can’t believe you were there

Smoking car
Body in SCW
Nirvana Dispensary 11ish

 

 

 

Coronapocalypse quarantine week 5. (Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 6)

On “missed connections” during a pandemic:

With everyone in quarantine, there would either be more missed connections than usual, or less, depending on how you look at it.

The last time I did a Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse poem was in January, back in the Before Time. Just. We were on the brink, and we didn’t know it.

Be that as it may, for this sixth poem in my “Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse” series,  I read through the Missed Connections listings on Craigslist and gleaned some lines that came together in a poem that seems more wistful to me than ever.

For those of you unfamiliar with this series of poems:

To create these poems, I skim through the list of Missed Connections entries on Craigslist and pick out the subject lines that intrigue me in some way… then I arrange them into a shape that makes sense to me. (My standard explanation)

Credit goes to those strangers who unwittingly dropped wonderful bits of poetry in Missed Connections. (My standard disclaimer)

A note about this particular poem: This time, I left all punctuation (and lack thereof) exactly the way I found it. I felt that letting the lines stand alone and untouched made the final poem feel more apt for the times.

 

Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 6

To the person who paid for my coffee
I broke your key in your car door
Where is our joke for today?

Saw you at the stoplight
Saw you down by the fountain
You were jogging at Tempe Town Lake

Full moon festival we danced together all night

Where are you

Seeking a friend for the end

U Haul
The extra mile
Years ago

Sad but True
Burning building
Where I took you last weekend

My last customer

 

[credit: esoteric_guru]

The End.

 

 

Sumo Haiku 4: Last (Kisenosato, Abi, Hakuho, Takayasu)

With this last posting day of the month comes my final set of Sumo Haiku. If you’ve stuck with me for all four days of this little event, thank you!

In addition to devoting these days to haiku for NaHaiWriMo, I was hoping to make Sumo interesting in a novel way for those who aren’t fans. I’ve only been a fan for three years, so I know how different it can be to regard these guys as humans among us, out and about. Let’s face it: If you’re not a Sumo fan and you’ve no knowledge of Sumo’s traditions, what you likely see of the sport is a bunch of obese men in diapers trying to push each other out of a sandbox. I hope I’ve managed to bring some personality into this perception, if nothing else!

*****

If you haven’t seen it already, click here to read Sumo Haiku Day One with its introductory, explanatory opening text. I’ll go ahead and re-post the disclaimer part here, though:

[DISCLAIMER: In these haiku, you’ll read purely fictitious portrayals of the wrestlers, simple whims of my imagination as I considered each one. I actually know nothing of the inner lives and selves of these guys.]

I’ll introduce each haiku with the name and photo of the wrestler. The haiku about that wrestler will appear beneath his photo.

That being said, enjoy this last set of Sumo Haiku!

 

Sumo Haiku 4: Last (Kisenosato, Abi, Hakuho, Takayasu)

(by Kristi Garboushian)

 

Kisenosato:

 

  1. Kisenosato

Satisfying his

pressing need for clarity

requires nine days.

 

Abi:

 

2. Abi

Energy bound in

slim sheets of stationery:

changeability.

 

Hakuho:

 

3. Hakuho

He met a guy who

knows a guy who will purchase

his grandmother’s urn.

 

Takayasu:

 

4. Takayasu

Thunder clouds lifting

the earth on a planet turned

upside-down, shining.

 

The End, and Happy Friday Eve, my friends!

 

 

Sumo Haiku 3: Third (Ishiura, Ikioi, Sokokurai, Nishikigi)

It’s my hope that you’re enjoying these sumo haiku as much as I’m enjoying writing them, even if you’re not a part of a cross-over, niche world of readers who are both haiku and sumo fans. Whether you’re one of those or the other (or neither), I’m happy to introduce you to some of these combat athletes as they appear out in the world – in actual clothing, no less! (Pun not intended.)

Today is the third day of my Sumo Haiku project. Thursday will be the last TALC posting day of February. NaHaiWriMo will be over, my next post will consist of February Favorites, and then I have some newsy-news for you that I can’t wait to share!

If you haven’t seen it already, click here to read Sumo Haiku Day One with its introductory, explanatory opening text. I’ll go ahead and re-post the disclaimer part here, though:

[DISCLAIMER: In these haiku, you’ll read purely fictitious portrayals of the wrestlers, simple whims of my imagination as I considered each one. I actually know nothing of the inner lives and selves of these guys.]

I’ll introduce each haiku with the name and photo of the wrestler. The haiku about that wrestler will appear beneath his photo.

Have at it!

 

Sumo Haiku 3: Third (Ishiura, Ikioi, Sokokurai, Nishikigi)

(by Kristi Garboushian)

 

Ishiura:

 

  1. Ishiura

Self-conscious, he keeps

room for flexibility

in his bright jacket.

 

Ikioi:

 

2. Ikioi

…obliviously

takes out-of-season fables

from spring libraries.

 

Sokokurai:

 

3. Sokokurai

Possesses secret

talent for dance instruction

willed to him at birth.

 

Nishikigi:

 

4. Nishikigi

Goal for the new year:

enchant beasts of granite strength

with handfuls of stars.

 

 

Sumo Haiku 2: Second (Terunofuji, Kaisei, Daishomaru, Okinoumi)

Whether you’re a faithful reader or just someone who stumbled into this space, welcome to the second day of my Sumo Haiku project!

I’m enjoying this project. I would love for others to see and appreciate the beauty of Sumo as well as that of haiku.

If you haven’t seen it already, click here to read Sumo Haiku Day One with its introductory, explanatory opening text. I’ll go ahead and re-post the disclaimer part here, though:

[DISCLAIMER: In these haiku, you’ll read purely fictitious portrayals of the wrestlers, simple whims of my imagination as I considered each one. I actually know nothing of the inner lives and selves of these guys.]

I’ll introduce each haiku with the name and photo of the wrestler. The haiku about that wrestler will appear beneath his photo.

Enjoy!

 

Sumo Haiku 2: Second (Terunofuji, Kaisei, Daishomaru, Okinoumi)

(by Kristi Garboushian)

Terunofuji:

 

  1. Terunofuji

Ancestral fighter

redolent of sandalwood:

the older brother.

 

Kaisei:

 

2. Kaisei

No expectations.

He doesn’t want to offer

anything that asks.

 

Daishomaru:

 

3. Daishomaru

…adores reading and

inviting consequences

into rooms of art.

 

Okinoumi:

 

4. Okinoumi

He looks in their eyes

like he’s gazing at his death.

He rarely wears gold.

 

 

Sumo Haiku 1: First Four (Mitakeumi, Endo, Tochinoshin, Asanoyama)

In February 2016, I started writing a series of haiku, some of which I posted here in TALC. I didn’t post all 76 of the haiku I wrote between February and August that year, but I did share a few, each accompanied by a photo.

It’s now February four years later. Considering that February is National Haiku Writing Month (NaHaiWriMo) and that the next Grand Sumo Tournament (basho) is less than three weeks away, I wanted to write some haiku about Sumo. Haiku is a Japanese poetic form. Sumo is Japan’s national sport. I’m a big fan of both.

Sumo-related haiku could come from any number of angles, but what came to my mind in a moment of reflection was the idea of imagining the inner lives and selves of Sumo wrestlers (rikishi), like when you’re people-watching and your need for amusement spawns backstories for some of the humans you notice.

I selected my 16 favorite Sumo wrestlers with the intention of creating fictional personas for each of them. Between now and the end of the month – there are four more TALC posting days in February – you’ll see four haiku sets, each containing four haiku about four different wrestlers, one for each of them. The poems are short, as haiku traditionally consist of 17 syllables distributed across three lines. (I personally enjoy working within this tradition.)

Some of you are here for the poetry. Some of you might be Sumo fans, but I’m guessing that most of you are not. For those of you who’ve no special affection for either poetry or Sumo… yes, I went and combined the two! Thank you for bearing with me here today, and, in advance, on Thursday, and also on next week Tuesday and Thursday. [::sheepish grin::]

[DISCLAIMER: In these haiku, you’ll read purely fictitious portrayals of the wrestlers, simple whims of my imagination as I considered each one. I actually know nothing of the inner lives and selves of these guys.]

I’ll introduce each haiku with the name and photo of the wrestler. The haiku about that wrestler will appear beneath his photo.

Enjoy!

 

Sumo Haiku 1: First Four (Mitakeumi, Endo, Tochinoshin, Asanoyama)

(by Kristi Garboushian)

Mitakeumi:

 

  1. Mitakeumi

Maybe he believes

that evil fairies exist,

love notwithstanding.

 

Endo:

 

  1. Endo

“He’s the pretty one” –

I think, Goth, black eye-liner,

cold night, street light mist.

 

Tochinoshin:

 

  1. Tochinoshin

Mountains wake and roar

ten minutes into his sound

sleep. He’ll sometimes dream.

 

Asanoyama:

 

  1. Asanoyama

Perhaps amber ale.

Watery, late-summer fruit.

“Metrosexual.”

 

 

Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 5

I wanted to do this thing (you know the thing, if you’ve been here a while) where I take to Craigslist’s “Missed Connections” section to find interesting word choices and turns of phrase in the entries’ subject lines. I was also feeling in the mood for haiku tonight… so I did both. I found it necessary to break up some of the lines in order to fit the 5-7-5 syllable limit for the three lines of each haiku; aside from that and some added punctuation here and there, I can claim no credit for these little poems. The lines were written by strangers, simply plucked out and cobbled together by Yours Truly.
Enjoy!
Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 5
~~~
Where is she, the girl
with the galaxy tattoo
cozy at the bank?
~~~
Glendale glitters dawn.
We used to ride together –
gift of a lifetime –
~~~
You cut my hair. Still
can’t stop thinking about you.
Sweetwater, Sweetheart.
~~~
Breakfast! We had two
variations of the same
(WeOhweeOhwee)
~~~
Looking for you. You
(a girl) were driving on Wow,
driving to Vegas…
~~~
Missing you for her,
mutual casino friend.
“Miss our talks, Cupcake.”
~~~
Poker player, your
Obama phone was stolen.
The most frightful time.
~~~
Walked by you Tuesday.
I hope I see you again.
You liked my – I saw –
~~~

“Less One Decision on the Eve of a New Year”

I don’t know about you, but it’s New Year’s Eve where I am. 2020! We’ve reached a new decade!

In the spirit of celebration and on this occasion of reflection, I have New Year’s greetings (delivered by Nenette) and an original poem, respectively.

 

 

Less One Decision on the Eve of a New Year

You looked to see if your reflection was chance.

The stillness was there –
you bent to take a drink.
Above the agitated circles of your vision
there was the sleek tube of scales
sliding near and you, the skeptic,

named this for your own doubting mind.
You said, Viper, return us as leaf-shadows
on tin awnings, crisp and certain,
or as the sky in rust, defined as the cracked
blood on the ground. Return us
as rain.

Such precision could cast us back in.
It could revolutionize everything.

~~~~~

May 2020 bring out the best in us all.

 

 

Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 4

Since this blog tends to cycle around various topics, I thought of what I haven’t done in a while. I post a lot of gym updates. I do a lot of general updates. I’ve written a couple of movie reviews lately. I’m overdue for a Geronimo (Sonoran desert tortoise) update, but there’s not much to report right now because I don’t see him often enough in this heat! Geronimo comes out ready to rock during summer storms, but it hasn’t rained much… I read yesterday that the last time we had such a dry summer was in 1988. They’re calling this year’s monsoon season the “Non-soon.”

It’s been a while since I’ve written a mental health update, but I do plan to do one in the near future. We’ve also got writing updates, office updates, pretty much you name it, etcetera, plus random thoughts and story-time posts.

Today, though, I come bearing a Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse poem. The last time I did one was in May.

For this fourth poem in my “Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse” series,  I have a short lyric that’s as wistful and whimsical as the previous poems in this series.

Standard explanation: To create these poems, I skim through the list of Missed Connections entries on Craigslist and pick out the subject lines that intrigue me in some way. Then I arrange them into a shape that makes sense to me. This is actually a great creative writing exercise, I’ve found! I don’t change anything in these lines except for obvious typos (“sic” would disrupt the poem), neither do I alter punctuation or caps.

Standard disclaimer: Credit goes to those strangers who unwittingly dropped wonderful bits of poetry in Missed Connections for me to gather and combine.

Without further ado:

 

Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 4

Long ago and oh so far away
Night Swimming
Floating past on the lazy river
Where the wild things are…

Furniture Guy
Hiking the mountain
Card players
Sitting on bed in the bed of a white truck
dispensary chick
In and out
Plasma worker
Bowling!

just fun
so…

Hey neighbor….

 

 

Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 3

You know what makes my day sometimes? Missed Connections on Craigslist. I love this collection of writing, these strangers posting missives to one another.

It’s the entries’ titles that interest me, because those are the hooks. When I come across an entry titled “Asparagus Whisperer,” I smile. Not enough can be said of spontaneous smiling! When you’re alone at your computer and you smile out of amusement or affection, it’s genuine. A heartfelt smile intended for no one is a gift to yourself.

I went to Craigslist Missed Connections today and was rewarded, I guess, by the season… people seem to have been especially inspired by each other lately.

So here – I suppose this really has become something of a series! – I’ve collected my favorite hooks gleaned from about a month’s worth of Missed Connections entries. Credit goes to these strangers who unwittingly stopped by to drop bits of poetry for me to gather and combine.

I’ve probably explained this before, but again for you newer readers: I don’t change anything in these entry titles, save for obvious typos, as “(sic)” would muddy up the poem. I don’t add or change punctuation or caps. All I do is quickly skim through the entries and pick out the titles that intrigue me in some way, and I copy/paste them into a Word document.

 

Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 3

Hello, we met in the psych ward.
you switched to pharmacology after seeing a psychic
“They” say tue change purse has all the answers

Punk rock dude on 7th ave and indian school.
Serving up delicious pie
From Albuquerque to Vegas via Phoenix

Roadrunner
Cruisin 7th. You took money for the show
Looking For the Classic Beauty at White Mountain Dispensary on 4/20

Asparagus Whisperer
Missing that comic book girlie
Studying Spanish

Thoughtful woman who stopped at the Clean Freak
Looking for Michael the Bearded Bartender
Silver Cadillac on cave creek

Looking for my up, up, and away
Missed and missing still

Woman crying in car
I was at the movies alone – you were too.

 

La Fin.

 

 

Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 2

People usually go to Craigslist’s “Missed Connections” looking to find themselves in the entries. I go to look for people who expose themselves as poets in the lyrical titles they write.

Many of you seemed to appreciate my “Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse” post, so I thought I’d peruse Missed Connections again to curate another one! It’s a joy to look through the entry titles with a poem in mind.

Enjoy this poem written by strangers, for strangers:

Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 2

It’s Raining in Mesa
Almost forgot the keys

Crimson lips and glasses
90’s Movie Moment in Safeway
Peaches n cream
Blueberries Everywhere!

Remembering “Red Velvet”
Missing our literature discussions
Do you like art?
Did you make the most of it?

 

 

“I should” (Sharing an original poem.)

I knew. I heard you. You’ve been wanting a poetry post!

For something different and heretofore unseen in this space, I’m posting a form poem. That’s right: for today’s dug-up offering, I’ve got this poem I wrote in a grad school forms course. There’s actual rhyming in this poem, which most post-modern poets wouldn’t deign to write… they didn’t back in the early aughts, at least.

One of our assigned tasks in the forms course was to write a sonnet, and I do mean the standard English kind (iambic pentameter, 14 lines, three quatrains and a couplet).

It’s more difficult to do than you’d think.

I ended up with a sort of dark comedy in sonnet form. There’s something about a sonnet that brings out a degree of elevated language in conjunction with a built-in silliness, which I blame on Shakespeare. I thought I’d share this “gem” with you today. Also, I recently learned how to single-space within a WordPress post, which makes me wont to post more poems. Aren’t you lucky!

This one is called “I Should” ~Enjoy.

I Should

have known… when music caught my dream about
the street whose light emits from your garage.
When burns exposed the candlestick in house
arrest and prison sentence – more to dodge

– and stands of trees between o’clocks unpinned
themselves from dark alarms of your “awake.”
The only songs beneath the violin’s
remains are moments – those I need to take,

my blindfold off in order to see clear
the ash I’d presupposed, botanical
and all. Smoke that disappeared
before the instrumental, vagrant lull
resurfaced, asking for a newer room…
as I have wanted back the winter moon.

 

the end.

Mayhaps I took a small liberty or two with the form, but that’s what we’d call “creative license.” Or something like that.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

 

 

Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse.

In recovery news: I’ve been good! Better. Normal life resumes in a week. We did have to cancel our travel plans for Thanksgiving, unfortunately, but the bright side is that there’s always next year.

The last time I went out was when I stopped by Target after going to the doctor that day I got my rest orders. It was funny… I had to ask a young Target employee a question and then apologize for my low and raspy voice when I realized that I was barely comprehensible. She replied, “That’s okay. Were you screaming at a concert last night?”

I was vaguely pleased that someone would think I’d been screaming at a concert rather than recovering my voice from laryngitis.

Anyway, I wanted to share a poem today, but something different.

I have an old and intermittent habit of browsing Craigslist’s Missed Connections section for its wonderful, quirky lines of poetry left by people who don’t realize that they’re poets. Just scanning the first lines down the entry list reminds me of the Exquisite Corpse exercises we did in my graduate creative writing program.

I thought it would be interesting to put together a little Exquisite Corpse poem authored by strangers who left these first lines on Craigslist. I copied a random line, pasted it in, then quickly scrolled to another line (without thinking of the previous line) and copied it to paste in after the first, and so on. I grouped the lines into couplets, but I changed nothing. I didn’t add or take away punctuation marks or caps. I left the wording alone. All I did was copy, paste, and group the lines in twos.

The result… a poem written by strangers:

Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse

The Cowboy
Tammy plus 20 years ago

I miss our connection
Remember me?

Cowboy in St. John’s…
Noticed each other driving, said what’s up

Guy 58
You were drunk, dressed like a unicorn and hopping on one leg

Spirit Halloween store Salvador Dali
Looking for the DJ from the Freakshow

AZ warrior
Neon on a Friday

At the airport…
back after long summer

The girl with the pink hair
queen creek blonde pink streaks

Looking for girl at Wild Horse Pass
Your car broke down. You used my phone.

 

 

From the “new poems” file. (Haiku 18: Regime)

Two years ago, I started writing haiku (poems) in sets of four. I stopped when I started work on my novel, and I’ve picked it up again now that the novel’s finished… in addition to the longer poems I’ve been writing, that is.

These haiku sets adhere to the classic three-line, 5-7-5 syllable count, with the four haiku centering on a single theme. This is just the way I’ve been working with the form. I’ve taken liberties with it. With each theme, I’m basically writing a poem with four stanzas that happen to follow haiku structure.

Anyway! I know I’d said I would no longer publish new work here, but it seems I’ve been doing it again, so here you go – today, I’m sharing “Regime,” one of my recently written haiku sets.

~~~~~

Haiku 18: Regime

Kristi Garboushian, August 11, 2018

 

1.

Vision: thresholds lost,

kindnesses overtaken,

old pockets ripping.

 

2.

Possibly, maybe

likely – blind faith severing

children’s daisy crowns.

 

3.

Redwoods on fire.

Semiotics gone awry.

Glass of cabernet.

 

4.

Otherwise in thrall.

Spinal columns buried deep

beneath lost cities.

 

roses (23 August 2018)

 

 

 

 

 

“Fallen Meditation” (Sharing an original poem.)

I write poems when I’m speechless, or otherwise at a loss for words whether spoken or not. This one is a re-write. I’ll just leave it here.

 

Fallen Meditation

 

I sit down to write a letter.

 

What I know from experience,

comfort a step off O Luxurious

a posteriori

where the realm of having-done

remarks to the inner sensibility

sensible enough to ask,

 

How is this known. How is that known.

 

– what was known before.

 

The door may offer possibilities:

it may swing open, or shut, or it may

start to close, then stop,

fall off its hinges into the “room of things known”

 

open for inspection, analysis,

asking what is this. An answer

tearing quietly through the air we breathe

toward how is this known, how is that known.

 

Other things coming through the doorway:

A nudge of ants.

A file of drizzle.

Second-hand smoke.

 

I sit down to write a letter.

 

What I know from experience:

Train. Open window. Night.

Unconscious and literal, the answer might be

my desk next to the window, a railroad

track going past, which I’ve come to expect,

love, the shaking of its rails

east, west –

 

What I mean to tell you is this:

when I sit down at my desk,

the window next to me is already open,

already the cool and dark star-glint, and since

I’m in some state of undress when writing at night,

all flickering finds my skin

open to gusts passing

probably to Quartzsite.

 

Anyway a train

stirs the air and the three become sublime –

train, open window, night – and then

I know why

 

and what I wanted to say.

 

What I do know.

What the aperture in the wall excludes from oblivions

more realized and independent of anyone’s

search for answers.

Nothing some particular.

Nothing some concept,

what kindred body of problem – what

passes through here, what filled the room before passing,

no longer known.

 

Look at it looking at itself –

 

then the phenomenon losing interest,

wandering out,

leaving muddy footprints where rain

moistened the tile.

 

(collage I made c. 2003)

Jack Reacher! Finally getting my annual Lee Child fix. (Also, a limerick by a guest poet.)

File this under “Writing Updates Postscript.”

I mentioned on Tuesday that I’m digging into the submission work phase now that I’m happy with my manuscript. I forgot to mention what else I’m doing: I’m catching up on terribly overdue reading, starting, of course, with the new Jack Reacher (The Midnight Line, 2017). My Lee Child fix, at last!!!

I’ve only just begun, but a page has been dog-eared, so my copy’s been authenticated.

 

Lee Child’s 2017 Reacher (more than six months later)

 

My tower of books To Read is ten tomes high, so I’m not going to be wanting for reading material anytime soon. Lee Child comes first. OH Stephen King has a new novel out… make that pile eleven tomes high. And I just remembered that I’d ordered two others from Amazon the other day. Thirteen. Thirteen unread books, guys, all over the literary spectrum.

I’ve said that books and t-shirts are the bane of my minimalism efforts, and I wasn’t kidding.

Speaking of minimalism, I’m still planning a huge second sweep through the house. I have to wait until after I send 50+ queries, though, so that’ll be sometime in September.

So much to do. It’s fabulous. My list is jam-packed with household stuff, but I’m also looking forward to writing a new poem or two, and planning my next big writing project.

Speaking of poems, for those of you who joke that my poems are “15 levels above” yours, keep reading. One such joker has submitted to me a limerick with which he took creative license to bend the rules of limerick just to lampoon Yours Truly. I’m honored. His limerick is one part complimentary, one part inside joke, and one part smart-ass, which sums him up perfectly. He is an expert at playful lampooning (basically defining ‘limerick’).

I had to share it. If you “only understand poems that have the word ‘Nantucket’ in them,” then Ron’s got you.

Background: I texted him on Thursday last week to say that I wasn’t going to Body Pump because I was “indisposed” (e.g. tunnel-visioning my way through my final manuscript read-through). Here’s his text reply:

There once was a poet from Nantucket,

her talent was no drop in the bucket,

she’s indisposed but the shine on the rose,

“Though there is body pump today I’ll just duck it.”

Hahaha!! I love this. I should donate $5.00 to charity each time someone texts me an original limerick; that might get me a collection of guest poets (yes, Ron, you’re a poet now) to feature here. Limericks are cool. They’re underrated. They’re the class clowns of poetry, and we need them.

That’s all I’ve got for now… June Favorites coming your way next week Tuesday!

“The Beast of Romance” (Sharing an original poem.)

I re-wrote an older poem of mine and thought I’d share it here today.

Let me re-phrase: I didn’t “re-write” this poem. I added two words… two words that I’d originally included, then removed at the suggestion of one of my MFA committee members. Reading it decades later, I wondered why I’d acquiesced. In most cases, I saw the light when a professor brought it to my attention. In other cases, I resisted. Acquiescing after resisting doesn’t mean that you want to do it. It means that you do it even though you don’t want to. You finally just do it. It’s the path of least resistance. Years later, you might look back and feel exactly the way you did before you acquiesced.

Especially if the matter was something profound, like two words. If it’s just giving in to Chinese food when you wanted Mexican, not so much.

Here’s the restored poem. The pic beneath it shows the printed version minus the line… the line missing its words.

 

The Beast of Romance

 

The camel fills what she emptied by lifting

a hoof, sand leveling the prints

across the dune to a vanishing –

the risk on the left with the right’s deflection.

 

When I decided to remove

myself from all of your embraces,

the sky wore its palm-stricken eclipse,

the circular ghost breaking into song, lunatique,

pallid Clouds of Eleven

careening to our old green and white names.

 

Weighing-in takes precedence:

readable things stowed away like water

in her bony satchel of a hump.

 

There is always this necessity.

 

She relinquishes what

she has stored. She comes to court

with all the evidence

locked tight in the file of her flesh.

 

[The Beast of Romance 1st version, Kristi Garboushian, early oughts]

 

The End.

“…Nor There” (Sharing an original poem.)

This one is from 2011.

 

“…Nor There”

 

…Nor There

 

Mid-morning, the groom waits for the arborist

while gifts begin to arrive.

Two days ahead, the wedding sways the house,

 

the green sputter of early spring

draping the tree.

 

He knew he’d get caught in the scrolls of rain

running down to the roots. He wants the tree scraped clean.

He’ll ask the arborist

(if he ever shows up)

to make a quick peel of the bark

before everything dries.

 

He spends the next day

turning from the rustic to prepare the wedding

ceremony, rinsing his shirt,

wringing it on the rail, because it’s all he can do.

 

There’s nothing to be done

about the brassiere, the lacy red one,

her last conversation with him

hooked around the handle of the remaining suitcase,

his…

 

at least she didn’t take all of her.

She left the halo of her voice,

her braided hair,

purple mouth, genitalia.

 

He thinks it happened

when she recognized the painted eggshell

as a favor.

He tries to take it back,

 

but she’s flown to the Himalayas

where she found ice reflecting a bride

poised with her soaked lungs

fueling the despondency of mountain goats.

 

In the crevasse, brindled in the cold,

she sets a lien on her bones

in the name of the groom

still waiting for the arborist’s call.

She separates her tendons,

weaves them into her shawl.

“Scene from a Traveling Play” (Sharing an original poem.)

I woke up thinking of this poem I’d written several years ago, then thought I’d re-write it and share it with you. This is my day: go to the gym, re-write a poem, feed a tortoise, play with a cat, work on a novel. There could be worse days.

Oh, and look for February Favorites next week Tuesday! The month ended before I could prepare. (Read: my time-management game left much to be desired these last few weeks.)

On with the poem, then.

 

Scene from a Traveling Play

 

Imagining you as a child: happy, climbing

a tree where you sit above the campfire

where your mother stirs

sunrise into wood beneath the flames.

 

If I were to sit next to you, I’d find the branch

no heavier with your lean form,

the pause before you take off like hundreds of birds,

weightless as sparks from the fire.

 

Years later, you’ll remember the moment you recognized

punk undertones in an Eagles song.

 

Later yet, you’ll find yourself startled to see the narrative

you’d left – you thought it’d flown off,

too, but it came back

before the wind could tear away the part

describing the fullness of the voice

your mother tried to keep.

 

You might be as tired as the ribcage of a boy

reaching upward through water, or tired with your eyes

dry in the desert city,

dry like horses

wild as news from town, the last thing you saw

before your canine pierced your tongue-tip –

dry like the cracked tooth, the crusted blood, the scarce rain –

dry like sepia grit and blur of hooves kicking to dust.

 

Dry like the hands of the last generation.

 

One thing’s for sure: you’re not an ember

burning slowly from air into the blindness of earth.

You’re the smolder of an oar dipping beneath

the water you’ll never forget.

“Harvest in Phases of Night” (Sharing another original poem.)

Revisiting some of my older work this morning, I came across a certain poem and decided to share it. I very rarely use this space to publish poetry previously unpublished, but for some reason, I wanted to share this one. This is for you who found me through poetry, you who enjoy poetry, and you who enjoy the art of words. I wrote “Harvest in Phases of Night” in 2011.

 

Harvest in Phases of Night

 

The old woman ought to be

guarding the flower beds,

not spilling from acres to plots

hawking for signs:

 

pumping blood, an earring of pulse,

a car in flame intersecting the right

passages of dark.

 

Later, flinging her tampered

sleep in the night, she opens

her eyes to the kettle detached,

spectators caught

overhanging the wood fire.

 

Before dawn, her three arms

have fallen asleep, the accidental one

blackened, smelling of gasoline;

 

she adjusts her blanket, keeps it close…

she waters the early

streets and telephone lines,

sparking fury and grail;

 

she says her crushed-metal

prayers at sunrise,

chewing breakfast of concrete

peeled from asphalt walks,

punishment for ignoring the grain,

 

her old shoe and its sole

gold for the wake,

nourishment boiling over.

 

The headline of the day passes

unnoticed by the draw,

by the brass shield clouding the tide –

 

the old woman’s spine a chain of goblets,

auric meningitis, dreadful error,

unfortunate ride down pitted roads.

 

By the time I get there

the next night,

she’s rid the yard of gawkers.

She’s doing penance,

threshing stalks, sugar cane,

wheat of heritable caution

under a half-moon.

 

She’s answering to the nobility

of chrysanthemums.

 

There are more ways than one

to crash an ending:

 

fitful meetings of burnt tire,

fragmented window, misfires of logic,

passion we’ve never imagined….

 

Ore and secrets. Who knows

what causes these accidents?

 

She sleeps while the killed

find their way to the sidewalk, stone above

sketches of lighting at midnight.

 

In the end, it’s garden

mower to traffic signal.

The moon makes the dying right.

 

by Kristi Garboushian, April 2011

 

[17 January 2018] [ETA: no filter… just weird lighting!]

Throw-back poem: “Pursuit 3”

Tomorrow, it’ll be exactly five months since I’ve posted a poem. Apologies to you who are here for poetry! As you may remember, I’m no longer posting new work here, so today I’ve got another early piece from my grad school days. “Pursuit 3” first appeared in one of those wonderful small, independent literary journals no longer in existence. The journal was The Lucid Stone.

The issue:

 

 

“Pursuit 3” (one of my two poems that appeared in this issue):

 

[“Pursuit 3” Kristi (now Garboushian) The Lucid Stone “A Quarterly of Poetry” Summer 2001, Issue No. 26]

(I drew that line through the “s” in “toward” because I didn’t intend for it to be there. I just noticed the typo now.)

As always, thank you for reading. I wish you all a creative day!

Lingering: A Ghost Story. (Non-review movie review!)

A Ghost Story isn’t a horror film, but it’s haunting nonetheless. It’s haunted my thoughts since we first saw it last week.

 

 

Why do some spirits choose an afterlife of haunting?

A Ghost Story  raises a multitude of questions. I might as well start with that one.

As far as haunted house movies go, I’ve never been compelled to consider the fate of the ghost, or how lonely it must be for a ghost tethered to his place of haunting. But then, I’d never seen a haunted house movie from the perspective of the ghost.

It’s a despondent ghost who’s unable to leave his place until he gets his answer, or achieves his goal, whatever that may be. Time glides endlessly and the ghost goes along with it. It’s the only dimension he can traverse.

Watching this movie was a profound cinematic experience.

We begin with a married couple, but we never learn their names. I suppose this is because the humans in their physical bodies are more or less props, there to set in motion a possibly infinite journey. In the middle of the film, another nameless person passes through to hold forth at a social gathering. The scene ends and we never see him again, but we’re left thinking.

We fall deeper into introspection. What does it mean to be alive, to exist? What does it mean to be not-alive?

We witness the pain of grieving, but we feel the ghost’s pain more than the pain of the one still living. It’s the bereft ghost whose story we follow.

A Ghost Story is a ghost’s story, yet the ghost is not the protagonist. If the film has a protagonist, it’s the place to which the ghost is fixed. Or it’s the universe. Or it’s time.

If the ghost has a voice, it’s the sheet he wears, its movement, folds, and appearance; even the shape of its eye-holes as they seem to alter with his emotion. That’s the thing about this ghost: he’s emotional, even to the point of throwing the occasional tantrum. The ghost’s sheet is his voice, and Daniel Hart’s exquisite musical score – the most sorrowful voice in the film – makes it devastating.

Thus, the driving forces of A Ghost Story are inhuman. And yet, in this inhumanity, we perceive the timeless plight of humanity. This is brilliant writing. It’s poetry.

In my humble opinion, writer and director David Lowery succeeded with his experiment in mixing mediums to tell his story. Film as poem, or poem as film? When a work of art is effectively both, it doesn’t matter how you assign its primary medium.

Speaking of mediums, I’ll touch again on the expressiveness of the ghost’s sheet, because its authority is so striking in its simplicity. I was fascinated by the way the ghost stands or sits still and turns only his head to look to the side or back, so the folds of his sheet twist with the turn. The effect is dramatic, and that is the point. Facing forward, but looking elsewhere, the ghost’s sheet conveys that he inhabits temporal realms in a transcendence of future and past. We can perceive the enormity of this by merely looking at the drape of a sheet.

A Ghost Story is a highly visual film. It’s maybe 80% silent movie, if not more so. As the ghost lingers, there’s lingering in the silence; we linger on what there is to see. There’s lingering in the sustained notes of the musical score.

There’s more I could say about the significance of music in this film, on how it helps to speak for the ghost, and why, but I’ll hold back. In this aspect, though, A Ghost Story calls to mind The Piano. In The Piano, the instrument serves as voice for Ada, who can’t speak. Also silent, Ada expresses herself through her music.

Watching A Ghost Story, tears collected in my throat early on, and they stayed there until the end, the aforementioned musical score by Daniel Hart partially responsible, I’m sure.

Callaghan was mesmerized, too. When A Ghost Story was over, we looked at each other at the same time that we both said, “I want to see it again.” And we did see it again. I would see it yet again.

A Ghost Story is a beautiful film, a story to ponder and discuss. It’s an elegant study in the philosophical discipline of metaphysics, and it’s a poem. Maybe more than a moving picture, it’s a moving poem with pictures.

 

Futurizing classic poems.

Thinking of the transience of language and how it correlates with cultural change over time, I wondered, What if classic poems were translated to now? I chose a few well-known poems and took a shot at updating them. If you’re wondering why the poets I chose are all male, it’s because I wanted to go for easily recognizable titles, and for the longest time, only men were allowed to be openly literary and write poems for all the world to see.

Here’s what these guys might have written if their world looked like ours:

1). Robert Frost

  • Then: Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
  • Now: Stopping to buy Weed on a Snowy Evening

2). Edgar Allen Poe

  • Then: The Raven
  • Now: The Rain Man (“Quoth the rain man, ‘Nevermore.'”)

3). Samuel Taylor Coleridge

  • Then: Rime of the Ancient Mariner
  • Now: Rime of the Darth Vader

4). William Carlos Williams

  • Then: The Red Wheelbarrow
  • Now: The Target Red Card

5). William Blake

  • Then: The Tiger
  • Now: The Flesh-Eating Bacteria

6). John Milton

  • Then: Paradise Lost
  • Now: Sanity Lost

7). William Shakespeare

  • Then: “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?” (Sonnet XVIII)
  • Now: “Shall I Compare Thee to a Vacation with Pay?”

8). T.S. Eliot

  • Then: “Let us go then, you and I” (The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock)
  • Now: “Don’t they ever stop migrating?” (The Birds of Alfred Hitchcock)

9). Allen Ginsberg

  • Then: Howl
  • Now: LOL

10). Andrew Marvell

  • Then: To His Coy Mistress
  • Now: To His Sugar Baby

 

Friendly neighborhood cyclist near my house

 

Happy October Eve!

“superb in love and logic” (from a poem by Robert Hayden)

I’ve brought you my own (previously published) poems, but I don’t believe I’ve shared another poet’s work. Today, I wanted to share with you a poem by American poet Robert Hayden, as this poem has been on my mind.

(Poetry is a favorite refuge of mine when I’m at a loss for words.)

In 1976, the United States’ Bicentennial year, Robert Hayden held the post of Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress; the post later became “Poet Laureate” of the United States. Hayden was America’s first Black Poet Laureate.

This poem by Robert Hayden was first published in his A Ballad of Remembrance (1962):

 

FREDERICK DOUGLASS

 

When it is finally ours, this freedom, this liberty, this beautiful

and terrible thing, needful to man as air,

usable as earth; when it belongs at last to all,

when it is truly instinct, brain matter, diastole, systole,

reflex action; when it is finally won; when it is more

than the gaudy mumbo jumbo of politicians:

this man, this Douglass, this former slave, this Negro

beaten to his knees, exiled, visioning a world

where none is lonely, none hunted, alien,

this man, superb in love and logic, this man

shall be remembered. Oh, not with statues’ rhetoric,

not with legends and poems and wreaths of bronze alone,

but with the lives grown out of his life, the lives

fleshing his dream of the beautiful, needful thing.

 

I wish you all a beautiful week.

 

Throw-back poem: “Gold”

It’s been quite a while since I’ve offered a poetry post, I know! I thought I’d share a poem today for those of you interested in my older work, especially since some of you started reading here specifically for the poetry. As you know, I’m not posting new poems here these days, so back in time we go.

This poem, “Gold,” was first published in Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Comparative Studies. The issue was Volume 2, 2001; it looks like the journal’s work from that time is saved in PDF. I thought it would be easier, for the purpose of sharing the poem here, to take pics of the poem as it appears in my MFA practicum. I did get online to snip out the readily accessible abstract, though. (Once again, I redacted my former last name.)

 

Here’s the poem:

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed this! It’s odd revisiting my older work. It seems longer ago than 16 years, and yet… 16 years?! That means 15 years since I graduated. Yikes. Time is a relentless creature.

Happy Tuesday, All!

Throw-back poems: “Who Knows”; “Nonni” (+ writing updates)

Updates and more updates! Well, just writing updates, this time.

Update 1: My main project is 46% complete, which isn’t bad considering that November was pretty much a wash, as I knew it would be. Things should progress more quickly now that my calendar is clear of major/time-consuming agenda items. Whew! We got through it. Now back to it.

Update 2: My latest strategy in the war on sedentary lifestyle is to write while standing. At my washing machine. For at least half of my working day, often a little more. Since I’m no longer sitting on my ass all day, said ass has less of a chance of flattening out and widening in the wrong direction over time. You know what I’m talking about. A blob of cookie dough on a baking sheet is round and perky, and then you put it in the oven and it spreads out in the baking process. I’m not hyper-vain, but I don’t see how it can help anything to bake my ass, either. It’s not like I had much of an ass to begin with, so I want to save what I can of it. Moreover, it’s not healthy to sit so much.

Ahem. Onward, then!

In closing, I have some old poems to share with you today, two that were originally published in the 2011 issue of Clackamas Literary Review (Oregon). The pics are dark and murky, but then, so are the poems. Enjoy!

 

thatasianlookingchick-com-clr2011_cover

 

thatasianlookingchick-com-clr2011_poem_whoknows

 

thatasianlookingchick-com-clr2011_poem_nonni1

 

thatasianlookingchick-com-clr2011_poem_nonni2

 

 

On that note, Happy Friday!

 

“Instead of destroying our resolve, it gave us the strength to go on.” (#Veterans4StandingRock)

If we’re fortunate, Thanksgiving with loved ones brings joy… but this year, reflecting on the holiday in and of itself, it also brought frustration. Because you can’t think about Thanksgiving without thinking about Native Americans, and it’s unthinkable that our Native Americans are still fighting for their basic rights on the land that was theirs in the first place.

 

talc_imgurstandingrock

 

Those who insist on defending their health and their heritage in the face of threat are justified in doing so. Those who join that defense on behalf of the threatened are justified in doing so. It wouldn’t make sense not to, in one way or another. Defending oneself and one’s people is an instinctual response to an unacceptable trespass. We need accountability from our government, but at its heart, Standing Rock is not a political issue. It is a human rights issue.

It’s a natural response to protest an action that could compromise well-being and desecrate cultural sites. Unnatural answers to this response include violence such as working over crowds of innocent, unarmed people with barrages of rubber bullets, clouds of pepper spray, and blasts of water in subfreezing temperatures.

Health and heritage. We all have a right to them, and it’s our right to demand them from those who are taking them from us.

The happenings at Standing Rock represent a breed of atrocity so perverse in its nature that honestly, I can’t even begin to comprehend it.

I’m one of many veterans outraged by this matter. In fact, thousands of veterans are planning a mission, a “deployment,” if you would (December 4), to Standing Rock to join in the fight.

There is a GoFundMe site to support the

Veterans for Standing Rock #NoDAPL

Please consider contributing to this effort of the Veterans for Standing Rock.

I’ve watched several videos made by vets regarding this matter. There are too many to watch, but I thought I’d share a few.

WARNING for language in this one [skip to the next if language is a concern]:

 

 

Here’s the #NoDAPL video brought to you by Disabled War Vet:

 

 

“Thugs on a payroll,” indeed.

Thank you for reading, watching, and considering offering a contribution to the efforts of the veterans preparing to join the masses at Standing Rock on December 4. “We are United States Military Veterans for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.”

Maui: a lava love to give. (Haleakala volcano crater + Waianapanapa black sand beach!)

One summer, when I was a teenager and the Big Island’s Kilauea volcano was also acting up, I sat in my Uncle’s living room in Hilo and watched the surreal sight of red-orange lava coursing down in the distance.

Many years later… and also many years ago… (it’s funny how time works)… I wrote a certain poem. An excerpt:

…do you remember the first / map you traced in the shape of the island / you left… An ocean between us fires / up, inhaling its own ash from the powerlines of existence…

The ocean becomes one with the volcano when flowing lava hits the salt water. I read that the meeting of the two explodes into black sand, creating a beach. A volcanic black sand beach is the lovechild of the ocean and the volcano, rich with lore and sacred to native Hawaiians.

The Hawaiian archipelago was formed out of massive volcanic events, which is why the islands are studded with active and inactive volcanos and craters. On Maui, from the road to Hana, you can turn onto Waianapanapa Road, where, emerging from the rain forest, you find yourself on the grounds of a park that features a small black sand beach. Let me tell you: If there’s one reason to drive the road to Hana – and there are many – this is it, as far as I’m concerned. The Waianapanapa black sand beach is a gift of the Haleakala volcano, and it is beautiful.

 

Waianapanapa black sand beach

Waianapanapa black sand beach

 

Looking over the rim of lava rocks at this point, I spotted a large sea turtle swimming below in the clear blue-green water. I couldn’t get a pic of him, though, unfortunately.

 

Descending to the black sand beach

Descending to the black sand beach

 

Most people think of the Big Island when they think of Hawaiian black sand beaches, but Maui has this little gem tucked away…

 

Stunning contrasts: sparkling blue-green water, white ocean spray, black sand, rain forest

Stunning contrasts: sparkling blue-green water, white ocean spray, black sand, rain forest

 

Wet black sand, metallic in the sun

Wet black sand, metallic in the sun

 

Waianapanapa black sand beach

Waianapanapa black sand beach

 

I was quick to kick off my shoes and run down to the shore. That’s a strong tide! I had to use all the muscles in my legs to keep myself planted as the water rushed in and back out. It hit me at knee-level, and I was enthralled.

 

Enraptured at Waianapanapa

Enraptured at Waianapanapa

 

Life: complete!

Life: complete!

 

Driving in from the Hana Highway, you know you’re there when you see the sign:

 

Entering the Waianapanapa State Park

Entering the Waianapanapa State Park

 

The day we visited the summit of the Haleakala volcano crater, the sky was blue and the air was typically thin and cold above the clouds. But we were dressed for it, and other than Callaghan’s very mild touch of nausea, we weren’t bothered by altitude sickness.

 

Heading up the Haleakala crater path

Heading up the Haleakala crater path

 

Mid-morning light on the lava rocks

Mid-morning light on the lava rocks

 

Haleakala under a blue sky...

Haleakala under a blue sky…

 

The inside of the volcano crater is another planet.

 

Looking down from the summit of the Haleakala volcano crater

Looking down from the summit of the Haleakala volcano crater

 

The Haleakala volcano crater is too vast to capture in one phone pic...

The Haleakala volcano crater is too vast to capture in one phone pic…

 

Blue sky, carpet of clouds

Blue sky, carpet of clouds

 

We tried to get a selfie with the other-worldly crater floor visible behind us, but alas… this was our best shot:

 

Haleakala volcano crater – selfie at the summit

Haleakala volcano crater – selfie at the summit

 

Haleakala volcano crater (10,023 ft above sea level)

Haleakala volcano crater (10,023 ft above sea level)

 

Haleakala volcano crater

Haleakala volcano crater

 

Treading on lava (Haleakala)

Treading on lava (Haleakala)

 

Entering the Haleakala National Park

Entering the Haleakala National Park

 

I can’t think of a structure of nature that intrigues me as much as the Hawaiian volcano.

And for some reason, I didn’t get pics of the one Haleakala Silversword we saw. The Silversword is a rare succulent plant that only exists on and around the Haleakala volcano; it grows on volcanic cinder.

That concludes this post. Next up on Tuesday, I’ll share some pics from the road to Hana, and another gem we visited along the way!

Throw-back poem: “Canon of Disassembling an Iceberg” (+ writing updates)

The writing’s been going well, i.e. shenanigans abound… in a good way. So,

Thing 1: Big project writing updates, in brief.

  • 30% through, if my targeted 60,000 word count estimate is accurate. That remains to be seen.
  • I’m about to start the third section, where the main action will get underway. This is encouraging. (I’ve arrived at this point!)
  • Now using Scrivener as a secondary tool, and it’s awesome.
  • Still working at the dining room table, but I’ve been migrating my workstation to the back patio to write out there several hours each day.
  • Currently listening to Russian music to get my head in the right place.
  • But still need total silence as I write.
  • I’ve stopped with the iced coffees; my current afternoon beverage of choice is flavored l’eau gazeuse. (sparkling water)

and

Thing 2: (Still) no longer posting new poems here, I’ve got another old one for you who enjoy my poetry and/or come here specifically for that. This poem, “Canon of Disassembling an Iceberg,” was first published in Blackbird: an online journal of literature and the arts of Virginia Commonwealth University.

I wrote “Canon of Disassembling an Iceberg” in 2010, and it appeared in Blackbird’s Spring 2011 edition.

 

thatasianlookingchick-com-blackbird

 

 

Being more recent, this poem was published with my current name, so I didn’t black it out (my last name, that is).

Without further ado!

 

KRISTI GARBOUSHIAN

Canon of Disassembling an Iceberg

How about this: first
I’ll jolt the gutter,
ache for its town
without mourning—
nothing is unfixable
in light of the inevitable.

Then I’ll taste the blood
you left on the letter opener.

You’re gone;

you’ve always been gone,
disregarding speed
limits on the tundra,
tearing perforated ice—

you’re an assassin
going after sedge, slow
process of lichen
deforestation
truncating the philosophers’
question, yet pruning
their terraces of syllogisms
and proofs.

It’s a brain-wringing experience.

If I could hear
the bones of the hunted,
feel underpinnings of hunger,
see plasma and red cells
pull apart,
then touching the place
you used to be
could inspire me in the night.

I wait for New Year’s,
for tundra to become ocean.
We’ll say, let’s screw
the champagne,
pop vodka instead.

December 31st,
you’re still gone,
overlooking the sedge.
Your email wants to know
my resolution.

I say it’s to towel dry
an entire submarine.

Pain turns
everything bright,
but anger brings
dark where I can see.
I prefer ire to grief,
indignation to sorrow—
territories I know

well into the reaches
of my own stories.
You won’t
find me there.
What’s light in your eyes
becomes darkness in mine.
Unseen, untracked,
I disappear.  end