Sunday, August 21, 2011


...or the lack of both. This poem seems to demonstrate the lack. The > Language > Place Blog Carnival's theme this month is Individuation/Assimilation. I'm a little late to join the carnival this time, but thought I'd post this anyway. Maybe next month.

rush hour

stepping out of line
from a nameless crowd
and losing my place -
socially extrinsic

waste by-product of a
selfish generation
my speech is drunkenness
my sickness self-inflicted
coughing up anger chunks
intoxicating and toxic
ineffectual smears

driving exhaust-fumed freeways
with backward exit signs
slapping laughing faces
belligerently – just like them

groping for wisdom, but
babbling into empty ears
they see I’m lost
nakedness turned inside out
shame and weakness
bead up like sweat

they’re indifferent, and
I’m too tired
or maybe lazy
damned dyslexia

Loop 610's bridge over the Houston Ship Channel, obviously not during rush hour. To me this bridge reminds me of a giant serpent slithering across the landscape. Rush hour traffic gives it the illusion of movement. This pic was taken on a Sunday morning.

This is Beltway 8's bridge over the same ship channel. It makes me think of an invading Roman army. It's a toll bridge, so the traffic's not usually too heavy. This pic was taken during evening rush hour.

Here's a view of the east side of downtown, from 610's bridge. I live between the two bridges, but closer to 610.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

More Dickinson Inspiration

Still enjoying my new poetry book. Emily frequently wrote poetry about death.

Relentless Grief

Mother of Silence, father of Cold
Summer’s birds have flown
Sleeping children tucked ‘neath a fold
Spring’s sod and tears not their own

No scraped knee, nor thoughts of what cou’ be
Processional ended too soon
Relentless grief gnaws malignantly
In the house of a winter moon

The living long to be, unwittingly
Reunited beneath the fold
But desire wars with proclivity
There’s no peace in growing old

I wrote this for a friend who said she finally found the right words to describe what she has felt for years, "relentless grief". People say, "there's no getting over the death of a loved one; you just learn to accept it." I think that it is impossible for us to accept death, because our natural inclination for survival is too strong. When we lose a loved one, a war begins inside us. The battle is between the desire to be with our loved one and the desire to survive. It can not be reconciled while we yet live, so what we really come to "accept" is living the rest of our lives with this battle inside us. We learn to live with relentless grief.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Ice Water River

my foot knows where to go
though I’ve forgotten
alighting each step
with precision

like a grasshopper
descending the embankment
leaving roots undisturbed
and sand in its place

grade steepens and
steps turn to leaps
building momentum
yet retaining agility

I marvel – after
months of heavy heat
from a parched withered land
such a light footed find

Ice Water River from below
they say too cold to swim
but I’ll just wade
and find relief from the Drought

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Reading Emily Dickinson

After reading many of Ashok's commentaries on Emily Dickinson's poetry, I've become very fond of her work.

I bought this book the other day, and it's been inspiring me to write. For example, I came across this poem, and something about it just sang to me.

Summer for thee, grant I may be
When Summer days are flown!
Thy music still, when Whipporwill
And Oriole—are done!

For thee to bloom, I'll skip the tomb
And row my blossoms o'er!
Pray gather me—
Thy flower—forevermore!

I'm sure when she wrote "anemone" she was refering to the woodland flower, but I thought of this:

Anemone, I long to be
Eternal summer by the sea
Tropical calm – Hibiscus aplomb
In the shadow of Mango Tree

Blossoms wilt when Delta silt
Crosses the Ocean’s current
May Bed’s frailty embolden me
Oh, Drifting garden deterrent!

Since I can't be
eternally by the sea
I bring it to me

Meet Boomhower the Beta. He isn't actually from the sea, but we like to pretend.