Saturday, April 30, 2011

National Poetry Month (I don't remember this) Disasterpiece

The great weaver wefts     
       mystical melodies into the air. 
       Heavens open up 
              emptying energies onto the earth. 
       Seen raining down like 
              silvery ribbons 
              saturating the earth and all her creatures. 
       Even the plants and rocks 
              hear this song. 
                       The great weaver weaves...

a poetic universe, where each and every 
       atom sings her specific 
       tone. All the cosmos 
              and every created thing 
                     dance to this tune. 

       Sun shine shinning
       rain drops pouring, dripping down a drain pipe
       brooks babbling, streams ambling, and 
       great rivers rushing 
              all merging into the great cosmic 
              sea singing always singing a song 
                    some call Shalom. 

       Rolling, crashing, ocean waves sing
       wind whistling through trees
       swirl around lilies of the field

             all are players in this cosmic symphony

This piece was written (as one disasterpiece among many for a final project) for REL 520 Spiritual Formation Spring Semester 1997 at GFU

Friday, April 29, 2011

National Poetry Month (Long Lost) Disasterpiece


Poet Seeks Match

You’d think as a poet that words would magically flow as poetically from my mouth as they do onto the page. This is not the case. If they did, I’d be like my player friend Steve who rarely sleeps alone at night. Yes, words do flow easily out of my pen, but I work them over, and over, and over again till they are just right. Underneath it all I am a geek. My day job, working with debits, credits, accounts, and computers is the big give away. That and the massive amount of time spent playing video games, Dungeons & Dragons, going to metal shows (Slayer!), and reading Marvel comics are other indicators of my geekish nature. In social situations I, more often than not, say the wrong things and sound like a complete moron.
My resume is another example of my writing expertise. I’ve had many employment experts tell me that it is an impressive looking document, even more so, when it is viewed in its electronic form. Information can be placed and tailored into specially designated blocks or data cells so that everything will line up perfectly on the page. But in interview situations I fail miserably, because I come off as two different people. I wonder if the Centralized Audio Processor Disorder is also a contributing factor. What I hear you say and what you actually are often two different things. For example, a person might say, "What shift are you interested in?" This is what I might hear, "What shit are you interested in?" I'd give the person a puzzled look and a pardon me could you please repeat your question, they would repeat the question and I would hear the same shit all over again. At which point, not wanting to appear moronic or slow of mind I would answer the question about the shit and reveal my retarded nature. I prefer to communicate in print. At least then, what is communicated is clear, usually.
Reluctantly, I paid the $29.69 fee, created a simple online profile – poet seeks match – attached the j-peg I took of myself last summer at Newport Beach, in Oregon, with a disposable camera and clicked the finish button.
The next day, to my surprise, after the e-check actually cleared, I received the first bulletin of all the up coming February events whereby I could meet someone who, like me, was similarly socially disposed. This one caught my attention.

February 10, 2007 – Groovy 
Event with Great Expectations:

Come to a small causal 60+ luncheon, 
high noon at the Royal Hotel 
Plaza. Come early, seats are limited 
to 30 people.”

‘Hey,’ I thought, ‘the Royal Hotel, that’s just a few blocks away and 60+ people too! That’s approximately one person a minute for about an hour. Speed dating at its best.’
When I arrived at the Royal Plaza at 11:40 Saturday morning in a gold and green pin-stripped wide leisure suit (that the thrift store clerk said complimented my great shock of red hair), white patent-leather bowling shoes, red socks, and my hair slicked back with greasy-goo, my expectations were not so great. I realized—as I assisted a group of frail elderly people, ranging from sixty-two to eighty-nine, with the heavy glass door—that I was at the wrong event.
Hopefully, the pre-Valentine tea on Tuesday, February 13th at the Cowgirl’s Cafe will prove to be more fruitful.

     ---February 2007

Thursday, April 28, 2011

National Poetry Month (Long Lost) Disasterpiece

Deaf Mute With Three-Pound Cock 
And Trust Fund Seeks Hottie.

     I learned today that my reading skills are as deficient as my love life. On January 31, I signed up for a community run singles hook-up service per one of my new years resolutions. My romantic life, it seems, over the past decade has been a constant string of failures. It could use a little help, because in the ladies department I appear be a complete moron. Especially after that last botched craigslist ad I placed: Deaf mute with three pound cock and trust fund seeks hottie.
     I got droves of responses. Ironically these women were all dreaming about the same kind of man—brawn, money, and bright as a Pet Rock.
     Steve, a part-time player friend said that whenever he starts talking about himself he always goes home alone. He said let her do the talking. Just ask questions and listen to what she has to say. That sounded easy enough to me, so I thought I’d try a new tactic. He warned against intellectual conversations. Don’t sound too smart, he said. That is a major turnoff.
     Date with kitty number one was a disaster with a capital “D.” We met on the hill at a dive bar. She must have noticed that the paper in my money clip wasn’t all green; she whined out in a storm about how all men are liars.
     The second date was equally as entertaining. Her name was Tiffany and she reminded me of a lollipop. Not in a literal sense, but in a delicious way she moved and fit into her clothes. We met at the Pearl for spicy tuna and pho. She blabbed endlessly on in this high pitched nasally squawking voice about the pumps she dreamed of and the stitching patterns on her jeans and how her clothes didn’t fit her luscious hips and thighs. I pulled muscles feigning interest. I also worked hard trying not to stare at her perky boobs, which, I might add, made the evening almost worth the pain. In my good humor, I left her sitting alone with the check. She was not amused.
     The third date never materialized after the difficulty I had in explaining the reasons why I would not be picking her up in the sporty little car I did not possess. I don’t know how she got it in her head that I had one. The fact that I gave up my vehicle, three years ago, for environmentalist reasons did not seem to register in her thinking as a fashionable thing to do.

---February 2007

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

National Poetry Month Disasterpiece

LABELS — November 16, 2001

Have you ever paused to read the labels manufacture’s stick on things in public restrooms?

This one on the cloth towel dispenser is particularly amusing

           "WARNING: Do not attempt to hang from
           the towel or insert head into towel loop."

Right, like some idiot is going to do that. Hang themselves from a towel dispense in a public restroom. I wonder how such a feat would be accomplished? I guess you could crack your skull against a urinal or sink fitting while working to maneuver yourself into a injurious or fatal hanging position.

A little person, from the hollow earth, or a child not old enough to read labels might be small enough to do it properly. But a child would most likely not be able to conceive such a fool thing.

However, I’m positive the label author did not have a suicidal little person user —with wet hands— in mind, rather a larger person attempting to suspend himself or herself off the floor in a drunken stupor.

“Failure to follow these simple instructions can 
be harmful or injurious [to your health].”

It is clear that this warning is the manufactures attempt to dissuade a person from committing a potential act of stupidity.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

National Poetry Month Disasterpiece

8:00 PM - 10:21 PM December 30th, 1999.  Here is what I was thinking the day before the Y2K doomsday that failed to occur:

People are the unoriginal sin
they lack the courage or imagination to be and do something new
while staking a claim of difference
       they fail miserably
       is just another -ism
a categorical way of defining a mythic idea
shrouded behind veils of mystery
meaning an
      autonomously not
      mono-polic person
An individual is taught by the same mediums of instruction
      perpetuated by whichever culture they are born into
in other words
     exhibiting the same vegetable intelligence a sprig of parsley demonstrates
monkey see, monkey do
Simon says
     See my genitalia
     I pierced it with a barbell
     I am more individual than you
A quarter million herd together the next day
     at piercing shops
     hoping to achieve
     Simon's same undifferentiated individuality
Like autonomous grains of sand resting upon a beach to be sat upon in the sun
individuated by form alone
each grain is shaped a little different from its neighbor
yet each grain is made from the same
     pulverized mineral, element, rock, or glass
'Tis the same with snow
     save for its shape or form
     ice, liquid, or gas
     water is water
people are people
accept it, it is true
Gender being the major difference of course
there may be two distinct classification for individuals
sheep or freak
     social or antisocial
     free or locked away in a cage
which would you rather be?
A free to follow Simon keep paces with the Jone's monkey-do sheep
     or a violent anti-social criminal locked away in a concrete box for life?
What is wrong anyway with being the same as your neighbor
At least to admit it you're honest
perhaps this is the only way to be a true


This is an example of what not to do in a poem. Tell an idea rather than show one.

Monday, April 25, 2011

National Poetry Month (a Forgotten) Disasterpiece

s i l e n c e

My first conscious memory of the silence occurred in the thirteenth year of my life. We the dirty dozen in the Luther League went out hiking one day. We journeyed far and east tot eh high and holy places in the mountains of the Three Sisters.

I ambled along far, far behind the throng. I paused to catch my breath and set my pack upon an old moss covered log. The sun streamed gracefully like how ballerinas bourree between the high up leaves drying the sweat across my wearied brow. I sat in awe basking in the age, beauty, and stillness of the forest.

An uneasy tingling crept up my spine. A quietness intruded into my consciousness. It overcame; engulfed my being in wave after wave of silence. It rolled in like the tide thundering like a lion; crashing like a mighty typhoon. It was all surrounding like taking a shower in a waterfall. I was one with it and IT was one with I.

After an eternity passed me by, the silence spoke a tender word. IT said, "It's OK....I AM is HERE....everything is all right." The unease slid into the experience of Shalom.

I realized in that awesome moment that silence is a very special place. It is here that we can meet and walk with our maker, in Eden, like Adam and Eve before they fell from grace. It is here that we lie naked like newborns before the Lord I AM.

This piece was written (as one disasterpiece among many for a final project) for REL 520 Spiritual Formation Spring Semester 1997 at GFU

Sunday, April 24, 2011

National Poetry Month (an Easter) Disasterpiece

Jesus hangs crucified on the cross. The crown of thorns bites bitterly into his flesh. Blood drips down his face collecting in puddles on his breast. Rejected and scorned, he cries in anguish from our sin.

We'd do it again you know
Jesus Hangs

Never again to rise
Rejected then
Rejected again

I saw this
One day 
on TV

This piece was written (as one disasterpiece among many for a final project) for REL 520 Spiritual Formation Spring Semester 1997 at GFU

Saturday, April 23, 2011

National Poetry Month Disasterpiece


"What are you going to be when you grow up, Uncle Buck," my ten year old niece asks? "I'm already all grown up," I respond. "Well, what do you want to be," she asks more insistently? "I want to be ME," I say loudly!

What she was really trying to ask, but could not articulate quite yet was this: what job will define you as a person and how do you materialistically define your identity as a human being?

Finally, I tell her: "Elise, I am who I am going to be and whatever job I do is not who I am!

She asks the question several more times. 

I respond in kind. 

She gives up 


---January 18th, 2002

Friday, April 22, 2011

Glance Backward into My Head (A Spring 1988 Flash Fiction)


He slashed his sword popping the head off one of the slimy aliens. On the back swing, he sliced through the middle of two more. Screaming, “you slimy bastards, you fucking children of bitches, you killed my brother….!”

Insect like body parts flew and black blood spattered with each sweep of his sword. After thirty ions he slaughtered all fifty of ‘em. He strutted over the pile of bodies to where the scattered remains of his half brother lay. He knelt down and picked up Daynel’s head and cradled it in his arms. He kissed the lifeless forehead. As he raised up a look melancholy crept upon his face, his mood rapidly changed to vengeance. In a fit of rage he threw the head across the cargo bay where it smashed like a ripe hydromelon against the wall.

“I Shall Avenge You!!!” Brakoog bellowed. An instant later he disappeared into a cloud of smoke.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Glance Backward into My Head (A Spring 1988 Flash Fiction)


Leaders Log 440

… it’s 80 tr-ions now since the leader was killed. 80 frustrating days with the burden of command. 440 tr-ions ago this vessel was brand new, fresh out of the dock now it’s a damn wreck. 

It seems we’re smack dab in the middle of the Androconain kill zone. We’ve been hit more times in the last 46 sect-ions than in all the time I’ve been in space. Damnation! They know just when to attack. On their last run we lost the inter dimensional drive. If only we could find a tugboat we could escape, home, but the Androcons don’t seem to use them. There’s not a lot of places to hide out here. The enemy is pinging actively this debris cloud of blown up ships. The chief tech says the space inverter will take 30 tr-ions to fix provided we can stay hidden and don’t loose any more crewmen. At top speed without the IDD it will take a hundred Ae-ions to get back to neutral space. How do I tell the crew that—

High Alert … High Alert … all hands to battle stations …leader to the controls. 

“Be down in an ion,” Daynel snapped into the com-unit.


The shock from the direct hit threw him across the cabin. Smoke from electrical fires rolled in like fog on the sea blinding him. Fifteen ions later he crawled out of his cabin to the connecting channel only to be hit by another three-de shock wave. After two mi-ons Daynel finally made it to the controller deck.

“Leader, main engines are out, all weapon systems are down. Do you want me to begin the destruct sequence,” the navigator barked? “No,” Daynel ordered, “blow the horn and ask for terms of surrender!”

“But, sir, you know what they do to prisoners,” he responded indignantly. “No, buts. Sharpen your sword boys,” Daynel shot back, with a wild shit eating grin, "we're going on black-eyed bug hunt."

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

National Poetry Month Disasterpiece

Love Poem Attempt Number 2: Body Surfing

The current is swift.  The tide is about to shift.  I can feel my body being pushed and pulled.  It’s a clear blue 85 degrees out (which is hot for Newport in July). 

The coolness of the pacific lifts my body up and rushes me to the shore. I want to stay and play in these waves till dusk.

There are dangers here.  Yesterday, a shark warning was issued.  The day before that a golden dog was killed by a swarm of jellies chasing a Frisbee into a wave.  The ocean is not tame.  If a riptide apprehends me I could be swept out into the deep.

The horizon sky looms near, “Red skies in the morning, sailors take warning.” I am the Mediterranean Ocean.  She is the Indian.  I’ve set sail toward Antioch and Byzantium.  Her course was charted for Mt Olympus and the mysterious Orient a few years before.  “Red skies in the evening,” wizened sailors sigh and begin revealing.  About a point, a mythical transformative spot, where all the oceans and bodies of water in our realm meet, churn together to form one sea.

Luna is on the verge of pulling the waters back out.  The lifeguard has issued warnings.  I am bicep high as a big swell approaches.  The current is potent.  I brace myself against the turbulence.  Laughing, I launch myself into the foam.  I am not afraid.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

National Poetry Month Disasterpiece

Love Poem Attempt Number 1

All I could think about when I was getting down on that first night after fourteen years of celibacy was a poem. And it wasn’t even a love poem. Charles Bukowski’s voice wasn’t drenched in romance when he described this at his Redondo Beach reading in 1980: Hey baby, I know you’re into it, but…god…how much longer do I have to lick this thing.

What dominated my thoughts—other than Bukowski—as I was working hard not to swallow too much of her fluid, was if there were any unseen critters down there in her hot moaning zone.

My catholic beliefs had a visceral reaction to the thought of using a condom and it filled me with more guilt than fucking free ever could. The next day I woke with her musk still sticky in my beard on my fingers on my cock. I remained in bed late breathing her in.

I go to her tonight.

Happiness grows in my pants.

I suffer no shame.

Monday, April 18, 2011

New Crossup Poem Freely Scribbled at Pilot Books

Something’s wrong with dinner
Pretend you’re horny
Call a girl
Get my pot
Eat, suck, no
A baby dies
Here’s your bitch
Suck it
It’s over
I didn’t want vegan

Sunday, April 17, 2011

This One Is Really Bad (from October 2002)

Some people make comments about my LUV
My rusty blue LUV
She has been a good LUV
We've been together for seven years
Prior to that time she was my uncle's LUV too.

She's old
22 years is too
old to be my LUV

Her seat is a little flat, lumpy when she sat.
When I sit on her she pokes me in the back.
Through her blue the rust is showing through.
People say rude things about my blue OLE lady LUV

My rusty Chevy LUV,
but she runs

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Glance Backward into My Head (A Spring 1988 Free Write)

test  test  cos (-theta) = cos (theta), sin (-theta) = sin (theta), sin (-theta) = - sin (theta), tan (-theta) = - tan (theta), CSC (theta) = 1 / sin (theta), sec (theta) = 1 / cos (theta)  oh no i'm going to fail this one too  to much art  can't think logically  thursday night theater  first run  hope for a big audience  but don't think so  sin-squared (theta) + cos-squared (theta) = 1, x-squared / x + y-squared / x = r-squared / x => 1 + tan-squared (theta) = something  can't think  can't think  can't think  only two tests left to bring up my gpa  can't get another "c" grade  need a B+  next year calculus + physics  falling asleep  so tired sleep sleeeeeeeepppppppp foreeeevvvverrrrrr sllllleeeeeeppppppppppp  SLOWING  SLOWING  SLOWING  DOWN   can't sleep  can't sleep  D = the square-root of the quantity (x2 - x1)-squared + (y2 -y1)-squared times the square-root of the quantity (sin (beta) - sin (alpha))-squared + (cos (beta) - cos (alpha))-squared = madness  madness  MADNESS (theta)-squared + one

I am finding great stuff for national poetic disasterpiece month down at my folks' farm in Grand Ronde, Oregon...

Friday, April 15, 2011

More Pad Disasterpieces For National Poetry Month

Lookie, lookie, lookie there's poems on my cookie. Look what else I found while down at my folks' place in Grand Ronde. Oh...I guess I didn't tell you I was down in Grand Ronde. I went down there (or here) early Tuesday morning, on the 12:30 AM bus, to do a job for my father & sister in the new business down in Salem and ended up locating more bad poems I wrote when I used to be an Oregonian. The previous post on the stream of thought flowing through my head in 1988 were also found down here. I also went to an open mic and performed poetry to an unresponsive audience in Salem. I think I understand why the city is a desert of creativity or why theater failed there. But that is another story. However, blessedly, on Friday, I'll be back home before three pm and I can't wait to go contra dancing too. Also, I am taking back a bunch of old theological papers I wrote while at Linfield College and George Fox University to keyboard up.

I found a whole series of these "pad-boys" dated between August 15 & September 2, 2001. These protopoems are like snapshots of my head (I have a poem tittled In My Head, which is actually good; the only good one from 2001) in the days leading up to September 11 when America more officially became a police state. Let's see for this one below, I am lamenting or reflecting on a love relationship that blew apart in 1996. And thank the maker (may Shai-Hulud wipe this desert waste land clean of ancient tears) that I no longer am consumed with grief for what was not meant to be. I think 2001 was also the year I got chased by a pack of Chiwawas; I must have written about that absurd event  too.

Smell of Amber

It would have been better had she died. Then I’d have finality. Absolutely no hope she’d ever take me back.

I remember the pleasantries now: kissing her for the first time on Mt. Zion under the sky; the taste of her body; her heart beating into my ear; the feel of her skin, hot, against mine; her amber perfume wafting through the house; seeing her essence through her green eyes.

Imagining her in another man’s arms isn’t so bad now that she’s been married five years. Sometimes she comes to me in my sleeping dreams. She’s distant. Far away. Talking to my mother. Mostly ‘bout me.

At least her visitations aren’t painful. They’re not altogether pleasant either. Thank the maker there not of our last night together. Tasting that man she cheated on me with through her parted lips.

Yes, I remember her eyes and her amber perfume.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Stream of my Consciousness Spring 1988

this 23 year old collage writing experiment is my first poem

SPACE in my mind is finitely large as the universe so many bodies beyond comprehension infinite in beauty  a pulsar the burned out remains of a star with a last spark of life super collapsed to the size of the earth with a mean density of ten-to-the 15th grams-per-centimeter-cubed a sugar cube at one million billion grams imagine it rotating at over a hundred times per second emitting a beam flash of solid photons light  with the power to rip you to bacon from a few light days away  imagine a cloud of dust and gas glowing the color of hydrogen the remains of a star  ripping the outer atmosphere off by a colossal surge outward... inward falling with only neutrons to keep it from shrinking to a singularity of an iron core dying star  SUPERNOVA  many things more beautiful than man made art to be IMAGINED CALCULATED AND THEORIZED THE UNIVERSE IN BETWEEN MY EARS IMAGINE.

---This piece was published in the 1988 Edition of the 20th Century: The Exquisite Corpse produced by Chemeketa Community College, Salem, Oregon

The above was a piece I composed when I was a science student accomplishing college transfer courses in my last term at community college before I entered Linfield College.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Inspired By My Friend From A Prior Life (April 13, 2002)

The Coat Tree

The last time my old college friend came to visit me, I mentioned future plans to purchase a coat tree.

He said, "Oh no Bill! Don't buy one of those! You'll regret it." Then he prattled on with this logical explanation:

At first it will be cool. A real life savor. You'll marvel at its simplicity and wonder how you ever got by without one. Ahh...ha...Now you have that place to put all your coats, rather, than draping them chaotic over the sofa and chairs bachelor like. And visitors will marvel too, impressed by your tidiness. But as the seasons begin to change and coats are less of a necessity, other items will begin to crop up around there.

The cat will like it too. She'll crawl up there and use it as a sleeping roost or as a spring board to launch herself over to the bookcase where the fish tank sets. You'll come home from work and the house will be a chaotic mess.

Soon the coat tree will sprout up in other places in the apartment and will settle into a place more convenient to hang wet bath towels upon. Once the towels are comfortably hanging themselves, your wife will get the bright idea to dry other things of a more personal nature (wink...wink...if you know what I mean) there.

Next you will see all of Victoria's Secrets hanging about in sizes never modeled in that catalog you keep stashed away with all those other things your wife doesn't know you still possess.

Then comes the fright. Yes, your coat tree will actually scare you when the seasons change yet again and the moon starts to beam brightly through the windows. All those wet hosiery, strappy silky stuff, and Spandex corsets, and bondage gear will cast sinister shadows on the floor, walls, and ceiling when you rise from a drunken slumber to take a leak.

Finally, it will fall into ill repute, because Sam's Brand coat trees cannot handle all the additional stress.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Time Masheen V (April 12, 2001)

Disastrous Thoughts

You know you are headed for a world of pain when the dentist, after glancing over your X-Rays, gasps and says, "Oh My God!?

This being said with the same intensity as if one had witnessed the disappearance of the Grand Canyon in Arizona and its reappearance in Washington State.

What you just heard was a sign from the seat, to take a tranquilizer and bring earplugs to your next appointment with Doctor Drill.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Time Masheen IV Spring Snows

Since this is national poetry month, for the remainder of it I'm going to post many past disasterpieces. I found a whole notebook of them while doing some spring sorting this morning.

Spring Snows

Lacy pink petals
fall from the sky
collect in drifts
on street edges

A sign from outside bleeps on and off
through tall church hall windows
The Jazzman's lips
chumble and churn
"Real Deal Flea Market Thrift Center"
peers through
a blue love ballad oozes
out off the dais
like CO2 fog
                 ----- May 5, 2002

Guitar Players

can't dance. Electrified music moves their souls.
Animated tidal forces stir
luminous clouds of sea creatures.
Lacking instruments
they would dance like dorks
playing air guitar
in a dim high school gym.
A disco ball casts snowy sparkles
on dancers who flop
about the room
like dying fish.

                 ----- May 8, 2003

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Verbal Expression Laboratory Cutups

This morning, me and Ahmed, (plus our talented test subject) Colette (who is a director of an international non-profit and who also began creative writing at age eleven) met at a noisy distracting coffee house on Capitol Hill to practice verbal expressions. We did three laboratory experiments, but I'm only posting the results of the first one.

Here is my interpretation of Colette's first cutup narrative (on the right; Sorry, Colette, I couldn't help myself, but I applied arithmetic to it):

Two short narratives by Colette
Who knew that a community paper, a mag,
and a tax document could be so fruitful!
My father is a miracle
a reserved man
intentionally left blank

He was a quiet farmer
but an interesting fishermen

"The year is not always a gift,"
     he said.

so, a deer came by
     and I said to him,

Ahmed's schizophrenic story as he called it.

My poem fading like a rattler in the sun

If you'd like to be a participant in these and other challenging exercises you can sign up for our workshop at Seattle Central Community College. It is in the community education section of the spring 2011 course catalog. At the college website: you can search for it using class code number: 6579. We have a few seats left open. The price is a steal at seventy dollars per person. The college gets most all of it and Ahmed & I get to "officially" put this experience point on our resumes. 

The main purpose of this laboratory is to ferret out (and understand through peer processing) the voice in which you "usually" use to compose whatever it is you like to doodle. There are a lot more side effects or benefits to experimentation. If I had not done this cutup this morning, I would never have thought to compose those particular words. Each of us was born with a song (I'm going to wax philosophic now) inside and we express that in many different ways. Often in our lives, we add so much mud into the mix that the sound of this song becomes muddled and difficult to hear. My father expresses his song through problem solving, fixing & designing mechanical systems, blacksmithithing, and from being a provider. My mother expresses her song through caring for others, teaching, cooking, and I'm sure there are other modes in which she hears this song sing. For me, I hear this song sing when I study systems, organize, write, perform, create new things, and connect to others in community. In writing, community is an important detail to help ferret out your internal writers song. For the most part, yes, writing is a solo activity, but it doesn't have to be. I am stronger when I write in community with others. And I believe that this could also be a universal truth too. Okay. I'm going to wax off my philosophic box now.  

One of the things I have learned in conjuring up these exercises (a tolkienesque side stream: I began thinking up exercises a few months before Seattle Door & Window---the company I worked at for four years---went under, but I never had the time to actualize them) is to write (poetry) with brevity. In the previous post (below) on the "Perihelion Blinks into Aphelion" poem, in the comment section I went through the process of editing it. Prior to that moment, it would not have occurred to me that I could pair it down to something so brief even though my fellow members of Red Pen would have tasked me to do it. But this workshop isn't just about poem writing, it is about all verbal expressions of the pen.

So, who is this class for? It is for writers of all levels. It is for the beginner as well as the persons in a furrow that is difficult to see out of. Anyone can benefit from exercising their creativity and experimenting outside of their own boxes they've written themselves into. Come check us out. The first workshop begins Saturday, April 23 at 11:00 in the morning. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Time Masheen III (5:20 AM, Friday, April 7, 2000)

A Song

Shines the child
Eyes animated
The adult forgets
A troubled

I remember this poem. Not the content specifically, but that year. It was the year I worked the nightshift at Pillsbury-Hazelwood Farms, a production bakery in McMinnville. I also remember the month. I was next inline to getting a perminante position at the plant. I had worked there almost a year as Kelly Services temp. And also, it was the month that upper, upper management shut the plant down. Pillsbury-Hazelwood Farms was the second largest employer in McMinnville and they paid their workers almost as well as did the steel mill.

I remember the process of writing this poem; because it was the only poem I had written that entire calendar year following leaving graduate school. The year was dark too, because I had to deal with the failure of a dream. I have a learning disability called Centralized Audio Processor Disorder and probably a tinge of ADD too, but that was me speaking and was not the analysis of the learning specialist who diagnoised me with CAPD when I was twenty-two years old. What it means is that it takes me twice as long to learn new things as it does the average person. Point in case, it took me almost eight years to get a bachelors degree. Further, I also approach almost everything backwards perspective from the average person and make connections that are impossible to see from any other direction. What has also been my experience is that the more difficult an academic subject is the easier it is for me.Point in case two, I didn't master arithmetic or understand it till I studied abstract algebra in college. I learned poetry from studying mythology and eating ancients people's scriptures. There are still a lot of aspects of poetry that are a complete mystery to me, which makes me want to practice it all the more till I can write a poem just as proficiently as a right brained academic who has never had a problem laying a line down on the page nor has encountered any difficulties with language.

At the time when I was studying theology in grad school, it took me 100 hours to write a ten page research paper. Ten hours per page includes the research as well. Essentially, in the process of learning (at someone else's pace) I tired myself out so much so that I could not function. Fortunately, the mind numbing work of packing doughnuts, holiday fudge, and bread into boxes was a blessed relief to the overwhelming disappointment and grief that consumed me in my final semester at George Fox University. Being an educator, especially a college professor, would have been the ideal career for me, because it is in the realm of ideas where I experience a greater connection to the realm of reality.  

At 5:20 in the morning on April 7, 2000, I stole three minutes of my employer’s time. I was working with this young woman named Megan. She sang show tunes while packing frozen bread dough or frozen fried doughnuts off the belt into boxes. I noticed how her demeanor changed when she sang show tunes. She was a hard faced woman, but in this other realm all the pain of life melted away.  The engine of verbal creativity began spinning again as I hastily scribbled those words down on a scrap of paper that just happened to be in my smock with a dull golf pencil.

Me, I used to sing too, but the song I sang was Johnny Paycheck’s, “Take This Job and Shove It.”

Monday, April 4, 2011

Perihelion Blinks into Aphelion

I keep expecting
That withering indignation
That gripping gurgling sigh
To exhale red-shifted light
Dimmed by cold
Catacombs to arrive

But the sun keeps setting and rising
Stretching the summer like a twisted rubber band
Of a toy balsa wood flyer
A child ratchets the blade
Round and round and round
Till red rubber turns
The color of old knuckles
Strato Streak

A yellowing leaf clouds
Over a glassy blue sky
The balsa plane lurches
Upward, outward, looping
A joyful smile turns
To a tragic overture

At Meeting House Lawns
The old Fosser leans on his shovel
Ogling vivid pinks, purples, and reds
As they peek over the western hills
The bitter hours approach
I embrace the emptiness
As the candle snuffs out

Here's a poem I found in my FB note box. It was composed, most likely at my then workplace Seattle Door & Window. The poem was dated 9/26/2009. The title, Perihelion Blinks was chosen by one of my Grade School / High School classmates Paul Nauman. I had forgotten about its existence till Paul sent me a note requesting a copy of it. I think I wrote this poem while listening to one of my favorite doom metal bands Evoken

You can listen to the song while you read over it if you want. I often listen to metal when I do keyboarding work. Sometimes when I listen to  Wolves in the Throne Room or other black metal bands, I become so swept away by its dark beauty, tears flood out from my eyes. I also, have this experience when I attend Mass at the St James Cathedral. It's the raw wall of sound generated by the pipe organ and musical arrangements from ages past that are the most moving. I never had this experience as a teenager. Then I was too impassioned by anger and the aggression of power metal to experience elegance in anything.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Looking Past Reflecting Glass

when i gaze into a mirror
i fail to recognize 
who is looking back

i image myself as someone more
Conan the Barbarian, Han Solo, 
      Napoleon Dynamite

in a facet of mind
i conjure 
a dream

how often do i see
some stranger leering
through the mirror
                     --- March 17, 2001