It has been a long time since I have written, partially due to the fact that I spent the majority of April and May figuring out, and preparing for, my recent move to Portland. I started my new job this past week, and have been unpacking the last of my boxes in between trying to participate in life outside my house.
It has been a challenging few months–in splendid, growth-full ways. I will soon be wrapped up in figuring out the Maine Women Writers Collection, which is what brought me to Portland. I hope this period will be inspiring, since I have not really had the time to write since March/April. I want to be a poet again!
In the meantime, I thought I would share some collaborative poems/surrealist games that I found in a journal I was unpacking. I think these came from a poetry group I used to write with, but I’m not totally sure. It could have been from graduate school. Nevertheless, they were tucked in a pocket of one of my many notebooks behind a handful of fortunes from fortune cookies of my past. Some of the fortunes are typical, others sweet.
“You love peace.”
“You will pass a difficult test that will make you happier.”
“You will travel far and wide for both pleasure and business.”
“You are heading for a land of sunshine.”
All very true.
Now, for some silly poems:
they dropped an egg from the roof
one held many burrs to any floor
they dropped few gadgets from that ceiling
every gadget stuck to the ceiling
one machine free of a floor
organic containment of the sky
inorganic chasm in the ground
organic closet outside sky
billboard fireworks glow pink ribbons
socialist science darkness red paper
fascist religion light blue brick
anarchist gnostic night green wood
libertarian fundamentalist day purple spoon
wasp free night on an orange spork
flower restriction day under the black spectating
Her hand moves in a circle around her face
Her hand moves
. moves in a circle
. around her
His foot is moved
. is moved by a mover
Her elbow moves
. moves itself
His knee is still
. still within ourselves
still within our
Her ankle not ever
. ever outside them
ever outside their
The circle expands
You can’t have New York
I can have Trenton no where
Not I cannot give up LA — oh here
Yes you may have under Buffalo no There
No, we can’t give over wings over here
Maybe, they can take uber legs under there
Definitionally impossible I alone forgot small hands up here
The rest, they say, is history.
No last, I don’t speak, not the present.
Yes transient, you communicate, the past.
No permanent, I am mute, the present.
Yes, transitional you, sing the past.
No, everlasting I, croak the future.
Yes, ephemeral you, hum the sweetness of the past.
After typing these, I recognize the surrealist games that I often played with other poets in graduate school. I recognize Deborah Richards’ handwriting. Some fun memories came from these boxes of journals. So many years spent writing…it makes me grateful that I didn’t save the journals I wrote as a teenager, when most of my poems had a gloomy tone. That would be painful uncovering, whereas I can look over the past ten years since graduate school and see the ways that I have shifted with a sense of appreciation for my process, my pain, and my struggle. I have made it here with no shortage of struggle, but also with a great deal of joy. This period represents the beginning of a grand new unfolding. What poems will emerge remains to be seen. Stay tuned.