Unpacking boxes, uncovering poems

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:

Ceiling machine

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

Circle spine

Her hand moves in a circle around her face

Her hand moves

.                  moves in a circle

.   around her

.       face

His foot is moved

.               is moved by a mover

across her

.       back

Her elbow moves

.                   moves itself

into his

.      chest

His knee is still

.                     still within ourselves

still within our

.         spines

Her ankle not ever

.                          ever outside them

ever outside their

.                          stomachs

The circle expands

Uber legs

You can’t have New York

.         everywhere

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

History lesson

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.

Happy solstice!


2 thoughts on “Unpacking boxes, uncovering poems

  1. I found this post tag-surfing. Am new to WordPress. I just wanted to say that I enjoyed your description poem-uncovering: I’m doing that now as well, what a strange process it can be!

    I also live in Midcoast Maine (grew up here). It’s a good place to try to be a poet again. Quiet when you need it.


    p.s. I like “Circle spine” and don’t think it’s a silly poem at all.

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