Friday, December 31, 2010

Fragment III

The rose faint with fragrance
has slowly begun to wilt
in the chaotic quietude
of deep, starless nights.

Zaina Anwar 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Godless Room
38"x 26"

Sunday, December 19, 2010


digital photo

Friday, December 17, 2010

Ashes To Ashes

"Maybe when a kids screaming, they're just the only one allowed to speak their mind."

Born of a mind
To take down the world
As long as my dogs in the fight
I wiped every tear
And  patched every hole in sight

I didn't need........ a flag or a name
Pieces of  pleasure
Or beautiful things
All those shadows
Just abstracts and
Art in my eyes

The long nights of living
In places where knowledge
Could kill time
Put me straight in the arms of
Souls just as hungry for dreams

And wouldn't you know
That the love and the wine
Brought fertile flowers
That  knew how to climb
To, honey
this future of
Your mama and me

Baby you're born
And daddy's too late
To dwell on things that might never change
So what
Maybe that worlds out of sight

I'm just a fool
Born in a small town
Shakin' off dust
For the future I'm bound
I 'spose
Rubbin my neck and my eyes

Still up in the sky
The future glows
From the pastures
Of of plenty
That everyone knows
Yeah, we're dust
But don't we look pretty tonight?

Witness to Some Wishes Unearned

She had long taken heed of the shallower implications of her aging.   So much so, that these new circumstances... her widowhood, her isolation, her dependence on the few she wished, frankly, she didn't have to talk to at all... struck her, mostly, in their scale, more so than their substance.  "Here I am, " she thought, as she always knew she would.  The ugly formica paneling of a waiting room.  The caustic uncertainty with no one to soothe its burning.  The plain, unforgivable fact that she not only could have predicted this all, but long ago looked upon these prosaic objects that were all that remained, and said to herself, "this is what it will look like."  She had never looked away.  And now things looked just as she had thought.

"Mrs. Auburn, your sisters nearly done," said the very nice nurse.  And it was certainly good to be forewarned.  She used to flush with anger at the unexpected phone call, back when weeks would pass without incident.  Back when life, her life, was what anyone would recognize as normal.  Today though, Dilly was never surprising in any way at all.  Never surprisingly thoughtful. Never surprisingly lucid.  Never surprisingly resilient.  Well... she had never been resilient at all.  So, no surprise.

Dilly did come through the door, looking pretty and composed.  She was telling the nurse something about somewhere she'd never been.  It all sounded perfectly plausible.  The nurse clearly recognized which was the life of the party.  Anne hated parties.  The nurse wouldn't hate parties she realized.  And surely, like so many people, the nurse could not imagine disliking Dilly.

As Dilly looked into her eyes, with a subtle triumph that reflected her pretensions had fooled them all again, Anne knew she would say nothing to contradict her sister.  "Are you hungry?" were the only words she could even think of.  And, of course, they had the benefit of having something to do with her own circumstance.

"I don't know," said Dilly.  "We should go to a movie... what do you think?"

As always, "I think I'm hungry," said Anne, while they moved into the bright and ceaseless sunlight of the parking lot, to the car.

"We could eat popcorn, you know," said Dilly.  "You love popcorn."

Anne loved popcorn, yes.  But hadn't been able to stomach it in some years.  And, yes, she knew that old hunger for a movie and popcorn.  For a good time, just the two of them.

"We should go to the pharmacist.  And I have things I need to get done.  Though, one of them is off the list," Anne said.

"You need a worry board," said Dilly. "You should ask Bill to make you one.  He'd love to give you a gift."  Dilly smiled at this in the old way.  And, as always, Anne nearly blushed.

Closing the vehicles door she couldn't deny her sister, "I could probably use something to calm me, true.  And yes, he has never hidden his feelings.  I'm the one with that problem."

"If wishes were horses, you still couldn't accept him, Anne.  And he won't go begging forever.  Just say yes! Isn't that the  magic of a man?"  Dilly looked over the Hospital building, as if canvassing a crowd of beach bronzed body builders, nearly shivering at the thought.

"The fact that you are right, does not change my feelings, Dill," she said to her sister, pulling out into the street, toward no theater, no popcorn, and remaining, therefore, upon the the path she had seen already, long ago.  At the signal she stopped, it's color being red.  And she noticed, with the peculiar senses she had always been burdened by, that her sister had nothing else to say, and it satisfied her, this confluence of conversation and the obedient traffic.

Things certainly had grown complicated since Dilly's husband, Joseph, had died.  Joseph had never been someone Anne looked forward to seeing or spending time with when they were young.  His tastes extended to all manner of exotica, and Dilly was only one of the pleasures he'd taken as his birthright, being a man, and being indifferent to refinement of any sort.  It might have bothered Dilly to some extent, Anne surmised, very early on, with Dad and Mom and the Hoidays, in all the expected ways.  But Anne knew that once Dilly had recognized her fears of retribution from the family were never going to be realized, now that she was married, she completely quit thinking about it at all.  It was a friend that suggested to her that Dilly's lack of concern might actually be the rational response to her marriages tension with her family.  Like a half resolved, cloud covered spot of light on the horizon, Anne could imagine there being something virtuous, and heartfelt about that perspective, but there was never going to be a question as to whether their had been a betrayal or not.  Dilly walked away, from the family, and whatever her rationale, could not subsist simultaneously as a completely accepted member of their tribe, and a wife to Joseph.  They drank excessively. They cared nothing for principles, either generally recognized, or potentially held by strangers.  They offended, loudly.  They brought children into not only a dangerous world, but the heavily consequential orbit of their own worldview.  Were they train wrecks, these resulting memories, Anne would ask herself?  No, a train wreck would not be seen, predicted, and so much the fruit of causality.  A train wreck was a tragedy.  Jo and Dill's family were precisely what you'd expect them to be.  The phone calls were distressing, but there were never any questions to ask.  Only, "What can I do?"  Dill had certainly been interested.  Dill could not have comprehended that it wasn't a question, either.

As the years had passed, though, the callouses did thicken.  And there were times, Anne had marveled, where Jo seemed like nothing so much as a brother in law, and a predictable one in the end.  His pleasures, even he'd confide, had their costs.  Their marriage, they seemed to enjoy, like a foam mat upon deep, dark waters.  One side, in the sun.  The other, what? Out of mind?   After decades, and funerals, and troubles faded by time, the whole imposition of thier union in the face of that old fiction of a once so hopeful youth, had replaced the implacable old boundaries.  It was surprising certainly, to witness.  Though so oddly comforting.

There was Josephs treatment of Dad, for example.  Dad who sought to offend no one; Dad who had accepted this son in law, somehow.  Joseph delighted in the composure of her father, realized Anne.  Joseph certainly knew he had no desire to compromise his freedoms with his family, for the father of his wife.  But Dad had, in the ripeness of time seen something in his son in law.  Perhaps it was simply that way with men.  A lacking maliciousness proving some irrational bonhomie?  She'd been grateful in the end to Jo.  He shrugged off Dad's illness the way he shrugged off all mysteries, apparently.  He had strange riches of time to spend with Dad.  It seemed, often, they talked more to one another, near the end of Dad's life, than anyone else.  It helped Dad.

to be continued.....

Monday, December 13, 2010

Another Poem to read along

i woke up this morning and had this poem in my head, so i wrote it and finished it; i haven't had a day write in a long felt nice.

Religious Doctrine

I know, you’re still here
helping people see what is hard for us to grasp,
like babies reaching for a mobile
swaying above fragile, confused heads,
you give us hope in unattainable pieces—
it has always been easy to believe in faith,
but to have faith in understanding requires work.

I read a book once that created Heaven
in a world above my head, and Hell
in a land burning below my feet;
for awhile I closed my eyes and believed,
until another book defined the term “blind faith.”
The burning ideas beneath my feet left me cold,
the magic disappeared from the sky,
and I was forced to look around my life;
religion was being fed to children and adults alike,
starving them of reason, stealing their faith in one-another,
dividing families because subjectivity somehow became objective—
religion may not be the root of all evils,
but evil is certainly the root of all religions.

I read a book once that created a magic world
set behind a platform in a train station,
and my God, did I want to believe.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Encounter Down From Morton And Lime

I leave my door every single day
With my small cloth satchel underarm
Sometimes to the Church, to confess or pray
Sometimes to the dance hall to be charmed

Wither my memory of sadness and pain
Banish my concern for my own harm.
Passing by the church, I beg today
Can you see me to a young man's arms?

As the light in the sky, still so early fades
You'd not be too surprised if you could see
The figure of a woman, walking just your way
In the dim light passing by it would be me

"In the Sweet By and By" above me play the bells
My mind is nearly taken by the tune
Though just before they're done the music swells
Through yellow light that I am walking through

 But not in celebration of enduring pain
It comes from where I walk across the street
For the fiddle and guitars make a different claim
And I'm smiling for the friends I'm there to greet

Wither my memory of sadness and pain
Banish my concern for my own harm.
Passing by the church, I beg today
Can you see me to a young man's arms?

The crowd grows restless that they've yet to dance
In pairs they walk to the center of the room
When twinning fiddles have their way with darkness chance
What hearts of those assembled will refuse?

I took the hand of one named Johnny Bland
A sheepish sort of look on my face lies
As a witness from the window can see us dance
Out of four there is no blinking of our eyes

Wither my memory of sadness and pain
Banish my concern for my own harm.
Passing by the church, I beg today
Can you see me to a young man's arms?

Some of the songs call to twist and spin
I hold and trust from him I'll never fly
Some of the songs switch me to other men
And they're clearly not unhappy in my eyes

Then the waltz comes at last and some people sit
While I look for someone that I've never seen
And who should approach but the perfect fit
For a girl who doesn't mind the touch of dreams

He'd seen me coming with his kind and gentle look
Sadness drained from his dark and tender eyes
He offered his hand which I gladly took
And I shivered at the other on my side

Wither my memory of sadness and pain
Banish my concern for my own harm.
Passing by the church, I beg today
Can you see me to a young man's arms?

From a people that had searched over seas and hope
The fiddles found my footsteps in their sighs
I simply fell where led by the dark eyed bloke
With the light of every pilgrim in my eyes

It is difficult I knew, even then, to awaken
And meet, alone, the troubles of my day
The journey in the arms with him I'd taken
I feared would end when the fiddles ceased to play

Wither my memory of sadness and pain
Banish my concern for my own harm.
Passing by the church, I beg today
Can you see me to a young man's arms?

The fears of every mortal being far from wrong
The dancing ended as the sun will take a dream
The players of the instruments meant me no harm
When tradition broke the heart of Harmonie

I pulled my new beau to the side of the floor
A place I'd never had a reason yet to be
And as entwined the hands of other boys and girls
I asked the dark eyed stranger who was he?

He said, "Since there we danced, I can hardly dismiss
The sad and watchful man I came here as.
My name is Billy Faren, and it's a pleasure, Miss,
To meet and dance, but might we make it more than that?"

"Harmonie Jennings," is my name dear man,
The answers, yes I'll walk with you tonight"
So we passed through the sound of the fiddles and the band
To a starlit street before the town folks eyes

Wither my memory of sadness and pain
Banish my concern for my own harm.
Passing by the church, I beg today
Can you see me to a young man's arms?

We walked for a time that neither could discern
Amidst the woodsmoke, and other scents of life
So many dreams and yet what could we hope to learn
Whilst holding, there, each other in the night

We stopped beneath the lamp at Benders lane
And from his pocket he took his other hand
"Need I even tell you for what I pray?"
When with a touch and kiss he hoped I'd understand

"This is the house within which I was born"
Said Billy, sadly, to the shadows in the night,
"There's something I have yet to inform...."
But I kissed him then again beneath the light.

Wither my memory of sadness and pain
Banish my concern for my own harm.
Passing by the church, I beg today
Can you see me to a young man's arms?

Billy walked me gently in the darkness of the night
 Past an ending dance, where a last waltz sadly played
Past the steeple where the bells hid out of sight
Arm and arm to where it was my fate to stay

To part would be as silent as it was hard
So I simply turned from Billy to my home
There would be tears eventually even were we not to part
For till the morning... I  must now be alone

Wither my memory of sadness and pain
Banish my concern for my own harm
Passing by the church, I beg today
Can you see me to a young man's arms?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

28"x 35"
acrylic/fluted sbs

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My First Video Post

Fishing for Fire

Lying in bed, I stared through your sleeping eyes,
wondering if soft blankets and words were enough to live,
whether shivering together would bring heat or just friction;
my cool fingers drew slow circles around your mouth,
but I could not feel or imitate the warmth escaping your lips—
freezing alone is not the same as freezing alone together.
I left that night as dreams of sailing beautiful oceans
turned into a painting of two children slipping over ice,
and like an ambitious autumn breeze catching the spring,
the unnatural season began to pour through my veins.
Soon, dead leaves fell like snow beneath my skin,
and covered the water I had saved for the ensuing sun,
lucid water that had promised to grow green futures.
I ate fire, drank fire, and smoked fire,
but nothing seemed to heat the frigid lake of leaves
as it grew slower and sharper beneath my skin,
pushing to break and speak out against the season.
Fragile and barefooted I wandered carelessly that night
searching for a reflection of my inverted world,
a mirror to talk to or simply a tongue to place down my throat,
anything to forget the potential burden of breaking alone.
...I found it, eventually, before the sun had begun to rise
at the edge of a night littered in matches and clothes;
it was in a pond, nearly placid, reflecting in the moon,
shivering alone with no one to see or break the surface.
I knelt down to touch and gaze beneath sleepy ripples,
and I saw beautiful flames sailing within the waves,
hiding their light beneath dead floating leaves.
That night, I decided to go fishing for my fire.
I dove head first into life's cool essence of darkness,
chasing scattered flames like old summer dreams,
and I watched the sun rise as we thawed alone and together.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Sitting on the banks,
nay the frame of a river,
waiting for the dust to settle
on such a grievous and ill-mannered
alliterative appendix,
I once promised myself
I’d not give in
to the sorry belief in ghosts

But here they arise
wraiths out of the mist
with bowed buckled knees;
buried in the resting place
for remembered ribbons
Wearing wreaths to match
the twigs and leaves
caught in their long black robes

And gargle it goes
the sound of my voice as it tries
to make its way across the sands
to meet her

the strains of a
boy drowning in the river
cast there by those
who refused to acknowledge
the creases in his brow
Or the breadcrumbs
he had left in his wake
to lead him back to the very same spot
where his torment first began

And the queue refuses to move
Great mounds of dirt
collect on the toes,
wings and deck of the ship
Oh, how far the moon seems now.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Near West Side
digital photo

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Hat Stand

The endless line
of wingless eagles
continue their
Dodo march

Arched backs falling,
little slack lemmings,
tumbling with disdain
before my eyes

And back sodden,
soaked, pressed firm
beside rock
Toes dug in
Heels soggy with algae

From here I can see
your flower-proof brolly
painting flames
abroad the horizon

Monday, November 22, 2010

Blue Room
5ft x 4ft

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Accompanying the return
of magpie breath and feathers
I surround myself
with sallow squares
and careful circles of chalk

Ears pricked
Fingers reaching,
long and black,
across an eyeless stitch
flanked by candles

And the turning cogs,
twisting wheels and roots
Hoping for that cheerful clink
caused by paper against palm

Monday, November 15, 2010

acrylic/fluted sbs

Monday, November 8, 2010

Lorca's Lament

My love has flown away
on the black wing of an eagle
to pierce the blue mantle
of a Spanish sky.

Words have deserted me,
they have marched away
to the beat of a thousand drums
and the clash of swords.

The gleam of his naked pistol
and the sun's scorching rays
blinded me as I knelt
that sweltering summer's day
on flowering earth-
mother of all mothers
that gave birth to me.

They dragged me to the cemetery
to breathe my last broken sigh.

I am still searching for the mound
where my shattered bones lie.

Zaina Anwar 2010

Friday, November 5, 2010

Prayer of the unsaintly

Would you banish me if I confessed
a secret thrill the instant
shrill sirens intrude,
rudely breaking in
to shove aside my trailed-off whispers
with a wail from which no earwax,
no matter how doughy thick,
could keep a modern Ulysses safe.

Maybe it’s this time
they’ll stop for me.

Maybe it’s this time
and there won’t come a knock.

Maybe it’s this time
the stale crust of hardening past
explodes to scorch a put-upon earth
or crack her open so we can,
you and I, slip through,
up among the slewfoot roamers.
Their heavy heads are down,
always down, down,
pointed down and they’re unaware
there are germs here.
There are puffs of dainty fluff floating
close above them here and hoping
to ride our slipstream,
to skip over those dreams
too drained of ambition for ever
to germinate.

Ignore, am I
the kind to ignore? I am
ignoring them right now,
and the dimpled facts
they’d dare be
if beggary wasn’t better served
than derring-do. Don’t
tell me you don’t see them too.

I’ve witnessed the self-interest
and I’m still abiding, dude,
but when, dear God, when
will enlightenment finally arrive?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Autumn Morning.....

The first scents of the day
Fill me up and radiate to my finger tips
Invigorating and refreshing
The early morning coolness breathing against my face
And the ever welcome warmth that cloaks my back
My fading friend of summer
Chinks of light peep through the loaded branches
Leaves, clinging for life
The life within them withering away
The autumnal colours of ochre’s and browns
Curling with their rusty spots abound
That moment of life extinct as they freefall
Dressing the ground with a crisp crunchy carpet

© Eileen O’Neill    24/09/2010
Thursday Prompt for Poets United: Autumn
(Poem originally written 17/10/2009)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Ants with Sticks

I watched them dismantle a cat's game in my backyard,
their X's and O's imprinted in the rust-filled sand,
symbols left behind like fossils who refused to change.
I watched them transplant the sticks piece-by-piece
over new blades of grass, new colors of flowers,
hoping they might be filled with sweet, simple time:
free land, free energy, free love in arms of freedom.
Sedentary, I sat watching and drinking beer
while a tired sun set behind the distant hills;
political ads poured out my windows, ignorance
screamed back-and-forth like wavering curtains
torn by the hands of an evening draft—I sat,
I watched them play games with broken branches,
and the history of our world continued to suffer.


Too long spent treading water,
head bobbing up and down
between passing ships
and an array of distorted
messages in bottles

It was here that I realised the time to let go
and sink down into the depths of you
had arrived

But fear,
night terrors,
a gang of them,
their voices calling out like whale song
beneath the surface

Try as I might I cannot shake the feeling
that this shade is not a ghost at all
Rather a permanent stain,
the spreading of ink
across an otherwise pale blue

And it always arrives with the taste of decay
that dull screw
of a fragile hobgoblin
so pensive and grave

Saturday, October 30, 2010

October 30th
digital photo

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Treasure the Moment....

Too much, or never enough.
To pause and reflect.
Snatched and watched.
The hands move on.
My time, shared time,
Lost time.
Capture and treasure it,
Seize it and savour it.
Perhaps, at another time,
Dreading or fearing it.
With time,
Soothed and reassured.
Make time and take time,
To look back, reminiscing.
Moving on,
Pleasantly dreaming.
Conserve the commodity.
Per chance a rare find,
This spare moment in time

© Copyright Eileen O’Neill   16/07/2010

Saturday, October 23, 2010

35"x 28"
acrylic/fluted sbs

Friday, October 22, 2010


What leaves may fall,
what tunnels window fare
The sheet we use
for propping mirrors

One knot to tie
the sweeping sky
and tall
With wings to carry
circles, feathers, all

Askance aside
Now nestled
pillow blush

And oh,
you look a picture
lying there

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


'The Chief'
pen and acrylic on paper
(click on image to enlarge)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Well Wishing

Sixteenth Street, an asbestos shack
Always has enough for this all night game
By the eyes of my customers, they're coming back
Nothing else can help them to ease their pain

And I, walk that plank of shame
As I, say, "Please, come again."
I walk that plank of shame

Always had a thing for the easy load
Trimmed all my possesions to this jet black frame
And tonight while I rumble on the open road
My daughter ships out to the fiery gates

And I, walk that plank of shame
As I, pray for her again.
I walk that plank of shame.

My little boy you're bundled to your daddy's hopes
Waiting to be watered by the future's rain
Though the doctors words were a terrible blow
They were nothing like the look upon our neighbors face

And I, walk that plank of shame
As they, walk their kids away,
I walk that plank of shame

Sixteenth Street, an asbestos shack
Always has enough for this all night game
By the eyes of my customers, they're coming back
Nothing else can help them to ease their pain

And I, walk that plank of shame
As I, say, "Please, come again,"
I walk that plank of shame

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Confidence in
candle wax
and salt

Face to the sky
declaring it
in threes

A pair of spirals
at my feet

My uttered plea,
when facing the above

To light
and guard
and keep
the nameless sure.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Poem- Echoes of An Evening

Pink sequins and an emerald wrist
in a mirror marred by violence.
Look behind you, there is a spider clinging
to a flimsy web that cannot be held
together by mere words alone.

In a green silk blouse shimmering
like sunshine on a crystal tear,
you look for distraction in a mirror;
you stroke old wounds with fingers
yellowed by cheap cigarettes and years
of bitter acceptance.

Through evenings smelling of stale smoke
and plants dying in Moroccan terracotta,
you comb your hair in a window lit
by moonbeams frail and tarnished with time.
You sleep to the lonely sound of chimes,
and engulf yourself in the folds
of a long and scathing solitude.

Zaina Anwar 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

i've been gone too long

took a little break from writing but my notebook has started following me around again

The Crazy Lady Next Door: christmas 1995

I stared as she trudged through the yard,
a tree planted over her far shoulder,
the wind fighting for tinsel and scarf.
She dropped the ornament by an old elm
and knelt to cover everything green
beneath the fallen snow. It was all there:
the colored glass balls, ceramic angels
forever posed in youth and wisdom,
a tarnished star still clinging to the top.
After finishing, she recited several words,
pulled a dry lilly from beneath her coat,
and tossed it over the new winter grave.
That spring, the tree remained untouched,
and the branches had begun to bear rust.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Magic Fish
39"x 32"

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cold seeps

I would have posited longings ago
this short-shrift to-do over such a curt list undone
was inconceivable
the pages of deceptively practiced perceptions
published in a pop-up book smirk,
or beyond
the canary-yellow frames of a cartoonish
distortion relishing its mired but spongy giggles

lake sleeps implacably
at the bottom of an irascible ocean

Whatever it may,
you can’t deny the wantonly
watted life teeming pretty as it pleases,
untroubled by a hollow-core belief
or the extremest demands of our foul temper

How I could have,
if I’d only swallowed
those bubbled-up blurts
ring-wronging the tip of my wriggling tongue,
never been audibly
landed by one alluringly barbed certainty

There are supine bodies—
stagnant, quicksilver pure—
no material ship navigates
and no intentional intruder can swim
emerging atypically
unsettled by the caustic exposure

Tread lithely
when you go;
this shoreline bites.
Its clustered rocks will snap shut around you
after digging in below you with a protruding toe,
and its carmine stalks will sting you
as they writhe past you
to mime a part-less goodbye

Here be where
the monstrous cold seeps
and a hellish hot vents
in compliance with this centuries-old complaint:
too-short was the time we wept
for those wiggly wonders
we could have kept
if we’d only octopus-arm embraced
the inevitability of their bandy-legged escape

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


digital photo

Friday, September 10, 2010


It happened so quickly,
the way her love shattered

into a thousand fragments,
each a tiny mirror reflecting

a magnificent sunburst,
blinding her soured vision forever.

And all she had done
was ask him,

ask him in a quiver,
'Did you fuck her?'

to which he lied,
the bastard slipped,

so that the truth hit her.
She knew it was over.

Zaina Anwar 2010

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Friday, August 27, 2010

pavor nocturnus

there is darkness here
not even stars

Siege to the castle!

The parapet has already been taken
and I can hear them bringing down the doors


But I will guard
the cornerstone
with my heart

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Rose Scented Illusion

The moon tugs angry at my heart,
drawing black blood in an ebb and flow
of the sea that crashes and roars
against the rocks beneath this monstrous cliff.

The mist hangs in patches dissolving shadows:
no wonder I cannot see who I am,
give me a candle so I can satiate myself-
are these really my raw, soap-frothing hands?

Love was a wonder, a cherished hope,
but now I am down on blistering knees,
chasing a potato for the next singeing meal
over a kitchen fire that has burnt my years.

He shall not patch me up with occasional nods
and bland phrases reeking boredom;
he brings me roses on a Sunday forgetting
that there are thorns on the bloodied stems.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

celebrating the superficiality of all things being made equal

let us join hands
you and i
and tramp down this falling away
road new paved by over-baked schemes
and the shattered
windshield glass from a dream car
we left for dead many miles back
every tire including the spare had blown
and they still hiss their casual tunes
while popped-out
flesh-tone hoses
dangle and sprinkle
a rainbow gloss on black-rimmed puddles
it’s a cause for deepening joy
these shallows won’t
dry up in either of our weened lifetimes
moisten your lips dear
and make that pineapple-sweet whistle
i love to taste
when i dare to plant my tongue there
the food’s long gone
and pots are now for banging
we’ve lost our way
and maps are made for shredding
into playfully themed streamers
we’ll tie in our hair
as we dance off the waning
silky heat of a too-late summer
the sun’s dial is flipping
and bound by those zeros
we’ve gotta go but it’s best
we’re brought low together

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

we live in the subway...

by human being

illustrations by rhoda penmarq

we live in the subway
at different stations
no one ever leaves here
we just live our life!

sisyphus rolls his boulder
from one station to the other
nobody gives him a hand
no one has got a hand in this land

we do not shake hands here
we just shake our heads as we walk
thoughts can't climb the stairs
dialogs are run over by trains

we all run
to take a trip
to take a sit
to take a nap

to dream of the land above
that we are not allowed to visit
they are busy there
they are busy cleaning the land from bodies and trees

they want the land bodiless
they want the land treeless
they say bodies and trees make it priceless
and they laugh

no one cares about the meaning of words in this land
we just hear the words
we hear them laughing
we hear them cleaning the land

we hear the bodies and the trees that are cleaned
the subway is full of voices and sounds
but nobody listens
joshua bell's violin is begging for hearing ears

nobody lends him even a pierced ear
no one has got an ear in this land
fear has got the upper hand
courage is lost in the maze of knowledge

minds do not find each other
they masturbate in their interior monologs
poetry is raped by busy nets
stories are stillborn

we live in the subway
at different stations
no one ever leaves here
we just live our life

............................................ like a dry leaf in the wind

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

a gift of green mussels gone

A flash of blown snow in August
aural blizzard driven wavy
as memory mirrors one lined
lost lane to hard cracked two:

drifts mounded to sandy dunes
of seaside grass that trembles
near curtain slats partly open

five hooked fingers pull shell
to split full lips from beardless
sands tracked on nacre floors,
cooled by paneled ocean breezes
doors swollen down to aqua sea

and a sticky lizard laughs beige
at the gravity of stucco walls
gladly not to sweat the beady
orange tricks of salty summer,

the pink necklaces of blush
that fritter in the mangrove
provide cover for the titter
of bashful larks as the scrub's
unexpected scent of raspberry
envelopes an unplucked flower.

The scene not too unseasonal
to offer wry spreading frost
webbed silver in spun summer
causing flashed peaks to stiffen
with the surprise of early chill:

to trace back crash to Wednesday
in the boney script come please,
penned in aqua ink the day before,
imagined blue flats a foundation
for the invite shy of bas-relief

the wet release at lost belief,
a delight to the slippery slip
a worn cloth belt champion grey
on the frayed white damask sofa
and sliding on pearly puffy drips.

One last peak at tawny tight skin
a museum quality veneer covering
fictions and histories and exits,
one lasts as the mirror glazes

ice forward glacier white
a straight-jacket yardstick
from an under blaze heard
the swoop of three egrets four
is white down in eastern sky
and just back from the stars:

a gift of green mussels gone.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

On turning 30

She is fragmented in the mirror,
a possibility failing over and over
to come to fruition.
How does one put the myriad petals
back into a rose?

(I think I've had an overdose of Sylvia Plath)

Friday, August 13, 2010


Standing on the brink
of a thousand and one
tiny explosions
I witness,
beyond the mist,
the shade of a shadow
performing its most wonderfully
piercing act

And darkness descend!
But for a pair of
chilled silhouettes;
synchronous steps,
arms flapping,
beating about like wings

Oh, to the moonlight
I return!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Gone Up in Smoke

What I saw then was different-
it could not have been you.
Blindfolded then maybe,
now I breathe indifferently
but sometimes
as in autumn when the trees
begin to shed tangerine leaves
and the clouds veil the sun
for weeks at a time,
a sharp pang of regret
over a lie concocted
or a devious riddle I failed
to solve pierces through me
with a black intensity,
an affliction I simply
cannot sustain.

August 2010

one day your jellyroll will

One way to be in the world
is to live jerk furtive
in the quick store carpark
squat behind buick wheel
scraped and all banged in,
hungover unshaved erect,
with no pony tips to play.

Mocha big gulp balanced
on vinyl dash cracks with
your beige savior upright,
one gloss ring per bored day
making a coaster extra luxe
while spitting your dribble
onto seedy shifting carpet,
rubbed off brake and clutch.

Sneaker tongue shot eyelet
worn through daily rhythm,
enjoying only in your mind
white sweats stretched elastic
from damp plastic into trash
when the lap becomes the thighs.

Ritual light and sweet
a morning queue wait,
flapping brown packets
of sugar bulging pre-tear
next to spills of coffee
and ashes from the suck of now:

an ask never even noticed
glimmers into wasted guilt
from the gimlet of your eye.

Death wish goose limping,
invisible to chrome hoods,
tries to reach the wood
wondering how much glass
is really in this world.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Lone Star

Another favorite subject: Arthropods

Acrylic on canvas
(One of my favorite paintings)
click to enlarge

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Take Off
acrylic/fluted sbs

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


by human being

illustrations by rhoda penmarq

once upon a time, there lived a creature called meaning... meaning didn't know who it was and life seemed so meaningless to it... so it started a journey to find out...

wherever it saw someone on the road, it stopped and asked... but no one knew who it was... it saw lots of people and places... it had lots of sad and happy moments but still that meaninglessness bothered it...

one day when it was sitting by a pond looking at the play of light on the surface of water, it noticed a face on the water... no! it was not its reflection... and this is not the story of Narcissus...

the face on the water was smiling... while meaning knew exactly how it (itself) felt: sad and tired...
the face on the water was trying to say something... while meaning knew it (itself) had been silent for a long time...

meaning loved that smile... those lips that were trying to say something... meaning tried to listen but.... splash!

a coconut dropped in the pond... monkeys were hungry... and were trying to eat something...

the face was gone...

meaning became a frequent visitor to the pond... day after day it came there to see the face again... that smile ... those moving lips... but the moment the face appeared and wanted to say something, something happened and the face disappeared...

but meaning never gave up... it built a house there... planted lots of plants and trees... made friends with all people and creatures there...


and each day came to the pond to see the face... the moment the face appeared, meaning would tremble with joy... and thought it was the happiest being in the world... now meaning felt its life was meaningful...

they lived happily ever after?
no... this story is a bit different...

on a very beautiful morning something strange happened after years of visit to the pond...

when the face appeared... nothing happened to make the face disappear...

they looked at each other for a long time...


at last, meaning asked the face:

- who are you?

the face smiled more broadly than ever and answered:
- i'm... nothing...

meaning paused for a long time... then it entered the water very slowly...

careful not to disturb its motionless surface...

they became one...

no one has seen meaning since then...