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Archive for the ‘beat poetry’ Category

The swamp has eyes, which are overfilled with diamonds.
Insects, amphibians, reptile’s optics- set a shimmer in hazy, humid, thick, repeating nights.
In one square foot of space we could be looking and remain unsurprised to see firefly flash, raccoon skittering, slug slime trailing on. To see moth bodies hostage to dusty  milk-glass sconces, to see hornet mounds uncomfortably close to every place a hand may need to touch, to see the last second of a frog jumping- webbed toes swallowed by blackness.

At large- the sounds in this marshland are in concert.
The unsuspecting, shy operatic beginning of a solo winged one- slow; increasing. Adding of other like players; building. Swelling to crescendo. Carrying on and on. Cracking through the night, sounds bumping across crawfish towers, and sliding around kudzu vine and ornamental privet gone wild.
Until inky silence comes a creeping, cutting one off at the ear with a sudden stopper-  plunging into the lull til’ it’s just a couple of humans breathing easy, sleeping birds, gently swaying whisky, weary nutria, sweet tea, awake snakes, sweating ice-cubes, and nearly still water below.
And then another wave, and another, and another- of boisterous, irrepressible bugs.

To know the swamp is to do so by being here, only.
No stories stand to tell better than experience. Tale tellers, find some Spanish moss and take some rest.
It’s an entire entity, a grouping, a package deal unlike any other, surmise-able as a whole, but breakdown-able with all sorts of moving, swirling pieces. Requiring gentle attention and a tendency toward pacific neutrality.
The land can be surrounded by skimmer boats; a wayward dock rotting and a float, propped by repurposed plastics; neighborhood children venturing bravely into muddy rivers with fingers crossed; strangers becoming friends faster, on average, and often with the assist of sugary spirits in single-use forever-cups; someone, or 2, or 4, or 5- being responsible for the greasy, alluring smells of deep-fried daily-catch.

All these senses- alight. Brightly so. Incandescent due to sun-packed days, bringing hot, stocky air. Incandescent due to outsiders so quickly being welcomed in; enveloped and full-bellied. Incandescent due to the nowhere-else-like-it factor. Crowded with accompanying oohs’ and ahhs’.

The swamp has eyes and they’re overflowing with diamonds.
Some spilling right across the ground. Some dangling around in branches. Some peering placidly from the damp beyond. You can count these lucky land-stars, as they twinkle all around you. You can make them yours just by thinking it so.
Because, hello tortoise, you’re moving like molasses here anyway- so it’s best advised to gather momentary gems and learn the local slither, fill your diamond shaped holes and watch the night shine, let the breeze take its subtle toll, and observe .

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Picture me- an explorer voyaging the chopping, sailor, mermaid, school-of-fish, sunken-ship, Jacques Cousteau-eat-your-heart-out spaces in between places where feet have their solid, favored terrain so far from their bodies, traded,
searching new full flavor seasoning, adrift- in the name of it,
seeking to sprinkle more than pepper or turmeric or saffron upon my pallet anew; kindling tastebuds unknown
by my own hand
from my own glory, salt of sea and evolving flavor,
ever-lasting-gobstopper, unraveling in first, second, third, fourth course
all French and sophisticated, all cobweb and torment, all fresh tortilla, all squirrel feed, all bursting contentment, all raspberry-velvet-ganache, all sweaty panties, all hyphen, too many commas, all “surprise- look who’s here for dinner”, all stumbly wino, all exquisite, all vile, all gutter grease-straw-sipping, all gravely voice, all angel’s bells, all hammer of justice, all swift motion with arm-fulls overloaded of fragrant, pillowy, white blossoms that ring of early Spring nights festooned in bare-bulb-strung-lights, trailing behind me and scented of subtle jasmine in the warm, lit, dark,
whilst stirring and stirring to amend
my own soil where-which I will plant these gleaned exotic seeds of 15 year blooms, annuals, noninvasives, and perennials, brilliant orange pink yams from Southern bioregions, original dates of the Fertile Crescent, rubble with some green sprouts interspersed from Palestine and hope hope hope to raise a tree to a forest, strawberry juicy Hawaiian papaya, tall sugar cane groves to run amongst, 3 sister’s silky corn, plump beans, striped squash,
and bleed
into surrounding soil and imagine
and contribute,
and discover
what delicate monster bounding bony, spined hills, straddling trickle creeks of sodden  zygote or embryo fresh possibility of holding black floral, private scarlet intoxicating emergence promise that maybe/ might/ would occur as a result of this witch’s brew. Chocolate reminiscence in the floral world. Over loaded arm fulls of the blossoms. Amalgamating. Tumbling behind my flight.
When you must write to stoke.
When you must type on and on to provoke.
Stream of consciousness.
String of theory
tied
from tree to tree.
Limbs full swing and purpose. Petals on fleek.
All in mercurial motion that you can’t place a bet on.
I’ll go high and low for it. The buzz I’m constantly chasing.
Help me find my way to God’s contract; never need to write one more ode to writer’s block.

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Looking

The thing about poetry is that it can live anywhere.

Like reindeer moss deprived of rain or light still flourishing after years of neglect.

It can hide in plain sight.

It can be on the tip of your toe as you kick a stone off the sidewalk.

It can be tucked up some country road with countless potholes leading up to a seemingly  forgotten, stumpy clear-cut that  just about wrenches your gut, as it should; and ends you up snapping photos of yourself there, envisioning saplings strengthening.

It could be in the way that you catch your own eyes reflecting off your own red blouse, this poetry- and how it echoes your anger, your passions, or your effortlessly coursing, very alive and platelet rich blood.

It can surprise you, while you peek back upon someone else’s story in your mind, & find the tale ready to be regurgitated in reflective fashion, touched with artistic licensure.

It can be in the seagull that approaches you & makes you feel shame for having the sense of being slighted with its head cocked all judgy like. *What dude?*

There’s this rampant ambivalence that’s sure to be the leading cause of fruitless pages & stilled pens.

You must show up for yourself.

Give yourself time in this land.

You are the gardener. And it is not an easy harvest.

Some poem trails lay fallow or demand of you to over step those washed-out, cliche illuminations like a biblical plague of frogs raining sideways, causing hairline fractures in the south-facing, sun-emitting windows of your concept collecting place.

We must use refrain from once more addressing the grandiose of the moon or sky or rose blooms or lovers eyes that tug for  yet another cameo as it’s so damn easy to include, but would demand space like kudzu or catnip, choking out the roots of other gentle flower thoughts yet to be planted. New growth.
Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

So throw your ass in your car. Drive out to the coast in the rain. Sit in your mobile monsoon box, eat your leftovers on a perch overlooking the great sea, & write something new. Listen to the whispers beyond the waves.

Our words await us. And the time is wow.

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