Porg…

Today one of the world’s most beautiful creatures imprinted upon me. I gazed into its huge, wide eyes as I squeezed the soft white and brown fur on its body. Chirps mixed with vomit sounds issued forth from its voice box, while its arm flaps hung limply and helplessly at its sides. Its red and black felt mouth hung open in perpetual song as I wondered at it.

I had been imprinted upon by a Porg.

 

[To be continued]

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V

I’ve never seen V for Vendetta before, but last night I saw a portion of it.

It reinforced everything I’ve been feeling lately about how hard it is to separate yourself from the whole to create positive change. How do you know what change is actually good? How do you know when to hold onto your ideals long enough to die for them and when to let go in order to remain a humane individual (like V)?

1984

Animal Farm

The Hunger Games

 

The Hunger Games are almost a sick joke now.

 

Down at the core, on the basic fundamental level, what makes you human? What makes you good? What makes you kind?

What will stop Amazon drones from conquering the world package by package?

 

 

 

My cats are beginning to make me think in lines of poetry

I have a safe, screened porch that I sometimes let my cats play in while I do other things in my condo. It started to rain, and after 20 minutes I remembered I’d let them out. I ran to go check on them, even though they usually don’t seem to mind a little bit of light rain.

The fat, beautiful orange one comes in bounding her Australian dog bound and ruffing repeatedly with mock offense taken in her tone. (She acts like an indoor dog).

The tones that she barked sounded like a Marge Piercy poem. As soon as I heard them, I felt that she was affrontedly saying,

“It has been raining.

It has been raining.

It has been raining.”

 

She was telling me this as if I ought to be immediately alerted. It was performed in a manner which suggested that I probably should already have done something about this massive problem because:

THE BRITISH ARE COMING.

It was quite cool. My cats does spoken word poetry. I’ll be needing to take her to a open mic.

 

Anyway, the whole thing was quite ridiculous because she loves to play in water that she ought not. She bounds in to alert me, but she’s the one with wet fur from playing in rain droplets.

 

Very dramatic, my orange tabby girl (the vet says orange girl tabby cats are rare). I like it. Just like your cat mom. She’ll be a great spoken word artist…when she’s not grumpy (…wait…).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve posted quite a bit of current poetry and some from my collection. Time for a journal?

So… I read a little bit of the beginning of the book of Job because I feel so hopeless. I’m taking all my medicine as prescribed as I always do. However, I’m having trouble getting out of bed, eating more than once a day, sleeping, and controlling the wild flow of my thoughts.

[Plus one relapse of moderate self harm].

I’m addicted to the rush of new ideas and plans that cycle through my head. I feel like grinding down in the coffee ring of obsessive circular patterns of thought is depleting my brain cells. I’m not sure if that’s actually possible, but I try to stop the obsessive thinking cycle and end up sneaking in “one more time.” Sometimes the obsessive part of my bipolar disorder feels really similar to OCD. When I was 14-15, I actually thought I had OCD. I used to wash my hands until they bled, take hour long showers, complete counting rituals, and have unwanted bad thoughts. I remember very lightly cutting my thumb and showing my mother. I thought that if the thoughts didn’t go away, there was the safety of killing myself. At 14…

A time before that, when I was even younger, I got out of the shower sobbing because I couldn’t get clean enough. My mother said that she would get me help if I needed it. My scalp used to have to be washed 5 times.

 

I’m a very anxious and obsessive person. I’m also a perfectionist, which sucks because I no longer have the capacity to be perfect in regards to anything.

 

I’ve never had depression quite this strong. A lot of it has to do with the political climate and the painful state of the world. Plus I can’t get a therapist due to shitty insurance coverage.

I also feel frightened because of the hurricanes. I’m not religious, but I sponsor two kids through Compassion and World Vision (one through each). One of them is right in the path of Irma…

They said they’ll let me know if anything happens to the child, but how fucking scary is that?

I donated money to the Harvey efforts, but I feel like nothing I do is enough. I can’t fix this fucking world, and it’s killing me.

The balance of supporting yourself and giving of yourself/resources is quite delicate.

So is the balance of my body not turning into a life sized fidget spinner of human cruelty and destruction. I’m not sure how to get through this.

I feel like I have nothing to offer the world. No talent, no smarts – nothing. I know I need to fight, but it’s easier to fight for someone else than for yourself.

If you feel anything like this, light a candle for yourself and imagine me pouring a hot, soothing bath over your wounds. I will wash you. I have a room of candles in my mind. I can smell the scrape of the match right now.

Fight, even if it feels feeble.

 

Songs you might relate to:

 

My Final Chapbook in College – the contents!

Image Realm

 

 

 

 

 

Dana Clark

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contents

Introduction

Affair

Held Woman

Excommunication

Only You Can Crucify?

Virgin

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction:

I was very influenced by the different forms that we studied this semester. I really liked the Pantoum and the Sestina. To be honest, I hated both of those while I was trying to figure them out. Then I loved them because they forced me outside of my comfort zone. The exercise in which we all had to put words in a pile and then write with those as the end words was actually really helpful to me. I even kept those words. It really influenced me because it made me work around the words I had, instead of just going towards the words and concepts that I wanted (which is what I would usually do). It forced me to do more than think outside the box. It actually forced me to think outside of myself. I had to go with what would make the form work best, even though I had other ideas that I wanted to use. I feel like this form gave me a lesson in organization, and honestly a lesson in how to be less selfish as a poet. Think of it as sort of a poetic gluttony- you gravitate towards those words you like or your own familiar pain tropes. The sestina forced me to think about what the poem wants, as opposed to solely what I want. It also helped me to form long lyrics and extend concepts further than I thought I could. It was an exercise of elasticity as well. It was an amazing experience to keep that flow going as long as I possibly could. This: an exercise in how to sustain. I think this is pretty apparent in my extended lines/lyrics in my sestina, “Excommunication.” Just look at the line lengths.
The Pantoum was kind of the opposite, but it was the most powerful to me. This form pushed me to pick a select few concepts and repeat them in a way that would make a big impact. I had to choose from the images that I had, and pick the most intense/effective. It’s been hard for me in the past to get rid of excess images- because I still like those images! This poem, “Only You Can Crucify?” was a lesson to me in revision and composing at the same time. However, the reason that it had the deepest impact on me is that it showed me how to pull the images that meant the most to me and make them pop. I believe that I’ve grown as a writer through experiencing the practice of form, and letting it shape my poems.
Image pulling is actually what the theme of the chapbook is about. The photo on the front is of my hand with a tiered ring from Thailand that my grandmother gave to me. My hand is dipped in the water of a fountain. I wanted my hand to look like it was fishing for images. On the back, it is again my hand in the same water, but clenched to show the process of capturing images. Obviously the images are significantly edited, thanks to my Ipod. I wanted them to look creepy to show the process of having to dip very deeply into yourself to find those images. The fluidity of the water is supposed to represent a pool of images. This also represents the idea of catching and releasing certain images if they do not fit with the work. This whole concept represents the concept of an “Image Realm” that a poet can enter, which is the title of my chapbook. My poems are not in a very stiff order because I wanted them to represent the process of pooling for images too. You don’t have an order when you search for an image- you just put your mental hands out and pull, then open them to see what you get. However, there is a sort of ebb and flow quality to the order, which represents the fluid quality I’ve mentioned.
My poems are ordered: “Affair”, “Held Woman”, “Excommunication”, “Only You Can Crucify?” and “Virgin.” I start out with two of what I think are strong poems, then crescendo into “Excommunication.” That is a good poem to have in the middle because it shows off the length and the work put into line extension. Then “Only You Can Crucify?” is another strong one. I end with what I think is the weakest poem included because it symbolizes the process of tapering out of the Image Realm. My order is representative of the process of image fishing represented with this chapbook.

If I had to pick one takeaway moment from the semester, it would probably me that form can save my life as a poet.

Affair

I’ve secretly snaked in tendrils of your body’s smell.

Your skin hums softness like dipping fingers
into a jar of wet face cream.
So I touched.
I fingered your jawline.

Those doppelganger lips.
I can’t recall the pressing.
It is only your face passing through.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Held Woman

I am your seeker.
Every realm, I roam for you.
My eyes are sticky milk as
you coerce white leeches
to give themselves—
They slick their salts,
form themselves, bar my eyes.

When a tide sizzles in,
the casing of slug skin gnaws
at my coconut meat until I bleed a vision.
You gorge your need from the blindness you created.
You suck at the yolks you tricked from me.

I sense only constant.
I can no longer see your throat sucking,
ruffling like an albino reptile drawing breath.
I feel your doughy texture jut and shake
as you knead at the rigid body that is no longer mine.
You have no need to cover my slimy eyes.
They are no longer eyes.
I slick my salts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excommunication

What can be a sanctuary?
Is it dining on richly roasted duck?
The art of the body—your perfect weight?
Knowing how to redefine love
handles? Sweating in saunas, shaping porously amidst incense cones?
Is it that high you felt when you ate nothing but a daily apple?

When you told me about the single apples,
I felt sprouts of white fear that your sanctuary
might be eating you. Your fear of sugar, meat, ice cream cones…
enable you to further duck
love
that I wanted to give you with all my weight.

Thinspiration won’t erase the weight
of you. Please let go of that perfect apple,
so that you can’t purge your own love.
Forgive me, I draw too near your sanctuary.
I don’t open the box of apple shells from your garden. I duck
away from the forms of those gingerly shedding cones.

I pleaded with you to shed your own shell, the suffocating little cone!
You were buried under the sandy grit’s weight.
I wanted to snatch you, to run and duck
through the worm tunnels, and free you from fermenting in the apple.
I asked to be your sanctuary.
I do not know if I asked too much or not enough.

You have a love that can’t love—
A single Hershey’s kiss, thickly packed cone
of chocolate: for many, a tiny shrine of momentary sanctuary,
for you, a bone-snapping, yellow-furred weight.
You balance like Snow White’s throat encasing that steady splinter of apple,
which always returns for you. I duck

away. I cannot self-contain. I duck,
I shrink from the love
in that apple.
I tuck your remains around my shoulders as if they held the weight
of a comforting blanket. I am raw from your sanctuary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Only You Can Crucify?

I’ll tear the sky.
Hunks of blue will thrash in my fists.
I’ll whiten down to the cuticles.
I will snap every centimeter.

Hunks of blue will thrash in my fists.
Don’t break my blood.
I will snap every centimeter.
I will snatch the highest tree branch, make a spear, and crucify each star.

Don’t break my blood.
My arms will shake.
I will snatch the highest tree branch, make a spear, and crucify each star.
The hot pinches will shriek, spilling shrill glitter.

My arms will shake.
I’ll whiten down to the cuticles.
The hot pinches will shriek, spilling shrill glitter.
I’ll tear the goddamned sky.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Virgin
I am I am I am an octopus,
it breathes unto the one who yearns to stroke.
These suction cups were made for us, for us
it purrs with a great grin. I shall, I shall
divulge… Oh wrap Oh wrap Oh wrap Oh squeeze!
Sweet suck has kissed the hips- contortion is
the sheen. The ribbon veins let forth the roar.
The cry will break as Ink splits through the pearl.

2 Poems about the God-hole (that I can’t fill)

Mutter Gottes Idol

Drops of rain decorate
thick pawed claws
small opals dropped from
the wispy necklace strand
of a careless exiled Goddess
passing.

Lion nose smeared into a stone
sneer. Fat dog muzzle crunched
inward constrained by rock casing.

What would this beast speak
if loosed? Which mark will it
hold behind thick lids?
Vacant flat eroded eyes
clasp passersby inside a drafty Muse.

It clutches the symbol of the Godhead,
talons just forceful enough
to avoid penetrating
its holy idol.

Tablet gleaming despite early grey
rain. Storms do not phase
Him.

He is half-light bulging
against his solid fire
cocoon

screaming in the pit
of His gargantuan side post –
“We proclaim a white
that you will never
know.”

Tip toe past the wide sparkling lion face.
I will not be singed by my unworthy state.
I claw at my wooden umbrella handle
for amnesty.

The rain slaps my head at the bus stop.
Where is God?

 

 

 

 

 

Dead Jelly

Dead jelly surrounds bacterial thoughts, clusters of gritty pink medicinal paste packed close/ in organelle fashion. I press globs of the ocean’s mind to the sweaty fabric of my pilled swimsuit,/ and watch the patterns my other hand scrapes into the sand as I seize.
I want to extract the thrush from my throat. Deal a deadly hand to flute
bones with the back of my thin moon wrist. I want to thrash out the beds of sand
which litter me like porn.
What will be enough for you?
But I just pulse, tucked inside myself. When contained,
I am tremors choking on a biscuit baked too dry.