Project II: Pilgrim

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“Pilgrim”

Where are you going

they harmonize

she says anywhere

the pilgrim names a city

and the sky turns new again

‘I’m moving

and everything’s in another state’

Hills and raised fists

red clay and rock

buy from an Indian

she doesn’t mind the stop

‘They’re flying

I’d rather see the country’

The pilgrim wonders if the stone is real

if any of it is real

and it takes all her experience

all her patience

to tell him

after a pause lasting miles

and three separate smiles

I do not know.

They reach the end

and exit together

the pilgrim says ‘God bless’

while she does her best

to stay warm

She paints in violet

‘Croatoan’ on the curb

Push off before the rains

drop heavy to the steet

bleed colour to concrete

and remind her only of ruin.

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Project II: Exit

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What follows is the entirety of my new project’s first section, titled “Exit.” I’ve posted the individual parts over the last couple of weeks but I thought I’d anthologize them here for clarity.

I should denote this piece as the first section I’ve WRITTEN; the final draft of this long-form poem will likely contain introductions to what lies beneath. Then again, it may not. Enjoy regardless. Continue reading

Project II: Part V

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“Alien”

What prompts the alien

to whisper her farewell

with eyes turned to nothing

and language spoken alone

Unopened evenings

dialogue imagined

never approaching the phone

The smiling and affectionate

circling their laughter

The alien solitary

sings to paper maps

kings cry ‘conquer’

but pilgrims make the journey

Alien at the arrival

drawing such disgust

forced into the cages

despised and then ignored

Alien in her habitat

filled with novel love

for those who finally grasp

all that lies inside her.

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Review: Patti Smith’s Just Kids

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Raised in the wilds of southern New Jersey, Patti Smith’s boundless imagination propelled her through childhood. A teenage pregnancy and the subsequent ostracization from conservative neighbors helped amplify New York City’s siren song and propelled the aimless but creatively-minded Smith across state lines in 1967.

Continue reading

Project II: Part IV

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“Dragonfly”

Romance the silence

Wrappers and puddles

how far away

sears the fire

Kissing the ashes

draping her legs

long the remnants of a tire

End of the earth

streaked across sky

Unruly passage

adjacent to nightmare

changing changing changing

in the August dusk

Shades to the orange

where goes the blue

so different an hour ago

when breath came easily

Why must the colours only

greet me

after the fires rage?

Romance the silence

as coughing subsides

reach dragonflies

as they climb higher

Lose her behind the peaks

how many will die

trapped in the unseen pyre

Spread

to her sight

to her legs

Her only defense

a stuttered plea

Spare me

I’ve peeled enough

and seen so little.

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Project II: Part III

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“Ghost”

She watches

Ghost at the exit,

Steps against pavement

Wait for a car to slow

Thumb in the air

Breath across highway

Take me away to the snow

‘All alone?’

She rounds her body

twists from east to west

Always, always

Smile for change

the prudent move

She’s the chill,

the white

the ice inside of your shoe

Wave with a finger

mind on the fading light

as he drives drives drives

away.

She watches

Ghost at the exit

steps against pavement

under the lunar glow

low on the freeway

cold on the highway

taillights telling her no

Where rides the wind

Source of the tears

the red, the wet

the trembling against quiet

She said

‘it’s only the breeze, honey

carrying sand into

my eyes.’

She watches

Ghost at the exit

steps against pavement

searching for somewhere to go

follow the wheels

laugh with the pedals

surrender herself to the flow

I am weak

glass against sandstorm

a raven to the eye

beat to hip

beat to hip

only inches disappear

and her stomach floats,

vacant.

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Project II: More Poetry

“Queen”

How far can she run

will she run

from the fingerprint walls

To reach a place to stay

She can’t find it

on map or in mind

though she searches every day

Curled along the smoke

Feet upon the drying sugar

Body stilled by boundaries

temporal

geographical

Water stopped at tile

Stopped at grass

But they cry ‘infinity’

With hands on hips

And teeth bared

in a smile.

It matches a foreign sky

And never leaves them.

How far can she run

will she run

to the untarnished blue

swimming from morning to May

I’d dance for a breath

but she coughs at the reverie

her body so keen to betray

Clash against expectation and age

Screams of ‘faster!’

and she chokes under a flush

revived only by her colours

‘How do you handle the paint?’

They speak of masks and fans

She smiles, pauses and says only

I have to.

How far can she run

will she run

to lovers awaiting her conquest

under interregnum skies of grey

Queen on the frontier pass

the Silk Road

bearing visions to weigh

‘She dresses for mourning’

crusading and intrigue

leaving her understood

and whole

Though she holds it all

holds it blind

for the queen runs

alone.

How far can she run

will she run

with solitary steps

sending her away

No echo behind

or voices before

helping the fears allay

Why am I used to the deviant

How did the trip begin?

Listening through pillows

expecting the fall

If the kitchen stays quiet

and rats call a truce

tomorrow can’t ask why

She didn’t cry.

Project II: Poetry Draft

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Project II Poem

“King”

She travels through time

Wings of light

Wings of show

Land on blocks of film and expectation

I thought you happy

Why do you weep

In the grips of alienation?

‘I choose nothing

but the hour I move’

And she knows the eccentrics

With costumes and colored skin

The Wednesday witches

And pay for an hour wrecks

Unique behind a shower curtain

‘I can’t reach ears’

And she insists

Protests

I hear you, I hear everything

But his elbows point out

And he presses his knees to the floor.

…. Continue reading

Novel Update: Poetry

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Margot, my book’s protagonist, aspires toward poetry. I’ve thus composed three different poems in her simple, 18-year-old voice. They’re not designed to strike readers as accomplished, exactly, but I do hope they sound as though emerging from a bright, open mind. Depending on how the book shapes up on further edits, I may write more.  Continue reading

Novel Update VII: Project II

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I’ve posted the first section of my book’s latest draft over the last couple of weeks; these pieces mark the largest revision I needed to make. Subsequent work on the book will likely involve lighter repairs or total deletion and thus isn’t worth posting. Though if I do come up with anything new and substantial, I’ll throw it on here…To catch up on what does exist, check out the links at the bottom… Continue reading

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