if you put your good shoes underneath a painting table— right

painting workshop in munich

painting workshop in munich

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the walls in the hotel are paperthin
if someone would have sex next door–
you see// there’s just the murmuring
of a tv though
&i should concentrate on other things

the nite before i left
i crumbled

as i always do before a journey
his hand on my hip/holding me together
“you don’t have to go”
“i know, but–”

there are hens outside my window,
&i eat their eggs for breakfast
patches of leftover snow

i text “can i get a hot-air gun for christmas?”

“2020”

“oooohhhh”
&here’s the proof
that bitumen can sink a freight ship

what is left
is sand and blue—some waves

that don’t know anything about me
tar chunks
glued heavy to my hands

“what ya need it for?”

but that’s a secret
like the shrill containers on the front deck

what they carried?

“you’ve no idea” i say to the beach
which rolls sandy, like a pouting cat
against my toes
&there is paint
—————-even there

you just//
———–can’t see it

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for OLN at dVerse... i’ll be a bit delayed with my commenting as i’m driving back home from the painting workshop in munich today…. see you then…

the subtle strength of flowers (–or the duet we never sang)

one day the paint becomes too heavy
for the wall
&i test scripts

tucked safely in the gaps expanding
with each earthquake
& the cracks in our mask move with us
keeping illusions complete

“so you grew up in the ghetto–” says my daughter,
dinner plates still on the table&

matter of fact,
you have to be quick
to catch it

but in many ways i did
the sense of not belonging
neither here//nor there
i need no reminder
the cost” i say, coal&dirt under my fingernails

we were worker kids,
our fathers dying with a bottle on their lips,
the doctor’s/lawyer’s/banker’s offspring
neatly brushed&bathed,
next to me
in school//lacoste-stamped shirt
&i

smelling of cigarette smoke,
crashed hopes, my parents fights last night

the skin etches one molecule
at a time
i learned like mad so one day i might manage
to escape

“i didn’t know this” she says, arms
nestled around my chest

&maybe i’ve grown out of it
like snowdrops pushing with a tender stem through frozen soil

i clear the plates away&scratch
a fork across my skin,

we’ve lost our capacity
to count /but

maybe there’s still some camouflage
that needs

//removing

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lines in italics by my fav poet & friend Brian Miller…
&we’re inviting everyone for a little knightly joust today… smiles

over at dVerse (the prompt is already up when you read this) we’ve posted two poems & we ask you to grab one line, either of Bri’s or my poem & write your own poem, based on the line you chose…
have fun – and – see you later…

of jakes, dragons&the magic//of a kiss

“in these houses” i say
“lived knights– close to the city wall &–”
we walk
towards basel

cathedral, stories//
stories connect fragments of the things
i’ve heard&read

tsshhhk //tkssshk/sLLshh
a set of axes//knives — in front
of him a pendulum
across the parcours,

he stops
——–adapts
to their rhythm, stePs through
——————————–swift
his eyes//betray him
as he bows to kiss//
———————her hand–

“jakes”
my daughter says
“and they were emptying onto the road”

“that’s true”
—————-“the pest”

“they had to sign a code of honor”

“deep wounds but–
—————–they were resistant”

“so, how do you know?” i smile,
“a fear of dragons?”

all of him,
————spread open
——————-on his face,

&i don’t dare//     move

in my hiding place,
————-up on the tree

the flickering of a lance,
spectators shout with pumped lungs

“LaN-ce-Lot //LaN-ce-lot”

they chant
———when they’re gone,

i sit in silence
this odd sense of electricity
as moonlight pours itself over rooftops,
on a basilisk’s sharp claws carrying the coat of armor,
cobble stones,
my toes

they both knew
from that first day in the rain–

“they peed in bowls” my daughter says
“and someone had to empty them”

“you never knew if they’d come back”

my fingers run across the branches,
gargoyles with stoneblind eyes
—————-keep watch above the sundial
&i close//my lips,
the magic of the kiss

still on me

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we’re celebrating our change over week at dVerse with a medieval tourney – so the prompt is to write about knights, costumes, games, art, courage – all that fits the frame of the time back then… doors open at 3pm EST…

abstract expressionism// fine//but heck, how could you paint that

texture of a leaf, crisp//tickly
on my skin//the smell of bark

“i can’t do abstract”
i say

lost in just a scent, a feel,
how this colored band spans fine
between new zealand fields

wrapped in a blanket,
snuggled side by side up with my little one
we watch tv

&i don’t hear the speaker anymore, just see
the moment’s blend,
dense with atmosphere as minutes
rise, expand their wings&fly
——————————into the wide

“how did the tests go?”
“not too bad”
“mom, the contact details for columbia you sent– ”
&i explain/ as seals yawn lazy on a white beach,
salmons wiggling crazily in big basins

“they don’t grow over the winter” he says
i have grown though// into new land

“nice to have you here” i say
she smiles, placing her legs across my lap
in those weird elk socks,
with both hands i’m tickling her feet

&then just hold her

for a bit

i buy my white in 2(point)something liter buckets now

twelve lines in// brush thick with paint
filling up the corners, a window frame, soft wings
of the nose&giant trees grow
on her bare back// fragile like

a turtle-wrinkled sky& black-rimmed glasses, breathing
in a land, chockfull with spices of the orient,
she smiles away, the day
has wrapped himself in silky ribbons
grinning from a spire, one foot slipping to the edge
the other—finding hold in a gargoyle’s grim face/spitting

on my palette is a map of undiscovered spots,
a gurgling tune
as the infusion dripDriPdRips into her vein &someone says
“she’s still alive” //i don’t believe them

.
over at dVerse Björn has us write 14 line poems with a volta… doors open at 3pm EST…

it looks pretty ragged//aluminium foil, the time stamp says 2184 //&i think really// deutsche post has messed things up

the painting i was working on last nite - half-finished - will change quite some things still but thought i'd show you some work in progress.. smiles

the painting i was working on last nite – half-finished – will change the one or other thing – but thought i’d show you some work in progress.. smiles

.

the soil has given up
on nurturing
&they’re producing scents in big tubes
spanned like cobwebs across cities with no ends,
the air is nice & fresh though,

snow resorts
a beach, huge seas with artificial fish
tickling your legs as you dive in,
i’m sure at least you’d like this

no more traffic jams,
a union of a sort of octopus, choking their inhabitants
despite the deep cracks way beyond the surface
dad says (in a whisper)
as his hands are wound from work
he doesn’t need to do (they think/but let him)
we’re not too far
from crashing anyway,

i travel frequently/though strictly prohibited/
back to 2015, the old house, you never see me, lost,
bent deep over a piece of art,
paint&palette// set of messy brushes
in the half-dark, desperate
to find coordinates of where you are

&i remember gramma telling me about your dream,
trying to get a ticket for a train,
knowing just the destination,
not the station where you were, but

there are no more trains, the crowds, the noise
&shift of citynames on clicking tables,
dad says the poet Schiller states that
art’s a child of freedom
takes the chisel
in his old hands, beaten up with life

&tries to find time’s face, yet buried in a chunk of wood
we used to fly he says before the wars,
the shifting of the things you knew,
we flew//we could// probably still//but honestly

we never do.

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at dVerse Grace has us write poems that read like letters from the future – from a future self or a future grandkid… doors open tuesday at 3pm EST… i’m way early…ha… smiles

&there’s this yearning for papaya suddenly

IMG_3851

it always launches as tiny sparks
a word/scent born into the shade//random remarks
the parchment center of a map//hidden from my world//yet
undetected like the parting of a cell it starts

a new/string/high//infective script that
does not mean much in the first place, but instead
so careless, free-hand balances the thin thread of a bulb//lamp
slowly warms, widens and stretches

gets fluid in my heart// cements, expands
like puzzle pieces on a table tend
to shape their limbs to this and that space/dock&grow
the travel fever trickles in& blends

with sailboats, swaying/ tucked up neatly in a row
as clear, cerulean shades glow
bright like fen fires in the darkest woods, they show
an untouched face//&where the wind will blow me next– i do not know

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AABA
BBCB
CCDC
DDDD… is the rhyme scheme Gay wants us writing to over at dVerse… doors open at 3pm EST…