valley of the mist

.

there’s still the taste of
strawberry & goat cheese,
mingling with an old tribe’s sun, &
from the picture on the car seat
next to me, the charcoal eyes of a
tunesian shepherd,

i navigate the freeway northbound,
in L.A.’s direction,

smiling as the days rolls
with each spin of tires on bleached concrete &
i’d love to gamble for some extra time,

“see” she said
to the street vendor in Ghana,
“i don’t know how to bargain”

“i will teach you—
start with half the price i gave you,
then we’ll take small steps
‘til both of us are happy—“

“maybe this is how it works” i say

when my husbands calls me
in the middle of the night, delivering
a sleep-soaked record of the day,
how life– like that funny waiter who
pulled the glass out of my hand (i-
oh believe it- was already in a
fight for my right position–)
just wanting to refill with a roguish smile

“whatyathink ‘bout biking through Vietnam–?”

“i gotta leave for work” he says
“it’s snowing” &–

i wanna pull him through the
little holes of the receiver into
my bed, feed my sleep-warm body
to him, there’s these eyes again,
the hawks, i wonder

how the valley looks on mornings,
filled with mist from the pacific,
wetting the grapes, Harley riders,
Indians horseback, peace pipes
with the feathers of majestic birds tied to them,

—–smoke, white
———burning clouds diffusing
in the hungry eyes of gamblers as

i watch the bullet spiN—

—————-SpiN
 ——————–slow
————————–ly

through the
————nar
—————-row
——————–slot of history, then

fall asleep again
with the phone still in my hand

.

last sunday i had the pleasure to meet a fellow poet and his lovely wife in Temecula.. they showed me around, told me about the area’s history and shared some wonderful stories about their travels…it was a great day..

at dVerse, Anna challenges us to write postmodern poetry, the new york school of poetry, surrealism, pop and high art/culture just to mention a few keywords… i’m not quite sure if i got it right, so definitely go and read her fantastic article when she opens the pub doors at 3pm EST..

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46 responses to “valley of the mist

  1. “i will teach you—
    start with half the price i gave you,
    then we’ll take small steps
    ‘til both of us are happy—“

    Let’s skip the fun, what’s the price?

    “whatyathink ‘bout biking through Vietnam–?”
    “i gotta leave for work” he says
    “it’s snowing” &–

    Green mountains like in old Chinese paintings
    can be cut from magazines
    and pasted on a folding screen
    that only half-hides your window

  2. This is the type of poem that can’t still quite shake its covers off. Its half-sleep, half-awake state of mind makes you fall into a dream-like trance. Marvellous. Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  3. smiles…i like the teaching of the compromise/bartering and the desire as well for your husband, pulling him through the phone…ha…been there…the bullet spinning slow through the narrow slot of history as well is a very cool touch…know you had fun meeting them as well…..very cool

  4. I liked the stream of consciousness in this poem, Claudia. The street vendor in Ghana is wise. Good advice, I think. I can picture the conversation with your husband in the middle of the night, know you will have a bit of trouble adjusting to your home time zone when you return. If only one could pull someone through the receiver…..life would definitely be good! Smiles.

  5. Some really great lines here. And the composition and presentation of
    “the bullet spin – spin slowly” lines is spot on and feels like one of those slow motion scenes from The Matrix where slow motion is used to express speed. Well done.

  6. Such another vivid tale, you tell without fail. We really need those teleporter things, so we can easily pull people to us, be more tricky with a receiver though haha

  7. Weather you got it right or not the image of pulling your husband through the hole in the receiver will be filed in a wrinkle in my brain. The whole poem was a wonderful stroll. Thanks.

  8. Well needless to say this one is special to me….it was so great having you visit and wonderful to see how you conveyed the events of the day…loved it!

  9. The teaching of the bartering made me smile. It’s what I do to get good bargains. Love it. I love the sleepy conversation with hubby. From biking in Vietnam, to snow. Wet grapes, peace pipes, bleached roads… What a fabulously rich, image-filled read.

  10. Claudia, I love that break up of nar-row, and sleepy conversation with hubby, can totally relate–just drain him out of the phone, onto the bed and cuddle–very nice write 🙂

  11. the charcoal eyes of a
    tunesian shepherd,

    Wow, you got my attention from the get go and the spinning bullet a fantastic, cinematic ending to a return to dream. There’s no right and wrong so I think you got it spectacular. The image of pulling someone through the line very postmodern. I’m so excited to see what we’ll get at the pub!

  12. I like the eyes of the hawk overlooking the valley….sometimes its hard to describe travel experiences to someone over the phone ~ the best ones are shared travel memories, if possible ~

  13. I’m now visualizing the phone as a meat grinder… I saw an episode of Mad Men that depicted an acid trip and several of these entries for this prompt seem similar…

  14. It is tough carrying on with someone across the pond or other side of world, or the southern hemisphere. I like how this all jambles together in a coherant representation of this and thats grabbing our attention and focus. Now biking though Vietnam sounds like a kool adventure. I haven’t biked in that part of the world. Very nice, Claudia. I always enjoy you.

    • “there’s still the taste of
      strawberry & goat cheese,
      mingling with an old tribe’s sun, &
      from the picture on the car seat
      next to me, the charcoal eyes of a
      tunesian shepherd…”

      …it was a great day…
      I can tell from your first stanza that I quoted above that it was a great day…shared with a fellow poet and his lovely, wife…too!

      through your use Of “postmodern poetry, surrealism, pop and high art/culture just to mention a few keywords in your poem…” “Valley Of The Mist”

      Thanks, for sharing the lovely, image too!
      deedee 🙂

  15. I don’t know if you have it right, but I loved every bit of lovely story . makes me what to be a gambler in love with a good man too.

  16. good piece…like the end of this….i watch the bullet spiN—

    —————-SpiN
    ——————–slow
    ————————–ly

    through the
    ————nar
    —————-row
    ——————–slot of history, then

    fall asleep again
    with the phone still in my hand

  17. very cool Claudia. I love how you fit the prompt in perfectly, mixing in the high and the low, using the geography in a sort of literal metaphor, if that makes sense. BUt I really love how you were still able to merge in your own style and travel poetry into this prompt as well. Great read. thanks

  18. ..what a cool day recorded for future reference…still in California, digesting the culture, wine valley, having a glass or two..mind aimlessly taking you places you once were or might go…the warm scenes…husband conversation with…love the picture of the tunisian shepherd ;).holding onto the phone and falling back to sleep…a long day

  19. Wonderful! I can feel your yearnings for the southern hemisphere and the far east.
    Don’t do it. You will love it too much..Falling asleep with the receiver in your hand ,missing your mate…lovely touches. Beautiful poem Claudia.

  20. what a lovely, lovely series of images and emotions… postmodern and magical, compromise and the way history is always repeating itself… your words are maps of life.

  21. I have no idea what “post-modern” is but always thought your poems and Brians must fit the definition. This is your style, but you show me a Cali I never saw, and told stories only you know. Quite a ride here Claudia, and a brilliant one.

  22. “i will teach you—
    start with half the price i gave you,
    then we’ll take small steps
    ‘til both of us are happy—“

    This is interesting. Yes that’s how it all starts Bargaining is an art. Nicely Claudia!

    Hank

  23. Lovely poem, Claudia – I read last week but didn’t have chance to comment -I especially like mixture of all the textures, tastes, climates, and phone sleep! k.

  24. old tribe sun right after strawberries and goat cheese was a marvelous beginning, and i like going from the freeways in l.a. to ghana and the secret of bargaining. the rest was somehow even better than the first half…

  25. Love this….i wanna pull him through the
    little holes of the receiver into
    my bed, feed my sleep-warm body
    to him, there’s these eyes again,
    the hawks, i wonder…Love that you got to spend time with Ed…and that you fed him some inspiration. Just great! 🙂

  26. it’s the interspersing & intersecting of the personal with the natural with the mundane that sends meaning to me from your words – so predictably unanticipated 😉

    “i wanna pull him through the
    little holes of the receiver into
    my bed, feed my sleep-warm body
    to him, there’s these eyes again,
    the hawks, i wonder

    how the valley looks on mornings,
    filled with mist from the pacific,
    wetting the grapes…”

  27. Memories can be powerful and those that are the most, sometimes are those we wish we would not have, but they are the ones… I feel, that are those that compel us to create that which is most beautiful.

  28. Beautiful images in this poem, Claudia. I like the incorporation of various cultures…so typical of this part of the world. And the line about your husband is so perfect. (You have him in the plural though…may want to change that before he gets scared) :0>