August 3rd, 2009

alice lost in labyrinth

poem: 24 hour streetcar

24 hour streetcar

my first home in Toronto was with a boyfriend
in a trendy part of Queen West just around the
corner from my favourite park: Trinity Bellwoods.

i loved the lamp posts & drum circles and
the birds that would return at nightfall,
talk about their day, sleep in leafy trees.

& yes, i loved him but the building had lights
in the hallways that reminded me of a ship
- couples behind closed cabin doors, silent &

holding the other down, kissing as they drown.

starting over again, i washed up a block
from the boardwalk, a stroll to the lake.

i’ve stumbled to the water in moonlight,
stood on a stone pier with my back to the
Toronto skyline and listened to waves
swallow the shore in the dark.

i’ve been lonely before in other places: a
village, small town, a corn field at dusk.

i can hear the streetcar swoosh by on queen
from my bachelor flat 24 hours a day. there
is something grounding about a vehicle that
continues whether anyone rides along or not.

- adp, 13 July 2009 @ 9:55pm / edited: 03 August 2009, 12:12am
we are all mad

poem: (don't) tell me what hurts

(don't) tell me what hurts

no, i don't want to think badly
of you, to hate you, to hurt or

have all these thoughts of us
bite me - like our abrupt end

it stings to think or speak your name
when it slips and slides past my lips

it's so painful i'd prefer to eat my tongue -
(do you think of my mouth, how you held it?)

i hate the questions

& the reminders
& the unresolved

the ways we mistreated us

how sadness comes up behind me
grabs hard, sinks into my shoulder

left a mark there that won't let me
forget - just yet - how i miss you.

- adp, 02 August 2009, edited 03 August 2009 @ 2:22pm
alice lost in labyrinth

writing / poems / inspiration

Poems hang out where life is.

In my journal I began to feel free.

I was looking for another language I didn't know yet. In Mr. Mabie's class I found the woods where I need to go to write poems. All these years later the journal is still my entrance. It seems dark the way a grove in the woods is dark. It's cool, safe, private, wild and free. It's green. [...] All I needed to begin writing was freedom and white pages hiding in the dark of two covers.

In a journal you can be self-centered and feel safe enough to write poems. It's never too late to start. Don't try to catch up by going back in your life. Start with now.

Begin now, even if you don't have a notebook yet. Scribble. Go for a walk and as you wander, take notes. Jot words anywhere. You can cut them out and tape them in your journal later.

I borrow words from poems, books and conversations. Politely.

Don't worry too much about meaning for now. Words carry meaning along with them. Put words down and meaning will begin to rush in.

Some of our most important discoveries are made when we're not looking.

Writing poems using images can create an experience allowing others to feel what we feel. Perhaps more important, poems can put us in touch with our own often buried or unexpected feelings.

Images we create in our poems can not only help us discover our feelings, but can help us begin to transform them.

Look closely at something you see all the time. Write as if you've never seen this before.
Keep writing. If you focus on your surroundings, the words may just help you be there. But if they want to take you somewhere else, follow them.

I think we naturally see things metaphorically. We're aways comparing the way one thing looks to another. Comparison is built into our language.

I talked about my poems being messages from me to myself.

Worrying about what people think of me and my poems always gets me in trouble. I get lost "out there." It's the process of writing poems that helps me bring my heart back home. It puts me in touch with the ocean inside I can never lose, where poems come from and where I connect with me.

Writing about ourselves doesn't mean we're self-involved. We have to start with ourselves before we can reach beyond ourselves. And whatever our intention, the way we see and write about the world always reveals who we are.

In poems we can not only discover more about who we are and how we feel, we can learn to like ourselves.

I wanted to read, write and figure out who I was.

I wanted to live in a world of freedom I could only find in poems. Along with Whitman, who saw poetry everywhere, and e.e. cummings, I was excited about Dylan Thomas, who, if not free, at least "sang in his chains like the sea." I was becoming wordmad, poemcrazy.

Places can inspire poetry.

I look for places made of poetry for me, places alive with history, wildlife and mystery.

Sometimes I wonder how much I've inherited from my relatives.

In a poem recently I realized I was angry with Nanny about all she hid and never shared with me and about her unwillingness to discover and be who she really was.

Of course, I can't lie about the facts. It's important for me to be both real and accurate in poems.

Often we keep secrets because we're not ony embarrassed to be who we are in front of other people, we feel genuinely embarrassed by who we are.

Let your writing surprise you.

To reach one of the places poems come from I need to swim underwater, stay up all night or look at things upside down or sideways to tap both my alert, conscious self and my unconscious. I need to delve into my sleep; do and see things from an altered perspective. This not only helps me write poems, it can open up my life.
I sometimes think poems come from electricity in the air, a hum inside, impulses we can feel in our body. When I sense an electrical charge around a person, event or place, I know there's a poem in it, waiting for words. Poems are often about something so important to us we can feel the need to write as a physical urge.

Do anything new. It will open you up to feel, see, write and be something new.

There is no "right way" to do things in the world of poems. And in the process of writing a poem, we go to the place inside ourselves where decisions are made, where who we are is continually emerging and where no one but each of us, alone, can forge the way.

"Then I wanted to have my body flattened, dried and pressed into paper, so it could be made into a book of poems I write." Tony lives and breathes poems. [...] Poetry allows Anthony to be who he is. He thinks it has saved him. Once I asked Tony, offhand, if he was going to "do the poet thing." Without hesitating, Tony responded, "I am doing the poet thing."

"I'm tired of people leaving me," Erich told me in the Juvenile Hall.

We can find poems just by listening, being a scribe and catching the words.

Greek poet George Seferis wrote that "To say what you want to say you must create another language and nourish it for years with what you have loved, with what you have lost, with what you will never find again."

source: all of the above is from 'poemcrazy' by Susan G. Woolbridge.