Wednesday, December 21, 2011


A review of " doing cartwheels on doomsday afternoon"
John Yamrus.
Epic Rites Press.
117 pages of poetry.

No caps necessary to dress up the day in this title for a reality refresher in lean black and white observations, devoid of fluff and puffery. John Yamrus “doing cartwheels on doomsday afternoon” serves clean offerings of dis-intellectualized drills through strata of acquired wisdom; these are restful renderings in a society grown fat with metaphor. The thin ecology of language distributes sustainable ideas in clear glimpses through open doors.

The book cover as plain as the man within, the text format unadorned on smooth paper to leave space for reflexion; it represents subtle proportions in each accurate character. Titles lead and read straight into text, into flawless context, waiting for voice, silent or aloud, by daylight or by night light..only names are capitalized and ego is shaven to unassuming status by avoiding the almighty 'I' presented as simple i, author, observer of self and other.

The short verse format leaves much white on which to play the sharp poetic vignettes of everyday tedium. Endurance, perhaps the consistence of truth is coupled with a steady dose of humility, and yes, a dash of fun--
"they're winning, you know,
taking potshots at intellectual poetry...
The long poem "she's ashamed" brings words to their knees and poets to their feet...

This book -- has a firm sense of place, it seeps through like rain in sand, sweet rain, acid rain or occasional sewage of crude conditions. Sounds drip and scatter, no song or dance, only footsteps of men about their days. In a bar room John Yamrus describes musical taste with acute humor. In a bedroom he needs few words to convey the moment.

This book -- holds a fine sense of folks, It is defined by the lack of vulgarity in its descriptive language of ordinary beings living; dogs and wives, men and writing, poets and publishing. A smile sneaks in the eye of the reader as John easily deflates miracles in a demystified history of common people. No heroic survival, only the smack of revelation in the usual relations with the drinking, loving or hateful family of man.

This book -- hugs you, bear hugs in bars, dog hugs in easy embraces you in flat assimilable clichés of bare honesty; no tricks, no secrets, no sugar added. Doomsday is every day and it happens as you read -- happens as you sorely realize that you live -- no apology necessary, this book loves you, drops all pretense for you. Short enough, compact on shelf, it sits next to abandoned Eric Fromm or yet unread Neruda--- But this one, you pull out for a sober look at life on the ground once in awhile: That is sturdy, scarce poetry!..

John Yamrus holds a solid grip onto reality poetry; he has been widely published in notable venues and translated in several languages, has written 17 books of poetry and two novels as well.

information available through Epic Rites Press, Alberta Canada.
or Small Press Distribution. Berkeley California

nadine sellers; reading others.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Taste of Hemlock by Michéle Vassal: Review

A taste of Hemlock by Michele Vassal: Review

A Taste of Hemlock, by Michéle Vassal: Salmon Press, November 2011,Ireland. Pages of passionate humanescence and a blue eye on the land; it touches the darkness moist and fertile beneath spare contemporary, yet, timeless verse. The author harnesses a wide range of sensual tools to gather continuum against tides of madness. Linguistic influences convey a perennial state of spirituality in reverent tones of cultured awareness.

Storms and stars scatter the static impermeable resolve of the writer. Throughout her poetry, she sows the emotional landscape and reaps insightful language. Michele Vassal accepts the responsibility of communicative arts, she remains ever true to her quest for refined expression. Never shy of truths discovered along pain and adventure in a crowded world replete with poets and musicians drumming their lives in a vacuum above the mass, Michele stands firmly within her sensual realm, refining a multi-dimensional artistry. Music claims her voice, rage or whisper.

Throughout defining imagery the reader may follow the curve of spiraling womanhood in reference to motherhood, daughters and lovers and by extension the connection to nature ever-present .

Aroma permeates sensory memory, culinary alchemy performs a mystical duty in conjured images of steaming “Khilii Couscous”. Total tactile involvement evident in the phrase.
“ and I rub with burning hands the steaming grain in argan oil, rolling it until it separates like seeds of sand between the fingers of the Sirocco”.
Ancient numeric significance deepens text in such focus
“and seven is the sacred number I fold in the stock fragranced with thirty six spices”.

MichéleVassal's poetry often follows the whims of weather and moods: In Under the Dog Star, an unforgiving sense of expectancy wells up strong and urgent.
you sit at the edge of stillborn storms swollen and taut”.
To be sunk in persistent detail along the spare lines, unsolvable.
“anything can happen
and wine will sour on your tongue”
Taste co-mingling with immutable truth.

Helix plunges the partaker into visceral integrity, a bold knowledge within the intimate spectrum of selfhood in sketches of the universal feminine.
“ pulsing helicoidal dreams”

Sacrifices” alludes to human plight; I hear the cries of Medea echo above dry wars in foreign lands, and mothers alternately bemoaning or cursing in a litany of helplessness. No, the author does not impart anything but strength and outrage in context. The reader derives agonizing travail along the tragic path.

“Because our children are our enemies and always have been
we have sacrificed them to our malign lusts---
and they die for our crops
and they die for our oil”

Blood spills in the recollection of layers of relationships, conflicts and wars and yet, mystical strength persists in texture, in the resurgence of attention to living detail of a microcosm of animal cognizance, of herbal acquaintance; this long knowledge one acquire through “little deaths” and elusive peace.

An inebriating feast of repetitive words, or alliterations and cascading sounds envelops the mind with hypnotic momentum. Then the next page takes the lead to sensory immersion on an exotic revival of adventurous forays in rare climates. The Dancers of Ain Taya trace such a tale in ethereal quality. Train to Brittany meanders through vicarious presence.

The title poem “ a Taste for Hemlock”; a flawless sequence of short verse. It distills the complex, the communal drive to inevitable death at the end of a systemic melancholy thread.

“defining desire and death” a conceptual, movable verse, disperses its acquired wisdom beyond the dull ache of long pain, above the throb of ritualistic grief. The verdant background of the book cover, the glistening cerulean undertones understate pure, passionate, pleasure.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Winterizing Fellows

As Europe was suffering record cold temperatures from Sweden to Portugal; animals of the Americas were busy responding to the call of the howling wind.
A snapping turtle hides in mud, the last of the milkweed vine bugs retreat under the dead leaf mat, and humans run to the store to buy caulking by the bucketful to insulate their nests.

Climate challenge stirs the mind, and nature responds. Carpets are littered with ladybugs, the native red ones and the majority of the invasive Chinese orange shelled ones; they are looking for a cozy home to survive the brutal wintry conditions in the plains. Next spring, the native ones will surely rise above the crowding and re-adapt to their new neighbors in the food competition game.
The local snappers and painted turtles will scramble to the creek bed and grab the minnows and crayfish under remaining slabs of ice in the swift muddy run off from the upstream rains.

I don't worry about the animals, I have seen so many perish and others subsist, that reinforces the theory of survival and movement. The ones which can't exist under harsh conditions find the impetus to move on to thicker thickets or muddier waters.

The balance will prevail if left to essential instincts, morphing, and natural circumstance. This year, I did not see many bees or praying mantis, oh, a few on the clover, mostly drones or carpenter bees. One, one single honey bee at summer's waning time, when sun shone and the drowning rains finally stopped.

Whether by pesticide, by mold or virus, the beekeeper's world has suffered, but the fruiting season was so plentiful due to wind dispersion and moths or butterflies, that wasps had a chance for a fall feast before Thanksgiving. lawns were littered with decaying apples and pears, raccoons and opossums were competing with the woodchucks for the all ground buffet.

Skunks and squirrels grew fast and abundant, by the evidence of roadkill in town and on country roads, the creatures of the wilds rushed from berry bush to orchard, braving traffic. The avian raptors barely had time to adapt to the influx in swift mammalian growth afield. The ones flying above the voles, the cottontails and moles, were surely encoding their reproductive organs for a future surge in numbers as well. Spring litters should be numerous and healthy.

Next year, the moth will be ready for its young to devour the forest, the black snake will readjust to the recent invasion of moles in town yards. Hawks will roost in the oak uphill and the four or five vultures will soon be multitudinous spots circling on the thermals over the valley. Fox will bring their playful kits out of the abandoned barns around, sow bugs will roll out of the decay.

The river will scrape its sides and rush across the clay fields to spoil man's best plans; upsetting the dreams of another bumper crop of corn or soybeans to sell by year's end to the ethanol kings and the high fructose moguls in the center of the earth, perched in towers of importance.

So much to make out of cultivated mono-cultures, so little paid to the rest of nature below. And yet, I have faith in the restoration of balance, in the renewal of disheveled order among the plains. The Osage orange drop to the ground, the last frost has matured the remaining persimmons for the eager foragers. Corms and small native berries covered the ground as an offering to rodents and birds.

I hear the distant call of playful coyotes, laughing across the gully, knowing the paralyzing effect they have on their furry victims below. Good night to the season, for tomorrow, snow...And rest for all that live in perennial expectation.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Bagging out..

bag ladies.

In every city i visit, i find stores and entire aisles dedicated to the art of the satchel. Leather goods, plastic arts, all materials are represented in as many styles as lifestyles. Somewhere about the bustle of alleys and parks, i invariably notice women carrying bags in various stages of decay. Some push carts which are loaded with bagged possessions. Container and content part and parcel of same.

The bag has become a symbol of affluence, the more luggage, the more riches. But the baggage becomes the burden of this age. We soon are strangled by the multitude of ever thinning resources, which must be contained for fear, they will eventually possess us. Zippered, tapered, locked and snapped, Guccied or Vuittonized, trends and fashions clutter the wallet and the market—not to mention, the very planet we tend to say we love...

Sure, no designer purse will exterminate the Florida alligator. No single briefcase will decimate the Brazilian cattle. But the flimsy little bag which steams up your veggies and isolates your tub of chicken livers from the nearest Super- Mart will definitely cause some poor fish to die prematurely from ingesting pelletised plastics in the Ocean.

It is not a case of importance, but one of quantity. The US uses bags at an alarming rate; 100 billion in one consumer country; that amounts to 1500 per person. 12 billion barrels of oil, are used to fabricate the flimsy things to carry more futile objects and processed items. These bags will live between 400 and 1000 years in a multitude of stages, strangle wild life, choke fish and ducks, and finally wash down rivers to break into microscopic plastic particles to end up as carcinogenics in the meat of your favorite food chain item.

Talk about end game and product, could man have designed a more perfect multi-generational food chain reaction? On purpose? The trouble with us is that few scientists bother to compute the complete life cycle of each invention. So now we are faced with the results of a marvelous convenience, the plastic bag. I don't have a medicine pouch to wave at the problem, but i do have numbers to demonstrate what many are doing about it.

Around the world in eighty bags, the satchel chronicles.

Australia: phased out bags end of 08 -- Bangladesh: ban and levy on plastic bags-- Britain: the Prime Minister pressured law makers to eliminate bags -- China: began to phase out June 21st 08 -- Ireland: charges 29 cents per bag -- Europe has had fees since the 80s -- Uganda has imposed a ban on bags -- US. California and New-York impose recycling in major stores. San Francisco first US city to ban bags by April's Earth day, and many stores try the barrel-by-the-door to entice recycling – eco-minded town councils wave arms to improve the city's aesthetics by pleading citizens to limit usage of disposables..good luck on training the masses!.

Progress - progress, too late and not enough, where to start? The EPA claims that it is up to local waste management to deal with it. Do we have the necessary self discipline? Can we overcome the rebellion over ecologic authority? I do see signs of a growing concern. The reasoning may be faulty; but if it will steer people into an act of conscience, hey? Aim for the sensitive areas ( pocket and charge card)

The local Hy-Vee store in our small town offers re-usable green bags for $1.00 free on certain holidays..It is not a social disgrace to carry your own bag. No jaw will drop, nor bag boy faint for the honorable act of self discipline. I have a multitude of bags, donated library book bags, second hand gadget bags with fancy logos from one major advertiser, take a photo of yourself holding the free advertisement and earn a free coupon from the company's . com website. Do you have a nylon catch all and stagnant travel bags? They' re light and easy to save and carry. There is no excuse to keep using plastic grocery bags.

Well, yes there is, how about the multitasking tips for the spares you already have accumulated? A classic, inside out scooper, or rain hat, a Stuff picker-upper, or stuff thrower, stuff storer. A wild edibles collector, refrigerator cleaner. Quite handy for isolating wet bathing suits in the SUV or for those ripe tennis shoes, or yet the hot and sweaty vacation clothing . Some folks even cut bags in strips and make trailer-park-art rugs, knit or crochet at will, i am told they last, uh? Forever. And to top this off, Halloween mini costume, you use your own imagination for that one; I don't practice anything involving too many sweets and screaming children in close proximity...

Paper or plastic? Pulp or oil? one is biodegradable, one is not--one is heavy--one is light. Neither offers a solution, so get out that gaudy beach bag with the long lived shells and blooms sewn on it, and go forth to dazzle the store clerks with your new-found conscience, or just break down and spring a buck for a sturdy little green bag.

From my alter ego, the bag lady, Madame Pochette, happy bagging, you' all!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Between Abbey and Rimbaud

Between Abbey and Rimbaud.

Yellow sun hanging on the horizon, sage aroma cleansing desert air along a ground hugging zephyr. I am surrounded by sounds of fall, a blue racer slinking to the edge of the salt pond, a last avocet pecking for surviving fish, a lone coyote venturing for an early meal of packrat or roadkill. Dry bunch grass crunching under step, i listen to faded pages flapping against my chest, leaves in a whirlwind.

I paid the price of 3 slices of bread for a tattered paperback of tradition in literature; a single dime which i had found in a parking lot in town. The money was light in the loser's pocket, yet the book rests, long and heavy upon my shelves.. And now authors part pages like open arms, to refill the reader in times of empty. I cannot peruse but a few lines in my will to absorb the direst of thought, minute details hurling images from a lake of words pooled behind my eyes.

A continent apart in another time, another tongue. Memory bidden, transcends form and texture to land upon mind and suspend all others. Two lines and i take flight across frontiers and centuries, unhampered by inventions of man, the current, my only connection.

Dry crumbs fall silently upon my lap, i reach for the canteen full of warm water, swish through teeth, throw back my head and listen to the lonely throat swallowing, begging for more. I pick up a stray cracker, grab a long muscle from the jack-rabbit leg; still tough from a night under hot stones in the sand pit oven outside. The old hare relinquishing essential protein, i make note to send thankful nods to her progeny, I may need them someday; for mine.

I have no hunger but for the single line, transfixed by bird song and empathy. Once the sand stirring wind has passed and consciousness afresh, i am fed and cleared of mundane concern by the light of some stranger, known of others, transcribing another life on paper, for me, another famished unknown at the end of the phrase.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sustopia: the trip back to ourselves.

Sub-topic. about sustopia.

Today, i tracked the path to my blog, how do you find me out there? And i noticed that readers are concerned with keyword usage, tags, categories, links, trackbacks, i'm on the trail to something. I want to explore the one word attributed to a previous post... Sustopia.

Atopia would bring a case of boredom, mindless travels through mere existence.
Dystopia reminds us of the dysfunctional family of man, the neurotic crowding and misery inflicted upon individuals.
Hypertopia could represent the Affluenza syndrome so well depicted in documentary by same name.
Utopia has long been debunked as a dream state of back-to-the-landers' lovely imagination.
Sustopia is a life, artful and sustainable, characterized by achievable compatibility with natural laws and mindful living.

Now Sustainable activity is the social experiment we must strive for, not to belong, not to impress, but to correct the atopic negligence which has plagued the industrial conscience of the past century. With the exception of some clerics, philosophers, artists and scientists, most of society has lived a superficial course through daily living. A life delineated in confusing designs around a clock, a calendar and a paycheck. Yes! each one has a degree of conscionable moments interspersed with less than mindful actions.

In this time of renewed awareness, man has access to scientific data. No more playing hide-and-seek with the conscience anymore. Media carry the message in print, screen and sound. No use closing eyes, it is in the air, the taste of the water, the feel of the cloth. This synthetic subjective shell we have acclimated ourselves to is spoiling our future and our forever.

To reach a state of sustainability will take the efforts of the many. The mental voyage begins in individual homes, anywhere to everywhere. regardless of personality, or socio-economic status, each human has the capacity to reverse the ecologic damage caused by material demands. Not because of mass consumption, but because of compulsive acquisition. It's not the one teddy bear nor one sugary pastry, it's not one more car or one prettier is the sum total of all the consumption by all the people which amounts to an ocean of nasty waste.

Personal interest has catapulted fashions to excessive amounts, credit has enabled purchase beyond means, and neurotic lifestyles have broken down basic sanity. Now look at any green site and read the facts, depress yourself, feel the anger, but not for long. Save the energy to apply to the rest of your days. Energy to engage your senses in the discovery of new ways to attain that rapprochement with your basic nature.

We have been told to bond, to heal that inner child within each of us, well now that we've read or ignored all the self-help books and gone off diets and craft binges in the name of hedonism. One more and hopefully last effort for equilibrium. Let's learn to enjoy nature, no, not bugs and frogs--unless for food or fun?
Nature, ah! breathing clean air, doing our part to keep it clear, i'll make a list of all that one can do toward diminishing damage to the environment..

No, i haven't read the books,writing them, nor obeyed any diet, growing them organically, neither have i done trendy crafts, too busy in daily motion, tilling the grounds of my new lives..treading lightly on vegetation like a careful cat.

There are as many ways to repair polluting habits as there are to promote them, the sane course would be to use the same marketing habits which have driven us to depletion, devastation and degradation. And then to advertise our way back out of this mess we've made of our surroundings. The environment is not some mysterious place out there in the big screen or out of the car window. The environment is not one park with bison and bears, it is you, your couch, your lettuce, all around and inside you. How well do you feel in your skin? In your head? In your home. Tell me..

So on to Sustopia together or separately. Till we learn to live within our ecological means. basics = will it grow back--will it flow downhill and will it kill everything all the way to the fish in the deep deep sea?

A new parlor game: describe each step the building of your newest gadget incurred to reach your home...mining the metal, digging the oil to transport it, melting the plastic, making the ink on the leaflet etc..count the ways, count the cost to each of the lives, and yours, and your descendants...good night, sleep tight, if you can.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sous Ton Visage-- Under Your Face.

Under Your Face (Eng)

your visage

sculpted of peanut butter in full sun
your traits melting under weight of years
your wrinkles sliding under a frown
stranded under gravity

waiting for me on the quay
no you never cry
your creator lacked talent
mine romance

I write the scene anew
in order to replay your ego
your pride lost under dust

the train arrives
my stomach slides
I retain the essential
under other skies
to my own rhythm

everywhere I replay you
I meet you mother finally relieved
under funerary ashes

Sous Ton Visage (Fr)

ton visage

sculpté de pâte d' arachide en plein soleil
tes traits fondant sous le poids des années
tes rides glissant sous sourcils froncés
tu gits là sous force de gravité

m' attendant sur le quai.
non tu ne pleures jamais
ton crèateur a manqué de talent
le mien de roman

et j'écris la scène de nouveau
afin de rejouer ton moi
ta fierté perdue sous poussière

le train qui arrive
mon estomac qui dérive
je retiens l'essentiel
sous d'autres ciels
à mes propres rythmes

et partout je te rejoue
je te rencontre mère enfin soulagée
sous cendres funèraires.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

White Feather

White Feather

The old Indian woman stoops on her wooden porch and picks up a white feather. Her bones are tall and wide – she has the proud bearing of a Shoshone.

Her pouchy brown eyes are now covered with slowly advancing cataracts, but she can still feel her mountains; she can smell the cool dry air brushing over high valley grasses.

She tells of days when her grandmother walked out of the stone age before she died with such quiet confusion.
She tells of her mother who wore her Indian name with dignity to her own end.
Now it is she who bears responsibility above the new insanity. Only I know her name.
She now is worn and consumed by the unmentionable degradation of unpronounceable disease.

She who was summoned to fight for her people’s rights at senate committee hearings – she who held up her great gray head, softly voicing her peace above skinny nervous men who underestimated her indolent presence.

An indulgent smile moves across her tired round face as she speaks of her children’ s children:
“Sure, they didn’t want to live at the ranch. There is no modern man’s fun up there – progress calls down below on the great desert floor – much, much too lonely up there – I’ll lose them as I lost their parents to the money or the drink.”

She moves slowly a lenient hand, and calls with voice neither raised nor anxious. The peace of god and old aunts is with her. The love of gray husband, always around. She senses passage of seasons on her land with the resolution of a fair borrower.

Round eye sagging in face of concern – round hip of motherhood – carried papoose and basket to collect pine nuts and rush root and once felt part of the all mother. She dries her great wrinkled hand on a flowered apron. With a squint to the dusty mementos on the wall, the woman gathers ancestral consciousness in one long breath.

She remembers ancestors who hunted all the way to the birth of the river; now she sees her sons gather wild horse and buy violent new cars – till they depend on the wealth of others and the destitution of self.

She bears the looks of townspeople who mock the schoolchildren hire the fathers and the bureaucrats who evade her honesty.

Proud Shoshone woman, my friend.

Geese have gone south and the “taibos” will soon be driving up the rock trails with their infernal machines mounted on so high axles as to conquer Earth itself.

The Indian woman’s legs are heavy as her head now. She doesn’t want to be driven into town anymore, or to the Indian hospital on the Paiute reservation – free doctors – free nurses – cost plenty – to her – so nice – so far – so, no.
Time to let spirit go – god is fine and the doctors also. Children will be well: one married to sweet blond girl; the other just got her diploma – she is strong now.
Husband' s tears will dry up in wind – time to speak Shoshone once more to old aunt. A phone call from down below – a two hour drive.
Old woman twirls great white feather in rich brown hands.
Time to let spirit go south.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Lady of Café de la Gare.

With long hand folded as a broken wing, she brushes a gray strand from her forehead, an aging beauty from the silent screen. Elegant in her tidy apron, Simone glides across decades in classic gesture.

Cloth moistened, the lady of the café de la Gare wipes each marble tabletop, with neither haste nor sloth, intent on comfort and cleanliness - eye to the door, ready to welcome her regulars. Those who have spent the better part of their youth and most of their retirement in her establishment.

A northern pride keeps her chin well lifted and her long limbs gracefully answer each task as she nearly waltzes through the long tables of the bar, her voice, strong and sharp, sings of the unforgotten Paris of Henry Miller stories and Garbo movies.
With respect in eye and courtesy to lips, her blue gaze sees to every anticipated need of her daily clients, her friends in quotidian routine.

As long as she serves stout red wine with the same smile as she pours bitters, she will be surrounded by the imperturbable mystery that binds the servile to the served; a courtship of kind in the untouchable, unchangeable environment of rural French cafés.

The indomitable lady of the establishment, owner of her destiny in the face of faster trains and full buses, she draws the menu with chalk in hand and keeps the card games honest. With neither reproach nor unkind word, she sorts out the daily gossip to be served with the spirits. She has heard every complaint about every politician installed in more decades than the clientéle can count. Shakes her head, gives a knowing nod and refrains from joining the popular frenzy.

When talk turns too personal, the lady pours a slow wine in the glass of the loudest, and tones calm down as if the ritual gesture brought sense into the room. She knows how to encourage the positive and alleviate the pains. With a hand raised to the routines of the evening, she can relieve tensions with a simple question,
and you Edgard? Did you prefer the trout or the veal this supper?” it's all in the timing and the tone; never a judgment be told.

Simone glides upon the ancient tiles and serves her people well. She is the lady who waits for the train and the bus everyday, neither sad nor anxious, as she has done for years. Her silent companion stirs the soupe du jour, a stout and sweet woman, seldom seen out of the kitchen which is full of warm ovens and old utensils.

Today, quiche and salade aux champignons rosés, to remember Raoul, the homeless man who came after supper, daily, to partake of leftovers and a glass of piquette, the sour house wine. The train could not brake in time, says the headline.

Women' s Month Ongoing.

  In order to commemorate half the world of humanity, i shall post poem or prose a day.
The feminine side of all in all its aspects. An exercise in blogging and topic maintenance.
This humble beginning was published on Durable Goods, a micro mag which is printed and edited by Aleathia Dremmer--a Wonderful Woman. mother and friend, with a keen eye for the written word.

Two women

one solemn one silly

sat at a wooden table
and read each other' s work
they laughed they cried
written words to surface
to show to share
kitchen wisdom
in great rifts of passion
dressed in light fare

some solemn some silly

one classic one rustic
borrowing burying
sorrows in serious lines
writings of toil
memories of soil
never far from tears
never faint from fears
they laughed at the script

some solemn some silly

nadine sellers written in Colton CA on a steamy day...years ago.

Monday, March 7, 2011

an Ocean in a Bathtub.

Spring has once again taken a detour, postponing chores and serious work till further sunshine...late snows and frozen rain gracing the hillsides with shimmering decor, birds engaged in bickering and gathering what winter has left. Nature an eyeful of continuum, never deterred. Today is not for wasting, so i gather my own leftovers, words of lost meaning, recycled in a few lines, through a landscape of snow-drops and barely bulging bulbs.

Having read songs of sea and elements,
then watched the whale's acrobatics.
Mind waving along schools of silver
meandering along thermal currents.

Pulse resting and tension releasing its nasty grip.

Slowly, i let words fall, not trying to catch them.
Slowly, i swallow water and release it again.
Immersed in the mineral brine
then float about, alone in time.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Pfft! Not For Everyone Magazet.

The DADA YOW community emerges again amid a climate of irrelevance and irreverence in these times of scattered wars and poorly planned patent-hood..

Who can stand still at the gates of doom?
Who will take the reins of spent monarchies?
Who else is going to cook for the badger kings?
Who then will grow the cabbage and row the boat?
Who shall chew the ink berries to print the last page?
Absurdists to the rescue, provides an element of strange sanity and sustainability...
Major or minor, there's plenty delirium in the medium of current independent magazines*

DALI : unearthed in the pages of ---PFFT! ^^^Featuring the fringe few who survive trends and counter trends within a loosely crocheted community..raking the tender undersides of literati...

As cubism was to representational art, verbal dadaism bucks formalism in the sonnet>
Keep your pentameter belted on, and meditate upon nothingness; the art of being suspended**.

Polyanna buried and Pandora unchained, somewhere within, roam free verse and untethered phrase to haunt the halls of this magazet from

Stir and sift, dilute this potent nonsense of everyday life.
Fini, the opulence, the financial flatulence..
The trees are belching black ink on colorful paper-matter,
not to be understood, but rather perused and used.
Hey? PFFT! magazet
OMPHALOS DADA YOW community...
dot org.

nadinada. for Justynn Tyme and Robert Montilla et al...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

How to Cook Cereal..or Not..

How to Fix Cereal.

Dear would be cook and dish-washer.

From the cyberland express, i rush to your assistance to arouse your interest in self-sufficiency. Having humorously invited me to your humble digs in the mighty state of Texas to cook for you, i am left to assume that you are in desperate need of household help. The very best help however, remains at the end of your right arm, again assuming that you are fully equipped for clean living and solvency.

By the minimal observable data provided in your short comment, i once more assume that: A) you are a lost bachelor in state of helplessness, B) a man with a late rising mate, C) a late rising man, raised by a no-cook mother.

Should any of the above assumptions prove off the mark, please chalk this off to the vast geography and opacity of the network. Now we may proceed on a path to self gratification; lessons i should have learned in kindergarten. More fun to try as adults.

Put right foot on floor, if floor is still there, please apply pressure, if leg still there, put left foot close to the right and stand up. Now dash to the outhouse or nearest watering facility.
once voided of previous liquids, pour clean water, clean is the operative word here, into a clean receptacle, drink, it's only water.

With emergencies out of the way, you may relax and chance a peek at the mirror, enjoy the natural animal reflection. Observe the details facing you, any hair growth, change of skin tone, overnight surprises in texture of skin...Good. however you must resist the urge to poke and tease blemishes. Just as in a fruit, any blemish is a sign of life, life is good. Perfection, not so good.

With your daily activity quota nearly fulfilled, you may now attend to hygiene details, no, no, i shall not intrude into your mouth and other personal cavities, of course not. Far be it from a seasoned life coach such as myself to invade the interstitial privacies of a total stranger. This is an impersonal column by a recipe writer from the soft earth in the middle of nowhere.
Seasoned yes, coaching one self yes, thereby ending any presumed teaching principles.

You're not finished yet; so the next step takes you to the room you may call kitchen, cubby-hole or corner closet. Reach for a clean bowl, pan or other clean concave object, hunt for your favorite brand of cold cereal. It may be behind assorted moldy breads, buggy Rice-a-loony boxes or mothy pre-packaged dry goods your family gave you a few years ago. First things first...Do not stir or even open the suspicious bread items or dead pastries, gently grab and run softly to nearest sealable plastic bag, close hermetically to avoid cross contamination of other cereal products. Mold spores affect undernourished and love starved individuals the most.

As soon as you spot the cereal, straighten all items around the shelf, if you have regular cupboards. Now that this phase of your quotidium is over, look at the clock, good, are you late?. Late for what?. Then go to the fridge, go ahead, sniff the milk, gingerly at first, if lumpless and pure white, it still may be digestible-- pour, sniff twice as you have seen the wine tasters do on PBS -- pass under nose discreetly -- make a smug little grimace --add a bit of sugar if you haven't outgrown that rotten molar at the back of your cavities -- do you have a few nuts laying around in the pantry? -- ok, check the chair cushions -- how about dried fruits for anti-oxidants, you know that humans need their phytochemicals to survive this stressful world they have fostered. Ready?

Forget the comfy chair, the zen practice of eating-for-the-sake-of-eating alone would be disturbed by the bodily convenience, comfort is a spoiler of character. Instead may i suggest the plainest kitchen seat you have -- now hold your spine straight -- stretch neck as if a string held you suspended from the very spot on the ceiling above you -- plunge spoon with great anticipation into the liquid ahead -- disregard the strange floating objects in the milk -- as long as they are not brown and ovate -- they may not be from rodent source -- and should they be of insect origin, just consider them proof of the lack of excess chemical pesticide in your valuable food source. High fiber content is what you are concentrating on.

But? I digress, remain ever grateful as the spoon arcs to your open mouth, the gods of agriculture and nourishment are smiling upon the familiar gesture of feeding the creature. Do you feel it? That's it you have accomplished the true art of satisfying self-sufficiency.

Argh! well, i told you to smell-check that milk, didn't i? spit that down quickly, in the bowl, the stray dog outback may be starving again, recycle-recycle, end of lesson in self feeding, so much for the zen of it all. you've been doing great, just peruse recipes for the clues. Have a nice day now!

Monday, February 21, 2011

House wife/Barfly

Lady of the desert, blank stare over the valley, in Rhyolite, this what happens when you stand too long in the sun.

The previous post has been removed to archives unknown for further dissection and reviving, the fictive elements clashing with the live memories muddled the literary scene.

This is what happens when the dishes are neglected on a hot day, solpugid in the dark.

Animal rights for all creatures, heron turning up his beak at the sight of another donkey mess on the pavement.. This is what happens when the arroyo dries up.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Of Indifference and Savages

see the second sons
heirs of nothing
dreamers of all
brothers of escape
abuse and abandon
intoxicated by adventure
hungry for liberty
they came onto the path of travail
full of self
one propelled by repulsion
in a forsaken mother city
filled with disgust and competition
he came to divest himself of pretense
to rid his gut of religion

the other with wife and child
rode horse and wave
for work well paid
solid gold and ignorance

the dreamer marches on
with savage determination
to cement the virgin prairies
with insult and flowing blood

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Writer's Cramps

Writer's Cramps.

Snow yet on the ground and frostbitten cheeks, conditions seem propitious for writing the novel, my novel, this voice which feeds ideas beneath earthly concerns. Reviews credit the work, but the personal appreciation of the ways of a wordsmith delve deeper into the art itself. So allow me to slide from this lofty perch to a lower branch where i may feel a bit more comfortable.

Writers are often isolated beings, i was an only child, an undesired one, a girl child in a land of paternal lineage rights. Two options soon became apparent to the precocious ballast bundle of pale flesh. One: mimic the environment to fit in. Two: shut up and be cute. In France, the average length of forgivable cuteness was about four years, soon expectations do rise above one's head.

Adaptation became necessity, from relative to relative, from the butcher at the corner to Mother Superior, i slid into useful roles with plenty of time to observe both urban and rural surroundings. Lessons beyond the Latin instruction prepared me for hardship. By the time i emerged from formal schooling, i already had a full book of poetry in my secret satchel.

By age ten, my Mother had declared that she could no longer understand my French language, my normal range of discourse had surpassed even my instructors, i was wedged between the role of teacher's pet and student bane. Appreciated, yet unwanted. Work was the only reliable outlet.

Not being allowed to have friends, i entertained my brain with languages to escape my parent's world, or philosophy, to impress my much older classmates. Upon graduating very early, i discovered that my mother had made plans to –sell me-- to a noble family as a governess. This was to remain a total secret for legal and personal reasons. Father was told that i had found a better alternative to lazy college education.

I first asked to publish my book of lyrical prose and poetry. There is a picture of my mother indelibly imprinted upon my mind. She stands above me as i rake the ashes of the manuscript, making sure that not one word, not one particle is detectable in the flowerbed where she had ceremoniously handed me the one match to put an end to-- “this nonsense...what would your father say if i told him what you have been wasting your time on all these years?”.

In one gesture i had lost a whole being, my sole refuge carved out of loneliness. I was ashes in the dirt, landscaped into oblivion once more; literary hara-kiri. Tearless and stoic, i temporarily lost my voice rather than rebuke.

Not yet fifteen, i worked with diligence and on my only partial day off per week, i rode the train to the nearest university and audited one class, soon i was writing several term papers for failing students, for books only. Then i became the cafe terrasse 'objet de curiosite'. People rode and walked long to hear what they called my witty repartee. Entertainment for expresso, i missed my calling. I had discovered an audience who understood, yet could not quite follow the vertiginous twists of my Thursday madness.

Prized servant which I was, appreciated for my polyglot skills, for me, life was the hallway to sunshine, a grand foyer of expectations which would lead to artistic evolution. Hands tied, mind alive, i knew of greatness beyond reality. Grand mother's flocks had taught me contained freedom, city dogs had shown me how to disappear. I ran away from indentured service and married a foreigner. I knew more English than most native speakers after a few months.

Once again isolated, this time, in the American desert, i began to write in English. By then i had almost forgotten my mother tongue and every other language which i had once learned or spoken. Adventure and travail had consumed my energies to channel them into emotional exile. The pen hovered over the blank space as if magnetized yet inert, reticent. No word lining up in a coherent french phrase, although I wrote a perfunctory letter to my parents every Thursday. Creativity dried up as a useless appendage.

A column here, a poem elsewhere, i felt my way through whichever literary outlets i could access from rudimentary means. Whether in France or stateside, i found people to be attracted to that edge over which i see the other side. I no longer dwelt in the abyss, i peered intentionally into it to transmit the incongruous visions to most willing recipients.

Long gone the knowledge, ballast over the ocean that separates me from myself. Long discarded the burden of importance and place. This nomad scribe has achieved amused detachment. Remains a duty to readers, including myself, a vague morality which dictates outrage and fuels rants.

In the culling of fact and performance, there is form and texture, this may be what the reader gleans and enjoys as a reflection of his own memory. Technology has afforded us a separate dimension, whereby the author receives purer response to his art, than if face and voice were interfering with the words. I may again be that child of expression with mordant pen and lazy wit.

Words, the etched logos on the tablet of this, our time, solid, absorbed into the psyche with no other trouble than the present and its moods. Humble? Bah! Not yet, i have only been out there, on that web for a short while, so i plan to enjoy this a little longer before i decide to work at a really professional, literary oeuvre. It's back there, fomenting, fermenting, can you hear it?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Another Questionnaire!

No, i don't play games, don't fill forms and attend wedding showers...this one came by way of a defunct site why not post my answers? serious work refuses to come out of the

# 1: So, why the user-name? 
It's the one i use at the grocery store, the bank and the public restrooms in Europe. It works...and i remember it.
#2. Give us one word to describe you.

#3.Chose one Desert Island Disc:

My life in the Bush of Ghosts, Brian Eno and  David Byrne. okay, i was in a hurry when the world came to an end!

#4. Chose one Desert Island Book:

Edible and Medicinal Plants, by Wildman Steve Brill; it's for the pictures, i already know too many words in English and the mind, ( she)will not stop.

#5.Chose one Desert Island Film:

Something to make me laugh and not miss society at all; Little miss Sunshine? not Eraserhead.

# 6. What floats your boat?
Sensory suspension; to hold the senses just above intellectual reality for a second longer than necessary.

#7. Tell us something no one knows about you:

I could live in a cave where no one would recognize me, and disappear.

#8. What's your idea of a dream date?

Crusty baguette, goat cheese and fig jam, a cotton blanket and thou. BYOW(bring your own words)

#9. Do you believe in love at first sight?
First by the eye, then by the nose, they shall know each other, slowly yes.

#10. Which characteristic could you not live without in your life partner: sexiness, intelligence, or financial stability?

By process of stability must not be a must, or i would have opted for a better career--sexiness is, of course, implied in a mate's choice, or the living arrangements would not have happened a priori...lastly and foremost, some form of intelligence permeates the whole of a relationship, so i elect it to be the stable, sexy necessity in my life partner. Got it!

11. Where did you grow up?

Born in Normandy, raised in Southwest France, given up at birth, and bounced between live and dead relatives, back to original parents...feel sorry for me yet?...wait till you read my writings..i miss the stones, the woods, the moss and Angouleme, my ancient hill town.

12. Where do you live now and why?

Oh now you ask the hard questions--In the belly of the Beast, the Midwest, near the Aorta of America. Why? Real estate was cheap, and now i know why.

#13. When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A nurse in Africa--a translator for hospitals and a writer--all at once. I grew up, forget the geography, it moved.

#14. When you were a child, who was your hero?
My grand-mother's sheep-dog, and Docteur Leakey in the science books.

#15.How would your friends describe you?

In my presence, brilliant woman!--in my absence, she must be uh, ? but she's so wonderful! ( no, i' m not)

#17. Have you ever met a celeb? What did you say?

Read my poetry for the family of President Mitterand, was escorted back to the secret service  car before i realized whom i was actually talking to, so don't recall the words, something deliciously haughty about the ARTs i' m sure..

#18. What's your all-time favorite football ground?

Rue Victor Hugo, third block, soccer style, pre-puberty, just before they realized i was a girl with obvious hallmark physionomy and kicked me off the team.

#19. What's your favourite outdoor activity?

Not football. Swimming in lakes, counting ants and finding funny leaves in the grass, spotting animals and vegetals in their natural habitat.

#20. What capital cities have you visited? Which was your favorite?

Paris, Geneva, Berlin, Copenhagen, Washington, Vienna, Oslo, Helsinki, Madrid, Rabat, Stockholm, Dublin Salt Lake City (Jello capital of the world!) etc..but the old Paris still tugs at me.

#21. What is your favorite city?
San Francisco, you can walk and walk.. and experience a world a day. I was told i would have enjoyed the old New Orleans, or Montreal.
#22. Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
A  novitiate nun, 3rd grade teacher who knew that i wrote under my desk. A miner in Death Valley who knew that i wrote in the sand, and each gave me books to feed insatiable me.

#23. What do people notice most about you when they first meet you?

That i must be some sort of artist, some may not know what, but all forgive me for being different. Many perceive me as their chameleon sister, as i speak in their voice and loan them mine in exchange.

#24. When was the last time you lost your temper and why?

Fleas, there is only one thing which can unhinge physical rage, fleas. I flipped the covers and vacuumed the couch, killed the carpets and drowned the linens. It took a month to fumigate the critters out of existence. Relatives must now check their dogs at the door, i do like pets, hate their assorted  fur-dwellers.

#25. When's the last time you cried and why?

Hey? I just picked the clean laundry from the line, don't want to air out the dirty ones. I cry for two trigger  reasons, personal emotion and fictional emotion; so give me a poignant movie and a hanky <and don't look.

#26. Are you the star of the show or more behind the scenes?

Aie, both...more comfortable behind the curtain, but, like to lecture when i can hide behind the words, as in spoken word and music performances or teaching.

#27. Do you screen your calls or answer after the first ring?

Seldom get calls, will answer but, not happy with telemarketers, must remind them that i am busy, in my own cave, and have nothing for them,period. No, no cell phone or appendage on me.

#28. What do you do when you're bored silly?

If coffee and worry gain momentum on me, i escape into the garden, the forest or the wood pile. If too cold, the book pile and music collection. My painting and textile supplies are waiting for me to become bored before they disintegrate.

#29. Which of your five senses would you LEAST want to lose?

Asking this of a sensual purist? i should have sensed it coming, i smelled it.. my sight? ouch, i am attached to all, so closely, so personally. shhh!

#30. When you're lost, do you ask for directions?

Of course, as soon as i first try, may i brag just a bit? i have always had a keen dog sense about me--visual, directional and intuitive.

#31 Have you ever participated in a protest?

Joined an international writer's group on an anti-nuclear rally at a site above New-York once, did not scale the fence, chicken me, feared for my family and immigrant status...did an Amnesty International benefit gig in France, does that count?

#32. Who would play you in the movie of your life?

Well, Natasha Mc Elhone, of course! alright my eyes are brown and my legs only reach the ground, but other than that, i mean she has the class and the guts, the finesse and courage  to play my life in an upcoming book about the desert years ( there is a spunky Irish girl, but can't remember her name...)

#33. If you are a cat, which life are you working on now
How did you know? okay, seventh life stage to be sure, i have donated some of mine to good and not so good causes, but i have shunned bad habits and sloth, so i should live well and long still.

#34. If you could invite a famous person to dinner, who would it be?

Naom Chomski, he looks like he doesn't eat much...actually, we would not have time to eat for the world would soak up the conversation. If he weren't available i would take Arundhati Roy, she needs help to carry this whole planet on an empty stomach.

#35. If you could bring someone back from the dead, who would it be?

Lao Tse, he would soon prove the futility of the ten thousand things man gets tethered to. Rumi would fill the senses, but we are not ready for him yet. hang on, Voltaire is calling on the telepathophone.

#36. If you had your own music festival, what five bands or musicians would play?

PJ Harvey, Ani DiFranco, Hector Zazou, Etron Fou, Can.

#38. If you could live anywhere, where would you live?

Surrounded by books and music in a remote village above the Mediterranean, where rain and sun suffice.

#39. If you could go back in time, which era would you choose? What would you most like to do?

To write an epic at the last of the middle ages when country women were appreciated for their gifts and men were assured of their identity in the social context, then came renaissance competition and the church vied for lost powers, don't worry, we're almost there...

Oof, may i squeeze out of the straight jacket now? it's hard to dance.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Water, Too much and Too Little.

Mid winter in the Midwest, and I trudge through deep snow to cart a few groceries. Almost guilty to mar the dentless white by the invisible road. News are replete with floods and disasters for the multitudes in the southern hemisphere. After several years living in the desert, I value water more than ever.
Water quality and availability roam the back of my mind in ever recurring concern; I search magazines and internet for blue-blue depths, for signs of recovery of lakes and rivers. By now I have amassed a virtual pool of information to pour over the ready made conscience of the liquid choir of readers who reach out for a cleaner future.

Found this note from our time near Death Valley where water should be most appreciated...


Today is the 22 nd day of March, spring is in inevitable progress, and i dream of water.

I have before me a vision of what paradise would be, for me, a stream running clear and free.

I hear the crystalline sound from rounded rock to rounded knee, cool morning sound.

I smell the mint, the cress and the fishy froggy roots of aquatic plants under velvetine fingers.

This is my world, transporting me to pristine memory of a shrinking commodity.

In the South, muddy killing rampaging waters, savaging man's work indiscriminately.

In the North, soggy snow melt unsettling roads and bridges, carrying whole houses to shores.

Glaciers faint away sloppily down the valleys, exposing their moraines to the forlorn.

Desert gullies wash away the silty deposits of last year's rains and cascade the inevitable idiots.

Flash floods careen car carcasses to rusty oblivion in some forsaken canyon.

Debris clogs the arteries of a drainage system, plastic bags swirling in crazy eddies of slime.

Fish gasping in toxic pools of last flood's excess, oil and herbicides oozing from gallon jars.

Blatant carelessness clutters the bottom of a puddle with glass and metal shards .

I find a frog in the tulles and insert a biometric tag, one limb missing, another half formed.

The Amargosa toad is now free to reproduce in the last protected arroyo near Death Valley.

The dairy upstream has left us with a red film of putrescent mystery, even the goat won't drink.

Lake Powell is but a playground of man's refuse, dead fish and flotsam scat as decor.

Barbie kicks one last stiff leg up out of the mire, she'll never go swimming in this hole again.

Paper, plastic and whatever man disregards have all ended up in the waters of my dreams.

I lift a clear glass bottle of cool tap water and thank whomever for the liquid of my life.

Reuniting the ethers around with the waters within, an organic gesture, and bow silently to the sky.

Humble self again for the luxurious remnants of the essence of need, need for water.