Mad Girls Musing

Charlotte: With somber mien
                 they exhort us to mistrust our eyes.
                 I will not subject myself to their "truth".
                 My eyes and spirit remain free.

Sylvia:     Free? For how long?
                They’ll force feed us "facts"
                until we vomit up blood.
                They’ll gouge our eyes with diversions
                until our souls are hulled.

Me:         There is no way out but through.
                Alone, it is impossible.
                I breathe in the strength
                of a world that rebels by living.
                I hope it is enough.


Photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash



Song Choice: I Won't Back Down covered by Dawn Landes

Liner Notes for This Groove: This piece was originally inspired by the prompt given over at Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads: Twitter Me a Gothic Poem, where Magaly asked us to create a poem from tweets from two of the writers she has listed, and our own tweet back at them. I chose Charlotte Bronte and Sylvia Plath. I've also linked it to Poets and Storytellers United's Friday Writings prompt, Different Points of View

Giving War a Chance

I’m a case
of reverse conscription,
told there was nothing

to fight. My head
aches from all the times
I’ve had to turn it

fast enough to convince myself
that the flesh and sinew at my feet
weren’t torn from me just now.

False peace diminished 
heart and spirit,
but honest war mended 
bits I thought were gone forever.





Liner Notes for this Groove: This poem is linked to Poets and Storytellers United's Friday Writings Prompt, War and Peace.

Invitation to Mina from the Count

Renouncing heaven was easy
once I heard they renounced you.

A heaven that mandates
who and how I should love,
a heaven that deems you unworthy
has no hold on me.

The only hell I fear
is eternity with no hope
of seeing you again.

So I amassed these petty atrocities,
strung them together, like the pearls
that nestle around your irresistible throat.

Each bloody jewel
gave me another moment, another chance
to find you again, truest jewel of my heart.

Did you expect me to apologize for that?
No, dear Mina, I’d fill ballrooms with such pearls
if it meant you could remember
a time you loved me as much.

That doesn’t matter now—your remembering—
all that matters is I’ve found you.
We will make new memories.

I’ll forgive and forget everything,
including the little fool fluttering around you
(as if he could possibly know you
the way I once did).

You must have been lonely too. I understand.
I’ll always forgive you,
only you,
my Mina.

There is nothing you could demand from me,
no penance or perversion too vile,
that I would not cheerfully perform

if you would just take my hand again,
accept the life I remade
for us,
and smile for me, 
only me, 
again.

Scene from 1992's Bram Stoker's Dracula


Song Choice: What else, but Love Song for a Vampire by Annie Lennox

Liner Notes for this Groove: This poem was created for the Friday Writing's prompt given at Poets and Storytellers United, Toxic Love. I've been lucky enough never to deal with anything truly toxic in my love life, so I decided to take some inspiration from a story, specifically the 1992 film, Bram Stoker's Dracula. Drinking the blood of a bunch of people for hundreds of years and being obsessive/ possessive definitely puts him in the problematic boyfriend camp. 😂

Knowing Things

Even the dust seemed golden,
caught in the rays from the windows
leading to the adult section of the library.

Here was my Eden
with overflowing groves
of knowledge ready to harvest.

Even then I doubted
that knowing caused a fall.
I had proof of my rising
with every new thing I learned.

I walked slowly,
one eye on the librarian,
the other in the 130’s.

A quick tug on the spine
brought the book to my hand.
I scuttled away

to a worn chair in the back
to see what I could learn
by the time the gilded dust motes
drifted along a tighter angle.

I still lacked the nerve
to claim it and take it home.
But even after I made the choice

to leave it behind on the shelving cart,
next to The Color Purple and Mists of Avalon,

I walked home
with my head full magic,
waiting for the next equinox.


Liner Notes for this Groove: This poem was created for the Friday Writings prompt given at Poets and Storytellers United.

 

The Girl with the Unbeatable Score (Mad Max Mayfield)

I thought I'd gotten used to the process
of things getting broken— 
broken home, broken promises.

Watching your brother's bones break
while screaming in the background 
is different.

The truth is I’ve been running
long before the moment my world shattered, 
the moment that still threatens 
to steal all my will from me.

I didn’t want anyone to see that.
Why should they?
I rolled past complications
as fast as my skateboard would take me.

I never thought grief would be
the speedbump flinging me into the dark,
where even my friends can’t find me.

I met a girl,
on the verge of forgetting her magic.

I reminded her
no guy gets to define her
choices or her power.

I met a boy
full of imagination and loyalty.

We reminded each other
that choosing love
usually means choosing to be real.

I met a monster
who reminded me I could drown,

choking on contradictions of love and hate
while I torture myself
with every variation of “what if”.

(What if the world hadn't ground you down first?
What if I shouted louder?
What if we were better to each other?
What if I wasn't a screwup?)

I met myself

in the darkness, tying my spirit
to notes and words
strong enough to wrap around my heartbreak.

All I can do now is hope
that it’s enough to remind myself

I’m the girl who stands up to grownups and monsters,
the one with the unbeatable score,
and I can outrun this moment.




Song Choice: What else but that scene from Stranger Things? Warning, if you aren't caught up (and you plan to be at some point) listen to this cover of Running Up That Hill by Rain Paris instead.

Liner Notes for This Groove: This poem was created for the Friday Writings post at Poets and Storytellers United, TV Time.

Phoenix Girl Re-Lit

I am tired of the taste of ash,
and numbness in my once audacious wings.
Dear stars, give me the strength to burn.

Remind me I’m more than my most recent crash,
how it’s only in the air that my spirit sings.
Singing feels so much better than taste of ash.

I know that again to risk is again to learn
even the most glorious flights have their end.
But, dear stars, lend me your strength to burn.

Though my heart had splintered in that last crash
and know a fall follows every rising, I can’t pretend
there is any comfort in the taste of ash.

Sorrow will always come along, often unearned,
making it vital to revel in every way delight extends.
My dear stars, I can't bear not to burn.

Though joy can vanish in a flash,
I want my fire to return.
I'm so tired of the taste of ash,
Please, stars, give me the strength to burn.



Song Choice: Carry On by Fun

Liner Notes for this Groove: This poem was created for the Friday Writings prompt at Poets and Storytellers United, To Burn. 

Hope

I hope the way I love.
There is nothing passive or bloodless
in how I express both.

Maybe it comes
from living too deeply, too long,
in stories where someone said,

“This could— 
  should 
  be better.”

When my throat is choked,
from sobbing or screaming,
hope is the thing
that makes me gulp

just one more clean breath
and gives me strength to crawl
towards better
“what if’s”.


Liner Notes for This Groove: This poem is linked to Poets and Storytellers United's Friday Writings.

I Suck at Titles (An Apology)

Have you ever gone on vacation and relaxed so much that your brain disavows any responsibility for anything more complex than deciding on the best spot to curl up with a good book? I spent the last couple of weeks chilling first in Maine, then in New Hampshire.


View from the cabin overlooking the bay in Maine.

The view when you walk down the path from the bluff to the shore.

The porch swing at the B&B in New Hampshire.

So, I'm not great at coming up with titles most times. And you can see how it's easy to be distracted in such idyllic environments. When I hit publish for my last blog post, I saw that I hadn't been as clear as I would have liked to, The title especially added nothing to the piece. When I got back, I changed the title so my meaning would be evident. Just in case there's still a question, let me be perfectly clear.

I am pro-choice. The decision to overturn Roe v Wade has me gravely concerned. A friend of mine is already suffering. Even though they are not seeking an abortion, they are being denied medicine they need for their well-being (they suffer from rheumatoid arthritis) on the off-chance they might be pregnant at some point. Clarence Thomas has indicated this won't stop at Roe. The right to marriage, hell the right to privacy for my Darling Youngest, who fits several letters under the LGBTQ+ umbrella, is at risk. 

I presume Justice Thomas might leave interracial marriage intact, since that would affect him. But just because my straight passing marriage to my white husband is safe (I am a bisexual woman), and my 50 year old womb seems to be permanently retired from the business of baby making, that doesn't mean I will keep silent on this. I am disgusted by the continued machinations of the right wing in the US. It loves to brag how it embraces freedom and small government, even while its members cynically do everything they can to dig its tentacles deeper into people's lives. 

I am extremely embarrassed that my writing was not up to the task of expressing how I truly felt (that'll teach me to double-check things, even on vacation). So I'm sorry, dear Groovers, and will try to do better next time.    

Song Choice: You Don't Own Me covered by SayGrace featuring G-Eazy

Dear Brett, Neil, Amy, Clarence, Samuel, and Mitch Too

I’m not interested in your brand
of freedom. A sick joke
you shove at others
that looks nothing like
true choice.

Even your so-called beliefs
are just spray paint and spangles
over elephant excrement 
cosplaying as patriotism. 
You don’t even bother

to pretend familiarity to those ideals
when they become an inconvenience.

But I will give you this much—
your repeated hypocrisies
are the best advertising
for the virtues of the other side.

You think being awake is an insult.
I call it the first step to breaking free.

 

Song Choice: Vengo by Ana Tijoux

Liner Notes for this Groove: This poem was created for Poets and Storytellers United's Friday Writings Post.

EDITED TO ADD: Forgive me dear Groovers, but I was distracted this week. It was only when I got back home that I realized I had rushed things and didn't give the title as much thought as I ought to have. 😰 I have changed it on 7/13/22 and will have more to say in the next post. Mea culpa. 

Mid-Life (It's About Damn Time)

My crisis began
years ago, when I was made
into a topiary girl

with well concealed roots
false flowers in place
of where real ones used to grow.

There is no crisis
in finally showing
all my gnarls and bumps
and in owning the colors
that were always mine.

This is healing.




Liner Notes for This Groove: This poem is linked to the Friday Writings post at Poets and Storytellers United.

Grasses and Dandelions (Why Not Both?)

What if you asked why
all front lawns should be only green
at minimum? Questioned

why even the hint of shape
of dandelion leaves are unwelcome?

What if you let that dandelion bloom?
What if you didn’t pinch off its head
because you were embarrassed

by its brazen color
announcing itself as something other
than the green surrounding it,
right in front of the neighbors?


What if you stopped pretending
nature could be forced
to betray its own wild
and grow in only one over-particular way?


What if instead of ripping out
everything that didn't look 
like your neighbor's yard,
you let what wanted to grow
just grow?





Liner Notes for This Groove: This poem was created for the Friday Writings prompt given at Poets and Storytellers United, Genuine Ink.

Anne-Girl

I hated my hair
when I was little. Like you,
I tried to daydream it away
along with other awkward realities.

Irrepressible Anne-girl, I too was
more at home protected by fancies

spun from the scent of lilacs,
storms of cherry blossoms,
and iris leaf swords.

We both grasped for the words
true enough to make sense
of the world’s horror and wonder,

and made up fairy tales
sturdy enough to nourish
all our explosions
of feeling and imagination.

Megan Follows from the 80's Anne of Green Gables mini-series


Liner Notes for this Groove: This poem was created for the Friday Writings prompt at Poets and Storytellers United, Beloved Books. I chose to write about Anne of Green Gables. 

Ritual for the Ordinary

Water from my kitchen faucet,
heated in a kettle bought online,
poured over loose leaves,
brings the scent to my nose—

there is no aesthetic
that can make this moment

more sacred than my stillness,
my attention,
my emotion,
and my will,
already do.

One of my favorite tea mugs with a portion of my my currently reading pile.

Liner Notes for this Groove: This poem was created for the Friday Writings prompt at Poets and Storytellers United.

Stay Curious

Stay
curious, girl.
Ask the questions,
especially when only you
answer.


Liner Notes for This Groove: This elfchen is linked to the Friday Writings post at Poets and Storytellers United, Watching and Witnessing

Life Commences

Pomp and circumstance won’t feed
a spirit raised to understand
that celebration can’t be experienced as mere ceremony,

especially when existence provides
a multitude of ways to be joyful.


Liner Notes for this Groove: This poem is linked to the Friday Writings post at Poets and Storytellers United. Congratulations are in order for my Darling Eldest who graduated college just last week. While he can be sentimental, he's not one for tradition for tradition's sake. So he opted not to attend the ceremony. Instead, we'll celebrate once my husband shakes off the last dredges of the coronavirus.  

Just Remembered (50)

I’ve always looked forward
to the pink petalled canopy
that lines my street every birthday.

This year it’s hard not to feel
the ache in the break of the blooming,
marking the space left behind

by a marvelously messy cherry blossom tree.
I used to make wishes
under the shower of dancing petals.

Today, I make promises
to continue the dancing,
and hold back none of my blooming,

even knowing
that some spaces can never really be filled,
just remembered.

The view from one end of my street at this time of year.
It really looks perfect right around my birthday.



Liner Notes for This Groove: This poem was created for the Friday Writings prompt at Poets and Storytellers United, Your Landscape.

Small Delights

Feed
my heart
on small delights
to starve the unfathomable
despair.


Photo by Alaric Duan on Unsplash


Liners Notes for this Groove: This elfchen was created for the Friday Writings prompt at Poets and Storytellers United, Write Your Medicine 

Lift Off

I thought I had to wait
for an invitation from the wind
to test how far I could fly.



Liner Notes for this Groove: This poem was created for the Friday Writings prompt at Poets and Storytellers United, Upcycled Words. I did go through a bunch of my old poems, intending to reuse a couple of lines here and there. As I tried to see how they might fit together, this bit came to mind and I thought it was pretty decent as is. 

Hyacinths and Violets

Hyacinths and violets do their best
to remind me it’s springtime,
but I am still grieving
the loss of the sakura tree
and the way she inspired my blooming.


Picture of the stump left behind
from the sakura tree that used to grow near my house.


Liner Notes for this Groove: This poem was created for the Friday Writings prompt at Poets and Storytellers United, What's There. One of the things that attracted me to the townhome I now live in was the cherry blossom tree growing right on the edge of the neighbor's property. It was cut down last year after being ill for quite a long time. I expect it will feel weird on my birthday when I won't be able to have a bowl of tea under its shade. 

Spring Hymn

What could not survive
winter lies cracked and broken.
Don’t be gentle, wind,
bear away what will not bloom
so that hope can plant its seeds.




Liner Notes for This Groove: This tanka is linked to Poets and Storytellers United's Friday Writings Prompt. I did mean to write about cake, but the wind was so wild and lovely today, I just had to get my thoughts down about it.

Prince of Rabbits

You have a thousand enemies, little rabbit,
all made the moment you came out
from beneath the safety of the earth.

How could you have known
about old, innocent blood on a far-away field

when your only thoughts
were of playtime in the sweet grass
as lush and green as your eyes could see?

The moon has seen
multitudes of pitiless horrors
play themselves out.

But it has also seen triumphs
and unforeseen beauty.

Feed yourself on those stories,
little rabbit, play to your strengths.

Keep a kind heart,
cultivate some cunning,

so that you may run with other rabbits
aware of, and delighted in, their power.

Make and find new stories,
Little Prince Unafraid
to Rebirth and Rename Himself—

stories of survival and joy to share
on cold, dark nights.


Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash



Song Choice: Baby Mine covered by Bonnie Raitt and Was not Was


Liner Notes for This Groove: This poem is linked to Poets and Storytellers United's Friday Writings Prompt. Today is also my Darling Youngest's birthday. Ren is 19 and I am proud of the young man he is becoming.

Louder

I like it
when an electric purr becomes a roar,
when shameless wails moan
in time with insistent rhythms.

I am not that complicated.
I just need
every note stroking the emotions
waiting to rise to my surface.


Song Choice: Do You Wanna Taste It by Wig Wam a.k.a. The Peacemaker Theme Song. Oh who am I kidding? The whole playlist is gold. It's been my aural happy place for the last couple of weeks.

Liner Notes for this Groove: This poem was created for Poets and Storytellers United's Friday Writings Prompt, Moments of Joy. Rosemary asked us to write about things that bring joy, no matter how small. I've always loved the big sound of 80's (and 80's inspired) glam metal. The soundtrack to the TV show Peacemaker is nothing but big, loud rock. The show has also made me smile and laugh, even though it had its sad points too.

Warmth Exists

Ceaseless wind scours
my lips raw on this winter day.
The sun does its best
to remind me warmth exists
if my will is to seek it.



Liner Notes for This Groove: This poem is linked to Poets and Storytellers United's Friday Writings post.

The Magic

I’ve sought escape
in the magic of stories,
only to find myself
more sharply reflected
in every word.

The Magician is my favorite tarot card 
and I fell in love with this version from Modern Witch Tarot by Lisa Sterle


Liner Notes for this Groove: This poem is linked to Poets and Storytellers United's Friday Writings

Worthy Battle

My monster must feed
on heart-bloodied bits
of memories
when battles were chosen
because honestly loving
demanded no less.


Moon Story

I told the moon my story,
knowing she'd heard a billion worse.

If the storm feels free 
enough to give voice to its being,
why should my tongue be stilled?




Liner Notes for this Groove: This poem was created for Poets and Storytellers United's Friday Writings, 13 Words on the 13th.

Blue Period

A lifetime of loving and gathering
so many brilliant and subtle hues

yet I find my hand seeking 
for Picasso blue,

reaching for the shade
to underline a year’s worth of words.




Liner Notes for this Groove: This poem was created for the Friday Writings prompt at Poets and Storytellers United, Color or the Absence of Color

Waiting for Crocus

If I stand here long enough
I might see a crocus bloom.
But I’d likely freeze to death

before that happened.
Only my bones left
when the snow has melted

to see the purple fingers
of newborn crocus
reaching for the sky.

My ribcage could be
a serviceable cathedral

for mousely vows
said under springtime moons
and earthworm princes
to find the objects of their quests.

I’m afraid I’m too selfish to share
this space my heart is used to
taking up with just any random
invertebrate or rodent.

So I’ll pull my hat down lower
to cover up the howling of the wind,

go inside where my tea waits for me,
and come back to this place
when the crocus is ready for me.




Liner Notes for This Groove: This poem is linked to Poets and Storyteller United's Friday Writings, Feast or Famine. 

Overheard Myself

I overhear my own words
from the past wriggling through
my multi-muffling and insulating layers

and wonder
what happened

to make me forget
I too could take comfort
in their life-giving warmth?




Liner Notes for This Groove: This poem was created for Poets and Storytellers United Friday Writings post, So, I Overheard...

this is what it's like

this is what it means to be alive: 

coming in from an icy rain,

too petulant to be proper snow


you sit near a fire

with plastic logs that never burn

but are thankful

for the warmth and the view

 

this is what comfort tastes like—

a delight of mingled simple and familiar

flavors in a perfect bowl of rice

 

you eat and remember stories

about a god in every grain of rice

and a god of rice and foxes

 

for a moment you are a child again,

pretending you are a happy fox

in a den miles away from

human decisions and consequences

 

you eat slow, so slow,

greeting the god in every grain,

indie rock serenading the traveling gods

as their journey intersects yours

 

this is what it’s like remembering

you don’t want the jarrito

because even almost a year later,

it will still taste like tears instead of pineapple


the tears will come anyway,

so you may as well have the jarrito

 

this is what it’s like remembering,

laughter still exists 

and it feels so good to laugh with a lover 
about wisteria in the winter

although spring is so far away

 

you remind yourself

this is what it’s like to be alive,

warm, and sated—a blessing

 

of food in the belly,

music and laughter in the background,

in spite of the storm.




 

Song Choice: What a Wonderful World covered by The Ramones

 

I Resolve

to stop portioning my heart
into subsistence-sized mouthfuls
only to achieve acceptable starvation.

I resolve to honor its messy,
bloody wholeness
filled with contradictions and dual realities.

I resolve to treat it gently
after hard days and harder decisions,
when even honoring the necessary and the true
bring out the covered-over bruises.

I resolve to make my heart
a partner, not an enemy,

to acknowledge the fighter it has always been, 
and allow it the tenderness it always deserved.