30 August 2008

Final installment of the poetry postcards

August 20:

Dear Colleen--

What do we cut--
these arteries of attachment,
this sorrow--
the empty space between
words and breath
provides the path
of navigation--the hollow
anxiety of unknowing--

August 21:

Dear Laura--

the trick is
holding two things at once--
this balance of sadness
and joy, this want and
this acceptance--
how to live in one place--

August 22:

Dear Adrienne--

The familiar numbers,
faint remembrance in the strokes--
so far away, and the question
of where to now?
All of it seeming unreal,
nonsensical, but here we are
breathing together--

August 23:

Dear Patrick--

Tomorrow, this future--
some conjured moment,
some ripe bloom--
I breathe myself solid,
feel my steady grip
on this narrative, this
life I move through,

August 24:

Dear Greg--

The crows have ended
their raucous salute to
morning--we are
bound together in our
routines, the joy of
shouting out our intentions--
I hear myself in their voices,
I sing crow songs--

August 25:

Dear Erin--

A woman dances on the street
corner to her own song, music
shaking through her hips,
her arms thrown skyward--
pigeons perched in a line, napping--
the dance moves closer to me,
and then away--
the morning rising
in Philadelphia--

August 26:

Dear Brittany--

Reflecting back, did the struggle
balance--the question of worth,
the trick of words, how they
extend and reach
into us--shifting definitions,
the assimilation of
what is now--

August 27:

Dear Mary--

These words create
a container for the day,
the expansion and
of life, the way impermanence
reminds us
what we hold,
how to let go--

August 28:

Dear Mary--

Tonight, I remember
how to smile and give
in--the breeze gentle,
the garden still--
I accept the missing
presence that held my
hope--tonight, I

August 29:

Dear RD--

The air is thick again
with waiting--
how our destinies
intertwine, how we long
for something to change--
this, our history, laid
out before us, urging
us forward--

August 30:

Dear Charlie--

Clouds cover and part,
we hover and dive--words
heavy with history and sentiment
lead us to become--
every day we discover--
the potency of sound,
potential of memory,
the hum of not knowing
what comes next--

August 31:

Dear Maggie--

the before and after-images
bleed through the screen
of our knowing--
balloons of light,
darkness enveloping--
friction between us
filling the gaps--

18 August 2008

Postcards, third installment

August 13:

Dear Amy--

Reaching toward
an unknown--the gap
between here and

background clatter
shattering shadows--

(image: Henri Matisse "La Musique")

August 14:

Dear Carmiel,

The radio tells stories
of economic downturns,
of mentally-ill prisoners,
of thunderstorms,
of olympic triumphs,
of political unrest,
and I drink coffee
and eat a biscuit.

(image: Masolino "Peccato originale")

August 15:

Dear Christian--

Is this a conversation?
conversion? or a sign
of the ever-present heart-

this connection,

these words fluttering

(image: Gertrude Stein in foreground, Alice B. Toklas in background)

August 16:

Dear Diane--

The days slip and spin
as I pedal,
make change,
choose between----
follow the breath,
follow the sun

(image: church of St. Maria in Cosmedin, Roma)

August 17:

Dear BJ--

the trick of being embodied:
subtle observations
in every moment--
here, in the mirror--
here, on the train--
the way the light poured
in this afternoon, flooding
my vision with the burst
of summer exuberance,
the way new life just appears--

(image: Barbara Kruger "You thrive on mistaken identity")

August 18:

Dear Marian--

A bargain with my body:
trust me, we will make it--
sigh--sign--the signal
green, and we go--
wholly, hesitantly--
thinking of the time--
so many gestures and
the heavy fear
congealing here--

(image: nude woman's profile and torso)

August 19:

Dear Kim--

the airwaves full of mixed
expect no clearing
for the next four years--
what we believe
tossed back and
at best, at worst betrayal--

(image: Joseph Cornell assemblage)

11 August 2008

More August Poems

Here are the next few poems I've sent away:

August 10:

Dear Mary--

A day of decisions
and indecision--drinking in
the overwhelming sky--
cool morning, perfect shining
green surrounds--
plucking away the unnecessary
that crowds the roots
of knowing--

(image: hand printed postcard--woman with flowers)

August 11:

Dear Laura--

Thursday night, the orange
and purple sky filled
my eyes with tears, my
heart with longing--
these dark moments of
hold us

(image: pig shaped food stand)

August 12:

Dear Emma--

This morning, clouds breaking,
unrest in Georgia, blueberry
muffin and coffee, scientists
"debating" global warming,
a forlorn-looking polar
bear, cats yawning, tomatoes
bursting ripeness, dreams
of cooking--

(image: woman with fogged glasses)

06 August 2008

August Poetry Postcard Fest

I am participating in a mail-poetry project this month, and thought I would share some of the little poems I am sending away. Some of the poems refer to images on the cards, so at the bottom of the poem, I have included a note about what was on the front of the card. I have written to the first 9 people, even though it's not yet August 9th to allow for international deliveries.

Happy August!
love, Cathleen

August 1:

Dear Susan--

And then, looking backward--
the swallow circled
and dipped--
intrusion of memory;
a desire for connection--
What would you have said
if I had told you?
how you would have laughed--

(image: a ruin in Rome)

August 2:

Dear DD--

Every time I look away,
a new detail emerges--
my vision transformed
by solitude--
come now, then

(image: Walking on Eggshells by Sandy Skoglund)

August 3:

Dear Michelle--

The way language leaves you--
the way a bell can clear the air--
we were at the window
talking--the heaviness
of the air, of philosophy--
we, now silent--

(image: church bells outside a window)

August 4:

Dear Amanda--

the shifting quality of light--
today, an eclipse
maybe you have seen it?
sky becoming the color
of clouds--

(front: Jean Cocteau quote)

August 5:

Dear Gregory--

Today, dreaming of snow,
cold chilling bones--
the paths of mountains,
hum of crystals landing
one atop another--
the shape of breath
circles--and we sing--

(image: Untitled (Jesus and I) by Larry Johnson)

August 6:

Dear Susan--

Intricate petals on tomato
blossoms--butterfly slowly
moving its wings (open/
close)--sudden rain
on skin--sun baking
the soil dry--

(image: ornamental kale)

August 7:

Dear Bethany--

What intangible costs,
what lives destroyed--
by this, our greed,
our fear--

the electric aggression in
the air when a man walks by
and says "I could/should have shot

(image: poster "War IS Terror")

August 8:

Dear Robert--

the ways we
fall apart (or) fall together--
moments of unravelling
(when) our breath sighs
out of us--
walls permeable,
hearts softened--

(image: house falling in)

August 9:

Dear Nancy--

Just now--a seed drops from
the sky onto my plate--
I wonder what is planted
here, what fertile ground
I will become when I eat it--
flowers or vines sprouting
from my intestines, reaching
toward light--

(image: Josephine Baker taking a bath)