where deep-diving light creates a third eye

I wanted to note three recent publications, all a bit strange in the manner of many of my collages.

Two actually were collages, a couple of older ones, one based on one of Jane’s Sunday Strange Microfiction Challenges that for some reason I never posted. You can find them here, in Otoliths.

I also had a poem published in last month’s visual verse, part of the final postings of the month. Thanks to Manja, for letting me know. You can read it here. I’m number 86. Take a look at Manja’s too, number 100.

And a strange poem for a strange painting at The Ekphrastic Review, posted today, here.

Elegy

We avoid the
word death.  Darkened by
deceptions, we turn
away, close our eyes
We are told to cheer
up, as if emotions could be denied,
as if getting over was simply done.

We avoid the
word death.  The wheel turns,
but not always towards
the light.  Don’t tell us
that time will heal
the scars, that everything will be all right.
We must remember—all the names—now gone. 

For earthweal, where the theme is All Souls.

I did this collage for one of Jane’s prompts last year, but I think it works as well with this poem.

water and air

ocean riding sky–
waves rise untethered floating
entangled in clouds

For Ingrid’s concrete poetry prompt at dVerse. Like Ingrid, I’m usually abstract with my verse, so I’m not sure even this short verse meets the requirements. I didn’t use any of the forbidden words though.

The top collage was done for a collaboration with Marcy Erb in 2015. The beach sketch, which reminds me somewhat of those in my lost sketchbook from last summer, was done in 2016.

Unprecedented

In May, Sun Hesper Jansen published a post about the Unprecedented Project, along with her blackout poem. I was intrigued, and went to the website to take a look.

The Unprecented Project sends out random pages from Boccaccio’s The Decameron, a book about waiting out the plague, to be turned into blackout poems, embellished in whatever way you choose, as a way of commemorating our random participations in our own plague.

I sent away for a page, and above is the result. Halloween seems a good time for it. You can still participate, if you so desire. There is also always a changing cast of poetic pages to view on the website for inspiration.

listen
your bone rattle
they will continue
to be
unhappy unhappy
for all time

Also linking to earthweal’s spooktacular weekend.

(Re)creation

The mask is mute—it does not
tell what lies beneath–
layers falling backward, a
way from the present–
unglued, it rearranges,
becomes paper becomes
scissors cutting through the air–
thought stilled before form

Continuing my mask theme, three collage masks inspired by Matisse cut-outs that I did for the Kick About a few weeks ago. In my poem I was thinking about a film I saw of Matisse at work.

I’ve been working with masks for a long time in many different media. These are inspired by Mexican Devil masks as well as by Matisse.

Austin Kleon has a great post about masking with some excellent quotes that you can read here. It’s a mode of expression I’m sure I’ll always continue to explore.

Here’s another devil mask and a shovel poem I did for a Sue Vincent photo prompt in 2017. Thanks again, Sue, for all your inspiration.

the door is always open s

“…that what you fear the most/could meet you halfway…” –Victoria Williams, “Crazy Mary”

The horns that
make you.  Tell me what
endures:  you,
masked with fear,
burning life to ashes, the
ender?  Or the most
wild transformation that could
be?  We meet
face to face.  But you
pause.  Halfway.

Also linking up with dVerse OLN, hosted by Linda.

Political Attire

The mask they wear
repeats the same cliches,
pretending to truth,
embellished with lies–
dismissing the facts
when inconvenient.  The Devil watches,
laughs with them.  He knows their true faces well.

The mask they wear
is glued to their ethos–
virtue corrupted
by perpetual
guile—whatever is
required to keep the reigns of power—a
prayer, a riot, a bargain made in Hell.

A duodora for Lisa’s prompt at dVerse, to discuss something that irritates us in the context of Halloween. I admit this goes well beyond simple irritation.

The paintings are from a series of eight I found when going through my files. They are a bit strange–I can’t remember what inspired me to do them. I was waiting for some poem that would go with them. This works.

Children of the Night

“Listen to them, the children of the night, what music they make.”
–Bram Stoker

There’s a dark path in the forest that reaches not only to the horizon but far up into the stars in the sky.  The contours float, infused inside and out by an endless melody that sings chaos into shimmering pattern.

Where does the story end?  Perhaps it leads to dreams that have been hidden away, to possibilities invisible in the light of day.  To once upon a time that becomes here and now.

If you listen–still, silent, boundaried by the night–it’s possible to catch a glimpse of these distant voices.  But only a child can find the entrance to this liminal landscape of matter, spirit, and sound.

wonder shines
silvered, transcendent–
opening

The Kick-About prompt this week was the quote from Dracula, above. These monoprint paintings were a response to that.

The road from Samhain to vampire costumes for Halloween travels through the pop culturization of every holiday we celebrate for commercial purposes. But that does not completely disguise its real roots in the transition from fall to winter and the crossing over that occurs between the worlds of the living and the dead.

It’s fitting that we have turned Samhain into a children’s festival–we can join in for their sake, hidden behind masks, remaining rational adults while keeping a thread tied to our ancient rites of passage.

Children are our conduit to what we are ashamed to acknowledge. They remain close to the Other Worlds–they still believe completely in magic.

For earthweal, where Sarah has asked us to think about Samhain and celebrate the places that lie between.