Monday, March 24, 2014

NEW POEM: "Stars & Moon & Lamp"

This is a poem that I wrote for a script I am collaborating on, hopefully to be turned into a film... it is based on Nycteris from George MacDonald's "The Day Boy And The Night Girl." (If you don't know who George MacDonald is, you're missing out on a profoundly delicious part of life.)

Nycteris is a girl who has never seen daylight before. This is one of her mental wanderings as she looks at a lamp and considers the idea of light.

Stars & Moon & Lamp

Perhaps you are what they mean by “stars,”
Or “epiphany,” or celestial scars
Across the cheek of the sky
Or the pulsating palm of my mind…
Perhaps happiness, swelling up
Like a purple balloon, perhaps this pain
I feel without knowing whence it comes,
This drum causing joy like the curve of a spoon—
Perhaps that is the face of the moon.
Have you ever seen the sea,
Guided him with amber hands,
Or caught his silver ankle
As he raced towards land?
Have you ever thrown a stone
Across his chest,
Counted the beats it took
To reach the reflections
Between the ocean’s opaque bars…

Those mysteries they call the stars?

---------------------------------------------

Note: 

1) Yup, "amber hands" and "silver ankle" are references to poems about the sea by Emily Dickinson
2) On a slightly unrelated note... I will be performing poetry (perhaps even slam poetry) at the open mic held by Adsum, a literary journal at USC, at Cups Coffee this Thursday! It's from 7-8:30 and I would love you forever if you came to support!! :)

Location of Cups: 
3335 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90007

Monday, March 3, 2014

What I Remembered To Say To You The Day I Found The Cat Basket And No Cat

I wrote this poem about my cat, who died a little over a year ago. The poem is actually about how there are different levels of sadness, and how sometimes you're not quite sure whether something ought to make you feel as sad as you do.

But you do- and that is the problem.

Yes, this is a sad poem. Read it if you like sad stuff. Read it if you don't.


What I Remembered To Say To You The Day I Found The Cat Basket And No Cat

When we were in tenth grade,
your cat died the same day
the maple trees began
to shed their shreds
of crumpled brown 
paper bags onto the street.
You ran to the backyard to find
the body sucked of its pulsing,
and we could hear staccato 
sobs behind the shed.

People hate cats.
They kick them to the open mouths
of city sewers, where yesterday’s
leaves congeal like soggy cereal:
they set the dogs onto them
and throw heavy objects
after their receding skeletal shadows.
“People won’t understand,”
you say now, grinding a heel
into the soft piles of earthy tulle
above her grave:
“It’s just a cat. Just a damn cat.”

Sorrow is complicated, isn’t it,
when it comes in layers
of shallow sediment
rather than the ocean.
They will tell you
to get another cat, and no
one will realize that it is
like asking someone
who just lost his mother
to get a new one.

Yet, once in a while,
when you return from a night
of drunken babble like blunt barbs,
you miss the insistence of furry cheek
instead of words.
Sometimes it is easy to believe
that she will come bursting
into the house
from the winter rain.
You slide onto the kitchen floor
in the semi-dark
of Tuesday evenings,
gripping a cold cup of tea…

Keep thinking that she
will follow you on your morning walk,
keep forgetting that canned tuna
is no longer an item
on the grocery list.

Take the long way around
the park, to catch a glimpse
of the shorthair who lives
in the tree on the corner.
Take the extra ten seconds
for an inch of eyes
like orbs of mint ice cream
(like hers,) blinking between
the patterns of pine needles,
and nobody will say
that you’re a fool.