Blackout Poetry and a Silver Whale Tail

I know… I’ve lied. I’m not back in New York City yet, and I’m blogging. But what can I say? There I was, rewriting a story that found its setting (and some characters) rewritten at the last minute, when my mind decided it needed a slight change of pace before writing on… just a minute or thirty.

The slight change of pace… If we don’t interact on Facebook or Instagram, then you might not know that I’m writing Blackout Poetry… again. I blacked out a few poems, some months ago—after my occupational therapist suggested that it would be a good idea to do something of the sort with my hands. But I had to stop (the Muse and I felt unethical about blacking words out of Isabel Allende’s City of the Beasts).

Then, the other day, my Mother-in-Law was going to donate one of her college books to the local library. The biding was lovely, the pages were lovely, and to birth poetry out of words in a book that might go out of circulation soon would be all kinds of awesome. Also, I love that the book had been put to use by someone I care about. I’ve been blacking out a poem every night before bed; great exercise for hand and mind.

“Speak Value”
Speak Value, by Magaly Guerrero
Speak Value,
or you’ll live exotic
to common-sense.
* from the intro page of Caring for Your Book, by Michael Dirda (1990)

The following trio comes from Music and the Classroom Teacher, by James L. Mursell (1951):

“Catch a Dirge”
Catch a Dirge, by Magaly Guerrero
Do catch me

a dirge,
a brightly colored jig
(lively music)–
a story.

“Wonder”
Wonder, by Magaly Guerrero
Wonder much,

experience proof
and far-reaching possibilities;

be free.

“I saw music”
I Saw Music, by Magaly Guerrero
I saw music

(heads and bodies,
arms and hands)
rhythm.

I felt free
(gently and subtly)
pretty.

So… there you have it, my Wicked Luvs… blacked out poetry by moi… an inundation of ellipses… and, of course, the promised Silver Whale Tail…
Whale Tail Sculpture

Different Is Delicious… and Necessary

“Just as the health of a forest or fragrant meadow can be measured by the number of different insects and plants and creatures that successfully make it their home, so only by an extraordinary abundance of disparate [psychological, physiological], spiritual and philosophic paths will human beings navigate a pathway through the dark and swirling storms that mark our current era.”
~ Drawing Down the Moon, by Margot Adler

The last week has been wonderful. I’ve been in quite a bit of pain, but that’s to be expected after nine hours spent between a plane, a car and a ferry. Although my side is screaming at the moment, I would do every single thing again in the exact same way. You see, my Wicked Luvs, that’s what keeps me keeping on… paddling forward showing happy teeth: even when it hurts, I can still do many of the things I love.

My Piano Man and I were discussing that, after I read a few of the emails currently overpopulating my inbox. A friend said, “You are on vacation, for goodness’ sake! Get away from that computer and live a little.” She doesn’t understand that part of my living is fueled by seeing how others live. When I’m in a lot of pain, I find solace in the smiles of those I love and like… the more smiles the better. A family member told me, “I wish my pain was as easily manageable as yours. But the kind of pain I have steals your concentration and your strength to stay out of bed [she has arthritis in her left hand]. You are so lucky you don’t hurt as much.” No, my Luvs, I didn’t slap her—I’ve yet to master the art of email-punching.

But there is always that person who reminds me that I’m not the only one who shares her existence with pain and refuses to stop living. A Wild Poetess I admire, wrote to me, “I am so sorry you struggle with your health so much—one would never know it from the vibrant spirit you display…” I replied, “I’ve always been lucky enough to find many things to smile and vibrate (giggles) about, even when life and health get tough. Writing [my tales], and reading what other people write, has always being soothing to my grin and bones.” She said, “Me too, kiddo!” And that, my Luvs, is one of the things that keeps me doing things my way, while also watching how others do it: I know that different is delicious… and quite necessary for survival and living.

Speaking of doing and grinning and such (pain be damned), this will be my last blog entry for about a week or so. Later today, I start working on the story I told you about on my “Off to Write a Whisper… While Communing with Frogs” post. I will continue sharing pictures and PoemBitsbyMagaly on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. But I shall not post here until I get back to New York City. The poem bits will focus on the story progress—from plotting to ending (since I promised it to a friend *cough*); and the photos will offer glimpses of the trip. Below, are some glimpses from our first few days:

I caught a wee frog, to see if the Little Princess would let it rest in her hand. But…
Friday Harbor (1)

the child was not convinced. So…

my Piano Man let the golden beauty sit on his sleeve…
Friday Harbor (2)

and hop around his hand…
Friday Harbor (3)

After a while, the Little Princess allowed the frog to sit on her finger for a rather quick jittery second. We might have been whispering encouraging words that spoke of cuteness and bravery and such.
Friday Harbor (4)

We’ve walked around town, enjoying visual whispers of ocean and blooms.
Friday Harbor (5)

At a public library sale, I bought my first books (EVER!) sold by the inch.
Friday Harbor (6)

I’ve watched my Piano Man’s grin as he delights in The Picture of Dorian Gray
Friday Harbor (7)

as he watches me through binoculars (while I’m standing three feet from him)…
Friday Harbor (8)

There has been much sunset enjoyment, too. Life is good…
Friday Harbor (9)

Blood, Cackles and Bones

She sprouted, bloodied to the teeth;

cackled through life, growing
grins in opened eyes thought barren.

She lives in bones…
danced to mirth-filled ashes,
eternal.

.
Margaret wants us to Play It Again. I’ve said yes… via Words Count with Mama Zen. She asks for poetry, in twenty-five words or fewer, which focuses on “an image that a writer returns to time after time. It’s part art, part personal mythology, and part creative shorthand. It’s a thing, a sound, an angle of light; it’s anything that a writer imbues with a greater meaning than it would ordinarily have and adopts as a signature symbol… What’s your power image? What sort of symbols do you find yourself returning to again and again? Show us…”

for the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads

Circle of Life“Circle of Life”
via