Thursday, April 17, 2014

sidewalks

So I'm stuck on sidewalks. Thinking about them, I mean. I find it interesting how they crack over time, developing character all their own. Think of a human hand, how the skin creases, lifelines, stories. I think it is the same with sidewalks.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Monday, March 31, 2014

here

for the same reasons
for distraction 
for relief
let it go in a crowd i
always say i
say
release it gently
amongst the din/ din
/din
forget with gusto
bury it quietly in darkness
when no one is looking

Sunday, March 23, 2014

20

so i covet this stigma of illness
holding it ever closer to my soul
languid and blue and anxious
believing and imagining just
for this fleeting moment/ you

Friday, March 21, 2014

finalities

your life is like a sweater...
she wheezed weakly between 
stolen gasps of oxygen from
those god-damned plastic tubes
pull a string and you never
know what will unravel and
then i found myself laughing
there was never a time
when i didnt love you she
said as if i didnt already know

Thursday, March 20, 2014

today

dont know what to do
dont know what to think 
dont know what is right
dont know what is wrong
all i know is what i feel
and today i feel fine
i feel hopeful and happy
i feel love and i like it
i need more days like today

19/ dismantling the wall

we struck between us
brick by brick for it
must be done just so
/carefully and slow/
each brick a moment
frozen in time
each brick a memory
pain fully re-lived
called to mind
mis placed magic
mis understandings
and differences
conjured up secrets
cemented in place
once upon a time

Saturday, March 15, 2014

18/ stolen moments

though i am weary/ and
i AM weary/ today
i am here
i am here
hard pressed/ and
hard worked/
i am here
today
tomorrow
every day
and the next day
i am here
and the day after that too

Friday, March 07, 2014

17/ strictly speaking a man is a fool

when left to his own devices and 
watch him step eagerly into the fire
or leap from a cliff altogether too easy
without the company of those he loves

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

16

gratitude is fish in the pond
and ducks in the creek and
visions of hope in between

Friday, January 31, 2014

13

truth and
shadow and
sunshine i
hug the groovy 
centerline

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

15/ since the flood


the creek has become a wastelan
d of sand and disruption and rock
strewn along the banks like moss
mocking our self-righteous sense
of order these rocks on the move
one never anticipates such things
like fessing up to a lack of control
our true nature unbridled/ really/ i
think that is what scares us most

Sunday, January 19, 2014

appreciation

i worry about being taken for granted in an unappreciative kind
of way i think this says many things about me and i gather i am
unapproachable judging by the reactions of others/ sometimes/
i feel invisible people looking right through me into nothingness

Friday, January 17, 2014

home

So it's true I meant what I said the other day, I'm not going anywhere. Colorado is my home. These are my mountains. All my life I missed Colorado whenever I was away on our travels, and I always longed to come back. Well, I am here now. Why leave again?

I will continue always to write about what I write about, but it is here that I will stay.

For the last 6 years (yes, it's actually been 6 years since I came out of hiding in Longmont), my desire has been to publish all of the incredibly talented poets I know in Colorado, particularly Denver, and Boulder. 

I intend to do exactly that!

Currently I have 3 out of 4 publishing projects at a total stand still, due mainly to technological and financial setbacks. I wont be around much online for awhile as I revamp this teetering little empire, and decide upon our new battle plan.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

after a restful sleep

i walk outside
torn between porch light
and the dark seduction beyond
smoking a cigarette in its entirety
i watch the frosty eyed moon and orion
when a van roars to life
in the darkness
in front of the house
and squeals down the street

the wind suddenly ferocious and threatening
swoops in hysterically thrashing my hair
until it stings my face and my heart races

it is difficult to pinpoint exactly
when paranoia became my friend
how exactly i encouraged it
to move in gradually on a premise
to stay and mooch indefinitely

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

arriving

i thought
it would be easy
a cinch to get here
to arrive finally
prepared
in spite of myself
and everyone else
and it makes sense
the invisible order
of things i
mean
ready to surrender
within reach of
hemmingway

Saturday, October 19, 2013

na-ive-te

i always thought it would
get easier as i got older
life and love and pursuit
of happiness and dreams
those complicated things
that speak for themselves

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

the last cigarette

five
maybe seven minutes of glory
if i really stretch it out
it suddenly occurs to me now 
after forty six years of white smoke
trailing up through my fingers
smoking after waking up
smoking after eating 
smoking while drinking alcohol
or steaming black tea
smoking after sex
smoking in bed
smoking in the bathtub
i have been preparing myself
practicing for this moment
savoring this passion
that has driven my life and
brought me here 

Saturday, September 07, 2013

solo junk.tank after dark 1:26am mountain time

So I am writing under the Catalpa Tree by the light of an exhausted Tiki torch. On my writing table under the tree there are 3 empty beer bottles, cigarette butts, cigarette filters, hot tea, and well ... beer. Music careens from the house (which at the moment is funk), the flash and clatter of pool balls, and the rhythmic swell of women and men's voices. Beautiful laughter. This is the party after the poetry event party. Poets, artists, musicians and other folk of similar inclination have gathered here. They aspire to revelry at our house, where I am grateful we have such friendly and patient neighbors. 

2:00AM Mountain Time: Speaking with poet Max, whom I remember from the old Burnt Toast days. "They call me Toast because of it." He tells me. We are exchanging website information. He reads the paper I hand him, "POETRY VICTIMS! FUCK YEAH! I know you!"

2:45AM Mountain Time: Surfer Vinyl Classic.

3:30AM Mountain Time: Everyone is either gone or asleep. People sleeping in the library. People sleeping on the couch. 

4:20AM "Pussies!" He says, feet up, as he strikes his lighter, in the backyard, in the dark, by the light of the moon ... having already cleaned everything up.  

Thursday, September 05, 2013

mothers intuition

over maxwell house coffee
and all the fixings
and toasted cinnamon raisin bread
sagging under heaps of no salt butter
i knew i was dying she said bluntly
as she sawed a piece of toast in half
like a butcher attacking a carcass

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

one day at a time

So I am spending most of my time these days focusing on changes. I mean changes in my life that I feel are necessary for peace of mind and growth. Many of them are little things, every day habituals (if you will), things that are basically inconsequential to my big picture in the end, but time consuming. 

I am sleeping better ... most days. I am dreaming again when I sleep. I am more relaxed, I think largely because I have my space and time and place to reflect. I am painstakingly and ever so patiently repairing my defunct finances. I am making decisions that I believe in, things I have thought long and hard about, things that are important to me. 

I am writing more freely every day. 

I feel good. I am excited about feeling good! 

I am not angry. I am not avoiding anyone. I am just busy fixing holes. One thing at a time. One day at a time. Creative space is important now. And while some decisions are made, others will consequently just have to wait. One day soon, I will even have my camera back and my computer fixed and a reliable phone again. And I will also be taking a little much needed adventure this year. 

I perceive a general misconception that perhaps I have no confidence in myself, but on that count I totally disagree. Take open mics or slams, for instance, I am a huge fan. I love going, but I seldom read or perform anymore ... why? I do not go to these events to hawk my wares, I go to listen to others hawk theirs. I am there to listen, however, I will read if I am particularly moved to do so. I just do not feel the need to perform anymore, it is strange. Of course, I do like intimate readings and always have, ask anybody.

I am acutely aware of my talents and confidence as a writer, publisher, editor, artist, and hotelier. If you ask me, my problem is that I tend to have too much confidence.

I do not lack confidence folks, I am just an introvert, and I have had a lot of confusion in my life lately, and there is a big honking difference.

I love you, 
zz


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

solitaire

so if fascination is terror
and terror is excitement 
and excitement is confusion 
and confusion is distracting
where does that leave hope

Sunday, August 25, 2013

feeding the beast

in the library next to my room
i close my eyes 
choose merely by touch 
instinct/not
too large/not
too small
just a book big enough 
to distract me from all this
thinking too much

morning in the burned 
house by
margaret atwood

Friday, August 23, 2013

the serenity chair

every day i look at it
folded up so cleverly against the wall
the gray metallic sheen
reflecting blue sky and clouds
it says with such brash authority
SERENITY in magic marker
across the bottom of the seat
if this insistent creepy little chair
could really i mean really talk
i for one would listen 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

waiting

life is just this
exactly this
in a long series
of waiting
for something/s
always waiting
for something
happily i am
for have i not
already
been waiting
after all

Saturday, August 17, 2013

writing


wherein we
welcome words arriving we
nurture them and
feed them and
love them we
make them sleep regularly we
let them grow
strong
independent
make them think and
live and
speak as
subtle as
this

Friday, August 16, 2013

imagine these conversations

So while organizing my books after moving recently, I found myself traipsing down memory lane as I went through my signed books shelf (writers I've met and writers I've known).

Imagine these conversations... 
 
Engagements and disengagements - Paul Agostino
red book poems - asalott
Reality in Bubblewater - Amanda Celeste Beard 
Shards - Tom Berman
The Possible - Bruce Bond
Broken Circle - Bruce Bond
colors - David Bond
The Near Johannesburg Boy - Gwendolyn Brooks
Gottsschalk and the Grand Tarantelle - Gwendolyn Brooks
Winnie - Gwendolyn Brooks
Blacks - Gwendolyn Brooks
I Love You Is Back - Derrick C. Brown
Stubborn Hope - Dennis Brutus
Somehow these things are all connected - Richard Calisch
I've been away so many lives - Richard Calisch
Untitled and anonymous - Claire Connolly
Heartdance - Nat David
Grass Knuckles - Christian Drake
id rather B (CD) - Amy Everhart 
Gathering The Tribes - Carolyn Forche
The Country Between Us - Carolyn Forche
paper thin - Rob Geisen
beautiful graveyards - Rob Geisen
Every Woman's Blues - Ulrike Gerbig
Love in all the right places - Ulrike Gerbig*
The Looking Glass Poems - Ulrike Gerbig*
A Lover's Eye - Michael Glaser
Cookie Aura - Bert Glick
I Used to Be Me - Bert Glick
Crow Dreaming - Ed Hanson
The Night Parade - Edward Hirsch
Wild Gratitude - Edward Hirsch
Bright Hunger - Mark Irwin
The Man With The White Liver - Angela Jackson
Collecting The Light - Markham Johnson
Serenissima - Erica Jong
Devil at Large - Erica Jong
Fruits & Vegetables - Erica Jong
Delights & Shadows - Ted Kooser
Prairie Fire - Chuck Kramer
Black Apples - Lyn Lifshin
Musings - L. Luis Lopez
This 'n That - Steve Luttrell
Mind Static (Vols, 1 through 3) - Anne McMillen
over the anvil we stretch - Anis Mojgani
Blindsided - Jack Myers
Time Pieces - Gianina Opris
We Only Ever Listened to the Refrigerator Hum - Emily Owens
Jersey Rain - Robert Pinsky
On the 8th Day - Seth
The Graves Grow Bigger Between Generations - Jared Smith
Cat on the coffin - Marc K. Smith
I Am South - Donna Snyder
Turtle Island - Gary Snyder
Live For a Living - Buddy Wakefield
We Are All The Black Boy - Michael Warr


* books dedicated to me.

Friday, August 09, 2013

just do it and the dream will take care of itself

So every day for the past 34 years since I returned from South Africa, I have thought about my great adventure. Reminders in everyday life pop up unexpectedly keeping my memories vivid and alive. I can’t speak for anyone else in my family, but I relive my experiences every day. Africa lives and breathes inside of me like any one of my organs.

Thirteen years after I came back (in the early 1990’s), I was inspired by Gwendolyn Brooks to write about these experiences. Over the next six months hundreds of poems poured out of me. The war against Apartheid was running full bore. The world was finally taking notice in many ways, and joining in the fight. Gwendolyn was writing about near Johannesburg, Soweto, and Winnie and Nelson Mandela. We all met the great South African dissident poet in exile, Dennis Brutus, and were inspired by his story and writing. I was reading everything I could get my hands on pertaining to the politics of Apartheid in Southern Africa, writing my poems, and performing in my white t-shirt (specially designed by a friend), which depicted a black Bart Simpson screaming. “Free South Africa Now”. I was young. It was a time of heady influences. This is where my first wave of South Africa poems came from.

Thirteen years later, because of these very same poems, I met South African writer Candy Tothill. Here was another person who lived, breathed and understood my fascination and love for the things I wrote about. We became friends. It was Candy who inspired me to write more poems, as well as, the memoir/stories that were published sequentially throughout 2007 and 2008 in the online magazine ‘Sketchbook’. It was then that the idea on how to go back to South Africa began brewing in my mind.

The complications in my life are incredibly complicated.

Without going into any horrid details, the United States Government won’t issue me a passport until I pay a certain debt (that I have been chipping away at for years) in full. It is a dilemma. It occurred to me that I could re-write these memoirs/stories into book form in the hopes of raising the money to pay this debt. That was the plan. Somewhere between here and there, and four years later the plan and everything else in my life has spiraled out of control. Every time I mention writing the book about South Africa, somebody has a fucking cow.

It is important to understand why I am writing this book.

I have actively been writing in circles for the last two to four years. I have fretted over formatting, the question of poetry, mixing genres, fiction vs non-fiction, re-writing chapters and liking them less than the original published stories. I have thought of a million things I never mentioned in the stories. But mostly, I have come to realize that the book is as much about my mother and father and to a certain extent my sisters, as myself. I need hardly point out that the fact that my parents are now both deceased puts a whole different perspective on everything. It is their story. It is our story. It is my story. It is a story about living under the influence of the darker side of human nature, about human dignity, about beauty and hope and despair. It is a story about Africa and snakes and tennis rackets. It is a subtle story about why Apartheid ultimately failed. It is a story about laughter and love and terror. It is a grand adventure. And it is up to me to write it before I too am gone.

No matter what else happens in my life, no matter where I go or don’t go as fate will have it, I know that if I do not finish this book, I will regret it for the rest of my life … it is as simple as that.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

subtlety

So sometimes inspiration begs for a return to old loves in order to thrive anew.

This morning I bought a plum colored Epiphone Special II 6 string electric guitar for $20 at a yard sale next door. To be sure, it has a split neck, but still holds a proper tune.


A subtle reminder, sometimes our flaws make for the the most beautiful music of all. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

rowboatriding

first you find a rowboat
then you enlist the help of an adventurous friend

or two or three
next you find the rowboat owner
then you overpower the rowboat owner (because
you never want to ride your own boat perhaps
you will understand in a minute or two)
then you and your adventurous friend
or two or three (because
you will need that many friends once you sink it)
must snag the boat in question and drag
it out to sea swiftly situating
one adventurous friend on each oar and another
in back for balance and wave recognizance
now row to the spot where the waves are swelling
turn the boat around and face the beach
like a runner on your mark

w.a.i.t f.o.r i.t

row
like
hell

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

in.side

once youre in
youre in
forever and always
right there
in the thick of it
youre in

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

no regrets

So it is that we shared one of the most precious things I have to offer in life for a time, and it was beautiful, and it was a challenge, and it was difficult, and it was fun, and it was painful, and it was freedom, and it wasn't yours, and it wasn't mine, and it was beautiful just because it was ours.

So we reached beyond ourselves and created many beautiful things together, just for the fun of it, for love, for friendship, because we wanted to share a little of each other.

So we burned our beautiful house to the ground good and right, because after all, we are just such creatures of passion.

How can we possibly regret any of this?

Be proud.

Be proud.

Be proud.



Wednesday, July 10, 2013

foolish pride

i want to be able
to say butterfly

for no good reason

or hummingbird

just because

share the moment
before they fly a
way
 

Sunday, July 07, 2013

rtd/bx

through the gang/sign
etched deep in the glass
of the window in the back
of the fleet footed bus
i watch blue mountains
blue spruce whisked by
green grass and yellow
blue sky white clouds
as far as i can see
it is a mystery to me
how anyone can leave
a beauty such as this
like i have done over
and over again
and again in my life

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

playing life

so i pick ... more answers ... for  
number four please ... said the novice 
with hardly a hint of trepidation

cha-
ching...

more questions


Thursday, June 13, 2013

life is change

So I am temporarily shutting down Poetry Victims. Without my computer for the moment, it is difficult for me to maintain any online presence at all, never mind  keep up with publishing an online magazine.

I will continue to maintain the PV facebook and twitter accounts always.  

I am taking some time away to focus on cleaning up some finances and personal issues in my life.

Once I re-tool and have my computer back, I will gear up going solo again. 

I have also pulled the plug on my publishing partnership with Nicole E. Turiano, it has been almost a year since we have actually done any work together, and we are seldom in touch if at all anymore, and life happens, and things change, and I am very proud of what we have produced together, and I am grateful, and I wish her well in all her future endeavors.

I will have some other announcements soon, but for now ... one thing at a time!

Be well! 

Luv ya, ZZ

Thursday, May 02, 2013

im happy to see you smiling

So my roommate Melissa and I were talking about Joan Baez last night before I went to work. We are all music lovers in this house. It is because of music (and tea) that Melissa and I became friends in the first place.

Anyway, the conversation brought us to a story I related about one of Joan's visits to the Boulderado. I was taking her (Joan) upstairs in the 1906 Otis elevator and I noticed that she was out of breath (the altitude in Boulder sometimes gets to people who are not used to it). Well, I asked her if she was okay, to which she replied, "Oh, I'm fine, we dance on the bus after every show."


Got to love Joan Baez!

This conversation brought to mind a poem that I forgot I had written, published in Hammers (of Chicago) Issue number 1, 1990. Published by Double Star Press (my old friend Nat David), here it is...


I'm Happy to See You Smiling
for Joan Baez 

As a child
I was indifferent to your fame,
Who can blame me
I was indifferent to life.
The strife simply passed me by
Like a motorist avoiding
The hitch hiker's eye.

But looking back
I can't deny your treasure
Singing loud    ringing proud
Revered!
I think Dylan would have said that
Had he not been distracted
By your disarming    alarming charm

And looking ahead
With millions waylaid    underpaid
Stricken with AIDS
Afraid,
We are grateful for a smile.

1990

Monday, April 29, 2013

excerpt from ... Letter to a Young Poet by Rainier Maria Rilke

"You have had many sadnesses, large ones, which passed. And you say that even this passing was difficult and upsetting for you. But please, ask yourself whether these large sadnesses haven't rather gone right through you. Perhaps many things inside you have been transformed; perhaps somewhere, someplace deep inside your being, you have undergone important changes while you were sad. The only sadnesses that are dangerous and unhealthy are the ones that we carry around in public in order to drown them out with noise; like diseases that are treated superficially and foolishly, they just withdraw and after a short interval break out again all the more terribly; and gather inside us and are life, are life that is unlived, rejected, lost, life that we can die of. If only it were possible for us to see farther than our knowledge reaches, and even a little beyond the outworks of our presentiment, perhaps we would bear our sadness with greater trust than we have in our joys. For they are the moments when something new has entered us, something unknown; our feelings grow mute in shy embarrassment, everything in us withdraws, a silence arises, and the new experience, which no one knows, stands in the midst of at all and says nothing.

It seems to me that almost all our sadnesses are moments of tension, which we feel as paralysis because we no longer hear our astonished emotions living. Because we are alone with the unfamiliar presence that has entered us; because everything we trust and are used to is for a moment taken away from us; because we stand in the midst of a transition where we cannot remain standing. That is why sadness passes: the new presence that has been added, has entered our heart, has gone into its innermost chamber and is no longer even there,- is already in our bloodstream. And we don't know what it was. We could easily be made to believe that nothing happened, and yet we have changed, as a house that a guest has entered changes. We can't say who has come, perhaps we will never know, but many signs indicate that the future enters us in this way in order to be transformed in us, long before it happens. And that is why it is so important to be solitary and attentive when one is sad: because the seemingly uneventful and motionless moment when our future steps into us is so much closer to life than that other loud and accidental point of time when it happens to us from the outside. The quieter we are, the more patient and open we are in our sadness, the more deeply and serenely the new presence can enter us, and the more we can make it our own, the more it becomes our fate; and later on, when it 'happens' (that is, steps forth out of us to other people), we will feel related and close to it in our innermost being. And that is necessary."

...from Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

the money pit

So for the past 4 years, while commuting 50 miles a day 5 days a weeks year round, my most daunting expenses have pretty much been auto related. 4 'no fault' accidents, Fuck the Jeep seriously vandalized twice (whether by human or rodent hand), Jeep repairs, tickets, fines, gas, and maintenance.

Literally thousands of dollars swept away.

The perfect solution, as I have seen for some time, is to move back to Boulder ... near where I work! In fact, until I do exactly that, this will continue to be a problem.

A couple of weeks ago, a friend in Boulder asked me to move into a room being vacated by one of her roommates at the end of this month.

Well, this is exactly what I am trying so hard to accomplish so suddenly by next week.

Frankly, nothing in my life moves forward until I cross this hurdle!

Love you.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

let it be

vast
mysterious
uncharted
energy and
possibility
whole and
vulnerable and
beautiful and
complete

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Beware of Mr. Baker

So I scored some free tickets to the following film at the Boulder International Film Festival, and I have an extra one. Anyone want to go? 

Saturday (today), 5:00pm, Boulder Theater

Colorado Premiere (from the BIFF guide)

"The second-best rock documentary of the year..." Rolling Stone

Ginger Baker of Cream and Blind Faith is the greatest drummer of all time. Yes, improbably, he's still alive, even planning a comeback tour. With his dual bass drums, powerful thundering tom-toms and towering crashing solos of complex poly rhythmic African beats, Baker became the idol of every rock drummer since the 1960's. But wild genius can have its temperaments, and this film chronicles Baker's many bands, lawsuits, marriages, drug addictions and bankruptcies partly through the testimony of those who knew him- Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Steve Winwood and Carlos Santana, along with Stewart Copeland and Johnny Rotten. We catch up with the mercurial Mr. Baker at his ranch in South Africa where we meet his new wife and family, along with his 39 polo ponies. Baker had generously invited Jay Bulger, the filmmaker, to stay at his ranch for months for this film, but near the end, Baker angrily smashed Bulger across the nose with a cane. The sign above his ranch gate said it all: "Beware of Mr. Baker." 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

i me mine

(for my sweet friend Melissa who treats me like im normal and who made my day today)


it all begins and ends in cobalt blue when
you smile at me from across the room
when everything suddenly rushes in all
sunshine and music and that fuzzy shock
of warmth and never any flowers for you

you tell me

i once read somewhere

to the effect of/

what you claim as your own by selfish
desire shall be snatched away instantly

so i wont claim you

everyones saying it

12/18/2012

Monday, February 11, 2013

mommy to the rescue

So while looking through my mother's belongings yesterday, I came across some old high school transcripts from South Africa.

When we returned from South Africa in 1976 (the middle of my junior year), there was a considerable amount of time taken by my principal and my counselor and my mother to make sure my credits transferred properly. 

One week before graduation in Tulsa, my principal called me to tell me that I didn't have enough credits to graduate. Mom was incensed! No one dicks my mother (or her own) around, if there was ever any dicking to be done by anyone, it would be by Mom herself. 

"I'm going to call them right now!" Said Mom.

"If you call them, I will never graduate!" Said me in a panic.

Well, she did, and I did!

Thank you Mom.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

my mayan birthday reprise

So I am Night 1.
My Color is Blue.
My direction is West.
I am Energy of Water/Endings.
Akbal is my glyph.


Night

Night persons are bringers of the dawn. Dreamers, who bring the new sun to clarify and illuminate the road of life. Thus the insecurities and doubts born of darkness or the subconscious mind are dispelled. These people travel the void, a place where nothing else exists, but all potential dwells, the womb of creation. From this void, Night persons bring forth new solutions and artistic inspiration. Nights' voyages of dreams build confidence, happiness and a sense of well being. If Night does not bravely journey into the void, he may find himself wandering the darkness of self-doubt and insecurity.

1 (Unity)

The beginning of all things. The first. The whole. The all of One. Assertive and self-guided, these persons give a good push to whatever project they are associated. One persons work best when meeting a challenge. Do not expect One persons to be attentive to details or put the finishing touches on things.