cerusee: a white redheaded girl in a classroom sitting by the window chewing on a pencil and looking bored (why is there spring in this winter?)
April is National Poetry Month! I hadn't been planning on observing it this year, because I haven't updated this journal, for like...a calendar year, and my head has been other places than poetry, and my April might be bisected by inconvenient travel, so I was going to just skip it entirely, but today, I wrote a poem, unprompted, which may be some kind of sign. We'll see how April goes.


Look you, the little green

Look, you:
The little green,
Lured into the open
By an early
And unlasting warmth,
Soon to die;
And I am asking,
Of the unloving
Father god or mother,
The why.
cerusee: a white redheaded girl in a classroom sitting by the window chewing on a pencil and looking bored (Default)
Warning: extremely rough draft in progress.


Farewells

Everywhere I go are forsythia,
The lovely yellow four-petal flowers;
There and here, I can't escape them.
I can't escape the memory
Of the head's-tall brace of spring brilliance,
First in each season. It looms so beautifully, and
I have always loved it. I can't forget it,
So kill it.

Douse the burning bush;
Take out the whole yard.
Stumbling over the mousefur
Moltings of the budding magnolia
Is too fucking distracting. Raze it.
Take the raspberry canes with you.
Let drown the poison ivy growing under
The border plants; flood the yard.
Let it go. Let it all go.

I remember that there were,
Growing, sweet snowball bits, clouds,
Cotton-balls of insect-spit on the
Pine tree bushes at the end of the lane,
With the gravel forever tripping me up
There, at the edge.

So much to let go. Let go the basement;
Let go the rain-worked hassle.
Let go the swirling acres of leaves
Falling ever so onto the grass,
Then down the stairwell. Let go
The sodden laundry boxes washed atop the drains,
And the sleepy, seven-in-the-saturday-morning response.

Let go the white brick under the evergreens
By the swingset. Let go
The long line across the yard
Marking her sullen catspaw tread through
Your gasping little nightmare.
It was just a dream. Let it go.

In the glass-window sight of the side-yard
Are violent things to unearth, if I should want,
Under the creeping myrtle,
If I were to be too vigorous in raking
The leaves along the slope into the street
Wending down, down, down to rock creek.
I should let that go.



Finally,
The Japanese maples in the front yard
That I loved like two limbs,
That I climbed, most of my days,
That were bare sweet grey skeletons in winter
And feathery red clouds in summer,
The only shoulders I remember sitting on
As a child, the sisters that never scratched me,
The budding twigs, shimmering with drops of rain,
That I stared at so long, so young, mesmerized;
Huffing humid breaths into the chilly air, and waiting--

All of that is gone. Let it go.
cerusee: a white redheaded girl in a classroom sitting by the window chewing on a pencil and looking bored (swan princess)
Storytelling

He sewed my fingertips back together
So that they sported sinister, bristling,
Bluebeard grins; very unsettling,
How much blood was dried into the gashed smiles
That had not existed earlier that night.
But for the clear sensation of the needle weaving
In and out the edges of skin,
It was surprising how little the wounds hurt.
Putting to words the slipped knife and the stark clarity,
In my shock-shaken mind, of that moment
Was much worse. You weren't taking my calls,
So I had to wrap my hand myself, hold it up above my heart,
And walk a four-block odyssey to the hospital,
Weeping and bleeding, a complete, though practical, hysteric
With the forethought to pack a book.

Later, you came by, and held the hand that wasn't in pieces
While you told me a blood-soaked fairy tale to distract me from the sixteen
stitches
(Faithful Johannes, the ravens, the stone, the stake),
And entranced the doctor pulling thread through my fingers,
Like Scheherazade stringing the king along.
In your version of the story, only the kids ended up beheaded,
And, despite the mouths newly taken up residence on my fingers,
They didn't cut them off, either. They're still there,
Telling me yet another tale without speech--
That gorgeous red welling of blood under the blade's edge,
The tantalizing crack of doors that should stay closed--
And fretting at me: oh, you were lucky tonight, you know;
The next time you go burrowing into the cave of your body's secrets,
You might stumble onto your own face
Moldering lifeless at the end of the row.
cerusee: a white redheaded girl in a classroom sitting by the window chewing on a pencil and looking bored (putting on my face)
With some apologies to Edna St. Vincent Millay.


A Little Domestic

I am here only because I know that you need me.
(I know that you need me. You need me, I know.)
I am at home because you need me for your rest and rising;
I am at home because I know you need feeding for your rising--
And me, I need to know that I am needed (oh, how surprising).

That is the reasoning there, for the knowing, for the making of
Flat-breads, if I like, fried on the stove;
Or of bread warm in the oven for the baking.
What I would do, if I could; what I will take, if I can:
To rest and rise, and rest and rise, and rest and rise again.
cerusee: a white redheaded girl in a classroom sitting by the window chewing on a pencil and looking bored (burning light)
This:

Go in the dark without eyes to see
Things hidden inside today to be
The sights of tomorrow in light, and so,
Go without eyes; you might see.

The mind has visions behind the eye
That dance on reddish fields of light
And could be prophecies, so we
Hold closed our tightening eye.

Go in the dark without eyes to see
Things sleeping within your mind that we
Don't say in the light of day, and so,
Go in the dark, you might know.



came from this:

Wash in the dark without eyes
To feel and cease to see flesh.
Touch soaps, walls, cloths, to know,
Until you do not miss sight.
Pool water in your hands.
Pour it on your face.
Press fingers to your eyes
To see your future in the stars.

The mind has visions behind the eye.
See you tunnels, lips, birds or bones?
Then swim and kiss and sail, or die.

If noonish light looks like spring
But feels of certain winter,
Scented with green, hanging wreaths,
Now, things die and are reborn.
Step to the mirror. How red
Are these eyes and days?
Close your eyes for an hour.
How much will you forget?


which in turn came from something else I wrote that was lesser and needs not sharing.
cerusee: a white redheaded girl in a classroom sitting by the window chewing on a pencil and looking bored (her divine majesty yoko)
Haiku that mostly pass the mikke-test.


showers of april
washing away dingy snow
leaving us naked


spring rain is pooling
in potholes and asphalt cracks
too shallow to swim


tide pools of oil,
mud, salt residue, housing
tire-scrap tadpoles


winter's end
the lake cracks open
and we change


beautiful spring
showers of rain; red, yellow
flowers astounding
cerusee: a white redheaded girl in a classroom sitting by the window chewing on a pencil and looking bored (things still surprise me)
Following, a bunch of haiku that my beloved [livejournal.com profile] mikkeneko will mostly, on principle, refuse to recognize.



pale robes adorned your
self unbreathing above us
were you really here?


at your dark face, voice
unflinching, soft in fury
they thought there was hope


such terrible thoughts
arms raised, you gave up power
and self out of love


s'long as it's quiet,
morbid 'n' creepifyin'
don't bother me none


cracked ice and dry dirt
speak to the end of winter
but I fear the thaw


these old maple trees,
limbs bare and gleaming with rain
remind me of you


radio's just right.
so's the sky--it's still summer
don't touch that dial



oh! the bandana
brings out your fine cheekbones and
your blue eyes, baby



Another repeat: my favorite haiku that I've ever written, and one of my favorite poems I've written, period, and, even one I think Mikke recognizes as haiku, being that Christmas is totally a seasonal reference:


Tiny lights like stars
Strung through my living room, though
It's well past Christmas.




Goddammit, that is just beautiful.
cerusee: a white redheaded girl in a classroom sitting by the window chewing on a pencil and looking bored (shoukei the formerly divine)
This is just last year's "April" with newer, better line breaks and a new name. I dearly want to call it a remix, but it's only a small revision with minor titular pretensions.

The concluding segment of the preceding sentence was as wordly as I have been in a week. In fairness to me, during that time, I maimed myself and have been distracted and upset.


New England Spring, 2010

Summer one day,
Spring again the next.

The crocuses came, first and best;
The atmosphere changed;
The daffodils opened just the same.

All the trees bloomed together, but
We lost sight of the whiter flowers
In the following fog weather.

I painted my nails bright pink,
Put sandals on my pale feet;
Slept under a sheet,
Then a pile of blankets that same night

(Sweat, then shiver, wonder and quiver).
Blinked away the whiplash, eyed the sky,
Saying, ah, the mercurial life.
cerusee: a white redheaded girl in a classroom sitting by the window chewing on a pencil and looking bored (the moon in day)
A Light Air

Today I woke, looked to the sun,
And found the earth potential-filled,
Fulfillment-pieced.

I turned my head.
The wind was like a wicked ghost,
A supernatural breath of air
That whispered of sweet secret things
That I had never heard before—
I longed to follow.

"What is this?"
Quoth I, and sighed a sigh so sad
I thought the wind would answer me.
But nothing came,

And none came here.
Beyond the huff of my own lungs,
Beyond the breezy puff of words,
No echo rang about the world.
I was alone.
cerusee: a white redheaded girl in a classroom sitting by the window chewing on a pencil and looking bored (love in the elevator)
Honey, oh,

I am laughing at this disaster of baklava, of
Stars falling apart, of
Honey and walnuts everywhere, of
Pastry falling to pieces under my fork
And knife; everything all apart.
It is a waterfall, what a plate full of mistakes.
cerusee: a white redheaded girl in a classroom sitting by the window chewing on a pencil and looking bored (I have been sad/the song was all I had)
Stars / Your Dead Song

The blood pulsing,
Pink toes-ing flush;
The middle songs are lost.

We spent so much time looking at
The star-things on the cloth;
Gathering, lying, singing, dying,
All along the cloth.
And me, crying,
Crying, all over the things we lost.

My broken, broken heart.
I lost your eye and died inside;
Broke it, broke my heart.

I broke my broke my heart.
Cried like I was dying over
Your eye your eye your eye.

I can't say how much it broke my heart:
The loss of your eye, your eye,

It broke my heart.
I would have died
First.
cerusee: a white redheaded girl in a classroom sitting by the window chewing on a pencil and looking bored (walk in the city by yourself)
Very old, very telling. Because it's hard to adjust.

Living, to live

I am older, and four years is
So much more at twenty than forty,
Or at seventy than fifty.
I drink more, think less, read less;
Spend more time out of mind, dreaming,
Less asleep; find myself asleep
Behind my eyes, and in terror
Behind glass, and know its making.

Now I know time and its passing;
The slow sandy shifting, the waste
Stretching around, ahead and far;
What in life can be lost and what
It means for a life to be lost,
Wasted, ended, open, to be,
And to be alive and afraid:
I know what it is to live.
cerusee: a white redheaded girl in a classroom sitting by the window chewing on a pencil and looking bored (soap operas make me cry)
Belatedly,

The Muse

Her hand closes over my wrist.
I ask her,
What do you call this?
This, she says, is
Pressing the fountain down,
Pressing it down with my hand.
The water all spills
Right into my fingers,
None of its force will be lost.
My heart beats a little bit faster.
My blood pounds a little bit more.
And what do you call
The fountain of fire?
What did I say to inspire?
cerusee: a white redheaded girl in a classroom sitting by the window chewing on a pencil and looking bored (things still surprise me)
Go in the Dark

Go in the dark without eyes to see
Things hidden inside today to be
The sights of tomorrow in light, and so,
Go without eyes; you might see.

The mind has visions behind the eye
That dance on reddish fields of light
And could be prophecies, so we
Hold closed our tightening eye.

Go in the dark without eyes to see
Things sleeping within your mind that we
Don't say in the light of day, and so,
Go in the dark, you might know.
cerusee: a white redheaded girl in a classroom sitting by the window chewing on a pencil and looking bored (walk in the city by yourself)
Green Glass

A green and sunny room of glass
(Within, without my heart)
Upsides a pass of silence as
I, smiling, take a start.

Oh, so it seems when I am woke,
When things are stir and still.
Betimes at night I'll take a fright,
From dreams all stormlike, ill.

They linger in my sleeping mind,
Cast remnants of old pains.
The deeds and doers both are past;
Only the work remains.
cerusee: a white redheaded girl in a classroom sitting by the window chewing on a pencil and looking bored (a feast of languages)
(This used to be part of a complete poem, but I never liked the second verse as much as this one--it just felt too forced. This will probably never be finished, but I like the rhythm and the imagery, so I'm pretty fond of it.)

It was good, as moments go,
In the cutting and the flow
Of the knife into the fruit.
My fruits are pressed, ripe and red,
Into a draught—not the food,
But the moments that are good.


(Similar story with this one. I can't come up with an organic extension of what's already there, but it doesn't really stand alone.)

She died in flames.
(What hell for her could be
But fire?)
She died in pain.
(What torture need,
But memory?)
She died alone.

She was a child of wild spirit
Who would have been a great wild soul,
If she had lived.
She died, too young,
And died alone.
cerusee: a white redheaded girl in a classroom sitting by the window chewing on a pencil and looking bored (the moon in day)
Red Boat

I saw you. You were a red boat on a sea of concrete,
With sharks all around you,
Blinding sun beating down on you.
But, you weren't afraid, not at all,
Not for your body or your baby
Or your little boy clinging to your hand,
Because you are a sure sailor
And you know this ocean.
cerusee: a white redheaded girl in a classroom sitting by the window chewing on a pencil and looking bored (why is there spring in this winter?)
April

Summer one day, spring again the next.
The crocuses came, first and best;
The atmosphere changed,
The daffodils opened just the same.
All the trees bloomed together, but
We lost sight of the whiter flowers
In the following fog weather.
I painted my nails bright pink,
Put sandals on my pale feet,
Slept under a sheet,
Then a pile of blankets the same night
(Sweat, then shiver, wonder and quiver).
Blinked away the whiplash, eyed the sky:
Saying, ah, the mercurial life.
cerusee: a white redheaded girl in a classroom sitting by the window chewing on a pencil and looking bored (why is there spring in this winter?)
Brilliant

Forsythia stars, forsythia bonfire
Everything ablaze in flowers.
If I weren't such a good neighbor
I would ransack your garden,
Make off with all your spring greenery,
Strew my floors with your
Yellow-decked branches and new leaves.
cerusee: a white redheaded girl in a classroom sitting by the window chewing on a pencil and looking bored (singing down the moon)
So, some haiku! We bounce back and forth a little between a 5-7-5 syllable count and 3-5-3.


from my darling [livejournal.com profile] kodalai:

rainy day
bikes and umbrellas
are not friends

(Japanese version of same:)
ame ga futte
kasa to jitensha wa
nakayoku ne

burning trash
chamomile forest
smells of home

(Japanese version of same:)
moeru gomi
kamitsuri no mori
uchi nioi

How long has it been!
Since sunlight was a nuisance
shining off my desk?

Shining sky
inconstant; by dusk,
clouds again.

Speech Contest practice
each night until after dark;
How do I hate thee!

winter dark
snow-damp chill; depressed,
I ride home.

Not haiku, but a tanka:

Translucent petals
Sakura drifting through rain
A gentle reproach:
"The beauty you seek is not
Always the beauty you find."


[livejournal.com profile] cerusee:

you dark bitter beer
cold in the dead of winter
you're good company

And a 3-5-3 version of same, just to try it:

bitter beer
dead cold in winter
a good pal


(Azra was the young daughter of one of my professors in college.)

Azra's at dinner
The students smile with me, 'cause
She's teaching us math


They're high shining things,
These constellations of words,
Poems made of stars.

Tiny lights like stars
Strung through my living room, though
It's well past Christmas.

Cracked ice and dry dirt
Speak to the end of winter,
But I fear the thaw.

There's a thick white sky
That blankets me in silence.
Who can hear through snow?

These old maple trees,
Limbs bare and gleaming with rain,
Remind me of you...

Radio's just right.
So's the sky--it's still summer.
Don't touch that dial.

crazy-stalker thing
shouldn't you have your own name?
yeah, let's call you cat

I work for it, it's
manual. There's not any
automatic bliss


By the way, rainy day / bikes and umbrellas / are not friends is one of my favorite poems ever.

And I can't even ride a bike.


~edited for grammertactical goodness~

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