30 August 2007

lost in space

you were light-years behind me
and when I turned,
to return,
you were already gone

i spin, waiting,
and forget myself
amidst stars

you eclipsed my path
and left me
for other darknesses

i came to be
in massive fires of gas
and i remember
every burning touch

:     :     :   :   :   ::   :::

28 August 2007

lost in the supermarket

your barefoot voice
pulls me to you
with two grassy arms

Well, that was a long wait. I'm planning a wine party, plotting a wedding (not mine; perish the thought), and creating two worlds, one complete with language and culture and I'm already forgetting, I have a story to write.

Sometimes I find the creation for more entertaining, especially after watching The History Channel and getting inspired. My dominant culture now has a huge tattoo-ing industry, but it's a fairly classist (not classicist) society with a certain sort of caste system in place, so tattoos equal rank, prestige, power, class, or, conversely, display a lack of the former. Slaves are marked in a certain way. Tattoos are expensive, a luxury, and only highly trained professionals do the work. Tattoo removal is practically unheard of due to cost/health/recovery, but possible.

There is, of course, a burgeoning black market for tattoos, but only the desperate turn to this. Brothels, renegades, criminals (obviously) and the like.

Soo.... my imprisoned concubine has a peacock across his lower back. It is an incomplete tattoo for reasons which are not yet to be divulged. Our... antagonist has wings across his shoulders. The top wingtip curls just over shoulders pointing upwards.

Tattoos can also hold religious significance I have decided. But this is not common. It is a holdover amongst certain segments of society that are probably, descendants of the old Salouri culture. It is also a Hazouri trait (descendant branch of the extinct Salouri) and that, in turn, makes it distasteful to the bulk of Luscatian society.

eta: Oh, I have just decided! The religious class is going to be made up, in large part, by descendants of the Salouri. Not wholly, mind you, but a large part. They are, however, distinctly Luscatian, not holding on to what once was, but still, they have the memory of marking themselves for God, and the Luscatians prefer to mark for pleasure and power. Also, possibly, the idea of being marked for God after spending the night with a prostitute marked for pleasure, they feel, is hypocritical and it makes them feel guilty. Just as they should, would say the priests of Luscat. Although, religious tattooing is done by the priests, as ritual, and isn't for display.

So... upper arms, back of neck, thighs, chest, these are the places for religious tattoos. Regular tattoos would be seen when unclothed, but most who have them display them. Not quite like the prostitutes display, but, say, a removed shirt on a man in certain areas would not be unseemly. Shoulders and upper back are most popular for men of rank, power, et cet. Lower back is solely the location of tattoos for prostitutes and concubines, however, there are certain tattoos that would not be found on a prostitute unless he/she'd come from the court harem. These prostitutes obviously command a high price. The prostitutes are not above 'enhancing' their past to up the dollars.

This is, of course, forbidden and those found professing a history they do not have are charged with a crime, and the tattoo artist found to have created a suitable imitation of the court harem work will be charged as well. (Or in rare cases offered a respectable job, but this is rare.)

Ok, end of eta.


There we go.

Now for wine.

29 June 2007

let us go hence;

I've always thought of myself as a multi-tasker, and yes, I can hold a conversation and type at the same time (fast and accurately to boot!) but when it comes to real, actual focused attention, like, oh say, the subject I'm throwing myself into to become an authority (even if only to myself because I only care that *I* know what I'm trying to know, not whether anyone else knows if I do or do not know said subject) then I do indeed face a bit of a problem. I don't love my children equally, see. One is cute, the other is striking. One is funny, the other serious. One cat is fat and snuggly, the other likes a bit of rough love.

And so it is with pursuits of the mind. I'm completely caught up in the autism (would be trial of the century) vaccine debate currently being argued in DC Claims.

The subject of autism is hardly new to me, but never have I been one to voraciously consume, on a daily basis, any and all information pertaining to it... until now. ^_^

Whether or not I'm Aspergian could be up for debate, but re the last parenthetical aside above, I'm primarily interested in knowing that *I* am happy with what I know; I don't care if anyone else concurs or not. Well, perhaps if they completely disagreed I'd be interested in hearing why, but only if they had a good, sound argument. =P On the other hand, Chairwoman D said fairly tersely, when I asked if she'd read the Asperger's documentation that I'd sent her, that yes, much of it did sound quite like me. It was only moments later that she refused to look at me any longer and gave me the finger with both hands. Now, lest you think she's being vulgar, in our household that's short for 'I love you, you asshole'. I think she was calling me a pedantic asshole, but as she didn't say so explicitly, I couldn't testify to it.

As for the autism versus vaccine debate... I'm not turning this into an autism blog (but good lord, can I get back to the poetry?) really, but I have to ponder via keypad somewhere because really, no one I know has any knowledge whatsoever of either side and when I mention it (very, very careful not to launch into monologue, but oh god, it's hard!) they sort of nod and 'ahh. oh. really? uh-huh. So is that file done yet?'

There is mention of the absence of adults with autism on the other side of the fence. In my first readings (where I was very much new to the fierce nature of the debate) I wondered 'haven't they seen Rainman?' And what about that guy that was non-verbal yet imitated blues musicians so well he could hardly be told apart from them? I remember that from when I was in school. He'd have to be... oh... 50+ at least. And he wasn't the only autistic man around in the mid-90s.

My next personal query came at the idea that there really is no autism, just mercury poisoning that is mis-diagnosed. Now, call me an armchair hack, but, this is the group I want to see: the elders suffering mercury poisoning that show symptoms of autism. Where are they? If that's what autism really is, mere mercury poisoning, then where are the adults with mercury poisoning by autism proxy? MPAP. There, I've just invented a new syndrome. Call me Dr Anactoria, please.

Last but not least, I finally got move and it is BLESSFULLY quiet. I can come home and sit in complete silence (well, it is a flat, so some sounds occur, but not the State Finals tumbling and wrestling match sounds that I used to hear.) Of course, now that I'm on the top, I'm paranoid about making noise and the steps that go into the living room? There IS no silent spot. They are ALL squeaky spots. ugh.

Right now I hear crickets and they are driving me mad, but that's partially because I have a migraine. Damnit.

Back to Saiyuki Reload.

Autism Diva
I don't know who sees this, but if you are interested in the autism trial, see this blog for the best roundup day to day, of the trial. She has a lot of links listed that are excellent.

slate.com - True Believers: Why there's no dispelling the myth that vaccines cause autism.
I read this tidy little article today. If I actually found someone who's interest was held on this subject, I'd point them here.

My main concern (well, one) with this trial is that it elucidates a rather frightening illustration of the breakdown of the average person's understanding of not just science, but cause and effect, coincidence (no, there are no coincidences, I think, but that doesn't make every single 'action a' equal the first noticeable 'result 1') and simple reasoning.

I'm reminded of an episode of the Simpsons:

Homer: Not a bear in sight. The Bear Patrol must be working like a
Lisa: That's spacious [anactoria says 'this should read 'specious'] reasoning, Dad.
Homer: Thank you, dear.
Lisa: By your logic I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away.
Homer: Oh, how does it work?
Lisa: It doesn't work.
Homer: Uh-huh.
Lisa: It's just a stupid rock.
Homer: Uh-huh.
Lisa: But I don't see any tigers around, do you?
[Homer thinks of this, then pulls out some money]
Homer: Lisa, I want to buy your rock.
[Lisa refuses at first, then takes the exchange]

[quote text from The Simpsons Archive

Specious reasoning. Maybe vaccines gave me migraines, too.

curtains of rain
needle the grass
into submission

01 June 2007

Bellydance & Yoga

[this post in progress]

I'll keep editing and updating this. It's a bit of a resource, but also maybe a little pressure/inspiration to myself.

I've danced all my life. Well, most of it. The parts I remember. It got pretty second nature. I'm one of those people who stand with my feet in a V position. I'm standing in first. That's a ballet position. It was hammered into me for nearly 15 years; I can't help it.

But I got disillusioned by mean girls and plagued with headaches so I gave it up for a while. In the course of stuyding yoga I came across Bellydance. Yeah, there were some people I didn't like, but I was a little older and a lot less caring. I've been doing that ever since. Except for a break that has pushed near two years. I really need to change that.

::hip drop shimmy figure 8::

I lost my dancing soul sister and my dad got very ill. Took out my desire to dance. But now I need it, I miss it, I long for it and I'm desperate for it.

These are resources that I frequent. Eventually I'll post a little about each site, because what is dance but poetry in motion?



31 May 2007

the ebb and the flow

My aunts' cat died. She was a feral cat they had adopted and was a pretttty cat. a loner, but not skittish. Being in a poetry zone of late, I sat down to write a haiku for her & them.

The hangup persisted. I couldn't write while planning to write. That's one of the reasons I like online journals. I open a post, spit something out and I'm done. 'Good' isn't the point, getting something out, expressing something is. I may come back, like I did with ٲلمغرب and rewrite into something that is, relatively, subjectively, good. And that's all I need!

Anyway, what I wanted to say didn't fit cleanly into the haiku I was trying to write. I gave up and lit upon the idea of a cinquain. Very similar to haiku in ideas of syllabic constraint (though I don't adhere to that in writing haiku) and brevity, there are rules and you follow them. And if you don't, who cares, but still. It's nice to have a boundary sometime, right?

Here then, is my second ever cinquain. For the record, it just sort of flowed out. I like that.


Our own wild fur
Free to follow the wind
You won’t leave us, you will remain

21 May 2007

Thinking in Turkish

We are not meant to dream.
We should slip into night,
Floating, sinking, falling,
--like pearls in the water--
to rest at the bottom,
We were ever anywhere else.

I wanted to write a ghazal (I want to write a lot of Turkish styles, save for being in the Turkish language as I don't know that yet.) and have for a long time. Rather than starting fresh (and being in that state of mind that is painfully aware of what I'm trying not to be aware of) I thought I'd cheat and take something already written and see if I could turn it into a ghazal.

A first attempt yield this, from the above.

You are not meant to dream, pearl in the water,
You sink, slipping into night, unaware.

We should not dream, pearls dancing in water,
floating, in the dark, falling, unaware.

I do not dream, pearls at my neck,
pulled apart by gravity, snapping, unaware.

I wake with pearls in my hands, never having dreamt,
my dreams do not rise, but I do, and I wear pearls, unaware.

I'm not sold on it at first take. I'll continue playing with it. I have a horrible headache today and can only think about that really. I also have a mango waiting for me to dine on its flesh.

salted mango
sticks to my fingers
tasting of bright sunlight


salted mango
tasting of bright sunlight
sticks to my fingers

18 May 2007

Rearranging on Fridays

I got to thinking about my closing haiku yesterday and I think a better arrangement is:

cut grass falls
on the side of the road
buildings grow

I don't write poetry like I used to and I miss that spontaneous loquaciousness that I used to have. I mean, maybe it wasn't great, but I felt much more accomplished. And I sat down and wrote. Now it seems that when I have the time to sit down and write poetry (versus prose, which is completely different) I have this feeling that I'm sitting down 'to write poetry'. The mindset is completely different and I stall before I engage.

It's hard to let go of that concept, to quite those monkeys, to slip just beneath that line of demarcation that isn't a line at all, because once you point at it, you see. And the point, the goal, is not to see it, let alone look for it.

Thus, writing poetry becomes meditation and, following on yesterday's theme: is the appreciation of others always important? I know it is for some. A certain crowd out in the world needs praise, needs to be told how good they are, and how much talent they have. I would posit that poetry was 'written to be poetry' versus those who write. They write for themselves, and let those who appreciate, do. That is poetry that is written.

Of course I could just be philoso-meta-ing something that needn't be done so. I just get bored with attitudes of 'I know better than you and I don't like what you've created and obviously I don't like you either if that's what you come up with.' Especially when it isn't followed up with at least a modicum of 'perhaps you could try x, y, z to help with the a, b, c.'

Ultimately, the question is, can I write a set of haiku (three sets of three) that aren't in the strict 5/7/5 syllabic structure, that are less than 20 syllables and that has a chance rhyme in the last lines? We shall see.

a dancer moves
to winding flutes

17 May 2007

How to and what to do when someone says you 'how to'd' wrong

I'm now in a poetry group (yes, I know it's been decades) and said poetry group is comprised of mostly older adults and, ehem, professionals. Looking younger than I am is not a benefit amongst this group I think, and looking, ehem, as subversive as I guess I appear, is just one more knock.

My friend that I attend with is far more upstanding than I, but she's also ::gasp:: young. And she writes simple, sweet poetry that moves with a gentle rhythm.

Goodness, what we must represent to these hallowed bastions of What Poetry Is and We Will Also Tell You What It Is Not. The women (the men are polite and encouraging when they aren't silent, hobbled by FEMININE POE-OUTRAGE) tend to be quite... well, let's just say they go for the critique without doing much in the way of constructing. Unless, apparently, they like you, or you are 'old enough' to pass their test.

When I heard 'it's good to want to be different, but' I knew I was swimming in suspicious waters.

Sadly, I missed the last meeting and wasn't there when my friend's poem got bludgeoned, along with her sense of self. Perhaps I'm too polite to say 'that's juvenile shite, right?' to anyone's creation, but maybe that will garner me some points?

Next week is the next meeting and I'm doing haiku. (Someone just brought me a free turkey sandwich!) See, my friend told me she once read a villanelle and they didn't know what it was and harangued her for her attempt. O_O So, I figure they'll know exactly what haiku is and will no doubt tell me exactly How Wrong I am Doing It. Because they would know.

Cut grass falls
Buildings grow
on the side of the road