Palm trees and the beige buildings.  You can’t see those.  You can’t see the mini orange tube dress.  Legs extending long.   The damp sand stuck to her feet.  You can’t see the shapes of men’s bodies inside her imagination.  Pelicans floating, resting on the water’s surface.

Rocks scattered and seaweed adrift.

Intense warm penetrating skin, deposits into muscles like an unexpected opiate.   You can’t see the melting tension or the man in mind off-site, his absence.  You can’t see a wish.  Traces of graphite and charcoal in mind reach figures like touching, instead the outlines of bodies stretching.

You can’t see the far leaning palm trees to the left in the wind so precariously tall at this distance, green beams to a point aloft perched on long thin stems, the turn of her head toward beige long extending ranch-style apartments and muted businesses laid into sideways horizons, or the true colors or true expanse of the whole scene and most of all you can’t see her.

Men between two sights, one slow breath between them.  Ankles against the water’s pulse.  Language speaking inside sees past to dimensions off-shore, watching.

Contrast between younger and older.

Later, pelican’s wings will shift into kitesurfers.  Then hers will be the only eyes closed.  Wind pulling soft at the tide, then violent.  Legs crossed in the cooling sand, whipping round the long braid and wet dress, face tilts up toward sun burning warm water off our bodies, chest open.

You can’t see her.



Impromptu Haiku

A picture isn’t worth a thousand words, when what you want is words.  All words.

Like most mornings I wake up alone.  Sometimes it bothers me.  Other times not.  It’s worse when it’s gloomy out.  Other times it’s worse when it’s sunny, so who knows.  Then there’s this need in me to be alone, to work, to create.

Words are on my mind.  The poetry that’s so deep in my roots.

Like most mornings, the first place I go is to my (tiny) studio.  Today some testing with pastels, trying out adding water to them for a watercolor style effect.  I like it, but it quickly eats up the pastels.

Apply another layer of varnish on my accordion collage, after the details and touchups I’ve been adding over the past couple of days.  It’s looking good.  Beautiful, finally…  Beautiful, it takes me somewhere else.

Roads, forest, ocean, fields and lakes, setting up tents anywhere, anywhere.  Nowhere to be later.  Nobody expecting me, us.  Another lifetime.

On my way out I take a flat blue oval into my hand to bring along: lapis lazuli, a stone of vision.  One of six or seven stones I keep on my writing desk.  Rubbing it in my palm as I cross the kitchen to my room.




The words come to me as I scan the room for a couple of books.  A haiku, I wasn’t even trying to write but there the words are.  I’d been wondering if I might be up for some poetry.  This is all that really needs to be said right now.  It’s the feeling that matters, the feeling in the moment.

Mountains.  Rivers.  Trees.  I need to get out now.  I pick up two of my favorite books to bring out with me today.  Animal Inside by László Krasznahorkai.  Dictée by Theresa Hak Kyung Cha.  One illustrated, another interspersed with photographs, but today I only need their words.




Which is better?  I like them both.  Three nouns and no action, but images.  Images with inherent movement.  I leave.  I forget my sketchbook, still damp with the morning landscape.




If I need the beauty of words, then surely there are others out there who do too.  It often doesn’t seem like it, in this part of the world.  Even if we never meet, never speak that’s why I’m here, online.  Somebody out there who cares about words, they will find these ones.







Poet For Hire

My cousin encountered this amazing human in “New Orleans – French Quarter Royal St June 24” (per camera location notes) and sent me a text joking, “Shawna, I found you a husband.”  The best part of this being that she might be the only one in our family who’d encounter someone like this and immediately think of me or identify what would seem like my “kind.”  Strangely, while easily befriending artists and photographers, I rarely seem to attract other writers.

How brave is this guy.  And not because… is that an ice chest full of beer in the street?

Je me demande s’il parle français.





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“tell me what you want.”  I want to see more people in the world like you.  I want to know more people like you.  I want more people in this culture to appreciate and admire and respect people like you.

I want to see more poets out of the closet, taking poetry beyond the university, in the street or anywhere interacting with the wider world.




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