Friday, July 13, 2007

The News

The air’s as fresh as a morning

when mushrooms bloom after rain.

Darkness expands to include the moon. They lower me

down and I am bound by the lies I told and

the things I stole from the ones who loved me.

My mouth is stuffed with black velvet. I don’t care.

It is as quiet and still as the bronze bell hanging

in the village church, ropes gone, congregation gone

home to google the news on yahoo.

In a Basra garage, men prep a chlorine tanker to drive

into a school crammed with the wonder of children.

While in the Pentagon, Joint Chiefs solicit bids for new

wars for peace. I hit bottom with a bump. The shaft

above me fills with dirt flying off shovels bright as armor.

I don’t care. I don’t care at all except I find

I still want to dazzle you, my old flame.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Cranes on the Platte

Smoke coils and unwinds in a sunset sky, separates

into wings, long feet trailing way behind. Wings and cries crowd the sky.

If there is another time, tell me about it some other time.

They come in one by one, in pairs and threes and fours.

They come in by thousands, survivors of ice ages,

pterodactyls and oceans dried to sand. They are as old as stone.

They are life on wing. They live on the edge

of winter, flying from Mexico to Siberia. Stopping only here.

They mate for life and lay two eggs a year.

Time is change they say, change is always, change is now.

If there is another time, let it wait.

In the morning they stretch their wings in the cold sun and dance.

They chatter hoot and cluck. Now, they say, now.

Their whoop rises and stops to take a breath,

And they are off, rising, a million wings beating the air into a roar,

crying, singing, taking us out of our past and away from our graves,

their cry rings now, now, now. Singing now

is all the time we have. Now is all the time there is.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Univited Guests

Unexpected characters keep showing up, clamouring for attention. I've already got twice as many as I want, the stage is overcrowded and I've got another 20,000 words to go. But they keep showing up, trailing plot lines, backstory and a need to fit into the "weave of the narrative."
Like Steffi today, I didn't expect her, but once she showed up, I couldn't keep her off the page. Dr. Suze was in the back seat of the limo going up a dirt road in Vermont in August 1976. Turns out Steffi was sitting alongside: Looks like stork, long neck and a big nose, gawky and irritated. kinda like Ann Coulter at 22.

Naturally Steffi wants to hog the spotlight. She'll have to fight for it.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Counting Words

I like WordPerfect. I like the way it counts my words. You can start at the bottom, then right click to select the stuff you've written so far, a bar rises in the far right column, like an elevator in the World Trade Center. Seemingly slow, but rising up a great distance, past hundreds and hundreds of paragraphs like floors in a tower zipping past. Until it stops at the top and the title: How to Fall Out of Love. Then you go to file/properties/information. Where all your words are added up. 69,287 words so far as counted this morning before I lay down some fresh ones today. Writing a novel is like laying down 90,000 bricks. 20,713 words, or bricks, to go before you get to the editing and re-writing. Trying to make those bricks fly.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Dear Darling Kickass Molly

Molly was always a good read. And a lesson on how to skewer, spindle and mutilate the arrogant & ignorant with a good laugh and a sharp poke to their soft underbelly. We miss her wit and her style. She made Texas shine bright as a tin star. Go to the Texas Observer web page: to read her and weep that she's gone.