Unravelling and weaving, sometimes simultaneously

Archive for the ‘creativity’ Category


Late last year a friend posted a link on social media to Artemis Journal‘s open submissions call; they publish once a year, and are continuing the theme from last year of “Women Hold Up Half The Sky”. I was in a mood, so I reviewed some things I had and scribbled some more, and submitted three poems to them for consideration. I received an email from their publications editor that one of them was accepted. I’m still not sure which of them it was, though I know it’s likely one of two that were similar, an Italian sonnet and an Acrostic on themes of womanhood. When I know which one it is, I’ll post the other, and after it goes to print, I’ll print the one that is in the journal. Neither has been posted before.

I am excited to be included in the publication; they’ll send me one, and issues and swag will be available for purchase on their site this summer.

It was good news to start the year with. What I hope happens now is that the motivation for writing more persists, and I can put together a chapbook of my poetry while I am working on longer projects that always seem to bog me down. My first love is storytelling, whatever the format. It just seems difficult to discipline myself enough to complete things without active editorial and reader feedback… you know, like the gang you passed your notebook stories around to in school, who were always eager for the next chapter, and free with ideas for where you should go next. I hadn’t really considered serializing, since I don’t care to read serial novels with cliffhangers, but starting a beta group to read things as they emerge (I know at least one author who has a group she posts chapters in for feedback as she goes) may be an answer, as long as it is an intimate and trusted circle.

Those of you who write regularly, do you have a secret for that 75% slump as I call it, the doldrums of getting almost there but finding a wall or a dead space in the story?


Threnody to the Bread lost to Musquirt at Lunchtime

Oh heed, oh heed, my sandwich friends

this jeremiad of lost bread

and not even in the style

of pain perdu,

but instead the ruined and violated

slice of soggy whiteness,

once pristine,

yet taken on its virgin journey from the loaf

by the swaggering snort of the mustard bottle

dribbling musquirt along her tidy skirt.


Oh, horrid villain!

Oh, cupidinous son of vinegar

muddled with the seeds of despair!

You have destroyed me,

along with the pristine sheaf

of half my wished-upon luncheon,

your drool committing unspeakable sins

I cannot bear to consume.


My heart is as crushed as those mustard seeds

that created your solution,

solute resolutely clinging to the container,

solvent freely evacuating its confines,

no matter how much you are shaken,

no matter if stored upside down;


your grubby molestation of that innocent slice

has caused me grief inordinate,

and lo

my tears are mingled with your effluvia

as I cast the sad remains

to the yard birds who circle…


and even they won’t eat it.



© RCGA 2018


Tornado Warning

I have been out of pocket for a while; the writing Muse has been hibernating, I’ve had the flu twice and a few other assorted winter maladies. I am brainsore, even as the end of Lent approaches, and Alleluia is dusted off from its forty days in retirement. Spring emerges early here, hectic and wet, and a geriatric cat came to live with the familiar and I following the passing of her person. Somehow I keep breathing, and talking to ghosts, staring into the centers of flowers and exorcising demons by exercising my wrists with paintbrushes. My steam-powered heart keeps thumping, and the bellows of my lungs heave with regularity. I assume this means I am still alive, whatever the reports have been to the contrary.

Last night there was a strange dog

in the neighborhood,

and frightened by the midnight train,

or thunder,

he bayed relentlessly against the thud and boom,

then fell silent at the sound

of the emergency god’s paternal voice

proclaiming all was well.

This morning,


I wondered at his smothered frenzy,

at how easily quiescent the most feral falls

listening to father.

In the daylight those that huddled down

pretended nothing happened;

a crow displayed glistening wings to the sun

high in a budding treetop,

and dropped a broken strand of plastic beads

onto the muddy sidewalk.


RCGA 2018

Third of October

Black Dog

I know your belly’s empty
and the howl building up
could fill the bowels
of a thousand
no a legion
of crueler predators than you

Hush though

Be quiet
if you can’t be still

Let my mind in silence
in your dark starving breath
and know you

How can I understand
Black Dog

How can I comprehend you

When my ears are ringing
with the whine of your distress
the sound of wind against
your bowing ribs
the noise of sighs echoing
around the damp cavern of your mouth
your teeth
stalactites and stalagmites

Black Dog

Our only respite is each other
my skin and bones
surrounding your wounded carcass
your hovering darkness
guarding what’s left of me
the shadowed face
of the moon
always turned away
from the blindness of the sun

There is more than mystery
in the zero
despite the pain
I ask you please


(c) RCGA 2016



The goal is for
both form and surface
to heat and cool
at the same rate
to grow and retract
in seamless
melding motion
creating a smooth bond

Life is more like raku
in application

adjustments coming
and unexpectedly
small cracks
sending quiet pings
rippling around us
with the sound of fracture
skins both thin and thick

(the irony is that if glaze is applied
too thickly
it enhances the crazing…
so the thicker the skin
the bigger the cracks
and there’s no escape
from that flaw
once it’s fired into place)

Rivers of seams
fractal out from our growth spurts
visual reminders
that change comes
and leaves its mark
when we grow too fast
for our skin to adjust

There is no polishing them away
and yet
we can delight in it
take deliberate pleasure
in both subtle and garish fissures
displaying our age
and experience
in such a visual way
no one can mistake them
for anything
but battle scars

No dismissive critic
drawling insults of our crazing
can understand our depth
and strength
or provenance

(c) RCGA 2016
Crazing is a spider web pattern of cracks penetrating the glaze. It is caused by tensile stresses greater than the glaze is able to withstand. ~”Ceramic Glaze Technology”


Lakeside Pottery: Blue Glaze


the model is poised

on the platform
robe slipping
from her shoulder

her mind is distant

from the eyes
translating her outlines
into paint and clay

her skin glows dimly

in a shaft of light
as her drape slithers down
a pool of fabric
caressing her ankles

she is elemental

planetary globes and
rolling hills
the long limbs of trees
and backs of cetaceans
deep valleys
the curve of a falling star

without moving

she moves the muses
agitating all the minds
that guide the hands
of artists
capturing her
within their creations
for just a moment
before she steps down

she walks away

(c) RCGA 2015

"The Life Class"

“The Life Class”


There is an art inherent in everything. I will admit I have an extraordinarily high standard for texting. That’s not really my fault. I have experienced some outrageous texting partners, but by far my favorite, and perhaps partially because we were somewhat anonymous to each other and never spoke outside the medium, was a Spanish poet from California who texted with me for several months back in 2011. We no longer have any contact with each other, and haven’t since that year. I kept our conversations, and periodically I read them for inspiration. I’ve posted one before, but it’s been a long time, and so here is another, a conversation between a Latino and a Latina separated by many miles who never met one another but had a brief affair via text.

Here, they travel, from miles apart to city streets, into the desert and through a storm, to a jungle where they come together.

Kissing you all over would be heaven.
You make me smile, mio, when you flirt.
You are torturing me from afar.
Your lovely smile..
exciting, enticing..
Your curves…
sensuous & sexy
You have a way with you ~
like spice on the back of my tongue ~
a memory of something that hasn’t happened yet ~
cruising down my spine…
your spine….
oh to kiss it…
your neck, your shoulders…
as I caress you.
Quietly, quietly we breathe
each other’s essence in the dark
learning, knowing
pleasure rising like waves of heat
from summer streets
your passion lights fires within me…
your sensuality makes my heart race
your soft body envelopes me in ecstasy
Your eyes shimmer
a mirage I find myself thirsty for
as if you are the last drink of water
I might ever have
and you will go down so smoothly
soothing me
flowing into all the dry corners of my soul
Your body & soul absorb me
As a cactus inhales desert rain
I, in turn, am nourished…
As u feed me passion & spirit
My sweet kisses dot your lovely face
Your smile kindles the embers of my desire
From afar I feel the storm approach
electric in the air
and then you sweep across me
like passionate rain
your mouth sliding down my skin
and nestling in secret places
your hands urging me
to lift myself into you
and fly
Your taste, your scent drive me wild
Your touch excites
Your every move lets me know…
Your desire, your passion
Our flight… unearthly… known only to the ancient gods
The gods have called us
a sacrifice to love
we flee into the jungle
only to be caught in the net of each other
Our bodies entwined
My lips meet yours
Our heat consumes me
I swell w desire
I feel you against me
firm and determined
our bodies know
there is a joining deeper than skin
and we are bound there

(c) RCGA

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