Monday, March 31, 2008

Secrets of Blood

Blood loves its caverns of blue and orchid silk,
its slippery tunnels, pink cushions,
fringes and ruffles of flesh.
Red is the color that worships the body,
knocking at your temples,
announcing its ownership proudly.
Amazed at what it holds,
it purrs as it circulates,
touching your inner heart from time to time,
lingering in those velvet chambers,
saying MINE.
Over and over,
deep in your marrow,
it whispers its mantra.

Excerpt (first stanza) from "Secrets of Blood," the first poem in Teaching Bones to Fly, my first book of poetry from Bitter Oleander Press.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sinister Tulip

The tulip bends under the weight of its red-black thoughts, its dark head heavy as a tarnished bell. In sympathy, the chair casts ominous de Chirico shadows.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Tricking Gravity

When the breeze first lifted me, I felt dangerously buoyant. I trembled like a baffled nestling. But then I relaxed into the air, let the sky embrace me. For the first time, sunrise painted me on all sides – pink, everywhere. I was weightless. Disguised as inconsequential, like a dust mote, I tricked gravity into ignoring me. I inhaled the fragrance rising from the world. I began to hear the silence that precedes blossoming, that blank space before the almost inaudible velvet-slip of petals unfurling. I held my future, all possibilities, locked safe inside me. I was a speck of pollen floating in the rosy throat of a tulip. Suspended above its secret black pinwheel, I waited for a gust of wind.

Excerpt from "Tricking Gravity" a prose poem from Stirring the Mirror, first published in The Bitter Oleander.

Friday, March 21, 2008


Poor Olga, trapped in a painting with two conniving cardsharps from another century...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Baby Muse Thanks You

As of this date, Baby Muse has happily shared about 136 words of cyber-inspiration. She thanks you for playing along! Special thanks go to those of you who gave back new words to replenish her inventory. She really savored tidbits like bellicose, loofah, jejune, and dawndrawn. She is still chuckling over the creative paragraphs incorporating the gift words that some of you overachievers wrote and e-mailed to her. For those traveling here for the first time in search of her wisdom, simply scroll down to the original posts (2/29/08 and 3/2/08) for directions.

Thanks again!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Underground Sky

Oaks met themselves at the pond's edge. The sky filtered through their branches, leaving bits of blue among their leaves in the mirror. The hand gracefully moved over that underground sky, as if it were pulled by a magnet from below.

Excerpt from "The Hand" from Stirring the Mirror.

Yes, yes, Baby Muse is just several posts down. Scroll away...

Monday, March 10, 2008

Hudson Valley Writers' Center Reading Friday Night


I drop my torn-paper skin,

my mask of leaves.

Words fall away

one by one,

until I'm a peeled birch,

a burnished skeleton.

Like an uninhabited planet,

my silent face

seeks the sun.

This poem first appeared in Graphic Poetry: A Wig-01 Project, an anthology of art and poetry collaborations, edited by Andrew Townsend and James Warfield of Wig-01, and published by Victionary. Each poem's text became part of an illustrated two-page spread.

I'll be reading this Friday at The Hudson Valley Writers' Center in Sleepy Hollow, NY.

Slapering Hol Press Presents Second Fridays Cafe
at The Hudson Valley Writers' Center
Featuring poets Joshua Mehigan, Marc Straus and Christine Boyka Kluge
Friday, March 14, 2008
at 7:30 PM
Reading, Reception and Book Signing

I hope to see you there!

For directions and more detailed author information, visit the HVWC Web site.
Scroll down for Baby Muse...

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Inventing New Bodies

Our nights grow infinite, blossoming into secret days. Flowers and leaves are our only lanterns. Veins of roses glow like forked lightning. Maple leaves furl and unfurl, beckoning fingers. We are always hungry. The stars call us to dinner.

Trailing silvery paths across brick walks and patios, we slip into gardens and flowerpots. We paint patterns, leaf to leaf. We fasten our mouths to petals and stems and swallow, knowing nothing but sweetness. We are lost, eating your invisible world.
Excerpt from "Inventing New Bodies" from Stirring the Mirror.
This is for EIK and the rocking chair. The plant is from the south facing kitchen window. I need to identify it.
Yes, Baby Muse is just a few posts away...scroll down to find her...

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Framed World

Like an arrow, your mind flies through the bull's-eye at the center of the camera's view finder. You aim it through your pupils, out through that tiny circle, into the framed world. You invest that focused landscape with all that makes you human: your longing, your love, all of your dark thorns and sapphires. Hold your hands steady, extended toward its beauty. Make it true. Press the button.

Excerpt from "Black Halo," a prose poem from Stirring the Mirror, my new book from Bitter Oleander Press.

(Baby Muse meditates two posts down. Don't worry, she's still there.)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

March Poinsettia

March morning, silent. Unexpected snow keeps coming, white clumps falling from trees like frozen apple blossoms. Seasonal confusion. Spring is out there, somewhere, approaching. Today there are four crows again, wary, even after all of these offerings. We keep a respectful distance. They wait, two each on two branches, then land on the railing. Go back to the tree. Return to the railing. Each time they move, more white flowers drift down. Eyes and beaks glitter. In these moments, the snow's music changes from empty hiss to the wet sounds of the roof dripping, of invisible runnels coursing under snow. The porous membrane between seasons is leaking.

Excerpt from "Human with Little Sun in Her Hands," one of the prose poems from my new book, Stirring the Mirror, f rom Bitter Oleander Press. (First published in No Boundaries: Prose Poems by 24 American Poets, edited by Ray Gonzalez, Tupelo Press.)

I love this camera. Thanks, TLK.

***If you are here searching for Baby Muse and her magic words, simply scroll down to the previous post.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Baby Muse Returns

Yes, she's baa-aack! I couldn't resist sharing another photograph of Baby Muse. Those eyes. To view a larger version, merely click on the image.

The offer remains the same. If you would like a free word to spark your creativity, just send an e-mail to the contact address in the sidebar. Put "Baby Muse" in the subject line. She will be delighted to e-mail back a word or two or three, whatever inspiration-combination seems right for the sender. For background, see the previous post.

This has been FUN. Baby Muse and I have even received second e-mails containing new, inspiring words to replenish the inspiring words list, as well as clever lines using multiple words in an original way. Plus, we get the bonus of the meandering, shuffling, poetic thoughts that result from handling so many intriguing words.

Thanks for playing!