Saturday, October 31, 2009

Paula's Dahlia

Countless thanks to my family, to my friends both old and new, for forming the human bridge that spans the abyss! Your compassion, your laughter, your almost magical appearance/voices at just the right times, combine to carry me over darkness.

I love this glorious dahlia from my sister-in-law's garden, found drifting in a crystal bowl on her kitchen counter in Colorado. I was mesmerized by the gradations of pink.

Just now, I absentmindedly chose Breathing the Water by Denise Levertov from my shelf. (I know you are tired of hearing about my coincidences, but here's yet another.) There was a lovely rose-colored envelope inserted between pages 74 and 75. When I opened the book there, what did I look down to read? These lines from the end of her poem, "La Cordelle":

"... fading goldenrod, / fresh marguerites and / ardently pink / dahlias, dahlias / of bright / scarlet, dahlias / of garnet crimson, / almost black, / both reds / bloodred, // the entire bouquet / singing its colors / the livelong / empty day, the stones / resanctified."

-- Denise Levertov

"Ardently pink dahlias," indeed. Family and friends, your radiant words blossom in the shadows. Again, my thanks.

The photograph was taken 9/25/09 in Colorado. Just click on the image to enlarge. Breathing the Water by Denise Levertov was published by New Directions in 1987. Original copyright was in 1984.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Overnight, She Is Different

If you click on the link/title above, you will be magically transported to an interactive online collaboration that I worked on with Rick Mullarky, artist/designer extraordinaire, and Kala Pierson, talented experimental composer, for Born Magazine: Art and Literature Collaboration. Make sure to turn on your sound first, click on "start," then move through the piece by clicking on the white plus signs.

Here's what I wrote about this heady experience in an interview with Dan Wickett from Emerging Writers Network:

This was the most fun I had had in a long time. It was a delightful experience. I worked with Rick Mullarky, an artist/designer, and Kala Pierson, a composer, doing an interactive collaboration for Born Magazine. Rick was very open to suggestions, and we had a lively and humorous correspondence. I have an art background myself, so I was curious to see how he would visually interpret the poem. I felt both free to come up with ideas and yet receptive to letting Rick experiment in his own way. His concepts were thrilling, parallel to the feeling of the piece, but capable of opening it up in new ways. Kala had previously asked me for use of a prose poem, “One Claw into the Dream,” as text for an experimental opera she was working on. In return, when Rick and I started the collaboration, I suggested asking Kala to participate in our project. She said yes and joined in the fun and e-mailing, supplying the innovative and eerie sound. It was a process of discovery and play throughout. So, yes, I had some input, but tried to let the other artists add their own unique contributions .... For fun, Rick and I just finished another interactive collaboration using one of my prose poems, “Guilt.” We may also do one for the first poem in Teaching Bones to Fly, “Secrets of Blood.”

If you would like to read the interview in its entirety, click here:

Interview with Dan Wickett, Emerging Writers Network, 1/31/05.

Looking back -- and I find it hard to believe this collaboration came out in 2003! -- it's fascinating that the three of us worked on this project without ever meeting each other, without ever even hearing each others' human voices!

Update: Rick Mullarky and I placed "Guilt" on The Diagram, much to our delight. I'll write about this second collaboration in another post. Since then, we've made a few initial attempts at a third piece, tentatively titled Cross-Section of a Man. We'll see what evolves ...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Plug in the Unplugged Heart

Nothing like the sound of the wind combing the tall grass, rattling the maples, to soothe the scurrying mind. Nothing like the electric splash of October color to plug in the unplugged heart. I walked all over the park today, but the most gorgeous thing I saw was the poison ivy growing in the deli parking lot. Spectacular.

The photo was taken 10/11/09 in Cross River, New York. Click on image to enlarge.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Frog at the Window

This rainy Saturday: a frog at the window just now, as I walked back from the mailbox. I needed that sweet little surprise.

Thursday, October 1, 2009



Overnight, the wind
delivers a gift to your sill:
a dead yellow jacket,
rocking on its back --
summer's gold brooch,

-- CBK
From my first full-length book, Teaching Bones to Fly, Bitter Oleander Press, 2003

Congratulations, Thea and Mark! Congratulations, Amanda and Michael! Love to all!

The photo of the two bees on the thistle flower was taken 9/18/09 at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation.