Reanimated Lavender Granola Switchblade Nun rides again.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Word Garden Word List--Paige Ackerson-Kiely


Hello friends, and welcome to this week's Word Garden Word List. Hey listen, do you ever just take a chance on something because it sounds like it might be interesting? I know I have. Sometimes it's a dumpster fire, sometimes just a dud that doesn't do anything for me at all, but sometimes I find a new favorite song, dish, friend or whatever it may be. This week's words are all taken from a volume of poetry I bought a year ago or so, just because I liked the title: My Love Is A Dead Arctic Explorer by Paige Ackerson-Kiely. I just wish the content had been as interesting as the title, but as an old supervisor of mine used to say, "Eat the meat, spit out the bones." Therefore, that's exactly what we're going to do.

While I wasn't that keen on the poems--she seems to be about to dig into something important, then continually gets lost in dense language; moreover, there is so much alcohol in these poems that I could practically hear the ice cubes hitting the sides of the glass--she does make some very interesting word choices, and that's right up our alley, yes? (And I do need to add that occasionally she does make her point simply and strongly.)

I hope you'll enjoy this List. Please use at least 3 of the 20 words provided in a new original poem, then link up and visit others. Nothing to it but to do it! 

And now, your List!


Canada Heart

The chime of your kiss
Made me forget the chalk 
that marked the stitch-line
where madness
met easy charm.

I don't wear vanilla scent
anymore--it reminds me of
your flocked, bread-crumb skin
the braille I
got lost in.

Toronto has Billy Bishop Airport--
you can fly in,
fill a bag at the duty-free
then cab it
to Yonge Street.

We made love at the Double Tree
with a balcony
to waver on the edge of, after.
Oh, Canada--
Canada heart

is the half sweet, half bitter
half bustling,
half empty landscape where
missionaries say,
"I knew her."

That is where I found this poem, north of Yellowknife,
and south of solace not looked for anymore. 

For Word Garden Word List--Paige Ackerson-Kiely

Music: Gordon Lightfoot Affair On 8th Avenue

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Self Portrait


There's someone in here,
inside my
someone Frankensteined
up from a girl
I used to be or
never was
someone on a greased slide
to the boneyard
(yep, that was
but she got
off at
El Paso
sweet little woman get along.

See, I'm living for two 
preggers with myself
and way
but we're cute af
in certain light
or in 
my imagination
in the sight of God
with a 
and a
I just couldn't let her go.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Stone House


There is a stone house
with a soft bed
on a metal frame.

The sheets are sky-stolen blue,
the blanket tartan.
I have the feeling I was

a child there, or died
or held someone with love
or was held.

The air is fragrant
like a meal just finished
or being prepared.

I feel sure that you are there
in the next room
or arriving or remembered.

I wrote this poem
yesterday or some other day
or will write it soon.

Now the door is open.
Come in.

Music: Cat Stevens Into White

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Nurse to the Water

photo by Jeanloup Seiff

 I am nurse to the Water,
Moon in a bowl at its bedside.

It looks back at me as if to say, "I am here,
deep and permanent; I will always stay,"
but its language is Leaving and every movement
is a perpetual going-away. 

I am bride to the Lake Grass
expending itself in a season's rising.
silent and thin, the Water its artist's garret.
It finds me neither interesting nor surprising
as I see to its unbordered house,
my face a familiar detail that passes. 

Are you dying, Water, a Gypsy in love with sand--
the sand in love with and holding the Cattails?
I make my rounds on the wooden walkway,
Child of trees the Lake Grass envies.
Death beneath my feet, mercy at my hand
I am the Double-Spirit who must be her own comfort
and work by Night, the sister-ghost of Day.

Music: Roseanne Cash Seven Year Ache 

Thursday, November 17, 2022

My Question For The Unabomber

 I asked the Unabomber
if he had ever been in love.

You know--before Montana--
before wandering the howling tundra
holding a frozen tulip
and a folded poem
for Victor Frankenstein.

I wanted to know
if anyone had ever inhabited
the slow-cooking smoker
of his heart.
Was there ever the very emblem
of desirability
in the formula of anyone's eyes?

In your Harvard classes
full of second-week quitters
and callow
nattering plebes
was there never any elevated romantic
to solve for your
innocent, milky

Oh Teddy, 
you were never meant
to be the broom-pushing custodian
of cowardly murder and printed echolalia.
If Victor appeared to you
in phantom form
or if Mary herself
cupped in cold hands your wobbling soul,
could you still be fixed
even now? 
like a stamp
on an envelope to carry your remainder
out of shame
or into Hell?

for Word Garden Word List--Ghost Eaters.

Music: The Fleetwoods Mister Blue

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Word Garden Word List--Ghost Eaters


Hello, my intrepid group, and welcome to another Word Garden Word List! Not long ago, I was on Goodreads and saw an ad for a new book called Ghost Eaters by Clay McLeod Chapman, an author I was not familiar with. The cover art was creepy and striking, plus it was Halloween time, so I investigated. 

The novel is about a girl named Erin, who has lost her friend Silas, whose lead she always has followed, for good or ill. She's pretty lost after his death, so when she hears about a drug called Ghost that lets you actually see the dead, she's game. What she doesn't count on is how it will take over her life. The hard part, it turns out, is to unsee. 

It's a great horror novel and also a terrifyingly accurate portrayal of addiction, whether to a person or a substance, how strong the allure can be, and how difficult to break free of. I absolutely recommend it. And so, our list this week is 20 words taken from the pages of Ghost Eaters. Enjoy, but use only as directed, and the directions are as follows: use at least 3 of the 20 words on the list in a new poem of your own, in any style, length or form. Then link up and visit others. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Oh and... don't let it haunt you. ;-)

Your list:


Monday, November 14, 2022


 I'm not much for babies.
Oh, I dispense a few sweet noises on demand
like a reluctant gumball machine,

but as often as not, the nickel gets jammed and there I am,
stifling a yawn.

My own child was different of course, but he's grown and gone.
I look around, and it feels like my heart is bunged,

So today I'm on the sidewalk in front of a pet supply store,
navigating the cages, looking.
I'm drawn 
to the shy ones,
the small ones,
the hurt ones,
the lonely ones. 
C'mere baby, come to mama,
Come on-a my house, my house-a come on.

I will make you bold.
I will make you safe.
I will make you well.
I will make you loved. 
It's mother-magic, presto! and we'll make a ton of it
out of thin air.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Bareback Rider


When I was a girl, I often dreamed
that I rode a haunted horse whose head was ether
and its steady breath was my own pulse
sounding through my ear pressed hard upon the pillow.

We rode in slow procession through 
the house gone unfamiliar in weird shadows
pulling a death-carriage behind us
and it seemed that I labored while the horse hovered

With lantern lights for eyes
on each side in concert with the slant moon
dim-blind through silver windows
but watching as the horse's flanks rose and fell.

A bareback rider, I hooked fingers
through streamers of jet mane like widow's weeds in a breeze,
hoping to hang on, to wake up
only to see Thanatos the ostler smiling and standing

At the stable door holding a gleaming dark apple for his charge.

Music: Snakefarm "All The Pretty Little Horses"

Friday, November 11, 2022

The Hosting Tree


What idle devil limned your voice
with salt of falsity
and set such poison in the heart
that was so kind to me?

The thing that curled and grew there had
its own vitality
just as the lush green climbing vine
kills the hosting tree.


I wrote this for Word Garden Word List--Stephen Crane, but only used three of the words and one of them got removed during editing. As a result, I haven't linked this to the prompt, but that was its origin, nevertheless. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Word Garden Word List--Stephen Crane


Hello poets! This week I am pleased to feature one of my very favorite poets--a man well ahead of his time--Stephen Crane. He is most well-known for his Civil War novella The Red Badge of Courage. While spending time posing for a portrait, he had been reading dry accounts of battles and he observed that "they spout enough of what they did, but they're emotionless as rocks." Crane wanted to portray what battle felt like, and though he had never been in one, he succeeded beyond anything else he would ever write. 

Crane is also known for Maggie, A Girl of the Streets." One day he saw slum children playing king of the mountain, but using rocks instead of snowballs, and he got an idea. He took to task a society that encourages ignorance and self-destruction in its lower classes. Crane is also the author of The Bride Comes To Yellow Sky and the excellent and chilling short story The Open Boat. 

However, Crane said this in comparing his fiction with his poetry: "Personally, I like my little book of poems The Black Riders better than I do The Red Badge of Courage. The reason is, I suppose, that the former is a more serious effort. In it I aim to give my ideas of life as a whole, as far as I know it, and the latter is a mere episode--an amplification."

Crane's poems are spare, blunt, filled with raw religious and totemic imagery, and contain an unsparing view of the world. Like Emily Dickinson--whose work he had been shown and may have been influenced by--Crane was far ahead of his time in an era when flowery form was the norm. One reviewer sniffed that "there is not a line of poetry from the opening to the closing page. Poetic lunacy would be a better name for the book" Another called it "so much trash." Crane was reportedly pleased that his book was causing a stir. Time has vindicated him and his influence can be found in the writings of Hemingway, the Beats, and even last week's subject, Jim Morrison. 

Stephen Crane's life was brief. He died at just 28 years of age, after a days-long Christmas party. Like so many poets before and since, Crane never found financial security, was misunderstood and undervalued in his own time, and fell into destructive personal habits. However, the work he left behind is luminous, sometimes shocking, true, and timeless. 

What we do here is to use at least 3 of the 20 words taken from the poetry of Stephen Crane and use them in a new original poem of our own--any style, length, or form. 

And now, your word list:


Nursery Rhyme

 There were devils
present at my birth
and veiled angels
in smoky violet shirts
with handbells
they'd stolen out of Hell.

Who is the coward
that devils teach to curse
holding Hope out in a teacup
but overturn it first?
A fool's sun
wanes fast, warms none.

See the rose stem
my assassin's throat was vase for
so that every imprecation
that's spoken only makes more
across my garden's leaves.

Angels kept my heart
in a box with golden hinges
carried by a devil
on its back with burning cinches
in tandem served--
my hidden heart preserved. 

for Word Garden Word List--Stephen Crane

Music: Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa "I'll Take Care of You"

Friday, November 4, 2022

A Season In Hell

Summer that year came with black wings
rising over green suburban trees
and found my blood-beat
like a smiling intruder delivering a shiv.

There is a horror of violation,
a new vocabulary of panic spoken
in chambers where
lions and phantoms trespass the flesh.

It gets dusky inside the mind,
The hiss of a projector spinning out a movie 
made of gin and dope,
actors who live in graves offering their gray stars.

The god-surgeon, numb expert bastard
taught his flunkies torture
and gave me a new face.
I crawled through a radio for fifteen years to slash his memory.

When you always feel wrong, the world is a camera
and your crime is breathing.
There is an underworld with bootleg cures, so you go,
a parade of the altered, weird strangers, sudden sisters

Who come out blinking, holding high 
the severed heads of devils, and unafraid of anything.


I had major surgery when I was 16.  That summer, "Love Her Madly" and "Riders On The Storm", both by the Doors, were getting heavy play on the radio I had at the hospital. Jim Morrison died right around that time. 

My title is, of course, taken from Rimbaud, a favorite of Morrison's and of mine.

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Word Garden Word List--Jim Morrison


Hello all, and welcome to this week's Word List. This time our inspiration comes from the words of the late poet and rock singer Jim Morrison. This intro will be shorter than usual because yours truly is still under the weather, but I think most of you are already familiar with him, yes?

The List is taken from the poetry collection "The Lords & The New Creatures" and from his song lyrics.

What we do here is to use at least 3 of the 20 words provided in an original new poem of our own. Any style, any length, any structure. Then link up and visit others. So climb aboard the blue bus and show us where you're taking us. Enjoy.

Your list: