Revisiting Backcatablogs: Say No To Clowns and a response: 40 Minutes.

As this week draws to a close, I am happy to report that my week spent with saynotoclowns was valuable beyond words. Digging around a fellow poet’s back catalog not only feels respectful, it is also a chance to connect to the larger human beings that we all are. In this week’s adventures I discovered a great writer, a deeply spiritual soul, and a musical kindred spirit whose taste in music already has me thinking about which musician I want to tackle after I finish my National series; Nick Cave comes to mind. Fortunately, I have a few more weeks to think about it, but I am pretty sure the Bad Seed is planted (so sorry, couldn’t resist).

My response poem to saynotoclowns tries to encapsulate the humor I found in her writing (…this woman’s first post was of a donkey for crying out loud!…) while also respecting her deep spirituality. Somehow, while on a too-rickety airplane from Singapore to Hong Kong, I began riffing off the title to her blog and ended up on a conversation that Jesus had with the Devil in his final 40 minutes. While this falls far short of the deeply hysterical but very reverent book, Lamb by Christopher Moore, I do hope it shares its spirit of both being respectful of faith while also being respectful of the humanity of Jesus and therefore he had to have had a sense of humor. Oh, and there is a Nick Cave reference in there for good measure.

As always, I encourage my friends to go back to the beginning and see what the writers posted when they were just getting started, there are some gems back there! Finally, as always, there is more to be found at saynotoclowns… please go explore.

My response poem:

40 Minutes

Say no to clowns, rode in on the donkey thinking
The end of this adventure will require humility.
So when we departed one another in the desert
I had no regrets, but second thoughts do come
Every now and then. Couldn’t I reach more souls
If I was the one king to rule them all?

Say no to clowns, harder to do in a crown
Drops of blood and this will take some humility.
What were those offers? Could I choose to fly,
I might catch his son as he fell off the cliff, but for
The sake of art could I just accept the tortured gift
His soul sings to help us say goodbye to our fathers?

Say no to clowns, even as they raise me off the ground
The wound in my side burns more on this skeleton tree.
Why couldn’t we have just turned some dust into tea
And discussed, like distant cousins do, connections
Our stories have to the greater Narrative? We could’ve
Shared a few laughs at His expense. Now, though, it is

Finished. Just say no to these clowns, then invite me
Down when they show up and we can share that tea.

Revisiting Backcatablogging – Midwest Fantasy Writes and a Response Poem “Spinning Naked Singing”

One thing I missed last week was Back Cataloging, well, it wasn’t missed as much as it wasn’t reflected in my posts. I have spent a good deal of time over the last several weeks reading Midwest Fantasy. If you take the time to browse through her posts pinned below, she will invite the reader into her world with very sensual and modestly erotic writing that expresses a depth of a sensuality connecting to a deeper spirituality of self-discovery. She affirms wonderful, sex-positive idea of Woman. While the legs in the icon at the top of the page may seduce the reader, getting insight into the depths of this interesting and very decent human will be the reward.

I welcome her to the Go Dog Go Treetop Cafe.

A reflection:

Spinning Naked Singing

Wrapped inside this lace prison, beauty
Tied to the post barks at the convention of standards
She turns to the mirror, gagged, looking for a safe word
Unable to spit it out.

Who is prisoner, who is warden?

Wrapped inside this lace prison strips beauty
Of depth. In the fathoms, sharks swim with barracudas
She turns to the mirror, looking for an oxygen tank,
A rifle to shoot at the gag.

Who is hunter, who is hunted?

Wrapped inside this lace prison, beauty asks, naked,
Why don’t you untie me, stare at gently falling flesh
In the mirror, laugh, then smile at the unravelling
Spit out unsafe words until the tank explodes

Who is safe, who is safe?

Lace lumped on the floor, the mirror looks back
At beauty dancing, spinning, whirly-dirvishing
Singing words that explode, spitting them out
Like poison sucked from a rattlesnake bite.

Please explore more, just a few favorites:

A Cafe Introduction /Back Catablog of Linda Luna and – The Darkside Of The Moon blog

By Charles Robert Lindholm

Hi Everyone,

I’d like you to meet a Friend of mine – Linda Luna.  Linda’s blog is “The Darkside Of The Moonthe side of me most people never see“.  Linda has only been blogging on WordPress a short while but has shared some beautiful poems that give you a real insight into her heart and soul. Continue reading

Cafe Chat: Backcatablog Alisa Hutton at Dusted Words and a response poem “No Ordinary Day”

Hi.  Remember me?  S Francis here from SailorPoet.  Over the next few weeks I will be transitioning my collaborative work over to the GDG.  Hope you are all well.

Here, I revisit my backcatablog of Alisa’s work.

At long last! Alisa, thank you for your patience, but after Chuck’s comprehensive review of your work, I recognized that the work required of me for Backcatablogging had transformed. Alisa’s writing is fantastic and I am very eager to see her hang out at the cafe from time to time as it allows. First, let Chuck speak for himself with his fantastic work here:

After Chuck had provided the details, I needed to inhabit the words and find a response vehicle. I also learned that I needed to think through what backcatablogging was all about. I want to invite writers looking through the window into the cafe, spend some time learning about them and their writing, listen, read, and then inhabit their words and the worlds they create. Hopefully, I will be able find a piece of my own voice through their writing and let it prompt something that becomes a sort of hybrid.

Alisa writes about the ocean, living on the Pacific side of North America, I found a common connection with my own love for the ocean growing up on the Atlantic side of North America. So, I set myself a task of writing a found poem and ran a search on her blog for the word ocean:

You can follow the link above to the search, and then link to the many wonderful poems that provided me the words for my response poem. My next step was to cut and paste all the lines with the word ocean in them. Then the crafting began. I challenged myself to find a narrative arc from these lines, beginning with “The ordinary day/ my ocean died.” It took some time to get to that arc, but it ended up being one about healing and a She – reading Alisa’s poems there is a “She” that runs through the lines as a character – perhaps this is the same She, or a different She. I think, mine is Ocean, my first Love.

Alisa, thank you for your words, thank you for writing, and I hope to see you around the cafe!

This is for you, distilled from your words, some lines so perfect I kept them as is:

no ordinary day

that ordinary day

my ocean died

She took my hand

led me through

my deepest fears

in Her gentle arms

breathing salt air

She whispered tides

no one would notice

they swallowed me

we drank medronho

far from the edge

where fish

offered nourishment

healing and growth

we sank we rose

She washed over me

that clear winter night

when the moon danced

dusted with magic