Tag Archives: blackout poem

learned acquiescence


learned acquiescence

I am domestic
learned from my mother, 
from her mother,
private, distant,
a shadow
I act the part
as time whistles through
one day I plan to be

~kat

A Blackout Poem inspired by poem by Suzanne Buffam, seen below:

Enough
I am wearingdark glasses insidethe house
To match my dark mood.

I have left all the sugar out of the pie.
My rage is a kind of domestic rage.

I learned it from my mother
Who learned it from her mother before her

And so on.
Surely the Greeks had a word for this.

Now surely the Germans do.
The morewords a person knows

To describe her private sufferings
The more distantly she can perceive them.

I repeat the names of all the cities I’ve known
And watch an ant drag its crooked shadow home.

What does it mean to love the lifewe’ve been given?
To act well the part that’s been cast for us?

Wind. Light. Fire. Time.  
A train whistles through the far hills.

One day I plan to be riding it.

Suzanne Buffam, "Enough" from The Irrationalist. Copyright © 2010 by Suzanne Buffam.  Reprinted by permission of Canarium Books.
Source: The Irrationalist (Canarium Books, 2010)


healing

healing

healing

i hold my breath
try to forget
my shoulders tense
then I remember
the sweetness
and my breathing
grows soft, healing,
like rain, my breath’s
like a kiss, soft, slow,
persistent

~kat


Today’s Blackout Poem inspired by this magnificent poem by Yesenia Montilla.

a brief meditation on breath

i have diver’s lungs from holding my
breath for so long. i promise you
i am not trying to break a record
sometimes i just forget to
exhale. my shoulders held tightly
near my neck, i am a ball of tense
living, a tumbleweed with steel-toed
boots. i can’t remember the last time
i felt light as dandelion. i can’t remember
the last time i took the sweetness in
& my diaphragm expanded into song.
they tell me breathing is everything,
meaning if i breathe right i can live to be
ancient. i’ll grow a soft furry tail or be
telekinetic something powerful enough
to heal the world. i swear i thought
the last time i’d think of death with breath
was that balmy day in july when the cops
became a raging fire & sucked the breath
out of Garner; but yesterday i walked
38 blocks to my father’s house with a mask
over my nose & mouth, the sweat dripping
off my chin only to get caught in fabric & pool up
like rain. & i inhaled small spurts of me, little
particles of my dna. i took into body my own self
& thought i’d die from so much exposure
to my own bereavement—they’re saying
this virus takes your breath away, not
like a mother’s love or like a good kiss
from your lover’s soft mouth but like the police
it can kill you fast or slow; dealer’s choice.
a pallbearer carrying your body without a casket.
they say it’s so contagious it could be quite
breathtaking. so persistent it might as well
be breathing                        down your neck—

Yesenia Montilla


nothing

nothing

nothing

the time
for words
ended,
they refuse
to be touched,
tiny hearts
that can’t love,
that reminds us
we are the worst
for the ineffable
belief in nothing
and what it leaves
behind…nothing

~kat


A Black Out poem based on the poem below by Seth Abramson.

What I Have
By Seth Abramson

Twelve dollars sixty cents,
& the fact that there is no blood no storm
can’t wash into dirt, that the time for these words
is already ended,
that for all the rain that has been here before
so have I.
& there is less water in the world
than a famous woman once said, & I know that,
& that the stars in the river
also are real I also know, for they disappear also
& refuse also to be touched. & I have touched 
bare things, & it works—
it can be the sole unbraided moment in a life—
but even so, what better days look like to me is still
the tiny gore
of heartbreak, & long walks with small shoes
that can’t be taken off,
& schools in a city I love that put molded cages
over their clocks,
because that works too to remind us
we are not ready. & the worst of all is anything that
stays as it is
when touched.
At lunchtime a woman famous for her ability
to praise the ineffable

says she can’t believe anyone returns
to where they came from.
But of course they do. In fact
some do nothing else. & what is it they leave behind?
 Perhaps not the meaning of time,
but the time of meaning, & the fact that whatever
happens, tomorrow
will change it.

Source: Poetry (March 2009)


etched in silver – a blackout poem

etched in silver

i’m a woman
no longer young
changed by water
and wind, etched
in silver and want
hot flesh, a face
disappearing into
landscape

~kat


A blackout poem based on the poem below by Allison Funk:

Self-Portrait in the Nude

To understand what it would be like
          to remove my clothes
as painters do in portraits of themselves

          I imagine I’m the woman
who knows her body
no longer belongs to the young artist

who painted herself before she had children,
          before her topography was changed
by forces erosive as water and wind,

    and yet she goes on painting it,
the girdle of her earth that is now an etched terrain
crossed with silver rivulets.

And hills, I want to say to her.
          Valleys. Then hummocks,
hot springs, hoodoo. What is art about

          if not depression? Uplift? Depression
again?
 At which she straightens

          the flesh of her shoulders and neck

to face me before I disappear(ing)
into landscape,
my favorite state of undress.

Copyright © 2018 Allison Funk.


Monday with the Muse

nothing

Helix Nebula (aka: The “Eye of God” Nebula)

into nothingness

think of being
past the point of
existence, a place
without imagination
everything coming
apart, a blur at the
edge of tangled
twilight, left to be
buried beneath
daydreams, life
translucent, as
real as black stars
buried in ash

~kat


A Blackout Poem inspired by the poem below:

The Celebrated Colors of the Local Sunsets
by Matthew Wimberly

The day feels as thin
as the letters fading from
half a can of spray paint
a decade ago on the brick wall
of the closed down
Suder Feed Supply where
we used
to
skateboard and think
of all the crimes the police
could punish us with
for
being poor, and teenagers,
for wearing skin-tight jeans
and growing our hair
like a girl’s, for almost anything—
at least it felt like it then.
I can’t imagine home
without thinking of the
past
and the faintest stir
of indignation. It’s beside
the point.
Today, I’m revisiting Miłosz
with a pen pressed to the pages
making notes in the margins.
In 1987, in Berkeley,
he is doing the same, and thinking
back on the end
of his countries, their
“posthumous
existence.” Like him
I know
a place
I can’t return to, and without
much imagination can picture
everything coming apart, one way
or another. When I imagine
how it might go, it is
just like this: I am memorizing
bird calls and wild
plants which become
a blur
at the far edge of my yard,
their Latin names
tangled
in my mouth. Didn’t I
already show you this?
The country at
twilight
and a far-off darkness
of pines, a deep red sky
imagined for this page. What I
left out
wasn’t meant
to be remarkable—
a bruise faded from the surface,
the wounds
buried
like overwintered wasps
plotting assassinations
beneath the snow. So let’s see
if I can draw it into focus,
like the truant
daydreaming in class
suddenly with something to say—
the one end I know complete.
Once, I thanked my father
for the gift of this
life,
something he didn’t hear.
It was two years before he died
and he was high
on the
translucent painkillers
the hospital ordered to keep him
comfortable after surgery.
It was
as real as anything
I ever told him. I stood
over him in the hospital bed
and traced the outline of his body
under the gown, the collar and hip bones,
his stomach, his penis, and balls,
numbered the
black stars
printed on the cotton and listened
to him breathe, mouth
open, just so, a way
into the hive growing in his chest.
He didn’t hear, and then, he couldn’t.
In those years, I barely spoke to him
and now not an hour can pass
I don’t hear him, now that
what he has to say is always
final, always a last word. And
Miłosz is
buried in Kraków
and my father has entered
eternity as
ash, and I am
certain what doesn’t last
lasts—Hydrangea quercifolia,
Hypericum densiflorum,
Solidago rugosa


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