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Sunday, April 24, 2011

National Poetry Month April 2011 6-8/30



walking down,

down streets,

cross streets across

town walking through

crisp mist wet Spring mix

through corner crowds

of cardigan toting

smoking privileged and

past solitary souls with

cardboard pleas for

work or cash…

Walking under tall

white flowered trees—

Japanese blossoms on

New York April streets—

walking amidst the red and

yellow tulips and the withered

heads of earlier buds, gone already,

walking past cracks in concrete

where Earth’s dirt breathes

a little, buried alive,

Walking full of our selves, our sorrows

our joys, carrying us past these

silent statements with their restless

still branches, rocking in the breeze,

walking towards them for comfort

and relief.

Walking away blessed

to be sentient and walking,

flexing muscles of decisive step past

chained bushes, and boxed petunias,

happy to be not only not plant but

to be also human .

Walking fast past news stands with

endless headlines always of war.



A Gathering of the Tribes

a tributing to the times

a smeldering of the vibes

a scorning and a scoffing of the lies

a culturing of the civil ties

a massing to the line of one and many

a rarefying to the feat of daily

Drone drone drone Yawn yawn yawn

Kick ass cohort of contiguous creation

a meandering mixing merging of minds

an endless prosaic rhyme

a shortcut to the long road…

a drop in from the hue and cry

a station in the wilderness of why

a wrinkle, yes, in time

A Gathering of the Tribes


Dear Steve Cannon I love you madly

Steve’s on the couch

Its another day of

What has come our way

And another moment to say

What we plan to reply in word and song

And rhyme and such

Steve’s on the couch

Table full of books

Office full of interns

Radio on NPR too loud

Smoke and such. Spirits.

Firing up with righteous rage

And slowly paddling dream scapes

To say this is that is to be able to laugh.

Steve’s on the couch--

Not now, he’s at the piano

It’s the old tunes

We sing along the

Timeless melodies

On third street, second floor, like it’s the first time around.

Steve’s on the phone:

“I’ll tell you what I need

As I can see it

And I am blind you know

50 thousand dollars and this house

forget about the view.

I see so much with my eyes closed.

And get me some shrimp lo mein.”


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Depression Inner and Outer and this Writer's Way

These are the worst of times and the best of times.
I drove into the very same parking spot I had left yesterday at 5PM this morning at 6AM. Being of a super stitious nature and a connosieur of the coincidence as well as a sucker for the serendipitous I pulled into the spot with a great deal of joy. Its Saturday and I will probably spend most of the day here writing. This I say with almost no undertow of resistance. Amazing considering where I have been most of my life.
The very act of writing has always been fraught with hellish doom and gloom and paralysis. Perhaps because it has always been my true love. Some might call it a calling. Other's a gift. I have felt it like a tease at best and a curse at my most depressed moment. I have turned my back to it, stuck my fingers in my ears to it. I have rejected it and beat myself up thoroughly for even ever imagining myself as a writer.
I joined in with others saying: writers write, if they are not writing then maybe they should stop calling themselves writers. Really made sense. Hurt like hell. But made sense. Sometimes it was momentarily liberating. No more facing the blank page or screen or scrolling through tedious lines of how much I want to write and cannot seem to get at what it is I really want to say.
Writing is a murky affair at best. When one is additionally tortured with depression it is worse. My therapist always believed in me as a writer. She said I spoke like a writer, dreamt like a writer. Even when I was angry with her I clung to that. Even when I searched the catalogs of law schools and 7 month radiation technologist trainings, her belief was plugged into my soul.
Depression needs work. It is not a cloud that wafts away. It is not the weather. It is a mess. Much like this economy is. A real mess requires real work, not pretty slogans and band aids. Not blind faith and trust. Not loyalty to anything other than honest assessment of the mess and commitment to change. For that I am grateful to my depression.
My depression has been a work in progress that has taught me how to work. How to live. How to problematize and solutionize.
Now the depression is over and I thank a combination cocktail of factorifiques: first of all there's my therapist; then there's Reiki, that is a spiritual exercise; finally there are the friends. Most importantly there is the synergy between those three elements. Perhaps we need to take a similar approach to the truly disfunctional sad state of affairs in this nation where 97 % of the people and perhaps 99% of children fall into the ditches.
Well, the writing and the rest of it is happening now, November 2009. And it is continuing herew and now in April 2011! Hurray!
Out in the streets there is an undeclared depression. Not the kind that kept me down for years, hiding under my covers and buying rat poison and placing ladders near hooks in ceilings, and scratching out words as soon as the ink hit the paper in a series of composition books that will never see the light of day. This depression is on the outside. Its all around me. People who have worked their entire lives are out of work.
It brings to focus the very tenuous nature of the very notion of economy. Change is more than four quarters for a dollar. That is all i know. Lets see. We have been living as destroyers of the planet earth for the four decades or so that i am directly involved with. When i was in grade school the pollution debate was vibrant; as was the question of prison versus rehabilitation; as was the whole notion of health care. Nothing ever moved. The clean air act that has the bite of a 80 year old in a coma was passed. Well hey yah we got gay rights and women's rights and civil rights and all that but the basic nature of the beast only got worse and worse.
Big block stores replaced enterpreneurs. K Mart and McD's became de rigeur across the land. Then came technology. The microchip did not measure our individual carbon foot print and offer suggestions to better maintain the earth. That would be ludicrous. It helped the banks take your money, helped turn the info media product pumping machine we live in go live 24 hour 7 day a week. So that the down time that came at the close of the business day, and the few hours of peace one expected, was gone.
Anyway, so all this has led me to be a lot more comfortable with FAILING at the whole game. I don't have the house and the garage and the 401 K but i got my time. I don't have the kids to have the legacy. So I am free to love all the kids that the others have and not have to be Slave Parent. What I have is the experience of owning my time. So I wield the skills that go with--what those that were corralled by their one and a half job lifestyles don't have. I know how to turn fifty cents into that dollar that i need. So, this is a time of relative well being for me.
I am a writer. I have found writing workshops have been great. Simply wonderful. I remember i took one last September at Gothams. It was the old boring tired structure. There was the teacher at the head of the class and we listened to why plot was so important. We were all assumed straight. There was the wonderful re-introduction of Bananafish by J.D.Salinger into my life. I'm sure that some good would have come of it. But it was a bore.
Luckily I found the Writer's Room at the LGBT center. With simple writing and sharing in an absolutely non aggressive round table of peers the muses woke back up. It was also lovely to be understood as queer a priori. There was no weirdness as to oh so you are like that. (Yes. That is still an issue. My group at Gotham could have been from the suburbs of Scranton circa 1979 in terms of their heterocentrism.)
The question of queerness as it relates to depression is important as well. While it has been integrated into popular culture on an individual level it is still an issue. Therefore when one is queer then one must be truly okay with it before being able to get out of the depression ditch. That in my case was outwardly never an issue. I have been pretty "out" all my life. However to be back in a truly gay friendly environment, and a queer writing group gave me that much more power to create my new world economy and society. Also more hidden and less defined was my essential polyamorous self. I am not monogomous in a monogomous world. I am a writer in a world where murky workings toward nebulous goals is generally frowned upon.
This nation is oil dependent still after all the information that tells us that there are better ways. We claim to be new and modern and we still cling to outdated modes of everything from transportation to civic decision making.
One unexpected wonderful thing from writing with queers is to see the vastness of our community, the butches and femmes; the FTMs and MTFs and the gender fluid; and the radicals and the mainstream social climbers; the queers of all cultures and colors and languages. Its like seeing the rainbow up close. Ah, this is who we are. And now I am even beginning to include some truly open minded straights as queer deemed by poonam. QDP. Then there are the straight queers that want the nucleus family and their version of the fairytale Disney and Madison Avenue and Mother Goose's fantasy life.
Writing is not about saying what you need to say. Thats a dump. Its about serving it up so others can sip or sup and feed their ownselves. It is about working it out with detail and form so insights that will surprise even the writer can emerge. Writing is an act of giving of your self, flesh and spirit. You need to find people that dig the taste of your language and rock to the beat of your blood. You need to see people actually grow happier and healthier having had read you.

This is the end of this blog. If I haven't met all expectations, I humbly ask that you fill in the blanks as you best see fit. Poonam Srivastava 9:54 AM November 27 2009, revisited April 21st 2011.

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(Yes I am serious)

Send my 50 yr old self to Berlin and i will provide at least three poems and several videos and who knows what all else!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

National Poetry Month April 2011 This is the CHALLENGE

The challenge is open to all.
I wish for folks to join in.
However you wish.
At what ever point.
Write a NEW poem and send it out, to your blog
to me, i'd like to know.
One worked however you want
for each day of April 2011.

Winner gets got!

National Poetry Month April 2011 5/30

Skin Thick

Feet nestled, arms stretched long along a blue flowered dress

Five fat fingers cuddle an upraised button

As lips pucker under the bone of the neck and open in

Full yawn revealing the beginnings of teeth

Tongue darting out to explore a long strand of hair

Dangling from off the child’s nose like a fishing line

Both beings swaying with the intimate song of sleep’s breath.

The sleepers rocking in their orange and yellow chairs

Undisturbed by the dings of stops and the conductors warnings:

“Watch the closing doors.”

The sun pouring from the windows of the Brighton Beach express

Washes their softness into a butterfly melt that soaks memory

From the metallic corners of my mind back into my palate

Soaking me in waking dreams of lost and soon to be found intimacy.

A paper open on the floor between us screams of war

Of disaster of scandal of continuing hardships awaiting us all

It flutters its fonts large and small and waves it colors to the morning breeze

“Saying hello, are you World?" To the folks that inhabit you? Dreaming

in sleep and waking far from your nightmares. Far from all nightmare.

Suspended between departure and arrival.

Momentarily pardoned from the weight of consciousness.

Tenements that fly past revisited after the cold long months

Of snow and school and work and war and struggles that promise

Relief “soon, soon, soon. Around a corner, the next bend, the next

Quarter, fiscal or two dimes and a nickel for some, for more and more.

Less, less and less” Stress on the syllable sugar coated, we remove a layer

And reach for a plastic bottle of water to wet our throats and remind

Us again of the touch that we live for and that is never worth death.

5/30 of 30/30 National Poetry Month April 2011


28 lines

Monday, April 4, 2011

Charcoal on White Paper

Charcoal on White Paper

There is that first stroke

The one that hits the keyboard

The one that breaks

the solid blue foreverness of the swim lane

The one that puts dark charcoal

on perfectly white paper.

A river courses then

past the ennui

Past reluctance,

past procrastinating to the

Goddess of “But I just can’t now you know…”

There’s muscle spirit bone and tendon

intent now

On blending blues and drenching paper.

I dive into my liquid paper landscape

Head first and rise head first

Birth position, craving breath

My flesh cools to this new world

Warms to its own blood.

Its not possible now to stop

until the shore

Until the edge,

until the fire is brought

safely to land

and the words brought to flames

Until the white is revealing no longer virginity

But canvassing the stream of life.

Every stroke is your face in that frame these many years since--

I a girl child walking

defiant around my dad’s casket

Match in hand;

Every smudge another erasure

of harsh words and stinging pain of maternal wrath

Every kick another length away from the words “You never will”

“You never will finish

You never will accomplish

You never will….

You are a jack-of-all-trades,

master of none.

You never will.”

When I see the luxury of journals

Dating back to when a pencil was first held

I have to swallow rage that is chemical.

When I am with those that scale their walls

And write exits from all that kills

To enter their creation


I swim again

free in the water

that always freed me

I write again

in the words that make me

part of the fires

Late at night

in secret places

working in the various camps.

I draw reality

To change the world one stroke,

Head turning, muscles relaxed and active

To the next...

Reunion-- A long poem in Haiku

Bewildered I walk

Into your conversation

Already started

No pause for me here

The words flow and I’m drowning.

Laughter engulfs us.

I knew them all then,

Children in corny camping—

Company we were.

Now grey, now withered

In places our faces strain

To hide from ourselves.

Come talk alone bit

Away from their babbling brook--

The tops of trees black,

Your lips ruby still,

We warm to our ancient dance.

Your hand reaches mine.

Carried here through war,

Bodies devastated some,

Youth a memory.

Follow these stone steps,

Carving our inner dreamscape--

Dance this reunion.

Under this dark sky

Lighted by moonshine and sex

Your mouth traces mine,

Your pain wells my eyes,

Our joy tears down damp word walls.

Can we still be, love?

Bewildered you call

Me my name of years long past

And flush fills the space.

This place, our union

Lined up in their heartfelt doubts

They come and they go,

They whirl around us--

blind to our apartment, to

how you possess me.

Wonder-A Poem in Haiku


Wonder, blunder by

There’s no sky so high up here

No storm, no weather.

Me in my fine mind

Lonely as the day is flight

Dreaming darkly down--

Towards your river bend.

Flow of laughter and our sigh,

Salt water cracks ice.

Black lark up on wire,

Sitting with all permanence,

Singing you back home

Though you never lived

Out of imaginings and

Dancing that dark hole.

Gravity chips my

Shoulder blades: knives in your hands--

Long cuts down my chest.

I wonder, wonder

Why no sun is in the sky.

My sleep shattered now--

I’ll hold you lil child,

Let passion’s oceans rise fall

Into other times--

Where we did once meet

Upon the streets of urban

Scenes of burbon rhymes.

All the years we stole

Against youth’s alledg’d folly

Rushing. Raging on

There we stood and watched

Two perilous proud peacocks

As world honors flowed.

In this sleep, this grave

Remains the gracious fore taste

Life we never knew.

I wonder wander

Winning losing words and birds

Lost in lustful love.

How Mature of You

How Mature Of You

Well ain’t that mature of you

To conquer jealousy……

To keep your demons

Darkly buried

In unmarked graves

Lost in foggy cemeteries covered in fearful and dreary gloom

Reached by commuter ferries that follow age old routes

Traveled in grim fairy tales

And poems out of rhymes.

How mature of you to keep feeding projects and dreams out of sight.

Well, ain’t that just so mature of you

ARen’t you just so clever

To carve out hate

And anger from your relations with

Serrated knives

From dusty drawers

Of long forgotten

Side boards that held

Feasts on festive days;


Straight lined

Rules and codes

Written in blood

from animals that haunt ancestral moors.

Mature of you

I say

To make it to this day

Where we can watch you

Play with rules instead of reflexes

games you never imagined into being.

You ought to get a nobel


No one knows your inner cries.

No one feeds your rutted hungry sighs.

In this world where one and one can

Only make two

Where three’s

Allowed in comedy.

Four in fantasy

Or worse.

Where a female pipe must always meet

A male

to let water through.

How mature of you to smile

At those that cannot see pain

How lovely to spare them.

How mature of you I say this now

Without praise or blame.

Coming up from a world of whips,

Of electrical cords that stung your hips,

Into the world of lies that showed

You what you wanted

but held opposite


I love you as you are

She said and brought you a present

In a short dress

And then slammed the word slut all over your


The sacred was profane and poison in your soul.

How mature of you my dear

To finally make roll call

To say yes to those that can hear and see

And nothing to the rest.

To stop the silly gesturing and get your kneaded breasts

The love you bring

With your mature self.

To go fearlessly from one to two to three

With no shame holding

Your hand and smirking

A sinister snake that ate you even as you fed.

How very happy and mature of you

How very merry and sure of you

While in the dark

you flee your self

While in the dark

Mother rears her

ugly angry head

And father falls

off from the cliff

Ghandi reader in hand.

While horses ride at evil clips

And ships collide and ships sink

While you swim under water

The lengths of years of light

That never reaches eyes to see.

A breath again

and your sight formulates

Sketches of shelters

Homes with fire and water.

Hearts in fleshed

with life and libido drenched

In openness and bathed

in spirit

Ready to explore

new lands.

How very mature of you.

How very mature of you.



Forgiveness / Forgiveness

It’s a little bit of love

That breaks the business /

the blandness

of Ego

Ergo you know

What you know

And I too.

No! I won’t forget

No! I won’t love

you again!

I forgive you,

Then love elsewhere

There I can plant seeds

There grow old roots


Imagine a garden’s in bloom.

Far from our souls mute tongues

Unable to voice the bridge


Far from the break

to the other bank

Brittle bones unbending

Precious heart intent


original borders.


It is a clean word.

Centuries, I tussled with your

anguished forms of right

of wrong


honor disabused!

oh HOW life’s wrongs made their


nestled in your mind’s cosy rooms;

Now: towards beauty I flow,

Cutting cords called duty

called family.

Claiming the wind and world as my own.


Forgiveness is not that misstep that is mislaid

On the half turn that brings me to your window’s light-

My two door hatchback parked direct behind your mamoth six seater mini van

next to the house

Next to the door not entered since ashes took

The body—

Burnt the body

Burnt the story

Burnt the door I will never re-enter

clear from

Your ownerships of truth.

Hold your truths,

hold them dear


for there is

no longer need for love of me

My dalliance in these dark forests

of what might have been

HAS been

too long.

Objects in rearview mirrors.

My forgiveness, not absolution

Primal force, Life

seeking new growth

Entering colors that live between names

such as indigo and gold

Dancing to notes between

Bflats and Cs in keys of locks you’ll never know

Swimming rivers of life and souls

that owe me nothing and feed me so

While I freely frolic with the children

and condemn them not to the past--

I go and you go—

each on our bites of reality

Un abridged.

We speak hollow

We take our leave.

I know fully it may mean nothing to you.

I barely know if it means anything to me.

Your sudden departure from our ship

The torrent of hate heaped

The silent shame of what?

My rage and pain misunderstood then as now

My self betrayed by myself in your defection.

How you smiled surrounded by milk cheese and butter

In aisles marked “Save, save, save!”

“Lets walk to the cars together,” you said.

“But I rode the bus,” I said.

“Lets have a coffee instead.”

I watched your face the tilt of neck the squinch of eye the familiar dart of tongue to lip

And did not ask you to explain…

I took your number into my phone and we never talked again.

Forgiveness / Forgiveness another layered rutted road,

A landscape, a dance space,

A mirror cool as melted snow on parched lips

We go then.

You go and I go


No I will not love you


I will forgive you always.

I will forgive myself.

Forgiveness I will seek you

On darkest craven shores of flight.

Or bright spring green lawns of urban parks

under early budding pinks and whites.

Forgiveness is the dance much easier to follow.

Not alone now just not with those that were here then.

Forgiveness / nests / home again in my skin.