Con Mucho Tacto / Tactfully

18 Mar

Me tocastes.
Aqui. Y aca.
Me has tocado
por todas partes
en lugares secretos
que nadie mas ha visto
en tiempos pasados
que no quiero borrar
profundamente me tocaste
aunque sin verte, ni oírte
y aveces sin entender
tu silencio.

Pero, yo no soy niña
y para que lo sepas
caigo bien en cuenta
que no eres tu el
que intenta tocarme
sino mas bien soy yo
la que se abre
y se deja tocar
como una flor que vive
fugaz, sin miedo
de marchitarse.

Tactfully

You touched me.
Here. And over here.
You have touched me
everywhere
in secret places
that no one else has seen
in times past
that I don’t wish to erase
you touched me deeply
despite not seeing, or hearing you
and sometimes without understanding
your silence.

But, I am not a young girl
and so that you know
I am well aware that
it is not you who
tries to touch me
instead rather it is me
that opens up
and lets myself be touched
like a flower that lives
fleetingly, without fear
of withering.

Gardenia by Lupe Eyde-Tucker

Look around, there is evidence everywhere.

A shower poem.

My Heart, in Three Stages

17 Mar

I learned to swim the hard way
honeysuckles hanging over the pool
I clung to the sides, holding
my preteen breath underwater, with
self-induced mild panic, but eventually
inching towards the deep end
my nose barely above water, and when
my toes no longer touched
I became a dog paddler.

I learned all the strokes
young men hanging around the pool
I cannonballed into the center, splashing
my tanned legs making waves, reveling
in my bikini-clad element, treading water
I hung out in the deep end
my back floating on the surface, and when
my eyes gazed upon the lifeguard
I became a mermaid.

I learned to dive in head first
my toes hanging overlooking the drop
I balanced on the edge, inhaling
deep breaths staring across the water, with
fear and hope mixed with sadness, but knowing
I needed the deep end
my legs leaping off the edge, and when
my clear voice said yes, forever
I became a cliff-diver

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This is one of those poems that just materializes. The idea for it came a few days ago, I was reading She Walks in Beauty, by Caroline Kennedy, which is an excellent collection of poetry. There was a poem in there, not sure exactly which right now, but one phrase, one image from that poem stuck with me. Cliff-diver. It was late when I read it, and when that phrase bounced around in my head gathering electrons and other phrases, images, and words. I grabbed my notebook and tried to capture as many of them as I could before I turned off the light and lay my head down to sleep. I finally had a chance to work on it last night. The interesting part to me is that although the basic idea is intact, the actual finished product is very different from what started out in my notebook. Hope you like it :)

On A County Road at Night

15 Mar

Driving on a county road at night
we’re arguing in the dark
our windows are rolled down
so our voices amplify and
you continue crossing the line
all the way back home
ripping through the night
angry words stream behind us
interrupting the slumbering trees
still we argue at the stoplight
on our side of town
but when another car
pulls up the next lane over
I roll my window up
while yours stays down.

image

I rarely write poems about unpleasant things. I find it a waste of time to dwell upon negative stuff, generally, and to write a poem about something negative means I have to ruminate on it a long time. So, I just don’t. Usually when I’m angry or feel bummed out emotionally, I try to think of happy, pleasant things and my bad feelings go away. I guess that’s why I write a lot of romantic poems.

But, I am seeking change. Personally, poetically, in my life and in my writing, I feel the need to reinvent and gain new perspectives, which is why I decided to write this poem about a failed attempt to go out on a date with my husband last night. To a lot of people this poem might seem rather mild, but for me it is huge. I am just not a ranter, but I appreciate the passion behind a well crafted rant poem. Maybe if I ever get out of fight or flight mode I’ll be able to rant more.

Warp Speed

8 Mar

It was summertime and the sun shone high
graduation cap and gown gone bye
squeezed boxes & bike in my hatchback
pulled out my map, gathered my snacks
my first long road trip all alone
18 hours between me and my home
I had an ’87 Hyundai Excel
it was nothing to look at, but it served me well
on the open highway I pushed my steed
78 mph was like hitting warp speed
she’d start to shimmy, she’d start to shake
I often wondered ’bout all the noises she’d make
there wasn’t a radio, or even cassette tape
to break the monotony of the landscape
so I fell in love during that long journey
with the open road; it keeps me yearning.

 

 

Tes yeux, tes mains, ta voix

8 Mar

Tes yeux
tes mains
ta voix

Ta bouche
sur moi

Il n’y a pas rien
plus que je veux

Tes mains
ta voix
tes yeux

tout ta poids
sur moi.

IMAG1270_1

I don’t write very many poems in French. This one is quite elementary, though it gets the point across. But, more than anything else, I simply like the way these words sound.

A Solas

3 Mar

Cuando estoy contigo,
mi único deseo es tocarte, pero
mis manos están atados
por ojos ajenos, de manera que
sueño estar a solas, tu y yo,
hechando el diccionario
a un lado, y juntos creando
con las yemas de nuestros dedos
un lenguaje nuevo y secreto, lleno
de verbos y claras definiciones,
porque cuando estas cerca, mis labios
anhelan leer tus labios, y
mis ojos desean ver,
por fin, lo que tu ves.

Alone

When I am with you,
my only desire is to touch you, but
my hands are tied
by all the other eyes. Therefore,
I dream of being alone, you and I,
tossing the dictionary aside,
our fingertips creating
a new, secret language, full
of verbs, and keen definitions,
because when you are near, my lips
long to read yours, and
my eyes yearn to finally
see what you see.

image

For those of you who are interested in the writing process behind my poems, I originally wrote this last July. It is the seed for the idea of what ended up being Lingua Franca.

I have been going through my drafts, looking for poems that I can finish, or ideas that stalled and need a fresh start.

Lingua Franca

27 Feb

you speak boy
I speak girl
yet for us, no sound
is sufficient, our mouths
explore each other’s territories,
our hands translate
,
enlightening the natives

establishing new diplomatic protocols

you speak mountain
I speak sea
yet, an entire glossary
we have created, our eyes
smoke-signaling, our fingertips
interpreting, rewriting words
with a tactile alphabet
probing new depths of meaning

your tongue traced a path
from my highest peak,
winding down my slopes
to a fruitful valley, below
and taught me your word
for “the thrill of a skier
racing down a mountain”

my hips rose up
to meet your ship
then set you loose
to ride upon my ocean
and taught you my word
for “invincible sailboat
plowing through waves”

your breath left vocabulary lists
on the back of my neck
my palms splayed flashcards
on the small of your back
eagerly we devise this common language
so I can speak you, and you can speak me.

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Lingua franca is a language that is adopted as a common language between speakers whose native languages are different. I have been intrigued with this concept, and began scribbling lines to this poem a few months ago, whenever images and ideas would pop into my head. I love the idea of two people having a language that they create, yet don’t speak in words. To be able to communicate soundlessly through sight and touch requires a deep intimacy and a desire to learn, understand, and be open and vulnerable.

I recorded a reading of a slightly altered version of this poem. If you listen to the reading, please let me know which version has a greater impact, the written version or the the spoken version.

 

 

Protected: Editing My Book of Poetry

28 Jan

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Happiness Sold Separately

21 Jan

Back, when we were grownups,
on any given day …

A twist of lemon-
a secret kept-
a multitude of sins.

The husband’s secret:
faking it.
Neither here, nor there.
A rare breed of love, with
happiness sold separately.

image

A found poem from among the titles of books in our library’s book sale section.

It Was

13 Jan

It was a book, but
not a book. Words really,
a life actually, ready
to be devoured. I hoped
for epiphanies, maybe
a spark of recognition
yet, nothing was said
unless you wanted
to hear. You didn’t,
I surmised, and so there
it was, lost in translation.

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Written for Dverse Poets Pub on this Tuesday in January. The theme is secrets. I could write a book about that. Sometimes, its better just to be direct.

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