Wednesday, April 30, 2014

some links I've come back to or stumbled onto this month:

A poetry book called Situations by Laura Carter

"Some Feel Rain" by Joanna Klink

A blog of literary commentary called Pomp and Intertext

Chanterelle's Notebook, a poetry e-zine

A TEDtalk on architecture

Playable games

End of April: Notes

Many of the poems I've written this month lacked the typical cohesive nature of the tradition that I grew under. They are like open-ended questions, like one-half of a parenthesis. Or more like random notations on a sheet of music, which, when played, produces mostly noise rather than song. The reasons behind this--aside from that they were easier to write--is that I wrote them in the spirit of alea or chance. I needed to be shaken loose from the narrow circle of my own thoughts. I consider those poems collaged because they grew from other people's work, from random words and phrases culled from current readings. They are collaborations, in a way. Not all of them are successful, however. And I find myself still circling the same old images and themes sometimes. (So the work is never done.)

I've also liked playing with form in general, from truncated haikus to that weird Filipino poem. I've done some long ones this month, and I've written short lines, and longer ones. When I read them over, I am happy to be so inconsistent. I always feel like I'm repeating myself, so the unexpected, the novel, and the random are all welcome here. But there are still patterns. I find myself writing a lot of internal or slant rhymes, more out of instinct that strict deliberation. There are a lot of maps, a lot of songs, and poems about stories. I've also been drawn to anaphora.

As always, doing this everyday means my life seeps into the poetry. My dark days, my daily worries, the questions and topics that are my current obsessions or preoccupations--they are all present in my poems. Will I do this again? Maybe next year. I am wrung out now, and also, craving prose.

A Fan's Ode

by Christine Fojas

Want is warm.
Everywhere you go
fire follows.

Just a dream:
a mic in your hand,
eyes watching

and applause.
You smile and the world
screams back. Like

for the orchestra,
the music

rises high.
Tide-maker, o moon.

Yet do you
long for solitude
and silence?

Open air
Eyes watching,

eyes judging.
How do you keep on
being you?

Hold yourself
whole lest it shatter
in the mirrors

of others
who want and want and
want? A dream

can turn dark,
a crowd to a mob.
Or you wake

to the day
nobody looks twice.
Even gods

see twilight
falling as their names
fade away.

When that day
arrives, think of me
who loves you

Hopelessly. I am
still clapping,

still screaming,
dreaming your dream and

to wake up
to the world.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Scavenger's Pages

by Christine Fojas

language is a naive ritual
of erasure. it annihilates
the path, for a dark hope,
or else plays in shadow. we
are given givens. kung

the book in your hands
are compiled pages
from repeated pairs.
but some of us deviate
from maps. I make my own choices,

sifting through
boxes of praxis
for free sources
and found things:
scavenger's prerogative.

amidst lost texts and lines
of prayer are the seeds
of transgression, or else borne
of the embers of wonder
which must be fanned back
to life.

leave rooms for trespass,
holes, holy silence.
what dances between
the lines?

Monday, April 28, 2014

A Fool's Mystery

by Christine Fojas

There is music in silence.

Who you are
is a question of
who I was
unearthing all along.

I tried to learn trash value
and alternate logic,
to stand upside down.
Re-vision is a chance
to take a deeper breath

to be safe in risk.
Pick the rules for breaching
and create alive mythologies

made of love

for all endeavors
foolish and again the fool
fashions the opposite
spirit, attends
the office of things
that happen before
and things that will happen again.

Hammering the question
into the old backwards tale,
an exercise in myth-making,
a dream unfolding,
a mystery just drawing a breath--

Sunday, April 27, 2014


by Christine Fojas

Poolside. A woman and a child sitting
with wet t-shirts and crinkle-eyed smiles.
Twelve years later, the sun's the same
but little else.

When did love prove itself a lie?
A mother never quite lets go
of a daughter's hand. But that's not just
love; that's pride and face; that's
something you hold because you feel
you own it, a little. Love's another marker,
another mark.

Children meet time and families
grow out, too-tight clothes with holes
and stains, shoes that pinch toes. You
are you, and who knows how much of you
is moss that grew on stone, how much
are edges smoothed by the pounding sea,
and how much really is mother's fault
which is big enough

to crack the world apart.
So when did love prove itself a lie?
That it could mend a break, that it
could span the sea? That it could let me

help you now?

Saturday, April 26, 2014

What to do with a life?

by Christine Fojas

Turn it over with deft hands,
trace the lines on the surface,
lightly, oh so lightly.
There are coins to spend.
There are books to be read.
There are questions that hang
in the air like mobiles.
A little askew.

We are all skin--touch us hard
enough and we will bruise;
cut us deep, and blood
will seep out, and then the healing
begins. Deeper,
and you court death.

You breathe,
as much as you can.
You breathe in the open fire,
a lover's kiss, the soup
on the boil.
Invisible smoke,
trailing away.

Chop it up into pieces
you can chew. Season it well,
then watch it brown on the grill.
Hell's a kitchen, but God's knife
put us there.

I don't know. But it's an ugly answer
to a beautiful question. What does
ignorance give you, except a hollow,
an absent stone, a need?

But it never goes away. The life
is yours but not quite. We are pinned
on a net and spread out over the sea
and the water passes through
our emptiness, and sometimes
there is a fish or two, caught
as we are caught.

Turn it over with deft hands,
and then let it go. Watch its silver
flash, sharp fins, trail of bubble-talk.
Watch the ocean-void swallow it down.