Thoughtful Revolution

Category Archive

The following is a list of all entries from the Poetry Break category.

Poetry Break: Immediately After the Epitaph

Inspired by Emily Dickinson.

immediately after the epitaph

– and I know something about
alone, about finding sympathy
in a bird’s feathers or the cracks of a windowpane,
or in an exercise tape, all smiles and limber kicks –
or in tortilla chips, or coiled strings
or in a type pad with its hyper-used Enter key
jammed into limbo –

– and I can play the quiet contrarian too
at home, picking fights for the hell of it,
rational and prickly, all erudition no faith
and I can rub myself numb when I need to
with graphite and old paper –

– and when I walk my feet are unaccustomed,
like yours must have been, to the feel of strange ground,
and when I walk I am swollen like a rain cloud full to bursting,
vapor oozing from my ears, turning to fog –

– and you and I, we know the truth
in sailing away on hyphens, or hoisting uppercase;
there’s an escape hatch when we praise the folds
of a cherry blossom not yet blown, when our hands become the petals
and we can settle a new perch, peeking through sunshine
while we wait for winter to scatter us.


Poetry Break: Dedicated to the One I Love

I read this today and felt it needed to be shared.  Why?  Because it’s gorgeous, that’s why. Sweet and vaguely satirical and gorgeous.

Dedicated to the One I Love
by Nin Andrews

It’s simply hopeless, isn’t it? Even if you begin
by postulating the existence of some exotic place —
a village of divine origin, or diabolical perhaps —
maybe a city of sin, or hindrances such as torpor and lust
(those are the ones I like best), whole days spent in bed,
wearing silk pajamas, sipping cappuccino, daydreaming —
going backwards in time (you could visit Paris in the first
half of the century if you wish), gliding down bannisters
and into the ballrooms of the past where, by some odd chance,
you already know the steps to all the dances, you, Darling,
would still become a politician, some charismatic figure
issuing proclamations at every hour. And no matter what you say
or said, it would create the illusion of making sense, inspiring shock,
warning of imminent and supreme crisis without end — and all
at once we’d be back in the dark ages, and then the desert —
and you would decide to leave (don’t you always?), slipping on
your coat and glasses, (alas) and rushing off before the part begins
with Jacob wrestling the angels, and all the patriarchs go limp —

but you wouldn’t resist gazing back (would you? just once?)
through the promised lens — to see me again, there where I am
forever lazing in bed, combing my long black hair over my shoulders
and nude breasts? Outside the sky is shimmering, and it’s dusk
in Jerusalem (or Valencia or Madrid?) and someone is ringing
the doorbell again and again, and I am imagining God is as happy
with the world (unredeemed as it is) as an ant atop a wet, bruised

Poetry Break: Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur

Someone had told them that the Book of Life
was already bolted, that the only way to wrench it open
was to pray. They stared, unmoved

for what were words? Transactions, courtesies,
a string of curses when the hammer
slammed down too hard, missing the nail,
excuses, the sibilant lies of a love song,
as many and slight as the grains of sand
that chafed their feet;

yet, chastened by the warnings and the autumn storms
and the wild dogs whose barks lit up the sky
they prayed – and prayed – and prayed –
and after they had vomited up their insides
in a hail of guttural sounds, corrosive, sticky, bilious,
after they had spewed their words and purged themselves
beyond recognition,

all they could do was wash their mouths
and hope that the book might reopen,
and hope that the night would pass.

Poetry Break: My First Chord

I couldn’t resist.

Esus4 Lullaby

My first chord was the E sustained fourth
and maybe that’s what started it all –
maybe cradling the roseate bones
of that guitar, in dying summer sun,
I knew my course would be to play
harmonics.  Maybe even then,
I was not a D chord sort of girl
(baby’s first prim frets, the simple
title and convention of puppy love,
fingerboard’s foremost kiss to a teenage
innocent) nor A minor (the groaning notes
of acoustic misery, unbridled longing/hate/
anger/unabashed what-you-will) nor even
guileless G (no knowledge
of structure nor shame).
Maybe when my fingertips
found their places, second fret, three strings in order – 1-2-3-predictable as anything –
they knew their home by reflex.  Or maybe it was not until
my pick flew down and nearly broke with beauty:

E sustained fourth, dark and fragile and
shaky as wind-blown blossoms –
a chord for the night and the uncertain,
a chord untouched by theory
and kissed with dying summer sun.

Poetry Break: My City

Apologies in advance.  I wrote this for an assignment requring the use of all five senses as descriptors. This is very much a rough draft, and I already know I need to revamp the fourth stanza in a major way… eh, whatever, here goes, constructive criticism welcome.

My City

smells like asphalt and pupusas
and burning rubber and sidewalk pizza
and body odor and sunscreen and cannabis
and the dust that clings to your toes,
well-trod and soft, after a stroll on the Mall

and my city tastes of half-smokes drenched in chili,
the bun soggy with the force of it, and grainy American gelato
and overpriced panini and sweat and blood and cupcakes
and hot air and ideology and the rich fondue of a melting pot
inexperienced, still learning how to blend

and my city sounds like a trumpet mourning
at Metro Center station and the clink of money
and demagogues and swearwords and lost seagulls
wandering in from the Chesapeake,
and the open mic poetry slam on 14th Street, and
the universal language of tourists, and anger and hatred,
and sweet kisses in cherry blossom season

and my city sings with the businessman
complaining that his bubble’s popped and the wrinkled activist
and the prophet scribbling backwards at the Old Post Office,
clutching her berry-tipped fingers, and the old guy selling ice cream,
and the girl with purple hair and Das Kapital, and the amateur rapper,
and the Peruvian poet by way of New Haven,
and the intern, and the cop, and the nurse paid a pittance,
and the lanky Plato on the subway train
sculpting answers from the voice of the operator

and my city knows the Congress back to front
and foams at the mouth in election season,
but come Saturday night, my city
sparks like a bonfire, sensuous,
dangerous, exquisite, ready to party.

The Thoughtful Revolution

This blog may or may not be interesting.

This blog may or may not be well-written.

This blog may or may not be about the following: feminism, politics, childhood toys, economics, food, global human rights, theatre, educational philosophy, electric cellos, DIY crafts, Emma Goldman, yoga, theology, dried flowers, collages, songwriting, Kurt Vonnegut, bellydance, acrylic paint, swimming, environmentalism, linguistics, Amanda Palmer, Michael Pollan, farming practices, rubber ducks, and/or my charming little heartland hometown, Washington D.C.

This blog may or may not be one of those dreaded teen poetry sites.  Or one of those dreaded teen art sites.  Or one of those dreaded teen catharsis sites.

This blog will sadly not blast the entire Rasputina discography if you find the right Easter egg.

But this blog will be religiously updated, very pretty, and even — sometimes — insightful.  It will always involve a good deal of thought, hence The Thoughtful Revolution.

Before we get started, I need to define my terms.  To change the world (and it’s a world that desperately needs changing, on countless levels and topics), there needs to be thought.  That little Captain Obvious moment is step 1.  But more importantly, that thought can do nothing but fester if it isn’t communicated.  That’s step 2.  Eventually, for it to achieve importance, it must (I think) be worked into something greater than itself, a new, tangible, productive way of sharing it with the world — step 3.  This blog is, I hope, step 2: a place to communicate thoughts, to keep them from rotting inside my skull.  Some of them may be rotted and worthless on arrival.  Hopefully not all of them will be.  But if I have a place to put them out, and if I can get enough feedback and trolling and interest and discussion and devil’s-advocate criticism, maybe together we can hoist them up to step 3.

And I hope dearly that any readers I can find will feel free to send or post their own thoughts, to be processed and shared in the same manner.  Send me things that occur to you, with or without provocation from anything on this blog, and they’ll take their place in the exchange.  Because that, that marketplace and development of ideas, is the thoughtful revolution — and a revolution of thought might be its own step 1 in finding and implementing the solutions that our world craves.

In conclusion, read.  Think.  Write.  Explore.  Treat this blog not as a vacuum — as the solitary writings of one teenage girl — but as a constant game of mental tug-of-war, or cyberspace give-and-take.  And if you figure out how to get the entire Rasputina discography on here, please feel free to let me know.