Sunday, 28 October 2007

Going Up

4th floor
middle-aged office clerk, hiding a
small schnauzer in her
brown trench coat

6th floor
lab tech, spends the day
cutting up dead things
writes life into them at night

9th floor
single mom, teacher
finds time to sing Motown
while doing dishes

10th floor
exchange student, wonders why
all look so intent on
not looking

11th floor
young suit, accidentally caught
a glimpse of his roommate in the shower
accidentally enjoyed it

12th floor
would-be astronomer, has mapped
all the Mares and Mons of the
business major across the street

14th floor
poet, passes same nice guy
in the hall every day
always genuinely surprised to pass him.


I was intending to post something completely different today, but when I was flipping through the notebook looking for the one I had in mind this one caught my eye instead.

This poem is based very loosely on the apartment building I lived in when I was in university. It's hard not to see the same people in the elevator every day without wondering just a little bit about what goes on behind the blank faces staring at the door and pretending not to pay attention to anyone else around them.

We act so strangely in elevators. Don't you think?

The floor number choices are, for the most part, arbitrary. I did put the happy person on (cloud) nine on purpose, and the poet definitely needed to have her head in the clouds. Oh, and there's no floor thirteen just because my building didn't have one.

And yes, I sneaked myself onto that elevator as well. Which floor? Well, one or two people out there might be able to guess. It doesn't really matter in the end, though.

Saturday, 27 October 2007

Max Likes a Fire

The wood stove door is
Cat Television
and he will sit for hours
watching the saga unfold in
tropical orange
with occasional sapwood cherry bombs
to punctuate

(he tried the front row
to hear the story better
just once
now he prefers a seat in the circle)

and then
as the song begins to fade
he wraps the warmth in
a perfect ball
and hides amongst the sofa cushions

the true model of


A bit of fluff, really. I'm getting these out of a notebook I finished about four years ago, and it's interesting to see how much variation there is in the poems. I was working out a lot of things in my personal life at the time, and some of the stuff I wrote was so very bitter (and, frankly, pretty bad). Then you get things like this one, which is nothing more than sketching a moment. Then... well, there are some slightly more philosophical entries that I'm debating on whether to resurrect or not. Some of it's pretty weird.

Ah well. You'll know my decision on that by tomorrow, I expect.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Cyclamen in chalk pastels

I think I mentioned below that the whole cyclamen phase was thinking more or less in shapes rather than reality. Pretty obvious here that I wasn't going for anything even remotely resembling reality.

Yep, it was actually on purpose.

I don't work in chalks often enough to bother with getting a decent set of pastels, but sometimes I'm tempted to anyway. Cheap chalks can be so frustrating. You're going along smoothly as you please, and then you hit that inevitable hard chunk that leaves a weird streak on the page...

Ah, who am I fooling? This entire doodle was a weird streak (or several) on the page.

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Cyclamen in graphite

This was done some time ago and was part of a series of cyclamen sketches I did. The flower is cut off on purpose, as I was mostly just playing with shapes. I suppose I was going for an abstract feel to the finished product.

I like playing with toned paper. It's almost more fun for me to be able to create a form by removing colour rather than adding shading. This one's obviously a bit of both, though.

When I'm in the mood to do this kind of thing I usually work in a darkened room with a single light source since it adds emphasis to the shadows. I have a three-bulb adjustable lamp something like this one (but much cheaper) that works really well for that since it allows me to choose how high I want the light to be coming from.

As always, click on the photo for a closer look. Just don't look too closely at the technique...

Saturday, 20 October 2007


Old man
With half a face
Blinding out the Hyades

Old boat
Encrusted with barnacles
Pulling in its wake
Lunatics and women

You are goddess, chariot,
Artemis leading the wild hunt --
Basking in a brother's mirrored glory

Does my blood reach out to you
Like the waters of the world?
Dead, stepped-on rock
Holding our litter and our past
Frozen in stone

I know you, Queen of Wanderers --
Just a satellite
Cold companion to a marble
Wearing a stolen halo
And giving your aid to common thieves

Yet -- I dance with you
Your moods flow through me
And in the fullness of your chill grey glare
I will howl


This one was written back in 2001, and I'm starting with it partly because it's short (back then I was writing a lot of long, wordy rambles) and partly because I can still stand it.

I usually cringe when I look back at my old poems.

It's a pretty basic meditation on the moon and its various aspects: male/female, mystic/prosaic; that sort of thing. The moon's been looked at in many ways over its history (or should I say over human history. I have no idea whether the dinosaurs even noticed the moon), and while it's lost some of its mystery since we've been up there and walked on it (if you believe the moon landings really happened... and yes, I do) it's interesting to me that on a clear night it can still make me wish it had some of that mythological power back.

Here we go.

As you might have noticed, I've cleared all but one of the old entries from this blog.

So what's up with that, Dee?

Well, I could tell you at length, but it's easier just to direct you to this post on the other blog where I've already blathered on about it.

Read it yet?

Yep, this place is about to get a little artsy. Not pretentiously artsy, since I'm obviously and happily a rank amateur, but artsy all the same. I've been ignoring those particular voices for a while now, and they're getting a little cranky.

Just as a note before I get into things: while my policy on the other blog is to not delete things once they've been posted (I mean, unless I decide to completely reformat that blog someday like I did this one), on this one I'm allowing myself free range as the mood strikes. Edit, delete, totally crater... it's entirely up to me. In other words, if you see something you like you should probably make yourself a copy because there's no guarantee that it'll be hanging around long.

If you do make copies, do me a favour and make sure you credit them to me. Credit to deeol if you're just using them on the internet, but if they're going to end up in hard copy somewhere you should probably use my full name.

And what would that full name be?

Oh, after I post this I'll edit the sidebar to include a contact e-mail. Drop me a note and I'll get back to you.

Are we ready then?

Not sure I am, but I'll see what I can come up with.
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