Veronica's Garden

I originally started this blog to promote my novel, Post Rock Limestone Caryatids. Now I write essays and poetry about everything, including the Flint Hills, healing, parenting, etc. WARNING: emotional content, sometimes intense. Read at own risk of feeling.

Tag: surrealist poetry

NaPoWriMo day 22: [They rank those kids.]

I decided to lean into the falling asleep while writing thing I’ve been doing all month, and instead of trying to focus on an idea, type all the words that go traipsing through my mind as I doze off. I don’t know that this result is a poem, but I don’t know that it isn’t. What does it mean? Why don’t you tell me?

They rank those kids. Make them drink
motor oil. Sit down with us on the cold ground.
Is it too long from the church
you like to change my direction?
I’m not sure if he’s changed it
or if he’s changed. You’re giving
him more weapons. It’s in Kansas City
more likely, it’s got a little tin to it.
What happened? I just found this
on a high shelf you probably can’t reach.
You want it? They’re lying to you,
Rachel, your head’s so high. Do you hear the
waterfalls doing that? I hear them.
If you make her a paper airplane.
Nobody gets it, the purple zeitgeist.
Those slams really bother you. Mm hm.
That makes sense because everyone agrees
they’re really happy. Don’t box us in.

Mom, what are those giant airplanes?

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Mars Conjunct Venus

There’s a rabble-rouser in me.
Likes to fight. Likes to shut down
a discussion with his jury-rigged
arguments made of home-canned
logic and duct tape. Lives with his gang
in an abandoned barn on the outskirts
of my mind. Strutting around shirtless
and sweating like he owns the place.
His girlfriend, she’s interesting. Titian mane
falling over a thrift-store feather boa.
Laughs like the bell grandma used
to call everyone in for dinner. Sings
like cold water from a deep well.
I’d be friends with her, if I could
just get them apart. We watch them,
my little girl and I, hidden under the
low-hanging branches of an evergreen.
We only see shadows through the grimy window,
but we can hear their voices, laughing,
shouting. Firing off the shotgun just for kicks.
If they knew we were here,
they’d torch the place and scatter.
We’d never see them again. But they’d
still be around, out there somewhere,
causing trouble.

Rowan at window2

Dreaming Matriarchal Community

I haven’t been inspired to blog lately, probably just too busy to let my mind wander, which seems to be an integral part of the creative process. I have had some moments when everything seemed luminous and magical, but my mind couldn’t rise to the occasion and do anything with that. And that’s okay, because it’s most important simply to experience and notice those moments; elucidating is extra. Then there are times when the push to stay in a mental mode conducive to functioning on the mundane level causes all that metaphysical energy to be sublimated to the dreamworld. There were years when the only writing I did was surrealist poetry, because dreams were the only place I could find material worth writing about. And so, today I’m going to write my Easter dream, the most beautiful and joyful dream I’ve had in years.

I was staying at a sort of hippie coop instead of a hotel, while traveling. In actuality, it was run like a hippie coop, but had a feel more like a modern college campus. It was a place I had heard about a long time ago from an old friend (who in waking world no longer speaks to me). This community was gynocentric and/or matriarchal. The people were open and kind. They solved problems by listening to one another and working together to find solutions. Everyone looked out for all the kids. The group was not without dissent; I heard a man complaining about how men weren’t respected here, yet there were other men present who loved the place and felt respected and welcome.

I was with my children. My husband wasn’t there, but was expected to arrive perhaps the next day. The kids were playing while I talked to other adults, and at one point another woman kindly put my younger daughter to sleep with her children.

Someone handed me a spoon. It was one of the treasures held by this community, artifacts of ancient matriarchal and/or goddess-worshipping societies. He rubbed the edge of the bowl of the spoon, and it sang, sort of like a wineglass might, but not just one note. With one touch, the spoon played a whole song, so movingly beautiful that I wept before it was over. The women surrounding me smiled with love and understanding at my tears. I tried to play it again, but all I could get were short single notes.

I was about to take the kids to bed when someone mentioned that I should pay for our stay. I went to get my checkbook, which was in our room in another building. On the way back, someone knocked me down in the darkness. It was a boy, not from this community. He took a basket I was carrying, another of the artifacts. He said it wasn’t fair, that his bike had been stolen. But I got the basket back and went inside. As I was writing the check, the man I was about to give it to told me that payment was actually optional. I was thinking about how much to give, when I saw through a window that both my girls were outside playing with the other kids. It was full dark, late for them to be up, and I had been sure at least one was already asleep. I’d have to gather them as soon as I gave him the check. I gave him $15, asking if it was enough, and he said that he’d only expected me to give $2.

So that’s that. Hope you all had a lovely Easter, if you recognize it, and if not, that your spring brings renewal and light and hope.

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