"dazzle gradually"

"Dazzle Gradually" 2015 poems, paintings, new art & photography--a diary, a discipline, a delight. Read over my shoulder as I post

my unedited poetry before it's cleaned up and sent off to publishers ---you can see it in the raw.

Polly McCann

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Tar Man

Ending the year with this poem about being a single mom living with family that help me out a lot. This is rather tongue in cheek but describes one of the days I had a while back that made me realize how opposite my life is from a few years ago. Now I have a new understanding so different from the stay at home mom that I formerly was.

Tar Man

Black tar star, Brer Star
You are no brother o' mine.
My wish stuck--no double slap
can get it gone. It's true,
I have finally become a man.

I come home from work
through traffic, my arms sore
my voice tired from meetings.
Get the mail, grumpy.
Inside the dogs do bark
so they get a pat on the head.
Good dog.
I trip over children's books
shoe strings, and hoods.

There's roast beef on the table
hot, even potatoes and something
green on the side. Taste so good
I have seconds then forget to
ask the kids about their
day because I talk about myself
and my new promotions, my
airy premonitions full of metal.

Then I sit in a leather
chair and pat my dog again.
Someone else has fed him,
cleaned the dishes, I don't
care who. I'm already
planning tomorrow in my

Tomorrow is 40 years away.
I think about 401K, 591,
and work's bottom line, next
month's rent and taxes.
I doze by the
fire full until it's time
for bed. I'm too tired
to consider any Honey-do
list. What the kids
are learning in school
looks fine.

I've achieved it. I am a man.
Nothing bothers me,
I can't find anything in the house,
even the hammer.
Dust and smudge-blind
I only see the goals
under my fists at the

Groceries, I didn't buy them
cook them, or put them away.
I don't care how much
they cost or what they
taste like. Ask me the season.
I see a ham on the table so
it's either Thanksgiving
or Easter or 'round about.

Anniversaries are
something they eat in France.
Christmas is expensive.
Church is the prenup for
a nap. . .

Brer Star, I just have
one more wish. Send
me a man, so I can be
the woman again.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Who taught us to write poetry?

Fourteen years old
I wrote poetry
on notebook paper
with a blue bic pen

scribbled lines
about onions
or tears,
falling leaves
in autumn
the pain that is
high school.

Who taught me
to write poetry?
To join the poetry
club and judge
entries to the
literary magazine?

Who taught me to
read poetry?
I'd already memorized
the road less traveled
before they taught it
in school.

This old thing?
my only response.

Who taught
me Robert Frost?

Did they sing
it to us in the Nursery?
Who taught me
to write poetry?

Was it my grandmother's
voice craggy and
moist-- speaking those
words kittens 
then mittens.

How long did
I consider the problem
of an egg being
put together again by
horses and men?

the rolling fear
of a potato bug?

the cry of the
Blue Jay and
the curious

the miracle of
a lima bean
in a paper cup
sprouting great
green leaves?

Paper White

    Narcissus papyraceus
    an argonaut, you float-
    albino roots swim
    in the clear glass vase
    at the minimart.

    Poor paper white,
    you've never
    imagined color--
    couldn't understand
    the sun. Forced

    No wonder you
    are such a liar.
    Doubled life half lived-
    Alive in a jar
    without soil.

    A seed without
    a place to land
    doesn't even make
    it into His allegory.
    Soil-less hardly
    an option unless
    it's the asphalt.

    You hold your
    words inside
    forming them
    then spit them out
    each carved with a
    knife, chin up.
    Your smile side-
    ways hides

    A fist where
    a heart should be,
    roots like fingers

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


So Paintings have layers, right?
First bleary, watery like tears.
Then blocks of color
puzzle pieces to fit together
spaces to shape, reshape
and shape again.
Finally the skin everyone
might start to see.
That's when you have
to fight for it. Don't quit.
Push it. Push the color.
Push the light.
Push the shadows.
Don't quit.
Then you'll have a painting.
Recipe for life.

Stupid things I did after I got divorced

So I didn't post this one, written a few months ago and just now found this hidden in my drafts section of the blog.  Well poets may know if you don't get a poem out you get writer's block. Notice two months of no poems. So just to be safe, will publish this one. May be similar to my pregnancy list poems in that it contains spaghetti. . . a metaphor?

Stupid Things I did after I got divorced October 2015

Lost 30 pounds not eating because I was going to rebound skinny
Gained 60 pounds because I never did rebound
Cried at the cemetery when I realized my tombstone would have a big empty place next to my name.
Cried at the cemetery trying to find my grandmother’s stone to look at it.
Cried at the gas station just because
Ate a whole pizza
Ate spaghetti and meatballs… in the bathtub… yes while taking a bath, I was tired.
Drank day old coffee that tasted worse than ass—all the time
Why was it never fresh?
got new glasses
got new glasses again
Took a beach vacation by myself and you guessed it ...cried 
Started teaching Sunday school and they assigned me every widow in the Bible
Dyed my hair with bad dye from the drugstore until it was almost green
Forgot to file my nails forever
Had nightmares about being still married
Had nightmares about not being married
Wore out my shoes until they broke in half
Drove down my favorite country road with all the windows down and the music
up as loud as it would go while shouting every swear word I could think of
Forgot how to cook
Forgot how to garden
Slept on a futon instead of a bed for years
Gained an incredible fear of going to the doctor
Wore copious amounts of make up every day for months/ years
Unfriended a lot of people on Facebook
Friended everyone on Facebook
Spent a lot of time on Facebook
Stopped trying to get my in-laws to care 
Moved into my mother’s basement
Unfriended my cat then friended him again, cause we shared the basement
Was surprised when I was accused of being irritable
Bought myself some new silver rings to wear
Went to divorce care for four consecutive 13 week sessions and counting
Tried online dating and hated it
Studied how to discern when people are lying, a lot
Studied Narcissism and manipulative personality disorder a lot
Studied Sociopath personalities a lot
Watched Star Trek for the music and overacting and the sound of the doors opening and closing on the ship make me sleepy
Read a lot of online articles
Got writers block on my novel again
Kept writing poetry


Love is not a fire
it's a pebble in your shoe.
First it's just a bump
First Picnic  Mixed Media on Canvas 2015
then a boulder.
You have to stop.
Take your shoes off.
Then you notice
the grass. It's green
fluffery, crispy,
sticks in your toes.
Slightly damp.
The sidewalk has
little things called
ants. They always
greet one another.
The breeze is delicious.
There's a Blue Jay
but it's lovely.
And the sky.
The sky is like
a berometer
for your heart.
And the world
has promise.

When you put
your shoes back
on you feel
your skin
pressing against
the old leather.
You are like
an ant, now--
where to go.
You greet

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Love Stamp

This weekend, I enjoyed my first art opening in a decade. I love to play with word and image. I'd like to think I just brilliantly think of metaphors, but I don't. I simply am drawn to an image and then over time I notice the idioms, the parallels and finally the metaphor-- the layers of a symbol that seemed to choose me ---rather than the other way around. One of the best ways to think about a symbol is to paint it. The other way I love, of course, is poetry. Here in my blog I hammer out a rough version. Then later I revise them, after they have a chance to sit and age awhile.

Love Stamp

I'm torn
out of a book of squares
just like me
I'm licked
pressed down
thrown into
a cavernous hole

I'm lifted out
by hands with wings
I'm signed
specially delivered.