"dazzle gradually"

"Dazzle Gradually" 2017 poems, paintings, new art & photography--a diary, a discipline, a delight. Read over my shoulder as I post my unedited poetry ---you can see it in the raw or get my first book and see how the work evolves with new books rolling out next year.

Polly Alice

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


well after the last minute
with sweat in one eye
and sun in the other
I  threw out the last handful
as neat as if a mole dug it
with ringing in one ear
and dirt in the other
I admired the earth
now you know the end cuz
with bugs in the middle
and hail or drought at each end
It was pretty much
but the last seeds weren't scraps
they burst out butternut on the left
zucchini waddling down the front
and pumpkins on the right 
                          s p i r a l i n g  until
                                           vines   they
                                         with          fill-
                                           all       ed   s w  g  o v
                                                 it          n   i           e r 
                                                             i    r             
past                                                          l
ain't that always the way?
chaulking up the loss with one foot
while the other trips over
some wonderful

Monday, August 1, 2011

ADD Ramen Recipe

1. Run water and check temperature. Stop, no it's not a bath.
2. Run water into sauce pot.
2. Pour out water, you have broth ready.
3. Pour broth into sauce pot.
4. Open first package of ramen, break in half, dump in cold broth.
5. Catch little packet of msg before it lands in pot, and throw away.
6. Open second package of ramen, throw in broth.
7. Pull raw ramen back out and break in half, then throw back in. Keep a pattern here.
8. Pull little packet of msg out of broth and throw away.
9. Set sauce pot in stove.
10. Pull out of stove and place on burner.
11. Check that you've turned on right burner at least three times.
12. Cook for three minutes.
*Serve warm with little pieces of hot dogs thrown in.
**Say it's Chinese food.


Can a gumtree call--
ask you to come
sit a spell under,
where two-hundred
marks sapling,
where a Kari
is King?


The  poet  comes
I  hear  the  silence
between   her  words

When earrings talk...

So I admit
I've always said birds can talk,
I chatter back to squirrels,
try not to break mirrors.
look out where I walk.
I believed in fairies
til I was twenty-five
then knew they were
real again not too
much after.

I write down dreams
like prescriptions with
a large Rx at the top--
take notes whether I
fly time machines, rescue
kittens, or eat poisoned

But on Tuesday, walking through
the fabric store to make
a ten year quilt, my
eye was drawn to
turquoise, orange and red
stones lined up like traffic.
I had just said to myself,
Where do we go next?

"Go West" the earrings
read, and I laughed...
until I saw every plate
on the rack said the same,
"Go West."

Go West?

Now I'll have my
ears to blame, if they
are wrong, because
every footstep chokes
up more prairie dust
while those little
silver slung stones

go West

Night Journey

Sweethearts of RhythmA Dreamscape poem, I scribbled during a poetry workshop I taught last winter. Today is the hottest day of the year, but it was a relief to remember this cold and dreary time of year.

When I heard Marilyn Nelson, and Ron Koertge speak about poetry last month, I was introduced to some new ideas I'd like to try. Here below, I've altered a Sestina, or really not quite followed the directions. Sestinas tend to do what I'd like to try in the future -- a concept rhyme. I had no idea these existed. It's not just a near rhyme or a slant rhyme, it's an antonym, a synonym, or any other type of word you chose, as long as you are consistent.

This may be a new concept that you can't even google yet, but you've heard it here.
Sestina's are a poem form that cause a spiraling motion of reasoning, a forced narrowing just because of it's mathematical form. The first rules are to have six stanzas of six lines. The last word in each line must repeat in each stanza (I've ignored the precise order). I did follow the rule to have each stanza end on a different word. I also followed the rule that my final stanza is only three lines, but does have all six end words tucked inside. Lastly, if you care much about rules, I gave myself two or three extra rules: to make each line as short as possible, one line in each stanza must have only one word, the last word in each stanza is seen again on the end of the first line in the next.

Well you can see it gets tricky. What do rules do? I use them all the time in my free verse. I make up my own rules. Any rule, especially in poetry I think, adds difficulty. But it's more than that. I guess it's like: more difficulty equals more muscle, and more muscle equals more power. I always find even the smallest limitation strengthens the meaning.

Night Journeys  2010

I always dream
about a train,
in the night,
running away
with me.

get off! -- that’s me
it’s not safe on this train!
we are going too fast.
I run away…
to another dream
dark night.

A flight to Paris, at night
second stop, the moon—a dream,
Thank God, no train.
Did I bring the right luggage with me?
Clouds flash faster.

A white van pulls up fast.
A team of dreamers,
here and away,
You are with them, not me.
black inside, with a rolling door like a train.

Destinations, stops-- like a train--
documenting sites, like dreams,
statues of angels, Mary fasting,
No me.
And gray days, no nights.
A new sight to draw you away.
How do you find them anyway?
Steadfast wheels, like a train through the rain.
Nightfall may bring you back to me, to rest, and to dream.