"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

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Ground Hog Question

7 am, driving past the park
off Broadway
before Midtown, the stone wall
swopes ready for an egg
or someone to sit.

But there is a ground hog.
perched
hands in his lap, nose
quivering happily
at sun's pink light.

The green tossed
out before him like
a croquet lawn.

At the gallery
wearing suits
they drink caterpillars
and comment
Yes, I did see a
fox the other day
really

On the way to church
on Easter, frost
glistens, slush
slides under the tires
hushing us
to silence as a flock
of wild Turkeys
promenades toward
the highway, the
Lead's feathers
spread out-a red cape.

Forget, Forgot
sidewalks
buses,
taxi cabs,
cigarette butts
smoke shops

life still exists
in the city like
the single stalk of
basil and the thyme
that survived the
mild winter
outside the bar--
on the patio

where I pass
to climb the
stairs to the art
studio.

I will watch the
sunrise, I will sneak
up on artists,
I will stroll like
a king. I will
point my nose
toward sun's
first pink light

and what
will I see then?
What will
I see

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Little

I'd like to write a little poem
as little as a baby acorn
as little as a sunflower seed
as little as a grain of grass
then watch it bloom
with imagination until
It's as tall as the tree
sail on the wind
until it's across the sea
and land in a your
garden, a message
that reads--
to you,
from me. 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter Sweetness 2016

It's Easter again
and I fill eggs
with cotton candy-
flavored candy corn.

Life is like that. You
expect something airy
that melts in your mouth
something astounding
enough for a circus
conductor to annouce
and all you get is
hard pellets-from a day
you'd rather forget.

This morning I made
myself an Easter basket.
Why not?
It has raw vegan cookies
and two cadburry eggs
plus a little bunny that's
pretty well a granny
at eight years.

Today we will hear
songs in Swahili at the
Methodist Church
at UMKC. Granmda Twinkie
will sing an anthem in
her red choir robe and
probably tear up uder
that rose window glory.

The cousins are coming
because my kids and theirs
both have Easter
at their moms this year.

Life is like that. Divided.
Full of sorrow, and then
suddenly the good days
are like a winning lottery
ticket and you wonder
if everyone hears the
fight song sound-track
for every small
victory.

I guess Jesus did too.
Received hardness where he
expected love as light as air.
Received sorrow and divorce
where he expected family.

I imagine his best day
had a victory soundtrack so
that he would remember
who he was fighting for.
 I expect he smiled --when
he broke death open like a
cadbury egg.

Now we can all choose
sweetness.

I know I am.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

ADD Poetry Net- 10,000 Views

So I started this blog six years ago in 2010. During that year I was tested for ADHD with an 8 minute test. I failed it. Badly. Though I was goofing off during the test reading the doctors sticky notes and I didn't understand the rules of the test very well until afterwards.  And I was pregnant, and getting my Masters Degree, and I had a toddler. So I was very tired and thinking back, the results were slightly debatable.

Three years later after a million kinds of treatments I was retested with a 21 minute test and passed with flying colors except for one thing. They said my rates or time variables in the test were a little too variable so that made me iffy. Well I was counting so I could pass. You see the random test isn't that random. So by counting the little dots and beeps and spaces or what have you, I was able to anticipate the timing of some of the test while other bits were a surprise. So I may just be too smart or too weird for the ADD test. Anyway I was declared ADD free. So after three years and about a dozen professionals later and a very expensive test that said I didn't have any memory or focus problems or Alzheimers or Autism or anything else I thought I might have-- I finally just asked, "Then can you explain why I have trouble with my memory and trouble focusing?" The answer: Stress.

Yes it was just stress. I could have saved three years of my life and a lot of side effects to meds and all kinds of money and appointments and tests if they would have told me that the first day. Stress causes many things, sometimes stress causes memory loss or attention problems.
All this to say that I'm about to hit 10,000 hits on this blog. Maybe not a lot to some people. But I'm happy about it, even though a lot of those hits may be search engines or spammers or accidental views somewhere.  However,  in about a dozen countries, my poems had at least their titles read before the page was closed. I'll take that as a victory.

Why do I mention all this (Yes ADD symptoms will make you write things out of order). Why? Because my ADD poems are my top all time poems on this blog. People seem to like those a lot. Or else they look at them a lot. And why would anyone read a poem about ADD?  Well I think all poets are a bit ADD. I know the struggle is real for many people. However I know there is somewhat of a scale. I think, it's unfair to call something that has so much potential as a gift-- a disorder. I was even told I had a disability. Which I just don't think being a poet and getting distracted a bit by toddlers, life, and a masters thesis should be called disability. I was even turned away by several counselors because I was an artist. They said I should find someone who caters to artists. Odd. I say again, being an artist or a poet is not a disability. If a poet didn't lose focus to see something or notice a random connection between images and words, or feelings and metaphors-- well there wouldn't be any poetry. Poetry I think happens when we lose our attention a bit. At least our attention on the more banal things of life or on what we are "supposed" to be doing.  Poetry comes by accident. When we lose focus-- or change focus to something new-- Something we need to remember, to play with, to make tangible. That's what poetry is. It comes from our subconscious and our imagination, the place where we used to play, but tend to forget.

So yes, my focus has been off lately. I've been stressed. I've forgotten a few things, or a lot of things. And poetry, I believe, heals my inattention. At least for me. (I also take fish oil). I highly reccommend poetry for everyone out there who feels ADD or has any version of the condition for any reason as the case may be. Sometimes I think my attention issues are exactly because there seems to be millions of poems trying to get out of my brain. Well at least a dozen. Poems are like butterflies.... Ugh. Let me try to write a poem about it or this will take all year:

ADD Poetry Net

I've got ADHD
I'm Absolutely A
Dreamer-- Hard-core
Dreamer.

My rice crispies in
a bowl of milk-
are fish in the sea.

My shoes symbolize
the places I want to
go where I want to be.

I've got ADHD
I'm A little obsessed
with Dreaming &
Hula Dancing.

Pineapple takes me
back to my fourth grade
project on Hawaii.

I'm a little
nonsensery. Forgive me
I've got ADHD.

Okay that was ridiculous, terrible, and not the poem I meant to write at all. I just wanted to say that when I feel unfocused I write a poem and all these random thoughts fly into my little poetry net and there they stay,neatly laid out in lines and stanzas. They start to make sense and I feel like all is right again. Or at least the random thoughts fly away and are at peace somewhere on the page.

So why was that so hard to get to that paragraph. Oh well. Thanks for helping me get to 10,000 views everyone. Let's get a little unfocused together.

Snow, Blast you! Neige, Je vous déteste!

Here is a poem I forgot to write this winter, just left it in my mind. Played with making up a form which is something I like to do. I write the first stanza and then make up rules so that each stanza follows or breaks the rules in the first one. Oh and I've written this one in English and French. Nothing like working on your poem in another language to find out what words you use way to often. "Until" is really one of my most favorite words.  I need some alternatives. :)

Snow,
Blast you!
You and your
feathers of frost
Your strangling
hands around the
neck of the creek
until his teeth chatter

Snow,
You sloth!
You and your
creeping crawl
Your precious
pinkie finger holds
back the clock
until she's slower

Snow...
What's that--
small tracks...
of tiny sparrows
and here a
rabbit.
Awe--
how precious

Snow,
You Dear!
You and yours
laid bare. Your
crisp wafers
reveal the path
of birds until
they fly



Neige, Je vous déteste!

Neige,
Je vous déteste!
--et vos plumes de gel
Vos mains étranglantes
autour du cou
du ruisseau jusqu'a
ses dents claquaient
avec froid

Neige,
Vous paresse!
--votre rampant
lentement
votre doigt de petit
précieux  retient l'horloge
jusqu'a ce qu'elle soit
plus lente

Neige...
Ce qui est cela--
des empreintes mingnon
de moineaux petites
et ici...
un lapin.
Adorable--
comment précieux.

Neige,
Vous Cher!
Vous et les votres
mis nu-- vos hosties
craquantes reverent
le chemin d'oiseaux
jusqu'a ce qu'ils
volent


Sunday, March 6, 2016

Table with wings

She said a poem is solid
hard, like a table.
Crack
hear the sound of a loud knock
on wood--
Why do poems
make you hear and taste
things that aren't there--
try it! Imagine you are
eating a spoon of vanilla
ice cream from a metal
spoon-- Are you cold
do you smell it? so sweet
though you are in your
basement surrounded
by fuzz and lost socks--

That's what poetry is, a table
a table I'd like to eat at--
gather round and
feast on the space
between words-- in a world
where sentences

are old hat and question
marks look like snakes
sneaking into the wrong party--
where the double dash,
a kiss blown quickly
to Emily Dickinson

who regularly
feasted on poetry
from the back of envelopes
from the wings
of bees and from
the ire of the thickness
of glances

every day
I wake and see
hope is the thing with
feathers-- every night
I close red eyes
and  beg for my dreams
to dazzle gradually
the truth must be
taken in little
doses from the
wings of bees.

The best drug in the world

Poetry is the best drug in the world he said
to the crowd of do-overs re-starters dead
ends-- people who plug letters together
left to write.
The cat meows at my bedroom door.
He hesitates and goes back out. Is
that a poem--
Is a poem a moment of indecision
something we think we want-- a door
we beg to be let in and then look back
Is a poem a salty pillar to remember
that we should have forgotten--
I don't know what  a poem is
but I do
I do feel a bit
better.