Thursday, September 5, 2019

Zombie Self-Portrait (Plunderverse Poem # 4)

Zombie Self-Portrait

I remember the first year art had changed

the art making happened in the neglected rental
with strangely shaped rooms and walls
crawling with words 

and mysteriously the electricity was spotty
crackling, black-stained extension cords

ideal for her plans

astral abstractions on canvas and paper
graphite greys and jaundiced yellows

a figure made of nightmare

early evidence of zombification
long tresses of hair and insects
jellyfish sacs and vermin
snakes for flesh 
surrounding a grinning set of human teeth

dumpster-dive faces,
masks of mess

black hole covered over 
with an aggregate of natural wonders
and street horrors

Monday, July 29, 2019

The Spectacle (Plunderverse Poem #3)

The Spectacle

it comes back to the
icons of my personal history
the bizarreness of growing up,
my desire to collect,
this obsessive accumulation of information

archives for the show

I took the photograph of the original,
fascinated by familiar

half snowing, half raining
so precarious that they would seem to be falling

Friday, July 5, 2019

Edges of Resistance (Plunderverse Poem #2)

Here's the full spread:

Edges of Resistance

voices are lyric,
strident, warlike
operatic and celebratory

horizontal panels,
collaged typewriter text
missile-like tongues

then a change
horrendous, almost unspeakable,
but different

I decided to make Woman the protagonist
presented in profile
she carries under her arm
a giant

Replying, she expressed her discomfort
at being the subject of a photograph

"I am my work ... the piece is more myself 
than the person,"

an act of revolt
angry, defiant, silenced
the ideal voice for having uttered 
the most extreme expressions of alienation

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Light's Shadow (Plunderverse Poem #1)

Fun with plunderverse poetry (aka blackout poetry). I'm working on a zine edition full of plunderverse, so stay tuned!

plunderverse poem

I have this image
of Nature
really small
a seaside theme

born again
it didn't matter
It was more like
projects that were advancing me

unknown again
discovery within
start all over
in a way 
of assemblage aesthetic

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Welcome to the Dollhouse

This piece is my first attempt at being  a poetics pirate! I’m trying my hand a unique form called Plunderverse. It’s an “Expressive Subjects” prompt that I’ve been meaning to try for a while. The idea is that you take a poem or a piece of writing you like, and you take out bits and pieces from it and make a variation of the original.

In my case, I’m not even using a poem. Instead, as I was listening to the audiobook of the book Beautiful Boy (a father’s memoir of living with his son’s drug addiction), I took notes on words and passages that I liked, and made something new.


Both homes seem illusory.
Teenagers complain, integrate their lives badly, a flaw in their character

A flaw in their lives.

Books, quiet, low-grade melancholia
Two weeks to cram in surfing

Re-enactments & the vanishing act. Wait for the shuttle,
trailing minors with magic markers.

Open cardigan. Suitcase of your things. Warbling lyrics through the airplane.

Scary eyes, woo-woo chorus, percussion, cacophony, pounding.


Test drive the minivan for your growing family
Less trampled beaches
Rolling in the waves
Seaweed crust
Waiting for the next wave to crash down

On the way home, ceaseless back-and-forth
Worldly, sagacious child but with emotional chasms.
Meagre consolation.

Welcome to the dollhouse.


Building storeys
lines of text, layers
of sedimentary rock
of sentences building an edifice
of a tower of babel, skyscrapers built on air

sand castles of stone

Stories are set in stone
until they grow wings
and shatter the sculpture block

We tell ourselves stories
to make sense of the chaos
around us, within us
to throw meaning against the wall

We store parts of ourselves in our stories,
like squirrels store nuts in their cheeks
and forget where they buried them

stored inside a vessel,
an amphora of oil
secure for millennia
in Socrates’ grave

keepsake in a sealed jar,
a boat built inside with delicate
set adrift on ocean waves

seagulls have stories
they keep to themselves
swooping to peek through
smudged glass

Refracted stories
ride infrared waves beyond vision
distort memories
light up recesses and buried treasure
cover like a down duvet
goose flesh across your arms as you hear a story
hitting its mark on the tender spots you pretend don’t hurt

Picture frames
expensive and heavy mounted on walls
to showcase that you’re worthy
of oak

Framed like pictures snapped on iPhones
filtered for effect
Clarendon & Juno
to manicure our moments

stories built up in sediment