Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"Where does that highway lead to?"

Much has been written about the American love affair with the car and the road. Driving today in the blazing sun I thought of the continuous highway that stretches beyond anything I might imagine. For it is all connected, every part of the landscape, trees, dirt, rocks, creatures within, and as it stretches on it is all simultaneously present from one moment to the next.

I cannot imagine what a discovery it may have been to someone how the automobile gave instant access to a continuous stream of high speed simultaneously present images stretching as far as the horizon and constantly unfolding.

This is the dream and the freedom of the car and the highway, thanks to the Eisenhower Interstate System of the 1950s. But what of the reality? I counted my blessings with a clear roadway ahead while traffic was backed up for countless miles in the other direction and thought sometime that will be my situation. There are many ways of dealing with it, here is one.

I'll be doing this every day driving to work. I would like not to be asleep to it, indifferent to it, hostile to it, but my mind has other ideas and obsessions. The highway is traffic, commerce, inconvenient construction, consumption of finite fossil fuels, discarded trash, slow decay, impact of weather, tolls, human conflict, silence, eternity, now.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Beautiful Butterfly

I don’t know how I came to discover Jessica Kristie and her blog which delivers new poems on a frequent basis and was the source for updates on the progress of her first collection, Dreaming in Darkness. But I’m happy to have done so.

Dreaming in Darkness is dramatic, brutally honest, confrontational, and mysterious - one of the sections even has a double-take inducing partial title “Magic of Desparation.” Throughout there are powerful insights on the effects people have on each other’s lives, like this description of internal experience in "Shades of You and Me"

"The sounds of each letter find their way to a piece of me –
I have been trying to forget."

This is a lovely imaging of relationship:


"Mutual fire and mutual admiration,
what a lovely place to be.
With my words inside of you,
and yours inside of me."

The desire to change one’s self ins expressed in these two poems:

"Love letter"

"I beg for revolving doors.
Pain in: my journey in life.
Pain out: to grow and change."

“We Walk on Water”

Down on bended knee, as my bluest aqua blue,

reminds me of a bitter truth -

I must change.

At the same time, the speaker shows an appreciation for who she is and where she’s been, also from “We Walk on Water”:

What a masterpiece I have created in my soul’s foliage.

It is shaped of stars with scented breezes.

A desire to transform language through poetry:

“Tragedy’s Room”

Today I want to put skin around my words,

turn sentences into limbs,

and reach across the seas.

Jessica, in her introduction, indicates these poems are composed from many stories she’s encountered, “listening to all sides and filtering them from” herself, as Whitman urged us to do.

All in all Dreaming in Darkness is a wonderful first collection encompassing romance, heartbreak, loss, aloneness, motherhood and insights on the writing process. It will be exciting to see Jessica’s work evolve.