108 Days of American Sentence ~ Day 21 with Joan Baez

Let down my guard – split, shed my skin – Phoenix rise in my mind, no one sees.

~

Spring fever brain boil – thoughts drip moist (like) sweat from Tarzan’s breast – salt on skin.

~

get your guns, gas, and beer here © Holly Troy, March 2017

“Nasty Man” (©️Gabriel Earl Music, 2017) (words and music by Joan Baez)

108 Days of American Sentence – Day 18

Cold wet weight crushing old limbs already heavy with sap, springtime snow.

~

Spring snow © 2017 Holly Troy

108 Days of American Sentence – Day 1

“Oh no! I’ll eat the shit out of anything!” he blurted — and she smiled.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

restless-heart-holly-troy-12-02-2016

When I think about America today – man, like I have no words. So I’m gonna make it simple, and maybe even mindful. For the next 108 days I’ll write at least one American Sentence a day. I don’t have any plan for what they will be about – all that I know is they will be American Sentences. What’s an American Sentence? Created by beat poet Allen Ginsberg, it’s a seventeen-syllable sentence.

Bell Blue: Dial-A-Poem ~ A Call for Work

Dear Energetic Readers and Writers,

elizabeth-hellstern-and-bell
Elizabeth Hellstern, creatrix of the Telepoem Booth, and her beloved Bell.

This year I was lucky to be part of an amazing project that started right here in Flagstaff, Arizona. I recorded five poems for Elizabeth Hellstern’s project, The Telepoem Booth, after she put out a call to writers last winter. By spring, the booth was up and running (and one of my poems ended up on NPR!), with people lining up to listen to poetry on a rotary phone. The project is a great success – and the booth will begin traveling to different cities and towns throughout the country. Maybe the booth will come to your town! 

I’m so excited that the Telepoem Booth is seeking to add more work to its catalogue. Be a part of this literary/tactile art project and submit your work today!!

Reposted from Submittable:

The Telepoem Booth, a 1970s phone booth that one can dial-a-poem on the rotary phone, is now accepting submissions for poems and micro-essays to include in the Telepoem Directory. Each piece submitted must be an original piece in MP3 Format and under three minutes. Submissions will be chosen based on their “poetic” merit as well as the quality of the reader’s interpretation, (i.e. “does it translate well as an audio piece for the Telepoem Booth?”) The accepted pieces will be available to dial and listen to in the Flagstaff Telepoem Booth, as well as other Telepoem Booths nationally, including in State College, PA and beyond.

telepoem-booth-at-macys-by-holly-troyThe Telepoem Booth is dedicated to providing representation of voices and perspectives from all humans from all walks and paths. Submitters are encouraged to use sound effects and audio enhancements in their submissions. For an example of a finely produced audio poem located in the Telepoem Booth, please listen to Chris Green’s reading of “Inventing the Dolphin” (featured on Rattle Magazine’s poem of the day), produced by Mark Neumann..

Please submit MP3 audio files only. Deadline to submit is Nov. 30, 2016. Notification of jurors’ decisions will be given by 2017.

There are currently 240 poems in the Flagstaff Telepoem Booth, located at 120 N. Leroux St. Well-known published poets, burgeoning authors, and schoolchildren are included in the Telepoem listings. An average of over 120 poems are dialed every day. More information about the project is available on Facebook or www.TelepoemBooth.com.

**Reposted from Writing the Energetic Body**

 

Maggie and Jack

Been thinking about Jack Kerouac and Maggie Estep today.

Bad Day at the Beauty Salon

And Maggie’s classic: I’m An Emotional Idiot.

and: I’m Happy

Villanelle – Pressing Against Chaos

Wish I Were the Earth

Wish I were the earth
could open my mouth
and swallow the blur.

Turn a wail to a purr
in my warm dark house
if I were the earth.

A natural re-birth
on deep stable ground
if I could swallow the blur.

Wouldn’t leave me to murmur
my pain in your couch
if I were the earth.

A place to clear hurt
to quiet loud sounds
and dissolve the blur.

Fear turns to dirt
when it is found
that I am the earth.
I will swallow the blur.

* * * * *

I’ve been going back and forth with the idea of applying for the MFA Prpeaks (c) 2015 Holly Troyogram in Creative Writing at Northern Arizona University. I’ve put together my manuscript, but have yet to write my application letter and request my letters of recommendation.

Do I go to school to write, or do I just keep writing?

This poem is another response to 9/11.

Thanks for reading.

Happy Spring!

Holly

sometimes you are helpless

Humid

Breath is pulled from my lungs.
My throat goes hollow
every time a howling
fire truck wails down the street.

My throat goes hollow,
I could swallow those anxious faces peering
from the fire truck wailing down the street.
It would be safer in my mouth—

I could swallow those anxious faces peering,
despite (my) pounding temples and blurred time.
It would be safer in my mouth—
I could shout a warning.

In spite of pounding temples and blurred time,
every time there’s a howling
it’s a warning
that’s been pulled from my lungs.

* * * * *

Yesterday, when I read the news that there was a gas leak explosion in the neighborhood that was my home of twenty years, New York’s East Village, I gasped. Three buildings caught fire and collapsed. This bullet point in the Daily Mail headline haunts me: Nicholas Figueroa, 23, who was on a date at a sushi restaurant and Moises Lucon, who worked there, have been reported missing.

east village coffee shop (c) 2009 Holly TroyFire was one of my greatest fears when I lived in the city. There is nothing like the sinking feeling of walking home and seeing firetrucks on your block, or a friend’s block. How quickly fire can spread on those tenement buildings pressed up against one another.

Of course, fire is a big issue here as well. I’ve experienced two forest fires, and both times, have had friends whose homes came close to being swallowed up. Last year, when I first started dating my boyfriend, I helped him evacuate his home. The landscape was eerie and strangely beautiful, overcome with the haze of smoke and (not so) distant glow of fire.

I wrote the poem above in response to 9/11. After the attack, walking by a fire station was like walking through a pocket of sorrow – the weight of sadness in the air was palpable. So much loss. Whenever I’d see a firetruck, I was overwhelmed  by the faces of the men inside. Just, oh – I wish 9/11 never happened.

riding the changes

This summer has been a wild journey. I’m exhausted – but mostly in a good way.

Helianthus annuus mark the peak and the ending of summer.
Helianthus annuus mark the peak and the ending of summer.

I’m assessing my life, love, career, home, and the next moves forward. I guess it’s natural this time of year. Life feels like it’s reflecting the season in transition. In Flagstaff the days are perfect right now, but they are getting shorter. The lobster mushrooms were bursting from beneath pine needles and stones on the sides of the trails I was riding this afternoon. (I ate some sauteed in butter today – delicious!) Fall is coming.

This week, High Mesa Yoga starts up. Tuesday and Thursday evenings are going to be full-on with yogic energy. I’m preparing the space. Smudging. Bringing in more good vibes. It’s a shift from using all available light to ride up the mountain. Turning-inward energy.

While going through my things, I found this poem. I wrote it in 2005 while living in New York City. I made a couple of edits. It’s a play off of a poem by John Ashbury.

Ride

He smelled good to me, so I wanted to taste,
put him in my mouth,
while light softly glowed through green curtains
then, his moss eyes. He didn’t know what I was thinking.
It was Sunday, so time was short.
Soon I would be thinking about Monday
and my lousy job.

I played lotto and lost again.
If I had money, I’d own my own parking spot,
a driveway. I didn’t think I could be so selfish
but I really like space.

I could just leave the city and look at the sky.
I could ride a red bicycle with recycled
plastic ribbons on the handlebars
and not think of people as I watch
treetops and clouds cutting through blue.

If I turned up at your door with a long
but true story
would you invite me in —
or would you notice I’d lost my childhood fat,
like our friendship, and block the threshold
thinking you know all about
my skin and bones?

© 2005

I have my bike today, and a place to park it!

Born on a Thursday #47 – awake, alive

It feels like we are at dawn in the earth’s cycle around the sun. Light is breaking through on the edges of the horizon and creatures are stirring.

view from where i write (c) holly troy 2014The other evening, I was done with work, but not ready to go home (I’ve been this way for a couple of weeks now). Sydney suggested a hike. While hiking, we both felt the feeling of the earth quickening. By the time we were leaving the woods, the sky was a dark chalky blue and the moon was pale yellow. We talked about the moon and sky, love and relationships, sex and sexuality, creativity and creative process, survival, money, how we are valued and how we value ourselves (the usual for us).

This week I’ve been working too much on things that don’t matter to me. After Tuesday night’s hike, Wednesday felt flat – too much sitting and protocol, too much work for the amount of hours I am allotted and valued for. And then I saw that Maggie Estep died. Maggie was a poet, novelist, and spoken word artist. She was someone who was a part of my world when I lived in the East Village – on the periphery, yes – but still part of it. While she was able to express her rage, I was navigating my anger and sexuality quietly (and I still scared the shit out of men). I am grateful for her, for her ability to say things I tended to keep more private.

As I was cycling home, I realized that there are a lot of people who were pivotal in (saving) my life during that time (the 90s) in New York – and so many of those people who were important to my development as a writer and artist and loving human being – I will never see them again. There I was, pedaling slowly up the mesa, into the sunset, with cars flying past me and tears streaming down my face.

I felt awake, and more alive than I have felt in a long while.


Maggie doing her thing:

I still feel like an emotional idiot!

And I still hate being harassed (though it’s not as frequent as it was in NYC).