Sunday, July 28, 2019

Carol Ciavonne : Typical writing day

Typical day:

Images of the Deities

No words can describe them.
All words can describe them.

blue fishy androgynous chronic
crystal measured sharp mechanical
shiny hanging epigrammatic

That’s how the ocean looks on a typical day. There is no typical day.

To describe them is to wrap them in brocade or silk. To make the message pretty.
Should the message be pretty? That depends on the message. What is the message from a pretty deity?
Forget your troubles, come on be happy. Come on and chase all your blues away.
Deities need to be comforted, to be reassured and resurrected. Wrapped in cloth and ashes.
Who is the deity who will say, “All things end.”
That’s not our belief; I’m just asking the question. Believe me.
Believe me, deities.

Coffee. Twitter politics. Rage. Retweet. Twitter poetry. Like. Retweet.

Smoking again.

Call doctor for swollen knee which could be more serious since an illness a few years ago.
Doctor out of office. Tell story 3 times to corporate medical bureaucracy. Must go to other doctor. Decide to wait.

Seamus comes a day early to replace rain gutters.

Go to pick up grandson to take to Nature Camp. Discover, while picking him up that carseat is back at home. Return home, put in carseat. Go to Nature Camp.

Decide I need coffee again, and a sweet orejita from Mexican bakery. Success.

Home to sit outside in garden and revise a 2 year old project, which poet friend has read and given me new outlook on. I think it’s done. It’s a weird one, called Images of the Deities, in a voice that is not really mine, and has been rejected several times. It started out as 16 pages of very old onionskin typing paper, on which I typed every day for 16 days, and eventually made a book object out of. The poem above is the last one in the suite. I have written so little over the past 3 years, and blame Trump and Mitch McConnell. Truly, a low level depression, but I can’t stop myself from knowing.  I have a new project I am sometimes working on, which is a kind of annotation of a book with text and images by a book artist from Germany, Jule Claudia Mann, whose work I collect. Not sure if the annotation will be a complement or or a detriment. There are works like that; too beautiful to be improved on.

I try to always have a project if I go on vacation, something that must be completed during the time period of the vacation. It can be illustrated, or it can be text written in a particular notebook, a very old used Japanese study guide for example. Or a really beautiful handmade journal by a friend that I would never use without setting myself a project. I also always keep a small notebook to write down things I see or hear and a larger journal for quotes and thoughts.  That’s usually where the first drafts of poems and essays reside.

Later I will go in and sit at the dining room table with my computer to work on a small essay on a poem by Anselm Hollo. When I can’t write poetry, I write reviews or essays. But I am always longing to write poetry.

Carol Ciavonne’s poems have appeared in Concis, Denver Quarterly, Boston Review, Colorado Review, New American Writing, among other journals. Essays and reviews can be found in Colorado Review, Rain Taxi, Entropy and Pleiades. She is the author of Birdhouse Dialogues (LaFi 2013) (with artist Susana Amundaraín) and a collection, Azimuth (Jaded Ibis Press 2014). Ciavonne is an associate editor of Posit, an online journal of poetry, prose and art.

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