Friday, October 25, 2019

Hokis : Perhaps My Hounds are of Baskerville

My writing routine begins about as far away from the pen imaginable: a morning dog walk. My hounds pull on my leash, as my body weaves to avoid  limbs tangled in the nylon tethers. I often imagine passersby are giggling at the contact improv performance.  As I flow with the dogs, enjoying the moment, my mind is free not to think - but rather wander, or even wonder.  What happened in my dreams last night? Why were bugs crawling on me? Why is it that a year’s worth of floss is always wrapped around my teeth, seeming to tighten the more I tug and pull to be free?  Why did I not dream? Why am I afraid of becoming unwound, falling apart at the seams, only to meet the bugs rooted in dirt? BING! There is the poem. I come home and sit at my computer, frantically typing as I live in fear that the words will leave me.  The precise order might jumble in my aging brain, and all will be lost!

If I get that inevitable block we all know too well, I glance to my left.  The bearded dragon and I stare at each other. Breathe together. If the flood gates don't open, I look to my right.  Sitting on the light olive lounger is one of my two black cats. Sleeping like a Buddha; legs crossed, eyes closed, here and not here.  Sometimes looking at the cat makes me sleepy, so I go for grounding. I move my feet ever so slightly under my desk. My toes meet the underbelly of my German shepherd, loyally resting there.  Her poem will be titled "The Squirrel that Got Away."

It is about noon now, and I’m finished with morning writing.  By finished I mean guilt has interrupted my train of thought. I turn to domestic chores. My mind continues to spin, why this root word and that root word are a letter apart and mean such different things? Alter and altar. Wait, do they really mean different things? I live out the next few hours with the flow of life, vacuuming dust, dishes out, dishes in, soiled socks become clean. All the while, I live in my subconscious.  I can hear my therapist affirm that I live here more than anywhere else. I thank the magical stars for writing or I might just wind into a tight ball and get stuck in my teeth again. 

I take notes on the "chore-induced inner dialogue" and allow others words in to play.  I so prefer holding a book to reading on the computer.  Alas, the world again decides I must let go of my preferences.  It is interesting that when I read on a screen I feel compelled to read the entire piece. When I read from the paper page my college-day habit returns ... pausing ... scribbling notes ... highlighting.  Sometimes I end up writing entire poems in the margins from a quake that began with one word. This is my definition of beautiful. I am satisfied and my writing routine pauses for family time: 4:00-9:00 pm.  My attention is fully engaged in daily reviews, dinner, dog walk with my spouse, chatter with my teenager. This is also a definition for beautiful. 

Then comes reading when it's dark.  You know the sensation this brings, right?.  My corner of the world is closing its day. Everyone is tucked in.  Dragon's full spectrum bulb turned off. Cats outside to prowl for the night.  Dogs on the foot of the bed. Husband snoring. I pull out a book and digest it, like it is dendrite dream fuel.  The words do their nightly workout within my lucid dreams. I wake in the morning, ready to walk the dogs again. The book last night was about the ghosts of lives we did not live, but glace towards often.  Well, this is what I thought it was about. No matter, I am certain this morning walk is going to be a good one.

Hokis {n., /hō/kēs/ Armenian for “my soul“}

Hokis is founder & senior editor of Headline Poetry and a regular contributor for Reclamation Magazine.  Her recent work is also found with Nymphs, Caustic Frolic, Paragon Press, and in the Indie Blu(e) Anthology: SMITTEN.  Links to her published work are found @  You connect thru @hokispoetry on tw | in | fb.

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