Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

Reflections Image and Word: She Killed the Moon


2010
11.28

Art Every Day Month – Day 28.  That means after today, we have two days left! How did this happen? What seemed so difficult to keep up with is almost over, gone in a blur.

I am putting in another pairing from the Reflections – Image and Word exhibit at the Arts Council of Kern.  I took the photo to go with LisaAnn LoBasso’s poem.  I blurred it a bit on photoshop and deepened the color, but it was a spectacular moon night when I took this.  If you click on the link you can see the photo in its original state.

She killed the moon by  LisaAnn LoBasso

Today she is two percent.

Waning crescent. I cannot find her anywhere.

Two percent exists in the dark sky.

She seems invisible.

I wonder if she is searching for herself, like I am now.

Is she dead?

My husband says I killed her when I took his keys, his wallet—his heart.

Shoes, his only asset.

In this blacktop day.

I want to fly into the sky like Imrryr, like a bird

Shooting, like a star, shooting like

My father, on the ranch.

I want to profess. I didn’t kill her! I didn’t, I didn’t kill the moon.

But then I realize as the day hides beneath her shroud,

And the cowboys come home.

I did kill her. Yes, now, tonight

At the early break of light, I am trying to find that sliver.

Of us both.

Yellow, waning, two percent.

A crescent ready to unfold and open.

Full.

Images, words, poetry, and Jim Morrison


2010
11.20

I’ve been writing about the show that opened tonight at the Younger Gallery in Bakersfield.  Well, it looked great!  Beautifully hung, wonderful poetry and photography.  I feel more than lucky to have been included, especially since it was invitation only.  I’ll post a couple of photos from the show and one more poem and photo.

I took the photo in the Alta Cienega Motel in Los Angeles.  That’s where Jim Morrison stayed most of the time he was in L.A.  and I went down there with William Jordan, a former student who was enamored of The Doors, so we could hit all the area Morrison landmarks.  William is the boy in the photo and we’re in Morrision’s room.

The poem, Signs of Morrison, is written by Nick Belardes.

One night in Paris

or Toulouse it happens.

Somewhere in a city

where dreams of artists

get trapped in motels,

or up in the clouds of neon signs

and then down around ankles

like bunched pants, it happens.

Somewhere, in a black and white sky,

in a doorway,

or just near a doorway,

there’s a man.

He’s looking into a camera

and wondering

just who he is in that mirror,

and where he’s going.

He hums a song,

smiles at the nearby radio

and at the roads

curving over distant muddy hills.

He’s passing through.

Just passing through.

Morrison is topical again since Florida Governor Charlie Crist is working on pardoning him from the indecent exposure charge long ago in 1969 during a concert in Florida.

The next two photos show how the show is hung.  If you live in Bakersfield, do come visit the gallery.

Reflections: image+ word – Arts Council of Kern’s new exhibit opens tomorrow


2010
11.18

Tomorrow Reflections: image + word opens at the Younger Gallery, sponsored by the Arts Council of Kern.  I have seven photos and two poems in the show and I can’t wait to see it hung!  I love the concept.  So for today’s Art Every Day Month post, I’m giving a little preview of the show with a photo of mine and poem by Nick Belardes.

Journey of the Brown Beetle  by Nick Belardes

Flip it over!

No! That’s mean.

Ay! Cabron!

Let’s just watch it crawl, dimwit.

To the highway?

Even across the highway.

To the barrio?

No way! Not the Barrio. Johnny One Eye will eat it.

Where then? To the desert?

Of course to the desert.

Past the dog bones?

Through the rattlesnake graveyard.

That’s a scary place. Indian spirits.

And up Miner’s Hill.

Into the valley?

And all those shrubs in Jesus Valley.

Where the old saints live?

Where they suck the cactus.

And that old hermit who drinks Coors like grandma?

And wears the same makeup.

Wow! He’s strange.

Most of the Saints are.

It will never make it.

It will die when it gets there.

Then can we flip it over?

No. Let it dry up where it stops.

But the shell will break.

No it won’t. It will last forever.

A brown shell in the desert?

Forever.

Forever?

Forever…

Reflections – image + word


2010
11.15

Sailing into the second half of Art Every Day Month, I’m going to post about an exhibit sponsored by the Arts Council of Kern ( on this link you can find the show poster and view it) that opens Friday here in Bakersfield.  It’s called Reflections image + word and features three photographers and three poets.  I’m one of the photographers and I also have a couple of poems in the show, but I wouldn’t dare to call myself a poet.

Here’s how it works.  The six of us assembled, talked, and then submitted poems and photographs to each other.  If someone felt pulled to a particular poem, that person would submit a photo.  If a poet felt pulled to a particular photo, that person would submit a poem.  The curator, Nicole St. John, chose the final entries and the show opens Friday.  It’s a wonderful concept and I think it’ll be a terrific show.  I won’t give the whole thing away, but I’ll post a couple of the poems and photos.

The first photo is by LisaAnn Lobasso.  She called it Another Farm Gives Way, but I put my own interpretation on it with the poem I wrote.

Usable

Usable by Susan Reep

Old, rusted, antique, as useless as typewriters.

Cast off but not discarded.  Yet.

Is that what happens to old things? To old people?

Her skin was trim, her body thin, but it wasn’t new.

Does old come when your body starts to sag?

If so, she was ok.  For now.  In image.

Being naked and feeling naked are different.

Being naked filled her with exhilaration, excitement, freedom.

She stood straight and proud.

Feeling naked exposed her from the inside out.

It all rose to the surface. Insecurities and doubts.

Her stride would break; she’d want to wrap her arms

Around her body to keep everything in, private.

Would it feel different to be walking in a new tractor store?

It may have been a bad idea to come out here seeking

The freedom of open spaces, the confidence of solitude,

The comfort of the farm.

It might have been better in spring when everything was new.

Well, not everything.  She’d still be in the midst of old,

Rusted, antique cast-offs.  Worse, they weren’t even important enough

To cart off.  Just cast off. Obsolete. A warning.

What good was her trim, thin body that would someday sag.

Better that form follows function.  It’s the use, isn’t it?

Being usable, not used up. Contemporary, not contemplated.

The new was sleek, smart, fast and firm,

But it didn’t tell stories.  The stories were in

The rust, the uselessness, the age.  The antiques.

What stories they could tell if they could speak.

Seeking freedom on the farm, the solace of solitude.  Not so bad

After all.  Because she could speak. She could speak for now.

She could even speak for others. She could speak for the future.

She could speak for the past. She could speak for her body.

She could speak with her body. Her new body, her slim, trim body,

And the saggy baggy body yet to come.

The one that would be full of stories.

Used up, maybe. But usable.

Little Girl with a Baseball

I submitted a photo that  Nick Belardes liked it so he wrote a poem.  The photo is one I took years ago and kept in the back of my mind, knowing someday I wanted to use it for something.  I think I’ve posted this before, but it never hurts to do it again.  Anything about baseball deserves a second posting, especially with such a poignant poem.

LITTLE GIRL WITH A BASEBALL by Nick Belardes

She will taunt you

When you’re ten years old,

And she’s three.

She’ll hold your baseball

Like it’s a mystery orb

And won’t give it to you

When you want it back.

When she’s fifteen,

And you’re Twenty-two,

She’ll only watch you

If you’re winning.

“It’s just a game,” you say.

You know that isn’t true.

And she never believes you anyway.

When she’s twenty-three

And you pitch your first game in the majors,

She’ll finally say you were meant to be

a ballplayer.

But she still won’t write you letters.

Or tell you you’re the best she ever saw.

When you start coaching AAA,

She’ll remember all those games

You once played.

You will call her up,

And she’ll say what you looked like

From the stands.

When she’s fifty,

She will hang photos

you didn’t know she had.

Like the time she had that magic orb

When she was three.

After the show opens, I’ll share some more.  If you’re in the Bakersfield area, the details are on the poster in the link.  I think you’ll recognize the photo on the poster.

Poetry and Photography, a preview: Little Girl with a Baseball


2010
09.27

The Arts Council of Kern will be mounting a show toward the end of October.  The working title is Poetry and Photography, and it’s a really cool concept.  Three poets and three photographers were asked to collaborate, matching poems to photos or vice versa.  I’m honored to be asked to participate.  The other two photographers are amazing, and the poets are knock-your-socks-off fabulous.  I have been needing an infusion of new ideas and ways of thinking so this came at just the right time.  I’ll have two poems in the show as well as photos, and I wanted to share one collaboration that is close to my heart.

My granddaughter Annabelle is six now, but  I took a photo of her at her second (or was it her third?) birthday party that I’ve always wanted to do something with.  I loved the way she was looking at the little boy, and he was looking back at her,  as if it were a stand-off of sorts.  Or a dare.  Abbo had his baseball.

I love baseball.  I love the poetry and the ballet of baseball.  I love watching the diamond just as the batter steps up, the pitcher winds up, lets go of the ball, the batter swings, and the infield and outfield move as if choreographed, one way or the other, like a corps de ballet.  It’s just so beautiful to see it all happen.  Besides Star Trek, baseball is one of the things I love best.

I put the photo out there, and one of the poets, an honest-to-goodness published author (look him up on Amazon and buy his books), Nick Belardes, snapped it up.  The poem is so romantic and wistful, so full of hope and heartbreak, and so full of promise that it captured me immediately.

I don’t want to ruin the show so this is just a teaser, one little teeny part.  It’s nice to put it out before baseball season is over.  The boys of October are but days away, the Padres are six games away from the wild card, and since the Dodgers are bums this year, I’d like to see the Padres win something, finally.  Giants fans, sorry, can’t do anything for you.  You’re still the enemy to those of us who bleed Dodger blue.

LITTLE GIRL WITH A BASEBALL  by Nick Belardes

She will taunt you

When you’re ten years old,

And she’s three.

She’ll hold your baseball

Like it’s a mystery orb

And won’t give it to you

When you want it back.

When she’s fifteen,

And you’re twenty-two,

She’ll only watch you

If you’re winning.

“It’s just a game,” you say.

You know that isn’t true.

And she never believes you anyway.

When she’s twenty-three

And you pitch your first game in the majors,

She’ll finally say you were meant to be

a ballplayer.

But she still won’t write you letters.

Or tell you you’re the best she ever saw.

When you start coaching AAA,

She’ll remember all those games

You once played.

You will call her up,

And she’ll say what you looked like

From the stands.

When she’s fifty,

She will hang photos

you didn’t know she had.

Like the time she had that magic orb

When she was three.