2019 Micropoems, January through March

I’ve been posting micropoems on Instagram, Ello, Patreon and Pinterest this year. I did have a thing set up where they would instantly cross-post here, too, but it broke a lot of the time and just didn’t work the way I wanted.

So I figured I’d gather up the posts from the last 3 months and put them in one post. And then I’ll do that again in a little while when I have more posted.

Side note, all these poems are going into a book called Rewolfing the Soul. I’ll be working on that for April Camp Nanowrimo. More details about that — including a cover and release date — later.

This post is picture-heavy, so I’ve put the images behind a cut. The poems are more or less in chronological order; one or two may be switched around because I didn’t double check the order I posted them before making this post.

-Katje

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Weekly Writing Challenge: the justice of ribbons

my heart is ribbons // and beating just for me almost unravels it

Today’s poem was written in response to this picture inspiration from the Daily Post’s Weekly Writing Challenge. The poem’s title is the justice of ribbons.

Image from Cheri Lucas Rowlands

my heart is ribbons
once it stayed whole
a kaleidoscope of colour and light
blended till no one know who was anything anymore

shredded
by a physical blow made of words
the colours separate
i have to tie them together
hope they play nice

my heart is ribbons
tightly coiled
smaller than it was

when it was whole
it beat for the whole world
it contained multitudes

my heart is ribbons
and beating just for me almost unravels it
it contains only my sorrow and rage

my once-whole heart
has been braided into cords
twisted together
ribbons sliding against each other
silk saturated in blood

i guard it jealously
afraid to let it travel past the walls
of its bonewhite cage

you’re safe here
no one can hurt you now

but in my dreams
the trumpet sounds
and in my dreams i know the call
it tells me what i must do

i cup my ribbon heart in my hands,
hold it close to my chest
as if it were a small animal I must set free
from its blunder into my busy city life

I walk on moon-kissed floors to the window

far below
people writhe in a world of grey
stumbling through dark and fog
breathing despair and drinking fear

cracked and scarred, my feet
climb to the ledge
and I balance on bent knees, rocking back and forth

trembling, I am a bird afraid to fall from the nest
half-crouched as if the stars might burn me.

I tip my cupped hands out over the world
and watch my ribbon heart
spill away from me

from between my breasts
a rainbow of colour curls out
and around
wrapping itself into each and every life
ribbons wending themselves through homes and heads
bringing colour to the grey
bringing light to the fog

my heart is ribbons
it touches all lives
it contains multitudes
it binds me in love
to all else who suffer.

Because I knew you, I have been changed for good.

Kana is the Glinda to my Elphaba, the Troy to my Abed. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss her.

> What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned from the person you’re the closest to?

> Photographers, artists, poets: show us FRIENDS.

The Daily Post

My best friend in the entire world is Kana. She’s more than a best friend; we’re soul sisters. When she moved from Hawaiʻi to Alaska, I started singing For Good at her going away party; she joined in with Glinda’s part and we could not finish it for the sobbing that wracked us.

In fact, I am tearing up again just listening to it.

All the great friendships of pop culture mirror ours; we are constantly comparing them. Yet none of those fictional bonds will ever top ours — we do not have manufactured drama tearing us apart.

The dramas we have are real, and few and far between, and something we are able to work through. We have almost lost each other because of severe miscommunication on one end and mental health issues on the other, but we found our way back.

She’s Glinda and I’m Elphaba. Miles away from each other, not sure if we’ll see each other again any time soon, but always the dearest and best of friends.

We called ourselves the A.N.A., because those were the three letters our names had in common with each other. (It’s still true; my first name has become my middle name.)

The last time I saw her was New Year’s Eve 2007, in Hawaiʻi. (Or perhaps a few days after, but the event I remember clearly is NYE.) We did our resolutions with our mutual friend Ryan while my first boyfriend snored through midnight. That was six years ago. I haven’t been back to Hawaiʻi since I left the place a few months into 2008; I haven’t been to Alaska, and she hasn’t been here.

Before that visit, we saw each other for 10 minutes in the Maui airport while I went to catch my flight and she got off hers — early December, 2006.

Now we keep a blog where we write letters to each other. It’s not the same being physically near to each other, but it helps staunch the wounds, keeps us from bleeding out.

What have I learned from her? What haven’t I learned from her?

I learned I wasn’t alone. She’ll always be there, no matter what. Someday we’ll be the crazy cat and dog ladies at the end of the block, with our several hundred canines, felines, and chickens. Of course chickens.

I learned the truth about soul mates, and that it has nothing to do with sappy, “romantic” Hallmark sentiment. Ogre is the lover I choose to commit my life to — Kana is my soul mate. Nothing can destroy that bond.

I learned about respecting boundaries. Kana’s always respected mine, and (I think)* I’ve always respected hers. She’s possibly the only person who hasn’t pushed at any of my boundaries; she definitely leaves my comfort zone well the fuck alone, which I appreciate. I expand at my own rate. She never asks me for more than I can give.

I have learned so much from Kana that I cannot hope to quantify the ways here in a blog post; all I can do is sing For Good as loud as I’m able, and hope she can hear me over the waves that separate us.

*I am human, with a faulty memory and other flaws besides.


ana

there is nothing to see here
nothing for acidic comments
our garden is safe
i hope
a secret
kept
even from our selves
apple trees
our island
red and rosy
black and gnarled
and a rage
that shudders our branches
in the wind
of its scream

ten years is a long fucking time
trees, no less
we age slow
for our kind
left behind by the rest
our roots entangled
and now
i know not where your branches
end
or mine begin

gods we make
beautiful
muse-ick
outside
the walls
grown over with time
tendrils of us
reach those
who question
our blossoms
snow down
and bury our enemies
words do not describe
they obtain

wind rattling
branches
cloud on sky
and
avalon

this is our glasstown
unwelcome, be careful your step.

Documentary Filmmaking is not for control freaks or cripples

Last week I went up to Powell River, where I was supposed to film some things. Communication was sketchy that first week and I didn’t fully understand what I’d be doing until the end of the weekend — namely, a ten-minute documentary — but regardless, I got some good shots.

A new camera was in order, as the one I was using was 12 years old and guess what — they don’t make tape for it anymore. (We do have access to a firewire to grab the two hours of tape I did manage to shoot, so that’s all good.) As was a new tripod, because when you take long sabbaticals from filmmaking and move a bunch things go missing.

I had to film in an elementary school where Margriet Ruurs was doing workshops on poetry as part of the International Peace Poem Walkers’ Association’s Youth Peace Poem Competition and literacy initiative. The documentary itself is about the Youth Peace Poem Competition and how it — and the workshops funded by it — have positive impacts on the kids and the community.

[The showing of the documentary will be on May 31st, during the awards ceremony. For pretty much every weekend in May I’ll be in Powell River filming and editing, and I have class from 9-4 on Mondays and Wednesdays in Nanaimo (my final class before graduation with my BA).]

First lesson about documentaries: they are organic creatures. You can set out with an idea of what you want to say, and how you want to say it, but you won’t actually know for sure how it’ll play out until you’ve started filming. Buy enough film (or memory, I guess, is how they do it on the new future cameras they got) to canvas an entire continent, every day, all day for several months. And about ten extra batteries.

Second lesson:  you have to be ready for action. That means you must be able to catch things on the spur of the moment; have to be able to drive anywhere, get into any sort of position, run with your camera.

Third lesson: it is like herding cats. Especially when you’re filming in an elementary school, just saying.

Things you should know about me:

  • I am a control freak the likes of which would scare Monica Gellar.
  • I am crippled. Or, you know, disabled, non-able-bodied, whatever is the most acceptable term. I prefer the term cripple, because it’s how I feel. (Also it creates a bit of an alliteration in the title of this blog post, which is important to me.) I also have a lot of chronic health issues, which adds to the feeling. Regardless, the point is I cannot run with a camera; I walk with a cane; I am not able-bodied enough to really be ready for action. I am also a dense thicket in marshy land.

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