Aftermath

I have
a bleeding heart
that spreads its
rot
through my veins
to my mouth,
and I ooze
false-truths
and
self-destruction.

There’s an
expiration date
on this love
of mine
and you smell it
turning sour,
leaking
noxious gas
to spontaneous combustion.

My
rubbed-red eyes
and shaking hands,
they know
what’s coming
before my mind
catches on,
tectonic shifting
and deconstruction.

There’s a
boiling point
where my
ears ring numb
and the
truth of us
comes spilling
out,
covering us all
with a
flaming eruption.

I take in
the chaos and
this ravaged body,
emotional wreckage
a small
price to pay.
My head beats
red,
my bones
bleed corruption.

There’s dust
that settles
and nerves that fight
to twist themselves
together,
my lungs that
ache for
clarity,
instruction.

The buzzing stops
and the smoke
dissipates,
and here in
the rubble
is you. is me.
We fight for
our lives.
A re-introduction.

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Natural Disaster

I bloom
beneath the warmth
of your hands
like magnolias
in this august heat:
full-bodied, fragrant
and bursting.

The sun slants
in sideways
and lights your eyes
up like melting ice –
burning and
brilliant;
a flame that eats
the oxygen straight
from my lungs.

And there was the
center of the galaxy
orbiting your
irises,
pulling me in
on myself
like gravity.

Your lips move
deliberately;
two rounded halves
of a ripened peach.
They bleed truth
and the idea
that kissing them
just might
paralyze me.

Old love

Timeless_Books

There are several poems and books that attract me like some powerful magnet, that I just keep coming back to. I have books sitting on my shelves that don’t stay there quite long enough to gather dust: the old classics like Shakespeare or Bukowski, and the more obscure works like ‘Confessions of Max Tivoli’ or Sandra Hochman.
There are plenty that I read and donate immediately afterwards, knowing I will never pick them up again, but these books; these staples I feel are almost a part of me. My fingerprints surely embedded in the well-worn pages by now.
Today I couldn’t find anything new to wring out of my brain and I don’t feel like posting anything old either, so I will share one of my favorite poems, by EE Cummings. What are some of the books or poems that you just keep reading again and again?

i like my body when it is with your
body. It is so quite new a thing.
Muscles better and nerves more.
i like your body. i like what it does,
i like its hows. i like to feel the spine
of your body and its bones,and the trembling
-firm-smooth ness and which i will
again and again and again
kiss, i like kissing this and that of you,
i like, slowly stroking the,shocking fuzz
of your electric furr,and what-is-it comes
over parting flesh….And eyes big love-crumbs,

and possibly i like the thrill

of under me you so quite new

this is not an admission of guilt

CVmsK4Q

I am a huge fan of poetry: writing it, reading it, speaking it. I am also a huge fan of AMC’s Breaking Bad: the characters, the plot, the chaos. Knowing this, there is not much better than a combination of those two things. Several months ago I came across a found poetry contest that required me to create a found poem using the script of Breaking Bad’s pilot episode. If you have seen the show, or even if you haven’t, I recommend reading this. The way it is written adds so much to the show and really allows you to see how it was imagined, and then (watching the actual episode) how that came to life. I didn’t win or anything, but here is my found poem from this contest:

Deep blue sky overhead,
fat, scuddy clouds.
A bit out of place, to say the least.
A rooster tail of red dirt
spraying –
glinting hard in the sun.
70’s era Winnebago with
chalky white paint and Bondo spots –
its paint peels off like sunburned skin.

They cycle. Solution, dissolution, over and over.
It’s a lonesome tableau;
she blows smoke toward the ceiling,
he drops his eyes first.
It’s way down deep, but it glows inside him
a beat,
wide greenbets and dark magnolias,
not at all noteworthy.

There are tiny curls of red smoke,
rising thick and dark,
swollen like a balloon –
you. You and me.
No adulterants. No baby formula.
No chili powder.
His mask fogs up until finally he can’t see
realizing more and more,
he likes it –
chemistry: the study of change.

It’s probably absolutely nothing.
Best case scenario – another two years
it’s just
you’ve got mustard on your…
there.
Long, pregnant silence –
a vast and complex concrete knot,
as if being swallowed.

Slow Burn

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Your mouth was at war
with your heart
when you found me there –
under the flame trees,
bright white and burning leaves.
And I might have decayed
in your garden –
nude as stones,
untangling myself at the root.

You were an endless anomaly
mouthing almost-perfect lies
in perfect strings –
just a shadow dancing up the walls
making tents of our fingertips
and puddles below our feet.

And all at once you arrives
like the summer berries
ripe, alive, and bursting –
at the peak of the season,
and all at once you were gone.
Nothing left
but a violet bruise spidering out
over shriveled seeds.

Photo credit: creative-diver on deviantart

Forest Fires

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I have, ’till now,
borne in silence
a being as base as you are,
and so unsuitable to me.

The sky shot through with light
and I felt in my body
what my eyes could not grasp.

How pale you would be,
and startling –
but your curves
would spring upward.

You would waver,
and relapse, and tremble,
watching.

You came to me with evergreens
in your palms
and oh, how luminously
they expand.

And no one knows
(I am sure of this)
and yet I think I could bear
your beauty
unshaded.

Photo Credit: Alvor

The Morning After

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you tried dreaming
of
whatever in-between
of rough hearts

against light
of meteors
peaked

your hands –
calluses of
dissolved storms;

in rugged dawn
you kissed me
honestly

and

the way my
heart even
races

under pressing
fingertips
and felt yours
unyielding;

at purest
nightfall,

weak lips
don’t forget how
lightly
the sunrise

twice captive –
your eyes forget me.

photo credit: Darren Rowse

Road Poem

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The summer I turned 18
we got in my car and drove
until the cornfields
turned to mountains and
the mountains turned
to coastline and the earth
dropped off into ocean.

We sat there on the
still-warm hood of my car
at the edge of the coastal highway,
tossing grey and black
and rusty pebbles
over the rail;
and we watched them
tumble down the embankment
as the plump-bodied
seagulls tore at them
like scraps of food
and hoped they
reached the tide.

The sky changed from
the blue of your eyes
to a hazy purple
to a deep, cavernous black;
and our eyes burned out
with the sun.

We listened to the horns of the
cruise ships returning home
and watched the lights
of waterside restaurants
sparkle on the glassy waves.
The way you remembered the
names of the constellations
even here on the West coast
where the world is at a slant
put me off balance,
and your eyes reflected Orion.

You reminded me of
Demeter in August
when she rips the corn
from their stalks and leaves
their milky scabs
uncovered.

There is something purely magical about traveling, exploring unknown areas, even if it’s just that part of the city you only look towards while driving by. With warmer weather coming I’m craving a road trip and I’ve taken the last week of the month off from work. We’ll pack up the car and head out to Oregon or Colorado or Arizona or wherever we decide. I need some mountains in my life and a sunset or two over the ocean.
What places do you want to run to?

Photography and such

I like to consider myself an “artist” in the idea that I am a writer, photographer, and appreciator of the large amount of beauty that can be found in this world.
Here is my Facebook page with just a sample of my photography work. It’s a newer page, but I do everything from weddings to seniors to newborns. Mostly I work for free or very cheap since it’s more fun as a hobby, but if you or someone you know lives in central Minnesota and want a decent photographer, I’m your girl!

Facebook.com/ostleyphotography

Here’s a sneak peak of a shoot I did yesterday:

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Stormbreak

It’s raining outside, torrential rain that would be beautiful on a summer day, but today it is just bleak. It has been raining since early yesterday morning and the sky’s gray color feels heavy and the rain makes the air thick, like breathing warm smoke. The turn of the seasons from winter to spring gives me hope, but my skin still aches for hot sun and dry air, and the loud buzzing of insects fading in and out.

The silence

washes over us

in this way that’s

sort of devastating.

Like the shoreline

in April your eyes

are ice-edged and

this chill you can’t see

seeps through somewhere.

Some pregnant sky

broke loose that night

with all those words

you’re wishing now

you never spoke,

and one cigarette later

my tail lights were

bleeding your face red.

The rain pounded out letters

onto my windshield

and you said, “you were never

good enough for me

anyhow.”

And the silence then

was thick enough

to hear your heart breaking

there inside your ribs.

You learned then that

no love poem you could write

was any match

for self-destruction.