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In the North Pacific

scientists have discovered a baleen whale

who swims alone,

singing at a frequency

unrecognized by its own species.

To this one,

the world is nothing but an empty ocean

he is calling into—

a broken record

waiting for echoes.

 

And then, there’s humans.

In this information age,

we broadcast everything.

We move through a sea of radio waves,

wakes spreading behind us—

echoes of a world screaming

“listen to me!”

Everyone is trying to be important.

Filtered information

expelled as proof of our value:

               an opinion, a story, an argument

               anecdote lesson scripture prayer

               insultpoemjokeconfession

               a suicide note in 140 characters.

We are learning that if we cannot entertain,

society does not want to hear from us

so why try?

Scream all you want

but outside of our atmosphere

it is still silent.

Turn on all your lights

but the universe will still be black.

If everyone lives with a fear of being forgotten

all we can produce is dead noise…

we are told to just stop talking

but for some of us it isn’t a choice;

we are writers who brew words like tea

and the pot is boiling over—

here is my handle,

here is my spout,

tip me over and pour me out

for I am nothing more than a vessel

which cannot empty itself

nor stop the overflow

when whatever is held within

has nowhere to go but out.

We remind the world

that despite the loneliness,

that one whale keeps on calling

and we will do the same.

We do not scream,

we sing!

We are whales,

sinking ever deeper into the music in our heads

flukes curving in a last, glorious farewell

before we dive in.

Do not try to silence us.­

(c) Marie KR 2013

Noise Pollution

What was the first word spoken

under today’s sun, I wonder?

The first yawn or

bark of a dog—

the first noise unfurling ribbon-like

from tongue or television.

Did today awaken with piano chords or discords?

It matters because

that first sound

broke the silent dawn

and billowed off on the wind

like a runaway kite.

But it does not stop there;

how much noise can we make in a day?

Every breathe, every word,

all our music,

all our hearts (muffled but still dully thumping)

dropped objects giving cracks like

gunshots,

automobiles moaning on the motorway

the never-ending noise

and it all rises.

Chains of sound

rising on the heat waves

and filling the sky

until she expands

like a blue balloon over our heads

so heavy with sound

that it swamps our lungs

and sinks the birds.

 

And then, it rains.

If you ever stand out in the rain

and listen to the cough of water on pavement

you are hearing the atmosphere

spitting our words back at us.

(c) MarieKR 2013

Sister Blog!

Psst. Psst. Hey.

I’ve gone and done it. For reasons undisclosed at this time, I’ve started a second blog here on wordpress.com. I know, I know, I don’t update this one enough as it is. In my defense, composing and editing poetry to be presentable enough for sharing takes a lot of time! Thankfully, my second blog is not poetry-based and therefore should be a bit more active. I’m quite excited about it! However, I will still be maintaining this domain as well whenever I get a chance. There will likely be a bit of cross-contamination between the blogs depending on the untangling of my thoughts, so I apologize for any slight repetition which may occur.

You can find the new blog, Le Charrette, here, and if you follow this one then you should follow that one as well! (Because I’m greedy and want more followers).

To kick off the sister-blog posts, I’ve composed a stream-of-consciousness, spoken word style comment on architecture. Not quite a poem, but poetic enough, alright? Check it out!

Worth It

In order to become an architect, you have to give it time. Literally—it steals your time away and parcels it back again in war-time rations.

It does not become worth it until suddenly it is. Until you can spend all day at your studio desk and realize you didn’t mind it at all. Until you’ve discovered that in perfect silence, you can hear the scratch of your felt-tip micro pen against the paper. Until you’ve drawn X-acto patterns across your skin and let your veins absorb the smell of wood, glue and vellum paper. It does not become worth it until it’s deep in your blood and deep in your life.

(c) 2012 Marie KR

Perhaps I shall expand it someday, but I wanted to have something ready to post today so it can wait. 🙂

“…then you’re not listening hard enough.” -Michael Lee

I’m feeling rather introspective and philosophical today…that’s usually when I’m at my most dangerous. Come thee no farther, for here be dragons!

Being of the strong opinion that beautiful things need to be shared, I hereby introduce you to a certain Mr. Lee, both a marvelous human being and a fantastic poet!

I swear, I can only dream of writing like he does. My favorite poem by him is called ‘Pass On’

I encourage you to watch the whole thing, and then watch it over and over again as many times as is necessary until it makes you feel different in some way. It took me a few times to really listen.

I feel overly affected by things like this, as if nobody else reacts like I do. When I hear a perfectly written poem, even a perfectly worded phrase, I get a rising, swelling feeling in my chest as if an absence which I never noticed before has just been filled. Words are my solace; they lift me back up, distract me from the never-ending avalanche of life which I’ve been trying my best to hold back.

I hope that poem makes you feel the same way…

Cheerio, then, Gov’na!

So yeah, my life is sort of insane…

It’s been what, a week or two since my last post? I don’t remember, but sorry about the delay. I just finished my first week of school and life has been hectic, what with scheduling and sports and homework and my job, I have no free time whatsoever! All week I kept coming up with new things to write about but was never able to work on them. By today my mind was sort of like “If these ideas don’t get out of here right now I’m gonna explode!!!!” So thankfully for my head I sat down and wrote like crazy, and this was the result. Hope you like!

Things I Know

Some of you, like me, walk a fine line between learning and
knowing. I learn in school, but I know many things no teacher ever told me. I
can recite the themes in Romeo and Juliet and can find the line tangent to
a curve with the formula y=x3-2x2+4, but that doesn’t
really matter anyway.

What matters is that I can recall the spicy smell of Kenyan
wind and the sound of tea-pickers singing while they harvest the leaves that
later fill our steaming mugs. That I can explain what it feels like to leap into
a giant nothingness which steals the scream from your throat and then plunge
into cool, forgiving water, to claw your way to the surface in a rush of blue light
and bubbles. I can tell you about the craving to do it again.

I can tell you, too, that winter is the best season for
stargazing because the clean cut of the night air makes the lights look close
enough to taste their frozen sugary filling and draw their icy smell deep into
the corners of your lungs.

I have leaned over a boat’s railing an arm’s length from the
backs of whales and dolphins, I have heard their calls and seen the height of a
waterspout and someday I will know also the feeling of their smooth skin and
the shapes of their noses.

I can write about watching the storms roll in
toward my front porch, how it smells when the wind picks up and livid clouds
fill the air with electricity which goads your heart to a faster beat. And I
know how to fill my life with wind and feathers and winter nights and falling
leaves, but nobody else ever sees it, because what I don’t know is how to show you.

(c) 2011 Marie KR

I’m baaaaaack!

So yeah…it’s taken me a while to get back to writing regularly, but during my mental preparation for the onset of Senior year (dun-dun-duuuuuun) my subconscious must’ve thrown in a footnote reminder ‘re: poetry’ because all of a sudden it’s like a mental fountain with no pressure valve! (Did that last sentence make me sound smart? I hope so, I worked real hard on it…)

Innyway, I revisited one of my older pieces (not sure if I posted it ever) after being randomely inspired by my new favorite poem. I mean, favorite favorite poem. I mean, the best poem in the universe which now details my very existence. I had been very unhappy with this poem for quite a while, but at a loss on how to fix it. Now, however, it seems a smidgen closer to just-about-perfect. Enjoy 😉

PS: It’s a Spoken Word poem, which accounts for the lack of conventional line breaks and formatting, etc.

Living

A great poet once wrote, “You can’t beat death, but you can beat death in life, sometimes.” That phrase used to beat against the inside of my skull like the sparrow trapped inside my screened back porch; the bird is confused because it can’t see what keeps it inside and I was too, because I couldn’t write something like that. Then I realized it; by ‘life’, the poet didn’t mean breathing – this banal rhythm which keeps us conscious by the pressure on our ribs – but experiencing!

Because this world is a wrinkled walnut in the palm of your hand, and while it may be easier to admire it from the outside, cracking open that shell is the only way your eyes will ever taste the sprawling landscape under a walnut’s arcing ceiling not unlike that of a gothic cathedral.

I wish I could show you. Show you a life painted with sorrow and excitement and a sky made of the underside of thousands of birds’ wings and that big round sun which is really a billowing hot-air balloon rising and falling on a breath and if we fall too, something will always be there just waiting to catch.

But I can’t show you. I can only encourage you to find it on your own. Jump, and trust that the parachute will open. Fall, and expect the whiplash of a bungee cord or the grasp of strong arms. And when all the world goes up in flames, be the one person who enjoys the artistry of the fire; imitate its snapping voice in your throat and know that everything will be all right in the end and that being in the darkness is only an opportunity to make more light.

Then you can take that walnut-shell-world and shatter it into a thousand pieces that we can add to our stained-glass mosaic, made up of other broken things which we can combine to make something beautiful again. So go be a character in this Technicolor film in which we’ll tie bells around our feet and laugh like the wind on a November morning. In fact, let’s attach strings to that laughter and float it like a kite in the sky for everyone to see because then maybe they will understand too.

Understand how we can look at the trickles of rainwater running down the windowpane and compare it to the movements of a calligrapher’s brush and then run outside and turn cartwheels in that same rain and scream to the thunder and leap into the lightning because 3 million volts is the surest way to get that natural high which lets us know we’re really still alive.

 

(c) 2011 Marie KR

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This doesn’t count as a day since I’m not posting any of my own writing…no, I’m sorry, not tonight. I’m feeling a little under the weather and worn out from a jam-packed weekend. Also, my next poem will be the last (for a little hiatus while I create my anthology and tidy up loose ends) until summertime, so I want to make it a good one. Right now I’d say it’s about 44% finished…

But, just so you won’t be bored, check out this video! It’s a new style of poetry writing/reading called ‘Spoken Word’, and I for one think it’s great!