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Poetry Off The Page



February 18th, 2013

Livejournal.... before there was Myspace and Facebook, I used to frequent here...

September 16th, 2007

Miniature golf blues and greens
contain ridiculous angles and too many putters.
Go-karts belch gaseous fumes
refusing to pick up speed.
Lazer tag battles duck and fire in a room with strangers.
My favorite lady sits ready for a mere token.
Ms Pac Man's set for high speed, but her joystick doesn't respond.

This evening's food brought to you by unwashed hands.
Refill my soda for free!
Poorly designed larger-than-life-sized puppets of outdated
cartoon characters sing to the room unrequested.
Rebellious machines swallow shiny coins with no intent to play.
Paint all the walls in bright colors!
Blur sound across cramped space and let it heighten
every frequency of shrieking and loud chatter.

Climbing walls of artificial design dangle children
strapped in for safe keeping.
Bumper boats provide showers,
to those aboard and those within range.
I embrace the madness, squealing with excitement.
The lines finally shorter now that it is 10pm,
I insist we ride around the track
one last time before we go.
Don't bother using brakes,
let's make the best of an unlimited pass.

This poem was inspired by my day of play.

September 14th, 2007

Sweet and Salty Theorems

Anyone who engages in the art of snacking knows well the significance of complementary opposites, long time members of the human diet: "sweet" and "Salty".

Sure, some occasions require a bag of potato or tortilla chips, complete with a nice flavor layer consisting mainly of sodium. Mmmmmmm! And, if you are like me, what night time finds completion without a little dessert? Of course a very nearby convenience store sees me, often after dinner time, gazing down the aisle of brightly colored goodness. What is 70 cents worth if it can't buy a bite of happiness?

Any participant in "recreational" activities (you know- like boating, hiking, basketball, underwater basket weaving) will agree with me that, in the end, it is all about sweet and salty combinations for true satisfaction. Pretend you are sitting down to a nice bowl of chocolate pudding, complete with a percentage of the daily recommended amount of calcium, thanks to the milk. For the lactose intolerant or vegan, please imagine the most fabulous non-dairy mousse. You take the last full bite, perhaps even lick the bowl to get what the spoon left behind. At first a sense of satisfaction washes over you, then the sweetness residue begins to fade slowly. Something in that "after" moment loses luster, and it becomes clear that the palate needs a new sensation. Along come a box of cheez-its with the answer sought after. Please note: these steps can also be done in reverse order, salty to sweet.

With all this in mind, I made my decision while standing in line at DQ. Multitudes of possibilities are available: french fries and a slushie, chicken strips and a milkshake, burger and a strawberry waffle bowl. Yet, one item offers it all up in a single dish! Hot fudge sundae! You've got the goodness of standard operating vanilla, a pool of warmed chocolate slowly melting its way through then clinging to the spoon, and to top it all off a hint of salt via peanuts! "What could be better?" I asked myself. Then I ordered.

While my daughter and friend thoroughly enjoyed their choices, I knew from the moment i saw it that my sundae wasn't quite right. All over the top were brown flecks of peanut ash. Sure I was concerned, but the presentation reminded me of fall leaves and other good memories so I gave it a chance. Imagine if you will a hot fudge sundae, or for the non-dairy folks imagine a chocolate tofu cutie sandwich. Now, please picture yourself holding an upturned salt shaker and rattling it until its contents were noticeably less. Now, in slow motion, eat some. Confusion takes over, your tongue recognizes familiar themes but overwhelmed by proportions cannot appreciate it. This is not the way to do sweet and salty.

It's a science, chemical balances, compounds of critical elements. A mathematical exactitude based on a person's tastes where everything must balance itself out and find symmetry. Clearly the training days that the workers at DQ went through did not prepare them adequately. (Please see my thoughts on training posted previously.)
This affirms my other theories: training bites and minimum wage does not inspire perfection.

If only more understood and devoted time to advanced concepts such as these. Perhaps sometimes I ask for too much.

1. The most obvious sign that any training will be longer than you like:
PowerPoint projected on the screen.

2. Caffeine and sugar as "breakfast" seems cool at first when you are morning groggy, but can only mean a crash and burn later.

3. Sunflowers are pretty even when they are in a desolate room.

4. The phrase "lug nut" is funny.

5. While I do feel like teaching is my calling, and some days I really love it,
I hate the word pedagogy.

6. RUBIX cubes= fun (even if you can't solve it, you can remove the stickers and put them places.) RUBRICS for evaluation- though educational, interesting and useful tools, are not fun.

7. Some people still think Africa is a country. (In case you are one of them, it is a continent.)

8. Sitting in one room all day is painful like childbirth, but in my case training is usually much longer.

9. Anything learned in training is destined to be forgotten within seconds of fleeing the building.

10. Having a laptop open and looking like you are taking notes, when actually you are starting a blog on the training experience, doesn't make the time go faster but it provides entertainment and makes you look like you are really paying attention.


About life size statues-
It was held at a meeting room in the Art Museum, which means en route to the restroom, a line of three nude sculpted males greeted me. I wondered, did they think to ask the sculptor to better endow them? Did the sculptor refuse? Did they feel insecure about their underwhelming genitalia? Or were they unaware of what they lacked when they stood all exposed for hours? Why are there tree limbs protruding from their thighs, is this symbolic of man's tenuous ties to nature? A testament to the encroaching forests and wilderness beyond man's control? Did the two now castrated forms notice when they lost their parts? Did any of them ever have arms?
Poor men... all balls and no shaft.

About environment-
If white walls suck energy at a rate equivalent to 1 part energy per 10 minutes and training is seven hours, how much energy do I have left at the end of the training? And is the outcome different if I drink caffeinated tea and a Pepsi and eat two cookies?

September 10th, 2007


first of all, a big shout out to my good friend Christa (christabellonline.com) cause I had so much going on, my mind was on the verge of implosion. Right when i thought i was going to lose it if I didn't talk to someone, but hadn't figured out who to talk to, the phone rang. It was her. She basically helped me push through, by telling me it was ok for me to take care of me. It seems obvious, I know, but the super-hero-martyr-mother-everyone else, then me- caretaker mentality is tough to break through. So my repetitions for today will include

self affirmations:

i can do it

i will take care of me

i deserve my own attention

i will nurture and make time for my art

i should not feel guilty for putting my own needs first

i like being happy

i will pursue my own happiness

because the longevity and joy of my life

depend on it.

September 8th, 2007

Whirlwind Weekend

So I got this good deal on tickets for the TBA festival- cause they were running a special on all the hip hop inspired sessions for a set price. But anyway.. blah blah blah

So I went with my friend yesterday to see Marc Bamuthi Joseph and the LIFESAVAS.
How exciting is it to see people that you've known for years, still doing their thing?! I met Marc at the 2000 national poetry slam competitions. I met the Lifesavas way back in the days of "hip-hop in the park" when we rocked a series of shows together w/ Good Sista/Bad Sista on Portland and Seattle. I think that would have been like 1999!

This whole social post camp vibe is paying off so far. I have seen friends, witnessed some great performances, danced with super smelly poeple with no apparent rhthym or hygeine... what more could i ask for?

Highlights of the evening:

- Marc's amazing energy as not just a spoken word performer, but also as a dancer! How he kept that up for an hour is still a mystery to me! While I was truly inspired I don't know that you will see me vigorously dancing when I perform anytime soon. That just isn't my skill set!

- At the Lifesavas show Jumbo and Vursatyle gave me mad love from the stage, which makes me feel warm fuzzies that erased whatever fubk I had about not being on the latest album (again). When Vurs saw me up front and center, he said "Hey Turiya" in the mic and greeted me inbetween songs. Then at some point, Jumbo reached out from stage and gave me a tootsie roll pop. While others got pounds and handshakes- I got a kiss on the back of the hand. Now that is what friendship looks like at a live show. You gotta love that! One question I had was, when did Jumbo cut off his dreads?! Then my follow up would be, when is he gonna rock it all wild so we can get the good sista/bad sista/bad-ass brutha photo?!

- Amazing company! It was so nice to not have to go to a show by myself and to be with someone who I absolutely think the world of, who cracks me up, appreciates poetry/art and also introduced me to the concept of "2nd dinner." I like it.

As for tonight, after a long shift at my day-job I need to get cleaned up so I can go support The Suicide Kings. I haven't seen those guys in ages! I dont know if I will actually get to chat with them tho- it will be pretty crowded I am sure. There is another performer that I am going to see too who I don't know. I am hoping that all this observation will inspire me, cause I need to be getting my one hour performance, that I will be doing at schools starting soon, to the next level of goodness.

September 5th, 2007

shoeboxes of photographs

written today by Turiya

gathering collected bits of history
from corners and shelves
organizing them, intentionally
relinquishing the baggage
of kept items serving no purpose
old flyers, inkless pens,
photos that don't require saving,
ones to organize for future albums

like the box of pictures containing
every framed scene we displayed at mom's funeral
i kept them close throughout the winter
they glanced my way from every bookshelf and table
until i figured it unwise to spend so many hours crying
and knew i wasn't strong enough to reminisce gently
so i put each one away after my birthday
knowing a day would come when i'd be ready

today i found a lot of unanswerable questions
photos of people I barely recognize
grown ups from the scattered memories of a child
i wondered about details of my mother
beyond my daughterly knowledge
the source of the vivacious smile
reasons behind her ever-changing hair shades
what soundtrack went with each frame
and what of the moments left out
how do you feel in the blanks
when there is no one to ask?

what do five by sevens really reveal
about the content of our lives
the random days someone aimed and clicked
a roll fortunate enough to be processed
and somehow saved
what would someone gather
perusing my shoeboxes of shots
mostly undated, people unnamed
what would it reveal about me
and who would bother attempting
to make sense of the piles?

School is in session!

Thank goodness school has finally started back up! I thought i was going to go nuts with the kids in the house arguing over computer turns all day! I love myspace in regards to my use, but my daughter wants to be on all the time and my son wants to play on-line games- so they are always bickering and making messes and being surly, when usually daytime (when I don;t have work/gigs/etc...) is my down time to get things done around the house.

It is a disaster! I have never had anyone come clean my house (cause broke people can't live like that...) however, I am highlly considering bringing in some outside assistance so I can get caught up enough to really get some decluttering done- but i don't even know who to ask or where to start on that one. hmmmm... walidah is coming soon too, and i don't want things this out of order when she arrives at my doorstep! These are times when i wish i could use some magic, wrinkle my nose and things sort themselves. Piles of mail dance their way to and through the shredder, miscellaneous papers file themselves away in an ordered fashion.... well of course if i had magical powers I would work on world peace, ending hunger and various equity issues before wasting magic on housecleaning... geez! I do have priorities! I just know that winter is worse spent in disorganization.

So actually I am going to keep this short, cause I have been up for awhile, it is still early in the day, and I got stuff to do! Still hoping some fabulous reader will inspre me with a question or prompt... (see preceding blog...hint hint)

September 4th, 2007

who reads this i wonder

so i get really excited to see that there are actually people reading, and i wonder...
who are these blog readers? what do they hope for in an entry?

so here's your chance to be more than a passive bystander...
provide a question/inquiry, a topic etc... and I will see what i can do.

be an inspiration and a catalyst...


diving lessons

by turiya

i saw reflections of myself
glimmering gold against sunlight
didn't worry
about getting lost
once i got wet

took tips of toes
dipped them
metallic green black
along the surface
watched water spiral
and work its way
to the furthest edge
growing deeper still

the familiar faded
to distant shores
yet i considered myself
home adrift
on three parts water
buoyed on a fourth
of soft skin earth
trembling slightly
with the wind

once i dove headfirst
into the depths of his eyes
my pulse raced
with the shock of the plunge
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