tony hoagland

I've posted this poem before by Tony Hoagland.  I like many of his poems, but I think this one is probably my favorite.  And it is especially so because I found these utterly gorgeous, I'm 'head over heels in love with' boots ........ not necessarily work boots per se.  But ohhhhh definite lust-worthy boots.  I know, I know - it's a girl thing ;)  And yes, I can see myself standing on a chair, work boots laced up and a nightie on trying to figure out how to hang the darn windchimes early in the morning-it's exactly my kind of impulsive action.

But back to Tony - currently he is a professor in the University of Houston's Creative Writing program (MFA and PhD).  I once had a small dream of enrolling at UH just for the purpose of being able to sit and listen to some of my favorite poets and writers of the day lecture.  The last time I checked, you had to submit a portfolio of your work - for a poet, it was 10 or 12 of your best poems, as part of the criteria to be evaluated for the MFA program.  Surprising isn't it - to find out that a college one might think of as a sort of local college is actually ranked in the top ten MFA programs in the US.  This due in part to its list of very talented and well known in their field teachers.  Who knows?  Maybe one day after all the kids have done their college stints,  mom will pursue hers ??

She goes out to hang the windchime
in her nightie and her work boots.
It’s six-thirty in the morning
and she’s standing on the plastic ice chest
tiptoe to reach the crossbeam of the porch,

windchime in her left hand,
hammer in her right, the nail
gripped tight between her teeth
but nothing happens next because
she’s trying to figure out
how to switch #1 with #3.

She must have been standing in the kitchen,
coffee in her hand, asleep,
when she heard it—the wind blowing
through the sound the windchime
wasn’t making
because it wasn’t there.

No one, including me, especially anymore believes
till death do us part,
but I can see what I would miss in leaving—
the way her ankles go into the work boots
as she stands upon the ice chest;
the problem scrunched into her forehead;
the little kissable mouth
with the nail in it.

from What Narcissism Means to Me



collage studios by gail rieke

Soubriquet posted a lovely photograph of a wall of portmanteaux for me today HERE.  I loved the image so much, I went to steal it - but it wouldn't embiggen for me.  So, naturally I did an image search on google and FOUND THESE!!  Apparently these are actual room installations of artist Gail Rieke's studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  One day I am going to take Soubriquet to Santa Fe.  He will love the landscape, the architecture, some of the art .... and probably dryly comment on the New Age spiritualism of the town.  It once was a very lovely (and relatively inexpensive) place long long ago until Californians began invading the town in droves.  And yes, I can say that as I was (for a brief period of lunacy) a Los Angelesian.  Ummm ... I've gotten off track a bit here.  What I want to share are these interesting 'collage' rooms Gail has created:

Suitcase Wall

Collage Studio First Room

Collage Studio Detail

Printer's Cabinet

Collage Studio Second Room

Gail's portfolio is quite varied and includes collage, assemblage, journals, photographs and digital prints.  Check out her website:  Gail Rieke Collage Studios.



frivolous friday

It is a shame to see how pachydermophobia
has lent itself to mastodon discrimination...


the 100 most beautiful words in English

Ailurophile A cat-lover.
Assemblage A gathering.
Becoming Attractive.
Beleaguer To exhaust with attacks.
Brood To think alone.
Bucolic In a lovely rural setting.
Bungalow A small, cozy cottage.
Chatoyant Like a cat’s eye.
Comely Attractive.
Conflate To blend together.
Cynosure A focal point of admiration.
Dalliance A brief love affair.
Demesne Dominion, territory.
Demure Shy and reserved.
Denouement The resolution of a mystery.
Desuetude Disuse.
Desultory Slow, sluggish.
Diaphanous Filmy.
Dissemble Deceive.
Dulcet Sweet, sugary.
Ebullience Bubbling enthusiasm.
Effervescent Bubbly.
Efflorescence Flowering, blooming.
Elision Dropping a sound or syllable in a word.
Elixir A good potion.
Eloquence Beauty and persuasion in speech.
Embrocation Rubbing on a lotion.
Emollient A softener.
Ephemeral Short-lived.
Epiphany A sudden revelation.
Erstwhile At one time, for a time.
Ethereal Gaseous, invisible but detectable.
Evanescent Vanishing quickly, lasting a very short time.
Evocative Suggestive.
Fetching Pretty.
Felicity Pleasantness.
Forbearance Withholding response to provocation.
Fugacious Fleeting.
Furtive Shifty, sneaky.
Gambol To skip or leap about joyfully.
Glamour Beauty.
Gossamer The finest piece of thread, a spider’s silk.
Halcyon Happy, sunny, care-free.
Harbinger Messenger with news of the future.
Imbrication Overlapping and forming a regular pattern.
Imbroglio An altercation or complicated situation.
Imbue To infuse, instill.
Incipient Beginning, in an early stage.
Ineffable Unutterable, inexpressible.
Ingénue A naïve young woman.
Inglenook A cozy nook by the hearth.
Insouciance Blithe nonchalance.
Inure To become jaded.
Labyrinthine Twisting and turning.
Lagniappe A special kind of gift.
Lagoon A small gulf or inlet.
Languor Listlessness, inactivity.
Lassitude Weariness, listlessness.
Leisure Free time.
Lilt To move musically or lively.
Lissome Slender and graceful.
Lithe Slender and flexible.
Love Deep affection.
Mellifluous Sweet sounding.
Moiety One of two equal parts.
Mondegreen A slip of the ear.
Murmurous Murmuring.
Nemesis An unconquerable archenemy.
Offing The sea between the horizon and the offshore.
Onomatopoeia A word that sounds like its meaning.
Opulent Lush, luxuriant.
Palimpsest A manuscript written over earlier ones.
Panacea A solution for all problems
Panoply A complete set.
Pastiche An art work combining materials from various sources.
Penumbra A half-shadow.
Petrichor The smell of earth after rain.
Plethora A large quantity.
Propinquity Proximity; Nearness
Pyrrhic Successful with heavy losses.
Quintessential Most essential.
Ratatouille A spicy French stew.
Ravel To knit or unknit.
Redolent Fragrant.
Riparian By the bank of a stream.
Ripple A very small wave.
Scintilla A spark or very small thing.
Sempiternal Eternal.
Seraglio Rich, luxurious oriental palace or harem.
Serendipity Finding something nice while looking for something else.
Summery Light, delicate or warm and sunny.
Sumptuous Lush, luxurious.
Surreptitious Secretive, sneaky.
Susquehanna A river in Pennsylvania.
Susurrous Whispering, hissing.
Talisman A good luck charm.
Tintinnabulation Tinkling.
Umbrella Protection from sun or rain.
Untoward Unseemly, inappropriate.
Vestigial In trace amounts.
Wafture Waving.
Wherewithal The means.
Woebegone Sorrowful, downcast.



the boots that won him over

 Soubriquet of Grit in the Gears fame recently celebrated his 1000th post HERE.  It was a nostalgic walk down memory's lane for me because he began blogging, or at least created a blog, so that he could post a comment on my then blog called Red Dirt Girl.  He has been the wise one - to keep at the writing, blogging, scrap booking of images and thoughts and information all there on one blog.  He is able to go back and see the progression, digression, the eddies and tides of his world over the last 5+ years.  I, on the other hand, have birthed and then killed an endless list of blogs.  For the most part I am unrepentant for this odd quirk of mine to take off in one direction in a 'new' world and then, for various reasons, stop and end it.  Only to start again in a different vein, in a new place, new friends.  BUT ...... the blog that Soubry stumbled upon while surfing the innertent one cold December day, THAT blog, yes the original Red Dirt Girl blog, well I miss it terribly.  Why oh why did I have to go and delete those wonderful memories???

Well, actually, I do know why.  It was the divorce.  The horrible raging battle of a broken marriage and a sleazy lawyer who began mining my blog for ammunition to use against me in court.  It was the unrealized fear that somehow I would be found to be lacking the necessary skills to mother my children.  The fear of having them taken away from me.  I look back now, of course, and realize how irrational that fear truly was.  But at the time, I did not 'understand' the legal system nor I was I able to acknowledge my own inner strength and ability to fight back and claim what was mine.  Enough.

Back to the original Red Dirt Girl.  It was my third blog.  I had had two blogs previously that tackled the deep questions I had about my faith at the time; beliefs that I was wrestling with.  With Red Dirt Girl I wanted to do something fun, lighthearted and outrageously silly.  I thought, 'Why not a blog about shoes?'  Not shoes that I normally wear in my everyday life, but FANTASY SHOES ..... those killer stilettos that I lust for knowing that I would break my neck, if not my ankle, attempting to walk in them.  And poetry.  My poetry was exploding in my head, and I was writing a poem every 2 or 3 days during that time.  Red Dirt Girl had fantasy shoesday three times a week and spliced in literary quotes, inspirations and others' poetry on the other two days.  I didn't blog on weekends.  Once the shoe blog was up and running, I created a separate blog for my own personal poetry (similar to what I've done here) and it had its own thriving community of readers and comments.

Then along came  COWBOY!! I called him cowboy, even though he goes by Bulletholes, because my site meter picked him up coming out of Fort Worth, Texas.  Cowboy is a former chef.  And we became fast friends.  I'm not sure how it all started, but Cowboy began using my fantasy shoesdays to inspire him to create menus that went along with the shoe!!  I know it sounds odd or strange explaining it, but REALLY it was FANTASTIC!!  It was so funny and fun and people LOVED reading his menus.  Cowboy would go all out with appetizers, entrees, desserts and drinks, and they were sooo witty.  He'd leave the menus in a comment, and I would copy and post them with the shoe that inspired them.  Then he began to challenge me:  He'd leave me a menu and I would have to find a fantasy shoe that 'fit' it. 

So it was around that time, when the fantasy shoesdays were an established given, along with their fanciful menus and poetry was exploding out of my head, that Soubriquet happened upon my blog.  How he found me here in the backwoods of the innertent, I do not know.  I had more readers, more links to other blogs at the time - but nothing like today's sidebars full of followers that so many blogs boast.  Maybe he was just hitting the random 'Next Blog' button and Red Dirt Girl happened to pop up.  But on that day I had featured these gorgeous Emilio Pucci boots.  In fuchsia with silver and black applique... My mouth still waters !!

And on the sister poetry blog I had posted the following two poems, poems that you have seen here at the gate.  The first is a poem by Polish poet Jerzy Harasymowicz.  It was Jerzy's poem that started my whole love affair with poetry and inspired me to start writing my own.  I wrote about that moment HERE.

The Bicycle

forgotten by tourists
a bicycle joined
a herd
of mountain goats

with its splendidly turned
silver horns
it became
their leader

with its bell
it warned them
of danger

with them
it partook
in romps
on snow covered

the bicycle
gazed from above
on people walking;
with the goats

it fought
over a goat,
with a bearded buck

it reared up at eagles
on its back wheel

it was happy
though it never
nibbled at grass

or drank
from a stream

until once
a poacher
shot it

by the silver trophy
of its horns

and then
above the Tatras was seen
against the sparkling
January sky

the angel of death erect
riding to heaven
holding the bicycle's
dead horns.
~ by Jerzy Harasymowicz
(trans. from Polish by Edmund Ordon)

 The 'sister' poem was one that I had written while posting Jerzy's bicycle poem:

ode to 'The Bicycle'

 Today I was posting
a poem
that wasn't my own.

About a bicycle,
and two silver horns.

I sat at the table
and started to type.
I realized: I'm wrong!
This poem has some bite!

I tasted and chewed.
I digested and fed.
I savoured and swallowed.
The juices ran red.

his words, they are mine.

They float and they slumber.
They run through my veins.
They've invaded my thoughts.
They live in my brain.

The bicycle image,
goats, angel and snow,
I see in my dreams.
Film moving slow.

So this is my poem:
a tribute of sorts,
an ode to a bicycle
and to some odd 
mountain goats.


And yes, though I have erased that blog and its comments so long ago, I STILL remember the gist of Soubrquet's comment.  It was witty and piqued my curiosity about its writer.  He described an image of himself sitting in a cafe under a striped awning, reading poetry and sipping his tea.  As he looked around he noticed ladies shoes, pointy high heeled shoes and boots, displayed in shop windows.  And somehow the menu in his hand was related to those pointy high heels in the windows.  He thanked me for reminding him how much he loved poetry, how it had been too long since he had read any poems.  He enjoyed his idle, the shoes and the funny menus and wanted to leave me something of like kind in return.  He described the 3 clay coins that he left on the table.  How he was once a maker of things of clay,  how he had fashioned these coins just for this purpose: to show how much he appreciated what I had fashioned at Red Dirt Girl

And ...... that was it.  I certainly did not think he would become a regular follower.  I often had random comments.  But the images he evoked made me curious, and his name was a live link.   So I followed ...... and happened upon a new blog with its toddling first post:   An Inconspicuous Beginning.

And this is what I wrote in reply:

Why thank you ersatz.......you had me from the first striped awning.....the coins were more than payment enough.......i've stopped by to return your change. So pleased you partook of a crispy poem or two or three, took time to shoe shop, I'm intrigued.

Please know that you're welcome back anytime on your journey through inner or inter or wherever. I have great expectations from one such as you....I will be sure to link up as soon as all this holiday hoopla is over.....

red dirt girl
Now it could have ended there.  A friendly exchange of mutual admiration.  But Soubriquet went one step further and set a TRAP for me: ......  Eek! The mythical reader! 

And in that post he wrote: 
Oh yes, the cheese had gone. A few pointy heelprints in the carpet gave a clue... Now, where did I recently see.... Oh yes, I think they are the prints of a pair of psychedelic pink Emilio Pucci high-heeled boots. A bit wonderwoman, don't you think, Red Dirt Girl?

Hahahahahahaa!  What a tease that Soubriquet.  He had me hooked and didn't even know it.

So there you have it my friends.  The beginning of our romance.  And no, not even I could have foreseen where the journey would take me, overseas to a beautiful land, and to a man who still has the ability to pique my interest, intrigue me, make me laugh and flirt and feel giddy.  A man who will soon come and stay instead of leaving.  A man whom I will marry.  My only regret?  That I did not save those first tentative steps towards one another.  The record of our history from MY point of view.  The original Red Dirt Girl...

Soubriquet is a much better archivist than I !!



lessons i learned this week

Or buy a roll of duct tape

don't cling to the negative

but you can have the best

don't worry, be happy

change your perspective

make way for the new

when in doubt, consult an expert

focus on the essential

tend your own garden

channel your inner swan

don't be afraid to get wet


and do it in a pair of kick-ass heels !


for my sweetheart



why nobody pets the lion at the zoo

The morning that the world began
The Lion growled a growl at Man.

And I suspect the Lion might
(If he’d been closer) have tried a bite.

I think that’s as it ought to be
And not as it was taught to me.

I think the Lion has a right
To growl a growl and bite a bite.

And if the Lion bothered Adam,
He should have growled right back at ’im.

The way to treat a Lion right
Is growl for growl and bite for bite.

True, the Lion is better fit
For biting than for being bit.

But if you look him in the eye
You’ll find the Lion’s rather shy.

He really wants someone to pet him.
The trouble is: his teeth won’t let him.

He has a heart of gold beneath
But the Lion just can’t trust his teeth.



Trust that there is a tiger, muscular
Tasmanian, and sly, which has never been
seen and never will be seen by any human
eye. Trust that thirty thousand sword-
fish will never near a ship, that far
from cameras or cars elephant herds live
long elephant lives. Believe that bees
by the billions find unidentified flowers
on unmapped marshes and mountains. Safe
in caves of contentment, bears sleep.
Through vast canyons, horses run while slowly
snakes stretch beyond their skins in the sun.
I must trust all this to be true, though
the few birds at my feeder watch the window
with small flutters of fear, so like my own.


Well, I thought life couldn't get much more difficult than it was this past week. 
But tonight, after a hellish day in retail (moms returning unwanted
mother's day gifts, desperate last minute purchase of said gifts
and a phone that would not STOP RINGING),
I came home, opened up an email, and got landslided by its words.  
Yes, RDG: 
Life CAN go from bad to worse ...



frivolous friday

Austin, TX

I sooooo need one of these after the week I've had .......


fleda brown


The woman with the pale hair is signing
the poem. Not that kind of signing.
Her hands dip and flutter and hop
against the black backdrop.
Her mouth shapes emoticons.
Really, I’m not sure what
the mouth’s for. I watch her lips,
the poem changed to hieroglyphs.
She makes her eyes turn off and on.
Keats’s could do no better. Still
wouldst thou sing and I have ears in vain
Her face goes from happy to pained.
She is inside the poem where the birds live
with their hollow mouths.
I am watching her more than I’m listening.
The poem is not something she believes.
It has sprouted on her like leaves.
It has come out the other side of itself.
Which makes me wonder if I will ever
be able to recover from language enough.
Those people who pray with their palms up
as if they’re catching or releasing
electromagnetic waves?
This is definitely not me. I’m following
the words as if they were closed captions
for the trumpets and blazing of the Rapture.

via: How a Poem Happens 


i am not an optimist ...

"Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out."  ~ by Vaclav Havel 

via Reflejos


frivolous friday

sweet cream ....... yum!


alan cohen

feminine universe by m.a. wakeley

"Those who love you are not fooled by mistakes you have made or dark images you hold about yourself. They remember your beauty when you feel ugly; your wholeness when you are broken; your innocence when you feel guilty; and your purpose when you are confused."
~ Alan Cohen "They're Singing Your Song" 

image and quote via Assorted