Category Archives: writing

Return of the fool

I am sad to see The Big Tent fold. The founding sisters have moved on to another project, which includes some inter-referential writing. An interesting idea.

Some things in their work triggered this, so thanks, good ladies
( in the best sense )

reference to

A Fine Kettle of Fish
Where trees used to be Carolee Sherwood
The Disguise of Mascaraed Lashes Deb Scott

soil conservation techniques for women

the erosion.  we respect it more
than green blankets, or slopes draped
with double crochet pines in files or
space apliqued with that spreading
tree of life.  we respect
the erosion like a man
with blue lights and a gun
(or a woman) (with a gun)
it is definition, like a line drawn
or a levee raised on the loose soil

blot up those tears when they have done their work
and your eyes are clear of motes and cinders and those
lashes, thickened with brown mascara because black
was too bold for your face, lashes that washed down
onto the salt pan.

gather up those old discarded lashes
and plant them around the weeping sore
with a spiral magic wand and a dab of brown
and it begins a terraced garden,
more to be respected even than erosion.


Quantum Charlie

Quantum Charlie

there was a TV show.
a man’s mind bounced around
in past tenses, like a fly in a window,
and settled each week into some
different body’s set of troubles,
leaving suddenly just as things began
to clarify, about to go right.

week after week
with nothing but
Bukowski’s hangovers. – The World’s Poetry Archive 108

Question And Answer

he sat naked and drunk in a room of summer
night, running the blade of the knife
under his fingernails, smiling, thinking
of all the letters he had received
telling him that
the way he lived and wrote about
it had kept them going when
all seemed

Charles Bukowski


I want your money and
your life she said stepping outside
her trite and truly off-the-rack
painted by the numbers linear life.
none of that namby-pamby wishy-
washy, flip-flop, either/or,    either.
I want it all she said, leveraging
with the addition of an air guitar.
beautiful, I’ll be the goldfoil angel
wearing diamonds like glass beads,
crashing masked balls bare-faced,
cursing infants for their own good.
and I wonder why didn’t I do this
years ago

____     ____     ____

You can see the genesis of this here.
And if you’re wondering how this poem came about…

I liked the story with Jill’s prompt so much that I decided to steal it.
As a black-hearted highwayman.
I stole the tree-fort tree and picked an apple from it.
Stuffed her leverage in my pocket, while I was at it.  My childhood was Disney-Grimm, so all the bad fairy curses turn out to have positive outcomes. And because the good fairies are indistinguishable from angels, and Jill seems like such an angellic imp, I just decked her in sequins and gold lame, and stole her off the top of the (now a fir) tree.

But, because I am only pretending, I put everything (and everyone) back the way I found it when I was through playing bandits.

big tent poetry

Seeing Roc City

Big Tent Poetry wants a haibun with a mythological character

I am sure many of you will have produced beautifully crafted haibun.  You will have included the requisite flying horses or fairies gracefully while describing some place in such a way my mouth will water while I read.

I could not write a haiku if my life depended on it, and not a good one even if it would save me AND make me wealthy.   As to the narrative, well, I am not bad at beginning, but there is a reason I do not call myself Novelist Wysfool.

If you can’t recognize it in all the verbiage, this is an apology for what follows.  My only excuse is that it’s a rough draft.  a very puny excuse.

One who has an irrational fear of heights, or a rational fear of extraordinarily large birds, would be advised to avoid the Outrider Mountain Peak Experience.  I am one of the later, but no one warned me beforehand that the only access to the workshop, the only transportation to the peak, would have to be just such avians.  Rocs.

Outrider Mountain is impressive, as old, eroded mountains may still be.  It is the first appreciable elevation one encounters traveling east across the plateau from the central basin.  Miles of rolling eastern prairie run up against the ridge of Outrider like carpet at a wall.  One turns off the highway a few miles before the road turns upward to cross the barrier by way of a low shoulder.

At this junction there is a gas station with attached restaurant and shop.
The Roc’s Roaster sells a great variety of unfortunate useless things in addition to the usual sodas and sandwiches, and also–as attested to by large peeling signs for miles in advance–fifteen flavors of roasted RocNuts.  These are, in fact, small brown bags of peanuts.  The place is depressing to say the most complimentary thing that comes to mind, and I wish to god that I had stayed there.

[here would follow description of the winding dirt and gravel road that skirts the mountain for miles, the boulders that fall with frequency, occasionally landing on some farmer’s tractor or cow.
[then we would discuss the landing site and the process of strapping into the harness by which the birds carry you, and the deeply unsettling sensation of rising one thousand feet into the air under with nothing between you and oblivion but the wings and badly maintained feet of two foul tempered birds.]

The Rocs and their handler spoke to one another in a rough and unhuman language, but it was obvious to me that they were discussing my weight at some length, and it seemed for a while that the birds would refuse me passage, though I am only guessing:  at no time did the birds or their attendant speak to me.

When I at last staggered to my feet after landing, the larger of the birds muttered something and the woman who was assisting me out of my strapping laughed heartily.  When she pointed me in the direction of my cabin, she handed me a wooden disk.  It was red with the number 2000 in yellow.
“Baldy says you’re heavier than you look, ” she said, as if it were an explanation.   “Seems to think
you must have some triceratops in your family. That’s your diet.

the funeral home looked like gone with the wind

Big Tent Poetry

the funeral home looked like gone with the wind

the last niece arrived late for the viewing.

she skirted the swarm of ghouls milling

at the door. camouflaged in dusty dull

black carapaces, the females mimed at

humanity with tears and scraps of laces.

once past the canopy, an unctuous guide

in graphite chanted her through hushed

doors and past the crush of zombies,

messily strewing the dead man’s wake

with the remains of his backbone and

his embellished balls. The debris of a

half-eaten child in miniature mourning

answered to the fates of the bereaved.

her uncle was already on the loading

dock, fortunate.

(when I copied the words, half-eaten and child ended up together.  I could not resist)